Dear friends & family:
You will have realised that so far the mail has not delivered a Wigham Christmas card … don’t hold your breath, it won’t be coming in January either! We got as far as writing the first ten or so and I even managed to get some stamps a few days ago, but then decided it would be too late to send. So here’s an email instead – a great excuse to also give you a quick update on our little family.
2011 was a year of many ups and downs. Leola has gone from being a happy 7-month old a year ago to a very decisive, talkative, 19-month old today. She started life being an amazing sleeper, but no longer so. For the past 10 months or so, she tends to wake up anywhere between once to 3 x a night and has also given up on the idea of regular day naps. On a good day, she’ll go down for a 2-hour nap, but on most days, it’s more like a 45-minute catnap. The temper tantrums normally associalted with the terrible twos also started at least half a year early and there have been a few times now where we’ve had to resort to giving her 2-minute time outs in her room. The desperate cries of a prisoner hanging off her safety gate bars are both super-cute and heart-wrenching at the same time … and the very sincere “sorry mummy” after 120 long seconds have passed, are just too special.
Leola’s vocabulary is coming along very well, which is GREAT when she’s frustrated and can tell you what she wants … and equally not so great because she does exactly that – tell us precisely what she wants without taking no for an answer. She’s made me extra aware of what I say (and how), particularly when talking to Gandalf, as she repeats everything verbatim: “No, Gandalf”, “Out, Gandalf”, “Calm down, Gandalf”… the list goes on. She keeps amazing us by giving a running commentary on her own life in complete sentences. Yesterday, when she found the garden hose refilling the water fountain (it was a hot day), she told us “Lola is taking a shower”. For the rest, most phrases start with “Lola wants … “ or “Lola needs more … presents/nuts/ice/etc”. She also knows her shapes, including the “funny” ones, like trapezium, hexagon, and pentagon. Her little brain is like a sponge and we just hope and pray we’ll be able to keep up J.
The passing away of Tim’s Dad in July was an enormous blow for all of us and made us realise more than ever that life is fragile and we should never take our health for granted or miss out on an opportunity to spend time with family. We all travelled up to Zimbabwe which was both an emotionally difficult and very healing time reliving memories and saying goodbye. Tim and I had found out only a few weeks earlier that we were expecting again. Sadly, the email with our happy news missed Tim’s Dad by a day as it was sent the day he became too ill to go into work.
We had some more sad news with the health of one of Tim’s older cousins declining and – only a few days ago – the very sad news that my Beppe (Granny) passed away at the age of 91. My grandparents were married for 68 years and were a huge part of our lives, from the very early days when we all lived on the same farm property to regular stay-overs and after-school visits when we were in primary school and they lived 5KM away “in town”. As we grew older, there were more visits, joint camping trips to Germany, hikes, and endless games of Rummikub… Always full of love (and wit), any visit to my grandparents was a treat! Luckily, I’d managed to see my grandparents at least once a year for the last couple of years and even had a chance to visit them with Leola in April, for which I’m very thankful.
The pregnancy is meanwhile progressing well with less than 8 weeks left before the big day. It’s been strange as in some ways it’s gone way faster than with Leola; on the other hand, it has seemed that much longer and heavier. Either way, we’re all looking forward to meeting our new little addition and Leola’s equally keen to meet her little brother – she’s convinced that he’ll come out ready to play!
On the work front, our exciting news is that we are getting ready to leave behind life in South Africa (the past 9 years for me, longer for Tim) in exchange for cold, dark Aberdeen, Scotland where the number of annual sunshine hours is one tenth of the amount we’re used to getting. The move is planned for April/May to give us a chance to get baby’s EU passport sorted so he can move without requirements for visas, etc. Before you think we’re going mad, it’s been a well-considered move with lots of thought going into it both from our side and from Exceed, the Oil & Gas consultancy with whom we’ve both been working since 2007. We’ve commited to a 3-year period with the intention of reconsidering at that stage. We’re both excited about the opportunities to help Exceed grow and – for me especially – be closer to the “hub” after a few years of operating remotely. It does mean saying goodbye to Cape Leadership Centre, and we’re still deciding whether to sell or to keep it dormant for the next few years. A tough call when so much of our energy and passion has gone into building CLC.
Another sad part about the move is having to say goodbye to Granny (Tim’s Mum) who has not just been a wonderful grandmother to Leola and my support when Tim is away, and who has also been Leola’s “Granny-Nanny” for the last year, helping out 2 – 2.5 days a week allowing me to get on top of work. Much of Leola’s development is thanks to Granny’s tireless efforts and games and we’re very sad she won’t be a part of our daily lives once we move to Scotland.
Anyway, here we are, nearing the end of 2011, enjoying the visit of Paul, Bee, and kids who are here from Hong Kong for two weeks, and looking forward to an exciting 2012. We hope this finds you well and healthy and pray that your 2012 is filled with blessings.
Love from Cape Town,
Tim, Angela, & Leola