The Self Employed Housewife – Diary of a foreigner – book two Ch 8
Their house became a Show House
The agent was very optimistic about selling their house quickly the moment Jan signed the papers. He brought a few couples in the following days. One couple reminded her of the time when they had met Sonja and Jaap, the previous owners, for the first time, and how they became friends and that Sonja had invited her to join her Mother-in-law’s yoga class.
Now she discovered how a show house worked. They had to leave their home between two and five O’clock. During that time she had made an arrangement to visit Ina, an older lady from her leather class and her Husband Kees. They lived in Newton Park.
“Will tinkle be OK?” Sascia was alarmed when she heard about her decision to lock their kitty in her leather storeroom together with all the leather products. Having strangers walking into their home was somewhat nerve-wracking.
“She is better off believe me. Kitties no not like to be invaded by strangers.”
“What about Tweetie the budgie?”
“Nothing will happen when the cage is closed and we tell the agent to look after it, OK.”
Ina and Kees a retired couple made them feel very welcome and Kees introduced them to a huge Alsatian, a retired police dog who, to every one’s amazement could find a peanut in the grass lawn when it had been thrown like a stick. He would return it and put it in Kees’ hand. Jeroen was truly impressed. Kees had been a dog trainer for the police and he clearly loved his work, so he was very good at it.
When they returned after five O’ clock the agent handed Jan a signed offer for their home. It was the price they had asked for, so that was fast. The financial exchange of ownership would be finalized on both homes in three months time.
Art in the Park
The kids were at school and Jan had gone to work, so her time was her own, but for the last two weeks she had been spending all her time packing goods in boxes. She was supposed to go to her outside leather work room to make some stock for Art in the Park, but for the first time she hoped it was raining on Sunday, so the event would be forwarded to the next Sunday.
Her monthly sales at Art-in-the-park were truly lucrative, almost earning a monthly salary from that one day. Gradually she invented new products and even her dying technique was improving compared to how she started off in Durban. She was now saving up for an airbrush so she could spray fine layers with it on leather, now that she knew how to mix her spirit dies.
Going to yoga class for the last time from their old home
“Really you have purchased a house in Walmer? That is a good move. You will not regret it I’m sure”Sonja said. They all agreed when the domestic servant brought in coffee and cake after their yoga session. She wondered how easy it would be to get to her regular yoga morning group after their move. Her Wednesday mornings were a ritual she had so relied on, especially because she could talk about topics that occupied her mind and they were always followed with lively discussion.
She would also miss her friend Pat from the second hand bookshop. It was a long drive from the Walmer suburb near town. She would have to combine a trip with visiting her other friends. How was she ever going to meet new friends with similar interest?
Cynthia, their yoga teacher shared with the group that she had been approached to join a training group to become a lifeline counsellor. Sonja was also interested in joining and they all thought it would just be something she would be interested in.
“Tell me more.”
"Life line originally started in Australia. It is a network of telephone counselling by offering support to those experiencing emotional distress."
“What does the training involve?”
“For a start the training is free, and when the first group has passed an oral exam we will get a chance to practice on a real phone call and see how we handle it. We by then have already had lots of example calls to learn what to expect.”
She truly respected Sonja’s mother-in-law for her kindness and wisdom, so she felt she should at least join her for an introduction meeting to be held in town very near to Walmer.
Signing up for new schools
Both Sascia and Jeroen were apprehensive about going to a new primary school. There was a dual medium school she had visited the previous week. Like their previous school they had classes teaching in Afrikaans and English. Her kids were taught in English. All they needed were a set of new school uniforms, an expense she wished she could do without.
The papers were finalised for the Walmer home and the previous owners were supposed to move out. Nevertheless they started tearing away all the wallpaper and carpets while the people were still packing up.
The kids had great fun helped her tearing the paper off the walls but when the woman asked if they could keep it in one piece, so she could use it, they were all flabbergasted.
“What are you going to do with the wallpaper?” she asked again while she was walking past the lounge carrying her stuff to the two cars. She was at first very surprised at that question. What did she mean? They never saw a removal van.
The house was truly in a great mess. Not anything like their home. She had a major cleaning effort going on for the last few days while piling up boxes for the removal van booked for the following day. When they left their old house for good it would be clean and totally empty, but the previous owners of the new house were already two days past their time off moving out and had left it in a shocking state.
Moving into a new home
Jan had already driven two trips to Walmer to move many of his plants that were in pots, including the house plants, before the removal van was scheduled to arrive at ten O’clock. He had been doing a huge painting job after hours two days in a row, so she was keen to see what their new house now looked like.
Her leather products and tools were packed away in the Beetle with the budgie cage on Sascia’s lap while Jeroen settled in Jan’s station wagon among suitcases with the kitty in a box. They both followed the removal van. It was already well past lunch time. It was a strange feeling to drive away for the last time.
She saw in her rear-view mirror that a large removal van had arrived just as they drove around the corner towards the freeway.
“They must have been waiting for us to leave.” She had not thought that it would have taken them until after lunch before they were on their way. The new owners were from out of town, so they must have arrived the day before and stayed over somewhere.
They had planned to move on a Saturday so the kids had two days in their new home before going to a new school.
Sascia waved at them, but she was not so sure if it had been spotted by the new owners, an older Afrikaans couple with a teenage daughter.
“Let’s buy a box of Kentucky fried chicken on the way to our new home. I don’t feel like cooking tonight on a stove that the owners were supposed to leave behind.” She was almost sure that the first thing they had to buy was a new stove on Monday. Jan had not mentioned what the house looked like when they finally were out, but she was prepared for the worst. These people were of a total different breed to them. Even the kids called them strange.