the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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Forwards and backwards

Today was a bit of an odd day, exciting and sad. The exciting part is we bought a car on the weekend, and I collected it this morning, and we're well chuffed. It's been remarkable that we've managed without a car for so long: we've been lucky to have my sister and brother in law helping out when we needed it, but for the most part, we've made do with buses and trains, and walking a few blocks to get whatever we need. I wouldn't have wanted to make do forever without a car, but it can be done, and that's not something my middle class South African mind could have grokked a year ago.

In fact, I really hope we don't allow the car to make us lazy. I love walking around our town, and there are whole swathes of Oxford I've yet to explore by foot. I enjoy the bus commute in the mornings and evenings, despite having to sit next to the occasional smelly slob. I spend the same amount of time commuting that I did in Joburg, but in Joburg I was sitting in traffic for 45 minutes twice a day, now I get to sit quietly and read for an hour and a half every day. I haven't read this avidly in years. Every now and then, I don't read, and just soak in the countryside for half an hour or so. It's great.

A car will change things, though. It gives us independence, and security with little one on the way, and the ability to broaden our horizons: do more, travel more, see more. In many respects it marked the final thing we needed to do, to really feel like we're settling in this country. I fetched Ronwen this afternoon, and we got cheerfully lost exploring villages and hamlets and winding country roads as we drove home from Oxford. Then we stopped in and got McDonalds drive-thru at Benson, just because we could. Things are going to be different.

The sad part of the day is that today marks 2 years since my mom passed away. A few years ago any exciting news, like today, would have seen me pick up the phone and share it with my mom. So much has happened over the past two years, and I often still get that near-subconscious urge to pick up the phone and report good news, but then I remember that I can't. I'm grateful for the family and loved ones I can still report good news to, but I still miss my mom.

{2007.03.21 - 21:51}


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