Getting six years older

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…

6 thoughts on “Getting six years older

  1. It’s good that you stopped “fighting” it. There is no point living somewhere if you don’t like it. I remember, years back, when we first arrived here, we bumped into this family who were also newly arrived from South Africa. The husband was quite philosophical about it all, but the wife moaned and complained about *everything* she had encountered since arriving.

    I think the UK can prove to be a bit of a shock to a certain type of white person who moves here from SA… just as SA can prove to be quite a shock to the system if you’re not familiar with the country!

    Oh, and Happy Anniversary!! 🙂
    .-= Helga Hansen´s last blog ..South Africa =-.

  2. You know you are getting old when you enjoy working in the garden, its become one of the highlights of my weekend.

  3. With age comes acceptance! Being British and all, you might appreciate Johnny Rotten’s take on the system: “F*****g ignore the system. Use it when it suits you.”


  4. Glad you managed to acclimatise!

    And please dont talk to me about irrigation systems – as from Monday we are not even allowed to water our gardens using a watering can. Oh crap, I must also be approaching that stage in life when watering your garden becomes important…..
    .-= Pamela´s last blog ..Pregnant and porky! =-.

  5. 6 yrs eh? Excellent stuff! I’ve been in the UK for 13yrs now and you are right. I cant expect SA or the Free State here (although I still get to watch my beloved Cheetahs from time to time on Sky). I had that same overnight thing about 5 years ago. All great now and life is running smoothly. We were only going to come for 3yrs! But, you get a cat, a dog, buy a house, have kids, they go to school, your job is still great fun – you are stuck….

    Still proudly South African, but hey, its pretty good being British too! I just braai under the parasol if it rains.

    Some things in life just happen and we need to go with the flow. Im not selling that house in Cape Town just yet though! Hopefully I’ll get over that feeling of “where the f… do I belong” too one day.

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