Holiday over

Real life

This year I have a house sitter who stays in my house, looks after the dogs, keep the pool clean, water the garden, and in general check my property to the exclusion of burglars.

One morning he sends me a message that his car had been stolen from the garage. Fortunately (for me) it turned out to have been stolen not from my garage, but from his parents’ house.

We always want to know where our kids are. Gouritsmond is probably the safest place in the country, but still. It is a bit uncomfortable, though, when the kids WhatsApp you 04h00 in the morning to advise that they have returned to their tents.

Life savers guard the beach every day. Usually there are no strong currents at Gourits, so I would assume them to become very bored. One afternoon at the sea, though, they seem to have a perfect little storm, so to speak, with the backwash and the current being just right for people to get in trouble. We witnessed them collecting a little girl being drawn in by the backwash. She was not really in serious danger, although she probably might eventually have been had it not been for the life saver’s quick response. Apparently she was their seventh save for the day.


Camping seems to be a bit of an equalizer between classes. Granted, you could arrive there with very luxurious equipment. But in general the whole camping setup would appear to make the difference between the have-a-lots and the have-less fade away.  Except if you are an avid angler, there is not necessarily much to do that really has to be done. Everything can wait. Meaning that one spends time with neighbours and friends that in the ordinary rush would not have happened.



Whilst preparing the fire for the after dinner roly poly on old year’s eve I got a call from a relative. He’s coming over for coffee tomorrow morning. “Is after eight all right?” he asks.  Of course I say it is fine.   I mean, of course he is kidding. Who comes for coffee anywhere near eight in the morning of New Year’s morning.

Well, it turned out he does. Just past eight he and a friend pulls up at the camp site. As it happened this was the hottest day of the holiday, and by that time we could not stand the heat in the caravan in any event. Even at that hour we did battle finding enough shade for us to have our coffee without breaking a sweat.

Leaving, but not on a jet plane

That last day before leaving for home always turns out the same. In spite of our undertakings to ourselves to enjoy the day to the full, half way through the day we find ourselves starting to slowly lose the holiday feeling and starting putting things right for the big packing that would happen only later the evening.

And when that is done, it is a juggling exercise to organise the stuff so that enough space remains to still sleep that one last night.

So this time we decided to short circuit the whole exercise. A day before our scheduled departure we got up at first light and started packing. By eleven the morning everything was packed, the caravan hitched, and ready to leave.

Oh, not quite. I still need to check the caravan’s rear lights. Normally it works. I always hope it does, because save for scratching the contact points with sand paper, I have no remedy for the event that it does not work.

The trip home goes somewhat slower than with a jet plane, I’m afraid. Just short of five hours later, covering the 360 km at an averaged GPS speed of 76 km/h we arrive home. Thankful for a very nice holiday, and for the tow vehicle not playing up in any way!




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