Sometimes, when I’m least expecting it, I have this really weird out-of-body experience, like I’m observing my life from the outside and it always seems to strike me as a bit absurd, not in a bad or sad way, but in a rather random way. The other day Peter and I had to go into the inappropriately named town of Mooi (nice) River to inform the terribly unhelpful and surly lot at the Road Traffic Inspectorate offices of our change of address and to try and renew my car license. We were told in no uncertain terms that we could only do that in Durban because my car has a Durban registration number. Have you ever, in this day and age of computerisation, heard of such a load of crap? Anyway, we left the RTI offices feeling a tad miffed and headed for the Spar shop, which is located at the end of a short, very bad, dirt road. We did our shopping in what is essentially a rural – type supermarket (in other words, you avoid the meat section). As we pushed the trolley back to our car, a hot berg wind was blowing sand and dirt in our faces and that’s when I had my “moment” – what the hell was I doing here? It all seemed rather absurd. I had a pang for Musgrave Centre, Woolies and Adams Bookshop. I had a pang for my children, where the bloody hell were they and why was this elderly, grey haired couple, who looked alarmingly like Peter and me, struggling in the wind and the dust in this god-forsaken place? It only lasted a moment, and then I was back in the car heading for home.
That hot, dry wind was replaced by incessant cold rain, which was a blessed relief. All the locals are saying that spring this year is going to be magnificent because of the early rains. And I can already see signs of a good spring in the garden. The Freylinia shrubs are all in bloom and full of sunbirds. Next weekend the nursery at Linga Lapa is having their spring sale and already I’m planning my list of must-haves. Life is good and I have no regrets but every now and then, and it’s just a twinge mind you, I do wonder how I got here.