Last week was a horrible 'flu week. I felt weak and shaky and like I couldn't concentrate for long periods of time. I spent most of the week under the duvets as standing up seemed to make the nausea worse, nevermind the dizziness. I cancelled life group (which hardly ever happens) on Wed evening in case I made anyone else sick. By Thursday, I was thankfully feeling ok again and turned my PC on to blog and check mails for the first time in ages.
It was yet another realization of how much I love the online world. I missed reading everyone's posts and leaving comments. I missed posting on this blog and those little emails from friends throughout the day.
Despite being booked off by the doctor for the whole week, I decided I was definitely well enough to be back at work on Friday. It was good to have people to talk to again and things to keep me busy and I actually enjoyed writing my press releases, which I normally hate.
Then I got a phone call from my mom. They had made plans to go away to Hazyview from Saturday to Monday to see my gran for her birthday. My brother was supposed to go with them, along with his friend, but he couldn't make it anymore (I thought it was because he had a supplementary exam, but apparently it was because he had failed the supp and had just discovered he had to start winter school on Mon). My mom asked if there was any way I could get a day's leave for Monday so that TSC and I could go with in his place.
I said I felt uncomfortable asking my boss for the day off when I'd been off sick for most of the week and that we had planned to go to the Bloggirls event and watch the rugby with friends on Sat. She said that if we couldn't go they'd have still have to pay for the hotel room (dinner, bed and breakfast) and lose a fair amount of money, so would I swallow my embarrassment and talk to my boss.
I stopped to think for a moment. See, I made a decision three years ago (at my grandfather's 80th birthday lunch) that I will take each and every opportunity I get to spend time with my grandparents while they're still here. To be able to celebrate another birthday with my gran is a big deal - after 70, I think every birthday is a milestone to be celebrated. Aside from that, it would save my parents losing money and allow us to enjoy a weekend away with them in a beautiful lakeside location...
I chatted to my boss, who was in a great mood and kindly agreed to give me the day off. I spent the remainder of the day trying to be as productive as possible to convince her of my gratitude. Then I raced home to pack a bag and load our cats in the car to drop them off with my brother for the weekend.
I let the girls know that I wouldn't be able to make Bloggirls after all, which I was pretty bleak about - I so look forward to the monthly events - and told Peter, our "rugby" friend, that we wouldn't be there for his braai either. And off we drove to Pretoria in peak-hour traffic. Yuck.
The next morning we drove through to Hazyview, stopping for brunch along the way. It's about a four-hour drive to the place we stayed at, Hulala Lakeside Lodge. This is it...
It was a lovely weekend. We had a fireplace in our room, which kept the chilly nights at bay. The food was very good and we enjoyed a cocktail or two in the Rock Inn Bar (a clever pun, seeing the place is built around these giant boulders that are now indoors). TSC and I paddled around the Da Gama Dam and we took a walk through the bush with my folks.
On Sunday morning, my gran drove through from Graskop and we gave her the presents we'd brought along (of the pamper pack I had put together, she was oddly most enamoured with the gel pads for her shoes to stop them chafing her). We had lunch on the deck and then my parents organised a little cruise around the dam on the hotel's boat. We saw a fish eagle and a few kingfishers, and when we got back to shore there were four zebra grazing on the lawn. They're very tame and I took some pics (which I have yet to download).
My gran seemed to enjoy her birthday celebrations and I loved seeing her face when my mom told her that her birthday present is a trip with my mom to the Victoria Falls (she was born in Livingstone, Zambia, where the falls are, but hasn't been back in over 60 years). She's such a gentle soul and we share a love of cats and murder mysteries. She managed to depart without getting teary, which usually happens, and headed back to Graskop with her car filled with gifts.
On Monday we drove back to freezing Joburg, stopping at the quaint Casterbridge centre in White River for my mom and I to browse the craft stores.
It was such a lovely unexpected treat, and although I felt bad that my brother didn't get to go, he seemed to make the most of not having my folks around for the weekend and spent most of it partying up a storm.