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But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Excerpt from “To a mouse, on turning her up in her nest with the plough” by Robert Burns
At long last! I arrived in the Western Cape almost three weeks ago, joining the rest of my little family, Terry was thrilled to see me as were the dogs and even the cat looked pleased. My poor darlings have been camping in the house with minimal furniture, a new fridge, washing machine, small table and 4 chairs, 2 sleeping bags and a borrowed pump up mattress, crockery, cutlery and 2 pots. The idea was not to spend too much money on new stuff with our own household items due to arrive in the shipping container in about 2 to 3 weeks time.
The view from our new home is magnificent and what a delight to discover that we are living in a nature conservancy, the bird life is prolific and the surrounding hills covered in fynbos, a pretty type of shrubland that grows in a mediterranean climate, read more about fynbos here. The conservancy boasts a few species of buck, various small forms of wildlife and the elusive caracal which is known locally in afrikaans as rooikat “red cat”. My delight however was marred slightly as soon as I discovered that the floor tiles in the house kept popping up with a disconcerting loud cracking sound, sometimes breaking as they did so. After many deliberations, discussions, meetings and much to-ing and fro-ing with the letting agent, the owner decided to refloor the entire house (estimated to take 3 weeks), we would try to delay delivery of our container for an additional week and in the meantime move into a small furnished house for the better part of July.
The day after finalising all these plans began to go awry from the very beginning. My Dear One and I set out to christen our brand new, king size bed (it had been delivered the previous morning) with a celebratory morning nookie. It was cold and dark and actually a bit of a challenge what with all the huddling and cuddling under the duvet and blankets in an effort to stay warm and cosy, we finally got our act together but at the crucial moment Terry let out a yell and leaped out of bed clutching the back of his thigh shouting “Charlie horse, Charlie horse!” I was laughing so much I almost wet the bed and had to make a mad dash for the bathroom. There was no point in trying to rescue the situation so we resolved to try another day and set about making coffee and getting on with the business of the breakfast. Later on that morning Terry, not too perturbed by the early morning shenanigans, was singing away in the shower and I (still in my PJ’s) was checking emails and messing about on google when the front door bell rang. Shushing the barking dogs, I went to investigate, opening the door to a man who said he was from Biddulphs and was looking for my husband. I swear to goodness, this guy must have thought I was an imbecile because I just stared at him with a blank look on my face and repeated “Biddulphs?”, he remained silent for a second or two and then said “Yes Ma’am your furniture, it’s here.”, at that precise moment the penny dropped and I remembered where I had heard the word Biddulphs before. Incredulous I said “What??!! The container is here? It can’t be!”, he gave me a pitying look and pointed to the great big truck lumbering down the hill towards the house. Oh flipping hell, there it was, my furniture truck, two weeks early. Now normally I would have been jumping for joy but all I could think of was where the heck we were going to put all of it while the floors were being redone. Needless to say, the news put paid to Terry’s happy singing in the shower and before long we were standing on the patio directing which boxes were to come upstairs and which were to stay in the garage. Ah well, we managed alright in the end and being able to unpack some of our favourite things and consume a wonderful bottle of wine with our dinner was some consolation.
Most of the houses in Dana Bay are built on an expansive slope overlooking the sea and the altitude from our house to the beach drops dramatically, the dogs love walking along the beach, the waves crashing against the rocks and the wind blowing their ears back. Although it is winter, when the sun is shining, the days are fairly mild and bearable.
A cold front has just started to move in and predicted to last all weekend, the sun is hiding away behind a blanket of grey clouds and even I am feeling the chill. Patchouli, our poor cat shed a lot of tummy hair due to the heat and humidity in Mauritius but I have noticed it growing back rapidly now that she is in a colder climate. She sleeps under her cosy wool blankie most of the day and only pokes her head out for meals and if she can find a sunny spot to lie in.
We moved into the furnished place yesterday, the bad news is that it’s a bit run down, colder than our house and stinks of stale cigarette smoke, the good news is that Willie (the flooring guy) is going to attempt to finish the flooring job in a week instead of three so I suppose we can all suck it up and live like this for a week, I really look forward to unpacking all our stuff and settling in to our new home properly.
In the meantime we shall continue to explore our new surroundings together.
All my love