Whenever I get back from a holiday in South Africa, I go grocery shopping. I don't really have a clue what specifically I need to get, but I do know I need to get a lot of it - the cupboards and fridge need to be fully stocked.
This is because despite both being on thin side of slim, my sister and mother's kitchens are filled to the brim with food. The fridge is stacked with cheeses, cold meats, tasty leftovers, juices, carbonated drinks, chocolates, yogurts, puddings, juicy olives, sausages etc. The cupboards are similarly stocked with cookies, crisps, bread rolls, a wide variety of canned things, pastas, the list goes on. I cannot imagine an instance whereby they can stand with a hand on a hip staring inside their cupboards or fridge and say, "There's nothing to eat in the house." Both are equipped for a nuclear war - with enough stash to last them a year.
Chantell tells me that when you have a little person in the house, you need to have food on tap, as children graze. On my mother's end, I think she likes to be prepared should a small army drop round - just in case.
Either way, I like it - there's something rather comforting about food in the house. Like having cookies to go along with a hot cup of tea at the end of a working day, or a piece of cake should you like one. Yes, yes I know - not exactly conducive to the waistline.
Getting back to the house this week, it made me feel nervous to see the fridge so empty (both Robert and I have been away), so I promptly popped out to the shops, and I've already re-stocked the sweet bowl and the cookie jar, and did a shop on Ocado this morning. Phew.
I also love dogs, cats - animals generally, and that's another fix I get when I go home, because all my family members have pets. Chantell has three dogs: Bishop (ageing, mouse-hunting, likes a good all-over scratch, house dog), Bella (Dalmatian, lady, lipstick-lover, lizard-hunter), Swifty (keen swimmer, smart, boisterous, slightly bonkers). I loved waking up in the morning and going outside to be greeted by these strange lovely creatures who want nothing more from you than affection or a snack, if you have one. You don't have to be smart, or groomed, or thin - they just get a kick out of something inside of you that you wish other people saw, instead of all the other superficial bullshit.
I also enjoyed hanging out with Chantell's son Kyle. The kid is living proof that old-school parenting with a good deal of emphasis on manners results in a child that is a pleasure to be around. Sure, he's still a kid and behaves like one, but there's just a niceness about him and the way he conducts himself around people. It was tough saying goodbye to him.
Photos from South Africa here
At last: Zoe and Greg's wedding photos - finally uploaded