Thursday, 31 March 2016

Affirmation of Devotion

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OK, so no-one is interested in an 'echoey house', hence the new title...... We are now safely back home after almost three weeks away on our usual route. I am looking forward to catching up with everyone (hope Olga's cold is better now !!)  One of our stops was at my sister-in-law's family's house at the coast. It is a 3-storey building, bedrooms on the ground floor, the kitchen and lounge above, and half-way up to the high roof a mezzanine which houses their excellent hi-fi system with it's six speakers. We had been told to keep our windows closed in the bedrooms because of marauding monkeys and one night last year a potential burglar had showed his face outside.  (He had been scared off by my nephew shouting at him in Xhosa). One evening, my brother-in-law and I were upstairs listening to some marvelous Mozart opera.  I might have been singing along with the soprano.  My husband and his sister were down in the lounge. The next thing I heard my husband frantically shouting my name.  "Go away," I yelled, as the music was reaching a crescendo and I wanted to enjoy it. There seemed to be a far-away sound of scuffling downstairs but we ignored it. Some minutes later, my husband came puffing up to join us, very hyped-up. He had thought he heard me scream, he said (clearly I don't sing too well) and had interpreted my "Go away" incorrectly, so he had dashed downstairs, to fearlessly confront my attacker.  My sister-in-law said she had never seem him move so fast. She was deeply impressed and confided that he must love me very much.  A satisfying, if slightly worrying conclusion considering that he had run in completely the wrong direction. Funny how sound carries.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Musical Beds

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When my husband could not longer stand waking up with a sore back every morning, we took the sheets off and had a good look at our bed.  The mattress displayed a tell-tale cavity on my husband's side, with a somewhat smaller one on mine. They did not recover  during the day. We dug out the sales slip and Guarantee from 8 years back:  we remembered the sales talk, we saw the "25-Year Warranty" sticker. We remembered that this bed, the "Edinburgh" mattress, had all kinds of special springs designed for different parts of the body, we had been cautioned never to turn or swing the mattress and it would last us for 25 years. So back to the shop. They will, of course, repair the mattress, they told us - but at some unspecified cost depending on whether we have 'misused' it  (giggle). It will take two weeks.  This required some planning on our part. Firstly, we have to take it into Cape Town on our trailer (no-one comes out here), secondly, what do we do for two weeks without a bed? Answer: visit our relatives in the Karoo.  Fortuitously, my sister-in-law requires my husband's services in the planning and execution of her kitchen renovations and she has begged us to visit. An extra carrot is the opportunity to visit our rather frail other relatives in East London (on the East coast) - we can travel in their car to do this. So two days ago, we took the bed to the shop, hubby having hastily built a wooden structure on top of his flat-bed trailer to accommodate the Queen-size mattress. Luckily, it didn't rain. When we came home we adjourned downstairs and tried our one of our old mattresses now in a guest bedroom, the "Restonic", for one night.  Waking up with sore backs, we remembered that we had found even this mattress too hard at one stage in our marriage,  to the extent that we had bought an extra soft padding which could be put on top. Not soft enough these days. Hubby tried out our other 'old' mattress in the second guest bedroom for his afternoon nap.  Very hard indeed. We remembered that it was a "Sealy Postupaedic".  What next?  Inspired, we dragged upstairs to our own bedroom, two single, cheap foam mattresses from old bunk beds, which we keep for non-fussy excess friends of small son on week-ends.  We slept on these last night.  Not bad, except that hubby's one seems to be exceptionally soft and he sinks through to the the wooden base whenever he turns over.  We have swopped them over. Perhaps tonight, we shall sleep.  Facing us, after Tuesday, is two weeks away - in assorted beds and no radio reception on the farm.  I have been to my doctor and begged sleeping pills. Maybe at least then, one of us will have a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Swapping Secrets

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My visitors (two couples), of a week have just left, fortunately at the stage when we have run out of prepared food and entertainment ideas.  One of the nicest things however, has been that the weather has been gorgeous, our swimming pool seductively warm and plenty of sport on the TV, so every afternoon, towards sunset, my sister-in-law and her friend and I would relax, chatting, in the pool, fortified by white wine, which our husbands obligingly kept topped up so that we were never really sure how much we had consumed. They were in the house, far enough removed from us that we settled down each night to a lot of "girl-chat" in our watery environment.  My sister-in-law, I have, of course known for the length of my marriage, but their friends (who have bought land in our town and want to build here) I didn't know very well.  No matter: a lovely, friendly person she proved to be and I warmed to her, especially after we had confided a few 'secrets'.  She told us something so upsetting about her past that the two of us also felt motivated to confide things that we've never told anyone before. In fact, our tongues were so loosened, I am sure by the drink, that we all revealed much more than we should have.  We thus swore each other to eternal secrecy, felt so close that we would have made ourselves blood sisters had there been a knife handy. When they left this morning and we hugged, my new friend whispered in my ear, "At least our secrets are safe: we can never afford to offend each other: we know too much." That much is true, it's only that in the cold, light of day - I can't remember exactly what I said.