01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Life gets in the way 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Life gets in the way

Yesterday morning I was hoping to update my blog when other things got in the way, as they do.
After the school run, I went to the gym (late), only to find that I was the only willing volunteer for the 'sets and reps' aerobics class, so 'Rodgers' and I had to cajole other gym members off running machines and cross trainers to join me in a one hour class. As a result we started late and afterwards, exhausted, I just had to have a coffee in order to recover from an unusually high speed routine.
Returned home, desperate for a shower and found fundis in the house (workmen). We discovered last week the reason for our scarily high electricity bills was down to an electrical fault in the water heater upstairs. We could never work out why, when we fitted a timer device in an attempt to reduce our bills, the water was not really getting hot. In fact, to get hot water, the heater would have to be on for hours and hours. Then, after four and a half years (plus however long our predecessors lived in the house) a clever fundi climbed up into the roof, looked at our water storage tanks and noted that the water inside was warm! The conclusion was that our little water heater has been battling to head not only it's contents but however many gallons four large water tanks in the roof contain. hmmmm. This would also explain why sometimes our cold water tap ran hot.

Anyway, I made a cup of tea for the fundi who was waiting for hours for his boss to arrive with 'spares' and was madly handing out biscuits from a batch our nanny had made, but I'm afraid to say were not a success. I'm supposed to be teaching her to cook, but keep throwing ingredients and books at her and disappearing out of the door so it's not going that well. Also, I can never make good biscuits either, so what chance is there? The nanny (ayah) in question, was on leave yesterday, so I was making use of the opportunity to give away all the biscuits without offending her.

Then, I started a struggle with the washing machine. I never operate the damn thing (the ayah who was on leave normally does) and couldn't get any water to go in to the tub. After numerous attempts of switching the thing on and off and searching for instruction booklets, I got frustrated and called the 'on leave' nanny on her mobile for help (she said she was going away on personal family business, but sounded suspiciously like she was at home - I heard her granddaughter in the background). 'Yes, it's sometimes giving me problems' she said - you'll have to ask Shadrack (the gardener) to help'. Hrrumph. I hoped I didn't sound too cross. Got the machine working with the help of Shadrack. We discovered a blocked water inlet pipe -actually, detaching the pipe was his idea.

Then the other gardener said he needed to see a doctor as his calf muscles had been giving him problems for ages since a fall off his bike last week. So I took him to a nearbye clinic, via the cashpoint as I had no cash, while my two year old wailed in her car seat about not going into the shop to buy sweeties.

The hot water fundis hung around all day but somehow didn't get the job finished, so last night and this morning we had no hot water for a bath or shower. In fact, it's now 2.30pm the next day and they've still not returned to finish the job.

Anyway, Somehow the morning was gone.

Today wasn't much better. Our alarm clock went off at 6am as usual and I flung out of bed to wake the 7 year old, whose alarm had failed to wake her. Then I watched her face crumple as she reached under her pillow to find the tooth fairy had 'forgotten' to visit in the night. I called out to my slumbering husband; 'the tooth fairly forgot to come last night?!?*' She's seven and it's only her second lost tooth, so you can imagine the anticipation over it all.
'Perhaps she thought it was too wet to come last night' I struggled 'it's been raining all night - you never know, she might come during breakfast'
Queue.. husband, who leapt out of bed and flew downstairs in search of gathering change kept in his car, but then set off the burglar alarm in his haste as we'd failed to remember to disengage the thing before opening the back door. So, long apology to the security back up team who arrived in their pickup ready for doing battle with intruders.

Fortunately, miraculously, the tooth fairy did remember to visit during breakfast so someone's day got back on track - but mine still hasn't. I'm late for the school run......

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