Life, Love, and Passports

Posts tagged “family

What is this life…

if full of care we have no time to stand and stare. This is still one of my favourite poems even after all these years.

The last seven days have been a really good time to reflect and be thankful for all my many blessings. There are many things I long for but for now this is where I find myself miles from the place of my birth. It’s the hardest thing to explain to people who’ve never left their country just how difficult it is to adjust in a new country. Yes, you’re right we do choose to up sticks and leave though I do take every opportunity to remind my dear husband that if it wasn’t for the love I have for him I wouldn’t have made this choice on my own! Packing up your life and leaving for distant shores always seems so romantic and adventurous to the ones waving you off.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in the UK for just over five years now. I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long! It’s been an absolute roller-coaster of emotions. After each bout of homesickness I give myself a massive pat on the back when I realise I haven’t returned. At this moment in time I feel marginally qualified to give the misguided newbies a few tools to help them through the rough patches after what seemed like a good idea at the time.

I spent a couple of days with my aunt this past week and realised that you just can’t put a physical value on the importance of family. Spending time with family reminds you that you belong and that is enough to give you strength to carry on when you’re in doubt about so many things.

So, I’ve taken the time to stand and stare and I feel somewhat revived and ready to go on and face more challenges because there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn and grow and of course it’s a sure sign that I’m alive and well!
Go on…take the time to stand and stare.


Two weeks notice

It just dawned on me that I’ve not blogged for a fortnight and I’m placing the blame squarely on procrastinations shoulders. I’m not sure I have any other excuse but I realise that I’ve missed writing terribly.
Since my holiday to South Africa in December I’ve really struggled to hone my writing skills after that short break. It’s become quite apparent to me now that since I didn’t use it I started to lose it. To be honest I’m quite disappointed with myself but thankfully it’s never too late to pick up and move on.

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy with the arrival of my parents, my brother and his family and some good friends dropping by to remind us what we’ve left behind in South Africa. After a whirlwind visit for just three days they headed back to the land of beautiful oceans, breathtaking mountains and the world famous big five!
My parents will be here for another fortnight and we’ve been fortunate to celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary with them. It’s hard not to think about their time coming to an end because it’s become quite apparent that children don’t just need their parents but that grandparents have a special place in their lives as well.

The summer holiday is now in full swing and I’ve managed to do some baking and even squeeze in some reading and those are still celebrated as achievements to me. I look forward to exercising my writing muscle once again and building a fit mind!


Family matters

For the most part I just get on with my life here in England where I’m blessed to have found some wonderful friends. Though it’s at times like this long Easter weekend that I miss my South African family the most. I miss hanging around at my parents home doing absolutely nothing in particular.

Family are an amazing gift and I’m thankful for the one I have. Having people to turn to in times of triumph and trouble is an amazing reassurance. Keeping up to date with everything that goes on in my absence makes me grateful for modern technology because relying on a telegram would make living abroad unbearable.

Sometimes in life there are some difficult choices to make and we’ve made one that has us miles away from our loved ones. Our decision has much to do with our future and that of our daughters. I don’t plan to be here forever and I realise now that the longer I stay the harder it will be to leave. Who would’ve thought that the circle of life would be so difficult?

The love of a family is a blessing. I’m blessed to belong to a family who cares about our well-being.


Final curtain call

2012 is just about done and dusted! It has been a fantastic year with all of the victories and challenges. It’s been a journey of change and I’m so thankful to all the amazing people in my life. My family have been super and supportive. I’m grateful for old friends and new friends. Friends are a wonderful gift and if you have amazing friends let them know.

The new year is looming and there’s always the temptation to make promises for the days ahead. I’m not a new year resolution type of person but my personal goal as I go forward is to read way more than I have this past year. I love the idea of new beginnings and there can be no better beginning like the start of a new year.

However you choose to see in 2013 my hope is that it will be your best year ever. Life will always present us with challenges and here’s to rising to those challenges!

Happy new year!


Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

This morning I woke up in my own bed after three weeks in South Africa. I found myself breathing in stifled air from the central heating and as I peered out my window from the safety of my bed I couldn’t help but feel utterly let down by the great British weather. Really Britain not even a ray of sun to show the night has ended!

The view has long being held that time flies when you’re having fun. Having waited a year to take this break felt like a lifetime but the minute I set foot in the country I love and missed so terribly time seem to be on a mission to outrun me. In some ways it did show it’s power and each sleep meant seconds, minutes and precious hours were lost. It should be a criminal offence to sleep when on holiday.

It’s back to reality now and I will cherish all the special moments and memories made seeing old friends and making new ones. My family were so amazing and the fun and feasting just didn’t stop. There were so many more people I wish I could’ve seen and places I should’ve visited. So when I say I ran out of time it’s not just a get out of jail free card it really is a fact. I didn’t stand a chance against the sands of time.

If you’re on holiday why don’t you make the most of your time because you lose it whether you use it or not!


Holding out hope

Family is such a wonderful gift a gift that should be cherished and protected. I find it very difficult to process when I speak to people who say they don’t get along with and speak to their parents or siblings. I can’t imagine my life without the kind of relationship I have with my family. Being separated by distance can be rather difficult at times but just knowing that seeing all their smiling faces again is possible is reassuring enough.

Whilst watching an episode of Long Lost Family a documentary that always leaves me so sad and yet so happy at the same time. Seeing mothers being reunited with children they gave up for adoption, brothers and sisters hugging, laughing and reminiscing about the good times. I can’t help but be grateful that everybody I love and care for is accounted for.

Today a family are remembering a daughter, sister, niece and cousin Bianca Couch a young South African who went missing on the 20th December 2011. I’ve written about her disappearance before and while I don’t know her personally I know many of her relatives. They will not stop searching until they find her and bring her home where she belongs. I never want to tire of praying for her safe return and I wait for the day she will be reunited with all who miss her.


Sound of silence

The best time to take stock of my life is in the very quiet moments. Being a mother means that I have to make time for the golden moments when I just count my blessings and also assess the chinks in my armour. My biggest blessing by far is my family. The shortcomings are not too critical at the moment but there is definitely room for improvement !
While lying in my bed and listening to my own heart beating I’m just thankful to be alive. I’ve taken the time to think seriously about the future and even set some goals.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not promised. All I have is today. I’m going to give it my best because I won’t be coming this way again!


Green with envy

Now I know it’s not very nice but I have been feeling extremely jealous of all my friends here in Birmingham who are travelling back to South Africa to spend Christmas with their families. I recently had the time of my life when all of my family came over to England during the summer. Somehow five months ago seems like another lifetime right about now.
I had started to feel a bit sorry for myself but I’ve decided to be adult about it. So I’m now looking forward to an English Christmas without a single member from my family joining us. I guess now is as good a time for us to firmly develop a tradition of our own together with our girls.

If you’re fortunate enough to be spending this festive season with extended family do enjoy because next time around may be very different!


The gift of friendship

As I get older I realise the importance of friends. When you’re younger they seem so much easier to acquire like a new coat and of course anything will do most of the time. There is a time in all of our lives when people’s opinions and affections no matter how shallow mean so much to us. I’m so glad I’ve reached the place in my life where I can throw meaningless friendships overboard because the truth is nobody needs friends who are just takers and drain the life out of you.

I am truly blessed with some amazing friends. Some I have known most of my life and love that we’ve travelled through life enjoying many experiences and hopefully growing wise along the way. My new friends are just as amazing and make living in England so bearable. Family is the most precious gift but great friendships are just as important.

Great friendships are priceless and good friends are precious. Cherish them both!


The truth about justice

Much has been written and said following the acquittal of Amanda Knox. Watching her reaction in that Italian court made me hope that she truly is innocent. Crime is just one of those unfortunate things which requires the truth from people who are considered criminals and unable to speak the truth. So as she travelled back to America a free woman with or without the whole truth a family watched their hopes of closure fly away. No matter what happens in the appeals court there is no way Amanda will be obligated to face a judge as there is no extradition agreement between Italy and America. If Meredith was indeed her friend and she knows more than she has let on then I’d like to see her do the right and help the victim’s family find peace.

Funny how justice means different things to different people. For the family of the accused it means seeing their loved one going free. For the victim’s family it means finding somebody to pay for the crime. Foxy Knoxy has had her family and friends proclaiming her innocence but do they really know what she has been up to in that Italian village. She claims that Meredith was her friend and I’d like to see her turn down million dollar deals and honour her friend’s life.

The only truth for Meredith’s family is that she is gone and they have no idea what took place on that awful night. A parents worst nightmare is how her mom described the whole ordeal. My heart truly goes out to them and I hope they can find a way to move forward at this difficult time. To a lesser degree I feel sorry for the Knox family as they try to find the way forward. The major difference of course is that they have their daughter and Meredith is gone…forever! Sadly dead men tell no tales.