Two months ago, I accepted the challenge of setting up a home for short term accommodation. Little did I know the challenge that lay ahead. A quick whip-round and the question, "By when would you like it to be available?" was an object lesson on how not to do things - next time.
What was lurking underneath those surfaces was layers and layers of dust in a house which, by the owners' admission, had not been maintained. I am fortunate to have a wonderful woman who works for me - in my home - and who is also integral to Destination McGregor and the properties we look after.
Hers is a family of very strong women. Behind her is her mum who, until she retired, worked in our home and still works for our neighbour. Then Coreen took over and when she's overextended, it's her daughter that also helps out - three generations of women. They, together with The Husband, who's ladder is getting in their way, cleaned that house from figurative top to figurative toe and washed anything and everything than could be moved or removed. Curtains, pictures, pots and pans, cushions, rugs, you name it. Washed and polished.
The Husband tackled the maintenance - and it's still not done - but the obvious stuff is. It began with replacing bulbs and discovering housings had disappeared and had to be replaced. The worst job for him was having to sort out the floppy mixer in the kitchen. The section into which it had set, had rotted away. Until the entire counter top can be replaced, 'n boer het 'n plan gemaak* and sorted the tap so that it doesn't flop or leak. He did, however, twist his back in the process. That was entirely my fault, he tells me.
'Tis I who has, what he says, is an overdeveloped confidence in his ability to work miracles. I don't think so.
So, again, a before-and-after with some of the little touches we were able to add - with bits in and around the house.
Anyhow, since we started this project at the beginning of May, the bedrooms have had some finishing touches, including blankets, rugs and lampshades. The blankets have respectively come from The Sandbag House (my home) and Lerato. The rugs where there and were collected by the owners in their travels. The lampshades are new. Here are the bedrooms. Ready for their first inhabitants.
A month ago, the garden started getting attention for two half days a week and already the difference is remarkable. It's a waterwise garden, largely planted with indigenous and Karoo vegetation. The man looking after it has tidied and re-organised and we've had a few blessings from heaven in the form of rain. The first real rain we've had in more than a year.
A little soupcon of what Christo has achieved. In just a month.
At last, Lerato was ready for her first guests, and this is what would greet them.
A sparkling clean home, the necessary blurb about the house, safety, etc., as well as what's on in the village and, of course the keys and a book to write comments in. These last two were individualised for Lerato.**
*The Husband is a retired farmer, and 'n boer maak 'n plan (a farmer will always make a plan) is a truisim in South Africa, and especially with the man I married!
** Lerato is the seSotho word for love and the name chosen by the owners: one of their surnames and one of the children's names also incorporate "love" in different languages, as well as reflecting their love of this home.
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