As I’m sure you have all worked out, I am not a very nice person in the morning. Especially on school mornings and even more especially now that Jamie is off my hitlist – Rosie does not really give me many opportunities to yell, screech and stomp – so there I am sitting with all this pent up, unused anger – I am like an atom bomb ready to blow ………..

Now, as any school mom knows the number one rule of a school morning is, yep, you have got it, GET TO THE BUS ON TIME – non bus people you have got to understand, a bus driver does not stop for anyone, and I mean ANYONE, when he leaves, he leaves on time, every time and does not care if you have left books at home, if you are late, or if the dog ate your breakfast. He does not stop mid street, wait, smile, say goodmorning – in fact he has seen it all and he does not care anymore.

I digress, so it is imperitive that you leave the house on time in order to get to the bus stop (s) – we do have two – on time. So every morning we screech out of the house trailing school bags, still putting on clothes, weetbix dripping out of our mouths – it is dark, it is cold, I have pent up anger and the kids have no idea what all the fuss is about ……. to be quite honest Frans doesnt really get it because on the two (yes there have only been two) occaisions that he has taken the kids to the bus everything ran like military precision.

We screech out of the driveway, my neighbour screeches out of hers and off we bullet out of Marina Village – all on schedule ………… until we reach the gate …………. the gate is closed ……… I start opening the window on the dark and cold morning to screech at the Gate Guard to open the sodding gate and all I see is a set of smiling teeth (it is dark, very dark) we have to make a decision here – either drive through a two ton electric gate or wait for Arthur (the guard) to open it.

The smile then starts moving and the smile says “good morning!!!”

A hand goes up and a very friendly wave accompanies the smile.


The gate opens and we bullet off again down St Francis Drive.

“Why are you so rude to Arthur???” A brave voice askes from the back seat?

I dont bother answering.

Well, one the kids are despatched onto their busses things start cooling down and I am starting to feel just a tad rotten. Why was a so rude to Arthur? – all he did was say goodmorning to us and waved us on our daily way, and it all got me thinking about happy people and grumpy people (like me – only between the hours of 5 and 7 on any given morning).

Arthur has been sitting in the gate hut a whole freezing night, me on the other hand have been sleeping peacefully under my thick duvet – secure in the knowledge that Arthur is making sure no baddies come through the gate and disturb my beauty sleep. Arthur must be cold, hungry and ready to go home, he defininitely has absolutely no reason to be happy at 6.45 am on any given day.

I really think that people like Arthur have chosen to be happy, he and his fellow happy people would be happy in the middle of the desert (they would be happy that the sun is on their back), they would be happy doing housework (because they have a house to clean), they would be happy if their car broke down (because they have a car) – you get the picture. I do not think he would be the type to moan in a resturant because he received a chip to few, or if Eskom shed a bit on a Monday night.

I am a little bit jealous of the Arthurs of this world, and from now on I am going to let him spread his happiness through me – I am going to allow Arthur to say good morning and wave, and from then I am going to say goodmorning and wave to others. As much as happiness can be chosen – unhappiness can be chosen – I choose the one that will put a smile on my dial – WILL YOU?

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