Retiring Adventurously – Downtimes and Uptimes

I don’t do sick and I don’t do old. Give me a crying baby or a mischievous child or even a whole crowd of them and I will cope with the greatest of ease. I say I don’t do the former but that’s not quite true – of course I will deal with whatever I have to at any particular moment – but it’s way out of my comfort zone. So when the beloved awoke with a shivering fever and a rebellious tummy on Monday morning I was not well pleased. There was no escaping to the classroom with the words take yourself off to the doctor and drink plenty of fluids. Just as well because there was no way he was going to cope with this one on his own. I was all dressed and ready for gym but had to abandon that plan and drive the invalid shaking almost to convulsions to the doctors – why don’t they do house calls anymore? He was hurriedly ushered into a treatment room where he lay in his gown wrapped in a blue blanket which he insisted I tuck firmly under his freezing feet. It was a hot day but he was shivering as if he were at the South Pole. I feel so helpless in these situations. My ministrations limited as they are seem not to help and all I can do is just stand there and wait for the worst. The young doctor – they get younger as I get older- I’m sure this one was still in his teens – came in after what seemed hours but was only 10 minutes. After asking all the right questions and pressing in all the right places he put Earl on a drip and instructed him to lie there for the next hour. It was 9 o’clock. “I’ll just make it to gym then,” I said “I’ll pick you up when I’m done?” “Don’t leave me,” he wailed. So that put paid to that escape plan.
Much to my relief the drip worked and the shivering stopped and my ailing man fell asleep. I sat ‘monitoring’ him while checking Facebook and emails on my iPhone. I’m a woman I can multitask!
The hour dragged by and then he was released with a script for a pharmacy of drugs. I made sure he was comfortable, showered and changed – I had to get out of my gym clothes – then headed to the mall to get the script filled out.  Then back to the invalid, dosed him with 4 different drugs, made sure he was comfortable and asleep then escaped to have tea with Carol.   He was much better on my return but still slept most of the day and all that night.  On Tuesday he got up for part of the day, did some things that needed doing then collapsed into bed exhausted and wondered why!  I am pleased to report that by Wednesday all was back to normal!

On Tuesday I was up before the crack of dawn and out of the house before 6:00 am.  My destination? – Home Affairs.   I was determined to be in the front of the queue as I had to get a new I.D. Document – the old one went Awol somewhere between the Vodocom Shop at our local mall and The Kruger National Park in June last year.   My passport although valid gives problems at border posts by refusing to scan.  It happened in Australia and then again in Namibia so I thought it best if I was to be crossing African borders to get a new one in order to avoid delays and an excuse to arrest me!  Home Affairs is notorious for its long queues and it is not uncommon to spent an entire day waiting to be processed.  Their offices open at 7:30 am and I arrived at Maynard Mall parking at 6:20 am delighted that I would be very near the front.  But oh no – the parking was closed – and I was fourth in that queue.  There was much hooting and tooting until somebody came to explain that the rules had changed.  The parking garage and the mall would only be opened at 7. There was nothing to be done so I switched up the radio and sat an waited knowing that there would also be a queue on the pavement and at the other parking garage over the road!  By the time I had parked and raced for the escalator I was number 61 in queue to get into the offices!   Admittedly the queue did move quite quickly and it was 8:30 when I finally made it in. Then there another number issued, a wait in the pay desk queue – R400 for the passport – ID – Free for over 60s! From there to the photobooth and a grumpy photographer barking unfriendly commands – take off your glasses – don’t smile!   From there you had to wait for your number to be called. I found it all quite amusing.  The queue consisted of rows of chairs and you had to move up every minute or so as you came closer to your turn.   It was like being on a conveyer belt.  I didn’t dare take photographs in case I was expelled!  Finally, I reached the front row and then my number was called.  This time a friendly and efficient assistant.  My fingerprints were taken digitally and I had to sign on a digital device too.   It was all done and dusted by quarter to ten – only three and a half hours.   The good news is that on Friday afternoon I received an SMS to say my ID is ready for collection!  Wow!  But I shall wait for the Passport to be ready and collect them together.  The estimated time is between 2 and 6 weeks.  Maybe I will be lucky!

On the bright side, Earl recovered quickly and on Wednesday  dropped the Fortuner off at Gus’s house and he and Andrew went to Stellenbosch to fetch the Land Rover Discovery 4!   Earl is very pleased with the new vehicle.   Before he drove it away, Martin spent two hours teaching him all the amazing features of the car.    What wonderful service.  Such a difference to the experience we had with the Volkswagen Caravelle.  Fifteen years ago there were very few of them in the country. We researched it thoroughly and decided that it was the car we wanted and went off to a showroom in town to have a look.  Nobody appeared to help us. I clapped my hands and yelled – Please come and sell me this car!   A bored young man appeared and when I asked him to show me all the features he shrugged his shoulders and made a half-hearted effort at showing me a few things. He had no idea how to move the seats and was clearly ignorant of anything about the vehicle. If I hadn’t wanted it so badly I would not have bought it. We walked out and went to another dealership and asked them to contact that one to get the car for us.  For all these fifteen years we have  never been completely satisfied with Volkswagen’s service.  Hopefully we will continue to have a better experience with Land Rover!

The Caravan ready for action

The Caravan ready for action

The new vehicle

The new vehicle

From behind

From behind

Test Drive

Test Drive

My turn to drive

My turn to drive

On Friday Earl heard that the yellow-fin tuna were in the bay and biting so he rushed to finish some stuff he was doing on the caravan and he and Yassin dashed off to see what they could catch! They were well pleased with the results and returned just in time for Earl and me to meet our friends for a dinner date at Brasserie in Tokai!    We had a stunning evening.

Yassin with one of the yellow-fin tuna

Yassin with one of the yellow-fin tuna

Celebrating Heather's birthday

Celebrating Heather’s birthday

Saturday was Valentine’s Day but because we’d been out the evening before we decided to not to go out on a romantic date. In any case we had lovely fresh fish for sashimi.   The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry as did ours when we were informed after waking from an afternoon nap that the teens were having a Valentine’s Braai that evening.  We decided therefore to go off for a sunset picnic with our fish and salad but this plan too was thwarted when I discovered that the 6 teens were alone, had no braai wood and nobody had brought meat!   No –  I could not leave them alone with their chips and Coke – so we found ourselves entertaining 5 boys and a girl with an impromptu sashimi evening.  Now some of those kids are used to our strange tastes and love to eat our weird food. But the girl and one lad looked horrified at the fare before them.  “Don’t panic,” I said.  ‘Just have one taste and if you really don’t like it, Grandpa will give sear some tuna for you”.  The young lady agreed that it did not taste bad at all but she really would prefer it cooked.  The lad had tried in our home previously and just said – cooked for me please!  The rest of them tucked in and cleaned the platters.

Jay the handsome host

Jay the handsome host

Tucking in

Tucking in

Seared to perfection

Seared to perfection

A relief not to have to eat raw fish!

A relief not to have to eat raw fish!

Earl worked on the caravan on Sunday and I went off to a bird club outing with my friend Priscilla.  We thought we had plenty of time to get to Stellenbosch but found that we could not get to Baden Powell Drive because of a marathon of some sort blocking the route.  So we had to detour over the freeway and onto the N2 which made us a few minutes late. The rest of the group were nowhere in sight but a quick phone got Simon returning to find us and soon we were enjoying th walk along with the other.  The birding wasn’t great but the walk in Assegaibos is wonderful.

Simon rescued us

Simon rescued us

The group looking at something in the trees

The group looking at something in the trees

The majestic mountains

The majestic mountains

A beautiful setting

A beautiful setting

Our leader and his wife relaxing at the picnic site

Our leader and his wife relaxing at the picnic site Thanks for leading on your birthday, John!

We ended the week with a braai at Heather and Peter’s and forgot all about the early disasters of the week!

Our hostess

Our hostess with host in the background

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One thought on “Retiring Adventurously – Downtimes and Uptimes

  1. Earl looks very happy with his new baby. Good luck and safe travels. Hope you do all you want in retirement. Nothing better.. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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