Warning – Boring “Moan Blog” follows:          It’s been a while (under statement!) since I’ve thought about updating my blog….lots of water under the bridge and a number of significant changes in my life; significant enough to divert my mind off on other tangents, rather than to sit and contemplate each change as it has come along.

Suffice to say, in order to get my head around all that has passed, I feel the need to get it down in print to clear my head, in an endeavour to move forward to appreciate the new direction life is taking me.

This time last year, I was struggling between days of “normality”and days of almost immobility, being hindered by knees suffering from the strain from years of running. A warning from the doctor and various visits to surgeons and physiotherapists pointed to my running days being over but my cycling days having just begun.

Of course, not having “working knees” meant my photo shooting days were altered and certain perspectives had to be adjusted to accommodate a rather stiffening posture.  Time moved along – movement and strength were restored and then life threw up another challenge … to sell the house to progress along the road of a planned retirement route.

The sale was, in itself, fraught with frustrations, caused most especially by a weak market and an added disadvantage of being in a foreign country with a language barrier – the road ahead was destined to be a rocky one.   Having weathered a few unconventional and rather unsavoury situations, we changed agent, and progressed to a sale very much in favour of the buyers, rather than the sellers!!

Goodbye to one trauma – roll on the next!  Our move was not “next door”, rather to the “next country”, so came time to argue quotations and rates with international movers and packers.  Another complication emerged – the shipment wouldn’t be “door to door”, rather “door to store” which, for some reason, just couldn’t be fathomed by some factions of the removal companies.  Endless emails and phone calls ensued – and are still currently being exchanged – a continuing process until a permanent address in the new country is found.

An apartment in another area of the current city had to be located and settled. There followed the task of removing items from the main household goods, to carry us through the following months, seasons and travels.  Papers had to be sorted through to locate security, financial and immigration documentation; clothing had to be sorted for (a) the current stay, (b) the following travel and finally, (c) for use in the country of destination, since all remaining household goods would be in store until a new “home” could be found.

Some months passed and then it was time to say goodbye to the family home of 12 years. I thought saying farewell to the previous family home of 15 years (in another country) was difficult, and having weathered that, I felt sure that experience would put me in good stead for this one, but each “home”has its own stories and the changes certainly don’t get any easier.

There was a transitional period between moving out of home and leaving the country, largely due to customs and immigration clearance, and departure taxes needing to be sorted – an incredibly weighty and onerous task fortunately undertaken by my wonderful husband, whilst completing his last months in situ for his work.  Add to that the task of finding somewhere to “live” for the ensuing months until all documentation was completed – and it was becoming clear, this lifestyle was requiring a strong character; both physically and mentally.

The apartment threw up another reality check and lifestyle differential…a strong imagination could not completely prepare us for the physical and mental challenges we were to encounter. For instance, to complete the weekly wash, a roster with the remainder of the tenants in the block had to be adhered to and a time slot agreed through the block management; no air conditioning meant all windows and doors had to be left open to attempt a minimal amount of air movement; having the windows opened created a “free for all” for the flying insects living in the leafy sycamore trees just outside; not to mention all street noises during the hot summer nights; no cupboards or shelving for clothes; no car park outside so a 2km walk each way from the designated workspace car park; no drying facility for damp clothes – and so the list goes on.  Not real hardships; just the first steps into lifestyle changes and adjusting to smaller living spaces after many years of having the freedom to move.

And so that just about tallies up to a year’s “inactivity”on the blog….

Currently we’re on the move through Africa, taking time out along the way to catch our breath, before the onslaught of more life changes starts again in our chosen country of residence, where we hope to be on the positive end of the buyer’s market in the real estate industry!

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