LIZ LUNDI:A surprise in store for Liz


It takes me two hours to pick up the phone and call Harry because there is no way I can possibly call him at six in the morning, no matter how enthusiastic I am about talking to him.

So in the interim, I pop a workout DVD into my player – to get my endorphins up, you see – and jump around my living room as per the instructions for the grand total of seven minutes before I give up. Then I apply a mask on my face and take a long, refreshing shower, during which I trim and shave neglected parts of my body.

A cup of coffee and a few pages of a good book later, I am ready to speak with Harry and see if we can meet up for the day. But when I call, he doesn’t answer his phone. I try again no reply. I consider calling one of my girls but which one? Mariam will not want to see me, for sure. Fatma might, but I know her; Sundays are for her family, and it will be a task getting her to change her routine. How about Jo? I can’t help laughing out loud when that suggestion comes up; with a tot her infant’s age, there’s no way she will be available to meet me at this hour.

“Oh, well, I guess it’s just me then,” I sigh. I might as well continue with my ‘learning to enjoy my own company’ exercise.

And so I decide to throw on some sweats, pack up my book and head over to the garden cafe just down the road where I can have a sumptuous breakfast in beautiful surroundings. I decide to walk there, too, instead of jumping in my car; if we’re going to be healthy, we might as well go all the way, right?

Except while the sun is bright and shiny, the large puddles of water gathered in the potholes in the road indicate that it rained quite heavily last night while I was asleep.

And so the minute I step out of my gate place my foot on the kerb, a car comes speeding by and splashes muddy water all over me.

“You *#*%^**@!&$!!” I shake my fist at the retreating car. Then I look down at my sweats; not all soaked, but splattered with mud and dirty water.

‘Pole madam,” the gate askari consoles me as I turn on my heel and make my way back to the house.

“Grrr!” I make a face and head back inside the house to recoup and make my next move; I guess my plans for the morning are shot, as I have no intention of stepping anywhere outside my gate unless I am safely inside my vehicle.

Just as I am changing into a pair of jeans and a slouchy top, my phone rings; it’s – surprise, surprise – Fatma.

“What are you doing for lunch today?” she asks.

“Nothing as yet,” I say.

“Wow, you sound surprisingly chirpy for a Sunday morning. Did you not go out last night?”

“No, I came home after I left Jo’s house and watched a movie.”

“What? Are you ill?” she gasps, quite seriously.

“What do you mean?” I frown.

“I mean, you’re the resident party girl amongst us. We live vicariously through your escapades. It’s entertaining for us stuck-at-home mums to listen to all your adventures! Actually, I’m a little jealous of your life, if I was quite honest,” she sighs.

“What?!” I am not too happy to hear myself described as a party girl, for some reason. There are serious parts of my life, too. “I’m not always out” I say.

“Yes you are. Think about your last three weekends-,”

“I was sick last Saturday night so I stayed in,” I point out.

“Yes, you were sick because you got food poisoning from your adventures the night before,” she says. I have to agree with her. Wow. Is my life really that immature? “So are you free for lunch, then?” Fatma continues.

“Yes, I am. With you and the girls?”

“No, me and Steve,” she says.

“What?” my eyes widen. I know how Steve feels about me. There’s no way he would ask me out to lunch willingly. Something must be up.

“There’s someone we’d like you to meet,” Fatma says.

“What a therapist? Is this an intervention?”

Fatma laughs loud and long. “No, it’s not an intervention. Just come and see, ok?” She tells me the venue and precise time, and I confirm that I will be there.

Hmm This is going to be an interesting afternoon.