I am back HOME….from HOME!
I just returned home from my 2 month holiday in South Africa.
Ok, well… it has been a week already, but you don’t start counting untill your jetlag has worn off..and mine is still very far from being forgotten ?!
I did not keep to any promises of blogging… simply did not have the internet capacity to pull that off !
That is frustrating at times and there are other little obstacles in living this kind of expat life.
But there are wonderful things that I DO appreciate when I go “home” to my “other house”.
There is a lot to say for keeping a house in your home country where familiar things await you when you go on a visit…to make you feel “at home” again … not just being a visitor…but belonging there !
So, I share some with you today.
…like how I love to open up my stationery box with real pencils inside….no digital for a while !
…or the deco shoes on my dressing table in my bedroom…
Chic old shoes made rusty with roses on them. Love them.
…or my paper box where I keep my special documents, magazine clippings and other keepsakes.
I buy sooooo many magazines when I am on holiday !
……the beautiful mosaic cross I see every night before I go to bed…
….from a South African Artist who works magic with mosaic tiles !
……the old familiar clock that was on 10 to 9 the WHOLE holiday because time matters so little there that nobody bothered to reset it…
…….and I loved the new chairs I found on a sale.
I bought four ! Sooooo comfy for sitting… and certainly will inspire some re-decorating of the family room next holiday !
….I also got a new frame and decided to put an old photo in there that I still had from Russia.
It is a reminder of the old babushkas I came across there who survived cruel years and times where that “gleb (Bread)” in her handbag was like a bar of gold !
For the first time I started to bring in some elements from my “other life” into my local home there.
It doesn’t really match the photo on the other wall – of the local scenes….but who cares…. that’s us – a little missmatched worlds every now and then !
Another feast to my eyes when I enter my house over there – is this 3-in-1 ensemble…
Let me explain:
1. The beautiful pewter tray I got last year as a birthday gift.
2. The water decanter I bought this holiday, in my favourite colour – again not a real match to the rest, but Loved it !
3. The Amarula that sneeked into this picture. A real South African treat – after dinner liquor – a product from South Africa, and one that our American friends begged us to bring back to the US when we lived over there! Yes, it’s yummy !
I love it that the kids can be free and run barefeet…
….and get sunshine on their bodies even though it’s mid winter..
And what I loved even MORE was the teamwork the older two had to come up with, when they bought a new “toy” that does not simply get connected with a wire to a plug in the wall !!
But in the end there was success and many hours of ping-pong fun and table tennis challenges.
How fun that you could buy a motorbike from the little Antique shop in town?!
And yes – these are the times when we ARE thankful for technology where we can send Dad a MMS to get the go ahead to buy the bike .
This purchase made them jump for joy !! And it was so worth it….they had HOURS of driving pleasure.
(wonder if anyone will get on the quad bike again? )
Other people’s toys crept into the scene a little more discreet…and I found evidence everywhere that I live with a “little person” …whom I love, I may add!
So, I don’t really mind her “little people” messing up my deco…
But while the kids kept themselves busy with their own toys, I always seem to come up with something to create my own kind of busy !
I have to do early morning runs for picking up the workers in town and there are luckily the beautiful sunrises and sunsets to watch when I do these daily runs early morning and early evenings. With the camera phones, there is always a camera on hand !!
One morning I woke up from a huge flutter against the window ……and look who was RIGHT outside it?! …
I don’t know if me or ms Owl was more surprised when we looked each other in the eyes… but I could not turn my neck all the way around like she did?! Gosh – it was amazing and only in Africa !
Cold winters mean putting on the gas heaters in the morning to help me get out of bed and then picking up wood again every afternoon to keep the fireplace going for the whole night! No underfloor heating or fancy heating systems like we have in our overseas homes.
I might add another thing that is maybe also “only in Africa”….and that is this “taxi service” that seems to be allowed while you get your learner’s driving license training?!
But when I get in and out of my gate at home, I can forget about these crazy drivers on the roads, and meet my friends at our house on the dirt road! They at least seem to still get out of the way when you drive up !
… so much better than rush hour traffic cars in the city where I live!
My daily trips to town does mean time to make a little stop to look around in the local shops.
Our little town, Parys, has the cutest little shops and I always love going home and just browsing through them one by one throughout the holiday!
Finally – There is nothing I love more than having family and friends around and so I loved getting our friends over for a visit!
They brought over some salt bread and we added the fig jam…
That used to be my mother’s little treat that she pulled out of her magic hat when we visited South Africa!
We missed her so much this year as our first mid-year break without her….
But if I have to start now on South African foods and the comfort THAT provides when we are there, this blog post may NEVER end !!!
And as with any other good time, the time at home needs to end when the time comes to return home.
And coming home to these on my desk re-assured me that no place can be called home in the long term if our family is not all in one place.
A very happy husband welcomed me and the children home after our summer (winter for us ) break.
And the whole house still smells of the lovely flowers !
Loved coming home too….
If you are an expat, you surely have a “HOME” somewhere away from your home where you live and I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear what it is that you miss or love when you go home. Please tell me in the comments below.
Now, to get back into routine, over the jetlag and focusing on the happy, healthy home I wish to keep this year !