Cute as a Button Spider

South Africa is, depending on one’s point of view, either blessed or infested with an astonishing variety of arachnids.  At least 2000 different types have been recorded.  So, in addition to the bits and pieces I’ve told you of other dangers we have faced here (Pickle being pinned to a rock by a lion cub, snake infested garages, snakes that are in fact not snakes but hoses, electric fences….) I’d like to introduce you to two of our occasional house guests and a spider who can rival Rumplestiltskin with her ability to spin a golden thread.

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Water Aware

It was gold, not water that drew people here in droves. Johannesburg is the only major city in the world that is not built close to a large source of water. Landlocked, it is about as far from the sea as it could be in South Africa and there are no large rivers or lakes here. It’s all pumped in from elsewhere filling our taps and swimming pools and nourishing the vast man made forest that is Jo’burg. Continue reading

In England’s Green and Pleasant Land

July 2014

Whenever we’ve been away from the UK for any length of time, the last line of William Blake’s Jerusalem comes to me unbidden and starts looping in my head as the plane circles above a patchwork of luscious green landscape below.      Continue reading

(Not so) “Plane” Sailing

Have you ever flown with children?  Have you ever flown on your own with children?  Don’t unless you have to.  It is the curse of the expat wife.  I remember somebody once asking Mr Incredible what it was like to fly with the kids.  “Oh, it’s no bother”, he replied breezily.  Yes, that would be because he’s never travelled solo with the children.  It is a real treat and I would like to share just a few of my highlights with you.  Continue reading

Endless Summer, Broad Horizons

So, one year into our South African adventure (July 2014) and we are all enjoying our time here, but it is unquestionably the children who are having the time of their little lives.  Scarce an eyelid is batted at the power cuts, traffic jams, street hawkers or shacks.  They do ask questions about the poverty and disfunctionality they encounter, but take the answers in their growing strides. Continue reading

National Dress Dilemma

Every year most expat communities will have some kind of parade or festival to celebrate their multiculturalism. Often it’s connected to the International schools. There is plenty of flag waving and any accompanying food stands can get quite competitive, (and that would be down to the parents, not the kids). Continue reading

Wonder Woman

Who else had a Wonder Woman obsession when they were about 5? I would try to dress like her and twirl round the back garden in tiny shorts and welly boots with a dressing gown belt tied round my forehead. It took me a while, but I eventually realised that the real Wonder Woman was right there watching me all along. Continue reading