The most devastating thing that has ever happened to me was the emmigration of both my daughers, their husbands and their children. South Africa is a magnificently beautiful country with the best weather in the world but it's a pretty dangerous place for children to grow up. The unemployment rate is far too high and young people are leaving to go to Europe, USA and Australia and New Zealand for better opportunities and safety. My children left for these very reasons and they left within 10 months of each other. And then my stepsons left as well to go to London. My husband and I applied for residence in Australia but we were refused and as two South Africans over the age of 50 with not millions in the bank, we are unable to relocate to the UK where 3 of our children live. Once I knew for sure that we could not emmigrate, I had to settle down and love my life and re-invent myself. For 30 years I had first been a mom and then a granny and suddenly I was neither and I had changed careers after having been in one company for 20 years. Towards the end of last year I was becoming extremely depressed, I quit smoking and a very special friendship was disintegrating so I started looking for a distraction, a hobby - anything to bring softness back into my life. My dearest friend once said that whenever there was heartbreak in her life she would take on a baby, meaning a baby animal. This to me is the ultimate comforter but I live in an apartment and have one very spoilt kitty already. So in my deep desperation, the little bears found me and since that day I have never looked back. Creating these little creatures has given me so much pleasure and brought so much softness and beauty into my life. I am not an artist, at best I'm a crafter, so it is not an easy task creating them but I know that I make them with love and patience and care and one of these days they are going to be absolutely beautiful. In the meantime, I give them as gifts to friends, who I hope will love them and look after them and maybe soon they will travel farther afield. Blogging has also become part of my "other" life - away from the corporate environment where dog eats dog. I do not feel the need to expose all my warts on my posts, but by the same token I don't want to pretend to be someone that I'm not. I feel that blogging should enhance my life, not complicate it. I would like to make new friends, not enemies.
If my posts sometimes appear very simplistic, it's because they are for Georgia, my seven year old granddaughter, my precious little girl who loves reading about my life and my bears and who has a bear named Cookie which travelled all the way from South Africa to Australia to live with her. Blogging is a marvelous way for me to communicate with Georgia and show her what I am doing. When she gets home from school in the afternoons she immediately goes onto my blog and this helps to keep me alive for her because if we are very, very lucky we see each other every two years.