So the weekend starts on a Friday evening, as it usually does, and there’s lots happening and we are excited about it all and I wave Joseph goodbye as he finishes his Friday gardening and he rides out the driveway and I just love his happy face and wonder how he manages to hum so happily all the time around the garden and how someone can work so hard and want so little.
Ten minutes later and we’re about to race out the same driveway to the David Krut Gallery to see my big cousin Stephen Hobbs’s latest exhibition, a collaboration with Justin Fox ( the Hobbsian Line) and I haven’t seen him in ages but soon I’m wondering if I’m ever going to see him again because the gate is not now budging at all with the remote and it looks like the cord was ripped when it closed the ten minutes before. Cos’ we’ve left the kids behind, at least they can still open it from the inside so that’s ok for now but it’s not really ideal for the whole weekend cos at some point there’s going to be no one at home and we’re not quite sure how we’re going to get back in and there’s quite a lot happening. Marvelous exhibition and I can understand why he is so sought after. One more drop off and pick up from a party and that’s Friday.
But now it’s Saturday morning and since I have had two unsuccessful attempts at Wynberg Home Affairs to get 4 children’s passports renewed and an ID document for one of them who is already 17 and needs to get a learners licence and write matric this year and heaven knows how long it will take to get once we’ve applied , I was told that Belville is a better option as there is no one there on Saturday as long as you are there at as it opens at 8am. Of course we’re not there at 8am cos I feel that on a weekend it’s abit unfair to wake them too early and it’s quite tricky getting 7 people out the door ( one extra sleepover- usual on a weekend) . Remember the gate problem? I drive the car out as Johan hits the button inside, sets alarm, locks and dashes out through the automatic closing gate and we all clap. Great timing. Will have to think of plan to get in though.
Bellville has been awake though for awhile it seems and the queue along the pavement is not a welcoming sight- though reminiscent of the human chain of this country in April 1994 which really was a heartwarming spectacle. Conclude that no option but to take kids early during week day- yes, been trying to avoid missing school- but perhaps have no choice. Kids not too excited about the Sat morning outing and tempers starting to fray slightly here but Johan suggests that maybe this is an opportunity for us all to see the new building that business acquired since quite close ( Durbanville- where’s that they say?) could be fun ( NOT , think all of us …really? ) but I’m trying to salvage my aborted passport mission outing with a thought that maybe some coffee would be nice and it’s all getting noisy in the car (there’re 7 of us remember) and Johan’s abit miffed about it and “couldn’t I have done some research on all this before?” and I say I did and everyone’s shouting now and Johan says to the kids, it’s just bantering , don’t worry and Annie says “Well, I don’t care if you’re banting, just don’t shout ” and we all laugh cos we’re all sick of banting (is anyone still banting? ) and ANnie is desperate for the toilet and Luke thinks she needs a toothbrush too and Josie still needs to get a present for the party and Emily’s friend needs to get home some time and we drive into the building for a coffee stop.
There’s nothing open. It’s load shedding.
So we wonder around the dimly lit building up the stairwell and try to catch a glimpse of the supposedly stunning vineyards but it’s all boarded up and we come down and go the toilets and drop friends and buy presents and drive home again. And fortunately, Luke doesn’t break his leg while climbing over the barbed wire fence though he does break a branch and that’s not a happy event cos Johan loves his garden but at least we’re home and can get ready for the sand boarding party in Atlantis because we have to lift some of the 19 girls (its; Josie’s joint birthday party ) and then I can sort Luke for his matric dance. And inbetween cousin arriving Johan cleverly disconnects the gate so that it is a manual one. Fab. Soon they all leave and there’s some ironing and polishing of shoes and general prep for a sleepover of 11 girls for Josie’s sleepover after they sand board and back to shop for date’s flowers (beautiful girl) treats for party and soon we’re late again but we get to the pre-drinks for the matric dance and everyone is beautiful and our boys are all so handsome in their suits and there’s pics all round and then I’m driving Luke and his date to the dance and I can’t believe it all happens so quickly.
Back to Josie’s party and wonder where keys of manual gate are. Cant see them anywhere. Back to ball and haul him out of hall (no, someone kindly called him out – only for 5 mins to see if pehaps had them on him?) but crisis averted.Keys found. Under seat. Half an hour later I’m driving back with a car full of girls and sleepover over things and we’ve got the music on and we’re excited to settle in and wait for the second car of girls to arrive with Johan and the DVD.
There’s load shedding.
But we’re cool and we light candles and it’s a beautiful atmosphere and soon the lights are back on and 11 girls are watching the DVD and finally asleep and we chat abit more but finally call it day and I hear my phone ring and Luke’s about to be dropped home. It’s 4am.
It’s breakfast and pancakes and parent pickups for some and indoor hockey for 9 others: it’s someone I haven’t seen in ages popping for tea in between hockey drop off and pick up; it’s opening presents and gathering belongings and cleaning kitchen and finding the lounge floor again after marching that mattresses down the passage: its’ catching up on homework and orals and recycling and garden refuse at the dump and extra science lessons and a short sleep; it’s sessions for some at the gym, and supper around the table for all and the number of sleepers tonight are reduced from seventeen of last night to six tonight. Five are there already.
Life is full. It’s Beauti- ful.