My seven-day stay involved two nights in Pretoria, two in Cape Town, two in De Kelders, one in Joburg and then one on board an elongated return flight via Dakar and Washington DC.
The packed itinerary was hugely productive, from checking in on my mom’s new digs, and doing battle with my brother intransigent laptop, to witnessing the excellent progress on our house and reviewing and shortlisting all manner of items for it. We covered lightfittings, gas hobs, toilets, fridges, paint, washbaisins, washing machines, tiles, roof tiles, taps, handles, microwaves, dishwashers, showers, baths and some furniture to boot.
It was a real treat to clamber up a swaying wooden ladder to the first floor (second if you’re American) deck, and then to totter up a further ladder to see the view from the roof. To watch the chimney go from just started to completely finished. To balance beam my way across planks where one day very soon, an actual floor will exist. Most especially to meet the team of ten who were on site during this phase, chat and express our appreciation for their craftsmanship and care. (This is them in the photo.)
In particular, it was a real pleasure to stay with our architect in his georgeous Newlands home; and with our dear friends G and A.K. in their piece of paradise on Walker Bay.
Somehow I deluded myself that I’d be able to at least call the good friends I wouldn’t have a chance to see, and at least catch up without paying international calling rates. But that turned out to be too ambitious after all. So my most public apologies here, but at least you know that there is a happy annual anchor under construction, which means getting together is definitely in our futures.