This morning, after staying in bed too long playing online Scrabble, I suddenly bolted out of bed, realizing that load shedding would be starting shortly. There are two windows in the bathroom, but they face the street, and I prefer not to have the blinds open when showering. Subsequently, it’s dark in the bathroom during load shedding preventing me from putting my makeup on straight.
Yes, I wear some makeup daily, always have, and always will. Nothing elaborate, but enough for me to feel good about the start of my day. I am not the person who throws on sweatpants and a sweatshirt upon waking in the morning. I always put on clean clothes that I could go out in if need be, fix my hair and face and go about my day. It doesn’t usually take me more than 30 minutes for the entire routine.
Well, as much as I tried to hurry, I ended up in the dark, doing my best to be presentable. While I was getting ready, I had a light-bulb moment. As much as the chigger bites have improved, I still have new bites on my neck. Why was this happening? A simple thought entered my mind, and I muttered, “dumb me” to myself as I lathered DEET mosquito repellent on my neck. It was the pillow I’ve been sleeping on!… not the room, not flying insects, not off-season mosquitoes—the pillow.
We have a hypoallergenic mattress cover on the bed I purchased for the last house. Before we arrived back in Marloth Park almost two months ago, Vusi and Zef washed and dried it and placed it on the mattress here. That’s worked out fine with no new dust mite reactions on my body. But, my neck has been a series of new itchy spots night after night, regardless of how many repellents I use. Dumb me! Why didn’t I consider the pillow?
Dust mite “bites” are an allergic reaction to the fecal matter of dust mites, not an actual bite. Repellent won’t prevent this. Why hadn’t I figured this out?
This morning I looked on Takealot and found a Tempurpedic hypoallergenic neck pillow, which I had in years past. I couldn’t order it quickly enough. It will arrive in five business days. I can’t wait to be free of this annoying situation. I can put a regular pillowcase over it to keep it clean. It will take a few nights to get used to the shape of the pillow, but in no time at all, my neck will be free of the constant itching.
Then, as the morning progressed, while discussing the pillow situation with Tom, it dawned on him that his dentist appointment was in 30 minutes. It takes about 40 minutes to drive to Malalane to Dr. Singh’s office. Tom bolted out the door in a flurry while I called the dentist’s office to say he was a few minutes late, which proved not to be a problem.
I locked the door after him, realizing that this would be one of the few times I am alone in the house. I boiled water on the gas stove for my coffee (the power is still out) and sat outside with my laptop to prepare today’s post. In the meantime, for the second day this week, a security alarm for a house down the dirt road has been blaring for hours.
How is it that someone doesn’t know their alarm is going off? Do they have an alarm system without a contract with a company, so no one takes responsibility for turning it off? Eventually, the batteries will go dead and stop, as they did a few days ago after about 10 hours. How annoying, in our otherwise quiet area of the bush. When the holidaymakers are gone, with fewer vehicles in the park, it’s blissfully quiet in Marloth Park.
Sure, there’s an occasional bark from an impala, the squeals of a pair of warthogs in a scuffle, or birds and insects making their species-specific sounds, all music to our ears. Other than the occasional blissful sounds of African music and drums being played by locals, all human-generated sounds are an annoyance.
After all, this is the animal’s territory, and we’re invading their space. We must maintain a comfortable and stress-free environment for them, with us humans ultimately benefit from those efforts.
There’s not much on the horizon for the daytime hours today. Tom should be returning within an hour, and my alone time will have ended. We’ll head to Jabula for our usual fun and festive Friday night. In a few weeks, Rita and Gerhard will be here. We are all so excited to see each other. Plus, our two readers/couples will be arriving soon. How fun is that!
Photo from one year ago today, July 15, 2021: