Saturday, December 22, 2007

Caross News 2007

Just as the seasons change so the years go by. This year certainly has flown by. I cannot believe we are already in December. I am way behind in my Xmas shopping. Our Xmas tree is packed under masses of boxes! I seem to spend my life trying to pack my worldly possessions in as few boxes as possible. Hopefully this will be the last move for at least a year.

Ross and I have just bought a house in Orpington, Kent. Oh sigh say all the Londoners – Not suburbia!!!!!!! Most Londoners who live within the immediate surrounding protect their urban existence and greatly fear the move to the suburbs. Suburbia stands for small gardens, houses, cars, babies and families. Ooooooh awful!!!!! For Ross and myself this move was one of survival. There are more trees, open spaces and people are more friendly. I miss the views of London from Greenwich and of course the beautiful park, the local pubs but I certainly don’t miss the crowds. We have a lovely modern 3 bedroom house with a small garden. The house has kept us busy. We got stuck into re-painting and carpeting. We have ordered some furniture but at the moment are living a very frugal existence. Needless to say most things are still in boxes. I am looking forward to unpacking goodies that were last packed several years ago.

One of the absolute treats of living in Greenwich was our local foxes. We had a family that lived in our garden. We journeyed the year with them through highs and lows. Our family had pups, one got mange, family squabbles ensued as little ones started learning about territoriality. We spent hours watching them and photographing them and now I find myself wondering how they are getting along. I made the mistake of leaving my gloves outside. Once I found them I was delighted and put them in my bag. Later I realised they really smelt bad and was a bit confused. After much deliberation I realised they had been christened by our local foxes. I chuckled, popped them in the washing machine and now look at them with new respect.

This year in part seems to have been one of survival. Both Ross and I have worked hard and spent most of our time looking for and sorting out our home. We managed to escape to Wales to see puffins. What a fantastic experience! Puffin mania hit us!!!! We were captivated by these little feathery visitors and snapped away recording their every move on our cameras. Thank goodness for modern technology – we took hundreds of digital photos! A few of these are on our website.

Speaking of our website – apologies for not having kept it updated. Household admin seems to have overcome us and we have not been good at keeping in touch with the outside world.

Earlier in the year we headed back to SA to catch up with friends and family. It was wonderful to see everyone and catch up with their news. We were spoilt with a few glorious days in the berg. The weather was very good to us and we explored river valleys and slept in caves. This trip is firmly locked my memory and will be treasured.

This year we were blessed with visits from Ken, Peta and Jenny. It is fun to see family and explore areas around our home. I have not spent that much time with my mom for many years. I look forward to the next time they all come to visit. We now have enough space for visitors and welcome anyone wishing to come and stay.

One of the challenges for the year was for Ross to learn to ski. I went to Switzerland for work so we added on a few extra days and hired some ski’s. The snow had started to melt and conditions were rather awful for beginners. Needless to say we struggled but I am happy to report we succeeded. We managed to ski down a fairly large slope with our instructor hot on our heels shouting “snow plough” “snow plough”!!! That night we collapsed in bed – exhausted!

Switzerland is really lovely and I would love to go back. I got quite suntanned in the sun and enjoyed drinking beer watching people rip down the slopes and end with waves. The ski slope bars are just like bars on tropical islands. They ooze tans and attitude. They even have fake palm trees but they certainly are very entertaining.

Rugby– do I need to mention that word again. All I can say is we are still South Africans through and through and truly celebrated our world cup victory. Viva the springboks!

One of the goals for the year was to run a marathon. I have not run for months so this was quite challenge to get going. I had to deal with low levels of fitness, rain and additional kilos gained by breathing in London air. We targeted the Jersey marathon in October. Both us had a hard run but enjoyed it. We ran good times and I really enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow runners and the huge support from locals on route. My performance was aided by the SA chef at the hotel who made me porridge for the run. Look out world – SA are taking over. Jersey is a very pretty island. The race was well organised and the route was very scenic. Altogether a winner!

London certainly comes with highs and lows. Life is fast and packed with people. Ipods, trains, coffee shops and mobile phones dominate our life. I love the Xmas lights, theatre and bakewell tarts. I wonder what the attraction of ketties crisps are and why supermarket trolleys never ride in a straight line! I laugh at the adverts to buy a goat for impoverished Africans. I wonder how much food is truly organic and find myself pondering the fate of the labour party. Thank goodness I am not addicted to Eastenders!

Well the winter may be here, the days may be short and blustery but the lights are bright and the pubs are warm. Xmas is a fun time, a time to reflect and get in touch with friends and family. Thank you everyone who has supported us and continued with us on our adventures!

We look forward to seeing you and hearing your news.

1 Comments:

Blogger Johan said...

How are you guys doing? Seem to be nearly 3 years since you last posted on this blog.
Do you have another website where you post details?

5:14 AM  

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