Mr H is South African, we met in South Africa, I fell in love with South Africa from the minute the plane touched down in Durban way back in July 1988 (the first time I ever visited), the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people, the lifestyles, the diversity, the languages. However, I do not look at South Africa through rose tinted glasses, I know She has many many problems and has a long road still to recovery from the heinous days of her past.
It has been these things that I have hankered after when returning to the UK after one of our many holidays over there. After the passing of his mom last July and our return there in September for a good friend's wedding, Mr H decided in November that he wanted "to go home".
So we have sold our house, are busy selling off furniture, getting the dogs ready for their long journey via a company who specialise in transporting animals half way around the world (we debated long and hard about whether to rehome them or take them with and at the end of the final debating session, both realised that we love them as much as they love us and cannot bear to be without them), researching schools for son no.1 and daughter no.2, persuading Mr H's father that yes, it is a GOOD idea for us to move in with him in the first instance and for me to borrow his rather lovely Audi A3 (can you say SPOILT). Mr H has a job waiting for him in Pretoria - we shall be living in Johannesburg to begin with. We may end up in Pretoria if Mr H decides that the commute is too much for him to bear (approx 60miles round trip a day).
My 2 sorrows at leaving the UK are the thoughts of leaving behind my parents and daughter #1. She is 17, 18 this year, and we can no longer stamp the foot of parental authority and demand that she accompanies us. Her life is here, her friends, her college, her part time job, her boyfriend etc. So she will be moving in with my parents, which gives me peace of mind that she will be enveloped into the warm heart of the home that I knew growing up. And to her benefit, she will more than likely be spoilt rotten by two doting grandparents, so I'm beginning to think she got the better end of a deal that she wasn't happy about to begin with. It won't be too long before we see them again though, what with my 40th in July and her 18th just 8 days later in August, she and they have faithfully promised to fly out then and spend the time with us in SA. Who knows, daughter #1 may just get bitten by the bug as I did all those years ago when celebrating my 18th with my future husband and in-laws in Durban. And my father is already planning out their Christmas trip when he hopes to do the Garden Route again down to Cape Town (having done this in 1993 when visiting for my sister-in-law's wedding).
As I type, it's trying to snow again, and I cannot help but smile when I think that this time in a month it will all be a rather distant - and cold - memory.
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