Which School? An Expat Parenting Dilemma

Parents everywhere want the best education for their children.  However, when you move to a different country every few years, the decisions, trade-offs and problems multiply.IMG_3435

American School? British School? French School? German School? Local School? Home School? Boarding School? Anywhere-that-has-a-place-for-my-child-School? Which school is the right school?

This is a conundrum faced by many expat parents.

There are a whole host of factors to consider and I’m sure I’ll have more to share on this subject in future, but in the first instance I’m including a nifty little table I’ve put together to assist you in working out which grade/class/year equivalent your child may fit into moving from one system to another.  It’s something I would have found useful to have over the the last few years, so I figured it might help a few other people too. Continue reading

Powerless and Powerless

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The Blank Screen of Death

Increasing numbers of South Africans have electricity meters at their properties. They are popular with landlords, because it forces the tenant to pay up front, thus avoiding nasty disputes about electricity bills during a tenancy. We didn’t realise our rental property came with one of these delightful pieces of equipment until after we had moved in.


“Ja, you just go to Spar and buy a voucher”, the estate agent said vaguely.


So after years of Direct Debit convenience where electricity supply was constant in return for the power provider debiting amounts due on a regular basis, we were in a situation where we had a meter on the wall. We checked it regularly to make sure it didn’t run out.   We religiously bought the 20 digit vouchers and on the occasions when the meter frowned and beeped at us with displeasure, ran frantically about the house trying different sockets until we found one that the meter was happy to communicate with.  Then we would get a smiley face and newly topped up balance showing on the screen.


However, we now know what happens when the meter gets to zero or malfunctions… Continue reading

I am a Secret Agent



Pickle:                                            “Are you a secret Agent Mummy?”

Me with a mouthful of food:        “Mmmmmmm.”

Pickle:                                            “THAT’S A YES ISN’T IT. I KNEW IT.  YES.  Mum’s a

secret agent.”

I didn’t disagree with him.

I thought about his question a little more and decided that it was quite a logical conclusion for him to come to.

Continue reading