The lovely Snapdragon and I have decided that we’re much too happy in our townhouse. We need to buy a dilapidated ruin and restore it – something that will most likely lead to glorious, tantrum-filled domestic quarrels and eventually to financial ruin.
“Goodness!” my mother said when I told her of the plan. Which I expected. My mom is, after all, the poster girl for pessimism.
I wondered what her objections to the plan would be. She couldn’t question my ability to restore a house – I have done it twice before … which, of course, led to lots of glorious, tantrum-filled domestic quarrels, but eventually turned out reasonably well.
“The politics,” she explained. “I’m sorry I bought my flat. Who knows when Malema will burst in here and occupy it?”
“I very much doubt that Julius would want a two-bedroom flat on the second floor of a building in Melkbosstrand, but you can’t always be sure. After all, home is where you hang your beret,” I said.
“Exactly,” she replied. “There is just so much uncertainty. Why don’t you rent first and see how things pan out?”
Why not, indeed. Why pay an amount each month and run the risk that you can eventually sit without property if you can rather rent and make sure that you don’t own anything in the end?
“Think about the peas,” I said.
“What?” she asked.
“The peas. In the Second World War. There was a far greater chance that Hitler would flatten Britain and that England would consist of nothing more than breweries and Volkswagen factories a year later. The farmers could have sat back and kept an eye on how things panned out.
“But they didn’t. They still planted peas. And wheat and oats and beans. And the world was still a mixed-up mess, but a mixed-up mess looks much better when you have a tummy full of peas.”
And that, dear reader, is my message to you this week. There is a new positivity in the air, but beneath the smiles and optimism, there is still a lot of uncertainty.
But President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mature, responsible message was clear this week: “We are going to approach our problems in a manner that will benefit this country and those who live in it.”
And that is precisely how Snapdragon and I are going to do it: We are going to plant peas.