I have been living back in South Africa for just under a year now, and so I thought I would post a few photos of my life :)
Christmas Time (2011) :D
I think this must be one of the best photos I have ever taken! A beautiful Leopard in the early morning light, Kruger Park.
Dam at dusk, on my families farm in Hoedspruit, SA.
Cute Giraffe! Near Hoedspruit, SA.
My brother Josh Roxton playing at Tanz Cafe, Fourways, Johannesburg.
In March 2012, I went to Cape Town to visit my brother who had recently moved there:
We got stuck in the middle of the Cape Argus Cycle Race, Cape Town
It was a lovely 32 degrees so we headed to the beach! Thats my brother looking all David Beckham like :P
Street, Woodstock, Cape Town.
My friends Alistar just chilling at his house in Woodstock, Cape Town.
Lions Head, Cape Town, in the late afternoon light :)
Beautiful Simons Town, Western Cape.
On the long drive back home from Cape Town.
Early morning in Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal.
My beautiful kitty Lady Beans!
My old princess, Zeebit! <3
My new pups (now 10 months) JellyBelle (left) and Razz (right).
1st ever Jozi Craft Beer Fest (Johannesburg)! … and me drinking Swedish cider instead! haha
Jake, my second couchsurfer embracing his inner colonial. :P
My 3rd batch of couchsurfers, (from left) Marco, Luka, my Mom, my Dad, ME, Daniele.
OPPIKOPPI Sweet Thing Festival! Front gate!
Me in the car on the way to OPPIKOPPI :P
So, I’ve been in london just over a year now, and looking back I see myself wanting to regret some choices I’ve made. I want to regret having been over here for the world cup, and not in SA, I want to be ashamed for thinking I didn’t care much for my country of birth. I feel like I missed something BIG, missed being apart of a turning point in South Africa. I’ve seen a huge change in the people of SA, even though we have along way to go, the world cup gave us something to be proud of. I feel all these things making me sad and resentful that I wasn’t there, and still am not, to grasp the first of the opportunities presented to everyone.
I feel all of this, but then think:
“Would I have ever noticed that big change if I hadn’t been somewhere else?”
“Where would I be now? Doing the exact same thing I was a year ago?”
I might not of accomplished what I attended to do when I came to live in London, but by golly have I learnt and gained SO much. Maybe not in the professional world, and probably nothing notable unless you know me personally. I’ve learnt how to look after myself, I’ve realised the extent of my strengths and worked on my weaknesses, and most of all I’ve gained life experience and valuable friendships (and a few practical skills such as cocktail making :D ).
When I wrote my last post about this I was very sad and heart broken. I still feel that pain deep in my heart, but I’ve packed it away for now, to concentrate on the here and now.
I thought, to end this on a lighter note, I would share some photos of my adventures in london with you as well :) (excuse the quality of some of them, they were taken on my shitty phone cam and some of them I didn’t take)
waiting for Skrillex to come on stage (new friend to the left of the photo :D)
My cousin Victoria and Aunty Penny walking in the beautiful Oxfordshire country side
Fun times at work
Tea time for one
At work on the outside bar
The Breakfast club know how to make lekker brekkie!
Wondering around the trendy areas on a sunday (shoreditch)
Jamie Oliver Live and in Person at the Big Feastival!
Me with amazing toffee ice cream!
BIG knife and fork for the BIG FEASTIVAL!
Sun burn from standing Braaing
After work on a saturday
This is what I wrote at 3.30 in the morning:
“I realised something:
The things that I thought were the most important in my life, at the time I decided to move over here, have changed. I have realised that I have a different view on life, as well as how I want to live it! No wonder I have been so torn.
It’s true when they say you won’t know if you like something until you try it. I guess it doesn’t really help that I had an idealistic and romanticized view on how things would be here. Wow. To actually put this down in words has made something ‘click’ inside me.”
I think I’ve gotten over that initial hysteria that I felt since being back in the UK after my holiday in South Africa, as I’m now able to verbalise and admit things I didn’t want to admit to myself.
So some of the things that I have realised:
- I wanted to prove that I could do things on my own, which in my head was actually “I don’t need anyone else, I can make it on my own, I’ll show ‘them’ up”. i.e. it was an ego thing. But I realised that not only do I need support, I want it too! (this is a left over from my closed up stage when I was 14/15 years old).
- I want to be successful (obviously) but I have found success is nothing when you don’t have the people you love around you to share it with.
- As I said earlier, I had an idealistic view on how things would go here, things don’t go to plan (or thought) and I’ve accepted that now, and its okay, because I have learnt so much.
- I wanted to be the “superstar/hero” over here as well, but being by myself (i.e. going from hero to zero) has made me realise that I actually don’t want that, yes it feels good and makes me feel wanted, but I’ve decided that I don’t mind if I live an average, low key life, because as long as I have the people I love around me it doesn’t matter.
- I’m very scared of making a decision that I will regret, but in my heart and head I know now that the UK is not where I want to be in the next 5 years, let alone next year even, I love coming on holiday here but the ‘quality of life’ is not my cup of tea (so to speak).
- Yes, I do love the bands, the going out, the party life here, the fashion/clothes etc., but the one thing that has left a GAPING hole is the sense of community. SA might be dangerous, corrupt etc., but somehow its inviting and warm. Maybe that is because I’ve lived there my whole life, but here, in London, there is NO compassion for anyone else!
- I never thought I would miss the sun and space as much as I do, Jo’burg might not be an amazing first world city, but it has an energy that is unique. (London feels drained). Being away from SA for a bit let me look at it in a whole new light when I came back, and the one thing I found was that there was a change in ‘pace’, and I think it was due to the World Cup. The energy was different, like someone had ‘stirred a stagnant cup of water’ refreshing it. YES! That is what it was, South Africa had been refreshed!
Now for ‘Opportunity’: Well, I got an email in reply to a graphic design job, and they want me to come in for an interview. This is full time, doing email and website up keep. The thought of getting the job and being stuck doing that HERE scared the living daylights out of me!
As for the spice labels venture, I’m so excited about them and I really want my mom to work on them with me! I’ve been asked by I think its now 7 people in the last few weeks about photoshoots (all in SA), and so many people I know are IN the industry there, i.e.. I already have a NETWORK.
Basically, I had to travel to the other side of the planet to appreciate what I already had right in front of me. The lessons I have learnt are appreciation for what I have, packing away my ego, destructive determination vs constructive determination, and doing things for the right reasons.
As for the a new plan for my life:
I was thinking of getting any job to keep me going until June, save as much as I can, then after my best friends come for their visit, I go backpacking for a few weeks so I don’t regret not seeing the UK, and then go back home to Jozi! I was also thinking of applying for an internship/work experience at O’mage.
I wrote this all down because it has let me order my thoughts and come to a conclusive outcome.
Moving the the Northern Hemisphere: this is more of the emotional side of whats been happening in my life.
So…here I am in London. I’ve been here for nearly 5 months. And time has gone by quicker than I can blink!
I have to be honest with myself, I had the delusions of what my life would be like when I got here, and the funny thing is that I knew I was wrong in my imaginings. I never thought it would just be peaches and cream but hey a girl can dream right? Deep down inside I knew it was going to be tough I just didn’t want to believe it.
I wanted everything to be like the fairytale lifestyle I had in my head and on my vision board. Some say that my decision was made on a whim, or because I was running away from something in my life. But to be perfectly honest when I think back to my life in SA I feel that it was nearly perfect. I had the amazing family surrounding me, awesome friends, and a growing clientele as a photographer. This might sound high and mighty to say but I felt important, needed in a way. Coming from never even being noticed as a young teen, being the weirdo, dorky anti-social-girl, to having people recognise who I am in the street is just something of an amazing feeling.
But I started to have the “Big fish in a small pond” type of feeling.
So as you can imagine (or not, I don’t know) when I moved here I felt alone and like the small fish in a big pond, no one noticing me. The most frustrating thing was not being recognized for my work. I gave up my “perfect” little world that I had built and fell into a vastness that I cant even begin to explain.
So what made me want to move in the first place? I think its in my nature to crave the struggle. I think I like to be at rock bottom and work my way up to a high. I’m determined and love being praised for my accomplishments, just like everyone does…Who doesn’t? Before I was about 18 I always used to hide in the shadow of my friends, I never felt good enough, pretty enough, outgoing enough. I realised that I was not that kind of person. So I decided one day that I would change. Ever since then Ive wanted to better myself as much as I can, accomplish things that others said I could never do or seemed impossible for “someone like me”. I reinvented myself a few times. I guess moving over to the UK was just another reinvention.
I struggled for my life when I was a child, ever since then I tend to choose the hard way of doing things and have to learn my life lessons fast. After being here for these last few months, I’ve made stupid decisions, Iv been cut down to size and hit rock bottom too many times to even count. I ask myself several times a day “What am I doing here?”. I feel like Im milling around not really living because Im waiting for something to happen to me….and falling into the broke bracket none the less.
But I realise that I am in fact trying. Im determined to do the work I want to do, my work. I don’t want to just do anything because I came over here to further my career. I live for experience. Ive done so much over here already, Ive made some awesome friends, Ive seen the most amazing bands and been some cool places.
I crave LIFE! and if that means hitting rock bottom, making bad choices and mistakes, filing my past with regrets that I constantly learn from then I chose the right path for ME.
If being comfortable is what you want to accomplish, then you have to know the complete opposite of that feeling in order to get the full effect of it. We all need contrast and opposites in our lives, because if we didn’t we wouldn’t know how to comprehend anything in our universe at all. Humans need opposition in order to feel and have purpose.
If I want to stay sane, while having no money, not much comic relief, but still do the kind of work I want and not become a drop out in my own life I have to stay positive. Im at the bottom of a great mountain range, trying to stuff the contents of my life into a bag and drag, push and pull it up this tough landscape.
but its okay because when I do reach my destination (wherever or what that is), and get that complete feeling of accomplishment and ecstasy, I will look back over the struggle and know that if I did not go through it all I could not feel what I feel looking at the view from the top of my highest mountain!
And it will be amazing!
(Photograph by Paul Schmid from www.healthyoutdoorsman.com)
For new years 2010 my family and some friends took a trip up to Mozambique for a beach filled holiday! Im saddened to say that I don’t have any photos of my own from the trip as my external hard-drive with them on has gone up in smoke and I never uploaded them to Facebook or another networking or internet device :( very sad indeed. So Iv stolen some that were posted on facebook from our family friend Lorrain! ;) Hope she doesn’t mind. hehe.
We left early the one morning from Johannesburg and headed north east to the border, my brother drove his 2x4 with the youngsters (including myself), and my dad drove the “adults” in his 4x4! It was a long drive, but quite relaxing watching the scenery go by to the awesome playlist we had lined up.
We got to the border at about 2pm, and sat in a long line of people trying to get the visas at the gate. Being South African, thankfully it was just a wait in the line to get a quick visa pasted into our passports. But one of the ladies traveling with us was American, so it took a while longer for her to get the official stamps and visas she needed. After an hour in the thickening heat, we were off to Maputo. We arrived late afternoon to a beautiful sunset.
We stayed in separate hotels of our choices and met up for dinner at a recommended seafood restaurant, Casa De Sol. It was a deliciously 26 degree evening, with a slight breeze. We sat down to a feast of seafood, bubbly local beer and tantalizing Tipo Tinto Rhum! (the best, sweetest and tastiest rhum there is!!)
Early rise the next morning, we all hopped in the car to head more north to our final destination, Guinjata Resort just South of Imhambane.
Our view from the balcony was spectacular! We had a whole beach stretched out below us, big kitchen and dining area and 4 double rooms. the sun set right over the ocean, and the at night the moon rose high and bright above our heads.
We spent most days lazying about on the verandah and talking relaxed walks up the beach, stopping in at the little pubs along the way to wet our pallets a bit. On actual new years Eve, the youngsters (My brother Josh, Oliver, Tatum and myself) headed to the second closest beach pub, where most of the holiday makers from all the resorts in the area were partying it up.
The day after New years my father, brother, Lorraine, Tatum and myself went on a deep sea fishing expedition. I love fishing but unfortunately I couldn’t do much of it as I got utterly sea sick, along with Lorraine and Tatum. We spent most of the adventure stuck to the side of the boat or lying down in the vanishing bit of shade. At one point we all jumped off the boat into the water to cool off, and gather our stomaches a bit. One thing about jumping into water with no visible floor is that is as scary as anything (I hyperventilated a bit!). But it was the only thing that made me feel a bit better. Once we reached the shore I evaluated myself and realized I was going to suffer a bit from a lovely t-shirt tan! My brother and father both caught some fish which we ate that evening, it was scrumptious!
The rest of our holiday was spent exploring, 4x4’ing and generally eating and drinking! Festivities were at a high!
One one of the days we drove up to Imhambane and visited a market and various shops. In the market we were hustled and bustled around by merchants, craftsmen and anyone who had something to sell. On our way back to the resort we picked up just a few bottles of rhum and sprite to go with it!
This was truly an amazing holiday, relaxing and adventurous.
Will definitely go back again sometime for another adventure! Maybe to a different part of the beautiful country!
Cape Town or Kaapstad (Afrikaans), also known as The Cape Of Good Hope is a beautiful city nestled at the foot of Table Mountain and one of the biggest tourist attractions In South Africa. When I ask most foreigners where they would go in South Africa most of them say Cape Town.
I had only been there once before when I was 11 and to be honest I don’t remember much of it! This time me and my two best girlfriends decided to take a winter break in our college holidays down to CT. We booked out Kalula flights, organised accommodation with Roxy’s uncle and off we went for a week.
(our list of what we wanted to do)
We arrived on the Thursday, and at once started making plans for the weeks endeavours. We didn’t really go to see the sights, we went to relax and have a good ol’ girls time! On the Thursday we went to an awesome club called Gandalf’s, which was R20.00 entrance drink as much as you like night! And so we did, none of us had a car there so a friend of a friend took us home, well nearly home. I don’t remember exactly what happened but the friend of a friend’s friend (the actual owner of the car) got a bee in his bonnet and refused to take us all the way home. We reluctantly got out at Cavendish Square, and some how found our way back home at 2.30am. Now you must understand, its not exactly safe to wonder around in the middle of the night, specially not three young woman. But we did what we had to do and got home with out a scratch or scare!
(the boat ride)
During our week, we went to various places like the Waterfront, the Fish Market, the Aquarium, Hout Bay and met up with some good friends who had relocated there. We even took a boat trip where we drank sparkling rose and sang “Im on a Boat” by The Lonely Island. (and yes we video taped it).
We had amazing warm weather nearly the whole time we were down there, well warm in winter terms. It only rained once (so happened to be the day we wanted to go to Ratanga Junction!). But other wise we had clear blue skied days with sunshine!
This holiday was a short but wonderful experience. Some of the people were so amazing and helpful, and then there were the rude and clicky people, of which we just started to ignore. There has always been conflict between Jo’burgers and Capetonians, battling it out to convince the other that their home city is the best. It will never be settled as it really all comes down to opinion. Personally I love to party and holiday there, but I don’t think it would suit me as a permanent place to live, but then again, who knows as you never know until you try!