Fraught. If you’re speaking to an Afrikaans person, the word will be heard as ‘vrot’. Pronounced ‘frot’ it means ‘rotten’. It can also mean drunk, miserable or desperately ill; “I am vrot with ‘flu…/ I got horribly vrot, fell off a bar stool and does anybody know what I did with my bra?”
An English person, on the other hand, will understand fraught to mean:
fraught adj, colloq causing or feeling anxiety or worry • Jenny has been fraught since the vote went against her. fraught with danger, etc full of or laden down with danger, difficulties, problems, etc.
ETYMOLOGY: 14c: from Dutch vracht freight.
In the spirit of the festive season, Kleine Zalze have challenged their batch of Summer Ambassadors to write on the theme “Home Is Where The Heart Is”. As one of the Winter Ambassadors, I said I’d tag along, for old times sake, and because I have plenty of time to kill; being as how it’s the time of the year I need to make myself scarce in my home.
You see, it’s like this; my step-daughter has arrived. Until the 4th of January she will be the alpha female in the house. It has been this way for the past fourteen years. My husband, perhaps because of the guilt of his failed first marriage and the subsequent long periods of separation from his daughter, panders to the girl. It is as if they exist alone inside a glass cage. My furniture is rearranged, my bathroom is taken over and life must be lived on tiptoe as the girl likes to sleep quite a lot. I also have to be mindful of the list of DON’Ts that have caused tsunamis in past years: Don’t ask her to tidy her room, don’t ask her not to use my facewash as shower gel, don’t ask her to help with the dishwashing…
Original Bunn gets jealous, confused and nasty. I don’t understand much about psychology, but she becomes angry and acts out at me, not at her father and sister. The situation becomes more dreadful every year, and recovery at the end of it all becomes increasingly unlikely.
So, there we have it; for me this festive season, Home is where the heart is fraught.
As my friend Elizabeth Windsor would say “One will have to sip on something strong. Give One strength.” Chin-chin, Lizzie, bottoms up, eh?