departures and arrivals
I departed Johannesburg this past Thursday, waking at 4.00 a.m. leaving at 5.05 a.m. I stopped in at the local petrol station a short drive away from my home. My car just needed a top up before I set off. The skies were already lightening.
A long drive, 1273 kms to be precise. Nearly 800 miles. I arrived in Plettenberg Bay at 8.05 p.m. It was only the last half hour or so that I drove in darkness. My husband and son were there to let me in and welcome me with open arms and unload the bags. My car was pretty well packed to the hilt.
I am very grateful that I arrived without incident on the roads. There was a lot of traffic, huge trucks going in both directions plus other travellers off to somewhere. Our roads are very good. My little Honda Brio is a real champ. She holds only 30 litres of petrol which is really not much. On long distance travel she can easily clock 400 kms, that’s 250 miles on a full tank. I would check the reading every now and then and sometimes I was getting 16 km to the litre. That’s a real energy saver. I’ve stretched it to 430 or 440 kms on a full tank on occasion in times past and it’s taken me 14 hours to arrive in Plettenberg Bay. This time 15 hours.
Travelling tip for summer driving – I packed a wet face cloth into a zip lock bag and used it a few times to wipe across my face and neck. It was very refreshing. The heat outside was extreme – 38 degrees C. Plus my food for the road was light – sliced apple, cucumber and broccoli. I bought a small packet of salted chips the one time I stopped to fill up – I felt I needed the salt.
Sadly we have a terrible record for accidents and death on our roads much of it due to dangerous, sometimes drunk driving. Every year at this time there is a huge drive for awareness on the roads. I know that I have to be a responsible driver yet be aware that others may not be. Accidents, pile-ups – it takes a split second. Or even less, a nano second. The truck drivers were good. Other travellers drove very large cars, with roof racks and bicycles on a rack attached to the rear end bumper, 4, 5 bikes. Or large cars with trailers. They were mostly good. Maybe the drive for awareness is catching on – though we think and hope this each year.
My husband who had arrived a few days before me, and I tackled some of the boxes the next day, yesterday, which had been delivered to the house some weeks before by a removal company. I totally organised my bedroom cupboards and wardrobe and bathroom. The sideboard in the dining room is mostly organised, though the dining room still needs to be sorted.
My study-to-be is on the upmost level. I went upstairs for the first time today to have a look and worked pretty hard on cleaning bookshelves, picking boxes off from the floor onto smooth surfaces, ripping tape off sealed boxes. Serious exercise. Tomorrow I will decide how the furniture is to be arranged to my satisfaction and start unpacking boxes of books and other things. Shall I place my desk facing the wide glass windows overlooking the sea, or position it differently taking into account where there are electrical outlets, while still having the view if I turn my head. The cover for a sofa looked grubby so I ripped that off and stuck it in the washing machine with bleach. It’s hanging out on the line – it may take ages to dry. The sofa will face the view ..
Below are some ‘before’ photos
I changed the sitting room that is the living area where we mostly gather re-arranging cushions and one or two other things. It’s looking calm, fresh, tidy.
My sister and I spoke on the phone this morning. She was setting off with her husband to Du Toit’s Kloof about an hours drive from Cape Town where she lives to attend the wedding of her brother-in-law’s son. She did say on the phone that she planned to go walking in the area. It was such a lovely surprise when I received this little video of her surrounds mid afternoon today … it’s only about 34 secs long and is truly lovely.
As I went about my tasks today I wasn’t thinking about anything very much – I did think of connecting my music box in my study and listening to something while working, but somehow I didn’t get around to it. It’s satisfying sometimes to work in silence – and keep focused on the task at hand while imagining the later positioning of furniture –
Yesterday morning my husband called me down into the garden. I photographed this little tortoise nibbling at the wild strawberries. Neil offered it lettuce and water but it declined.
I checked the photo I took on 31st December last year also in the garden – it was a larger tortoise – I wonder if the smaller above one is a baby of the older below but what is striking to me are the etchings on their shells. Similar but very different and so striking – something rather ancient about the designs –
I hope this finds you all in good cheer. I sense that amongst all the troubling things happening around the world, that we’re on the brink of something. Who knows what that something is … maybe we have to reach rock bottom before we can begin to ascend. That’s my thought and I’m holding onto it. There’s so much good in the world and I am ever hopeful that good will triumph ultimately. The boils are being lanced – readying themselves for healing –
Photo below is from my garden back home in Johannesburg – may the solar lamp remind you of the light in the darkness –
Thank you for reading and may the Force be with you –
Sunday: Photo below of baby tortoise not bigger than my hand and extended fingers this morning in a different part of the garden – again, please note the lovely and different markings!