My son is rather sour with me. It is our last day in South Africa and the suitcases have exploded,covering the floor of our delightful Guest House room at Sonnekus in St James. Unpleasant vista, these dirty clothes. This is not his issue with me, but the ‘accessories’ I am trying, rather hopelessly to slip between the filthy shorts.
It is food. Packets of soup and slithers of Woolworths cuppachino mix. Coffee and Marie biscuits. The sad part is that I can get ALL these products accross the road in Southfields so why am I determined to take them airside now? Have no bloody idea. My hands simply caress their forms and into the basket they go. Perhaps it is because I feel like a real South African Shopper again, like a memory chip that kicks in when I enter the hallows of Woolies. He has visions of bag searching and rather than weed will find Marshmellow eggs and Ina Paarman’s salad mix. I do understand.
It has been a three-week trip to who I am – or at least was. From the 50th with my sisters to Christmas on the farm in the Heartland of the Free State where the offerings of space quite overwhelmed me. Three Generations of weird, assorted personalities that made the effort to spoil the Grannies and left feeling spoilt themselves. Back to the Cape of Great Beauty – friends who remember you children being little ‘uns and how you looked before the lines.
For three weeks I have been tripping through a tourist brochure of wineland, farmland, sugar cane land and airports. Of a handful of hired cars, Christmas presents and oh, dare I say it…. a hint of sun upon the chest. The children tanned and peeled. I had forgotten the cooked steering wheel in the noon day sun syndrome – and longed for snow.
Maybe we will get snow when we land at Heathrow. The journey will take the most part of two days and none are looking forward to whipping out the coats and walking in the heat with boots for freezing reception in London. Coming ‘home’ has been nourishing for the soul – and a little heartsore. But I am going ‘home’ tomorrow. Never had the luxury of two homes but now I have two countries to live in – yay. Lekker hier, Lekker daar – sommer so deurmekaar!