Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Moving along...

So the last blog post was something I didn't exactly plan. It was meant to be an update of all that has been happening since last year. But the absolute irony of what happened and the storm of emotions that followed was something I had to get out by writing.

Anyway, moving on...

Like I said before I don't know who still reads this blog but I have been largely absent for the past nine months. Because of that I probably have lost a lot of readers. It doesn't really bother me, I don't regret the time I had away and a lot of it was beyond my control.

In September last year our service provider got fed up with replacing the telephone lines that had gotten nicked over and over again. This is a problem in South Africa, people steel the telephone lines for the copper. The service provider eventually refused to install new lines. This meant no Internet for me other than what I had on my BlackBerry. Trying to post from my BlackBerry was a mission since the email post option didn't work very well. So I just thought "Screw it" and took a break. There have been a lot of changes in my life since then so for anyone that is still reading or interested here they are...

My baby boy Milo disappeared before Christmas last year. Milo had been spending more and more time away from my house as he seemed to be more interested in having adventures with his brothers. Eventually he only came home to eat and for a quick snuggle before setting off again. I knew I was not going to be living in the area much longer and would soon have to make a very difficult decision on what was best for Milo. But sadly I didn't have to. Milo would come home to eat but one day he just stopped coming. His brothers also disappeared we searched the area for all of them but they had vanished without a trace. We later heard that seven different cats from the farm had gone missing and someone had sighted a mountain cat- there are only two or three in the mountains where we lived. I hate to think about it so I rather would like to think that Milo and his brothers found a field with lots of mice and butterflies for them to chase. I was so heartbroken at loosing Milo...I don't think he ever forgave me for the time he broke his leg- he completely changed after that.

Since January I've moved three times. I have discovered that I do not take moving very well. It causes so much anxiety and instability in me that I become virtually useless and am prone to panic attacks. This is very surprising since I have lived in three different countries and the vast majority of my childhood was characterised by moving. The last move was significant in that after three years I have finally moved out of my parents house and onto my own. Earlier this year a friend of mine moved into a house where she needed to tutor a little girl for an hour a day in exchange for room and board and one meal every day. She soon grew tired of having children around her twenty- four- seven and offered the room to me and moved back home.

The house has got to be the oddest I have every seen. My room is very large with a bathroom that has a shower so small I need to open the door just to be able to wash properly. The house has a interesting history. It was bought by an American tycoon for his son who he later disinherited for marrying a stripper...who kept on stripping. My room was used to coach newly hired strippers on their technique. The two stripe poles where removed before my friend moved in but the floor still carries a reminder. The disinherited son later had to flee because he was wanted for questioning in a murder investigation ( he gave the gun that was used in the murder to the suspect as payment for "garden work" bet he regrets that) and agreed for the family that I am living with now to stay in the house rent free as both parents had just been retrenched from their jobs.

The family I live with are very nice, a little rough around the edges. The Dad who is a boat builder, cooks sometimes delicious and sometimes disastrous suppers that we all eat together in the kitchen and the wine is free flowing!. There are two children, a nine year old boy and a ten year old girl which is the one I tutor. Since I started with her about a month ago, I have started to strongly suspect that she is either dyslexic or ADD or both. It is a massive struggle for her to read and write and instead of spending just an hour a day with her I am spending four or five hours with her. It's tough and I feel for her, she knows somethings wrong and she genuinely wants to learn and do well. I am just waiting for the right time to broach the subject with her parents about getting her help. She is writing exams right now and it is just hectic.

Unfortunately three weeks after I moved in I found a notice from the sheriff taped onto our gate telling us that the house was being auctioned off by the bank because disinherited son had gone through all his inheritance and was now defaulting on his mortgage payments. Fortunately for us, it is very hard to evict someone in South Africa on account of the country having so many homeless people and squatters. So even if the house gets sold we have more rights than the actual buyer and the buyer by law, actually has to find us a new place to live. We also plan on evoking "Squatters Rights" ( yes they have rights)...I can picture my high- flying sister gasping in shock if she had to hear that. It sucks that I may have to move so soon after having just gotten settled.

As for work, after six months of being unemployed...I am STILL unemployed.I had a temp job covering maternity leave that come to an end in December. Employment is a real problem in South Africa. If you are a teacher, a lawyer or a doctor jobs are plentiful but most of these professionals head for foreign countries where there are more benefits, better salaries, less crime and the cost of living isn't so high. As for everyone else, South Africa for workers is a bit like Hollywood for wannabe actors and actresses. Most people here get jobs through word of mouth...it's who you know and all about being in the right place at the right time. It is vital to start building your connections starting even in high school, to get ahead. It is not unheard of to hear of someone with university degrees and even PhD's being unemployed for six months and struggling to find a job. As my connections are not exactly up to par looking for a job has been like banging my head against a brick wall.

My sister has sub-contracted me on her copy writing work and is giving me a small salary for my trouble. It is good for buying food and maybe a pair of jeans and a movie here and there, but if I had to pay rent I would be screwed. I am still studying and will be doing that full time through correspondence from July. It is ironic...I don't think I have ever worked so hard in my life as I have been doing so now...and I am the poorest I have ever been.

Anyway this has gotten a little long and I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears. I will have to break this update up into two parts as there have been two "happenings" that have had a massive impact on me this year and are very emotional to talk about.

Stay tuned....


  1. Wow, I didn't realize you were in S. Africa. I am new though...what an interesting story behind your house! Those are stories I love!

  2. Hi Shannon, yep I was born in America but grew up in South Africa. The story about my house makes good dinner table conversation but it is kind of freaky when I am alone in my room and I start to think about what used to happen there :o

  3. So much has happened. No wonder you're anxious right now. Best wishes that everything will even out and settle down soon.

    1. Yep and sooo much is still happening...that's why I haven't been writing :/