This year started with a bit of a surprise, to say the very least. A few days before we were due to reopen in January, our groundsman alerted us that there was something strange going on in the kitchen. He could hear a peculiar hissing sound, and the windows appeared misty and hazy. He couldn’t see anything further through the closed blinds.
I was out of town with my family that Thursday evening and wasn’t able to quickly return to check on things, so I asked him to turn off the mains water supply overnight. I then called Cindi, who had stayed in Cape Town over the holidays, to see if she could cut her leave short and stop by on Friday morning to see what was happening.
Discovering the deluge
To our dismay, when she arrived, she found the kitchen flooded and everything soaked. They switched the mains water supply back on, to find a very tiny, yet devastating culprit. A small crack in the inlet supply to our water filter had caused a pressurised fountain spray that reached every nook and cranny of our kitchen. From the old Oregon pine floors to the light fittings in the ceiling, water dripped everywhere. The floorboards had swelled and accumulated large puddles, promising never to be the same again.
We have no idea when this had started but suspect it was running for more than a few days. Mildew had begun to develop all over our kitchen pelmets and ceilings. The devastated cupboards looked like they belonged on the set of the Hobbit in anguished twists and warping. The stove and appliances had rusted, along with the retro units that were part of the house since the 1930s.
On the mend
There is another problem with experiencing an issue like this in the early weeks of January in Cape Town. All of the artisans and contractors are closed for the summer holidays until at least the middle of the month. Fortunately, Cindi could contact our insurers who put us in touch with a company who could supply emergency dehumidifiers. They arrived after the weekend to install their equipment.
After that followed three weeks of hot, humid noise. They had to exchange the dehumidifiers twice, and eventually, the third lot started accumulating enough condensation to empty. The floorboards seemed to appreciate this most, although they ridged and waved in protest along their edges. The cupboards, drawers and shelves seem to curl up and fall apart even more. It reminded me of the Crooked little House song from my childhood.
Eventually, we got all our quotes together, and the assessors came along. They were proactive and helpful, and I’m very grateful for having good brokers and insurers. We could give the go-ahead to certain of the contractors at the beginning of April. Of course, March to May in South Africa is not the best time to schedule things that require follow-on diarising; there are so many public holidays starting with Easter and extending through to Workers day; this year we had an additional holiday for national elections on May 8. Things seem to take forever.
We gutted our old kitchen, re-plastered, repainted and eagerly awaited the fitting of our new cupboards. The last part of the process was sorting out the floors. We resurfaced the old Oregon pine throughout the house with beautiful bamboo.
The dance of light
A few days later, on a sunny June winter afternoon, I walked into our reception area to greet a client and discovered the most incredible rainbow displayed across the heart of the room. It appeared a few hours after I had accompanied my mother for a post-radiation therapy checkup.
Her doctor was delighted with her progress, and we left his rooms thankful and thrilled with her results. The story of her treatment last year is for another blog post. Suffice it to say that we are sincerely grateful to work with the tissue salts to support her conventional therapy.
Turning around, we found many other rainbows gracing the walls and shelves. It felt like the bestowing of blessings and hope for the future after what has been a rather stressful year.
What a delightful gift from our Swarovski Rainbow Crystals! These rainbows cannot help but make you smile and brighten your day.
Do pop in
The finishing touches finally happened this week. Now that we’re happily settled into our renovated space, please feel free to pop in. On a sunny day, come and see our rainbows and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. We’d love to see you!