Downside of country life Part 2

There’s a saying in this town “Hy wil werk, maar my willie”.  Loosely translated, this means he wants work, but he doesn’t really want to work.  He will arrive the first day, noodle around a bit, ask for payment before the job is done and you’ll never see him again.

The situation with regard to craftsmen or tradesmen of any kind is worse than you can imagine.  Not only was the apprenticeship system scrapped many years ago, but the young people who might have learned their trade at the elbow of a master are wrapped up in Playstation and intending to become, I dunno, rap stars.

So anyway, trying to find a plumber or builder is a treasure hunt of note, but I found someone who could weld a palisade fence for me, and in my very own town.  Recommended too.

So the 50% payment was made and …. er … well in all fairness, the steel had to be ordered,  so week 1 proceeded with nothing happening.  Week 2, I ventured a telephone call and a polite enquiry as to when I might see the work begin.  That Friday, lo and behold, the work began on dismantling the concrete fence.  Winning.  Saturday it rained, work suspended.  Week 3, dismantling the remainder of the fence and arrival of first three panels.  Great joy and anticipation.  The panels were placed in the holes and propped up with rocks, the workmen left and were not seen again that week.  Week 4, I once again enquired politely as to the whereabouts of the remainder of my fence.  Three more pieces arrived and were propped up with rocks.

And there we have it.


This is my fence.  Lovely isn’t it, in a gappy sort of way.


This is where my fancy gate goes which runs along a track sunk into the ground (with curious dog looking on).  Said gate and track are in the backyard crushing the grass.


Garden air-conditioning just in case it gets too hot.


Very cool corner.  Very cool.


Week 5 I decided I had perhaps been too nice, niceness is sometimes confused with stupidity in these parts so it was time to get tough.  I demanded an honest date on which the job would be completed.  After some hemming and hawing I was assured it was imminent and in the process of being painted and would definitely … definitely be finished by “pick a date”.

This is a small town, everyone knows everyone else.  Clearly we have a problem.


Beginning tomorrow, I will engage in guerrilla warfare with the most innocuous of weapons until the target is subdued, the missing pieces are put in place and bolted, the concrete is poured, the track is laid in place and the gate inserted.

Watch this space.



South African writer, crafter and all round animal lover
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5 Responses to Downside of country life Part 2

  1. Dani says:

    Ouch – yeah, reliability is not high on the agenda of rural workers. Very frustrating though – to be so close – and yet so far…


    This is why we tend to do everything ourselves, isn’t it? Huge unemployment notwithstanding.

  3. I LOVE your blog and your campaign. Its africa time down there. Just enjoy it and not any reactions. keep your good humour. thats the real lesson. Pity you cant post it into the local newspaper..i would! Carol

  4. Who knows, you may start a new rural are certainly enlivening the town!

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