Just when you think that everything is comfortably slipping into place, there is always a bloody eddy in the space-time continuum.
“I have detected,” he said, “disturbances in the wash.”
“The wash?” said Arthur.
“The space-time wash,” said Ford.
Arthur nodded, and then cleared his throat. “Are we talking about,” he asked cautiously, “some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?”
“Eddies,” said Ford, “in the space-time continuum.”
“Ah,” nodded Arthur, “is he? Is he?” He pushed his hands into the pocket of his dressing gown and looked knowledgeably into the distance.
“What?” said Ford.
“Er, who,” said Arthur, “is Eddy, then, exactly?”
Ford looked angrily at him.
“Will you listen?” he snapped.
“I have been listening,” said Arthur, “but I’m not sure it’s helped.”
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Well, my eddy came in the form of intruders who sneaked onto the farm a couple of nights ago and attempted to steal my neighbours’ car. Fortunately, the car had an immobiliser and they didn’t get further than the gate, but the would-be thieves had ripped out the ignition so that they could hotwire the car. They also bashed down the door of Kho’s beautiful new cabin. If they had had a torch, they would have seen that the cabin was empty as Kho has not yet moved in. It left us all feeling rather violated, as one does. My neighbour, Dee, said to me “how rude” and that’s exactly how it felt. How bloody rude is it to sneak about in the dark and steal or damage other people’s property? I have always felt quite secure here on my own and I certainly don’t need some rather stupid, petty criminals to spoil it. Anyway, what it did do was pull our little community together in a sort of neighbourly way; unity in the face of adversity and all that. In the morning, when the neighbours noticed that their car was missing, they phoned me to get the local SAPS number and I offered to give Dee a lift to work. She apologised for being such a “needy neighbour” and when I commented that I was only too pleased to be of service, we had a good laugh about how, when our children leave home, we all need to be needed.
My other neighbours, who have moved into Essa’s old house, are a sweet young couple whom I shall call Jay and Kay. I think of him as a youngster (he’s 40) but she’s even younger, at a guess, about 30 years old. They came round for drinks the other evening, and didn’t leave until midnight. They are quite keen to buy the property and I’m hoping they do because they are so in love with the land. Plus she wants to have a baby and I would give anything to be a surrogate granny. Oh, how lovely it would be to have children on the farm.
Talking about children, I contacted an organisation called CINDI in Pietermaritzburg with regards to Njabulo and James’ application for a government grant. The woman I spoke to was so helpful and promised to follow up on the boys, not just to access them to the grant but also perhaps to counselling. After I had explained the situation to her, she thanked me for the interest that I had taken in the boys, and I was so overwhelmed that someone else actually cared that I just burst into tears. A few days later Njabulo phoned me to say that CINDI had been in touch and a social worker was coming to visit them. Jay and Kay have also very kindly offered to help in whatever way they can.