Posted by: The Saffa Mom | December 28, 2011

More annoying then late?

At one point in my life, I thought that there was nothing more annoying then people being late.

It was a time when my day was scheduled around driving to different meetings all over Gauteng. I would rush to get to a place to get there on time, order myself a coffee……. And often literally finish it. Fuming inside! When my clients arrived- i am as sweet as pie. I needed their business, and I had often driven 70 Km’s to conclude it….. I could ignore the fact that they were an hour late just this once. Right?

This is Commonly known as African time- and since we are in Africa best we deal with it. It is going no where. Literally. The only thing that moves fast in Africa is your black taxi.

Over the last few years though I have discovered something more annoying!

Being early!!

10-15 minutes I can get handle but 40 minutes- an hour……grates me.

It takes me 40 minutes to get ready and that’s when I need to wash my hair. I often leave that for last! Who wants to clean house clean?

When I state a time it really is for that time or round about. It just makes for such a disastrous social when you have people coming an hour early and then others coming hours late. I have begun to specifically consider each of my guests when sending out invitations. The time I give to my knight’s sister is generally 30 minutes later then the time I tell my other guests. At the same token my sister always thinks we have early get togethers….and they are still late.

It’s Christmas morning and I am running around like a chicken without a head. House is clean, but I still have a list of things to start doing before my guests arrive. At the same token I have a list of things in my head for my knight to do too….and although he is somewhat prepared, he is in African time!

I have chosen a simple Greek type theme for lunch. Picky food that has no formality. I marinated the lamb the night before in rosemary, lemon and garlic and was excited to get everything else on the go. I had an hour before our first guests would arrive. Plenty of time.

Some background to those of you that don’t know me….. The last two years of Christmas have been somewhat disastrous. My perfect little family crumbled and every year we seems to be missing somebody else. 2009 was when my dad decided on the 23 rd of December that he was no longer happy with the marriage he had committed 33 years to and would prefer blondes. 2010 was then the first Christmas without my gran, she had passed away a few months earlier after an ugly fight with cancer. The Christmas was a chaotic mess. My mom was still completely broken about my father (who could blame her) and managed to express this raw emotion after drinking a huge amount of alcohol in secret. You can read about it here. This year would be the first year without my baby brother. His death is still somewhat raw for me. For all of us. Someone else missing this year would be my princess. That would not be permanent though- just a con of divorce unfortunately.

I decided this year that I was going to do everything in my power to make this Christmas a memorable one, for good reasons. It would be about the love of people that are here at this moment. It would be about making some new memories. It would be about making NEW traditions with my new family. The one I was creating around me.

(Okay now you may notice that I am all over the place……back to Christmas morning….)

My knight comes storming down the stairs to the dogs barking and asks me what time I have told everyone?

Well, we have guests an hour early!

An hour.

We can’t leave them in the driveway can we?

I haven’t started preparing the fresh food at all, in fact my kitchen is spotless and waiting…… My knight also has not got cracking on what I had asked him to do. I knew that this could all turn ugly.

I would have to get my guests involved in making lunch, (i am not a fan of guests in my kitchen, but what do i do?) and I would need to appear to be the bossy better half to get my knight to go ahead with his task…… You see I know him well, and at this point I know he is thinking that we will just skip it.

The thing is that this year I did create a new tradition.

I discussed it with my knight for days before and planned it as well as I could. He was not bailing now….. I needed him. Especially now that I had to entertain my guests in the kitchen…….




  1. I’ll be honest: I have a 10 minute late syndrome – I don’t know how it works, I just know it is. I’ve been working so hard being on time and every time I have succeeded I regretted it. There I would be, sitting around like a fool so everyone else can arrive two minutes before when I would have arrived had I failed 😀 Sometimes it would seem like a lose-lose situation. Yet, I think being punctual is important. It can make a very determining difference, like when you go for a job interview 😉

    I remember one occasion though: I was going to see Michael Buble in concert. My sister was afraid that we’d be late so she told me the time to meet at her house as an hour earlier than it actually was. Lo and behold, I was late – rushing like hell, driving like Schumacher, my blood pressure shooting through the roof and when I got there no one was even showered and dressed. We started out with a headache, a pill and some laughter with relief. Needless to say: we were on time (and what a magnificent concert! The best I’ve seen yet 😀 )

    I hope the rest of your Christmas was more special than the previous two. Cheers to new beginnings.

    • It was a good Christmas!
      Michael Buble in concert! He is coming to South Africa in the next few months, and it would take the world to convince my man to go. But i might try if you say he was brilliant.

      • He has a fabulous stage personality – it is almost as if he’s visiting with each one in their living room – and he sounds as good live as he does recorded (Few artists pull that off (in my opinion)), plus I love his sense of humor. He’s a natural entertainer. You can’t help but fall in love with him that way. I would go again any day but you can decide for yourself 🙂

  2. I am usually on time, but my wife will slow us down and it doesn’t seem to bother her to be late. But it does me!

    • I still think that a little late is a lot better than a lot early. Haha. You probably balance each other out. X

  3. Some occasions do call for punctuality, but for social events/gatherings I go with a 10-20 minute window. Good to hear you are starting up new traditions 🙂 This year was a great, but quiet, Christmas. Just with grandparents at their farm near Mexico. I went a bit nuts with “Santa” this year, however the rest of the year is not filled with gifts and chocolate (except Halloween).
    All the best in the New Year!

    • Sometimes it feels awesome to go a little nutty!! Happy new year chef. Xxx

  4. […] a laugh and a smile for her friends. To read the prequal to this post, I invite you to take a peek here. To just hang out with Bokkie, visit here. You will see me and Brown Road over there. We like to […]

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