Lockdown Journal: Day 23 (Birds of Paradise)

by | Apr 18, 2020 | COVID-19, Johannesburg | 6 comments

If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post  has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts.

It’s Day 23 of lockdown. The number of days isn’t even interesting anymore. I can hardly remember what days were like before lockdown.

In other unsurprising news, I photographed pretty flowers in my garden.

Birds of Paradise pair
Lockdown Day 23: A pair of strelitzia, also called birds of paradise.

One of the birds of paradise has been in bloom for about a week and I’d been eyeing it on my daily circles around the house. I noticed the second flower blooming this morning. A bird of paradise pair! Time for a photoshoot.

Birds of paradise
They are miraculously beautiful flowers.

Here are some observations I made (to myself) today:

  1. Yesterday I went out shopping. Before that, I had not left my house since April 6th. Being a hermit has become frightfully easy.
  2. I’ve spent about R2000 on groceries this week. I am only one person. I am not a gourmet cook and I eat very little meat. How is this even possible?! I guess because purchasing groceries is the only available form of entertainment.
  3. I don’t clean. Every now and again I sweep the floor in one room, or change the bedsheets, or half-heartedly rinse (not scrub) the toilet or bathtub. The house still seems okay-ish. I’m going with it.
  4. My workouts keep migrating later in the day. The last two days I’ve exercised at noon rather than my usual (i.e. pre-lockdown) 7:00 a.m. By next weekend I’ll be lucky to squeeze in a workout before dark.
  5. These observations are insanely boring.

In much more exciting news, Coach Xolani (who I wrote about on Day 4) and his wife Patricia became new parents to a lockdown baby yesterday! Xolani says they considered naming her Quarantine but instead went with Thandiwe Nicole.

Welcome to our weird, whacky world, Thandi. Your parents will never let you forget the strange circumstances of your birth.

Sadly Xolani wasn’t able to be at the hospital for the birth due to lockdown, and he still hasn’t met his daughter.

See my Day 4 post for details on how to hire Xolani as your lockdown personal trainer. He’s still sending me workout videos on a weekly basis, which I continue to follow later and later each day.

Today’s Worthy Cause

Most of you in South Africa probably know about the Egg Challenge, which inexplicably began circulating on social media this week. People record themselves swallowing a raw egg chased with a shot of liquor and a mouthful of sugar, and then “challenge” a friend to do the same. As far as I can tell there is no particular reason for doing this.

Wow. We really have gotten bored, haven’t we? Suffice it to say I won’t be participating.

Fortunately the Good Things Guy, a wildly popular blog that features positive stories about South Africa, came up with a new version of this challenge that is actually useful. Good Things Guy and Spar have teamed up and are encouraging South Africans to donate eggs, mielie meal, and milk into designated carts outside every Spar store. The food will be included in parcels distributed to those in need.

Donating eggs is far more appetizing than swallowing them. All the information you need is in this story and video.

I donated today at the Melville Spar. Luckily I bumped into my friend Peter from Jozibug, who I wrote about on Day 6, and he took a hilarious photo of me.

Heather at Spar
Not sure what’s up with my pose. I look like I’m squaring up at an American football line of scrimmage. (Photo: Peter Paradza)

I’m not going to “challenge” anyone else to do this because I think challenges are dumb. But I hope you’ll all donate anyway and use the hashtag #SPARdonate. If you’d prefer to donate money instead of food, here’s a link for that.

I’m off to make Saturday night mac and cheese.


  1. Catrina

    I hope Xolani can soon take Thandi in his arms…such a beautiful baby!
    Our grocery spending is up, too. I think you’re right about the entertainment thing ????

    • 2summers

      I know, those chubby cheeks!

  2. Carrolle Perry Devonish

    Glad to contribute to Spar effort. Thanks for the information.

  3. AutumnAshbough

    Mac & Cheese sounds really good. From scratch or blue box?

    • 2summers

      No blue boxes in SA, sadly. I made from scratch for the first time! Not bad but needs a little more seasoning.


Leave a Reply