Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blombos

I still haven't blogged about our holiday. Nellie, Nate & I went away with my family to our holiday house, Blombos. (Graeme went to the Umfolozi Game Reserve with a school trip,) We had a lovely few days there. There were several whales & calves in the bay, just beyond the breakers (in the photo below they were just beyond the swells, but off to the right). It was fantastic being able to watch them at meal times and tea times, from the comfort of the house. They were very active, breaching for quite a while on one day. If I'd had a decent camera that would have captured them at that distance, I would have taken some photos.

As usual, the sunsets were amazing. It feels like you can see from horizon to horizon. The blue of the sky was incredible... you could lose yourself in it when you look straight up - nothing to impede your view of it. That sky has always embodied freedom for me. It was good to breathe in that freedom again; it was like meeting up with a good friend after a long period of separation.

We spent our days playing & sleeping. We went down to the beach one day, went for a walk on the beach another evening, one day it rained so we played indoors. Nellie found a fantastic playmate in her cousin Julia. Nate found several playmates amongst the various adults and children present.

If I say so myself, I coped really well with getting bottles ready with no electricity in the middle of the night (ie no lights, & no microwave) and with having both kids on my own for 4 days. I don't think I would have coped as well though if it hadn't been for Oupa and Ouma who were just amazing in their help and support. We only had one blow-up and that was because Nellie hadn't had her nap so was shattered by the evening. The drive up and down was a lot better than I anticipated, but longer than I hoped given that I had the dogs & kids to feed while en route.

There were several hitches; it wasn't all bliss - one night the dogs decided that 2am would be a good time to start throwing up in the house; Nellie decided that while on holiday would be a good time to suddenly start displaying her sibling jealousy; we had no running water for most of our time there because the well pump was broken; once that was fixed we still had no showers as the gas geysers were broken. However, it was still wonderful to get away for a bit, and wonderful to finally make my first trip back to Blombos since returning to SA. I was trying to remember my last trip, and couldn't. That means it could easily have been before we moved to the UK - 10 years!

I enjoyed spending time with some of my nieces & my nephew. It was really lovely seeing them interact and getting to know them a bit better out of their normal setting. As with my dad, it reminded me that part of the reason we came home was to spend more time with them, and I've been remiss in following that through.

I was shocked at how run-down the place has become, or maybe I just never saw it before because I was having too much fun. The dune is badly eroded, making it awkward to get down onto the beach. There has recently been a storm too, so the high water mark is cluttered with large tree branches (trunks) and other flotsam and jetsam. It meant we had no shortage of fuel for the fires, but it did make it more difficult to actually get to the beach itself, especially when you're carrying a child, two bags, having to hold the hand of another child and have two dogs underfoot!

What was particularly wonderful was spending time with my dad. Although he only lives up the road, I wish I could see more of him. Living with him and my step-mom was awkward (it always is when you live in someone else's space) but it was also incredibly special spending all that time with him. Being with him on holiday reminded me of what I'm missing out on. Ultimately, I guess that's what family holidays are about - reconnecting with your family.
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