Wednesday 25 April 2012

In search of my Groove

This blog hop was set up by @kateonthinice in September 2011. I joined at the beginning because to be honest I was feeling rather deflated. My whole life as I knew it disappeared over night and other than other expats and my Husband and two teenage boys, no one understood what it was like to move 5000+ miles away from every thing I'd ever know and knew and to start afresh in a country that is famed for it's violence and poverty.

All anyone saw was this Grand house we live in on a golf course, with a river at the bottom of the garden and wall to wall sunshine.

Yes the above did help, but it cannot and will never replace the first year we experienced here, too scared to venture out in case we were hijacked at gun point. Not knowing where to go and have no one to turn to, to ask for help.

But those days are over now, I've made friends, locals and other expats, in fact I met a couple on the weekend, who are not only from the same UK town as us and know some of the same people, but our children were actually at school at the same time, granted theirs are older, but at her house this pm. Another friend, Cheryl (she reads my blog) has been a life saver, not only do we have kids who get on well and are the same ages, but we have a similar outlook on life and I don't know what I would have done when I needed a friend and she wasn't there.

There have been fab outings and adventures and I've seen more wild animals than I can shake a stick at.

We've had family and friends to visit and my son is out again next week. But it leaves me with a hollow feeling when they go, I'm back to being on my own, while they go back to their lives of work, family and friends...But no more moping. I have my wonderful Husband and two kids here, we all have our health, I have friends and although I still cannot work, I can volunteer, which I've been doing for nearly a year now.

So no more me needing to Recover my groove, it's not back, it's just different, my grieving period for my old life has gone and it has morphed, painfully, into a new one. But I will still take part in #Groovymums, it will remind me how far I've come over the past year...and on that note...

"I encourage you to read the questions here and if even one rings true for you, join in. You can do this by linking up relevant blog posts about how you are taking steps to change your life for the better even if in tiny ways. You are also invited to join the Groovy Mums Ning network to meet some like-minded ladies keen to get their lives back on track."

Here are some challenges you may want to consider this week.

1. Body – What new ways can you find to take exercise?

Not alot of opportunities here, without getting in the car first, I've thought about learning to play golf, it's a cure apparently 'all the expat ladies play' but it doesn't appeal, it's not me. I use the gym every day, swimming, and now the weather is cooler I will start to walk around the course after play finishes for the day.

2. Mind – It is Depression Awareness Week. Have you experienced depression? Do you know how to spot the signs of depression in your loved ones and others? Check out for information and support with mental health issues. They are also asking for your stories.
Yes I've been depressed, did you read the intro to this above?

3. Blogging – Did you know publish round-ups of good posts on certain issues such a food, politics, special needs, green issues, health and more? Why not promote your posts to the editors of these round-ups and raise your profile?
I do visit @britmums more often than I used to and where I can't add, I RT.

4. Special Days – This week saw us marking St George’s Day. Is there a dragon that you need to tackle in your life?
Mmmmmmm, hi family,let me know you read this, could do with your help and no I won't be asking, because I know you are reading this.

5. Charity Connections- Get shopping online and hundreds of retailers will give a percentage of what you spend to a charity of your choice. Click here and register for free for Give As You Live with your name and email address. Do it today! You don’t have to spend any money now but it means when you do shop online you can ensure some of the money goes to a good cause. Why wouldn’t you? When you click, you will see poppies because I am personally raising money for the Royal British Legion but you can register here and then when you shop, you can select a charity of your choice.
Sorry, there is no way I'm doing any transactions online over here.

6, The Big Question – What has the last year brought you? Are you happy with it?

Well again, please see the introduction, Yes I am happy, I've laid alot of ghosts to rest, I've learnt to ignore the rest. I've also spoken up and made it clear with certain people, that I am not happy with the way they have treated me and my family (ie hubbies company) and I've told them what they need to do, to help us. They will never make amends and in fact they've given up apologising, but that hasn't solved anything. I'm satisfied now that I have inconvienced them where it hurts, financially, but not to our gain, just to sort out the bloody mess they made. And on June 1st we move into our new house and I can/will finally move on.


  1. Striking post, a sense of a new period starting. Hope it is good for you.

  2. Wow - I really loved this post, and it fills me with hope for more and stronger friendships, and a kind of coming to terms with the changes in life, although a friend asked me the other day what it was that I missed most about the UK, and I sat and thought for a moment as I do and then told her he same thing I keep telling everyone - I miss my daughter, I miss my family, but in all honesty, that is all I miss, and I am coming to accept that it takes a while to get used to a new life, but I could be in far worse places. I have no language issues, I live in a safe place as safe goes, and as my son keeps pointing out "Mum I keep realising that we actually live in a place so many people would love to visit and can't afford, we live here - that's cool!" and I have to admit, life is not day to day excitement, as some of my UK friends seem to think it should be living in LA, but life is good. We have a lovely home, we have money enough to do whatever we want to do pretty much, we have good weather - and life is pretty good.

    Lou :-)

    1. I don't think I could go back to the UK now, I'm a different person and I'm not sure where/if I'd fit in anymore...If it happens though it won't be to my old life.
      Yes, obviously I miss the children and family and my PG Tips, but that's about it, friends lives move on very quickly and it's nice to catch up with them. Although some old friendships have died a natural course, others have developed and changed via letter writing and emails, Hi Serena if you're reading this.
      Me and my eldest ofte look at one another when driving home heading in the direction of Johannesburg and always comment at how we used to follow signs for Worcester and the M5, it makes us gasp with excitement every time.

  3. Lovely post and lovely to hear that you are settling now and enjoying your life there, I hope you continue to be on the up, lovely to read x

    1. thank you, its the making friends that's been the key to settling and realising that you aren't the only person going through this and they actually KNOW how you feel.

  4. Great post. It is good to read the truth, that leaving old lives is hard and takes time, but it can and will be achieved. Time for a new phase, for both you and your family, and time to embrace it fully. You are so very brave, but it sounds like you have come through the hardest part and are starting to get a lovely, swinging groove back (in the warmth - I would love to not be in the very soggy UK right now!) Have signed up to email feeds so you can keep inspiring -not sure how I have missed you on Groovy Mum's before! And no, I can't see the biggy in Golf either - my husband is forever on at me to 'have a go' with him, that was until he took me to the driving range... haven't been asked

    1. Thanks for commenting, I keep missing the #twitterparties, but I do link up every week, think I've propably only missed a handful. Hubby now answers for me when anyone suggests I take up golf with 'I'd like to stay married, thank you'

  5. You only have to recall some of your previous early posts, to this one here, to see how far you've come. This actually made me feel quite emotional, because I know how bloomin hard you have tried to make it work, to make new friends, to find volunteer opportunities etc in South Africa, and how much you've missed your kids at home too. All credit to you for drawing on your grit in the tough times, and battling on. I'm so pleased for you that you feel in a happier, better place now. :0)

    (PS. Agree re; Golf. Completely don't get it at all.)

    1. i really don't think I could've done all of this without support from all my online friends, mainly twttier. I've met some fabulous people who have supported, given advice or just been there for a virtual hug... *weeps like an oscar winner*

  6. Sounds like such a positive post & I'm glad for you. You're a shining example to us lot & proof the GMums idea can make a difference. Am looking forward to hearing about the next chapter.

    1. I'm not getting too carried away, been a bit deflated last few days, kids and me ill and waiting to hear if i have the london olympic volunteer role