Home Opinion and Features Maybe we can ’rice’ to the occasion

Maybe we can ’rice’ to the occasion


We may not realise that because of the ongoing pandemic, and the job losses resulting from the lockdown, as well as rising fuel and food prices, this winter is going to be affecting more people than in previous years, writes Lance Fredericks.

File picture: Pixabay

HERE’S how it worked: Sunday lunch – that glorious feast, the highlight of the weekend – was preceded and followed by the lowlights of the entire week.

Everyone knows that after lunch the dishes had to be washed, dried and packed away. And if you’re wide awake and counting, that’s three unpleasant jobs all rolled into one.

I hated, with a capital HATE, doing post Sunday lunch dishes … but not as much as I hated the pre-lunch torment.

Sorting the rice!

Every Sunday before lunch, it was the children’s duty to sit around a pile of grains sorting out the ones that were discoloured or that had obvious black specks.

And because Sunday’s were feast days, there were usually two cups of rice to sort. And I would like to remind everyone that it is estimated that one cup of plain, uncooked rice contains anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 grains.

Our parents, to this day, have not figured out why the youngsters misbehaved when we visited our folks’ friends and our other relatives, even despite us being threatened with a beating second to none.

But here’s why we did it. We figured out that, had the friends and family come to visit regularly on a Sunday, we’d have to sort three, four, maybe even five cups of rice – that would take an entire weekend to do!

Eventually though, as unpleasant as sorting rice, dry beans and lentils was, we learned that lentils and beans could have foreign objects like stones in amongst the legumes. But I still have not figured out why black specks on rice were supposedly so bad.

Yet by these mundane practices we learned a huge lesson as youngsters that has proven valuable these days; that there has to be thorough preparation ahead of any big event if you want things to run smoothly later on.

The point I am making is that it does pay to be prepared.

For example, for months and months we have seen cyclists whizzing all around the city or on the national roads around Kimberley. In fact, I am willing to bet that no matter where you may have been over the past several months you would have seen cyclists putting in the miles.

Why? It’s simple, you see, the 2022 Cape Town Cycle Tour will take place on March 13; that’s next Sunday. And it would be madness for a cyclist to attempt the race without having at least a measure of fitness in their legs and lungs. Attempting over 100km up and down mountains with winds buffeting and sun baking would be another definition of idiocy.

Without proper preparation, a competitor would find life very bitter on Suikerbossie.

To those preparing for the race, and to those brave souls who will be running the Comrades in August, I wish you the best of luck!

But for the rest of us, those who are not too keen on exerting ourselves to the brink of a coronary incident, what can we prepare for? How can we get ‘fit’ for an upcoming event?

Well, in case you didn’t know – seeing as the days are still sweltering in our city – summer officially ended on Monday. Yes, since Tuesday we have been in autumn, with winter just three short months away. We don’t know what to expect, but I sense that this winter could be particularly icy.

In fact, I am even thinking of purchasing myself a pair of ice skates so that I can go skating on the poop lake on the R31 national road just outside Kimberley. It’s okay, don’t worry, my skating stinks about as much as the ice will.

But I digress; wouldn’t it be something if, by the time the appeals for blankets, warm clothing and food items start being made when winter really starts to bite, that some proactive folk would have put a little something away already?

We all know what winter can be like in the Northern Cape. But we may not realise that because of the ongoing pandemic, and the job losses resulting from the lockdown, as well as soaring fuel and food prices, this winter is going to be affecting more people than in previous years.

And I suspect – you can correct me if you think I am wrong – but I believe with all my heart that lay-buying a blanket or two, or some warm clothing for someone in need is far, far more pleasant than washing a pile of dirty dishes or worse, sorting through 10,000 grains of rice.

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