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I met communications entrepreneur Sarah Rice years ago, just before she married the man she talks about here. I was sorry to hear about her pain, because she really is a very nice, kind, smart, funny, sincere woman. She’s also very strong, as she reveals in her blog about coping with divorce on a tight budget. There’s no hint of bitterness about her break-up – only positive thinking and determination to move forward. – JC
By Sarah Rice*
New homes often come with new life-stages. So how does a recently divorced mother of two manage a move? With fairy lights, refugee styling, and the kindness of friends.
Moving house is never a joy. Moving house because of the break up of a marriage is even less so. On top of the emotional stuff (lots) and costs (many), there is the physical stuff (not as much as before.)
Dividing a home into two is startling. First I realised how much we had accumulated over the past 14 years, and then I realised how very little of it was nice. (I blame the kids. They are educated, clothed and happy, which means I have a pretty crappy dining room table.)
Moving with half the stuff meant there were glaring gaps in the furniture and kitchen department. So once I moved, I needed to figure how to cost-effectively fill my house with homey things like curtains, cupboards and coffee mugs.
The big challenge for me was that I wanted to feel grown up and in control – a capable, independent woman. My budget was a little more in line with the ‘just left home and my mom gave me this fridge’ phase of life.
There was only one thing for it. Enter Refugee Chic! I have embraced the words eclectic, boho and throw.
My theory is that nothing can’t be improved by tossing a piece of fabric over it and stringing up some fairy lights. And I mean nothing! If it’s got a mandala on in – even better. My house looks like a crazed mixture between ‘Canal Walk Christmas’ and ‘Monsoon Wedding.”
I have been gifted the most amazing bits of furniture, from an old couch to a new television that wasn’t needed. I have found cupboards on Gumtree and convinced my long-suffering sister to sew bright pink shwe-shwe fabric onto ‘value’ plain white curtains to add what I like to call a colour-accent, but what is in fact a panel to make the curtains fit the windows.
My new motto: there is nothing that a bit of paint can’t fix. It’s loud, colourful, and bright and has a kind of giddy tossed-salad quality to it. It’s definitely the home of a woman redefining her worldview. But it’s mine, and that makes all the difference.
* In the process of making this home I have learnt some very important things.
* It doesn’t matter what table you sit around. It matters what conversations you have.
* Your friends don’t care what they sit on.
* Fairy lights really do make it better!
* Always call a professional to hang your curtain rails.
* Home is more than stuff. But make sure you have enough wine glasses.
* Sarah Rice is a technology communications specialist with over a decade’s worth of experience. She is with Batstone.
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