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Rising to the occasion.

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Crusty loaf, fresh out of the oven, with mature cheddar and tomatoes.

This Monday didn’t start off too badly.

I had a good night’s sleep last night, after a few nights of being awake a lot. On Saturday night I was cold most of the night – I was curled into a ball all night. Why not add a blanket?, I hear you ask. I actually thought about that, but I kept thinking ‘I’ll warm up now’ – it just never happened. Also, the blanket I needed was still in its summer hiding place, which meant I had to get up, walk through the house and go and fetch it there, which was also never going to happen.

But last night I made sure I had the blanket thrown over the bed before bedtime, and I slept snuggly.

This morning started with 2 enquiries for accommodation at the guesthouse, one for tonight, and one for a weekend at the beginning of August. They both accepted the quotes, now I’m waiting for payment, which may or may not happen, but I’m pretty positive.

Best of all, I started making bread last night. I made the dough and left it to slowly rise through the night. This morning I popped it into the oven, and olĂ©! – fresh bread for breakfast! Isn’t that just the best way to start your day?

The first slice always with butter only, while it’s still hot. The second slice with something added to the butter – this morning it was some of that mature, white cheddar lying next to it, and a cup of tea. Sometimes it’s with apricot jam, or golden syrup, or Bovril (similar to Marmite or Vegemite, only supposed to have beef in it). My absolute favourite way to eat warm, fresh bread though, is simply smeared with butter. Heaven!

I went without bread for about four months a few years ago. I climbed on the ‘no gluten’ bandwagon to see what difference it will make to me, my health, and how I feel generally. It made not one iota of difference at all. So, I’m done with that! I even have a little sign in my kitchen above the bread bin that says (roughly translated from the original Afrikaans):

BREAD...
Bread is the warmest, most kind hearted of all words
Always write it with a capital,
just like your name.

Maybe I should have called this post ‘an ode to bread’, but yes, I love bread, there’s no getting away from it!

Any other bread lovers out there?

So, what changed?

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On the edge of a precipice… Not the photographer’s caption – that is completely mine. Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

And with that I mean for you personally, in your life.

Because of the pandemic. Have you come to any profound realizations during this time? Important enough to change how you do things on a permanent basis?

I have realized that I need people even less than I thought before. I find that it is increasingly difficult for me to go out and cope with the ‘stuff’ that comes with people. So, when this pandemic has finally run its course, I will probably still prefer to go out as little as possible, deal with people as little as I can.

I have discovered that I need less clothes than I thought before. It is nice to keep buying new clothes, but have you ever sat down and thought to yourself how much of the clothes in your closet you actually really need? Especially if you don’t have to go to an office everyday. It is scary if you start doing a bit of research into how much money goes into the buying and making of clothes and accessories! Can you imagine how much resources (cotton, bamboo, silk, leather, etc.) are needed to feed that greed? Our earth will be so much better off if we can wean ourselves from the hunger to have closets full of the latest and best in fashion…

And food. Do you know more than a third of food produced in the world goes to waste? Why? Why are people so wasteful with food? Because it is too easy to just go out and buy more? Maybe it is because hardly anybody produces their own food anymore. To most people, it is something you buy in a shop. No thought is given to how it got there. Or what it is made of. So now because X amount of food is needed, and the population keeps growing, more and more food ‘needs’ to be produced, when actually a third less is really needed – if only people were not so wasteful.

But. Yes, there is always a ‘but’. But because of the fact that I need less people, I need more of the WWW. I do spend a fair amount of time on YouTube, Google and the TV, which is most certainly far from ideal. If I can get myself to do a whole lot less of that, I’ll be happy. I do grow more of my own food, not close to what I would like to do, but I’ll get there. Baby steps. And I’ll keep doing it. I’ll keep baking bread, and I will try to not buy any at all, in future.

Finally, I have realized that we have given away waaaaaayyyy to much of our personal autonomy. How did that happen? I will keep fighting it in my small way. I will not sit back and be passive about it. We are not puppets. We are not programmed by uniform micro chips planted into our brains (yet). I find it hard to believe how so many millions of people are happy with the fact that all decisions about their lives have been taken away from them.

What has changed for you? What realizations and conclusions have you reached? I’ll be interested to know. I doubt anybody will come out and talk to me about these things, but someone out there might just surprise me…