I have finally found a client for Windows Phone that can publish to Blogger again (Net Writer), which means I am able to blog on the go again.
Not promising more frequent updates, but you never know ☺
25 February 2017
11 December 2016
I have been in the UK for 8 weeks now. Eight full weeks. My family have been here for five.
In these weeks, we have moved into a new house, bought and built a crapload of IKEA furniture (and are at risk of looking like an IKEA catalogue), been to London once as a family, been to Reading a couple of times as a family and slowly made peace with the chilly weather.
I have travelled to Leeds three times for work, and made peace with the British rail system. The husband has found a lovely contract position, which means he is making some money and feeling like a productive human being.
And, in this very short time, we have become a much happier bunch of people.
In South Africa, we lived in constant fear. It is not the obvious, surface, “I’m being hunted” fear, but rather a deep, subconscious fear that you don’t even know is there. We had a high wall around our house, and an alarm system linked to an armed response company. We, as a family, communicated constantly on WhatsApp to let each other know where we were, to let each other know we were safe. We lived close to one of the biggest parks in Johannesburg, but could not walk through the park alone during the day, and you definitely did not go anywhere near the park after dark.
When we started looking at houses in England, I had this romantic notion that I would like to live in a small village in the English country side. After a lot of searching, we found just such a place.
We found a lovely terraced house in a little housing estate deep in the Berkshire forest. It is idyllic, to say the least. When I walk out of my front door I can see the horses from the neighbouring stables grazing and squirrels playing in the trees. At night, I can see stars in the sky.
The biggest downside of where we live is that the closest train station is a 2 mile walk, but I get to walk through a beautiful woodland area and a golf course on my way. The walk has also helped me regain a bit of fitness and shed some of my baby fat *grin*
I do this walk when it is dark most of the time. And my biggest fear is walking into spider webs.
We no longer have fitful sleep because we are no longer afraid. We no longer need to spend 10 minutes before bedtime locking up the house and making sure the alarm is set. We no longer worry when one of the family members go for a walk, or even travel across the country.
Of course, we are not completely naïve, and understand that crime still exists in the UK. But it is not as woven into the fabric of every day life that you need to live in constant fear. All round, we are a happier family because the fear has been removed. And this makes all the things we have left behind, the little sacrifices, very much worth it.
26 October 2016
I ran away from home shortly after my twentieth birthday. I suppose it is more correct to say that my father kicked me out of home, and I obliged him by leaving, especially as I spent most of the previous year living with my then-boyfriend’s family on and off because I got kicked out so often. But so I left home with two bags, one with some clothing, and one with some of CDs and possibly a book or two.
That first two weeks after leaving home, I crashed on couches while trying to sort out something more permanent for myself. I had worked over the summer, and had a bit of money due to me, enough to put down a deposit on a flat. I found some odd jobs that would suffice on a flat application as employment. I accepted donations of furniture. I accepted help from a varsity friend to collect my bed and desk in his very old jalopy from my parents’ house – timed perfectly so they wouldn’t be there. I think I eventually sent a letter to my mother to let her know I was ok via another friend.
Twelve days ago, I left the country of my birth with two suitcases, one filled with clothing and another filled with books, Lego minifigures and my Xbox and peripherals.I’ve been sleeping in a friend’s spare room, and relying on the kindness of friends while sorting out more permanent accommodation.
Luckily this time I have a great job, which has opened many doors for me. But right now I am dependant on people for so much, and it reminds me so strongly of that feeling of running away from home.
13 September 2016
I saw a homeless woman
bathe on the street today
She calmly disrobed
as if in a luxury private suite
Scars on display for all to see
The women around me
tutted at the inconvenience of her
How dare she put herself on display
The bus turned the corner
and the conversation returned
to middle class apathy
24 July 2016
It has been such a long time since I’ve blogged here. I am not promising a revival either.
I didn’t even complete my own 52 week challenge, because, you know, shit happens. And I suck at challenges. Sometimes, writing in public spaces puts pressure on for a certain kind of content, and, once one starts gaining readers, the pressure to continuously deliver content is hard. It also, for me, removes the ability to write freely. To work around this, I simply blogged, albeit sporadically, somewhere else. I’d like to reclaim this space again, but, no promises.
The last post I made here cryptically referred to it being my last trip to Cape Town. I left my best ever employer at the end of November after a series of decisions made in possibly the wrong frame of mind. I returned to best ever employer at the beginning of January after a series of apologies and possibly better decisions. This means I am travelling again, but not quite as frequently as before. Since returning, I have been to Cape Town three times, Lisbon (Portugal) once, Abuja (Nigeria) once, and I am currently in Seattle. I am feeling a lot more positive about everything, even though I kick myself on occasion for making the decision to leave in the first place. Sometimes, we need to make bad decisions to appreciate the good moments.
Our best friends left us at the end of last year for different shores. This changed a couple of things in our lives. For starters, it meant our friends were no longer a couple of blocks away, and time with them have moved into a virtual space. I am forever grateful for Skype and WhatsApp.
My bestie left South Africa a long time ago, but it was manageable, because we were already interacting more online than in person before she left. So while I miss her terribly, I could deal with it. Our other best friends we saw weekly in person, so their departure has been hard for both my husband and myself. It has reopened discussions about possible relocation to European shores, and I think we have pretty much decided that we will be pursuing this actively in the near future.
My beautiful boy, Frank, left me for the big catnip patch in the sky a few months ago. My heart is still hurting every day.
I think this is one of the reasons it has been so hard getting back into blogging, especially photo blogging. Because at least 70% of my photos are of him, and I ache every time I browse my photos.