acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Life by Numbers


Waking up – running a full system check to see if I have finished sleeping – still undecided I become aware of the loud thunking of small feet on the tin roof. The monkeys are back! Up and down the roof they race – turning at the ends like Olympic swimmers. No no stop. I try unsuccessfuly to ignore them then realise with a start that I have an early appointment in town anyhow. Reluctantly, but speedily, I throw myself out of bed, beating off the mosquito net, and into the day.

Bath, dress, clock watch, make coffee in a go cup, load the car with all I need to take then pause….there is a group of ten giraffe at the end of the driveway. My leaving will disturb them and its just so so nice when the giraffe are hanging about the place.

Not to worry though as Rayson – our trusty man about the place – strode confidently into their midst to turn on the borehole pump.

Set off for town. Notice that the dam near the gate is shrinking fast – only a cluster of small pools remain. At the gate check for tracks, wrestle with the lock – these days we have to be more vigilant about locking gates – and head out into the morning traffic.

It's a clear bright day and the road is clear. Sweeping over rolling hills that present views of granite boulders and green tree canopies stretching to the blue Drakensberg Mountains, I arrive in town ahead of the crowd.

I head straight to the licencing department. They open at 730 and its best to get there as early as possible to avoid interminable queues. So far so good. I run a mental checklist – ID docs..yup; vehicle registration papaers..yup…cheque..yup….total file of every bit of relevant paper ever collected on the subject…yup; surely this cant go wrong. And look ma, no queue!! If I was a labrador my tail would be wagging.

But not so fast ….. are all the vehicles in my name? no. Well the owner has to sign the form here – marks a big cross with her pen on an open spot on the form. Nowhere does it say 'sign here' how was I to know?. Rats. Plead and beg and grovel to no avail. I have to go home again to collect the missing signatures. No worries – its only half an hour each way and increases my daily footprint on the planet by a lot.

How much of life is spent pursuing an endless papertrail that allows us to define ourselves by numbers? So far it has been a recurring theme for 2009. hurrmph.

Second time around and a small waiting period in the queue, and at last I was back in the sunshine. Vehicles licenced for another whole year. Perhaps next year I will get it right. Must remember the form signing bit!


Val said...

i very cleverly (or so I thought) emailed this to my blog page since the normal New Post page is all scrambled again. Hence the black text - which i still have to figure out how to change.....

Angela said...

Clever indeed, Val, no matter what colour! I wish I learned the trick! But also a very descriptive post again. You always take us right with you, from your early awakening by the running monkeys on your roof to all your sights along the way - wow giraffe! I love them! And the Drakensberge, so beautiful. And how funny, bureucracy in the most remote places! Lovely post!

Reya Mellicker said...

Actually the black text is very easy to read. Well done you!

Imagine pausing before leaving so as to admire a group of ten giraffe at the end of the driveway! WOW.

And the monkeys are back! The circle of the year keeps turning.

Kristin said...

I so enjoy a day in your life. Different from my own but I can almost (almost!) picture it.

Unknown said...

got to love those monkeys :) this morning i looked out of my office and came face to face with a rather large sykes monkey, not sure who was more surprised him or i. love the description of your you were very happy to get back to where the day started, hopefully with glass of something chilled in hand!

Cheryl Cato said...

Imagine monkeys on the roof... as close as I can get are squirrels on the roof & sometimes crows. Ah, but my animals on the roof are not so exotic as yours.
But, I must say bureaucracy is everywhere ... so don't feel alone. I just had to queue up for re licensing my auto!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes,'s the same everywhere, just the accents change - trust me, I've dealt with a few in my travels!

Clever you, using the email facility!

Anonymous said...

woop woop woop - a licensing department with a short queue!!!
It was your lucky day

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to hear what the Voting queues will be like. Please write if you are in the country to do it

Val said...

beaurocracy and queues are two of my main allergies - yes i seem to have been constantly shuffling papers and queuing in various gov offices this year! ugh - hopefully this is it for a while. life is too short! ha
monkeys dont give a hoot for beaurocracy orpaperwork - they do exactly as they please... not that i want to run on the roof either but..

thanks for all the lovely comments and yes Janet - today was a lucky day ;-)

Eliza - a Sykes monkey - wow! only ever caught a fleeting glimpse of one of those.

lizzy - snap - different place same scenario ;-)

Kristin - and you were here!

Geli - i love the giraffe they are the coolestx

Reya - i love those cycles within cycles. good to see the monkeys again too x

Val said...

hey Rob - yes I guess so - and you would know!

Catharine Withenay said...

Oh - it all sounds so familiar! Queues, signatures, forms in triplicate signed by everyone you could possibly think of (and a few extras for good measure!)

And a year to remember all this? Thank goodness you have your blog!

Lori ann said...

Wow Val, even those ordinary chores are made spectacular by your words and certainly by where you live. Giraffes??? Did you get any photos? Oh, they are my favorite, I love them!
great post.
♥ Lori

Rosaria Williams said...

We have birds on the roof and deer and turkeys on the road. But the wait is the same everywhere, I guess.

Val said...

hi Catherine - yeah its the business of living again i guess

Lori - no i didnt get pics this time as the giraffes moved off and i had to get to town, but i just love it when they are around

Lakeviewer - you see i think deer and turkeys on the road would be awesome


Fire Byrd said...

Giraffes at the end of your drive...OMG!
all we get is badgers, foxes and squirrels. oh and boy racers!!!

Unknown said...

Do not, I repeat, do not even begin to talk to us about bureaucracy. Blergh, gahr and much evil grimacing.
Still, at least your experiences with democracy involve more than one kind of monkey and some giraffes! ;-)

Tessa said...

Val, I was your happy passenger all the way into town, your companion in the queue and an amused, but sympathetic, observer as you pleaded with the official. You do have such an amazing ability to paint a picture of your day. The giraffe on the drive, the hills stretching towards the Drakensberg, the emptying dam, the warming sun and the clear road ahead....

And bureaucracy! I thought I'd left that all behind when I came to live in England. More fool me!