We arrived back in Johannesburg on the 16th January – after 2 blissful months road-tripping around the United States. I will write about the high’s and low’s of that trip at a later stage… (because I still have 2 more posts to share about our final 2 weeks in the States which included an Amish county experience).
(I just haven’t got the photos off Nick’s hard-drive yet)… and I’m also in a bit of a procrastinating mood when it comes to blogging.
So… here we are, back in Joburg.
We’ve spent the past week and a bit holed up with our friends, Rogan and Tracey and their kids, Matt and Erin. The Kelsey’s have a lovely home and a large guest suite at the end of the house (where we can make noise… and do our thing… and not disturb anyone else).
They also have a lovely garden and a sparkling pool – and that’s where the kids have kinda lived ever since we got back… in the pool!
We walked straight from the freezing “Polar Vortex” in the States… into a full-blown heatwave in South Africa. It took a few days of adjustment and getting used to… but now the snow coats, scarves and gloves have been packed away and we’re living in shorts, vests and slip-slops again.
This is what the past almost-2-weeks have consisted of:
- Swimming, swimming and more swimming (the kids have vastly improved their swimming skills after all this time in the pool. They both dive now… and Joah has started learning the freestyle stroke).
- Lots of quality time with friends and family (for all of us). We’ve been invited to dinners and braais and we’ve had a lovely time just chatting and catching up with everyone.
- The kids have mostly been playing, chasing, swimming and gaming with their cousins and friends (with occasional bouts of quieter activities – like drawing and reading – slotted in-between all of the play).
- Nick and I attended the premiere of Faan se Trein (the film that Nick edited – and the reason why we were in the Karoo for 6 weeks last year. It’s open at South African cinemas right now – so, if you’re in the country – please watch! It’s enjoying some fabulous reviews and has done very well at the box office too!
- Nick has been attending numerous work meetings (he starts work on a new film project next Tuesday).
As for me, I’ve mostly been organising – and preparing our family (and myself) for the next part of our journey.
As many of you already know, our home has been rented out – indefinitely – to the geeks at Dee-Twenty. I am very, very happy with this arrangement.
When we walked into our house… after 2 months of being away… I waited to see if there was some sense of nostalgia…
After all, we had lived in that house since January 2005! It was our first home as a family. Both kids were raised there. We’ve had many special times… and created many special memories in that house. It was our home for many years.
But it’s not our home any more.
Walking in to that house (just to say hi to the geeks)… was – to me – a confirmation that we have moved on. I felt no nostalgia. Nothing. The geeks had moved the furniture and had created a whole new environment for their gaming community. Nothing in me said: “Awww… they changed it, what a pity!”… because I really don’t mind what they do with the place. It’s not our home anymore. It’s their venue now. I’m just happy that they pay the rent on time.
Attached to the big house is our little cottage. For years, the cottage was Nick’s studio and editing suite. It has a lounge & dining area, a kitchen (with a small, enclosed courtyard), bathroom and one small bedroom with double-doors leading out on to our backyard.
Currently – that little cottage houses all that’s left of our stuff. The lounge area is still Nick’s studio and editing suite and screening room (and needs to be kept relatively neat and organised since he has clients visiting)… but the bedroom and the courtyard hold everything else (including our queen bed, bunk-beds for the kids… and all of our clothes, shoes, toys, art supplies, books, filing, computer-stuff and what-not).
Anyway – I have made it my mission to whittle down and purge even more of our stuff (Nick has to live in that cottage for the next 3 months – and I don’t want him to be crushed by an avalanche of boxes and bags!).
You may ask: “Why is Nick living in the cottage? What about you and the kids?”
Nick has a new film project starting next week. This film will be shot in Joburg… so Nick needs to be here in Joburg for at least part of the time. He will work from… and live in… our cottage during this time.
Filming is always a hectic time for Nick and he will really need to focus on his work. There is no possible way that he will be able to be productive in that tiny space (with the kids and I living and working in there too).
Obviously, we could have rented out a separate, furnished place in Joburg for 3 months. But we still won’t be spending any quality time with Nick (especially on week days when he works long hours).
So – we made a decision.
The kids and I will move to Cape Town for those 3 months (maybe 4) while Nick works on the new movie. We have found a beautiful 2 bedroomed apartment… right on the beach… in Noordhoek.
This means, that during the week… I am not restricted by the limitations of Joburg. There are far more things to do in Cape Town (with kids) than in Joburg. Apart from the usual kid’s play areas… there are many museums to be explored, markets, galleries, aquariums… not to mention hikes, wine farms, picnics, docks and harbours and – of course – the beach itself.
Nick will commute to us on weekends (he will fly in on Friday and leave on Monday morning). Best part – is that when Nick is with us – he’s with us… we can really enjoy family time and go on little adventures and really enjoy our weekends together.
This is our life now. It’s flexible.
Some jobs (like the Karoo shoot) require Nick to be in beautiful, interesting places. In the Karoo, we had the privilege of living in this gorgeous cottage – and Nick would come home from a busy day on set, and we’d cook supper together… and light a fire… or do some stargazing… or hike up the mountain to explore…
It was the perfect work / travel situation.
But — of course — there will be other times, when Nick’s shoots require him to be in places where there isn’t much for families with two learning, growing children to do… see… and explore…
In which case, we make a plan.
Or – we move to Cape Town! 🙂
So that’s where we’re going. We should be in Cape Town by Friday. Nick will drive down with us and settle us in… then he’ll fly back to Joburg on Tuesday morning.
So… right now, I’m packing again. Different things, this time. No more winter woolies and snow boots. Now there’s buckets for the beach… loads of books and reading material… schoolwork stuff… computers… cameras… lego… LOTS of art material… toys… Morgan’s craft and baking supplies… sun hats… sun-block… beach towels… and, of course, enough clothes for 3 or 4 months.
I’m dreading the 13 hour drive in our cramped, tiny car… but really looking forward to our Cape Town chapter! 🙂
So – there you go!
A little update for those who were interested.
Now, I’m taking the kids for a haircut… and then we’re going to visit my mom. 🙂