This was to be a weekend away to spoil our respective moms, who both at that stage lived in retirement homes in Pietermaritaburg, the sleepy hollow of everywhere. Merriment and excited calls back and forth as to what to pack, what time we were leaving, weather expectations, you name it. All high excitement for the pending weekend.
At the 11th hour, I received a tearful call from my daughter, who at the time was busy completing her honours and was exhausted and needing some TLC asking if she could come home for the weekend. A quick check with Pumula and all was alright on condition she was happy to have a bed added to the grannies room. She was delighted.
First stop was to fetch both silver haired octogenarians and then on via the Durban International, to fetch child before heading down the South Coast. Lots of loud, excited chattering ensued for the next few hours. Out we spilled on arrival and clattered off to our two adjoining rooms. The grannies beds separated by side tables and daughter on bed, tucked around the corner outside the bathroom. Just a place to sleep after all , everyone super happy. One granny, however, closes the windows and loudly retorts that she does not like them open.
The afternoon passed gently with tea and scones, a little wander around the hotel before changing for dinner. The manager spotted my young, single daughter and was smitten. Colonial bliss, as we sipped drinks prior to dinner. Four courses followed, with many oohs and aahs of appreciation from all quarters. The pub was the final destination of the evening. The grannies decided to challenge us to darts. Please picture this, two four foot nothing grannies, darts hitting no higher than the bottom piece of wood, quaffing back sips of sherry. Daughter in the meantime, overwhelmed with the manager’s attention scuttles off to bed. Being very obedient, she doesn’t open the windows, but puts on the air-conditioner, showers, hops into bed and goes to sleep.
A couple of hours later, the four us tottered off to our rooms.
There is nothing nicer than waking up at the beach and going for an early morning run, which is what we did the following morning. On our return, we had coffee and had still not heard any life from the room next door. We eventually knocked and opened…..Three bodies were in a foetal position, faces white, the fan was swinging and swaying at the highest speed and the air conditioner was on so cold, the icy air hit us like a brick wall. We switched everything off and let the naturally warm day fill the room. This is what was explained to us. The grannies got back to the room, granddaughter was sleeping and neither one knew how to switch the air conditioner off, so they jumped into bed and pulled their duvets up. Between the two of them they shuffled past daughter’s bed five or six times to get to the bathroom, waking her every time. Each time they woke, they were more cold and one thought that the most practical plan would be to put the fan on and maybe that would diffuse the cold of the air conditioner. Understand this logic? They took the best part of the morning to warm up…