South Africa is not for sissies....
When I first moved to South Africa in June 1999 I was told that 'South Africa is not for sissies' not to bother to complain about something but to 'make a plan' and that 'the difference between a tourist and a racist is 3 weeks'.
I was appalled by that last statement. 'Well,' I was told 'in your case it might be four or five weeks, but this time next month I guarantee you will be racist.' I was horrified to realise that a month later it was true.... Now before you all start jumping on your bandwagons, I was not racist against black, indian or coloured people I was racist against the whites. Very racist as it turned out. Even now 18 years later I still feel ashamed of being white - 99.9% of the time you will have a much more rewarding and interesting conversation with a black person than you will with a white one.
I am very lucky to have many friends here in SA, from all walks of life, all colours and creeds. They range from the head of the Natural Healers Association to actors, journalists, radio commentators, lawyers, doctors, gardeners, house-keepers and assistant lion tamers (like me in the picture above which was taken about 8 years ago).
I have had some awesome experiences here, from my car being jumped on by an adult male lion, getting chased by rhinos in Kwa-Zulu Natal to nearly getting struck by lightning on Northcliff Hill. I have traveled all over the country and it is amazing. It's the only country in the world where you can ski and surf on the same day.
There is something for everyone here, we have incredible game farms, beaches, mountains and wineries and the people are really friendly and helpful.
I've had the chance to start my own business here and as a woman in the Construction Industry it was v. tough at first, some builders didn't take me very seriously and would think nothing of running me down in front of the client.... They didn't laugh for long though!
Anyway I thought I would post a few pictures taken over the years here and give you all a flavour of what I think makes South Africa so special. Yes I know it's a bit like the wild west, but all you need is a big smile and a fast car and you've got it made!
Plum Pudding Guest House - 2006, Auckland Park. It's owned by some good friends of mine, I often go there for coffee on the way back from Council.
My Dad feeding the elephants, Glen Afric 2006
(Glen Afric is a game farm owned by some friends of mine).
We even have our own version of the Eiffel Tower - this is in Parys, Freestate 2007
The sunsets are magnificent, this was taken on the way back from the Freestate in 2007.
Table Mountain viewed from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town 2011
Noordhoek Beach, Cape Town 2011
Chapman's Peak Drive, Cape Town 2011
Camp's Bay, Cape Town 2011
Fisherman - Kalk Bay, Cape Town 2011
Lighthouse, Kalk Bay, Cape Town 2011
Elephants at Askari Lodge Game Reserve, Northern Province, 2014
Young Buffalo, Askari Lodge 2014
Jacobsbai - Northern Cape West Coast 2009
Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Town 2009
Roadblock, Askari Lodge, 2013
Street Market, Eastern Cape 2014
Hole in the Wall, Eastern Cape 2014
Rush Hour, Sandton City, Johannesburg 2012
Elephant Crossing, Pilansberg Game Reserve, Northern Province 2012
Koppie - Pilansberg Game Reserve 2012
Paella Day at Plum Pudding 2014 - Gloria (pictured here on the left) outdid herself!
Lion Cub - Glen Afric Game Reserve 2007
My mother getting up close and personal with a baby elephant - Glen Afric 2008
Outside Standloeper's Restaurant, Northern Cape 2011 - you have a 12 course fish dinner.....just fish and more fish and more fish.... I could barely stand up afterwards. In fact my father just rolled me into the car...
Jacaranda Blossom - every November the suburbs are purple here in Joburg!
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I am originally from the UK and moved to South Africa in 1999. I started Blue Designs in 2004 after working as a Driver for Avalon Construction on a luxury home in the Featherbrook Estate. In my spare time I am a keen artist and photographer.
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