1997 Zwischen vier und sechs, Voice over


Between four and six (Zwischen vier und sechs / 6 minutes) We had a strict routine at home- when we got back from school, which would have been about half past one, my mother always had a delicious cooked dinner waiting for us. The table was always set when we got there and sometimes the meal was already dished on our plates - it was quite important that we arrived on time, otherwise the food would have got cold.

After the meal we all had an hours lie down - this was a strictly adhered to afternoon nap, none of our friends were allowed to call during this time, which was actually a good thing, as all three of us had quite a nervous dispostion and we wouldn’t have coped with it at all well - anyway it meant that we all started reading quite early on and quickly became proper little bookworms.

At three afternoon tea was already waiting for us in the kitchen, that usually went until quarter past, half past three, when Susanne, a girl from my class, came around. Susanne had even more problems at school than I did. Apparently I used to sit there and daydream - at least that’s what my religious eductation teacher once told my mother. He said that he didn’t dare speak to me because I always seemed to be absorbed in my daydreams. Well and then we distributed ourselves around the various desks around the house. Quite often a friend of one of my sisters with problems at school would come too and my mother would always try to get things under control. It usually took until about five or half past five after which I was free to do what I wanted. I often went and played in the garden.

At half past six we all came back in for dinner which my mother had once again lovingly prepared for us. My mother is very good at organising things and this is something that all three of us children really profited from. Then my father got home and we all sat down together, that often went on for longer, until about a quarter past, half past seven and we told father about the adventures of the day - it was always a nice time. After that I went into the practise room to practise my cello for half an hour, I usually liked my mother to be there, I was a very dependent child, much more dependent than my sisters and I would have never coped if my mother had had a job.

At eight o’clock I had to go to bed, for a while that was a real problem for me - being the youngest and having to be the first to have to go to bed, so my middle sister often went with me. She was allowed to read but I had to go to sleep, but it was easier for me to accept then. My mother then came up to tuck me in and we talked about the day and prayed together. At half past eight it was lights out in my room.

Now sunday is our family day, we always have a coffee together and then go out and clean. I work now so I simply have lot less time than I used to, that’s why I somehow think it is OK to clean on Sundays now. You shouldn’t really work on sundays but as I said I quite often like to do things with friends on saturdays so to make it a regular thing Sunday had to be the day.

We usually manage four or five signs each Sunday, the actual cleaning doesn’t take long at all, about 5 minutes maybe. What takes the most time is setting up the ladder and walking backwards and forwards, so depending on how far apart the signs are it simply takes time because we have to walk such a long way.

My father has marked in the signs on a street map and always notes down exactly when we clean each one. It’s a new task for him in his retirement and he really enjoys it. We only use PRIL, that does the job, for the toughest stains we occasionally have to use a brush and we always have ATA with us, but on the whole it’s not necessary to use such a harsh cleaner, it works as well with PRIL. A little bit of PRIL in some water and then a soft cloth.

The neighbour from across the road helped us out once when my father was sick and he enjoyed it so much that he would do almost everything to help out regularly. He really loved it and it’s all we can do to stop him from coming along each weekend. We do like to keep it a family thing and it’s good that we all still can - that my parents are still able to come along too. I think it’s really important that a familyhas something that holds it together - something that we can all do together.

I am happy that it just all fell into place for us and that we didn’t have to spend too much time thinking about what it was that we could do together. Well, we meet every Sunday now and at three we sit down and have a cup of coffee together and eat some cake - afterall it is Sunday, a special day - and usually we have a chat on the phone to both my sisters. There is almost always something new that has happenend in the week and we always share this over a nice cup of coffee. Translation: Joanne Moar