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Home from Home

Home from Home

  • February 28, 2017

I feel like a bit of a mutt, nationality-wise. My passport and birthplace call me British, my upbringing and my heart say I’m South African. Born in one place, raised in another – and now raising my own family here, there and everywhere – sometimes I’m a bit fuzzy about my national identity, about where “home” is.

I’m fuzzy, that is, until the exact moment, once a year or so, I step off a 747 on to the tarmac at Cape Town International Airport. And then it all becomes startlingly clear.

For me the simple truth is that “Home” is more than...

Marooned

Marooned

  • November 10, 2016

As I sit down to write this, CNN plays in the background – Hilary Clinton has just given her concession speech, and it’s a strange day. As topsy-turvy as the world felt when I woke up this morning, my overarching thought today is, “It’s good to be back.”

Because for the last 5 weeks, our house has been a technological desert: no internet, no TV. It was an unfortunate series of events – a house move, a hurricane, a population needing to have power reinstalled (meaning our needs were rightfully low priority for the cable company) – which left us living in...

Something wicked this way came

Something wicked this way came

  • October 12, 2016

hur·ri·cane:

Definition: A storm with a violent wind, in particular a tropical cyclone in the Caribbean.

Origin: Mid 16th century: from Spanish huracán, probably from Taino hurakán god of the storm.

Hurricane Matthew was coming, and much the same way as I did before childbirth, I read up on the phenomenon we were about to experience. As with childbirth, I tracked its course as we counted down the days to its arrival, and made the necessary preparations. As with childbirth, the wait was agonising. And as with childbirth, nothing could have prepared me for the reality. 

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Same… but different.

Same… but different.

  • September 22, 2016

It’s been over two months since we hauled our lives across the world to a tropical island in the Caribbean Sea, and I feel like it’s been much longer. Perhaps because in truth we have been moving all year. Like waves, one change after another has washed over us in 2016 and now finally, with only one more house move to go in the next few weeks, I feel like the time is approaching when I might finally be able to stop paddling madly and lie back and float for a while, maybe take in the view.

When you move your...

A Beginning’s End

A Beginning’s End

  • July 18, 2016

In 1998 Semisonic sang such a beautiful and poignant line: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” It was our last year of school at the time, and as far as my friends and I were concerned, the lyric may as well have been written exclusively for us. We danced to Closing Time, clinging to each other and swearing that the passing of the years wouldn’t change our friendship.

As someone who instinctively avoids change wherever possible, I’ve always felt hugely comforted by that lovely line. It conveniently pops into my mind and gives me strength whenever I’m facing...

Chat with a “Repat”

Chat with a “Repat”

  • June 30, 2016

I’m really happy to be publishing my first Chat with a “Repat”. This feature has come about partly as a result of my nosiness (I love to hear other people’s stories), but mostly because, as an expat, I find the concept of “going home” absolutely fascinating, and I wanted to ask people who’ve done it what the experience was like for them. So here’s the first of what I hope will be many interviews with people who have gone home – in every sense of the word.

Terri-Anne Boers is a physiotherapist and mum of two. Four years ago she moved from London...

Where is Home?

Where is Home?

  • June 29, 2016

“Where are you from?” This is the question that, as an expat, I’m asked more often than any other. I always have to hesitate. Where is home? Is it where I was born? Or where I grew up? Is it where I first shared a home with my husband? Where we first became parents? Where our second daughter completed our family? Where my parents live? For me, none of the above applies to the same place. So I feel like little (and not so little) pieces of my history and my self are scattered around the world – where exactly...

Front Door Stories

Front Door Stories

  • June 22, 2016

It is solved by walking.

I know this can’t be true for all problems in life, but I’m a huge believer in the therapy of going out for a walk. When I’m grappling with a dilemma, having a bad day, feeling sad or just have cabin fever, the simple act of stopping what I’m doing and leaving the house to put one foot in front of the other is symbolic for stepping out of my rut and looking at things from a new perspective. 

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Things to love about the Isle of Man

Things to love about the Isle of Man

  • June 11, 2016

If you or (maybe more likely) your guy are into motorbikes, then you will know exactly where the Isle of Man is. If you’re not into motorbikes you might be vaguely aware of the island as being a tax haven, possibly somewhere in the Channel Islands (it isn’t – it’s off the north west coast of the UK – but you wouldn’t be the first to make this mistake). But if you pay attention to the news this week you’re bound to hear a mention of it. Because this is the week of the year when the Isle of Man...

Moving to a new city: Conversations with Self

Moving to a new city: Conversations with Self

  • June 08, 2016

Dear Me,

I know this isn’t the first time you’ve upped and moved, but that doesn’t mean it gets easier. In some ways, it’s harder every time – you’ve gathered more stuff, you now have another set of friends you’ll only see on Facebook, and each year you (and your kids) get older, moving is that much more emotional.

So take it easy on yourself if you have days when it all gets a bit too much. Here are some mantras to keep in your back pocket and pull out when you start to feel overwhelmed.

...

About Catherine

Wife, mum, tea drinker, shoe lover, South African Brit living in the Bahamas with my husband and two small girls. I write about the gloriously ordinary everyday of motherhood - and occasionally about sunshine, shoes and perfect cups of tea.

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