We had participated in Earth Hour last year, so I knew that RMan would have no objection.
But - Earth Hour has taken it one step further - they have requested that we take the hour further by commiting to action which takes us beyond the hour. Make long lasting changes, wherever you can, to reduce your electricity usage. I like that :-)
This past week we had a few days with overcast skies - threatening rain, but nary a drop on the side of the mountain where we live. T'is so very dry - the pavement grass is all crispy brown, and even the bushes are all drooping. So sad.
But, here in cape Town we have a Mediterranean climate - which means we get rain in winter, and Cape Town celebrates that with what they call the "Green Season". Hotels, bed 'n breakfasts and guest houses offer specials, so do restaurants - all trying to attract business. It works too - for we get many tourists during that time - well, it doesn't rain every day! And the Western Cape in winter is stunning! If we do get snow, then it mainly falls onto the Mountain tops - and mad Capetonians all get in their 4 X 4's and rush off to try and reach the snow so that they can have a snowball fight LOL
I love the rain, and far prefer a wet climate to the winters' which they get upcountry - freezing nights, hot-ish days - but unfortunately all the shopping centres have their warm air conditioners blasting away - so hot, in fact, that when one walks into the centre, you have to strip off your layers of clothing, for fear of fainting in the heat. Such a waste of energy, I feel. And up country they get the winter crispy brown grass which we experience at the end of our summer. Such a depressing sight - especially when your (sun)light is weaker.
Winter should be winter - be that rain or snow. Sunlight, in my book, does not make winter.
But, with the decrease in sun available to me in our south facing garden, I have had to make a plan, cooking wise. My solar cooker goes into hibernation in winter - although on the farm I wil be able to use it all year round.
So I tend to make lots of soups and stews.
For instance, for Earth Hour, I made Moroccan Beef, with baby potatoes (RMan doesn't like couscous) prunes, butternut and chickpeas. I left the meat part of the dish to RMan and RSon, and only ate the vegetables and gravy - absolutely delicious.
|RSons old toybox, converted into a|
hotbox / haybox, filled with shredded paper
from the office.
And for the bread, which RMan loves to sop up the gravy with, I made a loaf of beer bread in the barbecue...
|Bread baked in the barbecue|
We had asked friends to join us for dinner - to share Earth Hour with us. We had finished eating 7.30pm, so we switched everything off, pulled out the candles, and an old box of Trivial Pursuit from the '80's LOL What a trip down memory lane!
We didn't play it conventionally, with the board. Instead we turned it into a type of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" game - the quizmaster (we all took turns) had to pick a question, any question, from the card, and devise four answers, using the correct one as one of the options. (That's not easy, hey - it really challenges what you think you know!! In reality we are all the Weakest Links LOL)) Then the players had to jointly decide which was the correct answer.
It was so much fun (well, to be fair I reckon the two bottles of wine helped also) that by the time we realised that Earth Hour was over, it was 12.45 a.m. We hadn't used any electricity for over 5 hours!
A perfect evening - and enjoyed without any modern conveniences at all! Why do we think we are so dependent on modern conveniences? Why do we allow ourselves to be so dependent? Have we forgotten that sitting round a candlelit table, playing a game with the family, can be fun.
Such a simple pleasure. And one which we can all afford - for after all, all it is costing us is our time.