Monday, 17 September 2012

Helene - The Gypsy

Helene - The Gypsy
17 September 2012

I’m at a bit of a disadvantage.  Why might this be?  Well, all three of my kids go to school in Somerset West, and we live in the Strand.  Not a train smash, I agree, but a really big pain in the butt.  It’s not so much the distance as the travelling time.  And yes, this was a choice that I made to send my kids to school in a different town to the one that I live in.  I don't regret it, but it does have certain limitations.

At fourteen, Luke’s greatest desire is to live close to his friends.  Most of his buddies live within a few blocks of each other and the school.  Over weekends the kids all get together, literally roaming from one house to the next.  They all go cycling, skateboarding at the half tube, play sport on the school fields and just hang out together.  And I feel terrible for him that he is missing out on this experience.  He has fantastic friends though, and their parents are also amazing, because they do include Luke in most activities.  But with those little impromptu spontaneous spur of the moment type of things, he does lose out.  Getting him to his friends involves a bit more planning, co-ordinating and driving.  Which isn’t really a problem, but something that must be taken into consideration.  So, sometimes, some things just aren’t do-able.

The other problem is the fact that on certain days, all three kids finish school at different times, because of sport, etc.  Not even accounting for the additional extra-murals like dancing, swimming, piano, and the like.  And naturally most of these are also in Somerset West.  So on a practical level, what this means, is that I rush around getting my kids to where they must be and am then quite often stuck with dead time.  Not enough time to go home.  So I go do my grocery shopping, often with some kids in tow.  We do homework in the car, and I always have a notepad and pencils with me.  The boot of my car is simply always filled to the brim with various paraphernalia required for the day.  Ranging from dancing clothes, swimming costume and towel, sports bags and hockey sticks, to name but a few.  I plan lunches ahead as much as possible and pack sarmies or snacks for us for in the car.  Fresh cold water, etc.  Occasionally when I have no other kids with me in the car and my shopping is done, I do a bit of crafting (yes, I do) or reading – utter bliss!

So this is what I’m thinking.  I’m already stuck in Somerset West.  I’m already “wasting” dead time.  There is a meaningful way that I could turn this to my advantage ….. a camper van!!!  What an awesome idea!  Now, wait.  Don’t laugh.  Just think this through.  I could put a little homework desk in, so we could deal with homework on a proper surface.  I could have a bed or two so that those in need (mainly me) could catch a catnap.  Or I could even rent out my beds for fellow tired moms - at an hourly or half hourly rate.  Now, that sound just a little bit too creepy and sleazy.  I could cook supper, whilst I’m waiting.  Maybe even catch up on a bit of ironing.  Hah!!!  Just kidding.  I DON’T IRON.  Creases are so in right now.

But will I stop there?  No, of course not.  I am willing to take my camper van idea to the next level.  I will start a thriving little industry selling coffee and snacks to other hapless moms also waiting for their offspring.  I could charge exorbitant prices and still do a rip roaring trade.  In fact, if I sold alcohol, my sales would go through the roof.  Especially, if I cleverly disguise those G&T’s in cold drink bottles.  No one would be any the wiser.  However, alas, catering is not really my thing.  And though I will supplement my income marvellously with my little cottage coffee industry, I’m willing to pull out the big stops to pull in the big bucks.  What I’m going to do is this…..

I will dabble in a bit of fortune telling.  I shall offer gypsy style palm readings, tea leaf readings as well as other ethereal services.  The fact that I have absolutely no idea how to do this, or have any experience, is not important at all.  I’m guessing, it’s all just a guessing game in any rate.  So, note to self:  I need to invest in big hoop earrings.  Lots and lots of dangly clanging bangles.  Ankle chains.  Flowing skirts.  Tie dye shirts.  Will need hair extensions, but it will be worth the cause.  Sure I can find a crystal ball somewhere.  Neck scarf.  Even more black eyeliner than I already wear.  Ditch my shoes – would ruin the image.  Liberally dot my vocabulary with words like “spiritual”, “inner peace”, “angel of death”, “bad omen”, etc.  Will definitely have to curl my hair – simply can’t be a fortune teller without curling hair.  Must get a black shawl with tassles.  Will have to start cultivating a beauty spot immediately – complete with sprouting hair.  Oh, will have to get a little shelf filled to the brim with old bottles.  Can put some awesome labels on them for ingredients like eye of newt and wart of spotted toad.  Will have to look out for a big black cauldron.  Getting sooo excited!  Will get a little sign made up.  Can call myself Madame Zingara.  Has such a nice ring to it.  Which reminds me – lots of rings are an absolute necessity.  And to lend extra authenticity, I would definitely need a smoke machine.  One that I can activate at optimum moments for special effects.

Why it’s working already!  I can see my future ahead of me.  And it’s filled with lots and lots of elephants, rhino’s and buffalo’s – of the paper monetary variety.  My services won’t be coming cheap!  So do give me a ring to book a session.  Or wait don’t.  Let’s put my little theory to the test.  Using my newly evolved extra-sensory perceptive skills, I will sense that you are in need of spiritual enlightenment.  Meet you at the caravan.  Just look out for the flashing sign offering my services as well as the delightful scent of freshly brewed coffee…..


  1. Brilliant! You're a genius. It's going to be a huge success as all your ventures are. Want to borrow some skirts, bangles, dangly earrings, ankle chains etc? I did think you explained me there! So seeing as I've got the 'spiritual' paraphanalia going...might aswell give it a try in England. Thanks for the heads up Helene!

  2. I can help with the smoke machine as the hubby has one! Can help out with the curly hair too! Nothing a perm cant sort out there!
    You are a star with your writting Helene, you keep the giggles rolling daily, THANK YOU!