Here We Are


I started my blog 5 years ago to the day (Friday, 08 April 2011) and I remember the day clearly. Judy was visiting and was watching telly with Peter in the tv lounge while I was working on my blog at the computer in the adjacent office nook (this was before I got my trusty laptop and could write anywhere). I changed the post about a hundred times, reading it out to them after each edit. I was dithering about so much, hesitating about pressing the publish button, that Judy eventually exclaimed that I was behaving like what her father used to call a virgin on the verge – will she or won’t she? It made me laugh and I realised that, as usual, I was taking myself far too seriously. I thought of my own father who would have said, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and with the words of both Ted and Roy ringing in my ears, I published my first post. (I have to say that after 5 years it still hasn’t got any easier clicking that publish button.)

I decided to start a blog after having lived on my own at the farm for just over a year. Whenever I returned to Durban, which was quite frequently back then, people asked me what it was like living in the country; did I feel safe on my own, what did I do all day, what was growing in the allotment, did I miss the city lights, where did I shop etc? So I thought I could write about my move to the country and that it would help me to stay in touch with family and friends. And it has done that and more, inasmuch as I have made new friends and reconnected with old friends through my blog. In those early years when I often felt quite isolated here, blogging also helped to give me a much needed sense of connection with “the outside world”.

Quite a few years prior to moving to the country I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and I began writing what she calls “Morning Pages”.

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I find it easier to understand things if I write them down. I’m not good at “thinking on my feet” as it were – I need to mull things over, weigh up the pros and cons and often, even then, I have a tendency to be indecisive. I find that writing is like housework for the mind; it clears away the clutter and helps me to think in a more focussed way. By writing my Pages and subsequently my blog, I have been able to work through many difficulties and resolve countless dilemmas. Of course there is still a ton of shit I haven’t sorted out but life is a work in progress.

So what began as a peek at life in the country, has become a vehicle for some of my soul searching as well. And I would like to thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement. I wouldn’t write a blog if no-one read it, so you have all contributed to my understanding of this wonderful world as I journey through it and for that I am most grateful.


It’s autumn in the Midlands and nothing says that more than the leonotis leonurus (wild dagga) starting to flower.

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9 Responses to Here We Are

  1. michele harpur says:

    Time does seem to have a habit of overtaking us! 5 years! It has been wonderful to reconnect with you during these years and follow your travels and he evolving life on a ‘farm’ in the Midlands! I look forward to each posting! Clink! Clink! (bubbles of course!)

  2. Adam Rice says:

    Happy 5th anniversary! I can’t believe I have been following your blog for 5 years already. It has been a very bright light; I have loved your ramblings and thoughts on life, the world , and everything. It has taken on an additional dimension since we have been and visited you in your new life in the country. Do keep writing them for as long as you feel the urge, they will always be treasured by this reader at least.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Adam – I can’t believe I’ve been writing it for 5 years. I really appreciate your following it, that way I feel we’ll never lose touch again.

  3. Chris Ammann says:

    Cathy, I totally identify with your problems in hitting that publish button. It plagues me every time. And probably always will. It is daunting to think that one’s post *could* potentially be read by millions even if it’s only a dozen or two!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s not a bad idea to bear that in mind every time one sends something into the blogosphere. When I first started blogging I naively assumed that I could control the readership. When it finally dawned on me that it’s “out there” for anyone to read, I became more cautious, especially when writing about others. There’s a fine line between telling it like it is and hurting other people’s feelings.

  4. Judy says:

    I am so pleased that you pressed that “publish” button. You have kept us entertained, informed and have made us think. You have even brought “a tear to me eye and a lump to me throat” on occasion! Keep ’em coming.

  5. Ann Harper says:

    So enjoy your blogs, and can relate so easily to that pull to the country… while not giving up on the best of the past… treasured friends, shared histories and earnest debates, celebratory moments and good laughs. So pleased you and Pete are just down the road. ( in rural terms!)

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