Thank you for the music

2008-10-06 00:00

Mamma mia. No water. Here we go again. Oh to be on a Greek island in the Aegean. But it’s Pelham, Pietermaritzburg and there has been no water on at least five occasions this year. Burst pipes. Possible sabotage. Whatever the reason these unexpected domestic droughts sometimes lasting more than a day can cause one’s stress levels to rise.

I think of the picture of a human with a permanent water supply on his head, but this brings with it its own flood of wish-away thoughts. Okay so I shed them for a while, but that word “shed”. Well, some measures had been taken to lighten the load — a two-plate gas cooker, a skottel, braai and fire place. Fortunately there are enough trees for wood. The pool has come in handy with the water issue. And the Duzi is not too far away.

Perhaps getting away would be the answer. Teach English in Spain. Live in a Spanish village. Live in a Greek village on a Greek island. I Google: “Greece homes”. Cheapest one I come across is 125 000 euros (about R1,5 million). Could perhaps afford a ruin in Spain. Fairly cheap at 6 000 euros (about R70 000). Suppose a ruin on a Greek island would be sort of affordable. No, not possible.

Varsity days come to mind. A microcosm of fun, laughter, friends, socials, romance, little responsibility, jasmine, float- building into the early hours of the morning; champagne breakfasts, part of which consisted of that famous fried chicken at four in the morning and, of course, work. After four years this world was blasted into another dimension by the meteoric arrival of … a job.

As I approached the middle years I sought wisdom on living by reading books by M. Scott Peck. I nodded my head in agreement with his claims that life is difficult or life is complex. I dipped into books by Stephen Covey, Anthony Robinson, Caroline Myss and others.

But wisdom can be found in the most unexpected places.

“You must see Mamma Mia. You’ll love it.”

I asked whether it was some sort of mafia movie.

Saturday and no water again. Fortunately there was electricity and reviews of Mamma Mia on the Internet convinced me that it would be an enjoyable musical to watch. Still no water at 5 pm. Clearly a sign. Dinner at a re-staurant followed by Mamma Mia.

From the very start I was whisked off into a wonderful, wonderful world. I was there with Donna in her little hotel on a Greek island in the Aegean singing and dancing and even crying as she prepared to let go of her grown-up daughter. The sheer energy of the movie. The non-stop fun. The larger-than-life (the effects of seeing it on the big screen) but very real characters. The rustic lifestyle on the island complemented by the rich beauty of the scenery. The luxurious boats and the glamorous costumes. And central to all of this the music … the melodious, beautiful music. I noticed that the smile hardly left my face.

Back in Pelham in Pietermaritzburg at 10.30 pm. The water was on. Humming tunes of various Abba songs I filled empty containers with water and ran a bath. I was feeling good. Tried a bit of dancing in front of the mirror. Okay so I would never be 1,67 metres tall like Donna, but I could scale down to 34-26-36 or pretty close to that. And yes, I would need to be a lot fitter to dance the slightest bit like her.

Wisdom in an unexpected place? Absolutely. I made a special note never to underestimate the positive spin-offs of a feel-good movie, especially when it includes one of the highest art forms — music.

So I say: “Thank you for the music … for bringing it to me.”

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