Through the curved perspex doors of the shower, past the stone chimney of the outdoor braai-place, you can see as you sluice yourself down and soap yourself up a finger of aquamarine sea, the bright white teeth of the breaking waves, and the natural sea-wall of white-backed boulders reaching well out into the limitless Atlantic. The morning has dawned sunny and mild here in Paternoster, the little fishing village on the West Coast of the country, about two hours’ drive from Cape Town and an eternity from anywhere, after a gull-grey evening and a mistiness of salt and wind that hung like haze over miles and miles of empty beach.

The wind this morning is barely stirring, though likely it will pick up later. And later we will cross the few metres of grey-green fynbos that separates our beachfront cottage from the sand, and walk along the tidal flats to the incoming boats, and purchase, hopefully, a clutch of crayfish for our dinner, and some, perhaps, to take home to my mother in Cape Town.

We have cancelled our planned trip up to Wupperthal, in the Cederberg, and booked a third night here, by the sea, so that we can return to town on Thursday, before heading back north again, up the length of the N1, to Johannesburg. We are hoping – fingers crossed – to have our claim approved this morning, for Rob’s lost ring, in which case our jeweller has promised to have a new ring ready, before we leave. It will be a close-run thing, and Rob is on tenterhooks.

Meanwhile we have heard from one of our Johannesburg neighbours that the two houses on either side of us, at Msasa, were burgled on Saturday. It’s not hard to imagine that if we had still been there, we would have been hit, too.

Listening to the sea, the constant susurration that fills every crevice and occupies the pale blue sky and the powdery beach, watching the seagulls dive and cry around the incoming boats, it is time to head down to the water’s edge to see what they have caught.

Johannesburg seems far away. Toronto is still to come. Right now, this is the right place for us to be.

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