My 5 weeks counting down to Christmas

It’s been long…

It’s nearing x5 weeks since KK left for a business trip to Perth. Five weeks is the longest we’ve been apart.

It’s happened only once before when he worked on a project up in Tanzania. When he returned, I scored a pair of tanzanite earrings and decided we needed a dog, which explains how Annie came into our lives.

But this round has been tough.

The pool pump gave in on Sunday night. After weeks of nursing the clear blue water, fishing out leaves with the net, brushing the walls, keeping the water levels up, emptying the little basket (which at first I couldn’t find), the pump suddenly broke.

Water streamed into the neighbours yard and down my cheeks. It was the Christmas cherry on the top.

I’ve been bravely tackling issues on my own.

  • Opening up a business bank account and reading all the small print. KK is good at this.
  • Ensuring the washing is done each week and taking out the rubbish bin on Mondays. These are KK’s chores which I kept forgetting to do. Washing piles up quicker than I thought.
  • Taking Emma to the Vet and finding out that she has a heart murmur.
  • Putting up all the Christmas decorations around the house. It sounded like a good idea when I started.
  • Seeing new clients for my new business and not having him to sense check my sales pitch beforehand.

While the above list may sound petty, I realised just how much KK does around the house. How much I rely on him.

I take him for granted.

Lying on the couch. I’ve done a lot of this. Crochet, movies, books. It was fun the first few weeks.

Then there are other little things that I’ve noticed:

  • I didn’t know where KK keeps all our important documents, such as my green ID book which I needed to open up the bank account.
  • I don’t have a side gate key so couldn’t take the dustbin out on dustbin day.
  • I thought the store was going to swallow me up. There is so much crap in there! What the hell are we keeping?
  • I’ve never done a backwash of the swimming pool. Ever! In fact, one thing I’ve learnt is that I know very little about pool maintenance.
  • When we had load shedding, I discovered (in the dark) that the little camping light next to my bed doesn’t work.
  • If I go for an afternoon run, there isn’t anyone checking to make sure I get back safely. (I do message my mom but I think it freaks her out waiting for my return).

He couldn’t come home soon enough, especially since I haven’t had a good nights sleep in weeks.

The whole “cooking for one” is a constant reminder that I’m alone. I’ve developed nasty cabin fever. And it’s actually not fun suntanning next to the pool by myself.

burnt pizza

I’ve been eating way too many pizzas. Damn Woolies has these on special. I added the bacon in case you’re wondering. And yes, I burnt it.

I have a greater sense of gratitude for all he does and how he looks after me at home. I also have new found respect for people who live on their own. I talk to myself now. Do you?

Christmas decorations on a dog

I did have some help putting up the decorations. Thanks Emma!

I miss the company. I miss the routine. I miss KK. I want things back to normal.

But it’s been a good five weeks to teach me that things will go wrong, but I can handle it. It’s taught me to pick up the phone (actually WhatsApp) and ask for help. And most of all, I’ve learnt to be a little independent and trust myself for a change.

The biggest Christmas present will be fetching him from the airport on the weekend! I cannot wait!

Make me a rooster

Driving to work one morning, I noticed that the street hawkers who sell wire artwork down William Nicol were selling the most beautiful hoopoes. I wanted one!

The traffic light changed to green and as I was about to drive off, promising myself I’d be back the very next day, the seller handed me the beautiful bird through the car window saying, “It’s yours! Just come back whenever you can with payment!” and waved me goodbye. hoopoe wire art

I did go back. I bought two hoopoes but I also asked him if he’d make me a rooster. Of course I will, exclaimed Etu with a big smile!

The glow in his eyes as I commissioned him to make me this artwork was magnetic. He suddenly went from pesky street hawker to artist. He quizzed me about size, colour, bead work and time frames. I described my kitchen and what I had in mind. He took this brief so seriously!

A few days later I drove up to his spot on the side of street, there it stood! It stared at me from the front seat of the car all the way to the office and I had the giggles the entire day!

the rooster from the front seat of the car

What Etu didn’t realize is that he had won my trust the day he willingly gave me the first hoopoe. In fact, I didn’t hesitate going back. The fact that I could ask him to make me something unique appealed to me. Most people don’t even acknowledge hawkers but I’ve changed the way I see them. They’re marketers, just like myself. They’re salesmen. But most of all, they’re artists. They just needed to be given a chance.

I love my rooster!

A surprise delivery 

So I’ll admit that even though we’ve lived in the same complex for over 10 years and even with KK as head of the homeowners association, we don’t really know our neighbors. Yeah, so we give the occasional wave when some of them drive passed and we sometimes spy on watch when they go walking their dogs on a Sunday afternoon but in general, we mind our own business.

But when old man Trevor died earlier this year from a brain tumor and we only heard about it one month later, we really felt bad. I mean, how did we not know? I remember being woken up one Saturday morning at about 4am from a loud commotion of family outside his house. After that day, we never saw him again and only heard that he was ‘sick’. Did we not suspect something was wrong with all the kids visiting so often? And the garden outside not being taken care of? Why did we not pop around and ask? Sorry Trevor and Miriam.

So last Saturday when we arrived home from shopping, we found a basket outside our gate. A basket filled with avos from our neighbor Jason (on the other side) with a note saying we should enjoy the avos from their tree. 

We were blown away! What an awesome gesture! Especially since majority of people in our complex are just like us and keep to themselves. It reminded me that such a small and simple act can do wonders and make you want to do something back in return. 

It also showed that sometimes an acknowledgement can come in a different way, it doesn’t have to be conversation. This gesture spoke a 1000 words. Thanks neighbor! Thanks Jason and family. The avos are amazing! 

The story of our pool

We’re in the process of having our pool repaired. After 9 years, it is looking grubby and needs to be re-marbelited. Tiles have chipped away, mould has appeared in the corners of the pool, the filter is cracked and needs replacing. Even our pool net is looking tired.

Pool 2004 - 2007

Every time I think of how long we have lived in our house, I tend to default in my head to 6 or 7 years but if I calculate it correctly, we moved in to our house in 2003, a full ten years ago! Without realizing it, so much has changed. So much has happened…

10 years ago, we had no plants in our garden, no trees. Today our garden is overgrown with beautiful tall trees. 10 years ago, we had no pets. Today we have two Brussel Griffons which fill our hearts with love and bring us joy.

10 years ago, our patio was uncomfortably tiny and hardly fitted a 6-seater table and chairs. Today, our outside living area is fantastic since we extended the patio. Our neighbors have changed a few times. Their families have grown and instead of prams, we now see toddlers running up and down the street.

I remember 10 years ago when I hosted book club at my house. Sadly, our ‘So Much of Books’ book club doesn’t exist today and the stories of how the lives of each of those women has changed is a blog post of its own.

10 years ago, I could not run for 20 seconds without stopping to catch my breath. I had never entered a race and never belonged to a gym. I hated running! But yet today, I attribute many of the challenges and fears I’ve faced to my running.

Pool 2010 - 2012Yes, so much has changed. It’s time for a fix and some new memories!