03 Apr Lock-down Diaries at The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village
As South Africans are restricted to their homes during the lock-down, which began on Friday 27 March 2020, we thought we’ll ask our residents and a few members of staff at The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village, to share their stories and give you a glimpse of what they are doing to keep themselves busy and entertained in this lock-down period.
Irene Oosthuizen writes…
“Western Province Caterers – you rock! Not only do you spoil us here at The Somerset with your culinary expertise, but also recently when I got married to Pieter – your staff put out a beautiful spread of eats for our guests. Thank you so much!”
John & Barbara Brian writes…
“When Barbara and I moved here four years ago, I decided to create (from scratch) an entirely water wise garden. Most of the garden was created from cuttings taken from my previous garden at Erinvale. I have only bought half a dozen items from a garden centre. At its best – late May/June, the Sun Birds and Sugar Birds and of course the Bees just love the place. The garden is low maintenance and virtually free from the need to water it. We love it!”
Our Estate Manager – Nick Paul writes…
As strict protocols are in place at The Somerset Care Centre, family and friends wanted their loved ones to know that they care about them. Have a look at these thoughtful notices to our residents.
It is great peace of mind living at The Somerset as our residents have access to food delivery within the village.
Arlene Chisholm writes…
“I am slowly getting my garden sorted out as I want it. I can’t wait for Stodels to open!”
“Once the lock-down is over, I’d like to go and visit some of our friends in Cape Town.”
Sister Erika Janutsch – Nursing Manager at The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village writes…
“We had barely opened our Care Centre when we had to lock it down. Our residents, still adjusting to their new home, had to do so without the support of their families. One of our foundation values – family participation and involvement – was severely disrupted, but we have been very creative in facilitating family contact whilst they cannot have visitors. Yesterday, we celebrated Mrs. Minky Watt’s birthday. Her two children, overseas, sent video recordings wishing her happy birthday and had a WhattsApp video call with her. And our wonderful chef made a carrot cake (with candles) for our residents and staff to share. We may be under the shadow of COVID-19 – but life and love and care goes on.“
We are fortunate to have Sister Erika right here at The Somerset, to take our temperature and all the necessary checks in this lock-down period.
“Mr Browne-Poole celebrating his birthday in the Care Centre.”
Mrs Holmes is celebrating her birthday in the Somerset Care Centre as well.
Marius Kritzinger, the first owner of a house in The Somerset and also one of our trustees, is an amateur wildlife photographer whose work has been published in many magazines, books and newspapers. He’s also an art broker and business consultant for the past 23 years and seldom finds the time to organise and correctly file all his photographic images. He is using this 21 day Lock-down period to do exactly this huge, long overdue task. This is what it looks like from behind his laptop where he is busy re-arranging his more than 15 000 images before transferring it to a new laptop.
Even when busy working during lock-down, Marius – who is a keen photographer and nature lover, always spots something of interest. “This Rock Kestrel was spotted sheltering at Brampton House against a strong north-westerly wind.”
“The Pied Crow is about to attack a noisy Egyptian Goose on the roof of the Club house.”
“Fed up with the moody Pied Crow, the Egyptian Goose decides to rather fly away.”
“Long before sunrise and this Barn Owl is peeping out of the Club house chimney. We’ve spotted Cape Eagle Owls and Nightjars previously in the village, but this was the first time we’ve seen this new neighbour living across from us! “
Ms Christa Braun writes…
“If you are bored, with nothing left to read then try this one – Janice Hadlow’s “The Other Bennet Sister”. If you love Jane Austen, particular Pride and Prejudice, this is a must. 650 Pages it took me about two wonderful weeks to finish it. Never a dull moment!”
“I keep myself busy with my family’s history and creating a family tree with the help of myheritage.com Their research is amazing. You can invite the whole family to participate through the internet. (While at it, write down the family stories you heard from your mother or even grandmother which otherwise might get lost.) This is going to keep me busy for months!
Mrs Erasmus writes…
“Did you that knitting was initially a male-only occupation? In fact, when the very first knitting union was established in Paris in 1527, no women were allowed. That was long ago! I’m making use of this time to knit for my grandchildren.”
Ms Sandy Borcherds writes…
“I love sewing and can’t do without my sewing machine. The sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something handmade, is indescribable. I’m making use of this time to add to my wardrobe and I’m having fun doing it!”
“These are my latest projects.”
“Meet my fur baby Bella – she is 5 years old! I am so lucky to be living in The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village that allows small dogs.”
“The beauty of the surrounds here at The Somerset, is breathtaking! I took this photograph this morning (5 April 2020) as the sun rose.”
“The moon this morning at 5:15 am beautiful!”
“When this lock-down is over, I want to take my doggie for a walk and then go and see family.”
“Today I have been in my beautiful house in this wonderful village for one year, and I am truly blessed.”
Mrs Ibertson writes…
“Sunshine & showers at The Somerset, to lift our spirits!”
“I’m looking forward to meeting up with my friends at The Daily Coffee Café here in Somerset West.”
Our very own Elzaan Meyer writes…
“We thought of doing some painting and creative arts in this lock-down period, but my daughter had her own idea of what to do with the paint …”
“My daughter loves camping – from pitching the tent till staying outdoors until the stars come out. As a family we are making the most of the lock-down period – besides, it makes no sense to go any further than the back garden!”
“My second try and I managed to bake beautiful dinner rolls – my family loved it!”
“1st batch of chocolate brownies…”
“Shortbread biscuits done, yummy!”
“Anyone for a slice of milo tart?”
“Once we’re out of lock-down, I want to take my daughter to the beach. She desperately wants to go back to school and misses her friends.”
The Somerset’s Sales Consultant Jane Martin writes…
“A bit of paint therapy, but be careful – if you stay still long enough you will be next!”
“What a magnificent day! It was great to see a little more water in the river today on our morning walk.”
“I had a great level 4 lock-down walk this morning! It’s sad to see no golfers on the golf course. Hope we can play soon.”
“Staying fit during lock-down. I’m doing online Pilates classes with KellyD.”
“Ever get that feeling that you wish you hadn’t started..?”
“Then we were done!”
“Day 25 and a bit damp outside so hunkering down with a new puzzle.”
“Yummy banana bread made with avocado and Greek yoghurt.”
“Vegetarian’s braai – Camembert, fig, rosemary and honey!”
“This is my husband’s chop and wors. A braai is a rare occurrence in the Martin household!”
“Homemade truffles for after dinner tonight. As if we haven’t had enough chocolate…”
“My husband and I are toasting marshmallows over the fire, turning the stick until the outside of the marshmallow is golden brown and just starting to get mushy. We know that some people like to roast them for a few minutes, then make them catch on fire and then blow them out, but I think we’ll stick to our method.”
“Just made the little girls next door an Easter treat – very rich chocolate fudge. Their Mum is going to love me…”
“Practicing some chipping in my very dry garden. Looks like I need a lot more practice!”
“This morning I was cooking chick peas (the dried variety, so I needed 90 minutes), but I totally forgot about them and I now have a black pan, a smelly house and very concerned neighbours who smelt it, and sent me messages of concern. I had to resort to tinned chick peas but got my humus!”
“On Friday 1 May 2020 our level 4 lock-down started and I took my dog for a walk. One very happy dog this morning – mind you, l think l was as excited as my dog!”
“Winter has arrived! Our first fire…”
“We’re back on site – yet another perfect day at The Somerset. Life’s good!”
The Somerset’s Sales Consultant – Margi Hoffe writes…
“Half way through the lock-down – Flapjacks and bubbly for breakfast under the Gazebo this morning. We have been spoiled by my daughter who made this for us for breakfast.”
“My daughter started making us face masks. It has a pocket so you can add a filter – we used a dry wet wipe for extra protection.”
Rusks may be found all over the world, but they have been a particularly South African favourite food or snack for centuries, certainly long before the famous story of the iconic brand, Ouma Rusks. That ouma, literally, cashed in! France has its biscotte, Germany has zweiback, whole slices of a loaf, while the Netherlands has beschuit, which are round slices of very soft sweet bread, dried and sold in rolls. (“Biscot” simply means baked twice). As a family we love our rusks, so I’m using this time to fill our cookie jars with a good supply of our favourite treat for coffee time!
“My favourite project is to grow my own celery – so easy – just cut off the back part of the celery and put it in a little bowl with water – watch how super fast it grows – plant on the right just over one week!”
“Thank goodness I kept these, now I can plant them!”
“I have just taken out this lovely, freshly baked bread from my bread machine.”
“Rusks – just cannot keep up! We seem to eat them far too quickly!”
Margi keeps fit and this morning she challenged her colleagues to do a run in their own gardens. On this video she is doing laps in her drive way.
“Day 1 of lock-down level 4, and we took our Scotty for his first walk. Everyone is out and about on this beautiful day – we are so lucky that we have a public walking area and a river within a 5 km range.”
“Hard at practice and loving it!”
“Nothing nicer than a pancake in this cold weather…”
“Nothing like an early morning bath – no social distancing here!”
“We had scones for breakfast this morning – yum!”
“When we went for our run this morning, we saw the bubble man! He cycles everyday blowing bubbles and it really makes people laugh and smile – the human spirit is our best weapon…”
“Our beautiful Helderberg mountain taken during our walk this morning.”
“My reflection photo and two Egyptian Geese enjoying the morning as well.”
“Winter has arrived!”
“First thing my husband and I want to do once the lock-down is over, is to go for a beautiful long trail run in nature and my daughter Jadey, is looking forward to seeing and talking to her friends.
Our associate and Managing Director of Shire Retirement Properties (Pty) Ltd – Rob Jones, rolled up his sleeves and spent the morning in the kitchen baking No-Knead Easter Hot Cross Buns & soft burger buns. Rob shared his recipe for the Hot Cross Buns, here goes:
(Servings: 15 buns)
Author: Berry Sweet Life
FOR THE BUNS:
1 10 g 3 tsp packet of dry yeast
1/4 cup very warm water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs lightly beaten
5 cups white bread flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup sultanas or raisins
FOR THE CROSSES:
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
6 tbsp water
FOR THE GLAZE:
1 tbsp honey
Grease a baking tray with butter.
Place very warm water in a measuring cup and sprinkle over the yeast, stirring until the yeast dissolves. Set aside.
Heat milk in the microwave until hot (not boiling), then add the butter and stir until butter melts. Let it cool a little and then add the eggs and stir in.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl, mix in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, ginger, sugar and sultanas or raisins.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and the butter mixture. Mix in with a metal fork until a soft dough forms, it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is still a little sticky, but you can form it into a rough ball with your hands. If it’s too sticky add a little more flour until you are happy with the consistency, being careful not to make it too dry.
Place in a greased mixing bowl with a damp cloth over the top and leave to rise until it doubles in size – about 30 mins. This can differ depending on your room temperature – if it is cold where you are, place the dough in the microwave with a cup of boiling water next to the bowl to help it along.
On a lightly floured surface divide the dough into 15 equal pieces.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Roll the dough pieces into balls with your hands and evenly space out on the baking tray. Cover again with a damp cloth and let the buns rise until they double in size – about 40 mins.
Mix together the plain flour and water for the crosses until you have a thick paste. Gently pat down the buns with your hands. Using a spoon or a piping bag filled with the paste – carefully draw a cross onto each bun.
Bake for about 15 mins or until rolls are golden brown. Brush with honey and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.
Handle the dough just as much as you need to and no more…The more the dough is handled the less light & fluffy it becomes, so be light of hand and you’ll have no problem at all.
Rob Jones on Day #8 of lock-down…
“Recently I have been thinking about why Lego is so popular. Many people say that it is because of the “nostalgia” of being a kid, and remembering of more simple times. The simplicity and the amount of imaginative play make lego an all time favourite for me. In this lock-down period, I unpacked my daughter’s lego and the two of us built this beauty!”
“Home-made, home-smoked bacon for breakfast. Yum!”
“Home-made basil pesto, home-made mozzarella and tomato – hey presto – Caprese Salad!”
“Chilling with chicken, wine and song!”
“Have a look at this 2 minute “bread”, it’s fun to make. Beat 1 egg and a tablespoon of peanut butter with a teaspoon of baking powder, pour into a greased coffee mug, microwave for 2 minutes and … Tadaa!”
“It was a long wait, but the cheddar is delicious!”
“Turkish flatbread for lunch with lamb leftovers…”
“Rustic loaf baked in a Dutch oven today…”
“Japanese omelette and smokey bacon with sourdough for breakfast! Yum!”
After all these delicious meals, Rob Jones felt that he needed a jog around the block. Have a look.
“On Friday 1 May 2020, we loved our first walk under level 4 of the lock-down.”
Rob celebrated his birthday during the lock-down period. His daughter woke him with this “pigs having a party” cake😂”
“Aargh so nice 🤩 there is nothing like a fire!”
Belinda van Zyl – our village administrator writes…
“With winter on it’s way and the evenings becoming cooler, I thought of making Vetkoek and vegetable soup – my favourite feel-good meal.”
“Nou gaan ons braai!”
“Something for the sweet tooth. Chocolate crinkles!
“Anyone for homemade chicken pie?”
Lecia van Rooyen – our village administrator writes…
“Just as I thought it’s time to donate the Lego sets to charity, the lock-down period was announced. I am so relieved that I kept them, as we’re all having loads of fun with it! Baking biscuits and a house, and face painting keeps the whole family busy.”
“We had a lock-down Easter hunt.”
“I think painting might have been easier, than building this Lego plane!”
“School work during lock-down with my children.”
“The training wheels are finally off. Lock-down goal accomplished!”
The Somerset is a luxury retirement village situated in Somerset West. It’s an elegant haven for over-50s who wish to retire in a luxurious, tranquil and secure setting where they can discover their own sense of belonging.
Here, you will never tire of the beauty, the wonder, and the richness of the surroundings. Along with a peaceful vacation-like ambience, The Somerset also meets all practical and lifestyle requirements, with friendly and professional healthcare and advanced security measures.
The Somerset is conveniently located close to all local amenities, shopping malls, excellent hospitals, golf courses, sports facilities and every manner of outdoor activity.
To view available properties at The Somerset, click here.