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I didn’t mind turning twenty ten years ago. It was just the start of a new decade. Will it be the same this time? I think so. Twenty-six was harder than twenty – perhaps thirty-six will be harder than thirty. After all, there is always that checkpoint of the things you thought you would be doing at a certain age, and find yourself not doing.

If asked whether I’ve done the things I envisaged I would do in my twenties, the answer is no. I am neither a mother nor published author, and both of those seemed a natural step forward as I entered the past decade. Instead, I do social research in one of the most excitingly developing places on earth; I raise horses and I have two adorable nieces that I hold close to my heart and the best canine companion in the world. Life may not have turned out as I expected, but it certainly has not been standing still!

So here’s to another decade. To a new beginning – both fresh and familiar; to new plans, new dedications, new life moments – to a new set of tens years, that both may and may not become what I anticipate. At this moment, I hold no expectations but they will come soon enough. As for my birthday, I am postponing my own birthday gift until a quieter moment. It is none other than a horseback weekend expedition with Sheba and Anette to one of my favourite places on earth.

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It requires time, which I don’t have right now – but when it does, we will slip into the heart of the Niger bush and stay there for a long moment, watching the stars in the night and then the sun go up in the morning. I am sure Sheba will guard us well! :-)