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What I know for sure about expat life

What I know for sure about expat life

  • May 10, 2019

I never thought we would be the people who ended up leaving our home town and moving all over the world. As impulsive 20-somethings we left on a whim because I had a dream to live and work in the most exciting city in the world. I thought we’d be in London for a few years and then go “home” to Cape Town and live our adulthood as we had our very happy childhoods, on the slopes of Table Mountain amongst family and friends. But then one opportunity followed another and we kept saying “yes” to them… Thirteen years later...

Her Heartbreak is My Heartbreak

Her Heartbreak is My Heartbreak

  • April 02, 2019

It was 10am on a Tuesday in the depths of November, and as the rain poured down for what felt like the 27th day in a row (but was probably only the fifth), I found myself in my GP’s office, in floods of tears.

I’d gone in for a follow-up on a chest infection, but as I sat across her desk and she asked kindly, “So, how are you?”, the floodgates I didn’t even know had been carefully shored up burst open and all the overwhelm of the previous months erupted – unstoppable. I cried and cried.

Of course – as unexpected...

A Change of Scenery

A Change of Scenery

  • October 11, 2018
Life lately has been all change. New country, new home, new schools for our girls, a whole new life to get used to, and goodbye to the sweet life we lived in paradise.   And my writing has been quiet for a while because of all the noise that’s been going on in my head. And my life. And my soul. All the push and pull of emotions that come with upheaval and newness. All the intensity of feelings when we’re living not just our own challenges, but every single moment of our children’s as well.   And it’s been hard! On...
Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith

  • June 28, 2018

It’s about now that I start to feel my resolve wavering.

Weeks away from another international move, we’ve reached the stage that I now think of as the special kind of purgatory that lies between decision and action. The days that stretch ahead where boxes are not yet packed and normal service is expected to continue – snacks to be prepared, playdates made, yoghurt wiped from the walls, toys pulled out and packed away again, dinner served, stories read, little foreheads kissed goodnight – all while my mind races on ahead of me. All while my head tells me that to...

Preparing for Goodbye

Preparing for Goodbye

  • June 14, 2018

We didn’t come here for ever.

We didn’t mean to stay much longer than a year. We never intended to make the Bahamas our home; we didn’t mean to fall in love with it, and we could never have predicted that from the first moment we got that white white coral sand in our shoes it would feel like it had always been there.

But that was what happened.

Two years ago next month we arrived on this island with our belongings in 10 boxes and – as with so many leaps of faith in life – found that the risk had been...

20 Years Later

20 Years Later

  • February 14, 2018

Our 20 year high school reunion is coming up this week.

As it’s taking place on the other side of the world I won’t be able to attend, but the event – and the milestone it symbolises – has raised some interesting discussions and emotions.

You know the ones.

The hyper-awareness of the passing of time. The over-examination of our lives prompted by the prospect of Going Back. That horrible but oh-so-inevitable tendency towards comparison when you put together a group of girls who were all doing the same thing 20 years ago, and then shine a spotlight on the different paths they’ve...

January Blues

January Blues

  • January 21, 2018

Oh, 2018. How have you got the better of me already?

I usually start a new year off in a fit of positivity and clarity. Of nauseating gung-ho-ness and “live-your-best-life” enthusiasm. The thing is, I do love a fresh new year – like a fresh white page waiting to be filled with words. A new start, a do-over, a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence full of possibility.

So 2018, what happened?

Do we put too much pressure on ourselves as the minute hand ticks past midnight on New Year’s Eve?

It’s only the third week of January, and as I said...

Objects in the Rearview Mirror: 2017

Objects in the Rearview Mirror: 2017

  • December 28, 2017

2017 has been the year I woke up from a deep sleep. The year I found my mojo again – which had been lost under a pile of dirty nappies and snacks that never got eaten. They say that the only way one makes a change is if the place in which they find themselves is no longer sustainable – and this time last year I think that’s a bit how I was feeling. Not unhappy, but depleted. Devoid of any more to give. So 2017 was the year of the overhaul – and I’m loving life’s new look at...

All I Want For Christmas

All I Want For Christmas

  • December 11, 2017

December is here! Are you starting to feel Christmassy? As soon as our American friends finish their Thanksgiving celebrations, the wreaths start to go up on the front doors around our neighbourhood, and it’s official – even in paradise, the festive season has begun. We’ve put up and decorated our Christmas tree and it’s twinkling at me from the corner as I sit down to write this, Micheal Buble crooning his velvety Christmas carols from the speaker in the corner.

Amidst all this merriment, these are the days I find myself riding waves of homesickness more than at any other time...

Fear

Fear

  • September 11, 2017

Reader, ‘tis the season. As the mists and mellow fruitfulness begin to gently settle themselves on the hills in the place I was born, here we greet an altogether different season. Here we watch the hurricanes, and here it is the season of fear.

I imagine you too will have been watching the hurricanes this season. Harvey in Texas, where the flooding was as big as everything else in that great state. And Irma across the Caribbean where this weekend the tiny islands that make up paradise were left naked and utterly defenceless against the viciousness of the strongest storm ever...

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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