Oh the places I have been.


It has become a tradition to write some sort of motivational piece in the month of my birthday, an ode to the wisdom I had acquired up until that point in my life. I felt that this year I wanted to keep with tradition but decided to do things slightly differently, this year I am closing a chapter. I am saying goodbye to both the greatest and worst year of my life so far, my 30th year on earth.

I was recently reminded by a new friend, of an old friend who was the source of many wise words in my life time and I thought I would start by sharing some of these wise words.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

The last year of my life has been the most tumultuous, heart breaking, gut wrenching, thought provoking, soul testing and judgmental I have ever endured. In 1 year, starting in October 2014, I said goodbye to my family, friends and my animals; sold everything I owned; packed my life into a box; moved to a new country; became a house guest; started a new job; celebrated my 30th birthday; got a new flat on my own; spent holidays and birthdays alone; made new friends; said goodbye to some; saw the sights; remained stuck indoors; built a home; found a new familiar; cried; laughed; fought and pushed through. I spent 10 months without my husband and more importantly, without my children. We spent thousands of pounds and rands, battled, sacrificed and endured and in the end all with one goal in mind – Successfully move our family to a new continent, despite the challenges.

A year later and we have done it.

We have our small home, with our limited number of possessions. The girls have both started and are really enjoying their new schools. My husband started his new job in recent weeks and we look forward to receiving his first pay check. We have our little feline who completes our family. We have met so many amazing people that we consider friends for life, we have had unwavering support from our friends and our family back in South Africa, we have continuous support from our favourite people here as well.

However, it is easy to fall into a trap where I feel like things are just never reaching the final page of the book. That the anti-climaxes are never ending. That the author is ready to put down the pen. Challenge after challenge, let down after let down, struggle after struggle. It is all too convenient to forget how far we have come and focus on the negative. I realised that in order for these speed bumps to flatten, the end of the chapter has to be written by me. So I choose not to forget the last year, but to file it. Today I make the choice to put one year of battles and mistakes, sadness and loneliness behind me.

In one year I have learned the following:

NO matter what your marriage has endured, there is no greater hurdle than distance.

Yet distance between you and your blood will never overshadow love.

Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

Yet re-connection is all about learning to be together again. As friends, as partners, as family.

Preparation is key to all things.

Yet no matter how prepared you are, you are never prepared enough for disappointment.

It takes an incredibly strong person to make life changing decisions.

Yet even the strongest person can break.

You are never too old to start again, to try something new.

Yet you can be too young to make those decisions – When you are ready you will know.

Loyalty is a phenomenal trait to possess.

However, always remember that doing what is right for you must trump any loyalties you think you have.

Have faith that things will work out in the end.

But faith could be down to faith in yourself – If you believe in you, everyone else will.

Life is too short – Live. Love. Laugh

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

And here we are, almost 1 year spent in the UK. Almost my 31st birthday. October 2015, one year on and I am ready to wave goodbye to the emotional roller-coaster that was 2014/2015. My Hakken-Krak. Rest assured, there are still many great changes to come. Not everything is perfect, nor will it ever be. We have made mistakes, we have learned forgiveness, we have learned how to love and how to hate, how to give and how to be, how to move forward with very little and come home with even less. We have accepted that things were the way they were because that is how they were fated to be, we are greater for it.

The lesson for my 31st birthday…

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


Excerpts from Dr Seuss’s ‘Oh the places you’ll go’

*** The above quoted text was copyrighted in 1990 .

For anyone looking to purchase this book, if not for any other reason than it is a Dr Seuss book, here is a link to do so.

10 ways to meet your mate.

No, I am not single. Thank the pope. I am not sure that in this day and age I could handle being single (Single mother to boot) on a quest for love – Let’s be honest, it’s a mine field and I sure as hell like the use of both of my legs.

Sick, war jokes aside, the dating game is rough to say the least. There is nothing wrong with being single and NOT looking for love, in fact, if you are not lonely this may be the easiest way of life possible. However, I also know some singletons my own age ready to mingle, looking for love and wanting to settle down… So where do they start? Where on earth do you find a suitable partner to settle down with?

I thought I would take a comedic look (No disrespect meant to anyone) at the ten various hiding places of potential life partners…

1. The local pub.

I am not so sure that this is the place to be meeting and finding soul mates, that said it is not impossible and I am sure there are some lovely personalities to be found at the bar night after night racking up unpaid bar tabs and reeking of a tobacco pipe. Ok, so I am generalising. Not every man or woman sitting at the bar has absolutely nothing to live for and it is quite possible that a lone stranger could truly be out on the hunt for romance – I am yet to come across one but no doubt there are a few (two or three) out there. I guess my concern here would be the guys and girls strewn across the bar counter most nights of the week having come in alone and leaving shortly after closing (because that is how long it took to throw them out) with nothing else to do and nowhere else to go… sadly, if one of these questionable characters tickle your fancy you may be barking up the wrong addiction tree and could end up spending more time car pooling AA meetings than having romantic dinners for two that don’t involve take away pub food. Pub food is only ever good when eaten at the pub anyway… Despite all of the above, pub crawling groups on the sporadic occasion could hold substantial promise for singletons everywhere. My advice – Look out for the guy or girl singing along to the classic pub tunes, mixing it up on the jukebox or dancing with a crowd (Not alone and not swaying, that is just creepy). Try stick to the potentials that pay their bills, do not go to the toilet in groups and make sure they have a safe ride home – in case you go home with them to of course!

2. Church

While this can be a really great place to meet people with common values, interests and goals – It really is not beneficial if you yourself are not an avid church goer – If you prefer sleeping in on a Sunday then this option probably is not for you (No offence intended). If you are not an active member of church and happen to meet a really nice guy on that one day of the year that you did go to church (Easter / Christmas – Insert holiday here) then understand that his/her expectations may be that you do not only attend church once a year and this could make things a little awkward. That said, do not discount church as a meeting ground for awesome people completely – If you really are into someone, religious compromise can always be worked into the relationship. My husband studied to be a pastor and I am a Pagan, it is possible – We did not meet at church though…

3. Online

In fact, we met on the Interwebz. Can you imagine? Thanks to the internet I met my husband so I will not knock online dating completely (if at all). Be prepared for dodginess to creep out of all woodwork possible if this is how you intend to meet the future Mr or Mrs you. There are various aspects of online dating that come into play here. Online dating option 1 is social media – All these free and easy to use tools at your disposal, why not use them to troll the pages of your friends and family – I recommend sending a ‘Like to meet’ list to the owner of the Facebook page you have just trolled and if they love you enough, I am certain they will fulfil your little request at the next gathering they arrange. You can always do what my husband did and add every female possible on the internet to his Facebook friend list (Don’t I feel special) to infuriate a certain person, only to meet the love of his life… RIGHT husband???:) Option 2 would be subscribing to free or paid for online dating sites – I recommend a paid for site because if you are too cheap to actually pay for a decent profile, how on earth will you afford dinner? Don’t diss online match making, there are people that actually get paid to make Discovery reality TV shows about this stuff so it must work.. you hope. You are always going to be succeptable to the online wierdos so be ready for a few creepy messages and profiles that do not have pictures – Whatever you do, do not entertain those profiles – They do not have pictures for a reason. I am not saying the profile creator is a swamp donkey, it is not about looks anyway, I am just saying that if he says he is 35 and has not uploaded a profile picture of himself then he is probably 65 and freaky – I mean, why lie? If you do happen to cross the path of a profile that tickles your pores then why not set up the meeting? Meetings should always be in a public place, always have an escape route and always have a friend sitting anonymously watching to make sure nothing goes pear shaped. Make sure they give you the tell tale sign / what they are wearing and not other way around so that you can make a quick escape if necessary and make sure that if you do meet your soulmate, he or she DELETES the online dating profile once you get together. If you find out that he or she is married at this point, I am sorry, I cannot help you – Perhaps an SA ID home affairs check for marital status may aid in the decision making process.

4. The office

This is NEVER a good idea. Let’s be honest – If you meet someone at work and continue to work together, surely you would just get sick of each other? Surely after a full day at work together, a car ride home and possibly even living together, you would wear the relationship out before it starts? I am not discounting seeing if the sparks are there but my suggestion would be to avoid dating work colleagues and if you really cannot do that, start typing up a resignation letter and find somewhere else to work so you and Mr or Mrs Right can continue in ignorant bliss while your careers do not suffer in the process.

5. The zoo

This is just odd. If a person is going to the zoo ALONE and you spot them and are interested, you have to ask yourself what the hell YOU are doing at the zoo alone. If there is any form of attraction to a lone zoo visitor, you may have just fallen for a paedophile. I do not recommend this. If, however, the zoo visitor is not alone and has taken his or her kids out for the day – feel free to flirt and fraternise.


Only recommended if you love dogs, cats, reptiles (trouser snake?) and animal hair on your couches because no doubt the man or woman you meet here is in obvious love with their animals. The downside, you will be competing with an animal. The other downside, this expo only happens once or twice a year at the most so you have long waiting periods between opportunities.

7. Pick up a hobby

A hobby, not a hubby – I do not advocate the breaking up of homes or marriages. My suggestion? Decide on an instrument and then take classes to learn how to play it, chances are the teacher is not bad to look at and perhaps a fling or romance will ensue. Remember, you are not the only student so don’t think that you are the only one having a fling but perhaps, if the teacher is serious about you being the only student, you could work together to teach the instrument of choice. Ok, that sounded totally awkward. How about sewing?

8. War gaming conferences

I had to throw this one in there because my husband is a war gamer though I am not sure that we would still be married today if I had met him at a gaming conference of some sort. The truth is, most attendees are just happy to see a female, if they see you at all. I say this because most of them only look up from the table long enough to throw the dice, take a sip of their cold coffee and page through a rule book. I do not recommend getting too close to a table in fear of knocking over a model or two, this is strangely frowned upon and your cos play outfit will not even save you now. If you do manage to get the attention of a war gamer and he does more with you than reads you his codex, be prepared for a very expensive and time consuming hobby which he will attempt to teach you unsuccessfully and then moan about having no one to play with. On the up side, there is never a shortage of birthday or Christmas gift ideas. Oh, and apparently it is a convention and not a conference.

9. At a festival

Just no. You are at a festival to have a good time, get wasted, watch your favourite band you paid the money to come and see and drink copious amounts of alcohol subconsciously trying to avoid alcohol poisoning and remembering where you parked your tent. While not recommended for meeting new potential mates, I would suggest taking along a few friends that may have a future as your partner – They will get to know you extremely well in this type of setting and if they are still interested once you have gone back home, I am certain they are a keeper. If he or she is the person feeding you beer and carrying you to the porter loo, marry them the minute you reach civilisation – Except if they are in the band, they are probably music teachers.

10. A sports game

If you meet someone at a stadium and you are still interested in them when you leave, they should marry you immediately. Lets face it, there is something about a sports game that gets a supporter overly passionate – The obscenities become more obscene, the aggression more aggressive and the voice box suddenly manages to reach levels of screaming you may not even hear in the bedroom. Stay away from the guys with the combs in their socks, that is never cool and you will probably have to go home and milk a cow. Avoid the guys standing in the queues for beer all the while the game is progressing, only to get back to their seats and the plastic cups have been emptied – You never want to be just a ‘designated dickhead’. I am completely PRO meeting a potential husband or wife at a sports game if you are into sport, remember that when you take the supporter home he or she will continue to support from their couch (Couch referee?) and it is advisable to have SS1 to SS3 at home. Try to avoid planning your wedding on the day of a Super 15 semi final and you should not have any problems… Wish I had read this before I got married.

So by the time I had finished writing this, I have already thought of five more potential meeting places and so a definite follow up piece will be written but in the meantime, I would love to hear how and where you met your partners if you are not single and if you are, have you had any success at the places listed above or do you have any ideas for me to add to the follow up? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

Happy hunting


Eating in silence.

Sitting at a restaurant for dinner last night, it was hard not to notice the apparent over usage of mobile devices in a social environment. I have always advocated social media and the use of technology, I am in fact an addict and find it very difficult to sit and do nothing when there is a Facebook news feed to be read. That said, I know where to draw the line and one of those lines is drawn at dinner where I choose to have actual human contact and engage in conversation – Surely that is common sense? Alas, it is less common to interact with your dinner partner and more acceptable to eat with your fork in one hand and your other hand scrolling through your Twitter updates.


Out with the girls, we had our phones out, obviously. We spent some time playing with the camera’s and taking selfies, air brushing our skin after a long day at work and accidentally taking pictures of the diners at the next table which prompted some friendly conversation and quite a few laughs. It was easy to see that we were the most social table in the section, surrounded by human beings devoid of any human interaction or emotion. The saddest part of it all – a young couple behind us having dinner that I spent much time ogling (In a non stalker way – I hope). They sat down shortly after we did, each with their phones on the table, one hand scrolling and the other hand being used for refreshment. The couple did not share one word, not one look, not a nod or a grin for the entire time they sat there. It was obvious they were scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram accounts from the time they sat down, pausing to order from the waiter and not so much as looking up when the food arrived. They continued to peruse their mobile devices as they ate and after they were done, all the attention was once again devoted to their social media.

Excuse me, but when did it become acceptable to leave the house with someone but not say two words to them because whatever is happening on your phone is far more important (For over two hours!). I ask you, with tears in my eyes, what is the actual point in leaving the house? You are probably better off ordering take away dinner, staying in doors and giving each other the silent treatment in the comfort of your own home – Without all of the restaurants patrons judging you?

I have said this many times before – I love social media. I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I do update my Facebook status at least once a day, I have occasionally tweeted about bad service I have received, I have Instagrammed a pic or two of dinner, I have a Pinterest board for my cats and like to update LinkedIn on more business related topics. I do it all and I am proud of it – I am just as proud, if not more so, of the fact that I understand when enough is enough. I know that when what is happening on my phone is more interesting or important than what is happening in my life, a change needs to be made. Life was not made to live through a device – By all means, share what you do with those you love but as my good friend mentioned in his recent blog:

In my opinion you should be posting about experiences with friends, not experiencing posts with “friends”! – Chris Huntingford

(Click here to read Chris Huntingford’s full blog on Social Media)

This brings me to another sore but pertinent point, social networking and gaming – the destroyer of relationships.

When Candy Crush came out, we all downloaded it. We played it until we were ill. We sent numerous requests on Facebook for extra lives and bonus sweets to see how far we could get. Candy Crush morphed into Pet rescue, despite how much we all moaned and groaned about Farmville. Then, if you’re like me, you went and blocked every game app on Facebook to stop receiving requests and invites and made sure that all the games had been deleted from your devices… The phase was over. I realized that I was spending far too much time ‘playing’ these online games that it was actually taking away from my day to day human interaction. Hours would pass in the quest to build my Ice Age Village (Which I was mighty proud of after many hours of hard work) and it was only a matter of time before my dragons were levelling up in Dragon City – Then I sat back and realized how absolutely absurd that all sounds when I have far more important things to do like spend time with my family, converse with my husband or get my chunky ass to gym (Like I am always complaining about).

In a world where we already battle to separate home from work, where we constantly struggle with living to work versus working to live, how did we think that we were so evolved and mature to incorporate yet another split to struggle with – Quality time versus Game time. Well, that is exactly my point. Unless your life is perfect and you can balance every aspect without fail, stress or anxiety… unless your family gets enough quality time and you give your all in everything you do (lacking nothing), the last thing you should be doing is spending hours each night on your phone levelling up. When are you giving life a chance to happen?

I have had to ban the use of mobile devices for game purposes in my home from Monday to Friday. Though my husband will not admit it, he is addicted to social gaming (The latest being Hearthstone or something like it). When did I realize he had a problem? When he got up and walked to the kitchen to make me some hot chocolate and took his laptop with him – he continued playing while the kettle boiled, while he poured the mug and after bringing it to me he quickly raced back to the kitchen to see what was happening. The tell should have been the fact that he upgraded from his cell phone to his laptop… that’s commitment.  While annoyed with me for the ban, he will eventually see the point when we are interacting as a family more and worrying about the games less. When instead of coming home to him couch bound in front of his laptop gaming, perhaps a conversation will take place instead.  He wont get snippy retorts over the work or personal work he cannot get to at the expense of his gaming habit and he will value the weekend game time he has more so than the brief interludes he was getting midweek – The love affair with online gaming. The social mistress.

I have only one request… consideration. Be considerate of those around you when you are staring at your phone or device. Be considerate of your family when it is interaction time and you’re fiddling on your phone. Have some consideration for yourself and the valuable things you could be missing out on – Life is short. Too short. Don’t be remembered for the amount of time you spent online, be remembered for the amount of time you didn’t…

It is all about balance, balance takes practice and practice makes perfect. Don’t be upset with those of us implementing bans, we only want more of your time.

(PS. Thank you to my husband for inspiring a portion of this blog)

(PPS. Here is hoping that somehow, that couple at the restaurant gets to read it).



A poem for my friends…
Their loss so great, their presence not forgotten.

(Permission granted to post)


Mother of dragons you aren’t
Beauty and wonder far more you own
Sometimes you shan’t ever understand
Why you feel so incredibly alone

Such a gift you were given
As swiftly taken away
To walk among the living
Was for them a few weeks of play

Destined for greatness elsewhere
You were the perfect host
How cruel and unfair
You out of all will miss them most

The truth to their existence
We shall never understand
More important lifetimes they face
In spirit, always hold their hands

The pain now
Far too much to bear
In time it will hurt a little less
For a lifetime you will care

The twins of your womb
Enjoyed their brief yet loved stay
You were specifically chosen
To face this devastating day

Only you are as strong
For with this sadness to deal
No other mother on the planet
Could make their lives more real

They know how much you loved them
They know how much you cared
I’m certain that they’re sad for leaving
But know that you’re prepared

Their absence swallows many
Their presence always missed
We love the twins intensely
A soul your soul has kissed

I hold your hand, head and heart
Through this trying time
My friend I’m so sorry
My favorite, mine.



Don’t you… Forget about me.

As I walk on by, hear them call my name.
As I walk on by, would you remember my name?

La, la la la la, la la la la…

As an onlooker at one’s own funeral, butterflies in the stomach flutter at the reading of my own eulogy. What will they say? How will I be remembered?

I watch my children take the podium to read the ode’s they’ve written. Girls after my own heart with a penchant for the spoken and written word, I know I did something right. I know that the hours and days of reading and writing encouragement when they were young children has paid off. It cannot be said that I wasn’t a doting mother, filled with love for my children no matter how furious they made me. Would they remember this now over the memory of my lifeless shell in the wooden box beside them? Their own children looking back at them from the audience, my beautiful grandchildren, watching their mothers with pride and love. They married well, not without ups and downs yet they’re better women for it, now that they are both settled and well cared for by their doting partners, I was ready to make my move onward. I cannot help but stare at these glorious women that I brought into thus world, so amazing and yet so different in every way. They are so close, I hope that I’ve done enough that they’d always have each other until the end of their days, that angry words are said and forgotten and they hold hands forever more as they do now. I’m so proud, they are my greatest achievement, what aches the most to leave behind, my beautiful daughters.

It’s impossible to ignore the forlorn bald man to their right, seated behind them, shoulders slumped and head in hands. My best friend, what did I do to you? We never planned for this, my sudden departure from a lifetime we’ve shared. How I will miss his beautiful face in the morning, the way he looked at me and the intensity of his embrace. How will he carry on? Why did I do this to him? Tears well as only that morning I watched him break down before the mirror, contemplating his own future and unsure of where to from here. Our marriage was our most important asset and now I leave him without his friend, his lover, his confidante and his children’s mother. I leave him in the arms of my daughters where I know he will be safe until he is ready to pick up and move on with his life. I would love for him to meet someone who will take care of him as I did, though I know nothing will compare. We were power husband and wife, looked up to by all and admired by many. I’m uncertain of how I will manage without him, I cannot bear to see his pain any longer. We endured so much, we overcame each and every time. How do we overcome this?

So many people came to listen to my lifetime today… Friends, such beautiful friends. Close friends who each have a turn to stand and say a funny story, a motivational moment, an amazing memory. I will miss each and every person sitting there and I have no doubt they will miss me. They’re here to remember me as the supportive friend I was, ever the relationship counsellor. They think now to whose broad shoulders will be strong enough to take the place of mine. They will all be excited by the party I left arranged for them after the memorial, I stocked the bar that they can honor and celebrate my life instead of mourning my death and I look forward to watching that celebration from the sidelines, a first for me. Family, parents and siblings, all here to see me off… Though different, I was always accepted, the best sister or daughter I could be, flaws and all.

Years worth of colleagues join in the back rows, here to listen to my friends and family speak of the person I was in my personal life. I see so many who supported me through good and through bad times in my career, who watched me grow and flourish and who always had my back. There were naysayers who said I couldn’t do it and yet today, the business I opened flourishes and provides for my families and their families, the books I wrote will continue to feed their children’s children and my clothing line is everlasting, me embodied in fabric.

Thinking back on all of this, I missed all but the last line of the eulogy my daughters stand here to read, but that’s ok because I know what they will say. I know that they are proud of who I was and the legacy I left behind, I only wish I didn’t have to leave them along with it.

What was the last line you ask? A song from an all time favorite movie…

As Simple Minds once said, don’t you forget about me.

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me
by Krista on February 16, 2014
Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEGACY.


Thank you St. Valentine



Once upon a time, the Romans didn’t like ANYBODY, but most of all they didn’t like the Christians. Enter, Saint Valentine whom today we celebrate and commemorate for his romantic and defiant heroics. Though all legend and not much verified, we can believe in the love stories that St. Valentine helped write. He refused to denounce his Christian faith and instead, further aggravated the Romans by marrying couples (soldiers) in the name of God who were not supposed to wed as well as preaching to the masses. He denied all Pagan Gods, was true to his own faith but most of all believed in love.

Whether Saint Valentine was one Saint or many Saints throughout time, these legendary heroes (or hero) are (is) who we have to thank for the chocolates, roses and stuffed animals we receive today (or who we should’ve hung if you’re a singleton frustrated with the celebrations). If you’re a naysayer, don’t worry, the Romans got rid of him for you and on February 14 he was executed, giving us Valentine’s Day. Though not a pagan, St. Valentine understood the energies of stones and wore an amethyst that today is said to attract love, if you are single and looking, get that amethyst out!

While I choose to celebrate Valentine’s a Day with my husband, I do believe that romance and love should not be reserved for one day a year. We should take the time to make sure that everyone around us, partner, children, family and friends, know just how much we love and value them… Plus, chocolates and flowers are cheaper ‘out of season’.

Happy Valentine’s Day
To my husband, I am in love with you. Today and everyday.
To my children, I love you. You are my heart beating outside my chest in two places.
To my family. I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my life.
To my friends. I love each of you. Thank you for being the family not bound by blood.

I hope that each and every one of you has a day filled with love. Love others but most importantly love yourself.
Thanks St. Valentine❤




First guest blogger, 8 year old Hayley.

I wanted to do a feature on my blog for guest bloggers and thought the best blogger I could use would be Hayley. I have been unwell and definitely not in my right mind to write a blog this last day or two (or a few days ahead while I recover) but had a little 8 year old in my house who was dying to get on my blog…

So here it is, in her own writing with her own spelling, Hayley Grace (8 years old, Grade 3).