Last week I had the interesting experience of checking into one of my own cottages while other people occupied my house… all part of the grand plan, of course, having decided to share my lovely home with visitors since my boys are now at university. I have actually slept in all five of my cottages but only for one night to test drive them on completion, and that’s been awhile back!
So off to Cottage No 2 I hied myself with the menagerie. My two little dogs could not understand being denied access to their home, but after a while they resigned themselves to their baskets on the stoep. Needless to say Ms Cinnamon cat colonised her new abode in two minutes flat! My little HomeAway cottage really is so well-equipped I did not long for any of the comforts only 30m away – that’s because when I was setting up I thought about what I would like to be provided, including plenty of elbow room!
The fridge’s freezer compartment was big enough to accommodate my esoteric requirements (ice with wine!) and I decided to eat in, although I could easily have strolled down the road to sample the delights of our baker’s dozen restaurants. It was really easy to whip up a meal on the little two plate stove and microwave and I wondered why one slaves over much more elaborate concoctions, especially in this heat! I could equally have lit a fire outside by the pool and flung a worsie on the coals - tjop en dop is so quintessentially South African! However, I contented myself with lounging in the recliners and watching the sun set behind the olive trees. Later I lazed in the little plunge pool as the evening purpled into dusk and admired the far flung beauty of the Milky Way sparkling brightly overhead (there is little light pollution in Tulbagh).
I loved the big shower and the efficiency of the gas geyser, even tried out the complementary toiletries provided for those who have forgotten to bring along. And so to bed, perchance to dream, although I could have watched a little TV had I so wished. I have to tell you the bed is comfortable – knew it would be, having invested in best quality mattresses! Many of my guests bring their own pillows (and often leave them behind, which creates stress all round!), but there is really no need. Each bed has a fluffy and a flattie – you can have both, either or neither depending on the state of your neck.
The weather has been overly warm this summer, but thankfully it usually cools at night and because it is safe here I simply slept with the door open to catch the breeze. Failing that there is a good fan over the bed, and two types of mozzie spray (effective or eco-friendly, take your pick!). It struck me how very peaceful it was with all the lights off – only cicadas sawing away. In the morning I awoke to sunshine and birdsong and the happy prospect of exploring my hometown through the eyes of a tourist…