Sunday 29 January 2012

Life in South Africa has a 'normal' feel to it now

So linking up with kateonthinice over on groovymums.
I thought I'd combine the challenges with my normal blog this week and write about how 1 year on in South Africa how things are starting to feel ‘normal’
Not normal as in school run, work, housework, school run, tea, activities, bed time, tweet, shower and collapse...that pretty much continues minus the collapse, we are all getting much better sleep here, despite waking at 5.30am evey morning without the aid of the alarm, we go to bed earlier, the kids (teenagers are in bed and asleep by 9.30pm most nights) We are outdoors more, I swim every day, we walk, hubby plays golf every weekend without fail and the kids have sports every day at school, all that fresh air and we sleep soundly...mind you it does also help that the TV is mainly crap.
Normal as in we argue, we row, the kids continue to make a mess, leave wet towels on the floor, moan about their lack of internet time, pocket money, homework etc etc...You know how it goes. But normal as in ‘what’s South African and what’s English?’
Everything is merging now, ‘do they sell that brand in the UK? Haven’t I seen that chain of stores somewhere in Europe? Coffee is the same as the UK isn’t it? And I’m even drinking the local tea *shocked faces*
Yesterday morning hubby and I took advantage of the kids not being here (school trip) and we wenr away for the night. Now I used to travel with hubby everywhere, even when we had kids (advantage of second marriages and long live ex partners with their child care) Europe, the States and all round the UK, leaving the older children at home with a neighbour should they need them (or have a party) but we’ve not been able to do that for a year since moving to South Africa, we have no network, no support, no one to call at a minutes’ notice if there’s a problem. 17yo can be left home alone but cannot and will not be left with ultimate responsibility of 12yo. So going away with hubby and work has not been doable.
In the morning I drove hubby to the office, I sat in the rush hour traffic for 40 mins to get to the nearest mall, where I wondered round the shops, eating breakfast, drinking coffee and killing time before hubby calls to say his meeting is over and we can go away. No different from the days when the office was in Manchester and not Johannesburg, when I sat on the M62 not the N1, when I hung around the Trafford Centre instead of Greenstone Mall, where we drove to Newcastle instead of Bloemfontein.....
So where does Groovymums fit in?
Well I’ve failed miserably with the campaign for eating a healthy breakfast every day
I don’t believe in fate, i believe we make our own luck in life; I don’t want to predict the year ahead, there are too many factors to consider mainly family members. If I look back at this time last year, which I do a lot, I would say that my plans for 2011 have turned out ok...we’ve survived the move despite some serious setbacks and I don’t want to jinx our run of fortune by aiming too high, I think another year of ticking along in this wonderful country isn’t too bad an idea
Chinese New Year...I’m a PIG, sort of fits in with the breakfast theme this morning.
Special day...hard to pick one really with all the wonderful opportunities we have here, but it is very special for me to be going to Bloemfontein with hubby, I have no expectations or knowledge of the area. Hubby is working this morning at the dairy, its just so nice to be somewhere together without kids, housework and hassles.
So ‘what is the BIG question?’ Have I lost that loving feeling?
No...son’s fortune cookie read ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ both boys are away this week on a school trip so I’m looking forward to seeing them. Relationship with hubby? Well, we’re getting some normality back in our relationship, time together, alone, so all good there. Me? Well I’m not too happy about the work situation and no amount of reflecting or net working is going to get round the BB-EEEE law is it, so going to concentrate on voluntary and charity work, proper hands on stuff, not fund raising, but something where I can give back, feel valued and still have a full CV when we finally (if ever) move to a country where I can work. While you’re here pop over and visit kateonthinice on join her charity group and let people know if you have any skills, time and talents to offer.

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