Wednesday 15 July 2020, Day 45 of Level 3, after 66 days of Levels 5 and 4. 😷
Corona Gratitude 🙏
#Grateful for a beautiful sunshine day, with a nippy start, putting a lift into everyone’s step, and happy that we will have another 7 days of sunshine before the next rain arrives; for getting my writing done in good time; for being spoilt by a lunch invitation at Latitude Café in Sea Point, a lovely setting in the 9th floor on the Latitude ApartHotel, connecting with two acquaintances; for donating blood 🩸, Rita Rodrigues being the nicest staff member there, always a pleasure to give, for being offered tea and biscuits afterwards, and receiving a present; for the amazing generosity of Discovery Vitality today…. not often experienced; for picking up two desserts on the Pilcrow & Cleaver menu this week in town, and meeting owner Chef Judi Fourie, only having messaged each other up to now; for a walk through Camps Bay, no clearing up of storm debris done yet, so I’ve booked Joel for tomorrow so that we can start with clearing the pavements, so that locals can walk again; for a walk through Bakoven at sunset time; for missing out on Loadshedding today; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙
My Blogpost today was about Delaire Graff Estate being named 14th Best Vineyard in the world, Best in Africa, and the only SA Vineyard in the Top 50 World list. #Welldone 👏👏👏👏
I met Naledi Molotlegi, Event Organizer and PRO for the Latutude ApartHotel on Regent Road and its Latitude Café on the 9th floor, with a lovely view onto the ocean and Lions Head. The owner of the building, just taken over from the Berman Brothers Group, is Hugo Venter, who recognized me immediately from dancing at HQ one evening…. 😱. Unbelievable how many people I have met in Cape Town through dancing at La Parada and HQ. 💃💃💃. Naledi joined me at the table, and we shared two starters, hake and delicious triple-cooked chips, and I ended off with strawberries and cream.
I like going to the WP Blood Clinic 🩸 on Long Street, not only for their nice cookies, for losing a few grams in weight when I donate blood, but also because it’s a health check: blood pressure and iron levels measured too. My temperature was taken too, so all good. My present for today was a headlamp, which I can use for reading in bed for future Loadshedding… 😂
Discovery was unbelievable today: I received two Gameboard plays, my total between the two adding up to over 300 Discovery Miles, when I usually only score 50 or 60 Discovery Miles per week, and they were discounting rewards by 20%….. wow, someone must have complained majorly…. 👏👏👏
My Beignets were made while I waited at Pilcrow & Cleaver, too delicious, as was the Peppermint Crisp Tart, the mint chocolate being my new indulgence since Lockdown. Owner Judi and I were talking about how bad this week has been for business so far, after the President’s Speech, the terrible storm on Monday, and how the alcohol sales had just made life a little more comfortable for restaurateurs. I want to cry for the industry, which is close to breaking point. 😢😢😢
This is what Chef Peter Goffe-Wood wrote today:
I’ve always been a positive supporter of the seemingly draconian measures imposed on us by the government because I firmly believed that while we would all suffer (perhaps not equally) it was for a greater good.
I was also proud that, as all the madness that was going on around the world, we had a leader who showed stature & empathy – cometh the hour, cometh the man.
But, this week I find that resolve quickly evaporating. How do I support a government that has clearly turned its back on the hospitality & tourism industry, it has continued to shun sound & well researched input from professional bodies such as the SA Tourism Board, FEDHASA & The SA Restaurant Association. While at the same time has capitulated to the Taxi Industry. Perhaps it’s because collectively we just don’t have the muscle – we won’t blockade highways, we won’t burn down restaurants nor will we indiscriminately shoot people on their way to & from work. We pose no real immediate threat, because the government clearly doesn’t see the imminent collapse of our industry as their problem. That or they have simply lost control of the situation .
People from inside & out of the industry, have suggested all manner of protest, but nothing we could do would hold the government to ransom like the Taxi Industry.
Again it’s because our protest holds no real threat.
What if all the many hospitality staff whom are currently, selflessly volunteering to provide meals for those less fortunate decided to down soup ladles in protest?
By my rough calculation, in Cape Town alone, that would be in excess of 300 000 meals per week. You multiply that by the various programs operated around the country, by like minded individuals , for ZERO PROFIT, I might add (unlike the taxi industry) and you’re probably looking at close to a million souls being fed weekly, by people who have been abandoned by the same government who have seemingly abandoned those they are feeding.
But that protest is never going to happen, because we’re not prepared to sacrifice the lives of others in order to be heard, unlike the Taxi Industry.
I write this at my wit’s end & I’m not alone – I have 34 staff members, which for better or worse, I am responsible for.
I can’t even explain to them why the government has chosen to pay only 5 people the promised TERS benefits & has simply ignored the rest, and that those “benefits” will cease as of the end of June, even though our industry will in all likelihood be crippled at the hand of the government for much longer.
In ending this tirade I am desperately looking for positives, but there are few, as the ever escalating number of businesses that call it a day & fold, mount up – leaving some owners in debt they may never recover from; smaller suppliers who themselves either face closure or are laying off staff & then there are the 800 000 people previously employed in this sector, some now out of work for 4 months, hoping to be reengaged in a rapidly shrinking market, that will be unable to reinstate a huge swathe of them.
But in amongst this all I’ve found a reason to believe, an unexpected element that has given me succor during these bleak & unfamiliar times – that has been the camaraderie that has been fostered & developed, amongst what is usually a highly competitive & sometimes egoistical environment – there has been honesty, empathy & sharing of fears, frustrations, hopes & a fighting spirit that gives me a spark of confidence – we may endure this, but it will never the same.
“go by, from this day to the end of time, without our being remembered: we few, we happy few, we band of brothers—for whoever sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother.”
Ocean Blue, which announced its permanent closure, is said to reopen in Camps Bay on Friday. Tomorrow the Bay Hotel is set to open at Sunset Sessions as a pop-up for Breakfast, Lunch and early Dinner.
SA Corona Status : 311049 cases 4453 deaths 😷😥
FitBit 12000 steps 8 km 👣
The Corona Virus Lockdown (Level 5), announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier to commence on 27 March and to continue until 16 April, subsequently extended to 30 April, lowered to Level 4 from 1 May, and lowered to Level 3 from 1 June, is an unprecedented event in my lifetime. I am posting my daily Facebook post to journal this Corona Lockdown Journey, perhaps to serve as material for a future Book.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein