Friday, 30 September 2011

Can you help? Can I help you?

We're not expats (salary paid in local currency into local bank account)and we haven't emigrated, but we've moved to South Africa lock, stock and barrel. We have 2 year visas, Hubbies is an inter company transfer, the kids have study visas and I'm here as a visitor. We'll stay as long as a) the company want hubby to and b) we get our visas renewed

I won't bore you with all the details, but life here can be quite difficult, but it's also alot of fun.

Safety and Security are our biggest issues and after that just you try getting anything done.

The purpose of this post is to locate other Brits living in South Africa in a similar situation and other Brits around the world.

I'm not interested in moaning about how hard it is (you can read the rest of my blog for that stuff) What I want to focus on now is the positives...

how did you get round that situation?

Am I being realistic with my expectations?

Where have you found that is user/child/family friendly?

Where are the best places to shop?

Where can I buy PG tips from and other imported British food at lower prices? (only in emergencies when one of us feels 'home' sick?

What are the best sites/companies for car and house insurance etc?

I'm sure there are many more of you that have made this move on your own, don't have someone to wave their magic wand. Let me know who you are, it would be great to get some more support going.

Losing my Groove

I've never been invited to take part in a meme, and quite frankly I don't know what it means. I've had two tweeters 'guest post' for me one about dealing with their teen and my son describing his hospital experience after his lung collapased when he was hit in the throat by a cricket ball. I wasn't even invited to join this but came across @netcurtains blog and realised I need to get my groove back and here are the reasons why.

This time last year, I was a Mother of 5, only 3 were living at home, 1 in Germany in the army, but all leave spent with us and endless crisis and the eldest who is profoundly disabled, living in care nearby. Home most weekends and visits in the week.

I had 3 part time jobs, I lecturered and assessed mature students on NVQ level 2 & 3 Teaching Assistants I also lectured adults with learning difficulties in Customer Service and Job Path. My other role was for the local FA (football association) as a Child Welfare Officer and involved working closely with Social Services, the police and families, often at short notice and mainly evenings and weekends and quite harrowing on occassions.

I was also studying for a degree in Criminology with The OU and have 1 year left to complete.

A busy life for a busy person.

1 year on, I moved to South Africa, I only have 2 children here with me and the others have been out for visits, communicating via face book and still needing my help. The eldest, unfortunatly, doesn't respond with telephone calls or even understand what I write in my letters, but I continue with the contact.

My husband is in the same job, just a different country and continues to travel with his work.

So how did I lose my groove?

Only got 2 kids here, they are 12 and 16 and really don't require alot of input, other than taxi services. I can't work, I'm a 'visitor' for 2 years and due to problems with the internet when we first arrived I'm afraid the studies had to stop.

Everything about me, that made me, me has changed or is no longer available to me. I have no friends, I don't know anyone. OK there is small talk and occassional coffees but no 'mates' like I had in the UK.

I have a gardener and I like gardening so I've been growing flowers, herbs and veg. My cooking and baking has increased 10 fold, I make every meal from scratch, sorcing locally grown products, the freezer is always full. I do all my own cleaning, I need something to do, but the locals think I'm strange for not hiring a maid.

I read, chick lit, I go off exploring, as much as safety and security will allow. I review my course work for my degree to date. I make my own bird feeders, using Peanut butter and seeds. I study the animal books and the birds. I've started a jigsaw. I got out all the games like cards, ludo, twister and placed them around the house so we use them. And I sit in the garden watching the wildlife, drinking tea or wine in the evenings.

I'm starting to like it, enjoy myself and be happy with my own company, but it's not me for ever and to 'get my groove back' I've made enquiries with UNISA, to complete my degree. I have an appointment with the visa agency on Tuesday to change my visa status so I can apply for work.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy my 'groove' with a glass of wine, sitting on the balcony watching the sunset and the black swans swimmming on the river.

Two questions were posed as part of the 'link up'

Song to get my groove back would have to be 'I got a feeling' by the Black Eyed peas

I'm hoping I can get my tooth abcess soon and the medication kicks in.

This weeks letters home are all about Spring and Summer.

Spring officially started on the 1st September and I think summer must have started on the 2nd. Temperatures in the day have already hit 30 and by mid afternoon I’m sitting on the side of the pool, cooling my legs.

The garden is in full bloom and the trees now have so many leaves that my view of the Sunshine Tour, Telkom PGA Pro-am was restricted.

I’ve found a little cool spot in the garden and have put the sofa outside,it’s under cover and a few pot plants provide some shade. It won’t get wet when the rainy season starts but I’ve put a cover over it to stop it fading in the sun.

I’ve finally registered the family with a Doctor, he’s Scottish. The surgery is at Southdowns, a mall about a 2 minute drive away, however it takes a good 10 minutes to get out of the estate. It’s also where I’ve started to get my hair done at a new salon called Butterflies, very friendly and love to chat.
Registering at the Doctors was quite difficult and I was close to tears. I had a copy of Peter’s passport, the med aid card and mine and the children’s passport numbers. I explained I was from the UK and not sure how this all worked, that I was English speaking only and could they assist.
After filling in the forms, telling the receptionist again I didn’t understand Afrikaans, I was asked which Doctor I wanted to see. I don’t know I’VE NOT BEEN HERE BEFORE and with thanks to a nice woman in the queue she advised me which Doctor to see, explained how it all worked and showed me where to wait.
Honestly, the entire time I’ve been here, it’s always members of the public that help me out. If they understand what I’m asking and explain things to me, what is the point of employing the person I’ve just asked for help?
I’ve also decided each week to do ‘something nice’.
This week I went to Rietvlei Nature Reserve, its 10kms from home and on the school route. I took a picnic and the camping stove and spent an hour writing letters home and drinking tea. Finally the Hippo, which I’d heard, popped in for a brief appearance and I managed to get this picture.

I had no luck with the Rhinos on this trip, but saw 100s of different antelope, numerous Zebras and plenty of Ostrich.
Anyway, thanks for reading. You may not have been selected for a letter this week. I reply to all post received within 2-3 days and select people at random to write to.
I know you all love hearing my news, but it would be great to hear yours also.
Love Suzanne

Krugersdorp Lion Reserve

Picture the scene, you go to a game reserve, there is a Lion Enclosure, you arrive in time to see the 2nd half of South Africa v Wales (dressed in your Wales top) you drive to the lodge, park your car and see two lions in a cage, you walk closer to take a look and you realise there is a wire fence and an electric wire hooked up to a car battery between them and you.

You turn round to see this

And you remember you now live in Africa.

Monday, 26 September 2011

I'm sorry you're disappointed Vodafone

'I'm disapointed to see that you have left us :( If you need anything in the future you know where we are!'

This is the final tweet from Vodafone, sent yesterday afternoon, after I finally cancelled my account with them for the following reasons:

It took 9 months to reset my access to the online service. I screamed and shouted, via twitter and my blog, I wrote, I phoned, I visited the stores and nothing, absolutley nothing.

I never recieved a reference letter to say I'd been a loyal and reliable customer for 10 years.

Never recieved a response to a query about a faulty phone.

If you want you can read the other two blogs over here

So I gave up...what other option did I have? I said I'd go OFCOM but was polietly informed that Vodafones offer to cancel the contract at no further cost would be withdrawn and then where would I be? The contract was due to expire in December so I've saved the grand old sum of about £60. I can tell you it's cost far more than that for me to keep fighting, not just my time but the stress, the inconvienence and my airfare.

In the end I beeged my husband to help fund a trip back to the UK, a trip we really couldn't afford so I could go in person and sort this issue out, sort out problems with the banks, the post office redirection service, the other companies that had failed to action change of address for correspondence.

I am angry, I am stressed, I am pissed off and I certainly WILL NOT be using any of these companies again.

And any chance I get to tell Vodafone that their customer care is disgusting. I will.

They took my money, they didn't provide a service and now when I go back to the UK in December I don't have a UK sim card or mobile phone, which means I'll end up spending the first part of my holiday home (again) trying to sort something out.

@NASA and the missing satellite #UARS

I was alarmed to read this tweet from NASA
‘UARS is expected sometime during the afternoon of Sept.23 EDT. It will not be over North America’ via CoTweet 22/09/2011 15:10
Great, your satellite, get your priorities sorted. What about the rest of us?
‘The chances that you (yes, I mean YOU) will be hit by a piece of the #UARS satellite today are one in several trillion. Very unlikely.’
Via CoTweet 23/09/2011 14:21

Feeling better now *buys lottery ticket as my odds have increased since I’m still alive*

And then they lost it.
‘It’s possible the #UARS is down by now. (Everybody OK out there?) We’re waiting for confirmation from US Strategic Command.’
Via CoTweet 24/09/2011 06:33

Wait a minute,

How the hell do you lose a satellite the size of a double decker bus?
I’d be in serious trouble if I lost something that size especially if it was capable of creating untold death and destruction by landing on the earth somewhere.
I was concerned, of course I was, it was orbiting over Australia, Africa and Canada for the last few hours, prior to its decent to earth. NASA had a window of opportunity in which it would land.
I met some lovely people on twitter using the hash tag #USAR including @afrispace (tweeted by Brad) and @DorchWebster (doesn’t tweet much) and we enjoyed (well I did) some good friendly banter to wile the time away until we sort of knew that the satellite wasn’t going to land on us.
Seriously NASA, if you can get something that size up into space, surely you have the technology to track it....there must be an App for that.


At the recommendation of @talloracle, I accepted the invite and joined Internations.
It’s a social network site for expats all around the world and my nearest group was in Johannesburg.
I register on the site with my location as Centurion, no cost for basic membership. I’m not sure what extras there are for paying or even how much the fee is.
There were a few messages of welcome; I had a go on the message board, and invitations to ‘meet ups’
But sods law they were on nights hubby was away or Dan had football training and anyway I really didn’t fancy driving into Jo’burg at night
But then a Pretoria group was started and I was invited to Rhapsody’s, just off the N1, the next junction from Menlyn Mall and the turnoff I use for Dans football.
So off I went, was given a name badge with a UK flag and told to sit where I wanted. Unfortunately Rhapsody’s was busy that night, music playing and 4 tables of 10 set up for us, with 2 in an alcove and little walkway space. It was difficult to move around and it seemed that most people knew one another, lots of air kissing and cleavage, only 6 men and about 25 women. It became clear pretty quickly that I was possibly the only non working person there and as a result the conversation took a while to get going.
I sat with four South Africans who had registered on the site when they had worked abroad and I learnt a lot, they’d had similar problems here when they returned, cell phones, paying bills etc so I didn’t feel too bad. I met some British people, working for the High Commission in Pretoria advising on foreign policy.
I left after two hours and took with me advice on changing the status of my visa, information on UNISA for continuing my degree and an invitation for coffee, plus endless advice.
I’ll be going again and I’m definitely going to explore the site some more, but next time, I’ll dress far less conservatively.

Getting ready to go out is stressful

But you don’t work and your kids are at school all day and anyway they are 12 and 16 and hubby was home that evening.

Oven on 4pm, 180c, get ready, shower, hair, makeup, get dressed.
5.15pm put the potatoes on
Tea ready at 4.45pm, need to leave at 6.15pm
No, tea ready 7pm and I went out without any
It takes nearly an hour for potatoes to boil here, something to do with the altitude and if cooking anything from frozen, well don’t. 3 hours to reheat a frozen homemade cottage pie

Apparently hubby nuked it in the microwave at 6.45pm as he and the kids were starving.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

update on vodafone

So yesterday I blogged about my troubles with Vodafone

and someone on twitter sent my blog post to the CEO at Vodafone and I recieved an immediate response asking for my contact details, which I sent and at 4pm BST today I recieved a reply to tell me I can't transfer my contract to South Africa Vodacom as it's a seperate company.

I get that, I got that message in December when I rang Customer Services up and since then all I've asked for is for a reference for Vodacom to say I've been a reliable customer with Vodafone for 10 years, as I have no credit history here. In fact I get that message every bloody time I write, email, visit the store.

I've asked, begged and pleaded to get my online access sorted so I can ensure there are sufficient funds in my UK bank account to make payments, I've asked for all correspondence to be sent via email as the UK sim card is not active here and post can take up to 4 weeks to reach me.

I've also asked if they can let me know how I can go about getting my phone fixed, which has now died.

And last week I asked for an unlocking code for an old out of contract Blackberry so I have a phone to use with a Vodacom PAYG sim card.

So the beginning of September I lost my patience, I had a strop, I tweeted about how disgusted I was and finally 9 months later my online access is up and running.

But still the other questions go unanswered so I blogged and guess what? an unlocking code was recieved and I now have a phone I can use on PAYG.

I still don't have a reference and I still don't know why or even have an apology for why it took 9 months for my online account to be sorted.

As a gesture of good will Vodafone will cancel the contract with no further charge (runs out on December 24th and is only £20 ish per month)

I'm not feeling the good will.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

It's a shame it's come to this

It seems the only way I’m going to get anything done here is to Name and Shame.
So here you go Vodafone.

Let me tell you a all began in December 2010

I can’t access the online service, I’m moving to South Africa and I need to ensure there are sufficient funds in my UK bank account to cover the direct debit...
My phone is faulty, it keeps switching itself on and off, but I’m emigrating shortly?
How much would it cost me just to pay the contract off? Can I transfer it to South Africa? Could you provide me with a reference to say I’ve been a long standing and reliable customer of 10 years? Tis is done via email, visits to many stores and several phone calls

Account is allegedly reset

We move then to March 2011...I’ve been busy settling the family into our new lives.

So I write to customer services, outlining the above problems, I receive a reply
Blah, blah, blah committed until December 24th 2011 , price plan has been changed, need to give 30 days notice so November 20th 2011 is the earliest I can write back to do so.
Online billing is active and here’s your account user name and secret question to reset your password, last 3 months of bills are being sent and you will be charged £1.54 +vat for them.

I never requested the bills and don’t want to be charged and I still can’t sign into my account despite resetting my password.

I forget all about it, well not really but I’m not getting anywhere so on May 24th 2011 I write back.

I enclose a screen shot of the message I receive every time, which says ‘Your account administrator hasn’t approved your account yet. Until then there may be some parts of your account you can’t access’
I tell them I’m living in South Africa; I tell them I’ve tried to sort this in store, online, over the phone, via email and letter. I tell them what the last letter said, how I’ve been charged for services I didn’t request.
I tell them again my phone is faulty.
I ask again for a reference so I can take an account with Vodacom.
I tell them that this situation is ridiculous.

I receive a reply, via post, June 9th 2011
They’ve checked my account details and if I still wish to leave, I have to give 30 days notice.
Three paragraphs follow re how I do this and that is all. They have IGNORED the other points, but I know they’ve had the letter because they’ve WRITTEN back to the new address I requested.

I start tweeting, I start emailing off their web page, I don’t have a copy of the sent emails, via this system...I give up

August 2011

I arrive in the UK, I visit my son, I visit my Mother in Law and I visit Vodafone in Bath. I explain the problems and the staff in the shop are aghast, they call up customer services, they have the letters and emails in front of them, they explain the whole situation...the account will be reset and someone will call me in 72 hours, guess what? Still can’t access account and no phone call. I continue with my HOLIDAY, I visit my Mother, I meet my new niece, I go out with friends for meals and I return to the shop in Bath on the way back to my Mother in Laws and I explain the whole situation, all over again. This time however the account is reset and my account is credited, I need to wait 48 hours before I can set the account up again and I return to South Africa. I’ve spent two whole afternoons in the shop sorting this out.

Tah dah...I get the same message I’ve been telling them about since December. I’m angry now, I tweet, I ask for an email address, I get NO apology, NO explanation, NO reply to my email, I email again and low and behold I’M BACK ONLINE...September 2011

But they still haven’t addressed my other issues, they still haven’t said sorry and quite frankly I AM PISSED OFF

Last week, as I’m still unable to get a contract with Vodacom, I request via email on their web page for information as to how I can unlock an out of contract UK Vodafone BlackBerry as my phone is now stuffed. Automated response...’we will contact you in 24 hours’ that was the 19th of I tweet


VodafoneUK Vodafone UK
@chickenruby Do you have the reference from the auto-response so that I can chase this up for you? ^SM
20 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

chickenruby Suzanne J S
@VodafoneUK 7396031
20 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

VodafoneUK Vodafone UK
@chickenruby You can request unlocking codes online directly here ^SM
20 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

chickenruby Suzanne J S
@VodafoneUK it wouldn't let me do it as phone is out of contract that's why I was told on here to email you with info..any idea why no reply
19 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

VodafoneUK Vodafone UK
@chickenruby I can see your email is assigned to one of our Customer Services Team. They'll be in touch shortly. ^PW
18 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

chickenruby Suzanne J S
@VodafoneUK they said's really not good enough ESP as they took 9 months to sort out online access and still haven't replied to
18 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete
in reply to ↑

@VodafoneUK Vodafone UK
@chickenruby Sorry to see you feeling that way. They'll be in touch as soon as possible for you. ^PW
18 hours ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

And I’m still waiting for a response......
I think I should ask for compensation, payments on my account since December 2010 to be refunded and my contract cancelled with no further costs at the very least.
I dread to think how much of my time has been spent on this matter, family time, holiday time, my time right now, phone calls, time spent on emails and visiting the store.
I have names, I have letters and if Vodafone need proof they can trawl through their emails and tweets to see I’m NOT making any of this up.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Things I hate about my kids

They make assumptions about what I'm going to say.

They whinge about everything I ask them do.

They expect to be given something for nothing.

They fight.

They always demand to know what their siblings chores are before they do their own.

They make a mess.

They don't see why they should have to tidy up their own stuff.

They always leave things till the last minute.

The only punishment they want me to dish out to their sibling is a hiding.

I guess I'm not alone here...what do you 'hate' about your kids?

There's no need for this type of behaviour

We live on a security estate, it contains an 18 hole golf course and the property we rent is 1 mile from the main gate. Children play, ride bikes, peoples dogs and cats wonder around.

And that's why there is an enforced 30km an hour speed limit. the estate has speed bumps every so often meaning that I rarely get out of 2nd gear.

One of our neighbours owns a Ferrai and a Lamborghini (CBA to spell check) and because of the speed bumps they have to take the cars out of the estate on a trailer as they can't get over the speed bumps.

This morning I spooted the post man, I've got issues with the postal delivery service here so I stopped, pulling up on the side of the road, hazzards on, to ask him a few questions about the delivery of postal slips.

Several cars passed, slowly, but one woman who was speeding, I could tell as she flew over the bump, blasted her horn, pointed at my car and yelled something out the window.

The post man said 'that was very rude' (she didn't yell in English) she sped off, laughing, and gave me the middle finger out of her window.

When I got to the security gate she was held up by the traffic lights, so I enquired if she'd come through the residents or visitors gate. She was a visitor. Security took her registration number said she was a regular visitor and said they'd have words next time she checked in to the estate.

It really did spoil my morning.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A year ago today

This time last year, Alex was collected by the school bus and Peter drove Dan to school, I followed Peter to Worcester where his car was in for a service, then in my car he drove me to Droitwich. I spent the day in the office and in the evening held a 'get together' for volunteers from various football clubs for the new CRB process. Peter worked from home for the day and after collecting Alex from school at 6pm, Peter collected me from the office.
It was raining. Alex was hanging out the window yelling at me to hurry up. As I climbed into the back of the car, Alex informed me that on their journey to fetch me, Peter had a phone call from work asking him if we'd like to move to South Africa.

This morning Peter took the kids to school and went onto work, I did a few emails then headed off to Rietvlei a nature reserve about 10kms from where we live and sat in the sun with a picnic and watched the hippos wallowing in the lake.

I can't believe how far we've come since this time last year.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Seriously? You've NOT met the Queen

and many other things.

I went to get my hair done today and in that environment people do like to have a natter don't they? That's half the experience of getting your hair done.

'Nope, I've never even seen the Queen, but I once saw Lady Di' at York Rugby Club the year before she married Charles, they landed in a helicopter and walked round the ground, waving and promoting some charity, I was 10/11 and at the time not really that interested.

'I've not been on the London Eye, or in buckingham Palace, or seen the changing of the guards, or been in the Tower of London, but I've been to Wembley, Millenium Stadium for football, rugby and concerts. I've climbed Snowdon and jumped on Hadrians Wall, walked Offa's Dyke.'

'You see' as I explained to the lovely people in the hair dressers. 'When people say they're from the UK, that doesn't always mean London, it's actually quite a big place.

Unless you've ever travelled to the UK, then all there is, is London.

A year ago when we were asked to move to South Africa I thought Johannesburg was the capital, but since I've lived here, I now know better.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Every FIRST is the worse.

On Twitter, Facebook, Mumsnet and Britmums there’s lots of talk about ‘My Child’s first day at school.’ Some are coping, some are relieved and some are just upset.
Amongst all of this talk there was a status update from my son on facebook, that read.
‘I left home a year ago today’
I’d forgotten.
But I do remember how that day a year ago felt; I’ve forgotten his first day at school. Did I cry? Was I worried? Did he have everything he needed? Would he miss me/be ok?
It’s all gone now, but is there is how I felt when he left home aged 18 to move 120 miles away, worried about whether he’d come home in a few weeks, would he come for visits, or would we be just forgotten about?
I’d helped my son leave home as I’d done with my step son 3 years earlier, prepared them for getting a job with prospects, supported them both through school, GCSEs, college applications etc, taken them for job applications after helping them with their CV’s.
But nothing actually prepares you or them for the moment they leave.
‘I don’t want a fuss mum, I’ll pack my own stuff, will be back in the morning, I’m off out to say bye to my mates,’ arriving home the following day at 12pm, looking tearful, but denying there was a problem. Jeep seats folded and car overloaded and off we set.
A good journey, quite quiet, stopped for lunch, my treat (always is) arrived at destination. Son goes to fetch the keys while I try to park, impossible, so everything off loaded onto the street, I re park and I’m made to stand guard while son goes in to inspect his new home.
‘I’m not staying here, take me home’
‘What...?’ and on closer inspection I see why,’ OK we can clean, I’ll help.’ ‘No, Mum it’s disgusting’
So my son who doesn’t need me anymore, ‘just dump my stuff and leave me I’ll be fine’ attitude has changed. I drag his boss over to the house, he’s saying to me its shared accommodation madam, it’s bound to be untidy. That was until I showed him the toilet that had been leaking for so long had caused the kitchen ceiling to give way and the waste water was dripping onto the units, the freezer where the door wouldn’t shut, the fridge that Kim and Aggie would have been delighted to have swabbed and the thick dust and grease that coated every surface in the house.
Apologies made, a cleaning crew will be sent in, in two days.
Not good enough, so instead of a new uniform with labels hand sewn, this required a trip to a supermarket for cleaning equipment so I could return home alone and leave my son to start his new life.
House cleaned, provisions bought, junk furniture removed from room (Son set his TV up while I was cleaning) and one last trip to the supermarket for son to buy a small tool box.
I left him in the car park. ‘I want you to go now mum’ and he got out the car and walked off. I sat and cried and it took me an hour to compose myself to drive. I managed 7 miles before I hit the services and sat and cried some more.
Little did we know that within 2 weeks we’d be asked to move to South Africa and be gone within 4 months, he came to visit us in March, I went to visit him in July and every time we both cry. We don’t do parting very well.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

How do you manage a broken friendship?

When a marriage or a sexual relationship comes to an end, we know why. Rarely does a divorce or a break down in a relationship pass quietly. We either get to vent, blame, accuse, explain, beg via text, a letter, face to face or in court. Although you may not want this to end, you may feel it can all be resolved, go back to the way it once was, at least you know why, how and when...even if it was all your own fault.

When a friendship comes to an end, that's alot harder to deal with and often it just stops, no explanation, no chance to discuss/yell/ just stops.

It's hard to deal with and sometimes, in most cases, you'll never know why or understand how such a valuable friendship, where you've shared EVERYTHING, can suddenly come to an end.

I'm sure I've been guilty of this myself, but had anyone ever written/called/texted I would have replied, I would have explained why...but no one ever has.

The first time I was dumped, I knew why...I wasn't having a relationship whilst still married (please note I am now married to the man I was having the relationship with and we were both seperated at the time)

She was godmother to my son who is now 19, we shared a flat, we worked together, I rescued her from some serious dodgy situations. I took her to barcelona to the 92 Olympics, I won a competition, she missed most of the games preferring to drink or sleep late, it annoyed me but we didn't stop being friends. She met a bloke, they had two kids, I was godmother to their son, she never married, she discovered God and after attending her son's 2nd Birthday party she informed me that she found it difficult to be friends with someone in my situation and that was that...didn't dwell on that too much, moved on quickly...Hypocrite

The second ending of a friendship occured at almost the same time, this was my friend and confident, when I started my new relationship, where I stayed when my marriage ended. She had an open door policy, never needed to book anything just turn up for coffee, cake, shopping, gossip and her the same with me, I started to notice that I would pop in and a mutual friend would be there and say 'where were you last night, we had a great party' and she'd remain silent...I stopped going round so much and one day when I turned up, having given her some space she asked me not to call in again and shut the door. The mutual friend asked her why? she wouldn't tell them. I asked mutual friend not to bother asking again and shortly afterwards, mutual friend informed me she'd been treated the same way, as had other friends...a breakdown? never found out, although all I do know is that I was in a new relationship, mutual friend with moving and another friend had a baby, maybe she felt left out, her life was going no where, I'll never know. 11 years later she applied to be my friend on facebook, I declined.

The third friendship that ended was last April after 12 years, she was single, married, divorced, 2 kids, moved home with her parents, I was married, divorced, single, married and moved...we saw alot of oneanother, if anything ever went wrong we dropped what we were doing to support the other. On reflection she dropped what she was doing and I went to her, whether it was my problem or hers. During these 12 years she dropped me regulary for another friend, her friendships were always intense but would come to the stage where she'd be on the phone asking me why this person had done this or that to her, or hadn't invited her to a wedding/christening etc, she made this other friends god parents, bridesmaids etc I was always of the belief that I was more like family to here, we had some good rows/disagreements especially over opposed parenting and kids behaviours, but we always remaind friends. I posted some pics of us, both drunk over the years and some family shots, xmas's spent together, holidays etc in a private folder on facebook...and that was that, she accussed me of being spiteful, putting her daughters life in danger as her father could see them. She wrote this in the maintimeline. I tried to call her, she refused to answer, I sent a text and a PM on fb saying it was a private folder only her and I could see that, she wrote some awful stuff to me, threatening to lose me my job in child protection. I explained again it was a private folder and no one else could see it, I deleted the folder sent her a text to say put your own house in order first, your teenage daughter has an open account with pictures of her sister and you've put your GPS location and mobile number on your profile and that was that.
i sent birthday cards last year, she ignored her god son (my youngest) ignored my eldests 18th, xmas etc. We emigrated I sent her a text, she wished me well, I wrote to say sorry if it had all casued her a confusion, she hasn't replied, her daughter and my son are still friends on facebook, I've not had a response from the letter I wrote to her parents to say hi, but her sister did reply.

I promise you this is the last one.
Visited friends to say we were moving to South Africa, 'how exciting, I grew up there' lots of stories etc. Sent an invite for our leaving do, recieved a text to say 'can't make that night, all the best x x x' no suggestion to make another date, no request for address, but I've written and sent cards for their birthdays etc.

It hurts, its unfair, they owe me an explanation, I can make ones up like, jealously, being left out, left behind...but I'll never know.

It takes time, it does offend, it does upset but I guess I can't prevent it from happening again. Friends 1, 2 & 4 have now been put to bed, but friend 3 does puzzle me still and sadly I'm looking forward to the day she does get in touch and I ignore her, childish I know...but revenge is sweet.

talking has helped me get it off my feel free to share.