Update #11- A Home.
I have some snippets that I had written on my phone early July, but really, things were moving slowly whilst we did all we could to look at all homes available. We were staying at the B&B, house & dog-sitting– Jesse, a 12 year old spaniel who snores like a train and poops on the bathroom floor. He also falls into the pool sometimes in the early hours of the very cold mornings. The kids who live next door are great playmates for Luke and Ethan so that helps them to not die from boredom, and they also visit the horse farm (the other ‘next door’) regularly.
Pics are from lunch at Durbanville Hills wine estate one Sunday.
We got confirmation from an agent about a house that we had put an offer in on. It is in the feeder area for Kenridge, an older house undergoing renovation. They have redone all the floors to laminate & tile, but still need to redo sliding doors and one bathroom cabinet. The living and kitchen areas are great– only bugbear is that the boys bathroom doesn’t have a shower, so the 2 teenagers will have to share ours. It has a fairly small garden (but at least it HAS one) and no pool, but it is a foot in the door to getting our lives started!
Well, since we had confirmation, we could now begin to buy furniture and appliances for our home, now that we knew what we were buying for! This is a little overwhelming to say the least, as we came with nothing, and so have to buy everything from beds and mattresses to teacups and knives. However, this also fulfilled every fantasy of mine accumulated from holidays to SA, where we could never take anything bulky back to Zim with us due to space constraints. But now, I could choose those fluffy bath mats or stainless steel veg racks that I’d always ogled and take them home! (I also seem to have a dishcloth fetish. Can never have too many y’know.) We spent a full morning at one distributor, getting all the major things. It was a huge furniture and appliance warehouse. Boys kept busy by playing hide and seek. Ethan ‘got lost’ for almost a half hour as he was so hard to find, being such a small fry.
On the 10th July, Oupa Stewart, who had been ailing for a while in Johannesburg, passed away. The funeral was planned for the following Friday, 18th July. As much as we were desperate to join family, myself and the boys would have to stay in CT to finish moving home, scheduled for the 15th, and then to unpack and prepare for school on the 21st. Heath flew to Joburg on the 17th and was back on the 19th. The funeral went well, and it was good for him to be there with family. It was not easy without him here as there was so much to do, especially with little niggles in the house that needed doing. But the boys and I spent the whole day of the 18th in a mall, buying curtains, rugs, blankets, pillows, towels, school shoes and trousers. I had a ball. The boys survived because they knew I couldn’t cope without them and with frequent snack breaks, they were fine!
Oh my word, this child can eat. Breakfast = Big Boy Croissant (yes, it was really called that) plus a gi-normous muffin. If we get Nandos chicken burgers for lunch, he’ll need THREE before he’s full. Aiden eats 2. So we actually feed 9 normal people each meal time.
We represented Zim well, loaded up like a commuter omnibus leaving the mall. We only moved into the house on Friday, and I managed to get most of the curtains up for that night. I had bought the wrong size for our bedroom, and hadn’t unpacked my duvet yet (the only linen that we had brought with us) so I slept under one blanket, watching the red sky of CT at night. An interesting night, but that new mattress was bliss, and got me through it! On Saturday Heath was back and we continued getting our home sorted out.
We live in an area called Protea Valley (happy sigh). Its about 3kms from Kenridge school.
Luke turned 11 on the 20th. We went out for a sushi lunch, then went to Cool Runnings, a toboggan park, which was great for the boys.
It has finally started feeling like home, which I believe is mainly due to the fluffy bathmats. The only furniture we have at the moment besides beds, are a dining room suite and a corner lounge unit for the TV lounge– that’s all we need to get started! Pretty much everything is unpacked, and only this weekend did we get our washing machine and tumbledrier sorted out, so I feel like a mother again, trying to fit in laundry and husband and kids. I would get a lot more done if everyone didn’t have to eat all the time. Mealtimes are such an interruption, let alone doing the dishes!
Joshua started school on Monday 21st, Ethan and Aiden on the 22nd, and poor excited-beyond-comprehension Lukey had to wait until Monday 28th to start, as the Grade 5’s had gone on a camp, which was organised last term, hence he couldn’t just slot in. He is so desperate to get started, and so it has been a long week for him, hanging with his parents whilst meeting plumbers, alarm guys and running mundane errands. Max has helped, though. Ohh! Max is Luke’s budgie. A lady we’ve met at church, who doubles as the boys’ hairdresser, had a budgie that was looking for a new home…Luke has wanted a budgie for ages, and we promised that we would get him one when we settled; so he got it for his birthday. Its blue, like his eyes. Now they both whistle aaallllll day.
Joshua has had a good start at school. He knows most of the work already, the teachers have been fantastic, and he has already been reading the literature to catch up– Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare (I did it for A Level) and Lord of the Flies– a book both Heath and I did when in school, so he read those both before starting school, and relished having more reading material. His happy place is the library at school– huge! They have a great system where existing students hang with the new ones to help them settle and find their way around. He has a history project to do on 3 topics– the Boer war, the Japanese something or other and German concentration camps, and has to watch 3 corresponding movies– one in Afrikaans ha ha ha, I can’t remember the Japanese one– 送り仮名, I think 😉 and Schindlers List. He’s really enjoying school, and found a group of kids today– Monday– that get together for prayer meetings, so he’s really happy to have found people to chat to about his faith.
Aiden has had a rough start. He is in a boys-only class, and struggling to deal with how the other children behave during class towards the teacher, etc. They are very clique-y during break and always sit in their specific groups. The kids are very worldly compared to what he’s used to. His first day home, he was very emotional, but he was talking about it, which was great for Aiden. It’s been a time of strengthening in faith, prayer, and trust. Day 2 Heath and I prayed constantly, we were hurting so desperately for him. It was a better day, and has been getting better since. We are just riding out this journey with him, trying to keep comm’s high, and praying that he doesn’t get hard in his heart about what’s happening, and that his character can overcome the situation.
Ethan is having the time of his life. He loves school, has a great teacher, he is grasping Afrikaans quickly and reading with him helps me too. On Day 2, Heath is walking him into school, and a girl walks by and says Hi Ethan! And he says to Heath, Dad, she’s one of my friends! Her name is… umm, it’s an ice cream flavour….umm..(you’re thinking Stracciatella- maybe she’s Italian, right? Or maybe she has hippie Capetonian parents and she’s Strawberry shortcake…) Oh, yes! Its Vanilla. Um, Ethan, do you mean Venola? No, definitely Vanilla.
Luke’s first day of school today was great, he has no problem meeting other people. He says the kids swear a lot, and some of the teachers are grumpy when the kids don’t behave well, but he is happy, and so excited to finally be going to school.
Before school started, we finally had Aiden’s eyes tested for glasses. I knew he needed them, but happily he is not as short sighted as me, and just needs them for long distance. Was great fun watching him choose.
One thing we are finding that we have to get used to is the amount of people here. Going to a mall on the weekend is a no-no if you want a relaxing family time, where you can walk in a straight line. There are THRONGS of people, and you will queue for a parking spot, queue to pay for your parking after shopping, and the queues inside the stores are lethal because you will always find more to buy whilst you stand around for 20 minutes looking at everything.
Last week, my car my car had a gearbox issue..an expensive one. So that’s a real bummer, and we will only have it back late next week.
Joshua and I taking pics of a stunning sunset outside Makro. We finished at 6pm– carpark was desserted…and the mountain range in the distance was just beautiful.
Heath went for 2 interviews today– probably not what he’ll end up doing, but building relationships always a good thing, we’re on the road to finding out what to do with our lives now.
Praying for God’s guidance and direction on these huge decisions.
Lots of love to you all.