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Some people say that climate influences everything. I think add in a beach in the vicinity and that at least doubles that feeling of a relaxed pace when in Cape Town. Move south along the coast from Cape Town a wee bit and you reach our little village, Hout Bay. It is like any other small village where everyone knows everyone’s business, it is 1 degree of separation, never mind 6. With all of these various factors you understand why Hout Bay is such a unique little microcosm.

I have always been rather Virgoish when it comes to my appearance and my home. Here we have a pool in summer, and year round we have 3 very messy dogs, 2 cats and 4 or 5 humans in residence. So my house is far more casual and messy.

For example, Norm has just taken the dogs for a walk and it is very wet. The 2 Poms have just returned and their little bellies are sodden as their hair drags the ground almost. I would have used the doggy mess towel to dry them but it is in the wash as we had used it to clean a Navajo accident as we were out of paper towels due to the other, previous Navajo spills and accidents. There always seems to be a puddle.

In the UK I went to work in tidy 3 piece pinstripe suits, or skirts, heels or boots, always with make up and my hair washed and styled every day.

In Cape Town if I do go to an office I might wear loose linen trousers and sandals. But most days I work from home. I get up and shower and put on a track suit, hair pulled up in a rubber band. No make up, usually no bra and my shoes are fur lined suede house slippers, frequently gnawed on by Navajo.

This week the doorbell rang and I was surprised to see my financial advisor as I had completely forgotten about him. Oops. I was in baggy track suit bottoms, 3 layers of shirts as it was freezing, no bra, and aforementioned slippers. My hair was a bit dirty as I had colored it on Saturday and I like to let it set in a bit before I wash it. The house was as per Sunday evening when we all stomped off to bed at midnight, I was very busy with work so hadn’t even looked in the lounge.

It was a mess.

There were 3 giant dog bones, the dog bed and blanket, each couch had at least 1 blanket on it and there were dirty coffee cups and dog toys everywhere. The bra I wasn’t wearing was draped across the couch. Oops.

I just said ‘excuse the mess’ and he said ‘it’s nice to see a house that is lived in’ which we all know means ‘damn what a mess’.

He sat and Pixie jumped up and lay full on against his leg, which he completely ignored thankfully. Then Panda decided he would jump on Pixie’s head and hump her. He loves to hump but he has no idea why. He does it backward and humps her head.

While we were dealing with this embarrassment Navajo walks up and takes the sheaf of papers in his mouth, right out the guys hand. He looked like I had slapped him across the face with a wet fish. I just yelled ‘drop it’ and luckily Navajo did.

I can’t remember the last time I wore a suit. Or heels for that matter. My lifestyle has changed to suit the ebb and flow of the sea into the bay. Slowly drifting, always shifting.

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