I’m a blithering softie beneath my chitinous seamonkey shell.

By far my main concerns about hauling myself to another country are matters of the heart. Things like homesickness. Missing things. Missing people. I’m not even going to get into the fact that my parents now live in the UK.

When I was 23 and leaving South Africa, I was like, pfffffft homesickness, what is that? What is there to miss? I was young and stoopid, but more importantly I assumed I was going back at the end of my two year working holiday visa.

Now I am old and wise and I know better. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder in some cases. So I have to prepare myself for missing some things about the UK like crazy, and being a miserable, panicky wretch for the first few months/years, thinking, did we do the right thing, I wanna go back etc etc.

You see I like to prepare myself. So then when I am whiny and miserable I can say to myself, well you knew this would happen, so don’t rush off and pack your bags and jump on the next plane.  (Cos I do get these strong, irrational urges sometimes). Just chiiiiiillllll, man.

So I know I am going to miss my little English town like crazy. I think we have been in this town about 5 years now, and I have grown to love it. A lot. I find myself trying to say goodbye to it even now. I am going to miss the park so much. I wish everyone could see our park. It is a beautiful park. It’s a special park. Other towns don’t have our park. And our cool flower arrangements.  It’s a small, pretty town that is not on the tourist trail and that makes it even better!

I will not miss the druggies who still hang out in our stairwell though. Just saying.

I will miss the climbing here. The rock. I never thought I would say that. It took me years and years to warm up to climbing what essentially looks like dollopy rubble. But the rock is so incredibly good and beautiful and unusually shaped. I haven’t seen it anywhere else. You just don’t get that in South Africa, where there is rock in abundance, but not that incredible gritstone.

I will not miss the weather that is always so changeable and harsh that me actually venturing out to climb is somewhat rare.

I will miss Cornwall and all the other breathtaking stretches of coastline. It pisses me off when people say “But Britain only has shitty pebble beaches. ” Yah, just because you are too lazy to venture an hour out of London to get beyond Brighton. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the UK does not have awesome beaches!

However, once again, the wind and cold at those beaches is often a deterrent. You have to be tough to be British. Which I aint.

I am going to miss my Welsh mountains. the Llanberis pass was one of the first things I laid eyes on when I arrived and I hope to lay eyes on it at least once more before I leave.


Mostly I am going to miss my work and the people at my work like crazy. I have come to love my job so much. I’ve been there nearly three years. It took me a long long time to settle in. The people I work with were more reserved than what I was used to, and more professional and hard working and just on a different level. So I retreated deep into my shell to try and scope things out. But over the years I have discovered how awesome everyone is and how much I love all of them, every single person.

I don’t even socialise with them out of work because I live so far away. But I spend most of my life with them. I don’t want to leave them! And I don’t want to leave my job. I am convinced that this is the peak of my working life, that I will never find a bunch of people who are so easy and pleasant to work with, ever again.

The reality of work is that the most stressful things are usually the interactions with colleagues, the politics and the clashes. And I have experienced my fair share of that in previous jobs. But this one is just so stress-free and easy and my boss is a good boss who is fair and kind and I just don’t think I will ever find a boss like that again. I do feel that this was a once-in-a-lifetime lucky break.

So I am trying to think of ways of convincing my whole lab to relocate to Cape Town. I know they only relocated themselves three years ago, but come on, we’re talking Cape Town here.  UCT kicks Oxford’s ass in my blatantly biased and colonial-backwater-hick opinion.

I’m not a cryer, but right now I am crying inside every time I contemplate leaving everyone.

These days I walk around the lab resisting urges to wrestle random lab mates to the ground and stuffing them in bags to take home with me.

And that’s not creepy at all.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamara
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 09:22:18

    You know what else you’ll miss? Public transport. In CT, you will have to drive.

    Sorry – not helping :-)

    Driving is TOTALLY worth it for sundowners at Llandudnot beach (which has sand AND pebbles), picnics and sunny concerts at Kirstenbosch and alliterative weekend wanders through the winelands.

    Damn. I’m making myself miss CT!

    Btw, I remember when this job was hard and stressful for you and you were miz. But now it’s wonderful. So, as you’ve said, the first few months in a new job might not be great, but you might just find another fabulous group of colleagues.


  2. poseamonkey
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 10:56:10

    I know I remember how stressed out I was when I first started here! But I do think this place and these people are special thouch. In every other lace I have worked personal dramas have gotten in the way of things. This place is so easy and the people just so…. reasonable. My boss is the best I have had. That kind of lucky doesn’t happen too often. But of course I will find new people to love and stuff into bags!


  3. tiah
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 11:57:24

    Aside from the obvious (friends) I miss the ease of walking around the most. UK humous. And despite being on private insurance, yes, the quirky and odd NHS. The newspapers are better written. Oh – and goat’s cheese w/ carmalised (sp?) red onion paninis. (sp????) However, I’d find it very hard to go back.


  4. Vanessa
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 16:58:08

    It will be hard but you wouldnt be doing this if you hadnt thought about all the good things about moving. You’ll be fine. And Capetonians are always on about their mountain and their sea so there has to be something to it ;) (yip, I am jealous!)


  5. Paula
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 18:44:37

    It’s bittersweet- you love the thought of going but also kind of dread it. But also a new era- a whole new world of possibility.

    Stagnant water never smells good. (random thought)

    Oh and thank you for getting Die Antwoord stuck in my head (from your tweet- hahahaha)


  6. poseamonkey
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 19:29:38

    Vanessa: oh yes, the mooooowwwwntain! I do miss the wonderful mountain and if only I could persuade everyone I work with that the mountain should be vital to their well being, I would be happy :)

    Paula: mwahahahaha be my samurai?


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