There is nothing like expecting a possibly imminent visit from a new-found family member to make me clean and tidy my house. OK, my mother would probably say at most I gave it a 'lick and a promise' but hey, it's a big house and I did the downstairs last month and anyway they won't go into the bedrooms. It happened this way - and isn't it a small world? We were doing our daily walk and this time wandered down to the yacht club where we are members, to have a coffee before facing the uphill walk home. Actually, they have changed the security over to a finger-print system and we had to go in and do the dirty. It wasn't as bad as the local Home Affairs office method, where last month I had to subject all my fingers on both hands to the old inky system, after which there was a large bucket of gooey blackish green stuff, shared by all, which is supposed to clean you up afterwards. No, no, the yacht club is quite classy, a nice clean one-digit digital stab on a little window attached to the computer.
Anyway, the secretary remarked that my husband's name was similar to one of the founder members of the club (circa 1978), and were we perhaps related? We said we didn't know so she suggested we walk down to the marina where his yacht was parked and introduce ourselves. Even with the sails down I could see that this was a big 'boytjie' (pronounced 'boykee' - i.e. big lad, er, meaning the boat, not the owner). I began to have regrets: if these people are wealthy, we probably can't afford to be related. As it turned out, the four of us got on well, enjoyed a nice sundowner, compared notes about ancestors and discovered that we are indeed related - about two generations back, namely through a chap called 'George'. Point to note: no-one asked what anyone did (or had done in our case) for a living. My husband enjoyed a tour of the mechanical bits and I ate my way (ignobly) through delicious snacks that I couldn't resist. I had taken the lady of the boat a small spray of roses from my garden though, and hubby took some of our home-made biltong. Now it's our turn to reciprocate. They have sailed off somewhere this week (they are on holiday for two months), but coming back soon.
In the absence of anything much in my garden to put in a vase, I have been inspired to use a bunch of parsley (which has grown like mad) and the other small spray of roses from my one bush. I quite like the effect. Meanwhile, I am greatly enjoying my unusually clean house. In case you are interested, the books (apart from the obvious) are: Guide to South African Birds, Salt Water Fishing and The Diet Revolution (Banting).