Richard Hardimans Lockdown Diaries

Diary report 18, 19, 20: The Hardiman Diaries

todayApril 20, 2020 26

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Report 18: Day 19

Alcohol units: 187
Showers: 9
Cat: 1
Dog: 1
Wife: 1
Kids alive: 4
Potatoes: 0kg
In-laws: 2
Easter Eggs: 0

Dear Diary, I do not know what day it is.

I took a few days off, you may have noticed. To be honest the long weekend wasn’t good for productivity and Tuesday came around a little too fast! Funny though Tuesday felt just like a Monday regardless!

I have given up working out where we are in the lockdown! Too confusing; I will just continue until someone says I can leave.

The Government are pretty keen on keeping the status quo on the Liquor trade; such a shame but soon we shall be the proud producers of “Raymond’s Revenge” so who needs “Tops!” now? The wife is rather enjoying her new role of “distillery consultant” and has been doing quite a bit of research into it all – she is like the modern-day Jack Daniels of Pinelands which like Lynchburg, Tennessee is a dry county… She has made suggestions for a herbal infused recipe for the next batch which I quite like; sounds healthy, like a vodka smoothie or something.

The kids are driving each other (and us) mad; on the one hand I get it, they are all cooped up, but at the same time ordinarily they would be at school – so why argue about the bloody work? Surely doing zoom classes and a couple of sums a day beats the heck out of putting on a uniform and heading to class? You would think they are being asked to invade a small country with toothpicks or something? I haven’t seen this many tears since Westlife broke up…although I did cry harder when they reformed; I wasn’t sure what the world had done to deserve it? The money we have saved on the school tuck-shop though has been enough to buy a small private island…which I cannot buy right now as Amazon seems to deem this as “non-essential”; let me tell you Jeff Bezos, it’s bloody essential!

Raymond has been MIA from our part of the world, no doubt Mrs. B is not letting him out of her sight for quite a while, poor thing! I think the prospect of being in lockdown with Mrs. B would be enough for anybody to end it all; that said though Poppie has been asking a number of questions about our neighbour…seems they used to go to the same church until Mrs. B left under somewhat of a cloud. As far as I understand there were some unanswered questions about her Orange Marmalade in the “homemade” competition at the church fete a couple of years back. Apparently, she left in a huff and went Baptist instead.

Poppie keeps bringing her name up at the oddest times in conversation…disturbing to say the least.

Checked with Afrihost on why our bandwidth consumption has been so massive, they sent me a detailed breakdown – I understand that we are using more than normal but something under the “video conference consumption” column feels iffy; I’ll need some more time to investigate.

Managed to find some non-alcoholic beer and gin at Pick ‘n Pay this week as well; it looks and smells like the real thing, but I haven’t started on them yet…it’s a last resort at this stage but comforting to know they are in reserve. It will be a bit like virtual reality drinking I guess – everything feels and looks the same, but you know it’s not real.

Just after writing this I am going to replant the marijuana plants close to the pool filter and see if we get better results; not a sentence I ever thought I would be writing.

Joseph the gardener called today (we are still paying him) wanting to know when he can come back to work. I explained the situation and said if it was up to me, he could start today! Also mentioned that the cops had suggested that we move the “plants” to a sunnier area in the garden so they can grow better…he has suggested a pot just next to the swimming pool which gets good sunlight but not for too long each day.

The irony in the above conversation of course was that while we were taking gardening tips from law enforcement about growing quasi-illegal plants, the most illegal thing we could right now is let Joseph come to work! Strange times indeed!

Short and sweet today diary. More to come tomorrow, right now I have Susan in HR “zooming” for a meeting and some plantations to attend too.


Report 19: Day 20

Alcohol units: 192
Showers: 9
Cat: 1
Dog: 1
Wife: 1
Kids alive: 4
Potatoes: 10kg
In-laws: 2

Dear Diary,

Work this week has been in full swing with everybody’s productivity rate seemingly at a complete high…apart from mine of course! I am struggling to keep a focus on work while important things like COVID-19 memes and live concerts on Instagram keep popping up!

While I should be working on next quarters projections, I am instead focusing on James Bay and Kurt Darren singing from their various bedrooms; over all it’s quite distracting…work that is. Kurt Darren needs to make his bed.

Tomorrow is the first day we get to try our new potato Vodka production; I have left now largely up to the wife who in-between educating our children and baking has taken it upon herself to refine our distillery into a start of the art production hub; she has googled, “pintrested” and “youtubed” her way through the internet to hopefully give us the best shot at a decent tipple; sister-in-law, Poppie and I are all quite excited.

I have taken to letting the dog out of the front gate to take itself for walks; on the one hand she can roam around the neighbourhood and get some exercise while the whole process doesn’t involve illegal dog-walking activity from me. The negative of course is that twice this week someone has found her and called the police about a “lost dog”; I have had to then go and “reclaim” her even though she was 3 doors down from us; twice I have had to tell the authorities that she “escaped under the fence” …not sure that excuse will hold up a third time.

The eldest of the litter has proposed making her a little sign saying “I am not lost, just briefly escaping, going home soon” – not bad I thought, should have done this for Raymond (or me?). She is certainly a happier pooch for getting out and about a bit…mind you all of us would be, I guess. Still she is seeing some action and the outside world which is more than most pets in the lockdown right now.

Dear Diary; we are about to reach “that week”.

Potentially the most expensive week in the year barring Christmas holidays; the week of the “Birthdays”.

My Sister-in-law, Father-in-law and the wife all have birthdays within days of each other starting this coming Wednesday. Part of me is quite suspicious of them prearranging this accidental living arrangement we find ourselves in so the “Taylors” can be together over this week! It’s the kind of thing you expect when you live with three “Taurus’s”.

The only plan I have at the moment regarding gifting is to head to Pick ‘n Pay and see what one can likely create a present out of? Not sure that there is much to be done. Poppie is easy, anything spices, braai or preserves related will be good – and all deemed essential in this period, so we are safe; the alternative being an online voucher for Tinder? I don’t know if that is a thing and loathed to ask the wife.

The SiL and the wife present a more difficult task; SiL is already on Tinder I think so not an option, but maybe one of those Spar vouchers that you can get online? She may have to wait three years before lockdown is lifted and she can actually use it though. Will chat to wife.

Talking of the wife, this is presenting me with a substantial problem; because I didn’t foresee the extension I didn’t plan ahead; to be honest like many I thought we may be out of lockdown by now and then the whole present and planning thing would have been like back in BC (before Corona).

My options are pretty much whatever Checkers or Pick ‘n Pay have on their shelves right now that is vaguely “gifty” but at the same time deemed essential; at this rate we are looking at some Dove Soap and Earbud combination (Dove do a great range of eco -friendly buds BTW), a large bar of Cadburys Top Deck and a jar of olives? Will have a look around at Clicks as well – they are the oddest store; surely the only shop you can buy 30 Nurofen, a box of Lindt and a “Snackwich” maker all at the same time?

Need to go, meeting in 10 minutes with Susan from HR on zoom again…dreading her asking me for a completed timesheet or something…will use the 10 minutes I have to catch-up on Carpool Karaoke; James Corden is the patron saint of entertainment right now.


Report 20: Day 23

Alcohol units: 199 (Double century anyone?)
Showers: 11
Cat: 1
Dog: 1
Wife: 1
Kids alive: 4
Potatoes: 10kg
In-laws: 2

Dear Diary

It’s a big day. Today is the “go-no-go” on the latest vat of “Raymond’s Revenge”.

The wife has been working Poppie and I hard on making sure everything is being done correctly and to the letter of her instructions; there is no half measures with this moonshine baroness; will update a bit later as we have agreed to only try once the kids are down.

Being a Sunday, we are taking it a little easy. Poppie has gone into full DIY mode which essentially means raiding the garage and the shed for any types of paint, finding a matching colour surface that he can paint and then just going for it. So far, we have a half-completed patio set; half newly painted bright-white and the other half continuing to present its faded 20-year off-white look. Poppie got tired of the project halfway through and gave the remainder of the job to the kids; the kids apparently are either on strike or completing yet another Fortnite mission with mates online…either way I hold little hope of ever having a matching patio set ever again.

Poppie’s energy did perk up later again and he focused his attention on a new project. We now also have a half complete birdbath in the garden; it’s now an odd shade of dark green and its original cement base colour; even the pigeons are looking at it with a sense of slight amusement and if I am decoding their tweeting correctly, they are discussing the merits of our in-house Michelangelo and the juxtaposition of Deluxe “Garden green” and cement grey in its contemporary form.

We have been informed that the Government will be popping by tomorrow with their testing kits; everyone in the house is to be tested for the COVID-19 virus or as Poppie is insisting on calling it “The Chinese Flu”; he has been heavily influenced by his WhatsApp group from the Golf Club and in particular a guy called Cassie, who apparently has all the down-low about the “real” cause of COVID-19.

According to Cassie it’s a combination of the new 5G network and some plan by the Chinese to ruin the world economy so they could complete their march on world dominance; so basically the Chinese Illuminati meets Vodacom/MTN and infects the world for reasons unknown.

Father-in-law says he doesn’t quite get it but Cassie “knows people” (whatever that means) and therefore should be treated as a credible and influential source. In my opinion Cassie might be drinking too much “sauce” and is one step away from wearing a tin-foil hat.

Update 8pm: Raymond’s Revenge.

Going to be quick here as I fear the alcohol might take over my fingers at any moment.

Firstly, the wife’s first batch is a total hit! It’s like Witblits and a shot of hot lump of coal to the throat; however slightly watered down with Oros (our only mixer) it’s sublime. The perfect mix of overly sweet, overly sugared orange syrup and clean potato alcohol!

The wife has worked miracles here – we may be safe for the foreseeable future on the liquor fronts, the SiL and FiL and I are already discussing which SodaStream mix to potentially purchase when the shops open – Ginger beer and Cherry are my top picks at present.

We may have to monitor the proof level…I feel at the moment it maybe a little higher than the desired 40% alcohol content…that said I thinlsskk kjjjlsss..khjhkjhkjkjh….taht myfgfgf th….*!


Written by: Sean Loots

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