Day 1 – at the upmarket shopping mall, at an old established shop, with a huge ‘beauty’ section. Buying rather expensive perfume for someone, because it’s the only place in South Arica that stocks it. A rather delightful suave young man, dressed all in black, who puffed some perfume for me, packed fresh tissue paper in the box and artistically arranged the bottle in the box and tied up the box with a perfect flat bow. Then (again artistically) arranged more tissue paper in the fancy paper carry-bag, sprayed a whiff of perfume into the bag, put in the box and tied up the carry bag with anther perfect flat bow. Everything done with a discreet flourish and plenty of charm.
Day 2 – at home. Mr Fix-It came to discover why my washing machine was making the trip-switches play dead. In jeans and a t-shirt. No unnecessary movements. Strength to pull the machine out easily, undo the bits that needed undoing. 5 Minutes to replace and tie up a new piece of cable. The ends of the tie-wraps tidily cut off. No bows needed here. Then time for a quick coffee. Time to chat about our gardens, the house alterations he is having done, the birds we have in our gardens, how best to deal with insects without using poisons. A friend, discovered on a tree-identification course at the university. We always have more to talk about than there is time.