Hanging plant holders

Greetings from a very wet and windy Cape Town. I just had to nip out to the shop up the road for bread and milk, and to the sewing shop round the corner for a new pair of sewing scissors (cutting some thick fabric this morning with my old ones was too much to handle, on top of everything else happening here right now). I could have held up a bank, dressed as I was in Philip’s huge old black hooded raincoat and my black face mask.* You could only see my eyes. Maybe that’s what wearing a full burqa feels like.

We are still at Level 4 of lockdown, moving to Level 3 on 1 June. I don’t know what it’s like for you, wherever you are in the world, but here is pretty damn crazy. This post was supposed to be about the plant hangers I’ve been making (I’ll get to it, I promise) but the things happening here are just so insane that I can’t contain myself any longer. The ban on the sale of alcohol will only be lifted next week – countless people have died from drinking vrot homemade pineapple beer (seems it’s not as easy to make as one would have thought) or meths, and the ban on tobacco products is not going to be lifted for months. We are allowed to buy certain items of clothing in shops but not t-shirts with short sleeves or open-toe shoes (not sure how they define Crocs). We can attend religious gatherings of up to 50 people, but we are not allowed to enter a restaurant to pick up a take-away order (even one person at a time). Apparently the minister of social something-or-other wants to ban the provision of cooked food to the homeless and the poor, and this bill is sitting on her desk right now. Countless people have been killed as a result of overzealous police action relating to lockdown restrictions. (Yes, you read that right. Killed). It is outrageous. Sniffer dogs are now employed at many postal and courier depots to make sure that no-one is sending any prohibited items around the country. A curfew was imposed at the beginning of May – you had to be home by 20h00. Exercise time was 6h00 to 9h00 daily. You could go to the pharmacy to pick up your meds but you couldn’t buy hair colour from the shelf right next to the queue you were standing in because it was deemed “non essential”. Few things made sense.

It all started so well, and I get that authorities and governments round the world had to wing it. We were all behind The Prez at first, but he has misread the growing mood of resentment and desperation in recent weeks, and seems to have taken some bad advice. Little or no scientific basis for lockdown regulations has been provided, and yet we are expected to abide by them regardless. People want to go back to work (all of us, formal and informal traders, office workers, domestic staff, black and white, low- and middle-class), naturally taking proper safety precautions, but that’s not allowed. More people will die from the effects of this lockdown than from the virus itself. I read a lot and I know this applies to many other countries, not just South Africa. And I know I’m speaking as a middle-class white person (how could I not be, that’s what I am?) but am very aware of the hardships faced by homeless and poor people because of my work with an NGO that provides food for those who can’t afford it. Thank god for all the church groups, NGOs, community groups and generous individuals who have been providing for those less fortunate – they have been doing the work that the state is supposed to.

Now, where was I before I started ranting? – oh yes, plant holders. I wanted to come up with a unique product for the Christmas markets (optimistically hoping they will actually happen in 2020!) that combined my enjoyment of sewing with my love of plants. And so we have these:

I fiddled around with the basic design for ages before I was happy, and the new ones (which aren’t pictured here) have wooden beads instead of knots at each top corner. They look really cute. I’ve used up all my shweshwe fabric, hopefully I’ll be able to buy more when all the shops are allowed to open…. 

*It is obligatory to wear a mask now when you go out, and also preferably even when you’re driving alone in your car. Yup, true.


17 thoughts on “Hanging plant holders

  1. Rainbow Junkie

    It’s strange how different countries have chosen different rules. We have been able to buy alcohol and cigarettes (as far as I know I haven’t done so) but I don’t think I could buy any sewing scissors as the shops have been shut except for food and pharmacies. More recently DIY have been allowed to open but I don’t think they would sell sewing scissors. And you can have religious services and we can’t. Mind you I always regarded church (which I attended regularly) as a prime place for catching things. Good Luck with all your ventures; stay strong and stay safe.

  2. tgonzales

    Oh Jill. I’m so sorry to hear that your part of the world is so messed up. We are certainly in a strange and scary time in our lives. I never could have imagined being stuck at home. Thank goodness I can work from home and I’m so glad that I was born to create things out of what I already have. (mostly a huge stash of yarn) LOL
    I love all of your plant hangers and your green thumb is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see the hangers with beads now. :) Love and Hugs, Tamara

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      So are all the employees at your company able to work remotely (i.e. from home)? It’s the same here, although I feel sorry for people with small children! Our schools remain closed, by the way.

      1. tgonzales

        Hi Jill. Not everyone from the company that I work for can work from home. I’m the customer service representative and I do a lot of document work and setting up projects in an accounting system. I’m also set up to work directly from my desktop at work. I have been back to work now and working from the office since the middle of June. I do work from home from time to time when there is going to be a large group of people here. Our schools now are not planning on opening until after Labor Day, which is the first Monday of September. Anyway, I’m sorry I did not see this response until now. I hope you are doing well. Love and Hugs, Tamara

  3. katechiconi

    These are strange times… for some, just strange, for others, strange and terrible. I wouldn’t have been bothered by the curfew, or lack of beer, ciggies, hair colour or take away food, but what on earth would I have done if I couldn’t buy flipflops? I live in the things. I’ll be interested to see what changes your level 3 brings.
    Lovely plant hangers! I especially like the green one.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      No flip-flops for you, my dear! You’d have to continue to slop around in your old ones. The curfew affects people who have been able to work under Level 4 (like restaurant take-away staff, eg.), who don’t have their own transport. Businesses have to provide transport for employees and finish work early in order to get them home on time, as well as the driver.
      No alcohol and no cigs means that we now have a thriving black market. And I mean THRIVING. Interestingly, the cabinet minister most interested in keeping the ban on cigs is in cahoots with the businessman who supplies the black market: he funded her attempt to become president a couple of years ago, when we finally got rid of Mr Zuma, and continues to provide funds for dodgy opposition (read subversive) groups. It’s not pretty here.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      You truly have no idea what’s been going on here. And the scariest part – so many people have ‘bought in’ to it all, with apparently minimal effort on the government’s part. It’s like living in two different realities at the same time. Very discombobulating…..

  4. nanacathy2

    I think the same as you do- you know the frustrations I have had during lockdown in the UK and I feel very sorry for the ones you are enduring. My current issue is getting us registered with a GP- found the nearest one, read their web page, followed the instructions to the letter, presented ourselves with relevant forms and proof of id, only to be told they hadn’t updated their webpage, they were not contrary to what it said, accepting new patients nor should we have gone there, and then was asked should we have moved house? Yes I said of course we should- it is perfectly ok. It has certainly brought out the worst in some people who love hving a tiny bit of authority.
    I love your plant holders, they are very different and I think will make super Christmas gifts.

  5. insearchofitall

    Very cute plant hangers, Jill. I hope you get your holiday market. They have shut down all our crafters here as well. Only food can be sold at open markets. I think these and other frustrations are world wide. We have a mobster running things here too and I keep wondering where I could go to live peacefully and afford it. I don’t think your rules make sense either. Here they are so lax that my daughter doesn’t want me to go anywhere. We always mask and glove up if we go out. More than half don’t. I’m thinking so many countries are selling out to the mobsters and then wonder what the hell happened.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Yes, strange times. I think your last sentence rings true. We’re going to be in one almighty mess. But – there are still silver linings – I’m hoping 2020 will bring some relief yet. Take all care xxx

  6. sandidureice

    I didn’t realise it was so bad there; some of the rules do not seem to make sense. I hope things are a getting a little better for you this week.

  7. quietwatercraft

    What strange, contradictory rules. Not that the UK is doing much better with our spineless twit in charge. I hope you can stay safe until all this is over, and that you get to do some Christmas markets this year.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I think things will improve. Let’s face it, they can’t get much worse! I won’t comment on your Prime Minister, I realise there are some very hard decisions these people have to make – but hopefully things will improve for you all as well. xx


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