Category Archives for "My Home Life"

Summertime Christmas in Africa

Christmas in Africa BLOG

When people think of Christmas, they think of snow, father Christmas or Santa Claus, Pine trees and funky Christmas sweaters. We also think about the birth of Jesus and the whole reason for the season. What many people don’t realise is that people on the other half of the planet celebrate Christmas during Summer!

I was one of these people. I was born and raised in South Africa where it’s Summer in December and Winter in July. Our school year started in January and ended the following December. I found it very strange to arrive in Italy as an adult to see that the other half of the world works very differently, but that’s for another blog post. Today I will focus on my Summertime Christmases in Africa.Continue reading

Share this post:

When moving to a foreign country feels like coming home

Moving to a foreign country, homecoming BLOG

It was an icy November evening in 2010, exactly 7 years ago today, when my best friend and I hopped on a plane to London from Milan. I had spent the past ten years living in Northern Italy, literally all of my adult life, and this was the beginning of a new chapter. We landed shortly before midnight.

We both had been unhappy in our jobs for various reasons for quite some time, so when we lost our jobs, which I now see as a blessing although at the time I was devastated, we started looking outside of Italy for new opportunities. By the time we flew over we had researched housing, grocery lists, medical services, transport and even further education. We felt we knew enough to get by and reach our goals and it helped that they speak English in England – that just makes everything easier!

What we didn’t have when we got on that plane was work or accommodation. We were arriving in a new country with only a cabin bag each and hope for a brighter future – a huge leap of faith.

Continue reading

Share this post:

20 Fun facts about me

Throwback, Dad and I

I write a lot about my experience with chronic illness, my diet and my faith, but there are many things about me that you probably don't know.

This is a fun post I wrote over on Instagram in April and I wanted to share it with my readers here. You're probably familiar with the 20 Fun Facts tag that's been going around on social media. This is my response to that.

1. I was born and raised in South Africa, on the East Coast, in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, also known as The Zulu Kingdom.

2. I remember the first black girl that came to our all-white school after apartheid was abolished and the transition began. That's when I started noticing the inequality and separatedness around me... I was about 12.

3. We didn't have lions roaming the streets, but we had visiting vervet monkeys, peacocks, a variety of snakes and there'd be a chorus of frogs and toads to sing us to sleep at night!

4. I speak 3 languages fluently: English, Afrikaans and Italian. I only know a few words in Zulu and Spanish, I wish we had learned more at school.

5. My favourite subjects at school were geography, science, biology, art and religious education. My least favourite was physical education!

6. My family moved from South Africa to Italy in 2000 and I lived there for 10 years before I moved to England.

7. I became an English teacher in Italy, teaching English as a second language to children and adults. Loved it!

8. I never got a car license, but I rode a scooter in South Africa and in Italy. So fun!

9. I love gardening and nature, but am really allergic to dust and pollen... So it doesn't really work.

10. I moved to London with no job or accommodation waiting, my friend and I each had just a carry-on bag and dreams of finding better job opportunities - and praise God we both did!

11. In London, I worked as a teaching assistant helping children with special educational and physical needs. Loved this job even more!

12. Started going to church for the first time when I was 30 although I'd always considered myself a Christian, my whole life, prayer and Bible reading were huge for me, but I never attended a church apart from an odd Easter service as a guest.

13. I love being creative, I enjoy lettering, calligraphy, drawing, colouring, crochet, knitting... When I was a teen I even sewed myself some clothes!

14. I find it very hard to pray for myself. I hardly ever do... I think that's strange, but maybe there are others out there like me.

15. I love being near water, I miss the ocean so much! It was my happy and calm place... To think and pray. But being among trees is just as good... So refreshing.

16. I love writing, but my cognitive function is really bad with ME/CFS so if it weren't for auto-correct, most of this would not be understandable! I laugh at myself a lot, at the crazy things I type.

17. I was diagnosed with ME/CFS in April 2015 and lost my job that same year, I have lived on my bed for most of the time since, but  I have amazingly supportive parents who moved to England to be closer to help us out and a sister who has become my full time carer. She's five years younger than me. Blessed beyond words!

18. I love snail mail, though I hardly ever receive any, technology has ruined that for many of us, I suppose. Nobody really writes letters anymore. Now I blog instead!

19. I love paper, notebooks and pens and have a huge collection of stationary. As much as I enjoy technology and social media, I absolutely love paper. I could live in a hobby shop!

20. I have moved house 27 times in my 36 years. I love the excitement of moving to a new place and decorating a new space!

I'd love to read your 20 fun facts - let me know if you've posted yours,
leave a link in the comments below!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
Share this post:

Tiny white bugs, gone at last!

Chronically Hopeful

At last the saga of the tiny white bugs is over! The mites seem to be gone after 2 weeks of intense cleaning and hoovering and constantly examining every nook and cranny of the house to make sure they hadn't spread elsewhere and zapping every single mite we found!

If you don't know the story about my bug infestation, you can read about it in an earlier post, here.

To say I am now paranoid about creepy crawlies is an understatement. They have really messed with my head. I can't stop staring at every speck of dust to make sure it doesn't move!

Continue reading
Share this post:

Teeny tiny white bugs

Chronically Hopeful

This past week we discovered that my bed, which was in the house when we moved in, had some tiny white bugs! Not bedbugs thankfully, more like tiny dust mites or something similar. Teeny tiny white specks of dust that crawl around independently.

So annoying because now I cannot stop staring at every speck of dust I notice on any surface: does it move? Quite nerve wrecking!

Continue reading
Share this post:
>