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I am a born and bred South African who grew up, was educated and worked quite happily in Port Elizabeth all her life. I had a beautiful townhouse in the same suburb as my brother, my parents and my two best friends. I had a job teaching law at the local technical university, which I adored. Life was perfect.

Then I met Nick and life became even MORE perfect. And then Nick decided that what he really wanted to do was to work in England for a year and hey, that sounded really exciting. So I took a sabbatical and off we went and lo, it was good! I first went to London with my parents in 1989 and had been back in 1995 and loved the place both times, so spending a year there sounded awfully exciting - and it was. The year was packed with travel and shows and all the variety that living in London provides and by January 2001 I was back home in SA to return to work and plan our April wedding. Nick was to follow in a couple of months.

But alas, it was not to be. He was offered a promotion on condition that he stayed with the company - and he accepted. So there we were, on different continents (and none too pleased about it, I can assure you, especially from my side!). The wedding went ahead as planned in April and it was absolutely perfect - a picnic on rolling lawns and a ceremony in a poolside gazebo. And a week after the honeymooon, Nick was back in London and I was back home. OK, so why didn't I just go back to the UK? Because by this stage I had borrowed so much leave that I would have to PAY my employer to let me resign... Plus my mother was not well and I wanted to spend more time with her. Oh yes, and the fact that I was allegedly working on a Phd (don't ask and I won't have to kill you).

So this merry Dance of the Two Continents continued from April 2001 until September 2002 when I could finally afford to resign. Left my lovely job of 8 years and my sunny office and sent all my beautiful things to storage and rented out my beloved townhouse (yes, there were rivers of tears and lots of Tourettes-like swearing), said goodbye to family and friends and arrived back in the UK on 4 September 2002, apparently with amoebic dysentery or something similar (but that's a whole other story!).

So here I am, still in the same house we originally rented in June 2000 and working in my 3rd job since then (one with Coca-Cola, one with a US law firm and now with an English law firm). Because living here meant leaving behind so many of the things that made me happy (my family, my childhood friends, my job, the sunshine...), I started investigating other things that made me happy that could be done here. Hence my burgeoning interest in cooking, photography and blogging!

One of the big questions everyone asks me is whether we will ever go back to SA - HELL, YES!!! We are not emigrants from SA and we are not running away from the new government - nobody seems to consider that the experience of living and working in one of the world's great cities is good enough reason to leave home. And a couple of people have now told me that I will never be able to live happily back home in SA again, having tasted the high life in London. To them I say: just you wait and see. I am going to be the poster girl for happiness when my plane finally touches down in SA for good. Happiness is not where your body is - it's where your head is at.

So that's my story so far. Although this is a food blog, expect also to see many of my musings on London, Londoners, trips abroad and being a stranger in a strange land.

Feel free to e-mail me on jeanne [AT] 501 [DOT] co [DOT] za

Hamba kahle.


travel, food, cooking, writing, art, reading, photography, blogging, architecture, wine