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It’s a gloomy Monday morning and we’re attending a funeral in a freezing cold church in Bellville. The rain is coming down in torrents outside. It is a Cape winter like those of my childhood.

We’re in the throes of the third Covid wave, so we’re all dotted around on hard benches – literally, as there are red stickers indicating an acceptable ‘social distance’.

I’m grateful for the mask keeping my cheeks warm in the icy air. My toes are slowly going numb inside my shoes, like when I was a teenager and rode my bike to school in winter. In the afternoons, my school shoes had to be put in the warming drawer to dry out so I could wear them again the next day.

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