Friday, 27 July 2012

Moment Lost

In a week’s time, I no longer work here.
After 10 years, more than 10 years I will not have an occupation. I will be completely free for a short while or as free as one can be with such big plans. There’ll be two weeks of crazy running around preparing those ordinary things for the trip to Belgium and then three to four days in Belgium getting more ordinary things in order.
What concerns me is that I should be enjoying this more but I’m not. It’s not anyone’s fault either. I keep getting this really bad cold and I haven’t been able to get rid of it for months again. It’s really bad now and completely distracting. It’s always different though, never the ‘same’ cold. This time I’m coughing, having night sweats and generally feeling bunged up and miserable.
It’d have really been good to go to a friend’s BBQ tonight – impromptu – and be able to socialize before the crunch of time makes it harder before I go but there’s no way. Not how I feel now. All I want to do is crawl up in bed and be a snotty mess. Hopefully I can get better and enjoy the time left to me here with my family and friends.
I’ve been loading up on the vitamins, minerals, aspirin, natural antibiotics & antivirals and colds & flu medication and it only seems to be getting worse. I’ve even upped my food intake in case it had something to do with over-training. Nothing thus far has met with good results.
I’m sick of being sick.
I was hoping that next week – my last week at work - I’d be happy, healthy and alert. Able to take it all in as I wound down, packed up, packed in, did admin, made sure my desk was cleaned off and made sure all was in order for my exit.
Let’s see what comes of that.
Ciao for now.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Scout

Inevitably I will have to leave my ship, set off in a little boat on my own and venture into new territory alone armed with little more than the clothes on my back and the skills I’ve gained through years of study and work. We can see the land on the horizon. It’s that land I need to venture to and plant our flag on the shore – steak out our spot.
I’m procrastinating until the last minute but in the end it’s inevitable. It has to happen for me to get my family safely to Belgium. I have to book the plane ticket. I have to put that full stop at the end of the last sentence of the last chapter in the book that was “Survival in a Crumbling South Africa”.
The date I choose is a date of heartbreak and sacrifice on all our parts – Mrs Black, Speculoos and me. I have no misguided notions that I am most likely not going to be present for Speculoos’ second birthday. I’ll be very sensitive that day if I’m not able to hug her and tell her how much I love her.
Chances are I’m not going to be able to give my awesome wife, Mrs Black, a hug and snuggle on our wedding anniversary either. There’s another day where I’ll be emotionally rubbed raw and under the weather.
I now see how sacrifice is love and love, sacrifice.
It’s because of love that I’m willing and able to bare these pains. It’s out of love that we do what we’re doing. Mrs Black will let me leave because we’ve agreed that ultimately it’s for the best and when this very hard time is done, we will have gained far more than we could ever hope both for us and our little Speculoos.
Even with this in mind, it’s a hard thing to do.
I’ve had a date in mind for a long time now and yet I still toy with it, pushing it back in moments of weak procrastination and brining it forward when I know that the sooner I set out, the sooner I can do what needs doing and have my family stand next to me on our new homeland – our new home territory.
I need the courage to make that full-stop.
I need to book that ticket.
Ciao for now.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Land Beyond The Horizon

Our home is no longer ours.
Hmph. It’s funny that I still call it ‘our home’ and I suppose it will always be our home. It was a very bitter sweet moment when I handed the new owner the keys and relevant documentation. I was quite numb when I pulled the car out of the driveway loaded with the last of our possessions. I left quickly and quietly and didn’t look back over my shoulder out of fear of regret.
It was a wonderful home – our dream home. It had everything we wanted and more but it was in the non-popular part of town. The estate agent admitted that if it were a block or two up the street it would have sold for millions. It didn’t matter to us. We loved our house. I will also admit that I hated it for a while when we couldn’t sell it and all it seemed to do was hold us down and prevent us from our organized flee of the country.
It was necessary. We had to relinquish it because tenants in our country are savages and would have destroyed it leaving us with a useless investment and even worse emotional scarring than this way.
That’s also why I do not wish to ever, EVER return to that street or even drive past to see how our home is doing. I’m too afraid of what I’ll find. I have the original plan to reminisce over. It’s funny how nostalgia makes everything look so rosy and pretty.
Our organized flee. It doesn’t sound like a ‘flee’ at all, but trust me it is. We simply have the time and means to do it without complete abandonment of assets and the accompanying running and screaming.
To continue the metaphor from previously, we are now far beyond seeing land and out in deep, sea-green water. Our dreams are the sextant that we now navigate by and our hopes are the stars we follow.
The terrible delays I so feared in the selling of the house vanished at the 11th hour! On the very last day at the very last moment the house was registered in the new owner’s name and I was able to retrieve the month I thought I’d lost! Had it been mere hours later, I would have had to put my resignation in at my company a whole month later as they only accept notice for a calendar month. Effectively one can only resign on the first of a month.
I’ve updated my Curriculum Vitae on two employment-seeking sites hoping to line up interviews in Belgium and already an employment agency has had a telephonic discussion with me about my skills and sent me a list asking which companies I would be interested in working for. This makes me hopeful that I’ll be able to get employment very quickly once I’m there and at least line up appointments while I’m still here in South Africa!
There’s much red tape I’m going to have to work through before and after I depart before I can be re-united with my family. This is definitely good motivation to hit the ground running in Belgium.
At the moment we (Mrs Black, Speculoos and I) stay with my parents in a cottage in their back yard. It’s small, cramped and I’m feeling awfully claustrophobic. Our previous home had pressed ceilings 4 meters above us (that’s approximately 12 foot to you who use the imperial system) and this is pretty precise. I carefully measured it. The ceiling in the cottage is only about 2.5 meters high. It feels cramped.
I’m beginning to dread the day I have to say goodbye to my family for an extended time while I’m in Belgium and they remain patiently in South Africa. Songs like “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Janise Joplin and “Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye” by Leonard Cohen almost have me in tears every time I hear them.
It’s going to be a hard goodbye at the airport. If you want to see a grown man cry, neigh, reduced to sobbing snotty mess, well, you should be there.
The only reason I’m putting us through this is the sextant and the stars.
My family, I love you.
Ciao for now.