Wednesday, July 06, 2011


The restaurant phoned at about 4pm to confirm my booking and immediately I got a pleasant buzz from knowing that somewhere out there in the city people were setting up our table, checking cutlery and glasses, preparing for the evening ahead.

The thought sustained me through a particularly rough supper/bath time ('I just bit her arm Mummy, 'cos she's so delicious, I didn't think she'd scream.'), the knowledge that the next part of my evening was already in process, I just had to catch up to it.
I dressed warmly but carefully, under the scrutiny of my eldest.
'Why don't you wear that brooch at home Mummy?'
'What and give you another weapon for your arsenal?'
'What's a arse ... nail Mummy?'
Wha ha ha ha ha ha.

I kissed the little angels good night and left the house with just my purse and my phone. Not a wet wipe in sight.

Smoky jazz on the car radio, an aural link to NYC, Berlin, a cosmopolitan life outside my own. I felt myself relaxing, I felt like myself.

Then up onto the highway to Town, not another car in sight. It's early evening, mid-week for sure but still ... Cape Town you are a funny little place in winter.
Dark, cold, quiet mountain rises up on my left, below me a thin band of lights - they seem to glitter more sharply in the cold - and then, dark, cold, quiet ocean.
We're really very far from anywhere down here.

The bustle of the restaurant and a table full of girls distracts me from it all. We're eating Chinese, Thai, Japanese food, drinking wine made just beyond the mountains, via facebook we check on a friend running the Midnight Sun Marathon in Norway, another friend tells of her recent Kilimanjaro climb. We could be anywhere.

But still the feeling lingers with me. I've had it before when staying in small deserted cottages far from anywhere, an acute awareness of the space outside. The vastness which surrounds us.

I entertain my friends with a story of romping with the girls that afternoon. How dangerous it is to get horizontal under them - lying on the floor they both assail me. 'It's a pile-on' shouts Frieda gleefully, Stella almost more of a threat with her uncoordinated hands and legs.
How, as I clutch my hands around my head, inhaling my own hair, through the bouncing and shrieking of two little girls, and the inevitable wet nose of an eagerly contributing doggie, I feel blissfully happy and fulfilled.
It may be short-lived, but in the moment it's real.

It may be a small life, in a quiet place, but it's mine, and I think I love it.


julochka said...

and you write it beautifully as well. thank you for sharing your happy moment.



MissBuckle said...

I feel so the same. Touched.

Gwin said...



Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

I love this post. Catching up on my reading. Clicked here first. Typing one-handed. x and oh.

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I liked it so much and very interesting, too! Thanks for sharing the experience.
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