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Archive for the ‘family and relationships’ Category

My daughter and I attended a 2 day Investment Trading Course in London this weekend.

It wasn’t, thank goodness, one of those rah rah happy clappy ‘guru’ type courses where they spend the weekend showing you snippets of how they made their millions and all the consumeristic tat they’ve bought with said millions, and then at the end of it all they tell you that in order to learn more, you need to buy their next course….a bit like the courses I attended ; Tony Robbins, Roger Hamilton, Christopher Howard and their ilk. All very deceitful. I won’t go into the details here, except to say that they always have a caveat that let’s them off the hook.

Or like the Jill Fielding course we did…provided just enough of the strategy and steps required to get you excited, then ended off with…if you want to learn more, sign up for my next course. They also don’t tell you beforehand that you need a lump sum to get started. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have signed up for a very expensive course. It irks me a great deal that these ‘professionals’ never give you the full picture, but get you excited about the possibility, then sign you up, and you only find out the reality once you’ve signed up.

No, this was a down-to-earth practical course showing you the actual steps and strategies used in her investing portfolio.

Our heads were not filled with ‘oh look how wonderful I am with my millions’, but rather we were shown a realistic presentation of this is what I’ve done over the last 10/15 years to gain financial freedom. There are no millions involved, no fancy lifestyle of big cars, mansions, motorbikes bigger than a small car, jet-set trips blah blah blah.

No, what I really appreciated about this course is that it was kept simple and straightforward with practical ‘this is what you do’ steps to investing over the long term.

Yes, you do need a decent lump sum to get started in order to gain that financial goal over 10 or even 15 years, but you can equally start with £100. You’re not going to be a millionaire overnight or even in 10 years time (if that’s what you’re looking for then buy a lottery ticket).

It’s even better than that….it’s an easy way to get started on investing money following a system that over the long term uses a simple strategy and takes advantage of compound interest, along with two other strategies that she shows you.

My daughter and I learned so much this weekend, and not just about investing, but also about the mindset you need in order to be able to invest regularly and sensibly. There’s no high-risk fast-gain strategy. But there is a simple honest way to invest and gain financial independence.

We were talking about the strategies on the train afterwards, and as my daughter said, if they taught this in schools, they could eradicate poverty within a generation. We are taught all sorts of shit in school that we never need again and nothing at all about financial planning. Rather the expectation is to leave school and either get a low-paying job or go onto benefits, or nothing at all in some cases. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the majority of people do fall into the cycle of financial poverty. And while it’s good to have a job, people are mostly not taught how to budget and how to invest, and so they fall into a cycle of never-ending debt.

It doesn’t need a huge investment to get started and if kids are taught how to budget and how to invest a small amount every month, by the time they’re adults, they could have a decent nest-egg to get started in life.

After a yummy meal, but tired we got home, relaxing on the couch and chatting, we happened to start watching a programme on minimalism which opened up a whole new train of thought.

We are influenced on a minute by minute basis, especially since the advent of TV advertising, and now social media platform advertising, that we are only happy when we spend spend spend : fancy cars, big houses, the latest technology, flat screen 55 inch tvs, holidays here there and everywhere, the ‘latest’ fashion, jewellery and high-end watches with lots of friends milling about the swimming pool in our garden sipping cocktails or beer and smoking… The height of fashion. This the advertisers say, will make you happy.

But it doesn’t. Besides that, it comes at a massive cost; to your family, your health, the health of developing nations and to the planet. Think plastic. One of the things they mentioned in the programme was how in the past, you had 4 seasons of fashion, but now they have 52 weeks of changing fashions. Consumers are constantly bombarded with messages that unless you buy the ‘latest’ this that or the other, you’ll be out of fashion and unhappy and a failure for not keeping up with the Joneses. Think Apple. What they don’t tell you is the massive, negative impact of buying all this stuff is having on the planet. It’s cheap designed to break down quickly and forces you to buy another. Of course I realise the latest Apple phones are not cheap, but they don’t last and every year they persuade millions of people to buy the latest model. They get nauseatingly wealthy and you don’t.

And are you happy?

So, after much discussion we’re now looking at serious minimisation. I’ve been downsizing anyway coz I’m tired of all my possessions that don’t serve me or bring me joy, but instead weigh me down with having to store them and restrict my freedom. But now, I’m going to be brutal. That jacket I love but never wear….out. The dozens of cds I never have time to listen to….out.

I have boxes and boxes of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years that I never look at or need…. Out!!!

I’m going to become even more of what I’ve been for the last few years….every companies worst nightmare : a non-consumer. I experienced so much freedom on the Camino I walked last year with everything I needed in a backpack. It had a massive impact on my life.

Getting back to the Investing Course, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not one of those £5,0000.00 courses where the presenter promises you that you’ll be a millionaire in no time at all (it never happens), and it’s not a ‘fake it till you make it’ type of course (think of any big name in the Personal Development arena), but it is a simple, straightforward, no bullshit, this is what you can do to invest your money and using a simple strategy gain financial security for the long-term.

If like me, you’re already ‘over the hill and still travelling’ then unless you have a large lump sum to invest, you’re not going to be wealthy overnight, but you can secure a decent amount of money to provide a boost to your pension. It is a long-term strategy…..Minimum 10 years, but at the end of it, if you stick with the strategy you should see a decent financial gain.

If you’re still young, 40 and less, then you can, with due diligence and discipline, be able to secure a decent amount of money for a more secure lifestyle.

Let’s face it, unless you earn megabucks (which the vast majority only dream about but never attain) then your pension is going to be shit. Mine will be £65 per week. Rah rah.

So consider your future and think about investing and give yourself a better chance of a decent financial lifestyle.

For me, financial freedom would mean being able to buy my motor home and having sufficient funds to travel and not work. It would be about having just enough money to sustain me while I walk along all the routes I want to do, take decent photos and have the time to blog about my adventures.

I don’t need a big house, fancy car, latest fashion or any of the latest fads. I just want to walk and live a simple lifestyle.

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What a superb image. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RAF, and in just 24 days, thanks to my incredible, amazing daughter, I’ll be flying in one of these gorgeous machines celebrating my 63rd birthday 😊😊😊 (altho I’d appreciate it if you don’t tell anyone how ‘old’ I am 😁). Talking of which, I’ve decided to switch the numbers around and make it 36!! 🤣🤣🤣 Age is but a number after all 🤔

raf centenary, spitfires, royal air force, the daily express

image cut out from The Daily Express newspaper. I’ll have to keep this in my diary 🙂

So wow, Spitfires eh. Aren’t they just beautiful. My favourite flying machine ahead of the Red Arrows. I can’t wait now to fly over the White Cliffs of Dover, I’m going to be a tearful mess 🙄🙄 Hope the pilot can cope!! I’m reminded of the Battle of Britain Airshow last year at Headcorn. What a joy to watch these superb little craft flypast

spitfire p fx, battle of britain aitshow headcorn, raf 100th anniversary, fly a spitfire

The Supermarine Spitfire P FX seen at the Battle of Britain Airshow at Headcorn 08/07/2017

I remember seeing this advertised at the entrance and thinking how much I would love to have a flight….and now I will be…in just 24 days whoo hoo. Although the flight my daughter has paid for is well over 10 times more than the one advertised here, and I’ll be flying from Biggin Hill not Headcorn.

spitfire flights, battle of britain headcorn, biggin hill battle of britain

The Spitfire Flight Experience at Headcorn. Although I’ll be flying from Biggin Hill which is just awesome

I was a tad disappointed with the various news coverage and programmes celebrating the 100th anniversary, since none of them mentioned the esteemed South African Statesman Jan Smuts, who was after all responsible for the founding of the RAF. So I’m mentioning it here. Hats off to one of my heroes. You are remembered. If you’re interested to read more about the founding father of the RAF, here’s the link to the relevant article

https://samilhistory.com/2018/04/01/the-royal-air-forces-100th-birthday-and-its-founder-jan-smuts/

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The article I’ve shared here is a long read. It may be worth your time to read it through. I left Facebook earlier this year, (although I haven’t yet deleted my profile), because it was making me feel uncomfortable and I noticed that I was being manipulated by what I was seeing. My daughter sent me this article and having read it, I see now that my thoughts and feelings of unease were correct. I realise that some will of course say they already ‘knew’ all of this. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to read it or not, but in case you don’t, everyone on social media is being mass manipulated and Facebook is one of the worst perpetrators. : “They have created billions of individual channels, each of which can be pushed further into negativity and extremism without the risk of alienating other audience members. To the contrary: the platforms help people self-segregate into like-minded filter bubbles, reducing the risk of exposure to challenging ideas.” https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january-february-march-2018/how-to-fix-facebook-before-it-fixes-us/

I’ve kept my profile open simply so that I can pop in from time to time to contact friends whose phone numbers I don’t have, particularly those who live on different continents, and because I have never downloaded the Facebook messenger app since I didn’t and still don’t trust them or the app. I don’t see messages or tags anymore because I literally go onto my profile for a few minutes and off again. I won’t ever again be an active user.
I’ll still use instagram because I enjoy sharing my images and love seeing all the wonderful images of places around the world. It’s also useful to compile lists of where I want to go. WhatsApp has unfortunately become a necessity.. for now, but that will change in time. And Google is Google, a useful tool for research. Fortunately I’m not a very good consumer, so that’s their bad luck.

Anyway, I’d suggest you take the time to read this article, so that you can be aware of how we’re all being manipulated. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

https://www.wired.com/story/inside-facebook-mark-zuckerberg-2-years-of-hell/amp?__twitter_impression=true

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Quite a few months ago my future son-in-law decided to bake a cake. Now, under normal circumstances there’s nothing remarkable about that at all….except that he had never before baked a cake 🙂

The end result was – delicious, albeit somewhat lopsided and needed refinement. In that regard there has been no problem, over the last few months he has progressed in leaps and bounds and now whips up a cake in the blink of an eye…with his secret recipe fillings that are to die for. Delicious. I have no problem at all eating as much as possible when I’m home…if there’s any left LOL…his fiancé quite likes them too!!

After a conversation with my daughter about what he’d like to do with this new-found enthusiasm for baking going forward, I decided that a talent like this needs to be encouraged and nurtured, and so, as an early birthday present, I sent him for cake icing lessons.

After some research on the internet I found a lovely young lass by the name of Billie who has her business in Deal, which is just a short train ride or drive away from home, and so I booked him in for a 3 hour lesson.

The big day came and off they went, my daughter drove them there in Fiona and they made a day of it with her going along to view the proceedings and capture the moments. What fun.

The lesson progressed exceedingly well and the comment I had from Billie is that she thought he’s a natural, was very steady and patient and she couldn’t quite believe he’d never iced a cake before.

The final result…looks remarkably like a wedding cake and I wonder if there’s a future career in that direction 😉 I’m well impressed at the end result. I used to do cake-icing myself in my younger days, and iced and decorated a few wedding cakes as well as sold a great number of occasion cakes, so to see this talent in our little family is marvellous.

So, here’s my future son-in-law; Simon….a possible future Bake Off 2019 contestant!!

bake off contestant 2019, cake icing lessons

getting started

bake off contestant 2019, cake icing lessons

making excellent progress

bake off contestant 2019, cake icing lessons

a future Bake Off contestant in the making

I wonder if I should enrol him? LOL

If you’re wanting to know more about Billie’s cake icing lessons, here is her website

 

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I was chatting to my daughter yesterday and remarked that I had been particularly blessed this year. Usually when you get to the end of the year you kinda feel like there is more that could/should be done before the year ends (well I do), and the last few days of December are spent cramming in just a few more activities. But this year I can truly say that I have had a year jam-packed with adventures, and for that, I am truly grateful.

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

So to that end I decided to list my 2017 adventures, and was astounded at how much I had actually done, and how many places I have actually been to besides all my Camino 2017 practice walks that took me to some fantastic places. So this is my final blog for 31 Days of Gratitude – Day 31 – 2017 in review.

January

New Year’s Day swim 01.01.2017 Broadstairs Beach, Isle of Thanet, Kent

New Year's Day, Broadstairs

New Year’s Day, Broadstairs

Wedding Dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England

visit the isle of wight

A visit to the isle of Wight

Places I went while I was there; Nettlestone (1086 Domesday Book village),20170116_144130-01 Bembridge Windmilll, Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle, Cowes, Ryde, rode on a Hover craft, The Needles and Quarr Abbey.

And Osborne House


Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick Park, London

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

February
Oxted, Surrey – the Greenwich Meridian runs through the town

Oxted

A closer look at Oxted

Limpsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

Down House – home of Charles Darwin

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Tatsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

tatsfield surrey

South East England’s highest village; Tatsfield. Ref wikipedia: “In Anglo-Saxon England, Tatsfield lay within Tandridge hundred. In 1086 it was held by Anschitill (Ansketel) de Ros from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: ? hide. It had 2 ploughs. It rendered 60 shillings (£3) to its feudal overlords per year.”

Tandridge & Crowhurst, Surrey

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Dublin, Ireland

 

Trim Castle & Trim, Ireland

March
City of Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester

Winchester

Torquay, seaside resort – Devon

torquay

Torquay

April

Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Sienna, Lucca – Italy

 

May

Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones, N. Ireland

the dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges – scenes for Game of Thrones were shot in this area

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

 

June
Tonbridge, Kent, England

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lenham, Kent, England

Lenham

Lenham

July
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route – Southwark to Canterbury

Battle of Britain Airshow, Headcorn

St Augustine’s Way – Ramsgate to Canterbury

August
Arundel, and Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England

Bromham, Houghton House with my lovely friends Lynne & Tim and Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) – Bedfordshire, England

Bronham, Houghton House, Elstow

Bromham, Houghton House, Elstow

Zip Line with Zip World in London with my daughter

September
Walked the Caminho Portuguese – Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain 240 kms – Both UNESCO World Heritage sites

Coimbra, Portugal – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

October
Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

November
Caernarfon Castle, Wales – site where Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway Line Train ride; Caenarfon to Portmadogg through Snowdonia

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Porthmadogg, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Portmadogg, Wales

Climbed Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd – highest mountain in Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Montgomery, Powys, Wales – The Treaty of Montgomery was signed 29 September 1267 in Montgomeryshire. By this treaty King Henry III of England acknowledged Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales.

Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery, Wales

December
Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Christmas in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent

xmas 2017

Christmas 2017 with my delightful family

And in total, between 01.01.2017 & 31.12.2017 I have walked well over 1100 miles.

What an extraordinary year; 2017.IMG_20171231_100927_404

p.s. Days 14-30 Days of Gratitude will follow shortly….I eventually ran out of time 😉

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31 Days of Gratitude and today I’m grateful for cats.

I love cats, I always have. From my earliest childhood memories, it’s always been cats for me. Despite that most of our early years were filled with dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds and colours; Satan our Alsatian, Jasper our Cocker Spaniel, the 3 Pepe’s our Dachshunds aka sausage dogs, Blackie our mixed breed and many many others inbetween….for me it was always cats.

When my daughter was growing up we had pets of varying shapes, sizes and species; goldfish, hamsters, rats, dogs and cats. We once had 3 Maltese Poodles and 3 cats, a goldfish and a hamster. Then slowly but surely we finally ended up with just cats….

When I bought our house in Cape Town I never imagined we would end up with 5 cats at once. It was an unspoken rumour in the neighbourhood that I was the ‘cat lady’. If there was a stray or a lost cat I would have people at my door telling me they had found this or that stray and would I take it in!!! Obviously I couldn’t take them all but a number found their way into our home and hearts by design and stealth.

We moved to the Cape from the Transvaal in 1994 and took along 2 cats and 3 dogs. The dogs eventually moved house but the cats stayed. In time the number fluctuated; some died others arrived.

Misty – aka Kitty, a beautiful grey Russian Blue, rescued by my sister as a 4 week old kitten along with her sister and hand fed till 8 weeks and then given to my daughter as a gift. She was one of the most chilled and relaxed cats you could imagine. Nothing fazed her and being the matriarch it was up to her to welcome the future members into the family bosom. She never fussed about anything, and as each new member arrived, she would look them over and go back to sleep.

Sascha – a gorgeous tortoiseshell we bought at a pet shop. She cost ZAR 5.00 (less than £0.05 in today’s money). I remember my daughter pleading if we could have her, and me saying oh she’s only R5!!! Well that little girl cost me more than any of the others…she had one mishap after the other and plenty of vets visits. I took her to work with me for the first few weeks…needless to say not much work got done. After we moved into our house in Summer Greens she disappeared one day. We never did find her. 😦

Gizmo – a little black rescue cat with ears that were bigger than her head, saved as a kitten from some horror that was swinging her around in a plastic bag. She adored my daughter and disliked me LOL Whenever a new cat moved in she would flounce up the staircase having a hissy fit as she went, and sit there hissing her opinion. She never quite got the hang of welcoming any new members to the family. Unfortunately in time she had to be put to sleep as she developed a salivary virus that was attacking her system and after months on steroids we had no choice; her kidneys were failing. Poor baby.

Shanwa – my daughter’s little boy. Also a rescue cat he came to us at much the same time as Gizmo although he had a slightly better start that Gizmo. A stunning white and ginger cat, the two of them looked adorable together. He soon surpassed Giz in beauty and stature and grew into a stunning boy. He also adored my daughter but seldom got a look in with Ms Jealousy Gizmo. But he was chilled and just loved being with us. Sadly run over one night by a car racing through the neighbourhood, we heard the thump and when he dragged himself through the window we knew he was in trouble. A desperate race to the emergency vet late at night was to no avail. My daughter held him in the back of the car and actually felt his soul leave his body and pass through hers. A sad goodbye

Felix – one winter’s day as I started the engine of my car a long skeletal cat covered in sores and almost no hair slunk out from under the car…virtually unable to walk he staggered. I stopped the car and put out some food and water for him. This went on a few days, so I started feeding him regularly and as soon as he was able to trust me I put him in the car and took him to the vet. It appears he had been abandoned after his previous owners left the neighbourhood GRRRR. He stayed at the vet for nearly 2 weeks, they bathed, neutered and treated him. When he came home his hair was tough and harsh, the sores on his skin healing. Within months he had filled out and his hair grew soft and thick; the most beautiful ginger boy you could imagine. I adored him. He used to lie on my body, stretched out he tipped my knees to my head. A beauty.

Daisy – I remember one summer evening I was cooking supper and this beautiful little black and white regal princess came tentatively in through the back door. She walked through to the lounge and stationed herself under a high stool, sitting upright and still like sphinx  for about 15 minutes or so and then she left. This went on for a few days and then she brought the family : 2 little kittens. She had been sussing out the place to see if it was suitable for her babies. They were quite big so one of our neighbours offered to take one and we kept…

Tinkerbell – the cutest fluffiest ball of fur you can imagine. She was adorable. Unfortunately the vet made an error when determining her age, despite my comments to the contrary, and before long she along with Mummy was pregnant. Obviously she was way too young to have babies so we had to have her spayed 😦 Poor baby. But she rallied and grew into a most gorgeous girl. Mummy went on with her pregnancy, but it was too soon after the first litter and one weekend she ended up delivering 5 tiny little scraps…virtually hairless and with see-through skin and unable to suckle. Emergency visit to the vet on the weekend and R3,000-00 later we took Mummy home without the babies…they all died. To our absolute distress. But she rallied and before long, now spayed she recovered. They were the closest two cats I have ever known and stuck together like velcro. If you were looking for one, you found them both.

Then there was Patches who crept into our lives one Christmas Eve. I found him sleeping on our laundry. An adorable little boy we loved him to bits. Sadly when he was still but a kitten who loved to lie in the sun, our neighbour rode over his head with their car….I can’t tell you how much I hated that man. It nearly broke me picking up that little body. We buried him in our backyard.

The last of our every changing menagerie before we left the country to come live in the UK was a family of 5; Misty, Gizmo, Felix, Daisy and Tinkerbell. At the time I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be in the UK, so a friend of mine took them in as boarders, but as it turned out I relocated and they were so settled by then that she kept 4 of them…except poor little Gizmo.

We used to go visit them all whenever we went back to South Africa and it broke my heart to leave them behind.

Now 16 years later we have our Elsie. A fabulously fluffy gorgeous little Miss. A rescue cat who had been very badly treated before being rescued, my daughter adopted her 2 years ago. She is a beauty and adores my daughter. She tolerates me LOL. Mind you I hardly ever see her, travelling as I do, so whenever I walk through the door, she’s like ” who are you again?” But if my daughter is not around, my lap does suffice. So long as I don’t hug, kiss or cuddle her. A bit of stroking is fine but not too much. Elsie is the most photographed cat in the world. Hahahaha.

31 days of gratitude, cats, family cats

Our Elsie

At my current assignment I have the joy of looking after a gorgeous wee tiger of a boy; Charlie. Just a kitten, he is a mix of something or other and just stole my heart. I’ve been very bad and let him sleep on my bed. We have loads of fun in the morning and I have the bites and scratches to show for it. Being a yearling he is still feisty as hell and goes from sweet and loving to wild and crazy. I often remind him that it’s not really a good idea to bite the hand that feeds him. But I love him to bits. I shall have to acquire him in time LOL

31 days of gratitude, cats, family cats

Charlie

So yes, cats. They are absolutely the most amazing creatures and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to have these beautiful souls in my life.

Today I am grateful for cats and the love of an animal.

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 8

 

 

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Hot on the heels of remembering my Mother on what would have been her birthday, yesterday. “I wasn’t there that morning my father passed away“…….Today I’m reminded of my Father who died 2 years ago.

For many years, probably decades in fact, I had a really fractious relationship with my Father and as yet I find it difficult to mourn for someone that left home when I was just 5 years old and my little sister just 2.

Of course while growing up he was my idol, I adored him and cried many desperate tears when he left after a visit. But in time he moved on, remarried and then the visits became less frequent, birthdays missed and behaviour criticised. The first 8 years weren’t too bad, we saw him on holidays and due to 2nd his marriage acquired a new brother, the same age as me.

But as the years went by, the criticisms grew more frequent and the disappointment began to show, and so the relationship deteriorated. I grew up and wanted to get married, he refused to give me away and I never forgave him for that. He went on to have another son, divorced that wife and married again, having 2 new daughters.

He only ever wanted sons. I got that. But I never got that despite that he didn’t raise me, he still felt it was his place to criticise me and find fault. I spent many years trying to please my father, to no avail. When I was in my 30’s I was promoted to Regional Personnel and Admin Manager for a large Courier Company in South Africa with 5 branches countrywide and the Head Office…..his response “are you sure you can manage that?”. I gave up.

After that I didn’t seek his approval. Time moved on, we grew up, I got older and eventually I moved to the UK. A relationship that was tenuous at best, was further strained by distance. Years went by without any much contact and the last time I remember really talking to him was on my 60th birthday 2 years ago. That was such a surprise, but time, as time proved, was running out. There was to be no opportunity to repair the relationship. C’est la vie.

One of my favourite songs that I love listening to is ‘The Living Years’ by Mike & The Mechanics. I remember how, when I first heard this song, how much it resonated. It reminded me of the relationship I had with my father…or lack thereof.

And so the years go by and although a sense of regret lingers, I feel no pain and no loss, but I think of him every time I hear this song….That’s good. I hope.

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