Our new life in New Zealand – 12. November 1999
At the moment we are not swimming in the sea, but at home. It can’t take long for our little cottage to dance on the waves and actually leave Hatfields Beach. Then me, my lovely husband and baby Henry might start our trip to the open sea, accompanied by the striped cushions, the rusty ironing board and the brand spanking new frying pan, and maybe one day we’ll arrive at the port of Hamburg. By then I think, Henry will have grown up and can help to paddle in the right direction. I hope, it will not come to this. What a waste of frying pans…
Two days ago my Dad rang from Germany and left a message on my answering machine from hell. Because Henry was just having a cry-attack, I wasn’t able to answer. My Dad wouldn’t have understood a word. So I rang him back an hour and 20 baby calming-down-methods later to hear the latest news. Very proudly my Dad presented me with the information, that he can ring me a lot cheaper now. I straight away suspected it to be my brother’s idea. He is very clever in all money matters and I wouldn’t be surprised if he found a company who actually pays him for calling New Zealand. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he cleans the toilet paper in the washing machine or re-uses the coffee powder as Nescafe to save money (sorry, little brother – but you know me!). It doesn’t matter! I am happy about any news from good old Germany, even if it costs 24 Pfennig or 1.80 DM!
The vacuum cleaner in the house is a nightmare. You can’t really call it vacuum, because it spits out more dust, than the amount it is supposed to suck in. Even Henry sucks in more dust mites, when he crawls on the carpet, than this mean pre-war-model of Hoover.
Therefore my minister of finance, who is also my lovely husband with an advanced bacteria-phobia, and me decided to invest part of our fortune to buy a new model of vacuum cleaner. Then we finally would be able to remove these horrible bacteria, viruses, piles, dust mites, dog-cat-mouse hair and other pathogens (?) from sofas, armchairs, carpets, walls, bookshelves, rubbish bins, bedspreads and native wood decking on the terrace. My plumber Bernie is also a very practical person and suggested that we go for an Industrial Dry-Wet-Cleaner, which he could also use for his work at a later stage. We could clean the Dinosaur in the garage or suck out the birds from their nest over the BBQ. We couldn’t be in the car quick enough! At Placemakers in Albany (our favourite shopping centre) we bought the Super-Monster Wet&Dry-Vacuum-Blower, the Mercedes of all Vacuums. Bernie could have tested it straight outside Placemaker’s door, because it was raining again like mad, and he could just withhold the temptation.
That machine is just perfect! It sucks in the pattern of the armchair, the hair from your legs, the books from the shelf and since my first test I can’t find the striped cushions, the little rug from the terrace door and the curtains anymore… From now on pets and babies are prohibited on the floor! It is too dangerous and they could just disappear in this huge garbage can on wheels. It was a real joy let it inhale everything out of anything. The only problem is you definitely need big ear-muffs, as it sounds like a Boing 707 at lift-off. In a way, it is like my devilish washing machine! I have to be very careful, not to come too close to the collection of ornaments, wall plates and paintings, as it would be very difficult for me to explain my Lady landlord in broken English, where her souvenirs and heirlooms of her great grandmother ended up. This multi-talented super vacuum is simple amazing. It eats everything and the best is you can reverse the process and it spits everything back out and blows it evenly through the room. You never know – could come in handy one day, if you want to tease somebody with cat allergies or a Philatelist.
If our little cottage is leaking, we now are able to suck up the water and spit it back into the sea.
Next week we will become members of the Orewa library. It doesn’t cost anything and we can borrow interesting books about Plumbing, Christmas crafts, sex and seafaring.
For dinner I prepared mouth-watering chicken legs. They looked and smelled sooooo good, when they were crisped in olive oil. We couldn’t wait to have them on our plates, but when we finally sat at the table and I poked the chicken leg with my fork to try it, I must have hit the Aorta. Blood spurted into my face and in the moment I couldn’t find the first aid kit fast enough in the huge wardrobe. First aid was necessary, but at least the leg didn’t scream, but it definitely deprived me of my appetite. As a punishment I let it bleed on its plate. And then my lovely husband refused to eat his two chicken legs and now they are all lying drowned in blood on the kitchen sink. Their last journey will end in the rubbish bin for the rats and mice to fight about. That’s life! Three is not a good number for chicken legs anyway. It’s somehow mean!
The rain goes on and on, Henry is riding on a seahorse, Bernie is looking for his yellow gumboots in the huge wardrobe and I keep the monster-vacuum handy, just in case. When will it ever stop raining?
To be continued…
(c) Beate Minderjahn