Gratitude, in bushels!

This week is off to an excellent start.

Yesterday I worked with foreign tourists – for the first time in over a year!! I acted as interpreter at the wedding of a French couple who speak no English but, for various reasons, wanted to integrate their wedding with the honeymoon in South Africa. It was a wind-free warm day, the setting was a beautiful boutique hotel in Clifton, one of Cape Town’s most trendy suburbs overlooking the best beaches in the country. Everyone went the exra mile – not least of all the travel agent and I who were beside ourselves with nerves at seeing foreign clients again! Out came the pearls and make-up for me, and a suit and polished smart shoes for him – all manner of things we haven’t bothered with in 12 months of lockdown!

Everything went very well, our couple was thrilled and very appreciative with all the attentiveness. We followed up with a wonderful lunch in Camps Bay, the suburb next door which is also usually a very popular tourism spot. Sadly, we had almost the entire restaurant to ourselves because tourism is so dismal at the moment, but this meant we had undivided attention from our waiters. Our clients were even moved to order a bottle of champagne that cost almost as much as I earned for the entire day – normally I’d be horrified at this sort of expense but the gesture was highly appreciated as I sipped the bubbles of the widow and gazed on the white sands of Camps Bay.

I returned home extremely satisfied with myself and duly exhausted – for once I slept through the night like a log. I don’t know if it’s because of the chamapgne or so much delicious food.

This morning I received a message that I have won a book ! This may seem like no big deal but books have become very expensive and, more to the point .. as much as I love having a Kindle and being able to grab bargains on Amazon that are downloaded in a flash, I sometimes do miss the feel and smell of a book in my hands. And everyone loves to win something, right? I’ll do a book review blog when I’ve read it. In the meantime, big thanks to Paige Nick and Penguin Random House Publishers. If you enjoy reading and want to hear from other readers what’s hot and what’s not, join the Facebook group known as the Good Book Appreciation Society. It’s South African in that the admins are here and prizes are usually only for locals but we have members from all over the world. Readers from elsewhere who are interested in Africana often appreciate the suggestions and input from locals.

As if I wasn’t already giddy with self-satisfaction I received the top bonus of all in the form of an email from my tutor. What tutor? I’ve decided that because tourism isn’t coming back in a hurry and certainly not in the large numbers of before, it’s time for me to do something else. My low energy levels due to my lung problems and my susceptibility to the virus (and no vaccine in sight for a long time for me), make it very difficult for me to find a way to earn a living. I hit on the idea of teaching English to foreigners. I can teach online until such time as the world goes back to normal. So, I signed up for a course and I’ve been studying for almost two months.

Today’s email was to advise me I’ve passed my second assignment, at first attempt. That’s the most important part – first attempt! It’s quite common to be told to revise certain parts of an assignment and I struggled with this one so I fully expected to be given feedback about parts to redo. Not so! Now I can continue with the course (you have to wait for assignments to be returned before continuing), and the sooner I finish the sooner I can start getting some experience, and then teaching for real moola.

So, yay!! truly a red letter week so far! I dare not hope for more great news because they say these things come in threes and that’s my three but I did buy a few lotery tickets the other day so there’s always that glimmer of hope!

The magnificent Clifton beaches. Aside from being cute and smallish, their biggest appeal is that no matter what the wind conditions are throughout Cape Town, these four little beaches are always sheltered from the wind, That means a lot in a city known for very unpleasant strong summer winds. I spent an inordinate amount of time there in my youth, on each of those beaches as they waxed and waned in popularity and I have fond memories of them and all the friends I hung out with. And the bikinis … oh the bikinis!
And to celebrate all this I baked a lemon meringue – the lemon tree is bountiful at the moment so why not?

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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