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Weekend in Swellendam

On Friday we rushed to get finished at home so that we could get on the road and not arrive in Swellendam too late. We managed start driving around 19:00 after filling up and buying some KFC for dinner. The ride there felt very long and I could not WAIT to arrive. The fact that I needed to go to the loo and was feeling really uncomfortable from sitting in the same position the whole time really didn’t help things much. Eventually we arrived at Boogaloo’s house. We stayed there for a short while, meeting and greeting his family and passing on our condolences. We stayed for a drink, but Babyice was sleeping in the car and I was eager to leave so that we could put him down for the night. Boogaloo took us to our lodgings.


We met Thys, a very sweet man. He lives alone in quite a large house and was expecting us. He had arranged a matress for Babyice right next to our king size bed. We put Babyice down with his own pillow, blanket and ducky that we had brought with. I thought it might help him sleep better if his bedding smelt “familiar”. We then joined Boogaloo and our host in the lounge. He poured us some wine and we sat around and chatted for a while. By that time it was almost midnight and I was tired, so I excused myself and went to bed. At first I struggled to fall asleep, but eventually did. Not long after that Rudi joined. Of course he woke me up in the process. I hate when he does that. I struggled to go back to sleep again. He hadn’t closed the door properly and it kept banging. Eventually I had to get out of bed to close it. Babyice started crying a little during the night, we picked him up and put him in bed with us and he went back to sleep easily.


At 06:20 the next morning there was a knock at our door. It was Thys carrying a tray with brewed coffee, sugar and milk. We were all still sleeping. What a spoil! Babyice just looked at him and said ‘Seep’ (sleep). We woke up and wiped the sleep from our eyes. Thys was busy in the kitched with breakfast. He set the table in his beautiful dining room and served us toast and scrambled eggs with cheese. He had orange juice and coffee on the table, also home made jams (which he made himself). Cloth napkins with real silver napkin rings and a white table cloth. All very fancy 🙂 Once we had finished breakfast we had to start getting ready for the funeral. We all managed to get ready and leave the house around 09:00 for the drive through to Heidelberg.


The drive to Heidelberg is about 30 minutes from Swellendam. There were lots of cows, sheep and ostriches to show Babyice on the way there, but we were going so fast that it was difficult for him to see them. The funeral itself was pretty standard. There was no coffin in the church and I was kind of relieved. My grandfather specifically requested not to have his coffin in the church because the finality of the image usually cracks any composure the family manages to muster. One of Boogaloo’s brothers did not want to carry the coffin in to the church and that is what eventually led to the decision for it not to happen at all. Babyice ran amuck the entire service. Since I am closer to the family than Rudi is, he ran after him the entire time. At some point they escaped outside and remained there. The hymns that we sung made me and Boogaloo particularly emotional because Boogaloo’s mother specifically requested those two hymns. He discussed this with me before the funeral, which is why I understood the significance. Boogaloo says in hindsight he now sees signs that her soul knew that she was going to answer God’s call soon. She was saying goodbye in small ways all the time. The last thing she did was to make him a cup of coffee (despite discomfort and a broken arm), she brought it to him and her last words to him were ‘Remember I will always love you’.


After the funeral we headed back to where we were staying to change our clothes. Boogaloo joined us about an hour later and wanted to go for a walk with me to be alone and talk. He can say things to me that he can’t say to anyone else and he needed to vent. We ended up having a beautiful walk talking about our loved ones who passed away. It was also Jamie’s birthday on Saturday. We spoke about Jamie, my oupa and his mother. We stopped at a small damn with pretty flowers and saw three butterflies flying over them. It was almost like a sign. We walked right through the town! I think we were walking for around an hour. Rudi called me to find out if we were lost! My legs are still paying the price! OW.


We then went to Boogaloo’s house for a braai. We spent the rest of the day having drinks and relaxing (read: chasing Babyice around and preventing him from jumping into the pool). We bathed him there and after he went to sleep we sat outside and chatted about nonsense. Boogaloo was feeling drained and tired, not having dealt with his loss at all and handling all the arrangements had finally taken it’s toll. We allowed him to nap on the couch and agreed to wake him when the food was ready. We had a lovely steak and salad dinner. The guys had been talking about cars for the longest time, so I went inside to watch Pirates of the Carribean. Rudi was having a jolly old time drinking brandy and of course he didn’t want to leave. I was dog tired though (only having had 5 hours sleep) and asked to leave. ‘One more drink’…same old story. We got back to our lodgings around 23:30 and I promptly went to bed. At some point in the night Babyice woke up and without a sound climbed into bed next to Rudi. We didn’t even know he was there until we woke up! (That was kind of cool)


Of course Babyice would wake us up at 05:30 when we got in so late. When we got up Thys was nowhere to be seen. We “relaxed” in bed a little (as much as you can relax while being used as a jungle gym) and eventually Thys surfaced again. It turns out he had gone to the shop to buy supplies for breakfast. We decided to shower and pack the car up before breakfast so that we wouldn’t have to worry about it later. Thys prepared the table beautifully again and cooked us omellettes with cheese, mushroom, tomatoes and bacon. There were also olive rolls on the table that he had toasted in the oven. Yum! After hanging around for a while we made our way back to Boogaloo’s house.


Boogaloo wasn’t feeling well and had been feverish earlier in the morning. His boyfriend insisted we stay for lunch which delayed our departure till 14:00. When we hit the road Babyice fell asleep almost instantly and I tried to nap in the back of the car as well. I had even made sure that Babyice’s pillow was with me so that I could sleep semi-comfortably, but it was not meant to be. For some reason I had a really stuffy nose and a post nasal drip which made it practically impossible to sleep. I managed to doze a little bit every now and then, but not nearly the entire two and a half hours we were on the road. I hadn’t slept much the weekend so I was tired and I realized that there would be a lot of work for me to do once we arrived home.


I was happy to be home, but daunted by all the things I would need to do. The dishwasher needed to be unpacked and repacked, Babyice’s bag for the week needed to be packed, laundry needed to be done, ALL the baby bottles had to be washed and sterilised, Babyice had to be bathed and fed, the suitcase needed to be packed and filled with the things that were taken out of it, etc. I must admit I was rather grumpy about having to do *everything*. Rudi was sitting with Babyice who wasn’t happy to be home. After being quite well behaved all weekend, he was clingy and moody. I offered to take over and let Rudi do all the other work, but he declined. I’m sure I bit his head off for looking at me skew at some point. How do other mothers do it? Work/kids/cooking/cleaning and and and?! How do you do it every day without being resentful?


All in all we had a lovely weekend away, despite the circumstances. We’re going back for a mini holiday in January when we happen to have leave together. “Holidays” are so much more affordable when you don’t have to pay for accommodation!