Scary stories from a lovely place
Next door to my lovely house in Brixton lives Stephen’s lovely bosses Thorsten and Anne and their baby Timo, and behind them is Benita and Hughneese who moved in at the beginning of the year (good old duplexes). They are then neighbours with the road. This caused much excitement one night when a bakkie crashed through Anna and Thorsten’s wall! In true neighbourly spirit the driver lives across the road so he had no where to run to. Then next door to the road is an open grassy veld, as they would call it in South Africa. I would call it a big empty block of land. It’s massive, at least the size of a soccer field.
In about the middle of last year stuff started to happen in the veld. Previously it had been very abandoned, very overgrown and sealed up tight with a large rusty gate. But then the grass was mowed, lots of trees were cut down and people started moving in. It was the army. At first this made me nervous. I overreacted like a good white South African and thought that maybe they were staging a coup or something. Eventually though it became clear that they were setting up base. Their role was extra security for the Confederation’s Cup. Hundreds of soldiers moved in, set up tents and began to call Brixton their home.
Life looked pretty sweet for them. They didn’t have to do much work, just cleared out and went to the soccer matches that were only played fairly infrequently. They played volleyball, had awesome bonfires at night and walked around the streets frequenting the local small businesses. When they first moved in I wanted to do something nice and welcoming, as I would for any other new neighbours. My plan was to take them muffins and say hello. But I wimped out because the guard at their gate had massive guns and I don’t like being near such weaponry. I also didn’t think I could bake enough muffins for all of them. The other exciting thing was that every evening after a soccer match their enormous helicopter would land in the veld. The noise of this great bird landing just 50m from my house was deafening! According to Thorsten and Anne the view of those soldiers who were overweight jumping from the helicopter was rather amusing.
As we are now 20 days (10 till baby) from the kick off of the World Cup my new neighbours are moving back in. A couple of weeks ago the grass was cleared and men and women in army fatigues started hanging around. This time though they’re really going all out. They’ve set up proper, transportable buildings. No more tents for these guys. And predictably I am wanting to take them muffins again.