Update #10- The Cape Town Coaster Ride

One Saturday morning, Heath and I went with two younger boys to the Neighbourgoods IMG_2266Market, in CT city– such a cool place, with local produce everywhere– honey, oils, wine, biltong, everything! For breakfast we ate pancake things– made with mashed potato as the ‘batter’, poached egg, bacon and hollandaise filling them. Deeeelicious. I know, I’m also going to try and make that, can’t be hard, right? Ethan and Luke had pancakes with nutella (none of that in my house– my horror alleviated by the fact they’d finished gooood smoothies, so I figured it balanced out and my conscience could be quiet 🙂


Sunday, as promised, we hit da beach. Such a beautiful day, and yes, the boys did swim. Well, Aiden, Luke and Ethan did. Joshua acted like an old person and applied judgement and wisdom and sat watching. All the Capetonians came out the woodwork– surfers, dog people, fitness freaks, the lot. We spent the day there, and felt exhausted afterwards! Bodies were in shock, I think, from all the warm sunshine, and exposed arms and legs, eeeek.

Aiden, who had been the most desperate to swim, enjoyed it the most. Totally freezing water. Mad child.



Old Man Joshua. That was as wet as he got.

Old Man Joshua.
That was as wet as he got.





No pics of Luke, who disappeared with a friend and a surfboard…. bliss!

On the Saturday afternoon we went to see another house. Yawn. Yes, it does get tiring, but not when your whole life is waiting to revolve around a home! Most of the 3 bedroomed ones we see are so tiny, there’s no way the boys could share the bedroom. These Capetonians fit everything into the tiniest spaces. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve opened a cupboard door, and behold, it’s the en-suite bathroom! Anyway, this one was a winner, so we took a form to put in our application. There were some security issues as it was directly next to a main road– a hot-spot for thieves. Anyway, Monday we spent the day running around getting our bank account sorted out, proof of residence sorted, etc. etc. By the fact that I’m saying ‘was’ throughout this paragraph, and that said paragraph doesn’t begin with joyful imperatives means we didn’t get the house– another person had already got their offer in and done a deposit. So there must be something better…. (said in clichéd voice, I have my days where I struggle with that…)

The Monday that we were running around getting everything together, we dropped the boys off at the B&B house where we’re staying, so they could have some time outdoors, etc. We have one more day to pack up our apartment in Bloubergstrand, and then will

Ethan’s first ever Skateboard Wound. Woo hoo.

Ethan’s first ever skateboard wound.
Woo hoo.

move to the B&B as of Tuesday 24th. So they enjoyed skateboarding down the close where the house is. Crazy thing, a skateboard. What idiot person made it without a brake?? Kids decided shoes were best brakes rather than ploughing into concrete walls, and so Aiden dug out a pair of old slippers and Luke and Ethan just used old shoes, which got torn up. I remember riding down a hill in my childhood suburb in Zimbabwe sitting on Dean (my brother)’s orange plastic skateboard. I think we stopped by hitting the pile of building sand at bottom of hill. Actually, I think they (my bro’s) did that. I don’t think I was allowed on the stupid thing. Heath remembers getting into trouble tearing up shoes on his childhood skateboard escapades.

Anyway, after skating, they visited the horse farm next door, the owners well known by the B&B owners, and were offered a horse-ride. Yes, this is going somewhere, but not involving bucking horses or horseshoe-shaped bruises….just that Luke got lost. To the point of more than 20 minutes where Joshua went from praying to crying. As he frantically got Aiden and Ethan together to make a plan/call us/call 911, Luke re-appeared. He had been running in front of a riding group (him on foot, he’d had his turn on horse) and was told to ‘run ahead.’ Well…best to clarify how far ahead next time. He kept going, went through another gate, and no-one saw him. He finally approached two ladies on horses, thank God he knew the name of the farm from whence he came, and they took him back. In brief, a lot learned!

Tuesday we packed up and got ready to move. We have swollen somewhat since last move, due to numerous mall trips. Ahem. Not me so much, more boys shoes, jackets, etc. Oh ok, yes me, with Hello Kitty fleecy pyjamas (how can one resist??) and all my thermals. And my warm hats. And school books I’d dug out of trailer to rid myself of nagging feeling that kids have regressed in brain capacity. We borrowed a bakkie, and brought everything over. They have 3 separate rooms where we are, but it is a squeeze, to put it mildly. Most of our clothing remains in suitcases, as the cupboards– err, no… wardrobes- err, no… lockers– are designed for weekend travellers with a laptop and one change of clothing. Not really for a family of 6 intending to stay the next 50 years.

Living in someone else’s home is not easy. Finding everything in the kitchen makes cooking a meal take twice as long, and they have no freezer or fridge space for any grocery shopping. As a result we have been eating a lot of take-out/pre-made food from shops etc, so nutritionally, we are deprived, but our junk food cravings are celebrating.

A panoramic pic of our bedroom.Picture1

I have managed to do some washing at last, and the entire first load consisted of socks and underwear. Lots and lots of socks for poor freezing Zimbabwean feet. I personally separated each item of clothing myself, and at the end of washer and dryer cycles (their Zimbabwean maid managed to sneak in some of their clothing to my dryer load, grrrrr) I was left with THREE unmatched socks. I am struck with fear should one of our overworn, almost holey, definitely un-holy socks turn up in one of their laundry piles. The mystery begins….

Having done all we can with pursuing Kenridge Primary school, we have put in applications at Durbanville Primary (for Luke and Aiden) and Durbanville Prep for Ethan. Have dealt with such nice people all along. The lady at D’ville Prep heard our story, and with great sympathy and pain, exclaimed, Oh, we are so full at the moment! Then a huge intake of breath, she says, Hold on! Clears everything on her desk in order to look at her desk calendar and says, Yes! The So-and-so’s have gone back to Portugal at the end of this term, and there is one Grade 3 place! Thank goodness for people going back to their roots, hey? I wanted to take her home with us. So we await confirmation from the D’ville Primary and details from the Prep. They are both super schools with great reputations, but more Afrikaans classes, although still dual medium, i.e. they run English classes as well.

Joshua had to choose his subjects for Fairmont this week. He has decided, and this may be news for some, that he would like to pursue law. Yes, as in law and order. He loves reading, history and talks a lot, so it’s a winner all round! They have allowed him to do an alternative subject to Afrikaans, as it is too late for him to pick that up now, but the drawback is that we have to do the alternative subject out of school, with a tutor. Business studies is recommended, so we will do that. The compulsory subjects are English; Maths; Life Orientation skills; and the others he’s selected are History; Computer Applications Technology; and Design; with Bus. Studies replacing the compulsory Afrikaans. He spent Thursday morning at the school doing a career guidance test with the Grade 9’s, and luckily knew one kid in that class already from church, so that was good. Was a bit daunting sending him off into a fray of 1300 students. The Grade 9’s consisted of more than his old school in total! Small adjustment. He enjoyed. And survived. Phew.

On Friday 30th, we had a meeting with an older ex-Zimbo who’s been in CT for 14 years– an old friend; so we were looking forward to good counsel and wisdom, and some financial advice. Before meeting him, we decided to pass through the Durbanville schools to see if there was any feedback from our applications. For Luke and Aiden, they’d been approved! And now needed more paperwork, and financial forms. So we did that. Then for Ethan (separate school), he was also good to go on first day of 3rd term. They were so blasé– we had to ask about uniforms, and quickly chose second hand ones from their shop, as he would only be there 2 terms before moving to the Primary school. Once back in the car, it really came home to me how this Friday was the last day of 2nd term for all these schools, and once 11am came, everyone would be GONE. Uniform shops closed, enrolment officers turned off their phones, and no-one comes near the school until the next term.  And we’d gotten our boys into schools. One minute later, we’d have missed it. Was an emotional drive. A little confused about why Kenridge hadn’t come through, knowing that it was dependant on a lease in the feeder area, why hadn’t we gotten a house, etc. Being the control freak that I am, I like to know what’s happening, and I like what’s happening to be according to my plan. So I wrestle. And I learn. And I trust. And I cry a little. And I growl. Watch this space to see what happens. We will continue to look for rentals in the Kenridge feeder areas, but if the boys are settled and happy in the Durbanville schools, we can consider other areas, and not be so limited. We are just asking God for clear guidance on this one. Like one of those planes with a banner that flies around Table Mountain would be good. “Don’t go to Kenridge, Heath and Lea” or “Kenridge will come through for 2015, Stewarts.”

Later on Friday, one (1) of our socks appears in the laundry, obviously found by the maid. It did not match any of the 3 already lost. Now that’s 4. Seriously? The mystery continues.

Saturday 28th June

Went up Lions Head today! What a great day. As clear as anything, max of 17ºC and, as unfit as we are, we managed! Table mountain is another story– will think about that when we can still breathe after 100 metres of uphill. Joshua and Aiden went right up to the peak, the last 100 metres were only rock (not a sloping path) and quite strenuous, so not safe enough for Ethan and Luke. We all carried our own water, which is really a bit of an paradox in practical terms– you need water because you’re climbing, but you can’t pee because you’re climbing. As least Luke and Ethie could find a bushy place to pee when needed. And at least I have a bladder like a camel. Wait. Is it their bladder? Well, whatever it is, I’m sure a camel doesn’t have to pee for a long time. It was such a great climb and plenty of people come out to the mountains. The roads are fully lined with cars. Halfway up, full of 9 year old emotion, Ethan stops and turns and says to us, “Mom, this is the best day ever!”


Wednesday 2nd July

I could go back and edit the whole newsletter, but what would an update from me be like if it were only one page long? Oh the horror. So go with me on this roller coaster… Backtrack to yesterday, Tuesday 1st. We find a house online, well…a townhouse, but looks decent and Heath and I go to view after sorting out our car registrations (we are officially Cape Town plated now, yay!) and meeting my new hairdresser (kind referral by friend from church) who shall rid me of my antennae-like grey hairs, which, despite aggressive wax application, still wave vertically in the Cape Town breeze. The house was lovely– so secure; in an estate, so no garden to speak of, but good size bedrooms, full bathrooms (this is a find, I tell you) great kitchen and scullery, aircons and modern fittings (not a gold tap or a pea-green bath to speak of which is also a find, I tell you). So we put in an offer, and wait. This house is NOT in Kenridge feeder area, but that doesn’t matter as it’s fine for Durbanville school. That’s important as we turn the corner of the ride….


Intermittent landscape picture to help you through mundaneness of rental story…

Back to Wednesday, that’s today as I write this. The first call comes from the Kenridge enrolment officer. Good news and bad news she says. All 3 boys have cracked the nod from the Head, and can start at Kenridge next term. Bad news is its still dependant on our lease in the feeder area, but she’s given us her cell number to call her during the hols upon confirmation of that. So I don’t know whether to fall on my knees in thanks, or to fall on my knees in despair. So I go the thanksgiving route. If the plane’s banner said, “Send the boys to Kenridge, Heath and Lea” then a second must be following soon that says, “Enjoy the house on ————— Street, guys!” Right? Phew. Second call comes from townhouse dude, accepting our offer. To cut a very long day short, we called him later on during the day and told him about the Kenridge call, and that school for the boys was the priority over our home, so we wouldn’t be following it through. We have seen a few more houses today in Kenridge feeder area. One is do-able…great living area, a garden (!), nice kitchen, and good bedrooms. Bathrooms are a bit dated, and one has a bath only, but we’ve put an offer in, and are prepared to make the sacrifice for now. It will also buy us more time for later on should something more suitable come on the market. But for now, our boys are due in school on the 21st July, and I’d like to at least have unpacked our crap, and have bought a toaster and kettle. They’re painting it and doing repairs and stuff, but hopefully it’ll be ready soon, and they’ll accept our offer.

Joshua at peak of Lions Head

Joshua at peak of Lions Head

I decided to send this newsletter now and ask for prayer. Pray for the second plane. That the home that we should be in would be the home that we get in. Thank you. All our love as always to all of you.




P.S.Someone has referred me to a sock factory that makes high quality sports socks at wholesale prices. I shall go there, and then I shall throw the 4 mystery socks away. Solved.

Until their partners shows up.







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