Should one feel guilty if you have no load shedding?

Brian and I are in a weird space at the moment. We listen to the news and even watch TV, what with our solar system fully upgraded to Rolls Royce status. And we feel sort of guilty. Because on the one hand we feel as angry and frustrated as all of South Africa – to think that the present state of Eskom affairs has even affected our country’s international image!

But on the other hand, we are not affected. Not in the least. We have not had a moment’s load shedding, our lights are on when we flick a switch, we have just watched the incredible movie “Life is Beautiful” – all 3 hours of it. And Brian cooks up a storm whenever he feels like it. On the wood stove, that is.

Being off the grid has physical and emotional perks – ask us. We have recently welcomed guests from Jo’burg, Germany and further afield. And we could honestly guarantee NO load shedding for their 4 day stay at Paardeplaats. We showed them how to light the wood stove, gave them the wi-fi code and showed them our latest luxury – a plug point in each room for cell phones and laptops.

To be honest, we do not revel in others’ misery. We are just so so grateful that we are not affected by the dismal state of affairs inflicted on the entire country. Grateful to our son Arno for the brilliant upgrade design of our solar system.

At Paardeplaats we lead a simple existence – close to basic, one could say. (Or as Brian refers to it – what we have is elegant simplicity…) We cook on a wood stove, or we braai; this very wood stove makes enough hot water for our shower, limiting our use of gas for showers. Our gas fridges have all been replaced with eco friendly AA fridge/ freezers. Our lights are solar and through good discipline we turn them on and off as needed.

But overnight our basic living has turned into ultra luxury. This is so ironical! We wish that we could share this with all off deprived South Africa. Go solar guys, it pays off – sooner than you know! Come and try it out at Paardeplaats Nature Retreat!!


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We speak English. Ons praat Afrikaans. Nous parlons français.

Get to us: Post Net Suite 158, Private Bag X20097, Lydenburg 1120
Call Us: Main Farm Tel: 079 694 9462 / 013 110 0320
Our Cell: Brian 082 416 1379   Gerda 079 515 7799

Coordinates to Gate on R37 – South 025.099173 – East 030.552929/span>

Photo Credit: Des Jacobs