Sunday, 14 February 2010

Water Everywhere and Not A Drop To Drink

We've had hot and humid days, with intermittent drizzle, followed by steady rain and cooler temps at night.  There is a leak in the school room ceiling and we have to cover the floor with old towels and bowls.  Shakin Stevens singing "This Old House" comes to mind a lot.  Our house isn't that old, but I suspect it suffered neglect over the years as a petrol station, while the owners (back in the day) endeavoured to serve their customers.

My thoughts go to the many homes we lived in during our 13 year stay in South Africa. Apart from the first few months living in a caravan, each house offered a variety of surprises. 

The first, - a beautiful 1920's house had floors that weren't attached to the walls by at least three inches. 

A farmhouse in Wasbank had no proper water storage facility and the bore was dry.  When it rained, water flooded the house, but there was no water to drink.  Plus, one of the rooms off the back verandah (my brother Gary's bedroom) had a resident hornets nest.  The opposite room off the back verandah was the outdoor bathroom.  It was very 'outdoors', because it had no rear wall. We had to wash in a tiny sink, with our butts facing the great outdoors.

A farmhouse in Hattingspruit - dating back to the 1800's and made of stone had two rooms without floors and each time it rained, there was a stream running through the centre corridor.  One night, my mam woke, wondering what all the noise was about.  She stood in water up to the top of her ankles, turned round, dried off her feet and went back to bed.  As she was dozing off, something 'big' landed on her face.  She plucked it off her cheek and threw it into the darkness of the bedroom, and heard a distinct 'thud', as it hit the wall.  To this day, we don't know what this creature was.  A month or so later, two baby green mambas were entwined in the cavity of the old wooded window frame...

More to come...

2 comments:

ADRIAN said...

TMW, and I thought my life was exciting!Thought about emigration all my life but just knew if I went then there would be no coming back. Didn't fancy that bit.

The Machinist's Wife said...

Adrian, my dad applied for Australia years ago, when we were all very young. It didn't work out. Then, in the 70's, he got itchy feet again, and South Africa was very welcoming. imigration is a BIG deal. It affects you for life!