Monday, 23 May 2016

The Waiting Game

Meanwhile, Big son makes space in his garage it will be 9 weeks before we perhaps get our top-of-the-line Mercedes ML back from the sleek, sophisticated garage whence it has been languishing since the day we took it in for it's regular service - nothing apparently wrong with it. After the mechanics had finished doing a 'campaign' on it (don't ask me - I think it's about being a guinea pig because we have a maintenance contract so don't pay for anything except for diesel and tyres). After that - the engine refused to work properly. Since then, a new exhaust has been fitted, the catalytic converter has been fiddled with, the 'loom' changed. Still no progress. We have just waited three weeks for the 'correct' part to arrive from Germany. It arrived on Friday - but not the right part (bits missing, I gather!!!) Another two weeks....Meantime, we leave for the Karoo on Wednesday, with yet another vehicle, this time a hire car from Avis (supplied by Mercedes), because we have to have a tow bar.  When my husband first offered to bring all the wood etc. to refurbish my sister-in-law's farm kitchen, little did he know we would have all these car problems. Having loaded about half the wood yesterday, with our little trailer almost collapsing under the weight, we realised my brother-in-law would just have to come in his pick-up truck to fetch the other half from Big son's garage in Cape Town. He leaves the farm at 3.00 am tomorrow to do the 6-hour drive, then plans to return to the farm on the same day because they start shearing on Wednesday and he has to be there. I hope he makes it there and back in one piece, and also the cupboards' innards which have been cut to size and edged by our local hardware store.  Our trailer is still full with only the doors.  Similarly, I have had to wait nearly 10 weeks to get an appointment (21st June) to have an implant replaced in my mouth.  Our dentist tut-tutted when I showed him the offending tooth on 5th May - the screw-thing sheared off.  He is fed up with his German supplier and I have had to wait nearly two months for a new 'peg' to arrive from Germany.
Who was it that said, "All things come to those who wait" (Google answer: Violet Fane, 1892).  I hope this is true in our case. And what's happened to German efficiency?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Outwitting a 5-year old

Anything my brother can do..... paintball

This is not easy to do. Remember that cutie when she celebrated her 2nd birthday naked? Well, it was a very hot day and I probably shouldn't have posted that picture, although it wasn't all-revealing. Anyway, she is now 5 and we have just come back from a bout of baby-sitting during which it fell to me (hubby claims he had all the stress of driving the school run), to entertain her for the two afternoons. Grandson is not a problem, like all boys, he is married to his i-pad. So after both had been fetched from school and fed, she announced she would like to play chess with me.  I know she doesn't really know how to move the pieces, regardless of her exaggerated claims, but her brother plays chess at school so..... She began to set up the board with the white pieces in front of her. Having positioned the black ones, I noticed that my queen was missing. Strange, I thought, as my grandson is quite meticulous about packing away his things. On pointing this out, all I got was a shrug of her shoulders and a raising of the eyebrows. I decided it didn't really matter as it wouldn't be a serious game. However, afterwards I said we must go and search for the missing piece in the playroom.  When we went in and she watched me looking here and there unsuccessfully for a while, she could take it no longer,
 "It's under the couch,"  she said.  
"How do you know that?  You haven't looked anywhere yet."  
For once, no inventive answer. Ill-concealed guilty look. Gotcha. Considering how many times in two days she had me over a barrel with the convincing, "my mommy lets me" - and I fell for it, I regard this as a minor victory.  I have yet to discover where she keeps finding my daughter's hidden cache of marshmallows, but I'll leave that 'til next time. I find my preaching about "it doesn't matter if you lose, it's all about playing the game" has so far fallen upon stony ground.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

A Macabre Coincidence

Google image

I have spent a couple of days looking for my make-up bag, the loss of which is traumatic for me as I don't step out of my house without my warpaint. As it is the same dark color as our car's carpets, I usually look there as a last resort as I often 'put my face on' in the car while my husband is driving. There is rarely anyone in the back seat and certainly not lately, however, I finally looked on the floor behind my seat. There it was, having slid from the front to the back when my husband braked a bit sharpish. It made me think of something I heard on our radio news that day: in America, 'another young woman' had been shot dead by her own toddler, not strapped in, who picked up her handgun which must have slid under the driver's seat to the back while her mother was driving. How tragic is that? Apparently, 250 grown-ups were accidentally shot by their own children last year.  Meanwhile, two notes to self:  1) I am very glad we don't own any handguns and 2) I must think about getting a brightly colored make-up bag.