Just the other day, while he was caressing the strings of his PRS, I asked my husband what’s the first thing he would grab in a fire. He rolled his eyes and answered, “my guitars, duh.” After I hurled a pillow at him, he said it would probably be me. (Right answer, Mr. C).

A few years ago, we were actually faced with that reality when we were forced to evacuate an apartment building in Blouberg, where we were holidaying. To be jolted out of our sleep by frenetic sirens and the sounds of fire alarms was horrifying. The building’s roof had caught fire, so we had milliseconds to leave. What did we grab, you ask? Our wedding rings, my handbag, his wallet, ‘phones and each other’s hands.

It was only after we were allowed to return to the apartment that we realised how much we had left behind. If this had happened in our home, I imagine I might have tried to grab more. Photo albums. Heirlooms.

The recent KZN floods forced many to face this sobering reality. It was a gut-wrenching week watching homes crumble, hearing the anguished cries of those who lost loved ones and seeing the hopelessness etched across the faces of those left destitute. The aftermath seems to be a never-ending trail of devastation, which is still being walked as we prepare for this edition. Simbithi was not spared, with many homes and spaces in our little piece of heaven damaged and days of utility disruptions.

But, even through this mayhem, I am once again reminded how special Simbithi is. Neighbours pitching to help mop up homes after they’d flooded. Strangers becoming friends over commiserate cups of coffee after the mud had dried. A formidable group of residents venturing into Shakashead armed with water and food, and a cheerful gang of ladies chopping kilograms of vegetables to feed those who desperately needed it.

Many did not have time to answer what they would grab first in a disaster, because it was gone in a few moments. It touches my heart to know that this community stepped up to care for each other during those tough days. Simbithi, you rock!

As normality ekes its way back in, I hope you enjoy reading our Winter edition. The chefs share the recipe for our gorgeous Simbithi Eggs Benedict (hello, hollandaise…I might try my hand at that!) and Ant Carr introduces Bench Coffee to Simbithi. We also meet the Pietersons: Andile is a Mrs. South Africa semi-finalist and she would love us to get behind her! We also take a peek at the second phase of our Heron Community Centre Upgrade.

We’re already halfway through 2022 (pheeewwww). Let’s make the second half one where we show kindness, love and appreciation for what we have.