Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 13th December

They say familiarity breeds contempt. The more often we have been to a place, the better we know it – and the more we take it forgranted. I will never forget a friend of mine in second year varsity who came to the farm with us. When I suggested a walk up the valley, her response was that we’d already been there. I couldn’t believe how blasé she seemed to be about the immense beauty around her. There is no way you can take it all in even if you go that way a thousand times.

So is it with the whole farm.

I can go anywhere here and I am literally entranced by everything around me. It is so beautiful, in any season.

I must have walked, ridden and driven up and down the valley a thousand times or more and I will still choose to go that way – camera in hand, clicking at every moment!

Yesterday we went to what is literally my favourite place in the world. It’s a place on the farm we call ‘The Rock’. Needless to say, there is this huge rock that fell off the mountain yonks ago. Whenever we used to have a braai up the valley, it was inevitably at the Rock. It also happens to be right at the site of the spring from which the water flows to the house, so we go there often to check on the water supply. We climbed onto the Rock (of course) and I took my inevitable many ‘snaps’ (as Nana would have called them) of the various views. I think that must be one of the most photographed views in the country – by me! One day I will find the energy to find the many, many pics I’ve taken from up there and put them together. Should be an interesting series of contrasts of the same thing.

When I have time…

It’s amazing how time can elongate itself. No matter what we do on the farm, the days just seem longer and fuller here. And yet, there is never enough time to do everything J

We haven’t been climbing at all here this time because it has just been so wet. The mountains are very steep and we don’t want to risk falling and someone having an injury – especially just before we leave for Sedge.

But we have walked. And walked.

Yesterday we went further up the valley than the Rock and swam, well splashed and slid, in the river. Various parts of various anatomies are rubbed a bit raw from sliding down the clay rocks. But it was fun! (Although sitting for the 4hours of the journey home does not seem very attractive right now!)

I am exhausted again. This time, though, it does not feel like an ‘always drained from chemo’ tiredness, rather like an ‘I am exhausted from doing so much physically’ (seeing as I also went for a run in the morning). And it feels good.

It also feels like a bit of a poopy, though. I am feeling so much better – almost myself – in these last two days. Now I have to go and start the whole damn process again.

Chemo on Monday seems so far away. But it’s not. Very soon, too soon, I will be feeling the whole nausea etc etc thing again. And I am not looking forward to that.

I am beginning to wonder how long the side effects of the last chemo will take to work out of my system. Could be a month. Oh, boy!

Still, as Mum would say, “Live in the moment and let tomorrow take care of itself.” So, I have planned for chemo and for the departure to Sedge and I know I will have to endure quite a horrible time.

For now, though, here we are at the place we all love so much and all is right with the world.


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