I have just come home after a weekend at Nyanga . I was totally unprepared for the cold weather that blew in over the green mountains. I had taken one very 'holy' jersey and designer ballet gym tights. That was my warm clothes. I had lots of other clothes packed like shorts, vests, swimming costume and gold sandals. Yes, I do not know what was going through my head when I packed.

We arrived on the Friday. My two nephews went to go and fish for trout in the little dam and left me in the house alone. As I do not know this house all the creaks and groans that came from it made me think there were ghosts having a rave party and dancing on the ceiling. Of course, there were no ghosts but I have such a brilliant imagination that by the time the boys came home, I was hiding in the bathroom, talking to myself. I forgot ghosts can walk through doors.

The little boat we were using looked like a bath tub. All my nephews are over 6 foot and so all I saw was legs and it reminded me of ‘rub a dub dub’. I actually was waiting for them to capsize and then have a laugh but instead they decided they would have a verbal fight which echoed through the mountains and I am sure everyone got to hear some language my nephews should not know at this age, although they all over 18 but I have just learnt the language they were using. One nephew rowed while the other thought he was above rowing and pretended to fish, but he got caught out as the hook and line was not in the water. Brad, the youngest, then decided his brother needed to drop him off at the other side of the dam. Lots of loud words were exchanged and I think Brad nearly got whacked with the oar and told to swim. If I had been in the boat, I would have taken him upstream, so he could be in a boat, up the creek, with no paddle.

My sister arrived later with my third nephew and thankfully she bought all the food and tea. I arrived with beautiful, expensive clothes including my nike takkies (slang word in Zimbabwe for running shoes) which are not used for anything but looking pretty and of course, all my make up. Unfortunately I had to walk through mud in my expensive, only used for looking good nike takkies and I was absolutely horrified that there was mud on the road and more horrified when my takkies got dirty. All my clothes are purely for decoration, also to make me feel pretty and to get free lunches.

This cottage was lovely but unfortunately I am a bit of a snob. So when I packed I did not pack a towel, hairdryer, soap or shampoo. I am used to the hotels I frequent in Dubai that are normally 5 star. So I am in the bush with designer clothes and shoes, my hair all frizzy and desperately trying to look like I had all my ducks in a row. My face gave it all away. My sister thought it was hilarious (which it was) and my nephews just shook their head because they actually know this Aunty of theirs is a nightmare at times. My nephews have often stopped me walking out the door because my dress has been too short, too tight, too low etc.

On the Saturday we went to troutbeck, as there was a yearly triathlon event at the hotel, Troutbeck and it was hectic. I did, however, manage to get a free drink and free lunch just by my looks alone (lol). So now my family finally understands why I have to put makeup and designer clothes on. So I do have some skills as well as talking a lot of rubbish and acting like a bimbo at times. Although I do have ‘bimbo’ moments. However, getting free drinks and food is a gift of mine (lol).

We visited the Nyangombe falls where we managed to all slide down the mini waterfall and pull muscles in our bottoms! I have no explanation for this, except for bone on rock and sliding would have contributed to a sore bottom. For every action there is a equal and opposite reaction, which was a sore bottom.

We drove around a lot on that Saturday and had a really good day although I looked half dead and my free lunches were out of the question as I looked like a zombie on crack at this stage. I threatened to get my dart gun out and shoot everyone so they would at least slow down to my pace of 45 years old! Everything had gone numb from the cold, while I stood in an incy wincey pair of shorts with luminous white, short legs.
When we finally got back to the cottage the whole family decided they did not need candles in their rooms as my skin glows in the dark – although not out my bottom because it was bright red from sliding down rocks, so I am not a glow worm
I then flopped onto my bed. While lying there and listening to ghosts and to my sister, I heard the word ‘marshmallows’ being thrown around. Quickly I leaped out of bed and stole all the marshmallows as those are not classed as food in my head and stomach. I then went back to bed, fully satisfied that I had annoyed everyone for eating the marshmallows, also for making a lot of noise as I am unable to whisper. Just a side note here is that I talk very loudly and cannot tell secrets as I sound like a fog horn in everyone’s ears.

Then, what everyone had been waiting for. It started ...... my snoring. Oh yes, my inner hippo had emerged. Oh my Lord, I cannot even make that much noise when I am awake. My sister and one nephew were sleeping in my room, or our room. I kept on hearing my sister say, ‘ffs, Janine how do you snore that loud?’ She did not wake me up even though her sailor language was flying all over the room, she had hit me with a pillow, she had tried to push me off the bed and then had tried to suffocate me (sure that is abuse? lol). Apparently, I then made a squeaking noise and everyone (because by now the whole house could hear me) thought it was a cat fight. In total despair, my nephew shook his head, gets about 5 pillows and puts them over his head. I do not know how I made a squeaking sound? Now that it is 4am, my sister and my nephew are having a fight as to how someone could make such a lot of noise, including squeaky cat noises. To be fair, I think I have quite a talent there and maybe could make it into the Guinness book of world records for the loudest, continual, with squeaky noises snoring section.
My sister managed to get to sleep and I very kindly woke her up by slapping her face and asking her where she was. Her exact words to me was, ‘ffs where do you think I would be?’ I was mortified I had been spoken to like that and so continued to do what I do best and snore.

In the morning I danced through to the kitchen and everyone gave me the death look. I then got told that nobody had slept and if I go away with them again I am sleeping in the car or even 10km away in another cottage by myself. Really, I did not know what all the fuss was about and my sister insisted I sounded like I was sawing down trees, all night. My sister said that my snoring was continuous and there were no breaks in between. The family had an intervention and decided I was a freak of nature for the volume of my snoring (I cannot make that noise while awake) and I can never, ever sleep with them again. I am also not invited to any more weekends away unless I do not sleep.

We did leave on Sunday despite everyone moaning about their sleepless night and not sure if they could drive to the gate. By this time, I was very agitated as I needed to get home and I said I would drive over the hill and far away, however, I had already driven them over the hill and far away and they would need to sleep for a week before they recovered from me.

I enjoy road trips and I get so excited because I am the DJ and singer and I do not have to drive and act responsible. I would say I knew 90% of the songs, not always the words but I made those up as I went along. My two nephews in the front seat were absolutely exasperated by me at this stage. I did keep the driver company though, and I think I should be thanked for that. On arriving back to Harare I was immediately dropped off at my house and my suitcase was thrown out the window while they drove off.

So, I have to say I do not think I will be invited to go away with my sister again. If there is anyone out there who can put up with any of the above, please take me on a road trip and a weekend away. In order to qualify for taking me away on a weekend is that you have to be deaf and half blind because I am 45 years old. I did find this whole weekend very hilarious and my sister and her sons do love me to bits, but can only see me for 5 minutes, then they have had enough of me.

We did, however, get lost and had to drive past the Police three times. My one nephew was under the dashboard, I shouted ‘hello’ every time we passed and the other nephew moaned at me for getting lost. Finally on the third hello to the Police we ‘unlost’ (not a word) ourselves and continued the journey. Oh and not forgetting I was blamed for using all the toilet paper. Seriously where did all the toilet paper go?


Weekend Shenanigans!

Beautifully Broken
by Janine Milliken
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