This has been a day of deliveries. First up, UPS.
Way ahead of Rob’s birthday, whilst she was there and I was here, I had bought her a Georg Jensen sterling silver bracelet, but when I gave it to her, on the day of our arrival in Johannesburg from Canada and the UK, the day which was also her birthday, we found to our dismay that it was way too big for her, and then we found that the Georg Jensen store at Hyde Park had closed, and the importers were (to put it politely) uninterested and unhelpful.
Rob, being Rob, complained to Georg Jensen in Denmark, and Georg Jensen being a premier brand, kicked someone’s butt, and next thing we had an offer to exchange, provided that we could get the bracelet to Denmark. Rob, being Rob, got onto it right away, only to find that none of the courier services would accept the package – until, being Rob, she found that UPS, under certain conditions, would. So a week or so ago, we committed the bracelet to UPS and today, first up, came our first delivery – the same bracelet, in a smaller size: bold, heavy, with polished angles – a statement of pefection!
Second delivery: a few weeks back, when I was in East London, I paid a visit to Claudia and her husband Klaus, and there I found myself admiring the furniture that Klaus, a highly skilled German furniture maker, had made for the family home – cabinets, chairs, a fitted kitchen. Back in our own home I told Rob about Klaus and his cabinet-making, and we talked it over – deciding, in the end, that Klaus’s chairs, though beautiful, were too bulky for our purposes, and that a coffee table was what we really needed.
Rob, being Rob, went immediately online and found some Scandinavian designs; could Klaus make one of them up for us, we asked? Klaus could, and this morning, not more than an hour or so after the bracelet had been delivered, our new coffee table arrived. Pale beech, fine boned and classically functional, it is a piece we love already and will grow to love more.
More than just a coffee table, it is a table purchased from the money that Rob’s dear 84 year-old friend Nora had given us in Canada, as a wedding present: always and forever it will be, for us, ‘Nora’s table.’
Tomorrow at 8 (thank god, not 6!) I fly to Cape Town, for a business meeting. Rob, being Rob, has flown down ahead of me, to spend an evening with my mom and to spend tomorrow exploring the city. I will join up with them in the evening, and on Saturday we will take ourselves, with my mom, to lunch at Tokara, on the spine of mountain that divides Stellenbosch from Franschoek. We will buy wine and olive oil, we will take photographs, we will have a grand time, despite the wet and cool Cape weather.
After dropping Rob off late this morning at the Gautrain station in Sandton, I came home to work for an hour and then went in to the NBI for a meeting. Back home again, instead of Rob, there was emptiness and silence. I roamed about our small and comfortable place, and everywhere I went, everything I touched, spoke of Rob’s love and care, her touch and attention.
I found myself thinking, how full and happy my life has become; how integrated with Rob’s – and how intolerable it would be, to be separated again, as we have been, for so much of the past four years.
No more, I said to myself. No more!