18 April 2011

Not a Good Start

So I did my little trial run this morning and I am happy to report that I have no pain. I got all the way up to the M3 before turning around and trotting back down again. Now I know that my stated objective was to go to Rhodes Memorial. It was not a physiological limitation that prevented me from doing this (although, admittedly, by the time I turned round I was tired and out of breath). The reason was of a more pragmatic sort. I start lecturing at 08:00. Breakfast starts at 07:30. I dutifully got up at 05:00 and made all of the necessary, um, preparations. Then headed downstairs at 06:00 to hit the road. Now by Durban standards 06:00 is a late start, but I need to remind you that Cape Town is a full 15° or so west of Durban, which translates to an hour of local time. So effectively I was off at a respectable 05:00. Plus it was still very dark. My bunch of keys if pretty big and jangly, so I decided to hide it in the kitchen rather than carry it along with me. So I reached up on top of the kitchen cupboards, right in the corner where they meet the wall, and let go of my keys. They fell out of my hand with a rather disconcerting burst of acceleration... and then I heard them hit the bottom. To my dismay, the cupboards have a narrow gap on either side (since the "standard" cupboard width doesn't conform to the room dimensions. And my keys had fallen to the bottom of this cavity. When I climbed up on the counter I found that it was about 2.5 cm wide and 75 cm deep. Far too narrow for my arm to fit down. Now, as I soon discovered for any of the kitchen implements. I tried the broom handle. I search the whole complex for a wire coat hanger. Since these things seem to multiply if left to their own devices, you would think there would be a stack around. Not one! So, just when I had resigned myself to the idea of waiting until 07:30 and asking for help, I spotted a pile of vine branches under the braai area in the quadrangle. The first branch I tried turned out to be the right length but a little too twisted. The second one, after a bit of manipulation, turned out to do the trick and I had the heartening sensation of feeling the end of the branch catch against the bunch of keys. On the third attempt I managed to drag it up the side of the cavity and, reaching in as far as I could with my fingers, grab the keys. So, a good 20 minutes later, I carefully put my keys back on top of the cupboard (this time right in the middle) and shot out the door.

The offending keys and the stick used to rescue them.


  1. Oh you are such a silly thing aren't you! I am so glad that you managed to get the keys back. If I had been there I would have retrieved them for you while you were out running though...the moral of the story...never leave home without your woman to rescue the keys ;) he he he :)

  2. Well, I can repeat the performance on Friday if you like. Although I have other plans for how you should spend the first 15 minutes of your day.