…overlooking some local vineyards while waiting for my daughter and her friends to enjoy a last-day-of-the-school-holidays lunch. I’ve done a couple of jobs and a bit of shopping, and now I’m back where I dropped them off and I’m enjoying a sandwich while I wait and don’t cramp anyone’s style.
As regular readers will know, I’m well used to waiting in car parks while my kids do stuff, and this one really isn’t much of a chore, given the weather and the view.
At times like this, I’m reminded of a recent conversation about emigration. As a topic, it’s always lurking awkwardly somewhere in the background at parties and braais, ready to pop into the chat in any quiet moment. Honestly, I’d rather talk about other things. Probably with other people. People who want to talk about emigration are usually the ones who want to talk about other stuff I don’t.
I came for the beer and the meat and the happy times. An opportunity for some time off from real life.
Not to wallow in politics and economics and crime stats. (And remember: I’m not just talking about SA here.)
But there was no escape in this case. And this was the “we’re staying” version of the emigration chat.
And the line that has remained with me from the mountain walk that morning is:
If we were in the UK right now, what would the highlight of our weekend be? Probably visiting a garden centre.
I sometimes think that in justifying (or trying to justify?) these sorts of decisions, it’s easy to be biased towards whichever side you’ve chosen, sometimes by over exaggerating the positives of your choice, sometimes by denigrating the other option.
And I do definitely think that this is a bit of the latter.
But as I’ve said before (and fully recognising how lucky I am to be able to say this), for us, the lifestyle here far outweighs the problems of the place.
And without wanting to do the UK down, I can’t help but think that if I were there, I’d more likely be waiting in a shopping centre multi-storey car park and not overlooking the Constantia Valley and False Bay. (Well, obviously. But you know what I mean.) And it’s not like I don’t have the choice of a shopping centre multi-storey car park if that were my (or my daughter’s) scene.
But on a sunny, breezy Monday lunchtime under the oaks in Constantia, the biggest concerns are baboons and tourists. And why they didn’t bring a straw with her milkshake.
And this car park is really good.