Thursday 10 January 2013

The benefits of being an expat

So you all know I'm depressed

You all know I'm not a big fan of other expats

In fact if you've ever been THAT bored and read my entire blog as I know a few have, there's not much left to say about me really.

I've decided to take a positive approach to living as an expat in South Africa and give you my favourite things to do. Things I couldn't do prior to be an expat.

Combating the heat
Spend the day in my swim costume so inbetween cleaning, cooking etc I can just walk outside, jump in the pool and instantly cool down.

Lie ins
After hubby leaves for work at 7am, taking the children with him to school. I go back to bed with a mug of tea and catch up with all my programmes. I never did this in the UK, with 5 kids I was either tidying up after them all or dashing out the door to work. I can't work here.

I can't work so I have too much free time. I am now the owner of all things to make all things and I am doing so.

Keeping the house tidy
Well there's no maid here, but the house is huge and with many rooms, so I can start a hobby and walk off and leave it, not having to clear the table so we can all eat dinner.

Taxi service
Fingers crossed but as from February I will no longer be running 'mums taxi' as eldest is taking his test. The benefit of living in SOuth Africa is that anyone in the house can drive the car on the insurance with NO extra cost involved, something that was too expensive to do for the older two kids in the UK.


  1. Oh I so wish I could spend the day in my bathing suit, I do miss the summer. It is quite cold here today, but the sun is shining, thank goodness, I need my vitamin D.

    I like the positive approach, as I sit here and type covered in heating pads. I hurt and it is hard to be happy today, but like you I will try.xx

    1. I feel your pain, I've spent many a day here with the heat pads on up till I had my op, thought I was going to cook from the inside out

  2. Has it worked? In theory the positive approach should work, but it doesn't always. (I know from experience.) Your last post was really honest and brave and articulate. And so is this one--I think it's great that you're taking an active approach to depression. I remember my dad saying to me once that sometimes you have to ride it out, almost like ignoring it and just getting on with life helps it go away more quickly. He also said that sometimes the only thing you can do is let yourself hit the bottom because only then will you have something to kick off from and push back up to the surface again.

    Have you heard about the Black Dog Tribe? I like their website (, I think).


    1. Don't know if it's worked, but it's certainly working. i've achieved so much today, I've amazed myself. I guess I hit rock bottom when i wrote about being depressed, I'd spoken with family and friends about it and told them I was on medication but it didn't really get taken seriously, I find it easier to express myself through the written word and posted a llink on my facebook page which prompted some surprise comments from casual aquaitances, which I've spent the week catching up with and others that I thought were friends even when tagged have failed to reply. So onwards and upwards.
      I've emailled hubbies company today to ask for support with the childrens education, despite me being a teacher, I'm struggling with the university entry system for my eldest and trying to switch my youngest to an international school so he is sparred similar hassles about his future.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      *goes to google Black Dog*

  3. That's great! Chipping away--no matter how small the chips, at the rock will get things done and help you feel you've achieved stuff and help you feel less weighed down by the crap! Nothing so therapeutic as crossing things off the list. Especially when you're doing things to build support and help for you and your family.

    A note about the friends who didn't reply: I've seen this before with others, and every now and then I know both sides of it and a couple of reasons others don't add to the convo is that either they are scared of saying the wrong thing (not everyone is confident in language) or your comment hits close to home and they're scared of thinking about it. Those might fit here, might not.

    Hope you find Black Dog interesting!


    1. Thanks, I do know what you mean about comments to others, but I'd rather know who I can rely on and who I should just let go, let go of a few this week and I feel much better for it.

      Even sent a SMS to a woman who borrowed some things off me back in August and hadn't returned them said 'you've made it fairly obvious that you don't want to meet for coffee and a chat occassionally, but I think it's rude of you not to return my items' *pats self down*

  4. Hi S, I've just been researching for a book and found this, and thought of you... if you haven't heard of it yet, it might be interesting?

    An inconvenient posting, Laura J Stephens

  5. Oh, and PS: I've included you in the BritMums expat round up for this month :)

    1. It was that very book that set me off in the first post, I related to so much in the book, it didn't appear to matter that Laura was in America and I'm in South Africa, it's the same story, esp when it comes to visitors, family feelings and inability to work. Thank you for the Britmums expat round up also.