Lunch last Sunday, as you know, was at Roots, and pretty fabulous, too. However, not all good Sunday lunches require a day in the country, and a hole in the bank balance. This Sunday, for instance, we had a pretty mean Sunday lunch, too: on this occasion, deeply roasted crispy vegetables – beetroot and endives, new potatoes, red and yellow onion and shallotts – artfully arranged on square black platters with slices of just-pink barbecued kudu, coated in a crunchy paste of garlic, rosemary, olive oil, cracked black pepper and sea-salt, and accompanied with a quince and chili jam that I bought at a country deli when I was down in Durban recently. In short, this time we did it ourselves. After lunch we transferred the coals to the firepit and built up the fire and sat warming ourselves in the late afternoon sunlight – we need to do these kinds of things, you see, while we can.

For this morning, we went online and booked my ticket for Toronto – departing 13 December via Zurich, arriving on the 14th. Rob has just to change her own ticket, to coincide with mine – and suddenly, we have a date, and a deadline.

Like I say, we need to visit Kruger, and spend a winter weekend in Dullstroom, and plan a West Coast vacation as we drive back to Johannesburg after my mom’s 80th birthday in Cape Town, on 3 December – we need to do all of these South African things, while we can.

I figure it will be a little difficult, in Toronto, to pick up a fine piece of kudu rump for our Sunday braai – and you wouldn’t want to be sitting outdoors, anyway, in December.