I will still put up some photos from our weekend in Knysna but must first download them and Chris has that camera at work today. Weekend was lovely, just way too short. Saturday was the most gorgeous day and the girls all had a ball playing in the lagoon and on the beach that’s created during low tide. Thankfully the tide was perfect while we were there so there was a lovely big beach in the morning. There were also some very stable canoe/surf ski’s and Chris and Richard took them for lots of trips in the shallow water. Chris’s folks were on their way to the Beacon Isle for a week and so had lunch with us on the Saturday. We popped in to visit them on our way back on Sunday and had the most divine tea and cake at the Beacon Isle.

The Disco was great – my parents drove with us and we all fitted in perfectly. We took the trailer with as with all 7 seats up there isn’t much of a boot plus we had food with us. Our average fuel consumption was just over 10 litres/100km which isn’t too bad and is actually brilliant when you consider that it saved my parents from taking an extra car (my brother and his family drove in my dad’s car).

The progress I’m talking about is firstly with our wall which is coming along well although the gates arrived yesterday and they seem massive so will take a bit of getting used to. Builders remain a law unto themselves though. The job entails – taking off the ‘tops’ of the pillars and raising the pillars a bit. There was palisade between the pillars (on top of a low wall) and this low wall they just need to square off as it is rounded and we wanted it square. Adjacent to the pedestrian gate there was curved palisade which needed to be removed and then bricked up. All the new brickwork must be plastered and then the new gates and wooden/metal framed in-between bits will be fitted into place. In the new curved bit adjacent to the front gate, there are going to be lights. Now instead of finishing all the squaring off and tops of the pillars, they chose to plaster the new curved brickwork. The electrician hadn’t yet finished with all the wiring for the lights which was blatantly obvious as the holes were in the brickwork and the conduits on the ground but nothing joining the two. Why plaster when it will just mean that the electrician’s must chase in the wires and angle grind the new plaster? I could vaguely understand if all the other work was done and that was the only thing left but there was still lots else to do. Yesterday we were out most of the day and that’s what happened, so today I’m here to try to keep an eye on them a bit. So far so good, electrician’s arrived before 8 to finish off there stuff and builders are almost finished. The gate guy is coming on Thursday to fit everything and then it’s just the intercom people and painting left. Garden is holding up but let’s not get too excited yet, there’s still an awful lot of plastering to do and let’s not forget their love of cleaning their paint brushes on my beautiful green grass.

Other progress is in terms of cars. My first car had no air-con (white Toyota corolla sprinter) and I had to share it with my younger brother. Not good. Chris and I were already together and he had a car so Richard just thought that meant he could have “our” car as much as he wanted. Our relationship took years to recover from that. Once I’d finished studying I bought my older brother’s Conquest when he left to go to the UK. I then went to the UK and when I got back I borrowed Chris’s old citi golf as he’d been given a jumbo golf. I went back to the UK for a bit and then bought a Ford Fiesta on my return and for the first time I had a car with air-con and it even had an alarm if you left your lights on. We went to the UK together and on our return we bought a Polo Classic diesel. It was silver and I loved it. It was phenomenally economical but not practical for when Zoe arrived as we had 2 dogs and so no where for them to sit as they always sat in  the back with the seats down. I then got the Scenic which I’d been wanting for ages. It was probably on about the same level as the Polo but just more practical. It drove beautifully and had awesome ‘mom’ features like an automatic parking brake and a little mirror for seeing into the back so that I could watch the kids without actually turning around. I’d wanted one with leather seats but the one I got was a really good deal and Chris is a sucker for a good deal. As I said it drove very well and up until this year and needing a new clutch it hadn’t given us any trouble at all.

When I got the Polo Chris got his Citi Golf back (it had been sitting at his sister’s house unused) and he kept that for 5 years until he finished specialising. That car had been bought new for his older sister in her 1st year (she’s 9 years older than Chris) so it was in his family for a toatl of 23 years and had never, ever given a moment’s trouble. It was bullet proof. You could go on holiday for 2 weeks (leaving its lights on – no prizes for guessing who did that) and it would start first time every time. It was a slightly orangey red citi golf as it had spent so many years of its life baking in the hot sun outside Tygerberg and Chris would arrive home with a seatbelt sweat mark on his shirt as it definitely had no aircon. We once caught guys trying to steal it when Chris lived in Boston and I collected a wall during the time I used it in Maritzburg, so it had seen a lot in its time. My aunt and uncle have a farm in the Karoo outside Graaff Reinet and when Chris was still a student he stopped off there on his way home to Joburg. The farm labourers were convinced it wouldn’t get to the farm gate, let alone Joburg. He still had it for at least another 10 years and I’m sure whoever bought it is still driving it, incident free. The cutest site was when Chris and Rolo used to go off to dog training on a Saturday afternoon and Rolo would sit in the seat next to Chris.

Rolo with Chris and Zoe

It was very noisy and whenever Chris was called out at night I could hear him arriving back when he was still about a block away. Our house in Pinelands had a lovely big lawn in front with a huge big tree and Zoe and I would usually play outside with the dogs waiting for Chris to get home and again we could always hear him coming! Because my car had an automatic parking brake I used to often forget to take off the hand brake whenever I had to drive it. I once drove all the way from our house in Pinelands to Cavendish with the hand brake on. I couldn’t understand what the terrible smell was when I got out of the car!!! Fortunately I’m married to the most forgiving husband ever who never gets upset about anything. When we lived in the UK we had a red Mini (old shape) and Chris loved that car. It’s name was Noddy and although it was cute it cost a fortune and was extremely impractical. As soon as Chris had finished specialising he bought himself a Mini Cooper S. Our fanciest car probably but definitely not the most comfortable. It is a sporty type of car so the suspension is very hard and it’s really low on the ground. It’s loads of fun to drive and very fast but not actually what I would call luxurious. The Discovery is just on a whole new level for us. I’ve not even had it a week and I love it already. It’s great to drive and has so many little nifty functions that I’m sure it’ll take me years to figure them all out. We put in a system which connects with the iPod and my phone so even if my phone is in my bag, as long as it’s in the car I can answer and make calls without touching my phone. It has access to my phonebook with voice recognition etc, etc. The sound system is some fancy Herman Kardon thing with who knows how many speakers. There are 3 different memory settings for the seats in front,etc.,etc. You can raise or lower the entire car (with the touch of a button) if needed which is great as it’s not an easy car for the girls to climb into. The list is pretty endless. I’m afraid at this point in time I am definitely on team land rover. Last night we had a meeting at Zoe’s new school and my folks came to look after the girls and so parked behind Chris’s side of the garage meaning that his car was out but I still wanted to rather drive in the Disco – getting in and out of a Mini with high heels is not the easiest thing in the world. Slightly easier than getting in and out of a Mini after you’ve just run a tough marathon though!!! Think we’ll be taking Disco to the race on Saturday.



2 Responses to “Progress”

  1. cat@juggling act Says:

    Enjoy the new car.

  2. darylfaure Says:

    What a pleasure! Enjoy your new car. Sounds like a dream.

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