Loadshedding & complex life

I’ve just finished cooking a rushed supper of savory mince because Eishkom has once again graced us with the need to check our local load-shedding schedules before meal planning.

I’ll give it to Eskom that they have certainly increased my overall organizational skills as I quickly check ” the schedule” before planning meetings, organizing get together and deciding on my meals for the day.
I’m also now proficient in easy meal cooking and whipping up a healthy masterpiece to keep the family alive in 20 minutes ( Look at me ready to launch the Cook for Loadshedding SA cookbook )
I also have never been this diligent in keeping my phone, laptop and portable lights charged ….yet here I am masquerading as the queen of organization when I’m honestly just trying not to run out of battery life while there is load-shedding …but hey hand over my crown …after all if we don’t make the best of load-shedding we may all just cry right?
So, mid-blackout for the dreaded 6-8 pm shift ( because truthfully that candle-lit bath and torch-light suppers have lost their appeal when it’s 7 days a week) what is a family to do in the darkness?
Well, you head outside obviously!
Cape Town from Spring time means longer hours of sunlight so the kids can still play in bright moonlight outside until around 7.30 pm.
So it just makes sense to forgo the candles, lanterns, and USB lamps and head outside with our thermos coffee in hand so that the kids can get the last bit of energy out before bedtime.
Living in a complex means that every family around us has the same idea and so 80 flats with an average of 2.5 kids each equal a lot of fun for the gazillion kids who congregate to play soccer or rugby or who cool off in the pool. Often there’s a game that involves lots of smaller kids running after a pied piper older child, the loud sound of laughter echoing in between the complex walls and the sand dunes beside us.
Today was no different and after our hurried supper, I took Hamish downstairs to ride his scooter. Before long he was joined by a young girl and her brother and his little friend Lusa.
After the scooter rides, they were playing UNO on our balcony, and then everyone headed inside to play a game of biopods ( because they glow in the dark) At 7.30 pm, after an hour of playing, I finally called an end to playtime.
Kids outside were now rushing to grab jerseys as the night chill started to creep in and there were a few running about with flashlights, but most were headed home to get ready for bed.
We watched the moon for a bit before I ran Hamish a quick lantern bath and then he was allowed to watch a short cartoon on my laptop before we finally said good night at 8.10 pm
As I sat, writing this, I was once again grateful for the South African spirit to look at those bumps in the road and turn them into positive experiences.
We may be in the umpteenth blackout for the week and maybe we cooked a quick supper and our evening routines were disrupted but we found the fun and joy in the situation. We surrounded ourselves with friends and family. We got out to play and mostly we remembered to be look at the moon people.

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