We have just returned from meeting Anne-Marie and Andries Kruger. Before I continue, sometime I might refer to Andries as ‘Andrew’ and sometimes as ‘Andries’ or ‘Dries’. This is because the average Englishman can’t say ‘Dries’. And besides, when they see it written down, they will be tempted to call him ‘Dries’ as in ‘he dries his socks in the tumble dryer’. So he has decided to minimise the confusion by calling himself Andrew.

Dries is an accountant and Anne-Marie is a mental nurse. They have been here for around six months and are still struggling to adapt. Thank goodness their first winter has been the mildest in over 300 years in Britian, but that just helps them over the first hurdle that is the weather. There are so many other things to adapt to: the cost of living, the local and regional accents, the new vocabulary (and words from their own vocabulary taking on a different meaning!), the narrow streets, the short days … and so the list goes on.

But all in all it looks like they are doing well. We are going to try and help them through the transition and of course through the maze of job hunting, which is very different to looking for a job in South Africa. It helps that Dries is in the same field as I am.

All in all we had a wonderful afternoon at Costa Coffee in Hale Village.