by Susan Roberts
It’s time to pack up my house once again. Sadly, my time in the palatial, three-bedroom rooftop apartment is coming to an end because my landlord needs the larger space for his son who is returning unexpectedly to Durban. Family must come first, which is as it should be so I have no problems with that.
My problem is working out how I am going to squash myself and all my recently-expanded junk into the tiny cottage I burst out of back in March when the termites took over. The termites have now all been evicted, along with last season’s crop of woodborer, and the cottage has a new lounge ceiling, new dining room ceiling and new kitchen cupboards. In addition, the wardrobe area has been extended and there are more shelves in the dining room, all waiting for me to move in and fill them up.
Despite the fact that it is something of a relief knowing that my rent will go back to normal, I still have to work out the jigsaw-puzzle task of actually fitting back into the cottage. I have in my mind the image of a small boy taking apart an old-fashioned alarm clock and being unable to put all the bits back into it. That’s going to be the case when I try to put back the things that fitted there only a few months ago.
I mean, I haven’t expanded. Much. Well, maybe a little. Just a few rugs, some extra bedding and two clocks. Oh, and that lovely big ottoman on wheels that my friend Mark gave me before he left for Brisbane. I’m going to have to find space for that because it’s a really cool piece of furniture, and
Of course, I know that logically a single unattached female with no children should be able to fit comfortably into a one-bedroom cottage, but most people who fit that description are not self-confessed crazy bibliophiles who buy bookcases and fill them in the same way that normal people might fill their children’s lunchboxes daily – brimful of mouth watering goodies that we can’t wait to get our teeth into.
Let’s be honest here: how much stuff does one person really need?
Okay, I’ve decided that I don’t like that question.
I’ve tried to work out the pros and cons of this on paper. It was great having the space, but I’ve managed to get rid of quite a lot of stuff already. I fell in love with the luxury bath, but my landlord is putting a small bath into the cottage bathroom, so that’s okay. It was nice having an extra room for guests, but I still have a sleeper couch which many people have used before and it can be used again. I loved having an extra room to store garden things, cat carry-cages, boxes and tools, but my landlord has added the use of an extra garden shed in which I can store all of that, plus there is plumbing to install my washing machine, so that gives me extra space in the kitchen that I didn’t have before.
I will have to get my telephone and ADSL line moved back. Okay, no easy solution to that. Just get it done and pay up. I won’t be able to park my car right outside my front door, but I’ll probably need the exercise since I won’t be getting fit anymore by walking through the vast rooms that I have had to traverse for the last few months.
A few weeks back I had an informal birthday party on my big patio, and for many of my friends, it was the first time they had seen the new place. Unfortunately, for one of them it was the first time that she had used my bathroom and she discovered the hard way that the bathroom key sticks in the lock on the inside. The high-jinks that followed, with her throwing the key out of the window at an angle towards the braai area, followed by its impact on my elbow and its subsequent ricochet off my elbow down into the garden of the house below, followed in turn by my landlord having to climb over the fence in the dark, armed with a big stick in case the Boerbul attacked him (as it usually does) to retrieve the key, had to be seen to be believed. Those of you who missed it – sorry, but it’s your fault for leaving early!
On second thoughts, maybe this move back is a good thing. The cottage bathroom has a sliding door with no keyhole, so my friends will be safer.
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