On achieving a higher state of ‘bean’…

If South Africa could be divided into fractions, we would fraction ourselves into infinity.

Even the father of fractions, Simon Stevin, would be confused.

In retrospect, our rainbow nation was a huge Band-aid, a silky web spun by the best spin doctors.

The fact of the matter is that we live in a disjointed country, where one and two will never make three.

At best we could strive for imperfection, and just maybe we will reach a point where guilt is not a burden many carry daily, the majority are fed, and most fractions have work.

The past will be with us for many generations, as some cling to perceived injustices, whether justified or not.

But somewhere, and somehow, we have to move forward.

The coronavirus, in all its misery, has had one very good result: governments all over the world are re-evaluating their eco-policies, their reliance on oil, and how the citizens of that country are treated.

Ordinary people have had time to relearn how to be.

The question now, is if this will be a lasting lesson… or will we all go back to our bad habits and opinions?

Will the rivers cloud over, the skies darken with pollution, the old ideologies resurface. Can we, as a people, be reborn?

So… I am out of baked beans, horror upon horror!

Our toilet paper is holding out, our war cabinet (this is seriously an Afrikaans thing) has done well, with ample coffee, toothpaste, essentials and such.

But, I cannot live without baked beans. So how difficult can that be, to make your own? The war cabinet has beans, tomato puree, sugar and salt.

So in true pioneer spirit, we tried our hand at making as close a replica to our beloved national treasure: the baked bean.

In the slow cooker, we added any dried beans we could lay our hands on.

They included a whole packet of butter beans, a long-forgotten packet of kidney beans (crying with joy when we discovered them), and a whole packet of sugar beans.

Add to that, a tin of pureed tomatoes, about 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, a healthy tablespoon of salt, and water, and simmer for hours.

When the beans are soft and tender, bottle in sterilised jars and seal them in a water bath for 20 minutes.

This is a simple recipe, but to the true baked bean fanatic, moi… a lifesaver.

It is clear that we are all having very different lockdown experiences.

I have never been without food… I do not know how that must feel. (Must I feel guilty about what I have?)

All these emotions and pesky thoughts… I am emotionally drained.

I feel like I have run a never-
ending marathon – and why am I having these constant, conflicting thoughts? Give it a rest, Anita!

And all around us, miracle upon miracle.

My rabbits having kits, the most perfect little things. Fitting in the palm of my hand, the exquisite perfection of creation before my eyes.

And then we slaughter them at four months… the irony of life.