You all know perfectly well by now, exactly what will be happening a week from today, next Tuesday, so I’m not going to talk about it. Instead I am going to talk about the weather.

It is grey today, and wet, and it has been grey and wet and thundery for the past several days now, with lightning sometimes close enough to rattle your bones and loosen your teeth and downpours heavy enough to wash away a thousand rands’ worth of building sand from the front of Eve and Shaun’s house. The weather man has other ideas, but we are hoping the weather will clear sufficiently for our braai on Saturday, to welcome Jono’s English girlfriend, Hayley, to the Fisher family; and stay clear enough for our party, on Monday night, for the American relatives and the local clan; and clear enough for a certain ceremony planned for the outdoor deck at Roots, on Tuesday. We shall see; but if the weather fails to cooperate things are going to be kinda cosy around here, over the weekend.

After the weather, there’s always shopping. Today we shall go shopping, Rob and I – for things that are needed for the cabins we are renting at The Cradle of Humankind; for beverages of various kinds and quantities; for ‘stuff’ one simply has to have, at times like these. And when the shopping is done, there is always the to-do list. We had thought to cook a goose for Christmas, so yesterday I phoned the estimable Thrupps, in Illovo, and learned that yes, a goose was available. I was about to order but at the last minute thought, out of mere curiosity, to ask the price: R279, was the answer. Ok, twice the price of a duck, but what the hell, I thought, it’s Christmas, and we have Rob’s sister from Detroit and my mother and sister for Christmas lunch. That’s per kilo, the voice on the line persisted. I paused, not sure I had heard right. ‘So how much is a whole goose?’ I asked. A thousand rands plus, was the cheerful answer.

Needless to say, we are not having goose for Christmas. Which begs the question, what are we going to have?

One of the to-dos on the to-do list is to go through the cookery books and determine upon our Christmas lunch; and then to order the main event, well in advance, along with the meat and fish and other requisites for our two braais on Saturday and Monday. ‘Why are we having two braais?’ Rob asked this morning. ‘Because we wanted to welcome Hayley,’ I answered. ‘Because you wanted to have two braais,’ Rob retorted. ‘I hope you are going to do the dishes.’

And so, as you can see, it is perfectly possible, one week from the big day, to waste a whole page without once talking about a wedding.

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