Toto, We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

We’re one month into our grand adventure and life is just that – grand. Small town life fits us like a glove. A snug, pink, knitted glove with wooly flowers stitched to it. Like the dresses your ouma used to knit for the Barbie doll who stood guard on top of the toilet, feet planted neatly inside a toilet paper roll.

Of course there’s been a period of adjusting – to the climate, the house, the lifestyle, the town, the people – but that’s to be expected when you move 930km away from your comfort zone.

Somerset East has a unique personality. She’s a whole lot of quirky and a little bit wild. She does how she pleases and the people who call her Home encourage it. Her uniqueness is what makes her her, after all. Listed below are a few of her quirks.

The Flowerless Florist

I was VERY excited when I spotted the florist’s drag queen pink sign, screaming “Bloemiste!”, at me last weekend during a drive through town. I had been hoping to add a bit of colour to our home and decided that Tuesday would be a splendid day for fresh flowers. So off I went on a brisk lunchtime walk to the florist, which is at the other end of town. It wasn’t a long walk, about 15min, but it was an exceptionally hot day so imagine my disappointment when I arrived, hot and sweaty, only to find out that they didn’t have any flowers. Niks! I smiled politely, sweat dripping down my back, as the owner explained that it didn’t make sense to stock flowers every day ‘out of season’ as she was always left with sad and wilted, orphaned flowers at the end of the week. She gave me her business card, and told me to call ahead next time. Noted, tannie, with thanks.

Stray Cows

Yes, stray cows. They march around town in herds of six or eight; mooing loudly over the sound of their cowbells, eating EVERYTHING in sight – grass, trees, Tannie Melba’s (Oom Francois’s wife) immaculately groomed garden… The locals refer to them as pests, but I think they’re quite fantastic. Somerset Beasts.

The Fruit Situation

The fruit selection at the only Spar in town consists of the following: red apples, green apples, and pineapples. Needless to say, my NutriBullet has been on a month long vacay. I’m hoping that the change of season will bring with it a bigger selection of fruit. Asseblief.

Neighbourly Neighbours

Jinne but people in Somerset East LOVE to drop by unannounced. Sometimes they say they’ll pop in, and then they arrive two days later. Other times they just pop in! To be honest I don’t even mind – they always come armed with a smile and a story, and I’ve just about mastered the art of keeping a tidy house at all times! 😉

Extreme Weather

We arrived in the Eastern Cape in the midst of a heatwave, with temperatures soaring to 50 in some parts. The Boyfriend’s PC overheated; and the cat kids turned into liquid pools of fluff, sprawled out on the floor, barely reacting to anything. The heat lasted for four days and then, overnight, it was Winter – I had to break out the flannel pyjamas! Temperamental is an understatement.

On Friday we were hit by a 5min circus freak of a hale storm (which sadly did a number on The Boyfriend’s brand new car), followed by heavy rain showers which lasted on and off for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, I was catching up with my sister over the phone when I noticed, with complete shock, that water was STREAMING through the window and into the (carpeted) living room. I rushed upstairs, hoping to get a better view through the study window, and that’s when I realised that I was going to have to McGyver my way out of the situation: the reason for the Olympic sized pool of water in the living room was a blocked stormwater drain. I made my way to the balcony via the master bedroom (to put on my big girl broekies), clambered onto the balcony railing, steadying myself with both feet on the 5cm wide wooden railing, one hand on the roof, and the other hand inside the drain, pulling out handfuls of dead leaves, twigs and grossness. I did this for about five minutes before the water started running through. I stood there for another minute or so, taking it all in. I was soaking wet, covered in muck, and filled with pride. I fixed something. WITH MY BARE HANDS. Half Girl Half Superwoman.

The Not So Cowardly Lion

Over the past few weeks, we heard a couple of stories about lion sightings in the mountain. The stories were mostly the same: Someone knows someone who spotted a lion whilst walking/hiking/running (this town is exercise obsessed!) up the mountain. Needless to say, I haven’t accepted ANY mountain hiking invitations. Nee dankie. Ook maar goed, because said lion was SPOTTED IN TOWN THIS MORNING. Just, you know, casually walking across the bridge! I can’t even begin to even.

The Mountain

She’s wild and free, and the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on first thing in the morning. On sunny days, she’s a green goddess watching over Somerset East, and on rainy days, she hides behind a thick wooly wall of grey clouds. I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without this view.

I’m sure this town will continue to shock and delight by revealing different parts of her multi-layered personality to us over the coming months, and I’ll be sure to document. Every. Little. Thing.

Have a beautiful day, lovelies!


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