Thursday, 31 July 2014

Being a South African expat

Most of us hold our little green books as close to our hearts as our little red books (UK passport)... And love SA, with all her frustration and magnificence and kindness and rawness and hurt .. With a fierceness that many expats from other countries cannot understand. Being South African runs deep for most - whether still resident in SA or not. And that's good.. As there's no better ambassador for South Africa!

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Being a Saffa expat

I am a very positive person - well aware there's good and bad in both my birth country and where I live now (my grandparents come from here anyway)... But in my dealings with expats from all over the world there are things that only seem to befall South African expats... And even though I couldn't care less what people think re my personal decision to now stay in England.. There are many that get a LOT of flack from Saffas in SA still.. Even after many years of living abroad...

- We're unpatriotic - which is nonsense... The Saffas I know keep the Saffa culture of foods etc alive wherever they live.. But also make an effort to integrate into their country, which is the right thing to do n a host country

- It's assumed everyone leaves because of political reasons - not so! This is far from the truth. Yes some leave due to crime but many leave for better job prospects, keen to travel the world (hard to do on the Rand!), have business interests internationally, family abroad, medical reasons - NHS is a godsend for many etc.

- holding dual passports is frowned upon by many in SA - The mindset is often (sadly!) well if you get a host country passport (which costs ALOT of money over the years by the way) then you have chosen your 'side'.... And you should give up your Saffa passport - no way!

None of my New Zealand, Australian, Danish, American, French, German etc friends and clients feel the need to justify why they moved abroad as they're not given the stick that Saffa expats are given.

I'm sure we have all lost 'friends' along the way who feel it necessary to impose their opinions on why THEY think we left and where we should actually be living... A good friend doesn't do this.

So.. Even though I don't feel I need to justify why we live abroad.. I can see why others do as they're quizzed re their decision often and undergo a lot of flack from other Saffas for leaving.

By the way.. The type of expat who pulls SA down to try and justify why they're living abroad - they're few and far between... I've met two in 12 years. And I never bothered pursuing a friendship with them as that kind of thinking annoys me. Highly!!!!!

But in general... Saffas abroad have to put up with a lot of flack that expats of other countries do not.

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Monday, 9 June 2014

Time for some watermelon and grapes mmm - thanks guys!

The lads playing - gorgeous day

After lunch in Pyrford we had dessert at Lelani's :)

Love these puppies!!!

Holly and her 3 ill pups- adorable!

Hiolly, Jade, Milo and Mimi :)

Someone's enjoying Lance's laces! :)

Puppies at a friends house. What is this ill puppy doing?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Lovely Richmond Park x

The lad enjoyed his The Cure concert at the Royal Albert Hall - love that hall!

Being an entrepreneur

As a business owner I have to say that intention and (ongoing) motivation is crucial to the success of a business. Most fail within their first year. Others within three years. There's a reason why banks give a mortgage after only three years bank statements.

 It's incredibly hard having your own business. And incredibly rewarding. Yes you're the boss.. but that means you're the leader. Even when you have managers. Management and leadership are two different things. 

As my business has grown in the last seven years it's been fundamental that I have staff who follow my (our) dream, ethos, way of doing things.. The vision has to be the same. And that's the tricky bit. No one will ever be as passionate about your business than YOU (no matter their salary). 

And if you're looking for a quick buck.. Don't bother. Investing in your business and yourself and your staff is a long term commitment. Financial remuneration is rarely quick. 

So you need to steer the ship well. And never let go, even momentarily. It's exciting, invigorating, frustrating, stressful... And I'd never want anything else. 

Onwards and upwards to all entrepreneurs who have been bold enough to take a dream and make it their reality! 

Thursday, 20 March 2014


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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Gorgeous Hammersmith Bridge

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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

We love you Madiba x

Nelson Mandela changed the heartbeat of the country I grew up in. He had humility and compassion, coupled with great fortitude, a rare mix for a leader. Especially a political one. He brought together a land fraught with mistrust, hurt and fear. Through forgiveness, through sport (!), through keeping his word, through a genuine love for the people of South Africa... No matter their colour or status. He loved all people. He especially loved children. He made a difference, and we will always love him and be grateful for the healing he brought to our rainbow nation. 

We love you Madiba x