Friday, 24 April 2020

Week 4 in lock-down - Mattel Playroom ideas

Lock-down day 29. We are stressing, but we realise that we still have it very good. We still have a house over our heads. Although it is not our house anymore. We can't wait to move to our new lodgings. We are not sure if we will be able to move yet in Stage 4, but all fingers crossed. We can't believe it's been nearing a month of this. (This too shall pass!)

I am still on stand-by, and go into the office as required. Miss Fine has gotten into a good routine with her weekly homework. Which is a lot of work. I am grateful that we have the devices, and wifi, but we are struggling with printing stuff. (And then I think of all the learners who don't have any, and I feel very grateful that we are able to continue.) Miss Fine also loves the fact that she can sleep a bit later.

Miss Fine is a bit of a dawdler, but we get her moving with a bit of delayed gratification. "You do this, and then you can play, play with an app, watch YouTube, or connect with your friends on your phone." We also got the super cool link to the Mattel playroom, which has given us great ideas and apps of what to do during this time.

Mattel Playroom front page (screen print)

Friday, 17 April 2020

Mona Lisa on the Moon, Thirty-two Thousand years in the making - Vol 1 Review

I had the perfect book to get me through the first 21 days of lock-down. We are now in the extended final two weeks. Thank you, Booktasters, and George B, for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Volume 1, Mona Lisa on the Moon, Thirty-Two Thousand Years in the MakingVolume 1, Mona Lisa on the Moon, Thirty-Two Thousand Years in the Making by George B
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you, Booktasters, and George B, for a free copy of this book. It was especially great to read during this time of lock-down during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is my review in exchange: I love a good science fiction novel. I love this one, especially! It has all the allure of what I enjoy about a futuristic novel. Volume 1, Mona Lisa on the Moon, Thirty-Two Thousand Years in the Making, is the first in a series. I hope the next one is coming soon, because it ended in a cliff-hanger.

I totally agree with the premise that the earth has had many high civilisations (and many life cycles), which were wiped out, and started again. Higher evolved beings, with much longer earth lives, living and working with artificial intelligence in harmony. Exploring space, and terra-forming and populating other celestial bodies. With all the challenges (and other life forms) that comes with it! This novel is set in a time frame thirty two thousand years ago. Mind-boggling, but totally believable. (Looking forward to the movie/series edition).

The heroine and main characters are mostly too good to be true, but it did not bother me at all. It was great reading a story where, although the suspense is high, we can expect the outcome to be in their favour. (Mostly...). The plot do not get bogged down with elaborate descriptions, but enough to sustain a good story. Saving earth, saving humans on other planets, as well as saving other life forms in the universe... It's all part of their daily existence.

Maybe it's because we are living in strange times, locked in our homes, that I enjoyed this escapist science fiction even more. I recommend this to all who dream of better futures, where we are in charge of our own destiny! One day we will be where Mona Lisa is! Thank you, George B, for making us dream.


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Week 3 in lock-down - Covid-19 days in South Africa

Lady with mask in underground parking
Mask
We have totally lost count of the days. It was day 6 when I said it was day 5 on lock-down. It's day 19 here in South Africa. (I hope.) Nothing much is happening here. 

The days are the same. What gets me is how quickly each day goes. I have so much plans, and of course still packing, but most of the days we can only mark of made food and washed the dishes. Watching too much news, and too much of everything else. We have also caught up with most of the movies that we have always wanted to see. 

Our move has been postponed again. We have never felt so much out of sorts. We should have been in our new house, but now we are stuck in limbo... I know this is going to be a good story, but at this stage it is not funny. We have paid our rent for our new lodgings, and now we are expected to pay rent in our existing home as well. Which we don't have. We are hoping that everybody would be more gracious in their dealings with each other... We are all stuck! In the meantime we are living between boxes. 

I go into work when there is a request. I find it very scary driving through the empty streets, and driving past road blocks. Each time I have to suppress a few tears, and thinking about all the essential workers who have to go in each and every day. Thank you! So far I have not been stopped. But I have my letter, my entrance card and my mask at hand. I also feel very sorry for the beggars that are still hanging around. 

Miss Fine is getting a lot of work to do at home. It is not going well, as she wants constant reinforcement, and help. Which when we give it, is rejected. We have been battling (a much better word than struggling) the maths. She, Hubby and I have been trying to do Amesa maths which have been sent through. It is DIFFICULT! I have come to the realisation that I am very stooopid, and I don't know where I got the idea that I was good at maths at school? Or maybe we did a total other different version of maths? 

We realise she gets a whole lot more done when she is at school. Miss Fine says she can't wait to go back to school! (I'll keep this for future reference, of course.)

I have more nightmares than usual. It is normal for these kinds of days, but it is scary!

How are you coping?

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Lock-down - Day 5

Bitmoji "Keep your distance"
Bitmoji "Keep your distance"
Things have changed drastically for all of us. Here in South Africa we are in lock-down as well. Day 5. We can't even walk the dogs or go for a run. I am not saying this as a negative, as we all commend our government for acting fast and decisive. Our move is on hold, and although this could have been the first day in our new house, we are stuck where we are. We have more time to pack, and go through our stuff. Which is a positive during this time...

Who could have guessed that we would be contained in our own houses for three weeks? And most of us already expect that the containment will last longer. We are worried about the future and how this will impact all of us. I am getting a salary, but my husband's work in the financial industry has slowed down considerably.

I am on standby for work. This means that I make sure I am ready to go in each day. I have my "essential services" letter to show when I have to go in for work. I am able to access my emails, and keep a regular check-up for when a request comes in.

Miss Fine has been living her best life. She loves not having to go anywhere. She is also not motivated to do any school work, as her teachers told them they could enjoy their vacation, and could only expect them to start sending work when school was supposed to start. (She says?) We had a gymnastics exercise scheduled on Saturday, which she missed because we struggled with Zoom. Next week we are going to try again. The gymnastics' teacher sends them regular exercises and updates, which is very cool. But, we have yet to convince Miss Fine to do any of them. Any advice would be appreciated?

I want to give a huge shout-out to all the moms who keep their children entertained with school work,  exercises and arts and crafts. You rock!

The rest of us are just trying to adjust to a new normal.

These are strange times, and it will definitely go into the history books.

For my own records: It feels like the end of the world. Who could have known that we would look forward to normal working days, sitting in traffic, and wishing for that perfect cappuccino from our favourite coffee shops? And we are only on Day 5? We still haven't started with our exercise routine, although Hubby got the exercise bike working again. I baked banana flapjacks yesterday. We still want to bake a banana bread with the rest of the ripe bananas, but there's no baking powder in the shops. Hubby says he and two other men were searching the shelves in Spar today, and a lady was laughing at them, because none of them knew how baking powder looks.

How are you coping?