Morning Cape Town, and the World!
How marvellous that I can communicate with you here and don’t even know who half of you are?
So, how’s your domestic routine going? Like your washing and ironing and cleaning?
I want to talk about that today if that’s okay.
Do you recall earlier somewhere in my Lockdown Diaries that I mentioned that I’d put the tumble drier on but I thought it wasn’t hot? Well, I’ll tell you what happened after that bit of a bugger. I forgot to check it again. I forget to go back later and see if it was hot because well, I don’t often spend time in my laundry to be dead honest. But you will not believe what I discovered when I did remember at least 24 hours plus some later. The tumble drier did get hot. That wasn’t the problem it all. The problem was the timer. So what I found when I went in was that the drum must have done about a hundred and forty thousand, million revolutions. It was still just going round and round and round! It reminded me of being on that big wheel at Ratanga Junction not that long ago with the kids ( it was actually years ago and I hated that place more than I’ve hated any place in my life! ) and thinking that it would stop when I got to the bottom one time but it would just go up again. That’s insane! Do you know how much electricity tumble drier’s consume? Flipping tons of electricity, I don’t even want to think about it. The only way I can possibly rationalise it is to try the principle of set- off. And apply it to cappuccinos within the framework of lockdown. Like, hypothetically, if I had to calculate the number of cappuccinos I may be having at one of my coffee stops along the ordinary course of my life – you know- at work at my old office at Spaces in Claremont (ironically in the VERY same building that I worked at with Deloittes so many years ago with my G-string leotards and all), or a take- away Seattle coffee while waiting to fetch kids (still my absolute best, followed closely by the Woolies ) and work out an average of let’s say even one a day (assuming week days only), then at five a week at the average of R30 (flipping expensive they’re becoming, don’t you think? ) times 15 days of (weekday) lockdown, we’re looking at about R450 on cappuccinos I’ve saved in lockdown. That’s a hellava thing.
End result? The runaway electricity I spent would ordinarily have been spent on cappuccinos most likely, sad as that may sound.
And these are EXACTLY the type of things that will probably change in my life after the end of this virus. I don’t think that this type of spending is justified. Truly. Even if I say so myself, being guilty as sin for buying the odd cuppa too much. In my defence, I rarely buy food out. I swear. I must experience a proper abdominal ache to buy anything other than a date biscuit thingie at Seattle to have with my coffee. I find coffee very satisfying.
But there are two other things I want to mention now related to domestic drudgery.
The irony of weather. Because the only day I decided to have clean sheets and some laundry done and use the tumble drier was the day it rained. And since then, beautiful sun. Murphy’s bloody law. Who is Murphy?
One of the most hilarious stories I heard though was when a friend actually cut the chord of the tumble drier once because her domestic helper refused to hang the washing out and when she came to explain that it wasn’t working, the madam shouted, “Well of course it’s bloody not working! I cut the chord!”
Oh, the Madams of Cape Town. Not such a bad bunch all of them. When the proverbial starts to fly, they are often the ones rustling up their well- to- do female friends to help with fundraising and food while the men folk try to keep the economy going. Such is the evil of capitalism. True.
How the roles have reversed in Covid times hey? Us now doing all the cleaning ourselves …
Which brings me to the issue of ovens.
So, on account of a brilliant writer friend/artist/chef, I made a batch of fridge cake yesterday (once Marie biscuits secured at one and only frenzied shop last week) AND a batch of crunchies. All the bloody butter now gone but we’ll survive I think. And then as I opened the oven to bake the crunchies, I noticed a tray of like last week’s roasted vegetables still languishing there! Oh my god! What a sight that was with the odd bit of fungus settling into the butternut and the caramelised onion now sticking to the pan like a flipping praying mantis holding onto its pray. What a bloody waste! Apart from thinking that they were the best roasted veggies I’d made (and have a principle of waste not, want not) someone, clearly shirking their daily roster duty must have forgotten to check the oven! Last time I did this I was living in a digs for God’s sake. Oh, how we can all be so foul sometimes. So that entailed a thorough clean out of not only the roasting dish but the whole bloody oven and I’m now starting to understand the value of my domestic helper. I mean I always have, but cleaning ovens, and toilets? That’s a seriously kak job.
In my normal life (like pre-Covid, was that a normal life ?) I certainly wouldn’t have the time to having to write all this drivel if I had her full- time job of cleaning, ironing, catching taxis at all hours, trying to feed her own family, provide for her extended family in the Transkei plus another at least 40 sister cousins. Milly, my darling. I salute you. But you know that.
Right, that’s it for me. Time’s up here for now. At least I have another week before I need to sort the recycling and the disinfect the bins and deal with all kinds of goggas that I really feel have no added value on the planet. Like maggots and mozzies and flies and bats and things.
But let’s not mention the bats. I think that’s where all this started didn’t it?
Stay safe, stay sane,