First, I’d like to apologise for all the missed calls and smses that I did not reply to this weekend. I have no excuse. I’m useless. Please don’t cross me off your social calendar just yet. Things are a bit hectic this week.
My weekend, abridged: I organised Kj’s kitchen tea and hen party on Saturday. My grandmother brought her a nectarine pip. On Sunday I went with Boyfriend to join his family for their big Christmas dinner out at Henley-on-Klip. It was pretty. The end. Now you’re caught up.
If you’re really bored and on work time, here's the unabridged version:
The party started with a fairly sober kitchen tea, where all the ladies were asked to bring a recipe and a marriage tip, to be stuck into a personalised folder. Cute. Trying to convey these instructions to my deaf grandmother over the phone was frustrating. After a few minutes of shouting, we eventually gave up and decided to just tell her when we picked her up.
I was the lucky one to play Granny-fedex. As I was shuffling her out of the door, she started muttering about a pip. Why must she bring a pip? I thought she’d lost her pip.
We eventually established that when we were shouting MARRIAGE TIP, she was hearing BRING A PIP, and so had duly eaten, washed and wrapped a nectarine pip. We convinced her to give it to the Bride-to-be anyway. I’m telling you now, marriage pips will be all the rage by next year.
The kitchen tea was followed by a less-sober Hen Party. We took our bachelorette to Billy’s in Fourways, because nobody else was interested in treating her to an exhibition at Tease Hers, much to my disappointment. Anywho, many cocktails were consumed and many men were harassed. My mother had kindly provided a giant penis moulded out of white chocolate, because that is what she does. No further comment there.
It also turns out that Billy’s is apparently the mecca for all Bachelorette parties. There were five other Brides-to-be on Saturday evening, which lead to a number of attention-seeking arm-wrestles and dance-offs.
Right at the end, the Bride-to-be had a fight with her Bridesmaid-to-be sister and it all ended in tears, with me dragging the one out of the bathroom to take her home. Aaaaah, emotions and alcohol. Good times.
Boyfriend’s family Christmas/reunion
After four years, Boyfriend was finally brave enough to extend an invitation to his family’s yearly Christmas lunch out at Henley-on-Klip. I thought Henley-on-Klip was on the other side of Pretoria, turns out it’s by the Vaal. Learn something everyday.
The family Christmas was like any other family reunion. If you’re present, they fight with you; if you’re missing they talk about you. There are the loud, over-opinionated ones; the ones fighting in the kitchen for the title of Best Cook/Best Host; the granny who can’t hear properly; the uncle who gets drunk and then wants to give speeches; the dodgy cousin who cops a feel at every opportunity for a hug (or is patting my arse how they say hello out near Henley?); and more and more, the pressure for the pitter-patter of little feet.
Boyfriend’s mother informed us, in no uncertain terms that in ten years time she wants – no, DEMANDS – grandkids. This year, she attended her 40th school reunion and was embarrassed beyond words to only have tales of one child’s wedding - and no grandkid photos to produce. Can you handle the scandal? At least she was better off than poor Esme… none of her children are married. Can you imagine the shame? She is absolutely not attending her 50th reunion if she has nothing to show for it.
Fortunately, Boyfriend is the youngest of three children, so the pressure is on the newly-wedded eldest for grandkids, and then on the middle child for the next wedding. Although ten years is a long time, she may be including us in that little equation.
The family Christmas was also interesting because I learnt where Boyfriend gets his lack of direction from. Travelling in convoy behind his father, who led us through two U-turns… in a row… in the little community of Henley-on-Klip, I realised why my darling Boyfriend has as much homing instinct as a blind ferret.
Actually, I lie... Boyfriend does have homing instinct. Unfortunately, his beacon of reference is Ponte Tower. He went to KES (I prefer to call it Hillbrow High), but being of the northern suburbs, I’m not so comfortable with the area. I’m actually much calmer about it than I used to be - there used to be panic attacks in the car as he drove me through Hillbrow at 11:30pm trying to get his bearings…
Driving back yesterday, we had our obligatory argument about how to get home.
“Stay on the N3,” I said… “it’s lunchtime on a Monday, just stay on the highway.”
“No no,” said Boyfriend, “I think we should follow the signs to Joburg.”
“You make a good point,” I countered, “But following the signs will lead you through city centre. At lunch time. On a Monday.”
“I’m following the signs,” said Boyfriend, putting his ‘I.R. Man’ cap on.
I closed the mapbook, muttered something about needing my Hillbrow fix and gave up trying to navigate. Also, bear in mind, we were giving a German journalist a lift from pretty and peaceful Henley-on-Klip to Sandton. Why not take her through the city centre? We need more good news stories to infiltrate Europe.
And so we wound our way through lunchtime traffic, eventually finding Joe Slovo Dr and going straight past Ponte. Always Ponte. Capetonians have the mountain, my Boyfriend has Ponte.
Having survived the Nigerians, drug dealers, muggers and hijackers (one and the same?) without incident, we got the German safely back to our apartment, where I fed her my world-renouned Banana-squishies, selling them as a South African treat.
I kid you not, she asked for the recipe.