Let’s talk flexibility…

I think I have mentioned a previous blogpost that I have made the decision to start working from the office when it suits me. This is for a number of reasons, but mainly;-

  • I feel more productive in the office, more focused and more “office minded”. At home, I get distracted easily. I can listen in on a meeting while baking, cooking dinner or chatting on Wassap. I’m not saying that I’m not productive at home at all. All I’m saying is that, for me, it’s easier to zone in and stay focused on work when I’m in the office.
  • I love the “social aspect” of the office. I must admit, hardly anybody I know is back in the office – most of them still preferring to work at home – however, there are some people around, and it gives me such joy just to be around other adults. Adults who do not live in my home or in my complex. Even seeing the ladies in the canteen again felt like a big reunion, and it made my heart so happy!
  • The boys’ school is literally 5minutes from the office, so it makes absolutely no sense for me to drop them in the morning, then drive home and drive aaaalllll the way back to school for pick-up and back home 5hours later. It’s not only a waste of petrol, but also a waste of my time and effort.

Anyway, remember the new lift club I started…well firstly, it’s working like a charm! We’ve had no glitches at all (touch wood), and it literally frees up a week of morning drop-offs for me. Of course, I still have to get up, make lunches, make sure the kids are done and Riley insists that I wave them off every.single.morning (which I basically do in my pj’s), but then I have oodles of time free to do whatever I want. Usually I go for a run or a walk, but some mornings, I choose to just read in bed and have some “me time”.

In the week that I have to do the drop-offs myself, my plan has been to drop the kids, go straight to the gym to workout, shower at the gym, and then head up to the office. The gym and the office are in the same street, so school>gym>office are literally on the same circular-ish route. On these days, I will work from the office until school pick-up, collect the kids (I also drop off another child en route home), and then work from home for the rest of the afternoon. This is ME. This is how I thrive. On planning and organising my life to the T! Buuuttttt, there are some days when I just don’t feel like working in the office. Like this week 🙂

After a few days in Durban with my boys last week for their school holiday, my brain (and body) were still in holiday mode on Sunday evening, and so I decided that after drop-off yesterday morning, I’d go to Hyper to pick up a few things before heading home and working from home instead of at the office for the day. Hyper opens at 8 and I arrived at 7:30, so I took that time out to read my book for 30minutes *winning*.

This morning, I was still not feeling the whole gym>office vibe. I didn’t mention, but I must at this stage that my office “on” week is much more stressful the night before and the morning of, as of course, I need to make sure I have every single thing I need ready and packed in advance. For the most part, that everything consists of clean clothes and underwear, HAIR CONDITIONER ( a MUST for curly coloured girl hair!!) and enough towels to dry a whole massive body and a bush of hair – let’s not forget the slip-slops to wear when using the communal shower…I’m not sure I’d survive without these 😉 Then there’s lunch for the office, my laptop including cords, earphones for meetings in case there are people around my desk area (which has basically been never, as nobody in my team is keen to work from the office, every single one of them preferring to continue working from home), and snacks, water bottle etc.

Anyway, I digress. So this morning, I dropped the kids off dressed in my gym clothes. I still went to the gym to workout buuuttttttt…I came home straight afterwards. I logged on to my PC, went through e-mails, did a bit of work, and then took a break for a quick shower and breakfast at 10am. I then continued to work until school pick-up time.

The point of all this waffling is just that FLEXIBILITY WORKS FOR ME!!!!! I love knowing that I have the option to work from home as well as the option to go to the office. I love knowing that if, on the whim in the morning, I change my mind…that’s okay. I love that I don’t have people throwing snarky comments (like: do you have your suntan lotion with you?!) when I leave the office at 3pm to fetch my kids even though my working arrangements pre-COVID were 7 – 3. I love that I can really do whatever works for me. Whatever works for my kids. Whatever works for my family!! And guess what? I still get the work done. I am so much more productive having the option to work in whatever space, location and environment I choose to.

Again, I say, if there’s anything that I hope is achieved from this working from home thing – it’s not that we never ever go to the office, because I do feel that in certain instances, there’s huge merit from having face-to-face meetings, catching up with work friends over a cup of coffee and chatting with colleagues in the corridor – it’s that we have the FLEXIBILITY to do whatever works for us.

The End

And above all, be kind!

Yesterday, as I was coming back into our complex after an early morning walk with a friend in the area, I walked past the handyman in our complex and greeted him. He returned my greeting and then in a very small voice asked: “Jodie, do you by any chance have two slices of bread for me?”. I told him that I did and that he should come past the house in a few minutes once I’d gotten back inside. I proceeded to pack him a full loaf of bread, some naartjies and bananas. Later in the day, I packed a plastic packet for him of meat, potatoes, onions and rice so that he had food for dinner. He had told me in the morning how he was broke and was waiting for payday. I wondered what a grown man was going to do with TWO SLICES OF BREAD until payday! I thought how I’d just been paid the day before and done a quick fill up of the cupboard, fridge and freezer – just a few things as we’re flying to Durban on Monday for the school holiday (even that is a blessing…never mind that we’re able to fly, but that we’re able to go away on holiday!!) – how my small fill up would have probably been enough to feed him for a good week or so, and how giving him something as small as a packet of food could really change his day. This is a man who’s doing hard labour in the complex all day. A man who has to feed a family at home in Pretoria, including 5 young children. And he doesn’t have two slices of bread…3.days.before.payday (assuming, of course, that he gets paid on the 25th of the month; longer if he has to wait until the end!).

In Christianity, kindness is described as loving your neighbour. This, irrespective of whether your neighbour is your friend or your enemy. I am not offay with how other religions describe kindness, but I’m pretty sure that it’s an integral part of the teachings of many other religions. In a world where people are suffering in so many areas of their lives. In a country where such disparity exists amongst our people – from food to education, homes (or lack thereof) to families. In a time where people’s lives have been turned upset down, destroyed, gutted. Where people have lost loved ones due to the pandemic. In a generation where mental illness is ravaging people young and old. YOU be the difference. I’ve said it many times on this blog…be kind to yourself. But be kind to others too!! It takes nothing off your back to smile at somebody. To extend a helping hand. To provide food, even if it’s a slice of bread. To give somebody a jersey or an old or unused pair of pants. To call somebody to check up on them. To send a message to tell somebody you’re thinking about them. To spend a little extra time with your kids. YOUR small actions can change somebody’s life. And do it without expecting anything in return! Do it because you want to. Change your actions, change your mindset, think of others too.

Happy Friday y’all xxx

Let’s talk about sleep

I AM A BAD SLEEPER.

I can’t remember being a bad sleeper while I lived at home during my school years, and when I ask my folks, they don’t recall me having sleep issues either. But when I finished school, I went to study at UCT and I lived in res, sharing with another girl also in first year. I chose to share. I’m a people’s person. I do not enjoy being alone, even though as I get older, I am learning to appreciate the value of being on my own. Anyway, I digress. We both had similar sleep times. It’s not like sharing caused me to sleep worse because she slept late or partied till all hours and came in at all hours interrupting my sleep. But ever since I moved out of the house, I became a bad sleeper. I remember always being tired in varsity and being a light sleeper didn’t help! Both of us slept with our windows open all through the year, even during the rain, and so I’d often wake up to the noises of drunken students walking to or from their residences late at night, or cars driving by on the road just beneath our window. I stayed in res for the first 3years of university (1 year on my own in my own room and even then, I don’t recall sleeping well). In my 4th year, I moved out to a shared house. I lived with 3 other girls. Later on in the year, we added 1 other body into the house and there was constantly noise. To make things worse, we had very different opinions of how things should be done in the house (shared food, cleaning duties etc.) very early in the year, and so my modus operandi – just to cope – included getting up at the crack of dawn so that I was out of the house before anybody even woke up! The year after, my sister and I moved to a flat next to a railway line. And the following year, we moved to a flat alongside a very busy main road in Kenilworth. Let’s just say that none of these promoted good sleeping! I often relied on sleeping tabs to get to me to sleep and I remember one specific night where I was so exhausted that I contemplated killing myself – I kid you not. It was a very brief low moment, but it crossed my mind and I clearly remember, it was because I was sleeping so badly.

Roll on a few years later. My sleep continued to be bad. Sleeping tabs have always helped me. And then I had Ethan. And well, sleeping tablets were not an option with having to be up and alert for a child who woke up constantly during the night (at the age of about 7months, he woke up every hour, literally, and I had to go to sleep at 7pm just to cope with being awake all night!!) until the age of 3.5years old. In fact, for those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that Riley slept through the night before Ethan, at the tender age of 6weeks…12hours straight – 7 to 7…my dad kept saying it’s not normal. I kept saying that God finally looked down on me and thought you’ve suffered enough my child, here…have a sleeper 🙂

It’s this same sleeper who still loves to sleep. This child can sleep until 9am in the morning, a full 12hours+ some days. He is 6 and he literally sleeps through his alarm clock some days!! This morning, the alarm rang persistently for 5 whole minutes, and this child did.not.bat.an.eyelid. Can you believe it?!?!?! His brother (having slept in my bed because of a nightmare in the early hours of this morning) even woke up with the alarm ringing in the next room but nooooo, not Mr Riley.

For me who relies on sleeping pills every night – yup, every night! – sleeping so well is very foreign to me. I take over the counter pills so they’re not super strong, but on Sunday night, I even took two hoping that I’d be completely zonked out till the morning – mostly because I felt scared of the night noises sleeping alone in the house! – and I still laid awake for most of the night. I wish I could sleep through the night. I wish I slept deeply. That every noise didn’t wake me. Even when the goldfish swims against the stones in it’s fishbowl during the night (it lives in my room, I love my life, hahahaha), I wake up! And I’ve tried the no TV before bed, not being on the phone, rescue drops, everything…I.just.want.to.sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s funny how my body has become so accustomed to the lack of sleep. I still function well (well, relatively well) every day, and I am normally awake long before my alarm goes off usually just laying in the dark willing myself back to sleep 😦 Well, enough of that, let’s hear from you…

How do you sleep at night?

Are you a heavy or light sleeper?

What about your kids?

How many hours of sleep do you need in order to “function” properly the next day?

Do you every sleep in – weekends, public holidays – is sleep as foreign to you as it is to me even on these days?

Less than a month till school holidays…

…but who’s counting?!?!

Us human beings are so strange! Never ever really quite happy with what we have.

Curly hair: I wish my hair was straight, Brazilian to get it that way. Straight hair: perm (in the old days!), to get bouncy curls.

Hot weather: I’m so tired of this hot weather, I wish it would rain or we would have at least one cold day in bed. Cold weather: ag, why is it raining so much, I wish the sun would shine.

Full menu at a restaurant: there are too many options, I can’t decide. Short menu with limited choices: there’s not enough choice, I feel so restricted.

Work from the office 9 – 5: I wish we had the option to work from home when we felt like it, just to stay in bed on cold days. Work from home full day during a global pandemic: I wish I could go to the office, I miss seeing other adults and getting dressed up and wearing make-up………[Okay, maybe this one is just me 😉 ]

It’s funny how our brains are wired hey?! This morning, I caught myself right in the middle of one of these funny situations…

Waking up on a Monday morning for work and school is never fun, but especially when one of your kids is a sleeper. Riley can sleep for days! He’s just like his dad. He even sleeps through his alarm and this morning was one of those where he once again slept right through the bugle alarm that I set. Have you listening to the bugle tune??? How can anybody sleep through that??? Okay, I digress…so I eventually managed to drag him out of bed to the diningroom table for breakfast. He rubbed his eyes for a few minutes very dramatically, and then proceeded to eat his cereal with.his.eyes.closed. Every thing was an effort for him this morning. I had to literally push him along with every task until we walked out of the door.

Then remember we’re doing the lift club thing? Well, this week is mine to drop the kids in the morning. We walked outside at 6:50am (the latest we should be leaving home…6:45 is more what I aim for!…5minutes can make or break me, I promise you) only to see that the neighbours were not ready to leave yet – there was no sign of them, the garage all still locked up. So I bundled the kids into the car, reversed the car out of the garage and up to their garage with the boot open so that when they rolled out of the house, they could just shove their bags in the boot and we could move! The oldest son came out, put his bag in and jumped in the car, ready and rearing to go (he’s a morning child and absolutely loves school, so this morning thing ain’t no problem for him!). There was no sign of the youngest for a good minute or two, and when he finally emerged, his mum was walking behind him looking really quite annoyed and I chirped…arggghhh, when is it school holidays, can school end already???? And then I had a good chuckle to myself on the drive to school (the kids sat in silence this morning, they were clearly also tired and very much over the early mornings!!)…

In January this year, I was the parent complaining about the kids being at home. When it was announced that we’d start the school year off with homeschooling, I almost died. It was the one thing I was dreading going into the 2021 year. I was that parent quite happy to drop my children outside the school’s closed gates after the two weeks of homeschooling, and leave my kids to their own devices for the duration of the supposed school day if the schools decided to postpone the opening any further. I flat out refused to continue schooling them at home. And look at me now! Wishing that they were home. Ai jai jai…human beings…always complaining, never every really happy 🙂 🙂 🙂

Get up, get going and show up!

I saw a counsellor last week. I spoke for an hour – she basically said that everything that’s going on is my fault. Okay, not in those exact words, but in a way, she’s spot on. Allowing things to be done to you and not putting your foot down, not saying no and not setting boundaries, IS up to you as a person. She picked up on some interesting things that we’ll explore more in the upcoming weeks. I have no shame in seeing a counsellor. I’ve had a few sessions before, and I find it really hopeful. I especially like the fact that you can offload onto somebody who’s impartial and that they guide you through things, more specifically, they help you process and deal with your thoughts and emotions. And that’s what I need right now, for myself.

Interestingly, she mentioned that she notices that I am not used to dealing with my emotions head on. I’m a solution person (spot on!). I push everything else aside. All the feels. And just get things done. And she’s right. Even in my own family, I feel like I’m the one who’s always strong, never showing emotion (unless it’s happy ones), pushing how I really feel to the side (my family know I feel like this, don’t worry 😉 ) to solution…I’m always the cheerful one, the go getter, the happy go lucky, always looking on the bright side of life person. But I guess that doesn’t always help. Well, it probably doesn’t really help ME especially where I’m at right now. Of course, the total opposite, I assume, it not great either. Probably more of a happy medium right?!?!? Dealing with your emotions is important and like I’ve blogged about probably close on 100 times since COVID started, be.kind.to.yourself. Be gentle, go easy.

Anyway, this morning after dropping the kids at school, I went to the gym, showered there and then made my way to the office where I’m working from until school pick up time. I’ve decided to try it for this week. On a Monday and Wednesday, Ethan and Riley finish school 2 hours apart, and so I have to make the trip to the school THREE TIMES on those days. Except for the week when my neighbour will drop (like next week), then I’ll only need to make it twice – once at 1 and then again at 3. Fortunately, we only live 10km from the school, but my office is probably only 3km from the school, so working from the office after dropping the kids in the mornings makes more sense. Having made this decision last week already, I had packed my gym stuff, my toiletries and clothes last night already, with the intention of showering at the gym which is about 2km from the office, and then head straight to the office thereafter.

Last night, I had an absolutely horrible night’s rest. My alarm went off this morning and I overslept by 20 minutes. I woke up to Ethan relaxing in the lounge watching tv. When I asked why he hadn’t woken me, he said that he wanted to see if they could miss school today if I overslept, haha. Fortunately, having been well prepared for the day beforehand, we were out of the house even earlier than normal, and irrespective of how I’m feeling emotionally today, I made the decision to GET UP, GET GOING AND SHOW UP. I am wearing a pretty dress, I have a little bit of make-up on, and I’m even wearing heels. Sometimes, just doing that makes a world of difference!

Have a good week y’all xxx

Let’s talk lift clubs

When Ethan started big school, I had this grand idea of doing a lift club with kids going to the same school who we either knew well, or who lived in the same area of us. Being a full time working mum with my husband working in Centurion (pre-COVID), lifts fall mostly on me and it’s really quite a task to juggle work, school and extra murals, but nobody I approached really seemed keen on a lift club. For the most part, the mums just felt like it was easier to run their own schedule than rely on other people.

Fast forward to 2021…the boys’ best friends live in the same complex as us, literally across the driveway. They’ve grown up together over the last 7/8years, and we know the parents well. A few weeks back, I was in morning lift routine when I started thinking…the best friends’ mum and I are both working from home and every single morning, we leave at the same time and drive exactly the same route to school. We get to the school and stand together chatting while the boys go through the same line usually literally next to each other. We wave them off, and then we proceed to drive back home via the same route to work from home for the rest of the day. We’ve been doing this for the longest of times, but obviously, pre-COVID, we’d both proceed to go to our own offices which are both in Sandton, so doing the school drop-off individually each day made sense as we had to go that way anyway. But now that we have both work from home, how does it make sense for both of us to individually go through the exact same routine every single day?!?!?!

So two weeks ago, I proposed that we start a morning lift club. [As a side: her kids go to aftercare every day after school, and I lift another boy home, plus my kids are on different schedules after school on some days due to Ethan playing cricket, so doing a lift club in the afternoon makes no sense]. My proposal was that we alternate weeks, which means that every other week, I get to wave my kids off to school in my pjs!! She agreed that it was a no-brainer and so here we are…

We started the lift club last week, and as it was my suggestion, I volunteered to go first. The week went absolutely smoothly. Every morning we walked out of the house, the next door neighbours were ready and waiting, or came out 1 minute after. Each morning I made sure everybody had masks before we left, and by Friday, their mum didn’t even come out of the house when it was time to leave. She just sent them across the driveway, and we were off.

Well, this week is her turn to lift. Yesterday was my birthday, so my boys were up early to sing, and as they had birthday cake for breakfast, breakfast was quick and easy and took little fuss and next to no time. We were out of the house just before their buddies walked out, and besides a few tears from Riley due to being a little bit anxious to ride with somebody else, the boys were happy to go, and the neighbour sent a message later in the day to say that they were very happy and there were no issues.

Last night, we went out for an early birthday dinner celebration with the boys. Of course we got home later than planned, but the boys were in bed about 20minutes later than their usual time. Perhaps they took a longer time to settle down, but all in all, I thought we did pretty well on time. Well this morning, Riley could not get out of bed. I literally had to pull a crying exhausted child out of bed 20 minutes later than usual. Riley eats cereal sooooo slowly! Long story short…we ran out of the house 5 minutes later than we should have, and the neighbours were waiting in their car. As we put the bags in the boot, Ethan’s juice bottle fell and half his juice ran out… thankfully on the driveway and not IN the car. I waved them goodbye and came back into the house only to realize that they hadn’t taken masks! So I tried to call the neighbour to let her know that they both have spares in their bags, but when I looked out of the window, I saw them making a U-turn at the gate to the complex, and speeding back up to the house, so I ran out with two masks for the kids in an effort not to delay them further – they were already 10 minutes later than she likes to leave by this stage. Plenty of time to get to school on time, but if the roles were reversed – being exceptionally OCD about time myself – I would have been cursing!!!!

I need to pull up my socks!!! I really don’t want to be the one to ruin this plan. After all, it totally benefits me too, and saves me a round trip of 45 minutes Monday to Friday every week. Who wouldn’t want extra time in the morning?!?!?

Are you part of a lift club?

If not, would you consider being part of one if you knew the other party(s) were reliable and it saved you time in your day??

How many times would you allow your lift club partner to “slack” before calling it quits???

Adulting is hard

On the 7th of February, I made what has probably been one of the biggest decisions of my adult life.

The decision has made a big impact on my life. It has impacted my entire family’s life. It took lots of courage to do it, and as much as my heart is absolutely broken, I know that it’s the right decision.

It’s funny how the brain and the heart are so often not in sync. Like you can think things through and reason it through mentally. But your heart is a different story. It’s almost like you can’t protect your heart completely. It feels what it wants irrespective of what you try and make it feel. There must be a scientific reasoning to it, I don’t know?!

Right now, I am trying to keep to my usual routine. I feel that it’s the only thing that’ll keep me grounded and sane in a way. I don’t want to break down. I can’t. My kids are dependant on me and I need to be strong for them.

My work has suffered a little bit because I can’t fully focus on it, but everybody who needs to know knows, and I am very fortunate to work for a very understanding organisation, manager and team.

I am going for counselling.

My mother is here although that was unplanned and totally unexpected. A very clear example of how God works and has His hand in everything.

I have cried more over the last month that I’ve probably cried in my life…I know I like to exaggerate but it’s not an exaggeration. You know that heart wrenching cry where you can hardly breathe. That ugly cry that I’m sure anybody hearing would have thought somebody died!

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I don’t have a plan going forward. I am taking it one day at a time. I am being kind to myself.

Some homeschooling gems

The one thing that’s guaranteed when listening in on grade 1 homeschooling calls is that you’ll either be annoyed or amused. Honestly, if it’s done my head in, these poor poor teachers. I wonder if this is how it goes in the actual classrooms??!!!!

The constant comments…

“…when is break?”

“…when are we finished?”

“…can I go to the toilet?”

“…I didn’t have a chance to answer.”

“…I can’t see the video.”

“…I can’t hear you.”

“…when can we eat?”

“Teacher, you didn’t ask me…”

“I’m still busy.”

“I have no more space on my whiteboard.”

“Teacher, I madea mistake.”

“I’m done, I’M DONE, I’M DOOONNNEEEEE

From the teachers…

“Grade 1s, please put your microphones on mute”

“Grade 1s, please only speak when I call your name”…[everybody continues to yell out]

“Grade 1s, only one more lesson, please sit up straight”

” xyz, can you tell us the answer” – ABC YELLS OUT THE ANSWER INSTEAD

“Grade 1s, please don’t shout out the answer, others are still busy and need more time. Let’s wait until everybody is finished”…[everybody continues to shout out the answer as soon as they’re done]

*Poor teacher*

The true pearlers…

[said to someone next to the child] “Your breathe smells”

[when asked what the word Hlala means in English after having sat down correctly every time the Zulu teacher said Hlala] “I don’t understand because I’m not isiZulu”

[on a Maths bingo game where you need to cross out numbers called out on the call, number 8 was called] “Teacher, I have number 18, can I cross out my 8 from the number 18?”

And when the teachers says 1,000times to PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU’RE ON MUTE, there are still children talking on volume 1,000.

Last day of homeschooling today, one more hour then I’m cracking open the champagne! #missionaccomplished

Hey

Hey there! February…yup, December is almost here. Kidding. But wow, this year is already moving at an unbelievable pace.

Well, I’m just checking in to say hello. Grateful to be healthy and alive. So super happy to see the sunshine and blue sky in Jo’burg today after weeks of rain and grey skies. Also, 2more days of home school, but who’s counting 😉

Hi there from moi

My boys are officially back at school on Monday next week – Grade 4 and Grade 1 – I cannot wait for them to go back. I still have some things to wrap up before school starts…like Riley’s uniform (I’m not joking!!) and a few items of stationery that I ordered online with Takealot, which arrived and are nothing like I expected so so much for shopping online. Now I need to get to the shops for these two items! I can’t even do a currently post guys. The energy. I have a lot going on in my life right now and there are days when I don’t even want to get out of bed but we carry on right?!

I am teaching myself to play the guitar (a Christmas gift from my folks) which is at least giving me something different to do. I’m also doing the 12 Short Stories challenge and have even registered this year for 12 poems. I wrote my first poem last week…I have never written a poem ever in my life. Well actually, I think I wrote a very short one unintentionally over here, but also, I don’t know what makes something a poem as opposed to a paragraph or short story. Anyway, I’m learning as I go along, and that’s the point right?!

On the work front, I’ve registered for an online Business Analyst course starting on the day of my birthday for four full days. Since finishing varsity 16years ago, I’ve done ONE course about 6years ago so I won’t lie, it took a lot to register for this and I’m really hoping that it’s worth it. I work as a business analyst, but have literally landed up doing this job per chance (I have an Accounting degree), so I’m picking this up to upskill and empower myself. Maybe open more doors, increase my earning potential etc. We’ll see how it goes hey. 1more month.

I’m so tired to reading and watching tv, baking, cooking – I just don’t have any lis – even posting a blogpost is a mission. But this too shall pass. I’m just popping by to say hi. How are you all coping? I hope that your year has started on a good note and that you’re in a good frame of mind. Again, let me remind you…BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You matter!

That time our house flooded

So…long story short…we left on a Saturday afternoon in October to go away on our annual family holiday (usually, we do this around May/June, but it was moved to October last year due to…COVID).

Before leaving to Harties, we switched off the geyser as we usually do when we’re away for a long period of time, made sure that all taps were off as we had had no water all day in our area that day and the kids kept opening the taps to wash their hands forgetting that there was no water, and then we went on our merry way.

We were all so excited to get out of the house and spend some quality time together!

On the Sunday morning, I was busy in the kitchen making a full breakfast for the family, when I happened to glance over at my phone and see three missed calls and a message from my neighbour, a neighbour who I hardly ever see or talk to let alone receive calls from. I immediately knew something was wrong. I very cautiously redialled her number, already having serious heart palpitations awaiting the bad news. Turns out that they had heard water running on our house side of the wall [side note: we live in a complex and our units share a boundary wall – our bathrooms are close to the wall at the back wall, which is how they heard the noise] from the night before, but paid little attention to it as they assumed we were around. It was only after they were pulling out the next morning that she noticed that our car was not there (we now only have one car – have I blogged about this??? – so easy to spot if we’re not around!!) and wondered whether we had in fact been there at all since they first heard the water running. She asked whether her husband could jump over the wall and turn the water off at the mains. Of course we said yes! She also said that he’d look through the window and try ascertain if there was any damage so that we could decide if we should come back home or not. Well, I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves…

Needless to say, we decided that we wanted to see the damage with our own eyes, well aware that it was a Sunday which meant nothing could be done anyway! The hubster decided to make the trip home on his own and the minute he opened the front door, water came gushing out. It was not our geyser that burst, but the valve on the outside of the geyser – the geyser sits in the ceiling above our bedroom though. Our entire bedroom was gutted – ceilings, floors, skirting boards, sleigh bed, mattress, to name a few things – the whole passage cupboard and every single thing in it from linen and towels, to electric blankets, board games and books. The passage skirting boards were badly damaged, and both the boys’ room and the spare room bedroom floors were badly damaged.

You know how they say that every cloud has a silver lining. Well, when the hubster reported the full extent of the damage back to me having seen it for himself, I was really upset. All I could think of was what else could go wrong in 2020??!!! Fortunately, our body corporate insurance and household insurance covered every.single.item…down to the smallest box of puzzles and boardgames up to the repainting of our entire room and passage, new skirting boards in all rooms, a brand new linen cupboard and new laminated floors in all the bedrooms – floors which were on our list to be replaced in the near future, finances permitting! The admin was a nightmare and the replacing of the ceilings was absolutely horrible – fine dust for days – but when I think of this experience, I count this as one of the unexpected blessings that we had in 2020. If only the water had damaged the kitchen too 😉