My neighbour cannot find red onions for a new salad recipe and is at her wits’ end. Two local farmers had a drunken brawl in the pub last night and woke up unable to recall what happened — both have hired security guards to protect them. The security guards find this uproarious and have told everyone in the village about the fracas. All my sober friends are helping one another stay sober. A local woman gave birth unexpectedly in a roadside barn while travelling to a gynae appointment. She is going to call the baby Noel.
Summer rain is falling, a warm deluge of very welcome rain. An escaped African Grey parrot was found perched in a papaya tree and recaptured, much to its relief. Up on main road, there are over-crammed mini-buses and taxis heading off to the Amatola Mountains, Xhosa farm labourers heading home for the yearly reunion with families and their heartland.
My small brown dog has overturned the minature Christmas tree and is sitting on it surrounded by flickering lights and a forlorn African Drummer Boy in felt. No greetings cards from overseas have arrived yet, so it looks as if we don’t have any Christmassy friends. I did receive a snailmail letter from a friend in Wisconsin posted in October. A large ham is simmering in a pot on the stove and the fragrance of cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns is most enticing. My next road but one neighbour Thinus has given me a painting of horses grazing in a field with their manes and tails floating upright. Artistic licence.
Life, friends. You can live it, or miss it.