Sunday, December 30, 2012

Assimilating the Borg

This weekend marks the fourth in the UK - one whole month we've been here now. Sometimes I feel like it's been a lot longer than that.  

It is hard to articulate all the feelings running through me at this point in my life.  The adage 'be careful what you wish for ....' keeps echoing in the back of my head.   Firstly, i have to state that i am not unhappy to be here in the UK but for a variety of reasons (half of which I haven't figured out yet), I'm not exactly happy either.   I can't see myself ever going back to South Africa to stay ... but I do miss the place, the familiarity, the family, knowing where shit is and how to get things done.

I definitely feel alien in this place.  Even though I was born British, lived here until I was in my teens, that doesn't mean that I am British.  Does that even make sense?   I always used to joke about this when I lived in South Africa - that I didn't really like British people, even though I was one myself.
I wasn't expecting to feel like this, it's disconcerting to me.    I know I have to be patient, assimilation into any country as a migrant (and that's what I am really, isn't it?) is difficult.   However, I didn't ever feel as though I would feel quite so strange as I do here. 

Maybe it's because I have no familial, psychological, historical root or ties to Norfolk.   When we first arrived here at Heathrow and things were somewhat stressful - i.e. finding the hire car depot and what not -  Hayzel and Kevin kept saying to me 'Well, you're British, you should know what to do!!'     They didn't really stop to think that er,  well I'm not British, haven't lived in this country as an adult ever ... so I am as much in the dark about how things get done here as they are.  I'm experiencing daily life in this part of the world as any new migrant would ... everything (from buying groceries to joining the library) is worlds' apart from what I am used to or understand.

Besides all the obvious emotions that we are trying to deal with on a daily basis (missing everyone back home, settling in, sorting out employment and blah blah) ... Kevin and Hayzel don't deal with things on an abstract level, like I do. They are very much 'meat and potato' type people, dealing with things that are in their faces - they don't discuss how they are feeling, don't emote or dissect what's going on in their heads.   So I don't have anyone to knock these issues about with and get them out ... I need to do that, otherwise I internalise and become morose. 

I am hoping that once I manage to find something/someone that hooks me, I will in turn find a centre and somehow 'connect' with this place.   I am trying to find out as much about the area where we live as I can, searching for something that I can bury myself in because right now I feel like a bit of a spare fart in a wind storm.  I have so many ideas, as well as potential sources of income and new direction to choose from, I feel like a kid in a candy store - too much choice!  That's a good thing but it's scary as well.  I don't want to end up going in the wrong direction.  I don't want to get stuck just being the stay-at-home kiddie sitter/home help ... that's a trap that is all too easy to get into. 

I will not post these random thoughts onto the 'Country Life' blog, as this may be upsetting for the rest of the family.  These are my feelings, somewhat raw and probably mixed up as all hell, it will be interesting to see how am feeling in a months' time.

Oh, and I haven't bumped into Rory McCann yet but I do keep an eye out ... hur hur.

Friday, December 28, 2012

inevitable is a big word

what's with this new Chanel No.5 ad campaign featuring an oh so intense Brad Pitt mumbling on about God knows what? ... has he lost touch with reality?   He's waxing on about some chic but it's not Angelina ... which kinda negates the entire blurb.  there's no authenticity, no meaning, it's just airhead bimbo hollywood waffle. I wouldn't buy Chanel No. 5 on principle.

I can't cough up enough dosh at the moment for a new DSLR, so I broke down in a moment of weakness the other night and bought a Nikon Coolpix Bridge camera ...hoping to have it delivered tomorrow or Monday, then I can try it out.   

We now have broadband at home - 11.70 Mbps - not bad at all, basically twice the speed of our ADSL in South Africa.   We have been in the UK four whole weeks tomorrow - can't believe it.   It's hard being apart from my boys and youngest daughter ... had a weepy session the other day on the way to some friends of ours for Boxing Day lunch.   Nobody ever said this would be easy.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Blog for content on life in the UK

 I have started up a new blog - posting pictures, updates and running commentary on life in the country, as we deal with it day by day .... it is found over here

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the eve of the great trek

Couldn't sleep at all last night.   For you guys who may read this later on, just remember that this move to the UK is not done lightly.   I kept wanting to hold you all for a long time each in turn last night whilst I was lying in bed.  This morning was hard.       I won't dwell on these feelings on the blog, I'm sure that I will feel much more intense emotions in the coming weeks/months but I am trying to put on a brave face.     The kiddies said goodbye last night to their great-grandma - after going out to dinner with that side of the family in Pretoria - it was hard for all concerned and many tears were shed.
To say that I am absolutely dreading the airport tomorrow night, is such an under-statement, I feel sick all the time thinking about it.   

I have written each of you a letter, which I will only give you at the airport, please try and take heed of what I've said.   I tried very hard not to lecture (har har) and to be upbeat and positive.   It is a very positive time for us (me and the rest of the M's), it is also extremely stressful, scary ... etc. etc. but the over-riding sensation for us is one of anticipation of a better life for us all.   We have all got cold feet at one time or another, those feelings of anxiety, trepidation have surfaced all too often.  I had a moment of absolute panic last night, whilst trying to get to sleep, that I was making a horrible decision and couldn't go!   I wanted to run to you Dave and hang on for as long as possible.  Then I heard Andrew's voice in the back of my mind and needed to speak to him straight away but of course, you were both asleep.   I don't know how I am going to cope without my dudes.  Allyson came home this morning after being at Ronnie's and I went to give her a hug and couldn't let go - ending in tears.
That's how it's going to be at the airport, multiplied by 1,000.
I love you guys, you know that.   This is NOT goodbye, merely ciao for now and see you soon - that is not idle talk into the wind, either.  Remember that.