Tardy Avis red-faced

What’s so wonderful about sleeping in, anyway? Feeling the cool morning air and watching the sun rise is a glorious experience, but most of us would rather sleep; or at least stay in bed.

After decades of rising early, I am shocked at how quickly I gave in to indulging in sluggish slumber: the alarm clock was reset from 5.30 to 6.30 and even that was not always enough to stir me into action. But enough is enough, I am going to have to mend my ways.

I have a char. Yes, I perpetuate the racist Colonial system of patronage and disrespect where I think it’s okay to pay another human being to clean up after me, to scrub my bathroom, polish my floors, and do my ironing. I don’t really need her – I can live happily with mess – but Tumi and her three children need the money and food I provide.

Tumi arrives at 8.30 so from 7am I rush around tidying, putting things away, doing the dishes, stripping the bed, preparing her food etc. Except last week I didn’t. I overslept. There was barely time to get up and dressed before she arrived.

I felt like an utter slob.

This morning I would love to have slept in but my step cat had other ideas: when he wants affection you can’t argue with him: he was luxuriating in a cuddle when there was a knock at the door. It was not yet seven – who knocks before seven?

It was the caretaker, a very respectable man and proud member of the ZCC: he didn’t know I was retrenched and wanted to catch me before I left for work – which was generally pretty early .

At least when Tumi caught me, I was dressed with a washed face and neat hair: Shadrack found me in nightclothes and bed hair: he was confronted my two suspicious cats and me and a kitchen which although clean, was not as tidy as I would like it to be.

Shadrack is a man of many words [many many MANY words], and on this occasion most of them were about security and skollies and crime souring over Christmas. He heads our security and warned me that although we have a 24-hour guard and my second floor flat faces an enclosed courtyard garden, I need to keep my windows closed at night so the thieves can’t get in.

We moaned about beggars and the ubiquitous street children, he discussed crime hotspots and complained that the smart security at the ritzy hotel next door are too busy admiring their suits to do their jobs properly.

I thought Rosebank was safe, but that was before Shadrack fed me horror stories of vagrants with guns, super-strength and magical disappearing powers, thanks to some substance they get from the witches.

The area has changed since 1994 he said, thanks to the uselessness of the police, lazy, corrupt officials, the dictatorship [his word] of the criminals, and the lurking danger behind every rubbish bin.

I should have invited him in for tea and biscuits but I had couldn’t face his seeing the dishes in the sink and my shoes in the sitting room. Lazy white woman; not even dressed  and her flat’s a tip.

Next time Tumi arrives, or even if Shadrack knocks before seven to fill me in on the latest crime stats, I resolve my flat and I shall be immaculate, and spared the embarrassment being a slug-a-bed entails. The early bird will no longer be caught by the worm. Or by Tumi and Shadrack.

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