AWOL

Adjective:  Absent from where one should be but without intent to desert

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Just about to enter the dreaded move stage….let me tell you I know how to move house.  I’m in the double figures.  There is always a story, most hilarious, because the absurdity of what happens to you becomes a joke once all is unpacked and life returns to normal.

Precious and I have been together for 9 years and I have moved 6 times, note the I..most often hauling all our things in my car to the disbelief of my new neighbours, every time. The pleasure of this is of course,  that once the furniture truck comes and fetches the big things everything is already in the cupboards and all I have to do is make beds and hang pictures….in theory.  Precious at this time mysteriously has business trips, golf trips, overseas trips that “only just came up,” or “Darling, did I forget to tell you, I’m sure I mentioned it.”

Well the move from Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town is truly one for the storybooks.  I had moved to Cape Town and the furniture and husband were supposed to arrive on the 1 July.  There was extensive packing involved as we scaled down from a 5 bedroomed, en-suite house to a 2 bedroomed little beauty in Newlands Village.  I am a “list” girl and let me tell you, they were extensive – each box was numbered and a corresponding document listed all the contents.  There were 15 boxes coming to CT, there was furniture going to auction and there were boxes not to be packed by the Movers and kept separately in the gym room, also labelled and listed.  I double checked if I needed to be there for the pack up, but was firmly assured that my preparation was so good, it would be an unnecessary expense and I relaxed to welcome all with open arms.

At the time, we had the most beautiful Malawian houseman, James, more commonly known as Jamsie.  Jamsie adds “ie or “y” to nearly every word he speaks, and is a phenomenal gardener, but quite illiterate.  He called me Mommy and would proudly announce things like, “Mommy, I cuttie the grassy, I pullie the weedies out, and I water the plantie,”  all with a gorgeous wide gapped grin.  While I packed furiously he had helped and carted boxes up to the storeroom/gym and had been a lifeline.

I had a terribly restless night on the eve of the furniture being collected, so bad that at 4.30am I sent Precious a message to say that I was going to get on the 6am plane and be there to help him, he just couldn’t do it alone, I didn’t expect an immediate response, just wanted to warn him of my intentions.  Blow me down, my cell rang within 5 minutes of my message….”Darling, didn’t I tell you I was in Johannesburg?”  Now as we know from Bill Cosby, women enunciate, (after they swear) “#*###**#, no you did not mention it on the phone from Johannesburg last night, who is moving our furniture?”  To which he answered, “James”.

Fury, desperation, sadness, loathing, what could I do?  The furniture was collected, orchestrated by Jamsie, who  didn’t use a single list, he phoned me many times, “Mommy, I’m not sure of the boxie, the manie, she’s crossy with me”.  Needless to say EVERYTHING arrived in Cape Town, late one night in the pouring rain.  To add insult to injury, they refused to unpack the van that could not get down our street until I paid a further R9000 for unlisted items and boxes.  Precious sensibly didn’t arrive.

So time heals and dust settles.  We are in the process of moving again. Precious is going on an urgent trip to KZN.  You don’t say…..

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