a summer in africa

There’s something about the African sun

That beats from a sky much bluer than ours,

Heat scorched grass and roaring lions,

The cocktails will flow at the Tiki bar

As the boys all dance and drink and smoke

And that sun sinks down as the fireflies light

You caught my eye over a tin of beer,

Little did I know that we’d never be split

As the animal snarls close in on the camp

And a heat rises up between two drunken bodies,

Tanned from the day and tired from the night.

And that was how Africa changed one girl’s world

From a stiff British lip to a woman who roars.

My dad went and cleared out the last of the house yesterday and he brought some bags of my stuff over today. Most of it was a load of old rubbish that is going straight in the bin or to the charity shop, but every so often I stumbled across something that just lightened my mood.

Surprisingly the most powerful things I found were the photos. There were so many from when I was a teenager and I used to take a disposable camera everywhere with me. And that includes the summer that I went to South Africa, all on my own.

I ended up meeting my future husband and Noah’s dad and I found a photograph of us in the piles of junk. It reminded me of times that I had pushed to the back of my mind for so long. At the time they were really painful memories, but stumbling across them now has just made me smile.

It’s reminded me that distance between now and then really does ease pain. The more time that passes, the easier it is to remember those times. In fact, now I am actively enjoying looking through those memories. I can only really feel the good feels; the funny stories; the love.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

say it again

pink background with speech bubble
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

say it again, say it again,

say water, listen to her say water,

my voice comes out

in a wondrous string

of english syllables

met with a wall

of gleeful laughter,

they love that sound,

they’ll never get bored.

I have nearly always lived in the south of England so I feel like I have quite a boring voice. There’s no distinctive Scouse twang or Geordie lilt. There is nothing that sets me apart from the people that I work and live with; not vocally anyway.

However, there was a year and a half back in the early naughties when I lived in South Africa, and for once in my life, I was different. I remember working in a bar and all of the other waitresses would ask me to say ‘please can I have a glass of water’ over and over.

They would then laugh and look at me wide eyed, as though I had just landed from a new planet. It was a very strange experience, but one that I actually quite liked.

I really enjoyed feeling different. I liked it when customers stopped me and asked me where I was from and then seemed impressed. Back then, everyone wanted a British passport so it was quite the magnet for South African boys!

I don’t understand why people would ever get upset about their differences and I keep thinking that maybe I should move up north so that I can sound ‘dead posh’. Maybe I’m just craving some attention after being stuck in a tiny radius for so long.

For me, accents are the most amazing thing and we are so lucky to have such varying accents within the UK. I just miss the travels within my country and hearing all the lovely different people. One day I dream of meeting a Scottish person in their natural habitat. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Much Love

Rachel xx