I am from {She loves synchroblog}

I am in the middle of a few days of feeling completely wiped, but this synchroblog from She Loves magazine was too irresistible, so I have indulged in some gentle therapeutic writing, to give you an idea of my family background. The template can be found here – try it, it’s fun!


I’m from London but only for a year, and then for twenty more the small city with a big cathedral. I am from cobbled streets once walked upon by saints and writers, now overpopulated by buskers and French tourists.

I am from not really belonging, living between two continents. I hold in me the hot blood of Africa: open plains, bold colour, white sunlight, angry storms, burning sunsets, shared food, bare feet and mango trees. I am from the land of rainbow waterfalls and springbok, and I am from the land of damp grass and cucumber sandwiches.

I am from a line of strong women with weak bodies, who fought domestic injustice and scrambled out of poverty.

I am from socially-conscious happily-marrieds, who had parties and went to the theatre, and charmed with their witty stories, worked hard doing good for their community behind the scenes, and won praise for their speeches. I am from colonialism, domestic servants, poodles, and Flanders and Swann.

I am from always having an opinion on everything, even if we know nothing about it. I am from using twenty words when we could use one.

I am from the semi-detached house with tumbling aubrietia over the the rockery, and pine trees in approximate topiary. I am from happy clutter and years of mess. I am from pencil markings and stickers on the bathroom wall that etched our growth each year.

I am from Kia Nyama, the house of meat, constant summer braais, barbecued ribs and chicken kebabs and marinated steak piled high; koeksisters and boerwors, lemon meringue pie so sweet you could feel the sugar sitting on your gums.

I am from the fridge that had a diet sheet on the front and so much food within that you never reached the back. I am from the house of seconds, and feasts, and dinner parties, and takeaways, and every week random people from church invited round for a Sunday roast.

I’m from ‘home sweet home on the doormat’, ‘all out for a bottle of stout, all in for a bottle of gin’, ‘bed time at the Rockies’ and other unintelligible sayings.

I am from bookshelves stuffed with stories, poetry, fairy tales, school text books from decades ago (kept just in case), Bible commentaries, and inspiring Christian biographies of heroes of the faith.

I am from “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart”, and
“Wide, wide as the ocean”, and
“I wanna serve the purpose of God in my generation.”

I am from Dire Straits, Abba and Supertramp.

I am from piano played enthusiastically, and Les Miserables duets; drumsets and electric guitars and abandoned woodwind instruments.

I’m from eating roast beef and Yorkshire puddings and tiramisu at Christmas because it tastes better than turkey and Christmas pudding. I’m from foreign holidays, and child-cooked anniversary dinners, and grace sung loudly before meals in five-part harmony (even in restaurants).

I’m from “English people are so parochial”, and
“it doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are where God has called you”, and
“it’s all about relationship, not religion”, and
“the world will hate you because it hated Jesus”, and
“eat your cabbage because there are children starving in Africa”.

I am from laughter, late night debates and competitive board games. I am from interrupting each other, and shouting what we really feel, and slammed doors and teary apologies. I am from being late, and driving fast, and impromptu decisions.

I am from massaging shoulders and kneading dough: we pummel in order to restore.

I am from the weeping willow tree in the back garden, which silently swayed and sighed in the wind. I am from somersaulting on the trampoline, flying on the swing, sitting alone in the pear tree.

I’m linking up with She Loves magazine synchroblog – do check out the others. I think my favourite was this one by Alison Luna – so beautiful.

Over to you:

  • Where are you from? (I’d LOVE to get to know you better, and it would be amazing if you could do this exercise in the comments if you haven’t blogged on it, or leave a link to your blog if you have taken part in the synchroblog. The template can be found here


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    33 Responses to I am from {She loves synchroblog}

    1. Karmen White 29th September, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Boerwors! There is nothing better 🙂 can’t wait to catch up and give you praise in person for this fab piece of imagery writing xx

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:24 am #

        Thanks, Karmen! And if you ever got a chance to do this exercise I would LOVE to read it.

    2. kelli woodford 29th September, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      Such a colorful background you have, dear Tanya! And you’ve painted it with broad strokes for us all to ooh and ahh over.
      I especially love how you massage shoulders and knead dough – pummel to restore. A hearty YES to that kind of resurrection.

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:23 am #

        Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelli! Thanks for liking how we massage and knead (I love that photo of us!)

    3. Cat 29th September, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      I love this! What a great idea. I think I am gong to give it a go and blog it 🙂 Btw your website design is really good – have you changed it recently? (I think I am behind the times!)

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        Hiya! Yes – I changed the design last week, though I’m still playing with it a bit. And I would LOVE to read yours, please blog on it!

    4. Jenn LeBow 29th September, 2013 at 1:53 am #

      Beautiful. Loved this. My favorite line: “we pummel in order to restore.” Another lovely post, dear one.

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:21 am #

        Thanks so much, Jenn – that was my favourite line too! I really enjoyed reading yours – thanks for stopping by.

    5. Rebecka 28th September, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      I loved reading this! However, I’m completely wiped too, so I’ll have to do this some other time. 🙂

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:20 am #

        Whenever you do it, write it here, or leave a link – I’d really love to know more about your background!

    6. sandra hughes 28th September, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Love…will have a try soon

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Please do! I would love to read it!

    7. Mark Allman 28th September, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Where I am From

      I am from long bumpy dirt roads, sweltering tobacco fields, hot and humid hay fields, vegetable gardens, corn fields, grey barns, and milk cows. Where you can hear the crickets late at night and the whip-poor-will’s call me back and not a neighbor in sight. Red birds and blue with crows all around.

      I am from 1959, a child of the 60’s and 70’s, and a Blue Ridge Mountain Virginia farm. One room upstairs home with walnut trees in the yard, white shingles, and a tin roof; abandoned but still standing.

      I come from Sunday trips to Grandma’s where biscuits and gravy and rice krispie treats resided; where the bathroom was outside and the wood stove was hot. Cedar Christmas trees and big tree lights. From slamming screen doors and an upstairs that held secrets untold.

      I am from walks to my other Grandma’s for cornbread and milk and learning how to make a quilt. Where Granddaddy never a cross word said. Where the worst thing he ever told someone was to “go to Cuba” and did not believe Cuba was a real place.

      From fried frozen hamburgers, chef Boyardee pizza, pinto beans, baked potatoes, and hotdogs. Where homemade ice cream and homemade potato chips were fought over. When going out to eat was at a picnic table. From frozen orange juice and milk right from the cow; Zesta crackers. Palm size Sweet Tarts were a favorite of mine……

      I am from National Enquirer and Reader’s Digest, Star Trek books and the Roanoke Time’s. I come from only one vacation growing up and that to Myrtle Beach and a few Lakeside amusement park trips.

      I am from where my abilities were doubted and the expectation was the farm boy would fail when he went up against the city boys. Where math came easy with hard work and science intrigued. Where sports allowed me more acclaim than I deserved.

      I come from cutting down trees and splitting firewood and where it snows out school from time to time. I come from working since I was 15 outside the home and working the tobacco crop in the evenings and on weekends.

      I am from little league and Babe Ruth baseball played on Saturday’s and a Friday night football third team all state wide receiver. From a Glade Hill Raider to a Franklin County Eagle to a Va Tech Hokie. From trying out at Va Tech to quitting to concentrate on engineering.

      A long time Minnesota Viking fan. Now Atlanta Braves and the Packers too.

      I am from an older brother and one younger and two younger sisters. Where a father was home and gone all at the same time and finally just gone and a mother who never left.

      From long hair to short hair to short hair and a beard. From plaid pants to corduroy to painter pants to blue jeans.

      I am from a house of cats and outside dogs and pet calves. A one weekend boy scout; a homecoming Mr Football who married the homecoming queen. From Best all around to wondering what was all around.

      From tractors and trucks; bicycles and motorcycles too. From breaking down used cars driving home backwards and without headlights at night.

      From farm boy to high school football to engineering graduate. From working in the fields, to summers building homes, to an engineer and then a manager.

      I am from being the father of Jessi, Levi, and Esther. I am from walking in unrecognized darkness to a child of the eternal Light. I am from love unbridled, fierce loyalty, broken promises, regrets, forgiveness, and God’s love and grace.

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Oh Mark, this is such beautiful, beautiful writing. I can see it all, the tobacco fields and the hot farm. You weave such a full picture of your life growing up. This sentence I found especially poignant: “Where a father was home and gone all at the same time and finally just gone and a mother who never left.” Thank you so much for writing this.

    8. Cathy 28th September, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      This is so beautiful, Tanya

      • Tanya 30th September, 2013 at 10:15 am #

        Thank you so much!

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