I was sitting in a small English tea shop, devouring what I always seem to devour when I’m with B – cheesecake. Maybe that is one of the reasons I like B so much!
“When we have finished our cheesecake, I am going to buy you an early birthday present,” B said swallowing down her last mouthful.
“But,” I said, practically choking on the smooth, creamy cheese mixture, “but…you have already bought me my birthday present: my holiday in England.”
“That’s not your birthday present. That’s a necessity. Soul-mates need to be together. Eat up!”
“How old is your present IPad?” the sales woman asked.
“Not old at all. I’ve had it about four or five years.”
“Five years old!” the woman said aghast, “Well, technology has moved on. The latest versions are much faster, more efficient and lighter. Now, what work are you involved in?”
“Work?” I echoed feebly, “I’m not…I’m not…”
“She’s an author,” said B authoritatively.
Yes, I was, I realised. I was an author!
“As an author then, you will love this IPad Pro because the access speed and storage space is incredible,” the sales woman said with conviction.
“And,” added B, “your handbag will be so much lighter!”
I returned to South Africa, the proud owner of a new, light, thin, super-efficient IPad. It has this glorious orange cover that is like a ray of sunshine. It beamed up and into my heart and made me want to shout with laughter and joy.
My mother is staying with my sister in Cape Town. She has a stress fracture in her foot and has recently broken her wrist. On my way home to George from England, I stopped there for a few days. It was so good spending time with family once more. My ‘children’ were overjoyed to see me. Perdita, my wire haired dachshund, literally put her head back and wailed. She only shut up when I embraced her in my arms and crooned softly. Spencer, my cockatiel was…well, Spencer was Spencer, loudly giving me hell for being away so long!
Jan, a dear friend from George, travelled down to Cape Town to collect me and my menagerie. We laugh together, chat endlessly, are not afraid of silence and she is a person who will upbraid me for not behaving responsibly. She is much like an older sister to me.
We set off for George the next morning. Jan only had to be back by five to collect her dog, so knowing there was no rush, we took the scenic route. As we eased our way along the seashore, I gloried in this magnificent country we live in. We finally stopped for lunch in Greyton, an enchanting little town.
“I’ve often passed here and thought to myself: I must stop! Well, today’s the day,” Jan announced. “You can leave your IPad in the car. It’ll be quite safe,” she added. Ignoring her, I took my orange ray of sunshine with me.
Jan, Perdita and I ambled into this gorgeous little garden centre. We sat outside and while I filled Jan in on my English exploits, Perdita explored her new surroundings. We were served by this charming man with a wide, open face. “There’s water over there for your dog.”
“Thank you, I’ll be sure to show her,” I smiled.
As we were leaving, I remembered the water and called Perdita over. She wasn’t interested. Wanting her to have a little, I put my IPad on a table, and held the bowl under Perdita’s nose. Ah ah, she was having none of it. Jan had started the car, so gathering up Perdita, we climbed into the jeep and we were on our way. About an hour later, I thought I would get back to the book I was reading on Kindle. I looked for my IPad and it wasn’t where I normally kept it. I looked around. No IPad.
“Jans, did you put my IPad in the back?”
“No, I haven’t touched your IPad. You wouldn’t let me!”
She pulled over to the side of the road. “You look in the front. I’ll go and search the back of the car.”
Jan ‘Googled’ Greyton’s garden centres. “Fiore Garden Centre, was that it?”
“Yes, I remember it had a f in it.” I am hopeless at remembering names.
Jan dialled a number and spoke: “Hello, we have just had lunch at your garden centre. The two girls and a dog, do you remember us? Ah, good. Yes….yes….my friend has mislaid her orange IPad. What….you have it? Oh, how wonderful! Yes…yes…oh, my friend has just burst into tears! Please can you just hang onto the Ipad, somehow we’ll collect it from you. Thank you so, so much.”
How to get my IPad home again, that was the question? Greyton was not on the Cape Town to George route. I would have to ask whoever was doing the Cape Town to George drive, if they would mind going considerably out of their way to Greyton. Then Andrew, who worked at Fiore Garden Centre, hit upon a plan. He would take my IPad through to the Wimpy in Caledon (Caledon was the next door town). Apparently on Friday, the owner of the Wimpy was coming through to George. Et voila!!!
And that is how my orange ray of sunshine, entered my life once more.
I have told you this story for a reason.
I buy the Sunday papers each week. And each week I am left feeling the same way – dispirited. One reads about murders, robberies, fraud, corruption, failed marriages etc, etc and blooming etc! I have friends who don’t buy the paper for exactly that reason. I guess I’m one of those people that must know how deep the hole is in which I’m stuck.
Yet here is a story that speaks of something that we don’t hear enough about – the goodness of people. The big heartedness of B buying me the IPad. The selflessness of Jan driving five and a half hours to Cape Town to fetch me and my menagerie, and then driving us all the way home. The fact that Fiore Garden Centre found, looked after and then devised a plan to get my IPad back to me. Many people on finding my IPad would have said -thank you very much- and that would have been the last I saw of it.
We need to hear more good, happy stories. Such stories make my heart smile. And smile. And smile.
And in future, I will leave my IPad safely hidden and locked in Jan’s car!