i miss london a LOT! but I’m not always sure what i am really missing. having spent the ‘best years of my life’ (well i don’t actually believe in ‘best years’…. all years are fabulous but as it was my twenties – they certainly were great times!) in london i have really amazing memories of the place. having said that though there is no doubt that london for me was nearing the end….. for various reasons….. mostly financial. we’d just made the leap from ‘singledom’ to ‘parenting’ and having done the rounds of nursery schools, creches, schools, nannies etc…. we realised that our dreams of having a big family were slowly deteriorating! if we were to stay in london our options were very simple:

a) move out of central london to find more affordable housing & schooling

b) have 2 children if we were lucky

c) work our asses off for the rest of our lives

none of which tickled our fancy very much. so, just as we were stressing over the dilemma of future prospects for our little family the universe dealt us a card with a job offer for my husband in cape town. at first we actually turned the job down. the fear of the crime & violence that has plagued south africa was just too much of a harsh reality. but the more we spoke about it to other people the more we started to be convinced that maybe we should give it a try. admittedly my husband was more convinced than me.

the common consensus seemed to be that cape town was far safer than johannesburg. we spoke to all the friends we had in south africa to get all their feedback & well the same thought seemed to resonate. cape town was the place to be of one were to live in south africa. we also had foreign friends that had settled there and loved it. so after a  lot of ummming & ahhhing & PLENTY of tears we decided to take the bull by the horns and make the leap….. with my husband continuously promising me that should i not be happy we would leave immediately.

i would be lying if I didn’t say i almost took my husband up on that promise a few times. i knew that the change would be hard but I didn’t quite appreciate just how hard it WAS going to be! even though I was fortunate to have a great group of friends already  in situ in cape town i still felt SO alone & isolated. i missed / miss my london friends immensely. i locked myself away & slowly sank into a dark hole. it hadn’t even been a month and I was ready to pack my bags and head to the airport. my husband took me on a ‘date’ night to try and cheer me up…. well I sobbed from the time we sat down at the table until they brought our food when we actually left having not even sampled the delicacies on offer. i don’t think there was one person in the restaurant who wasn’t wondering if someone had died or something – that’s what a tragic state of affairs i was!

being someone who is usually always upbeat & positive i found it even harder to deal with what was happening. i was always able to cheer myself up. so finding myself sinking so quickly completely caught me off guard. i’d like to say i stopped eating – at least that would have been one good thing that came out of it! but I didn’t – in fact the total opposite! as everyone was working and i just had to get out of the house i would head off to some of other coffee shop / bakery and drown my sorrows in cappuccino’s & cake which, by the end of it, actually sent me off into more of a depression. spiraling out of control comes to mind.

thank heavens my other half knew exactly what to do. firstly he assured me that if i really wanted to leave that is exactly what we would do. then he rallied around the troops and got them all to make an extra special effort in cheering me up. dinners & health spa visits ensued, late nights of chatting & just hearing how each one of them had gone through the motions when they had moved. my one friend very kindly told me that apparently it takes 2 years (!!!!!) for the depression to completely lift!!!! aaaarrrggghhhh well i might definitely have thrown myself off a building by then!! Look it was a guy friend & well let’s face it…. most guys just don’t have a clue when it comes to saying the ‘right’ things at the ‘right’ moment!!!!  of course there are exceptions!

i received wonderful emails & telephone calls from my friends in london urging me to keep focused and give the place a chance – well until they all had the chance to holiday here that is! no, seriously they have all just been wonderful and i wish more than anything they would all come and visit….SOON!

so, slowly but surely, a light started to appear at the end of the tunnel. the common thread of advice being that i should stop trying to find London in cape town, but start experiencing cape town for the magnificent city it is. no, it’s not my beloved london & it doesn’t come close to it on many levels yet it has so many amazing different things to offer…. the sea, the beautiful beaches, the continuous sun, the mountains, the bush, the smiley faces, the amazing restaurants, a cheap nanny / housekeeper / gardener…. yip, there are a lot of great things…. i just need to try and realise that!

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