Archive for July, 2011

The reality sets in!

Euphoria is supposed to be the first stage when you have a sudden change like a move. You are meant to be enthralled by your new environment and all the new stimulus that greets you. Well, I can agree with that, except that my first stage was hardly euphoric but an acceptance of the situation and the way it was.Yes, there has certainly been excitement but there has also been the missing of family and friends too. This week I thought that I had finally declined into the next stage and this is how it happened.

I had spent a wonderful day out with a SA girl and we had trailed around a few interesting shops and had a delectable lunch at a Parisienne cafe. It was time to make my way back to the condo so I set off in the car and said thanks to my sat-nav for leading me through the maize of houses and down to the lake shore near our apartment. I was just about to congratulate myself on my cool countenance and turned into our road when an officious looking police officer jumped out in front of me. “You can`t turn in here, there has been an accident” I searched the road for the obvious signs of a collision and saw nothing but the flashing lights. These were enough to ward any one off especially someone who was about to do her Canadian Driver`s license for the first time. I drove aimlessly around the block and returned on the other side of of the street thinking that I might be able to persuade the other officer to let me in. No such luck! I then proceeded to drive around Toronto in rush hour traffic for almost 2 hours. To add to my dilemma I had forgotten to fill up my tank and I was literally driving on the smell of an oil rag. I made one last circuit and decided to appeal to the first police officer again as I now had a pulsing headache and was beginning to have a sense of humour failure. I put on my most polite voice and used the ‘little girl lost’ approach but even that did not work.I was furious! Anyway a garage was found and I even mastered the art of filling my car up with petrol. I eventually limped through the condo door and collapsed in a heap! The first stage of my transition had definitely been terminated!

Then tonight we decided to celebrate David`s birthday and Bryan`s arrival into the country. We had a beef roast filling the air with delicious aromas and there was a good bottle of SA red on the table. The brothers managed to get the the music piped into each room in the condo so I had smooth jazz playing in the kitchen and it followed me  as I made my way around the apartment, even the bathroom! I realised that there are certainly going to be mishaps but on the whole life is goooood!

Family, friends and good wine.

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What do Canadians do on Canada Day? It was going to be our first ever and we were keen to follow tradition. Many of these hard working city dwellers find some respite in the stillness and solitude of the lakes and the forests and they head up to Cottage Country.


We packed in all the necessary sustenance and headed out early before the rush. One could notice how the landscape began to undulate and the vegetation changed from only deciduous trees to a mixture of conifers and deciduous. The growth is still a vivid green and hardly has time to show the effects of ageing when the Fall brings about the big drop.


After a few hours we drove up to a secluded wooded property, we drove through a maple forest and nestling between the trees was a quaint wooden cottage. Our little bit of heaven for the weekend! But the best was yet to come, from the deck one could take in the view over the lake. What a view! There was a long staircase which meandered down to dock along the waterway where 2 wooden chairs and a boat beckoned me. I succumbed to the wooden chair as the stairs were quite a workout.


Here you could really contemplate life and any of your demons that needed to be sorted out. I wiled away many hours down there with a good book in hand or just watched Philip and David pull in brown trout. Josh also took delight in the ‘gone fishing’ activities and managed to taste a few caudal fins in the process. This evoked a primeval instinct in him again. He was transported back to the Koppie in Lonehill when a family of possum ran across the deck. He went into attack mode but fortunately they knew the lay of the land far better than he did and managed to escape his jittering jaws. So peace returned to the water edge again and I was able to just ‘muck about in boats’ till the sun set.


It always amazes me how people from your past often cross it again and this weekend was made possible by a South African university friend from Cape Town. There is a kinship that exists between those of us that have lived in Africa. Thank you for reminding me how special it is to be out there in the stillness and to be able to hear my inner voice again.

Mucking about in boats

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