Thursday, 31 January 2013

Saying good bye and RIP Twinkie!!!

I knew saying good bye to everybody was going to be the worst part of the emigration, but this was 10 times worse than I could ever imagine!

Firstly, we had a farewell party for the kids on the 1sdt of December, so they could greet all their friends.  It was fun for the kids and I think a very important part of their good bye's to their friends ...

Some photos of this event ...


Table decorations and snacks

Party favours!

We also did a BIG farewell for our friends and family.  I rented a venue in Centurion and we had a great afternoon / evening with friends and family.

Some photos of this farewell:


Table decorations


Me! (Chantel)


We went to say good bye to my kid's great grandparents (on their father's side"), friends, grandparents, our own parents and the dogs.

Neré and Cara saying good bye to their great grandparents

The last month (including at the farewell) ... every time we had to say our good byes, the waterworks just opened.  I can not put it in words how difficult it is to say good bye. This is by far the "shittiest" part of the emigration process!!!!!

Another unexpected good bye!

Before we went to Cape Town, we took the dogs and the cat to my parents house.  They all adjusted very well and the cat settled into her new environment.  Unfortunately on 1 January 2013, while my parents were at the midnight service at church, a stray cat attacked our cat.  Our precious cat, Twinkie, got quite hurt and my parents rushed her to a emergency vet.  The Vet were able to do an operation which was way too expensive and had no guarantees, so we had to make the very unfortunate decision to put the cat to sleep. This decision  was made 3 hours into the new year. 

It broke my heart to give the news to my daughter (it was her cat).  My daughter has ADHD and Twinkie was a birthday present to her for her 7th birthday.  Not only was it a pet, but also therapeutically to my child.  The cat was her life!!! Twinkie slept with her every night! They were inseparable.  It was already difficult to leave the cat at my parents house, but to lose her so soon thereafter .... very sad.

So RIP our beautiful cat, Twinkie.

This is how the Twinkie slept with Neré - every evening.  She slept on her own Teddy on the bed

Saying good bye to our dogs was just as difficult.  We are going to try and get them to Australia, but that is a whole different story... I'll let you know the progress of bringing them over.

Xina! (8years)

Penny! (6 years)

Daddy with his other kids (Xina left and penny on Right)

Dogs always sit with Daddy!

The last good byes were to the house (our dear house which we build ourselves),  to the neighbourhood and then to my Parents and sister and her family at the airport.  Seeing that I cried the whole day, I had very few tears left over at the airport.    :-( 

This photo below was of my parents, sister and her family who came to say good bye at the airport.

As I said, saying good bye was definitely the most difficult part of our emigration. Oh, I wish there was an easier way, but we just had to bite the bullet and do it!!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Last days in South Africa

After the container left, I had such an empty feeling in my heart.  My heart was empty, but the house was not …
We had plenty of furniture left in the house, mostly purposefully left behind so we can still have something to sleep on, something to sit on and at least a TV to watch.  There were also a handful of items which we still wanted to go to Australia, but it did not fit into the container. This is now at the Removal company, awaiting a suitable container to be shipped to us.

We borrowed a few items from my neighbour – plates, wine glasses, a pot and a pan.  We kept our bar fridge behind and I borrowed a microwave oven from my mother.  I also kept my Thermomix (which came with in our luggage) and thus could at least prepare food in that.
I also kept my favourite sharp knife (I have a “phobia” of using a blunt knife!!!), our can opener, a pair of scissors and a serving spoon!  All of these also serves its purpose in the new house in Sydney.

So we were prepared to wait in our “empty” house until we flew early in Jan.
But before we could fly, we had one more thing to do … we needed to show the kids Table Mountain, the last item on our “bucket list”. We can not leave South Africa without showing this icon to the kids!!!

I booked a holiday self-catering apartment in Paarl in June 2012 already for this purpose and off we went to have our holiday!
Some photos  of our holiday:

Wine tasting at Nederburg

Kids in front of the Nederburg Masterchef Kitchen

At the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl


Sailboat trip in Cape Town Harbour

At KWV wine cellers

KWV wine cellars

On top of Table Mountain

After our holiday, we spent Christmas with my parents and thereafter we arranged the last few things in preparation for our flight.

The following 2 photos are of the last items that left our house.... the 1st is the load of stuff my domestic worker took home and the next is the stuff we took to my parents hous.


In my life I will NEVER EVER have a large house EVER again!! It felt like we would NEVER empty that house.  The bigger the house, the more crap you collect and NEVER AGAIN!!!!
Now that we are in our rental house in Sydney, I realised that the 20ft container which will be arriving shortly is already tooo much for us … so I will defiantly do some further sorting this side.

But NEVER a big house again … promise!!!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

We finally arrived!!!

You must be thinking that I fell off planet earth ... actually we just moved countries, so I am still here :-)

We arrived in Sydney on 9 January 2013, with 5 boxes, 5 suitcases, 5 carry on luggage bags and lots of teddies. 

It is such a surreal feeling that we are finally in Australia!!!

It was sooo busy the last month and I just did not have the time to blog.  So, I owe you a decent catchup blog.  But, soooo much happened that I would rather put this in a few blogs over the next week.

Just to let you know that we moved into our own rental house in Sydney and that we are sorting out our life on this side.

Now for the catch up ... firstly the container packing experience.

The removal company came on 10 and 11 December to pack up the house.  It was quite an experience and if that nonsense of "they are coming to pack" is absolutely not to be misunderstood that you are not going to work!!! You literally work your butt off!!! 

The packing guys came, did a quick inventory about what goes and what stays and then they start and you have to be in 3 rooms at the same time to help. Regardless of how prepared you are, they still have questions and you still need to ensure they are doing the right thing. We were busy, busy, busy!!!

At number 99 we decided to take our washing machine, tumble dryer, double fridge and our Queen sized bed. Thus, the 20ft container was bulging by the time they closed the doors. But I have new respect for a 20ft container ..... I could not believe what they all fit into that little space!!!

Herewith some photos of the day ...

It is like playing "Tetris" to fit all the shapes!!!

Can all of this go into the conainer?

It was a thight fit with the bed going in last.

Our packing team!!!

Our life in a box!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tired? Understatement!!!

Emigration is not for the faint hearted.  We've been packing for a few weeks now. Not so much packing as sorting and organising.  Everything must go into one of these categories: Container, Luggage, sell, give away or throw away!

It is mentally draining to think of all this ... and trying to have future vision of what is going to be important and what not. 

I am drained!!!

The packing company came today ... and don't think the "Ag they come to pack" give you time to sit on your behind and watch them.  OH NO!!! There are 4 guys, each in another room and you have to be at all 4 places at once, helping, guiding and assisting.  Having a double storey house does not really help either... I had a months worth of gym training just by going up and down the stairs!    My husband joked and "we lost a lot of weight when we built the house, so looks like we are losing again by moving out" Ha-ha (I hope so!!)

We sat in Jaccuzi for an hour or 2 after the packers left ... to regained some strength and tomorrow, we do it all over again. 

Will post some photos of the packing after the container has left!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

We sold the house!!!

Yes, that is right ... The house is sold!

The past few months we did some serious marketing with regards to the house and a private buyer contacted us a week ago. 

They fell in love with the house and we agreed on a price, signed the offer and today we heard that everything is 100% OK.

Thus, timing is perfect .. a week before the conainter company comes!!

In the mean time we are very busy with the preparations for the BIG MOVE!!!

Until later ....

Monday, 19 November 2012

As if we don't already have enough stress and too little time!!!

Only people who have emigrated or are in the process of emigration, can fully understand how busy you get closer to the actual date. Our deadline is the in 3 weeks time, because that's when they are coming to pack our container ... so every spare minute is spent to sort and get those last minute things done.

So... as if we are not stressed enough and as if we do not already have too little time at hand, we had a couple of incidents last week which stressed us out even further.

On Thursday afternoon, on Sarel's (husband) way back home from a meeting he stopped at a hardware shop to pick up an urgent item which he needed at home. Thinking it is safe in front of the shop's door and where the security guard is, he parked his car.

10 minutes later ... the car window's been broken and his laptop bag which was hidden behind the back seat was stolen. His Macbook, iPad and Identification Document was in the bag.

All is replaceable and the Macbook's been backup the previous evening. BUT THE EFFORT to get everything sorted!!!!

On Friday, Sarel took my car to run all his errands, including to go fetch a new window for replacement of his car's window at the glass centre, and where he parked to fetch the window, someone reversed into my car. No serious damage, but still .... effort, time and patients which neither of us have now.

So we had a bit of a "shitty" week... but as consolation ... we had a great week-end and I will tell you all about it in my next post!!! Great news!!!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

I resigned today!

Today I handed in my formal resignation. "Formal" because I am married to the boss and he is emigrating with me (LOL).  So he (and his business partner) was well aware of my impending resignation.

We've agreed that I would resign this month and for legal purposes I handed in my written notice. 

I've worked for this company for 6 years! 

A few months after I met my husband in 2006, I started working for his new company as they needed a person to look after the administrative side of the business.  I happen to be "in between" jobs and welcomed the challenge. (My experience lies mainly in Human Resource Management, but I also have ample business Administration and little bookkeeping experience)

I had sufficient experience and what started as a "helping them out" position, ended up being a full time HR-Finance-Administration-Marketing-Jack-of-all-Trades-type Manager.  Phew!!!
At times is was as difficult as that mouth full job description sounds.  Other times it was a breeze....

I thoroughly enjoyed helping my husband and his business partner setting up and growing their business.

Fortunately, the office is run from home and that gave me ample time to fetch the kids from school in the afternoon and help with homework.  That in itself is such a privilege!

In 2010 we hired an assistant and soon after she started, we decided to emigrate.  Thus, I have been "training" her since then to take over my position.  She proved that she is more than capable and therefore I can leave my job with a happy heart.

Weirdly, I feel quite sad about this resignation, but then again ... it is not a good-bye type resignation. It marks the end of an era.  I will probably always be part of the company via my husband who will still be involved, but my direct involvement will not be so intense any more.

It surely marks the beginning of the end of the formal issues for us here in South Africa.