Chat with a “Repat”

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 back to her home town of Johannesburg, and experienced all the ups and downs of repatriation. I chatted to her about her journey from then to now.

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Where is Home?

“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 I call “home” has become fuzzy. Read More »

Front Door Stories

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. Read More »

A Case of the Sniffles

Today I had planned to write a light hearted travel post for a Wanderlust-y kind of Wednesday, but my heart doesn’t feel as light as it usually does – on account of having one sad, sickly little baby in the house.

Of course, it’s just a case of the sniffles – which Annabel brings home from play school about once a month and Ruby then makes it her business to pick up and turn into a full-on cold. And a cold for a baby is the opposite of fun. Annabel was never ill for a day of the first year of her life – but this is not to be for baby number two. We reverted back to newborn status last night as I saw every hour on the clock from 11pm to 7am, doing anything I could think of to comfort a confused 6-month-old who couldn’t fathom why she was breathing like a steam train and heaving ominously (thank you post nasal drip). Read More »

To My Father, My Hero – On Father’s Day

In the beautiful speech he gave on our wedding day my dad said, “I wonder if you will ever know what a pleasure it has been to be your father.” It was a moving moment that, thanks to his wonderful gift with words, everybody felt, and I will never forget. And yet – I did know. I knew, because my dad made sure I did. Every day, he made sure I knew he loved being my dad.

My childhood is filled with memories of early mornings at the kitchen table as he read to me before school, horsing around the living room rug at night, and weekends in the pool as he threw us up in the air over and over and over again. Read More »

girls night out

Date Night – But not the kind you think

Two nights ago I went out for pizza and wine with some girlfriends.

This is not a phrase I get to say very often. In fact, this was only the second time I’ve had a night out with the girls since Ruby was born. That’s in OVER SIX MONTHS! There have been various reasons for this, but the most prevalent is that with my second (and last) baby, I’ve been reluctant to hurry her to a place where I can leave her and head out for a night on the town. She still feeds to sleep (and doggedly refuses a bottle), she likes to be held by her mummy (whereas her big sister frankly prefers being put to bed by daddy), and I feel her babyhood slipping away all too quickly already – I’m in no hurry for it to end.Read More »

Talking Shoes…

Our European Summer is taking its sweet time to get going this year… It’s the middle of June and the thermometer is hovering somewhere around 17 degrees with silly statistics on rainfall, and my closet full of summer dresses is screaming out to be worn – having been abandoned last summer in favour of maternity clothes. But as far as I can tell there’s a small silver lining to the long wait for the sunshine and that’s that this year’s hottest trend in footwear, The Loafer, is getting plenty of mileage.Read More »

That Beautiful Fear

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.”
– Elizabeth Stone

Somebody sent this quote to me after Annabel was born, and oh! – how true it is. Since the day she came into our lives I have know fear – real, bone-chilling, heart jolting fear that takes my breath away – on a daily basis, and I think it’s been one of the most challenging things about motherhood.Read More »

Sunday night comfort food

How is it Sunday night already? As I type I’m watching my girls roll around together on the sitting room rug while their dad watches the Brownlee brothers and friends do their thing on TV. We’re all relaxing a bit after a day at Vitam Park – an indoor/outdoor extravaganza of swimming pools and water slides – where Ruby had her first ever dip in the pool and Annabel didn’t stop swimming, running and sliding for over 5 hours. Fun was had by all – apart from lunch, which was a dismal affair of soggy toasted sandwiches and soggier fries. So I feel the need for some Sunday night comfort food to make up for it, and thought I’d share my favourite ever chicken pie recipe from Good Housekeeping (absolutely love their recipes). Here it is, in case your Sunday night is as in need of something decadent as mine is…Read More »