You’re Such A Tool

March 5, 2019
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You’re Such A Tool

It’s become my favourite expression. I use it several times a day. It’s just so descriptive.

Those who know me well, would appreciate that I have a somewhat casual approach to language, and although I can tailor my conversation appropriately to the company I am keeping, I tend to “talk sailor” at times.

To fill you in, December 2018, Rest Inn Knysna was bursting at the seams. January was proving to be pretty “sardined” as well. And February was looking great. My Thursday staff were looking forward to a busy season. (Or so I thought). Winston the gardener (of some 13 years service), and wife Agnes of perhaps some 6, had become trusty Thursday companions, both to me, the weeds and the windows.

Somehow, out of nowhere, at the beginning of December, Winston announced that he was moving on. Agnes, tied to him by her apron strings, promptly followed him up the leaf clean drive, and were never to be seen again.

So here I was. Not a damsel in distress. I am used to moving to plan C. Plan B is where I usually am at to start with.

 However upbeat I was about getting through the busy time of “season”, I stopped for a moment to consider how to manage cleaning, washing, ironing, bed making, mopping, gardening and all the other components of keeping a top-class facility running smoothly.

 To get things into perspective, I am a pretty hands on sort of girl, but I won’t pretend that my ironing skills and domestic queen skills are “par excellence”. In fact, I cannot iron, neither can I scale a fireman’s ladder to reach the upstairs windows. My toilet cleaning, plumbing and fairy-dusting are right up there. My cookie baking is grand.  Ironing not. Swinging a weed-eater is also not a honed talent.

My friend and neighbour Marionette, did not offer a shoulder to cry on. Not at all. She is a practical sort of lady, and her mom worked as a maid all her life. What more could I want than advice learned at the shoulder of a master?  She started to offer up a string of suggestions which included everything from a “steamer” to “the best mop ever”. It seemed to include every item from the Verimark range of things domestic. All I knew was that from that range, I had once bought a vegetable mechanism to turn a cucumber into a spiral,  and a sort of plastic gizmo for shaking salad dressing into an emulsion, and into oblivion. Neither functioned as advertised, and like all of us know, they joined the “plastic drawer” of hell.

The “Tobi” steamer seemed to address some of my ironing needs. It’s ok. But it tends to throw a kiddie tantrum when you take it out of it’s stand. It spits, splutters and leaks. It’s bulky, and the pipe that emits the steam is far too short to reach the middle of King size linen. You see, the plan was to iron directly onto the beds! Tobi was soon followed by the Floorwiz family of products. I acquired the eco fibre mop, the double sided spray mop, the pro sponge mop, the pro bucket, the wonder broom and the 2 in 1 spin tech mop. But wait, there’s more.  I almost forgot. I have the magnetic window washer that does two sides of the window at once.  I’ve done Verimark proud. The “squeegee” mop still earns a gold medal, whilst the window washing tool comes in as runner-up. The rest. Not so much. I still really yearn to acquire the Floorwiz Butterfly Mop Elite. And perhaps a DermaWand and Pink Armor Nail Gel, just for good measure.

I learned from Marionette that bleach takes the grey off white plastic garden furniture and removes makeup from white sheets like a dream. I am still to acquire the yellow Sunlight soap block that is apparently better than the old green one. I need to keep some tricks up my sleeve for future use when all else fails.

So there I was one day, abusing the “Tobi” when I started to wonder why there wasn’t such a thing as a cordless steam iron. That would give me total leverage across a King size bed, without limitations. And then I Googled. And then the love affair started.

I met Russell Hobbs on Takealot. I swiped right into the basket. He was everything I needed in my life. No strings attached.  Now, every time I use him, I can’t help saying “You’re such a tool”. My Ryobi leaf blower gets the same praise.

I now have two, hardworking, robust men in my life, and they are both “such tools.”

Rest Inn Knysna Sparkles. I am the Verimark Queen…on the arm of Russell Hobbs.




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Lost And Found

February 23, 2019
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I have mostly been the lone traveler. The guest. The person that arrives on a B&B doorstep without a booking. Crumpled from a day of exuberant adventures, looking for a place to lay my head before the sunset draws the curtains of the day.

I like it that way. Freedom to move, walk, drink, eat and sleep. And even laugh and cry alone.

Since I opened Rest Inn Knysna, a little more than a year ago, I have only hosted one lone traveler. A writer. He booked, so to speak.  And I know he relished the quietness of the day to research and move forward on one of his many travel books. By night he relished our fabulous South African wines, and all that remained after his departure was a neatly stacked series of bottles, the content upon which he had imbibed. The very history of his evenings, spent alone with the chirping crickets, and that beautiful resident owl that hoots at regular intervals. The bottles were all that remained as evidence of human occupation.

Sometime after that stay, a family of four arrived. The evidence of their stay was a series of grape seeds scattered throughout the apartment. Although the place has a great air-flow, the dispersion of the seeds would have defied the wind, in a natural scattering of the pips. It remains unexplained.

The essence of my ramble is about how people leave things behind in their wake.

The most mysterious of all was the case of the baby-grow that vanished. It was apparently last seen airing it’s views on the washing rack outdoors. We searched the garden, and we looked under beds. But the Mama of the baby-grow insisted that it was washed and hung out to dry. I insisted that although errant baboons sometimes pass through the property, I doubted that one of the youngsters had eyed it and stolen it. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

That was December 2018. Time passed. The baby-grow was relegated to the back of my mind, and since I scrupulously clean and dust the apartment, I considered that maybe in a last minute rush, Mama baby-grow had stuffed it in her suitcase, next to be seen in the Netherlands.

But that is not what happened. February 2019, without warning, the little outfit turned up on a table in the Rested Robin suite. There it was. An unannounced guest. The “finders” of the outfit, had already departed the accommodation before I made the discovery, and although I Whatsapp’ed them to try and get some idea of where it had been found, I was still left confused.

The little outfit is currently in the post on the way back to the Netherlands. Mama baby-grow is ecstatic.

I have found panties, tops and bungy jumping certificates. I have found grape seeds and wine bottles. And a baby-grow. There is a sock still missing.

I have also been left truly beautiful gifts by guests. I have been truly blessed.


Rest Inn Knysna

Everyday is a Holiday!






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Between Cooler Boxes And Avo’s

February 22, 2019
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It’s a little over a year that I opened Rest Inn Knysna.

It was just after the devastating Knysna fires, June 2017 that I decided to renovate a disused apartment space, that had long been a rather large and imposing storage facility. The initial idea was to offer accommodation on a long-term basis, in an effort to address the long-term accommodation crisis in Knysna.

However, once I had analysed my quirky personality, it was patently clear to me that I don’t really have the make up to live cheek to jowl with humanity on a permanent basis. Cats. Give me cats! Those I can co-habit with eternally in copious amounts, but people…not so much.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am at the core a sociable soul, but I kept reminding myself of an expression a cousin used to use. “After a week or so, guests are like fish. They start to stink”.

I have not found that to be true. In fact quite the opposite.

One might call it “luck of the draw”, but I have had a steady stream of intrepid travellers, ranging from a Romanian family to a highly memorable “crowd” from Mitchells Plain.

The Romanian family was awesome. We discussed Gypsies at length.  They even left me a beautiful gift on their departure.

The Mitchells Plain family was a laugh and a half. They booked for two adults and a baby. Since I accommodate four, this was a perfect booking. Well, just after sunset, two cars pulled in. Unless the baby was driving the Corsa, and the two adults the Toyota, we seemed to be over the peeps limit. Once parked, the doors opened, and although I scanned between the luggage, the cooler boxes and the avocado pears, there was no evidence of a hidden child. So it appeared that seven were sleeping. Once I pointed out the problem, the most gregarious of the guests announced that the King bed was so huge, they never had a problem sleeping together!!

Not wanting to spoil the holiday jollity, I left things be. So they paid for 2 and a half. So what. Sometimes money cannot buy a moment. I think the cherry on the top of this episode, came the following day. You see, my best buddy and neighbour is a coloured lady. She eyed this bunch and then announced in a very matter of fact way, “You white people. You don’t understand our culture. If coloured people visit, there will never be the head count you expected. If two are coming for dinner, cook for ten. If you expect fifty at a wedding, cater for a hundred. If you are sleeping two and half, make seven beds!”

Welcome to Rest Inn Knysna

Where everyday is a holiday!


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