If you’re one of the people searching for load shedding and Valentine’s Day, don’t fret – we’ve got you covered. Don’t let Eskom ruin your day – here’s how to keep the spark lit even if your power gets cut.
As we’re leading up to Valentine’s Day, Eskom announced that it would be implementing Stage 3 load shedding. So, there’s a very good chance the power utility will force you to celebrate the 14th with a candlelight dinner anyway.
But don’t let Eskom ruin the mood. There are still plenty of ways to get the most out of Valentine’s Day, even in the dark. Once you’ve taken your mind out of the gutter, scroll down for some load-shedding friendly ideas.
Valentine’s Day ideas for 2021
Plan a picnic
There are many outdoor areas where you can set up a romantic picnic. Remember that beaches, public parks, dams and other public swimming areas opened on 1 February 2021. Thanks, Mr President.
All you’ll need to do is pitch up with your basket of romantic treats and a picnic blanket. But don’t forget, the curfew is between 23:00 to 4:00, remember to wear your mask while out and about, and keep your distance from others.
There’s Zoo lake or the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmerentia Dam, or even the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Poortview. Cape Town has the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. And beaches. You get the idea.
A romantic dinner for two
You can’t go wrong with a romantic dinner for two. If you’re worried about load shedding ruining your plans make sure you book at a place with a generator.
Remember that restaurants need to close at 22:00 in order for staff to get home in time before the 23:00-curfew starts. On-site alcohol sales are only permitted throughout the week between 10:00 and 22:00.
Or, you could just stay in, cook together before the lights go out and enjoy each other’s company by candlelight (whether there’s load shedding or not). Set up a “restaurant table” in your dining room, throw an apron on and prep a menu for dinner.
Go to the movies
The Johannesburg Bioscope has a Valentine’s Day screening of True Romance on Saturday 13 February. R230 gets you a couple’s ticket and one pizza to share. Take note, though, True Romance is not your typical romance film.
The Bioscope warns that “this action rampage is something a little different, so please don’t expect Hugh Grant and a girl standing in front of him asking him to love her”. You’ve been warned.
“Every year on Valentine’s Day, The Bioscope has always screened the Tarantino-written, Tony Scott cult classic ‘True Romance’, starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. TRADITION IS TRADITION!”
And if you hate Valentine’s Day but still want to watch a romantic movie, The Bioscope will be screening Before Sunrise on 21 February. Alternatively, recreate your own cinema experience in your backyard.
Go for a drive on Valentine’s Day
You don’t even need a destination. All you need for this fun Valentine’s Day activity is a sense of adventure and fuel in the tank. Get out of your comfort zone, go on an adventure and explore new terrain.
And it doesn’t have to be a short trip either. Take a day or an entire weekend, get off the beaten path and just enjoy some R&R away from the mad hustle and bustle of load shedding and life in general.
Set out with a planned route, or switch your phone off and just get lost. Try it. Couples who travel together form lifelong memories and share experiences that will bring them closer together.
Build a blanket fort
This is a personal favourite of mine because yes, I’m a thirty-something modern, independent woman and blanket forts are my happy place. Introverts probably do this already. Extroverts, try it.
If you’re not in the mood to spend the evening surrounded by people, stay in. Set up a blanket fort in the lounge, bedroom or garden, and settle in with Netflix. We’ve rounded a few film suggestions for you here.
Have a picnic on the floor, watch trashy b-grade horror flicks. Go wild. And if load shedding wants to be a pain in the tush, light some candles, order Uber Eats and just enjoy each other’s company. Heart-shaped food optional.
And if you really want nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, there’s always the option of naming your ex after a cockroach… Yes, really.