In an ideal world I would have taken time to adjust but alas the time required was not available to me. In exactly two weeks time two of my dearest friends were arriving from Scotland for an eight day stay…. They were sleeping in a bungalow opposite me as my house doesn’t have room to accommodate guests so Ellie very kindly said they could use said bungalow. I wouldn’t say I was anal about my house, not exactly, but I have to confess, pretty close. I wanted everything to be perfect for Martin’s and Douglas’s arrival. This necessitated frequent trips into Tzaneen not only to stock up on all the stuff needed to enable the kitchen to function, but I had two table cloths made in cerise chenille velvet, one for my 5’ circular dining table and one for my 3’ circular bedside table. Bron and Es came round one evening and hung all my mirrors but I still can’t decide where to put my paintings, and Es put up a shelf in the kitchen as I had very little workspace which was covered with glass jars and tins of various shapes and sizes which I could then arrange on the shelf. I ordered the curtains, three sets also in cerise chenille which combined with my canary yellow walls makes for a very colourful interior! An ice blue satin bedspread and large pillows followed, linen napkins and table runner were also purchased and then I hit Woolies for the food. I was also having my housewarming with the family three nights after the boys arrived so I was having to cater for seven people that night. I shopped until I dropped and Woollies refused my credit card on my second trip – I had to make a return trip for the wine and bubbles – but fortunately I had sufficient cash on me to cover the humongous bill and staggered home with my goodies. I had a ball! Artichoke hearts in olive oil, sundried tomatoes, a roast chicken, cold cuts, green salad, tiny plump tomatoes, a black forest gateau, cheeses and chocolates and ciabatta bread served hot and crisp from the oven, tiny rolls oozing rich buttery garlic and buckets of bubbles!
By the time M and D arrived on the 15th my house gave the appearance of having been lived in for years: I was comatose with exhaustion and running on adrenaline. I’d hardly eaten for days, I was too busy during the day and too tired at night, so I knew I had to get that sorted while the boys were here. Martin is nearly 45 and Douglas is 47 but from my vantage point they are boys. When they arrived M leapt out of the car screwdriver in hand. Little did he know that I was going to ask them to build me a mantle-piece! Which they DID!!! It’s exactly what I wanted and very beautiful; elegant in its simplicity and painted black which looks very dramatic against the yellow of the walls. They also put up the curtain rails and the curtains and restored my battered 19c roll top desk to her former glory. They were absolute stars and I can’t wait for them to come again next year!
When they came into the house I got exactly the reaction I had hoped for; a stunned pause followed by gales of laughter! They loved it: we had tea on the terrace and sundowners in front of the fire; it suddenly becomes very cold as soon as the sun sets so a blazing fire was extremely welcome. We had to share the chairs and chaise longue with the kids of course, but the 7 of us (three humans and four dogs) managed to accommodate ourselves quite comfortably. Paris was on D’s lap, Snooze on M’s and Big Mal, Tossie and I squeezed onto the chaise.
But it wasn’t all constant DIY for the boys; we did spend 3 nights at San Wild the game farm I went to last year with Lee. It’s a great place to take mates who come to stay, they go on game rides and get to see all the animals in their natural environment. The boys went on the game rides, I slept. After all the adrenaline had subsided I felt like a collapsed balloon and the first night I slept almost round the clock. On the 3rd day the boys came back from their game drive and I told them how unwell I was feeling but as they explained, I had been under so much pressure with the move, their arrival, the housewarming (which incidentally was a huge success), leaving the kids for 3 days and no time to settle. It made perfect sense and now that I’m home with my kids, sitting on my veranda shaded from the sun by the thatch surrounding me, I’m revelling in the process of settling. The kids are barking at the cows – as usual – I’m completely alone as the family have gone away for the weekend and I’m filled with the peace and contentment that is the gift of security.
I have a great deal to thank the Van Eck, Turners for particularly Es who after coming to visit me in the flat I lived in in Tzaneen said to Bronson, ‘she’s not staying there’ and is responsible for the wondrous life I now live.
M and D left 3 days ago and I miss them; we had SUCH a good time, laughed like drains, drank like fish and shared some good conversations. Sharing time with friends I have a lot of history with is very special. M and D have left but they will return and Lee arrives in January. Yippee! I only hope he’s ready; he says he loves the heat and he didn’t get enough of a tan last October, but 45degrees is really too hot to venture out in. Ah well! We shall see…..
Love to all of you from all of us, xxx