I finally, finally finished work for the year around 19:00 yesterday. During the last days I suppose I cracked a little under the immense strain. At least I found some interesting ways to help me cope.
I was jolted awake during a raunchy dream around 6:00 this morning, a little later than usual. Anna sprang onto the bed and disturbed our sleepy peace. She sleeps on the floor next to the bed at night, but she becomes so excited at seeing us all again as soon as the sun rises in the morning that she literally bursts out of her skin. Still, it was a great feeling to realise that for at least two weeks I shan't have to worry about work, fingers crossed.
At 8:00am The One and I left to go grocery shopping at Checkers because the cupboards have really been bare these two months. Before we joined the rabid festive season crowds we had a quick stop to indulge ourselves for hard work well done; we sat down for a leisurely breakfast at Maxi's in Jakaranda Centre. He had the full house breakfast and I the English breakfast.
What unexpected fun it was, blatantly examining and watching the other people in the pokey smoking section where we were confined. There was a large elderly woman, smoking and chatting loudly with a friend, only occasionally pausing for a bite of food. A middle aged couple arrived and sat down at a table next to our booth. They were speaking what sounded like Greek. When the waitress came to take their order, he confidently ordered beer. It was only barely 9:00am so the waitress told the man that they only started serving liquor at 10:00am. He simply got up and walked off, embarrassed Mediterranean wife in tow.
The shops weren't as busy as I'd feared and we even found an abandoned till after our trek through Checkers, at which time I was forced to reluctantly part with exactly one third of my paltry bonus in echange for half a trolley of absolutely no-luxury everyday groceries. The long list almost entirely existed of uninteresting items such as toilet cleaner, dishwashing sponges and various chemical concoctions which will hopefully get rid of some of this goddamned pet odour.
At least also got enough food for ALL the pets until the end of January, if they don't overdo it on Christmas Day.
After Checkers, we stopped at the post office to retrieve our post. The usual truckload, mostly junkmail, yielded three mysteriouys white envelopes from Tshwane Municipality. Ripping them open revealed invoices for our water and electricity as well as rates and taxes. Cowards that we are, we were relieved because we'd been reluctantly planning to assail the head office of the municipality on Monday to sort out the transfer of the account to The One and I. Apparently one of the very expensive attorneys who'd handled the property sale had acually bothered to tell the authorities that we were the brand new owners of this property.
After our mirth at the account being sorted without our involvement, I actually examined the bills and discovered that the charges were also slightly less than we had budgeted for. I'd imagined astronomical amounts because we only have the bath which I know uses more water than a shower. We'd also used the bread maker and the oven many times and I know that the geyser is set at too high a temperature; I just don't own a ladder to access the ceiling to have a looksee. We are thankful that we're not personally killing the planet with our demand for energy and water.
And we are truly thankful that we won't have to confront sulky, inefficient, untrained and unhelpful municipal officials.
We arrived home from the air conditioned shops and it was so hot outside that you could fry a premium pork fillet popping with fat on the scorching sidewalk. But just see how serene the plants in the garden are - lots of rain and loads of sunlight is right up their alley.
We donned our caps and intrepidly went outside for a smoke.
Then Anna dragged her freshly bought braided rawhide toy outside and joined us. We were allowed a chance to see her developing teeth in action. I advise any prospective burglars to steer clear of this particular property. You stand a very good chance to permanently lose a perfectly good limb.
Patrolling round the house the way we do (that's because there is only one outside chair left, Anna eliminated the other one during a friendly game of "fetch"), we discovered that the cycad Ilze and Cas gave us as house-warming gift sprouted six new leaves virtually overnight. It seems to have acclimatised well and we will have to plant it in the garden proper in short order.
All of the excellent news referred to above made me decide to declare this day best day of the year. After all, isn't this the time of year when people celebrate good news?
Written by I