As we celebrated the sixth anniversary of my arrival upon these shores, we came to realise exactly how much we’d got through in those six years. Actually, when one takes into account what we’d done in the first five years, this last one has been pretty quiet.
Four jobs, one engagement, one marriage, three new cars, one new house, first child, second child, four trips to the UK and about three vineyards-worth of fairly decent red wine, I’m still here and still loving it. But of course that wasn’t always the case.
Settling into South Africa and the distinctly different way of life took a long while. When it did happen, it happened overnight, but that night was after a thousand other nights here. It came with a sudden change of mindset – an epiphany, if you will – that this wasn’t the UK and I couldn’t make it like the UK. And while that fact may please many (if not all) South Africans, it was finally my declaration of a ceasefire against the system that brought peace to my life.
(Incidentally, it’s worth noting that since then, the system has actually become a very good friend and we regularly meet up for a beer and a chat about politics, religion and the World Cup.)
Which is nice.
And in those six years, I sadly seem to have crossed that line where things that would previously have bored me have become things that now excite me. Like, for example, the fact that I can’t wait to install the new irrigation system in my front garden. Now, I’m not so far gone that I don’t see that that might seem a bit sad to younger readers, but when I put it in – it will be awesome.
Still don’t believe me? Right, I’m going to take photos…