. . you can’t go home! You can’t go back to Botswana! Who’s going to help me keep Tom in his place!?
Tumisang Lekoni studied hospitality at the International Hotel School up the road from us and she and Tom became good friends. Twenty two pounds ringing wet and four foot two (I exaggerate!), she has a lovely strong voice and is one of the few people who can get a word in edgeways when Tom is off on a monologue.
You spoilt Tom rotten, helping him with his chores after a full day’s work in which he’d mostly sat on his bottom!
We’ll miss you big time Tumi. Our little valley is emptier without you.
Here we see Tom ‘Not Dropping His Phone’ – cos ‘I never drop my phone, Dad, it just breaks!’
So I get this: “Dad – May 7 people pls sleep over?”
So I put my foot down and Negotiated Tough. We settled on six total.
Then one arrived by bicycle and one’s Mom dropped him off. So I ended up only catering for eight meat-eating 13-and 14-yr-old noisy, farty, rugger bugger boys. Just as Tom had asked for in the beginning (no doubt having told them Yeah, No Problem! right from the start!).
(Sunday I got rid of three of them and then I had five referees playing rugby in the pool. Loud shouts of “Played On!” “Offsides!” “Release!” “High Tackle!” “Use it!”)
Tom and I butted heads today. I decided to take time out and disappear for a quiet hour in a nature reserve. Just as I was about to leave Tom snuck into the back seat and lay down. On the way and the whole time there he slept.
I wandered around, staying near the bakkie, birding and snapping pics.
When we got home two hours later, he woke up and gave me a huge hug.
While we’re packing for a camping trip to Mkhuze the vervet monkeys sneak into the kitchen and grab the fresh peanuts. The peanuts grown by Thulisiwe just north of Jozini on the Makathini Flats, which she then roasts over an open fire and salts herself. Tobias brings us some whenever he goes home.
Tom spots them on the roof, spilling the nuts as they chomp them, the spilt ones rolling down the tiles into the gutter. Hey! he shouts and remonstrates and fulminates! Tom and the monkeys, not a good relationship despite all my lectures (because of?).
After a while I tell him Relax m’boy, its OK for the monkeys to have the nuts. We left them in the open, their job is to glean and gather, so that’s that.
But he doesn’t like it, and he doesn’t like them. I think its because he’s a bit scared of them, so I ask him:
TomTom, how big do you think the monkeys are, fella? How much do they weigh?
About 90kg, he guesses. Guess again. First, how much do you weigh?
45kg And the monkeys?