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I never imagined that I would be sitting up north in the Southern part of Africa, Botswana to be precise and telling a story. The country and the wildness have suitably inspired me. Mind you, considering the many paths that I have already walked, where I now find myself, should not really surprise me at all. Life is never dull when we allow it to ebb and flow just like the sea, guided by the sun, moon and stars. It would certainly not be book material and I would like a good story to pen one day.

It is not however, just this arid, hot and incredibly sensorycountry alone that has got me spilling ink but also where I currently find myself in my life journey. I have not had a good ramble in ages and even found myself removing some of my stories as they no longer resonated with me. They were from a time gone by. Recounts of events that ended up tasting as bitter as home brewed beer. I may one day look back on them as hard knocks and lessons learnt. The bruises have faded but the scars remain.

Well, for those who read my ramblings, you will know that I often digress, as I have just ever so slightly done but I always have so much I wish to share and I remain courageously vulnerable in my attempts to be authentic.

I seem to be at a rather unsettling age of not knowing what the dickens is going on with my, not so subtle, morphing body. My clothes are inexplicably shrinking in the wash on a weekly basis. I find myself having to regularly shop for larger sizes. Has the method for universal sizes changed? Methinks that must definitely be the case. My shoe size is another case in point. I am now a size 6 whereas a 5 always used to be my fit.

My thighs rub together so vigorously that I am afraid a fire may ignite in the vicinity of my crotch area. It would be fuelled by my rather lardy butt. My flat stomach seems to have become a distant memory and for the first time in my life, I have an innie belly button.

Saggy skin and wrinkles envelops my burgeoning frame. Why did no one take the time to warn me about this anomaly which seems to manifest along with failing eye sight, grey hair and creaky joints.

If anyone else had to relate a similar story to me, I would be full of sage advice such as; acceptance is key, embrace the changes, you are growing in wisdom and grace, it is not what is on the outside, it is what is on the inside that is more important and so on and so forth. So, I think that I need to take my words to heart, apply them and get on with the business of loving myself. There is after all a lot more to love than there was a year ago.

There are of course some advantages to aging faster than a run-away horse. I love the way Helen Mirren put it, when she said; “At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘fuck off’ much more frequently.” I like to think that with age comes confidence and the wherewithal to be filling our own cups first. Hopefully once my body has stopped this rebellious stage, I will once again feel comfortable in my skin and embrace it with grace!

I am also at a stage of ‘enlightenment’. Not in a burning incense, meditating and eating kale type of way. Rather in an understanding and acknowledgement way. Mostly of my flawed upbringing and the resulting fallout that has plagued my life. Especially as to how it has led me to repeat destructive relationship choices. I only fully understood this after a truly genuine, honest and wonderful man came into my life. Oh and of course a bit of therapy always works a charm.

My Cultured Kitchen continues to flourish, just as the bacteria which I rely on to produce an array of Cultured and Fermented Health foods. Again, who would have guessed that I would find myself in a kitchen making sourdough bread, Kimchi, yoghurt and pretty much anything that ferments. The most rewarding part for me is running workshops to teach people how to do all of this themselves and in the process promoting good health and of course a fresh dose of fun. My focus is changing somewhat and moving in the direction of homesteading and sustainability. Smart Health and My Cultured Kitchen will be embracing this in the spirit of treading lightly and the ideology of ‘from the garden to the home’.

JLR Freelance Content Writer and Blogger has taken bit of a backseat while I am busy with shenanigans in my kitchen but I continue to write for regular clients.

Hmm, have I gone off on a tangent again? *Insert rolling eye emoticon.* At least you are now all caught up. 

So, moving swiftly or perhaps not that swiftly along, to what has brought me to this spot in Africa where I sit and gaze at the vast plains of Botswana, watched by the odd herd of elephant that wander by and the troop of baboons who have taken up in the shade of a nearby Acacia tree? Simply put, it is adventure and love. My sense of wonder and eagerness to experience everything that comes my way with vigour.

What of love? I get to love life a whole lot more when coupled with adventure and my cup of gratitude overflows because of these experiences. I consider myself exceptionally lucky that I get to continue my journey with a kindred spirit who shares my sense of adventure. Who walks beside me, literally and figuratively holding my hand.

I have been traversing not just the rutted roads of Botswana and Zimbabwe but those of my soul. I have a fresh new sprinkle of freckles across my cheeks from the calescent sun and my toes have been permanently covered in the angels dust that is Africa.

Such adventures to be had and you are welcome to join me. Next story up which hopefully you will not wait another year for is, ‘Elephant Crossings and Police Stops’.

Chat soon!

If you want to connect with me, sign up to follow my blog or find me on Facebook – Jeanne Rae , Smart Health and My Cultured Kitchen , JLR Freelance Content Writer and Blogger

Okavango Elephant. Picture courtesy of myself!

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