I recently discovered Chickenruby’s blog and it intrigued me. Firstly, she has a memorable and quirky name and that piqued my interest even before I knew what she wrote about. I love the fact that on her About page she explains she once owned a chicken called Ruby and has a Blue Peter Badge! No wonder I warmed to her. Chickenruby’s blog is about being a Brit in South Africa with three expat teens in tow. Her writing is peppy, useful and inspiring. I think she’s one to follow. I asked Chickenruby (real name Suzanne… did you know she once played the clarinet too but can’t sing?) why blog anyway?
Why do I blog?
I started blogging in October 2009 after winning Fancy dress Friday on twitter. I spent the week dressed as a dalek and wanted to share it all in one go. I then continued to use blogging as a way of tweeting longer.
Very soon I discovered that I was being asked for advice on parenting teenagers, I blogged about step families, disabled children and the following year after the oldest 3 had left home I blogged about life as an expat.
I’ve now had a friend work on my blog to make it a bit more professional, changed tags to be more concise, written a couple of articles on family and finances, my blog is a featured blog on many expat and Mum websites. I’ve guest posted, reviewed things, attended blogging conferences.
Prior to life as an expat we had 5 children, 3 at home, one in the army and the eldest in residential care but home on weekends and holidays. Hubbies job took him away most weeks round Europe and up north. The kids had a variety of activities from sea cadets to football. I worked 2 part time jobs as a lecturer and assessor in special needs and NVQ’s and as a Child Welfare Officer with the local county FA (Football Association) I was also studying for a degree in Psychology and helped run the local football club and took an active role with the children’s schools. I had a fantastic network of friends that I could call on anytime of the day or night.
As an expat life has been very lonely, I moved away from everything and everyone I knew. I didn’t realise it would be so hard. I’ve lost my identity. The children had school and hubby had work, they had familiar things around them, it has been hard for them also, but for me I had no way of meeting people, unable to work and having to sort our new lives out, alone with no support.
Blogging has helped me connect to other expats, share stories and tips and hints. I’ve received the most amazing support in regards to treating depression, connecting with expat groups and communities. I’ve been able to share the most amazing experiences from painting shacks in townships to walking with giraffes.
Blogging has become my occupation, supporting others and receiving support in return. Raising awareness of people with disabilities in South Africa, supporting children in townships with Christmas gifts, fundraising and connecting with the most amazing people.
I can be found:
On twitter @chickenruby
And my blog is chickenruby.com
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