It’s Day 46 of the South African lockdown. Today I have lots of face masks and lots of feelings.

Heather in mask made by Cathy Pinnock
Lockdown photo Day 46: Yes, it’s another mask selfie.

A few days ago I asked Facebook for advice on shooting photographs while wearing a mask. My viewfinder was fogging up as soon as I put my camera to my face, and I kept missing shots.

Through that post I connected with Cathryn Pinnock, another photographer living in Melville, who is making camera-friendly face masks. Cathy sewed a mask for me — I sent her measurements for the length and width of my face and she made it to order — and I’m pleased to announce it works like a charm. The mask sits firmly, a bit higher up on the nose, so the air from my breath doesn’t shoot right up into the camera.

Bonus: The masks are beautiful and made with South African shweshwe fabric.

A picture I took with my mask on.
Trixie in the garden
And another.
Smokey in his new hedge.
And another. During this photoshoot I discovered Smokey has a new hedge to sleep in.

If you’d like to order a camera-friendly mask, contact Cathryn Pinnock on Facebook or send me a message and I’ll put you in touch with her (#NotSponsored).

UPDATE: I dawdled so long on this post today that I wound up receiving yet another mask delivery before I got around to finishing.

Melville map mask from Love Jozi
My brand-new Melville map mask from Love Jozi. (Also #NotSponsored.) The “E” in Melville is exactly where my old house is.

Love Jozi has created a fun collection of Joburg-themed map masks, and when I saw they designed a Melville version I obviously had to order one. I haven’t had the chance to wash it yet so the mask self-portrait will have to wait.

I think I’m fully masked up now.


I had big plans to pour all my articulate and poignant lockdown feelings into this post. Among other things I wanted to fully expound upon the rising levels of panic I feel, coinciding with dwindling levels of motivation. Unfortunately the dwindling motivation prevented me from expounding as such.

I’m really struggling on a number of fronts — as I think many people are — and not sure how much longer I can, or should, keep up these daily posts. My friend Gail, who has been posting daily lockdown stories and photographs on Facebook, said today that she might stop her updates after Day 50. I’m considering doing the same…It might be time to hit the reset button. I’ll use the next three days to reflect and formulate a plan.

Flower and pollen photo
One more photo from today: I love how you can see actual flecks of pollen tumbling off the flower.

Today’s Worthy Cause

Today’s worthy cause is Gift of the Givers. Gift of the Givers has been doing incredible work in South Africa for years (see this post I wrote about a refugee center they set up in 2015 during an outbreak of xenophobic violence), so it’s no surprise they are leading the way in the COVID-19 pandemic response. I think Gift of the Givers is the largest supplier of food parcels in the country right now.

gift of the givers worker
A photo I took at a Gift of the Givers refugee center in Mayfair in 2015.

Donate to Gift of the Givers here.

%d bloggers like this: