Well, hello, dear ones – good morning, good afternoon or good evening!*
Wherever you are, I hope you have a hot cuppa in hand (I have) with something to dip or a decent glass of wine. I’ve just re-read my November blog – wow, it’s like going back in time. I mean it literally is, but I’m amazed at how much has changed since that last blog post.
Quick catch up? Hubby and I spent many months in beautiful South Africa running on the beach and the cliffs, riding horses, spotting monkeys and hornbills on our terrace, spending quality time with my Mama, growing mostly chillies while working our butts off remotely on UK time. Not too shabby. It worked. I ended up being there for 6 months, Hubby for 4. What a blessing those 6 months of stability were. I was even able to be there for my Mama when she was ‘attacked’ by cows (we’ll leave that story, and other accidents, to another blog, shall we?).
Our fixer upper house purchase? Sellers continued to give us the run-around. They defaulted on our 7th Jan date, our 1st April date and then called off the sale shortly before defaulting on our mid August purchase deadline. We did get to know 2 of the sellers, so we have a bit of insight one side of their terrible story. Sadly they did the right thing in pulling the plug. We can’t even be angry with them. They are a family in turmoil, fighting over the proceeds, communicating only through solicitors and constantly wrapped up in anxiety.
Nevertheless, we were GUTTED! I actually cried. I’d made the rookie error of making plans, thinking up paint colours and dreaming. I still can’t imagine there might be another house out there that fits what we are looking for.
So, we are back to house hunting. I’ve literally now seen EVERY house in SW6 within our budget (with a. garden which is our MUST HAVE).
Meanwhile, we have secured a little flat to rent in that area (at ridiculous expense) and will finally unpack some of our stuff from our 125ft storage unit. This is good because we’ve been living a perpetual summer since we left for South Africa in November 2021 and we don’t have any winter clothes in the suitcases we’ve been living out of. I don’t even have closed shoes!
Onwards and upwards!
My studies? I am finished! It’s been an incredible ride doing a 1 year full time MSc. HECTIC in the truly South African sense. Some months I worked a 40-45 hour week. This final semester has been all about the dissertation and looking for a placement in a mental health setting. I’m SICK of my dissertation now – it’s written and triple checked and ready to be submitted on Monday 29th. I’m just hoping Hubby can have a brisk read through over the weekend as I can no longer see my own errors and repetitions.
My placement? I started in May working once a week in one of Her Majesty’s prisons as a facilitator on a restorative justice course for offenders. Also, on 3rd Oct I start a part-time role with The Forward Trust at the same prison working with alcohol and drug addiction. I’m over the moon about securing these placements and the work will fit well with the PG Cert in Counselling Psychology at City University which I start in October.
Needless to say, I’m exhausted. Hubby too. We both have not taken a holiday since we had a week off in January with my sister and Mama in Clanwilliam, Western Cape. So, we have a bit of a break in Portugal coming up in September. I can’t wait!
Just sending this out into the void – please leave me a comment if you’re still there.
P.s. The UK (at least the southern half) has been hotter and dryer than I’ve ever seen it. The allotment is more like dust than soil. This morning London had its first soaking rain since I’ve been back here #happydance.
P.p.s. If you’ve never heard about restorative justice that’s because it’s a radical way of looking at mending the harm done by crime, including helping the offender. I’m loving working with offenders. Read all about restorative justice here.
P.p.p.s. *“Well, hello, dear ones – good morning, good afternoon or good evening!” plus the reference to a cuppa or wine is how one of my lecturers (also my dissertation supervisor) began all his lectures.
P.p.p.p.s.The rental market in London is crazy. There are apparently 10 offers for every property. We had to out-bid 7 other offers which were already over the asking. We also had to write a bio (translate: sob story)
P.p.p.p.p.s. Apart from living with my parents-in-law we also spent 3 weeks during the Great British heat wave (42 deg C) cat-sitting in Oxshott for 2 rather gorgeous British Blues – see above photo of Riley looking interested in my dissertation.
P.p.p.p.p.p.s. ‘Hectic’ in the South African sense means ‘busy-intense-wow-overwhelming-OTT’ and lots more.