(in no particular order)
1. Sunny days that are getting longer, not shorter.
2. Never having to wait for the 161 or 486 buses. (Or the tube or train.)
3. Unlimited cups of tea with warm and wonderful friends.
4. Shabbat dinners and lazy weekends with family.
5. The whales still calving along the coastline.
6. Friendly petrol pump attendants. (I don’t care if it’s a throwback to the bad old days – I love having someone else fill the tank for my unliberated nonfeminist self.)
7. My great car.
8. The illuminating Greg.
9. Kolya’s little friends: Noah, Max, Kate, Catherine, Sam and Adam.
10. My book club aka baby club girls who didn’t replace me (woo hoo).
11. Sushi. Sushi. Sooooooo-sheeeeeeeeeeee 🙂
12. Seeing Kolya get to know his adoring grandparents.
13. Letting Kolya’s adoring grandparents do plenty of babysitting.
14. Drives to Kalk Bay, Hout Bay, Muizenberg, Noordhoek, Simonstown.
15. Impromptu arrangements on already-busy days.
16. The bagel deli in Sea Point, and Giovanni’s, and decent homely Italian restaurants.
17. Open spaces and houses that aren’t all crammed on top of each other.
18. Woollies veggies. And Woollies underwear. And those soft chewy gum things. And the chocolate puffy things that blow Maltesers out of the water.
19. My tango partner, who did replace me, but is still prepared to dance with me (woo hoo!!)
20. My climbing partner, who got the fear and a promotion, but still has a rope and ambitions…
21. The Sea Point pool, which is nearly warm enough for morning swims.
22. Real mountains and friends that aren’t afraid of climbing (or walking) them.
23. The Woodstock market.
24. Swimming and surfing at Muizenberg.
25. New friends and adventures clamouring to find us.
26. Waking up to the sight and sound of the sea stretching out all around us.
27. Diesel at about 60p per litre.
28. Bumping into old friends and familiar friendly faces wherever we go.
29. Kirstenbosch picnic concerts.
30. Walks along the beachfront between the joggers and the grannies and the rollerbladers.
31. Weekend visits from my lovely extended family.
32. Limnos Bakery.
33. The blazing quality of light you only seem to find in southern Africa.
34. Tons more that springs to mind each day!!
In retrospect, I’m amazed that I survived as long as I did in the UK, starved of so much that makes each day worth waking up for. Each day I’m back, I wonder whether I will ever be able to take Cape Town for granted again.