It’s an unseasonably cold November Wednesday. You roll out of bed at 7am – a little later than you would normally wake up, but given the excellent proximity to everything you need to go about your day, you’re not too worried about it.
Your kids are already downstairs having breakfast, you’re better half has packed their lunch and made sure that they’ve double checked their bags - they have everything they need for their choices in the extensive extra-mural program they’ve begun within the schools around Woodhill Estate. There’s no sense of urgency, no rushing to the car, shouting for everyone to hurry up so you can beat the endless line of unmoving cars. You know that ever since you moved here, your children cycle to school in complete safety. You have no qualms in allowing them to leave unsupervised, save for the fact they’re just growing up so fast. Oh and also it’s raining, you need to make sure they have their coats.
An hour later, raindrops continues to pelt the windows, the noise blending seamlessly with the whir of the espresso maker. Your to-do list sits atop the counter. It’s long, but manageable. It wasn’t always like this though, as you reflect back to times when merely doing the groceries set your teeth on edge. The traffic, god the traffic. Bumper to bumper, as everyone tries and fails to make the 40 minute drive in a 30 minute window, tensions running high, as the scorching heat of summer, and the bitter, unrelenting cold of winter do unspeakable things to your leather car seats – the two seem to be in agreement about your discomfort. And let’s face it, traffic aside, the mall you used to go to wasn’t so much a mall as a badly lit building with “stuff” inside – and regardless of how much stuff there was, you could never seem to find the stuff you were looking for.
Fortunately that’s not an issue anymore, you think to yourself as you sip your coffee its aroma freeing you from the grasp of slumber. Woodlands Boulevard, its stimulating grounds attainable within minutes, has everything you need and then some. In fact it has actually become a pleasure to frequent the lifestyle centres that abound the area, smiling at the thought that something so mundane as “shopping” could’ve been made so enjoyable by the architects and engineers that saw the construction of modern market places with such attention to detail.
The grounds go quiet, and ray of silver sunlight pierces through the greying skies for a moment, illuminating a patch of water on the lake, its exterior dancing under the light wind that has begun to blow and the ripples of raindrops that bounce off its surface before settling beneath it, the reflection moving about the walls of the properties of Woodhill. You marvel at the fact that a piece of rugged, unforgiving terrain to could be so marvellously sculpted into modern society’s vision of paradise…The light disappears, swallowed by the gathering darkness, the prospect of a storm, thunder rumbling in the distance, as though anticipating the festival of noise and light in the sky that is soon to be.
You dress and head down to the driveway, the idea of blankets in front of fires pushed to the back of your mind for now. As you step outside, you shiver slightly and pull your cardigan around your shoulders. After waiting for weeks for the rains, the weather seems to have obliged with a vengeance, its sense of humour apparent with the lack of warmth that usually accompanies the summer showers this late in the year. No matter, you smile to yourself, the car has central heating.
You wind your way down the curving road that leads from your home to the exit of the estate, the greens, reds and purples of summer blossom on the branches of the magnificent trees that line the streets. The drive to Woodlands Boulevard seems to take no time at all, and shopping is a blur as you are caught up in lights colours that speak of Christmas in every shop window. Your list completed within a matter of hours, you stand at the pay-point, for a moment at a loss for what to do with yourself for the rest of the today. Based on past experiences, you certainly hadn’t budgeted on having completed what would normally have taken an entire day within one morning…
An idea sparks in your mind, somewhere around the same place that thoughts of blankets and fires are stored. You pay for your parking ticket (well, you “pay” for your ticket. The adventure through the mall didn’t take long enough to register a parking cost). Back through the gates as you key yourself in within your unique entrance tag, along the road that stretches to your front door, colours of the world outside your window melting together as you race upwards, eager to get home. But once you’re there, you do not stop. You take the steps two at a time, bursting through the bedroom door and run to the cupboard at the far end of the room, directly adjacent to the ensuite bathroom. Standing propped up against the back wall, you find a familiar shape staring back you.
You gently pick up the golf clubs in anticipation of the course that is Woodhill Country Club, carry them down the stairs, and exit your front door, glorious sunlight peeking through grey skies in tales of fairer weather to come.