I love paper and pens. I love my iPad. And I love lists.
The Apple iPen designed to work with an iPad, is a fantastic innovation. My notes screen is filled with handwritten entries .... ideas for blogs, work reminders, lists etc etc.
So even if it takes me a few days to get to something, it is written down. So when we went away for a few days after New Year, I had my little list ready the week before. However, making a list and then following the list, are 2 separate things. And I usually do not depart without ticking off every last item.
So having bundled the adult offspring x 2, off to the Kruger Park with a family friend, hubby and I leapt into the car, marvelled at how little luggage there seemed to be when it is just him and I (first time in a long time) and hit the road.
It was a leisurely drive, quick stops here and there for coffee and such - it was New Year’s Day and the only things open and trading were the highway fuel stations. Each little town we drove through was dead quiet.
Staring out the window and musing about this and that, I started thinking about the weather, which lead me to wonder if the kids had taken a warm jacket at least for the evenings, which led me to think about tops and that made me think of the tops I had ironed for Nic and I early in the morning, this lead to me having the word tops in my mind and that led to ........ holy shit!!!!!
.........After ironing Nic’s tops, I had ironed mine. Then got distracted with getting his to him in his room and ..... did ....not......go......back......to.......the.....laundry. So in my case I knew I had underwear, 4 skirts, a costume, 2 pairs of scrappy sandals, a thin jersey, toiletries, books, iPad, the Nespresso machine and capsules ...... damn ....... also magazines ....... Salt & Vinegar Willards ...... yes .....but
Not one single top. Nada. Zero.
Simply the wonderful situation of wearing a skirt, sandals and a bra for the week. In a lodge. 12kms from Pilgrim Rest. That huge commerce Centre. Where the only thing you can buy outside of a great toasted sarmie, is ripoff Jeep clothing and ostrich egg ornaments. At that stage the thought of going to the nearest big town later in the week, had not occurred to me. So once the husband person and I had stopped laughing .... which took long ..... I realized that I had a dress on that would dry very quickly when washed. So that would be it. If necessary I would wash it every night and by the morning it would be dry. 1 dress 4 days. Boom.
Not long afterwards, we passed through Belfast. And there, like an oasis, was a tiny PEP store. With an open and welcoming door. Hubby parked, I dashed over, the guard told me that they were about to close. “Not without me you aren’t” - I said, and slipped in. Everywhere, but everywhere, were Back to School signs and since I would not be able to get my upper torso into a white button up girl’s school shirt, I asked where the ladies “section” was. The lady pointed towards what she referred to as the “Ladies Department”.....well we all have different ideas of what a department is. There, proudly against the back wall, were two rails of about 1m each. The one was stuffed full of hangers containing skirts and shorts, mixed in colour and sizes. The other contained all the blouses and T-shirt’s they had, mixed in colour and sizes. Bear in mind the wide range of sizes between 30 and 44 and you will be able to imagine the limited range. Luckily for me they had 4 black blouses ... with pretty embroidery around the neckline, 2 of them in my size. I grabbed them and a R29 apricot coloured T-shirt, and hit the tills. R106 later and I had 3 tops. I want to state right here that these 3 tops fitted well, look great and have washed surprisingly well too. When I returned to the car, hubby had already taken 2 pics of me dashing into the store and sent them to the kids via the family group.
All’s well that ends well. Or so we thought.
We got there and it was 33 degrees outside. Clear blue sky, beautiful stoep on our chalet ... views forever of the valleys and forests - we had great plans for sitting out there reading and playing scrabble. We had not brought warm clothes. Why would we ..... most of the country was reeling in a heatwave.
The next morning we woke early for 2 reasons - the first being the fact that we could not understand why we were getting so cold. The other reason being the sound we heard outside. We crossed the lounge, opened the curtains and saw ..... nothing. Because we had our eyes shut? No. Because the mist had completely surrounded our chalet. We could not even see our patio furniture. It was raining. And the 33 degrees of the arrival day had plummeted to 16. We did not even have 16 at home in the winter. We checked the 5 day forecast. It would be 16 to 18 degrees the entire time. Now you might ask why we did not check the forecast before we left. Yes ok know it all .... we didn’t ok. So hush. My hubby had no warm tops at all, but at least he had a pair of jeans. I on the other had still had the 4 aforementioned skirts. Plus the lovely thin new tops from PEP. What I did not however have was a single pair of leggings or jeans.
So the 4 days were spent inside largely, wrapped in huge fluffy cream blankets we found in the cupboards. We lay on the couches, in these, and read. In the first week of January. The one day the weather cleared for 63 minutes we did manage to get in a quick trip to Pilgrims Rest, and a game of putt putt.
Naturally the day we left we woke up to a magnificent blue sky and a weather indication of 32 degrees.
So, what have we learnt? To pack tops? To check the weather forecast? To always have a warm outfit in summer and a cool one in winter for just in case? To read the list better before leaving home?
No. What we learnt is how much we could laugh in the car when we realized I had no tops. We learnt that even though the weather was awful, it gave us the time to relax and rest and sleep because that was what we needed. We learnt that you can play putt in the cold and have as much fun. We learnt that not driving anywhere for 5 days, except to pop to Pilgrim’s Rest is just how it was meant to be. We learnt that getting up every day and getting dressed and then dashing for those cream blankets made us chuckle. We learnt that every time we see a PEP store we say thank you.
So I am glad I left my tops at home. I am glad it was cold.
Sometimes the unexpected is the best thing that can happen.
Till soon, be good to yourselves
C’est la vie