Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Putney is well-known for being the starting point of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. It is a nine square kilometre area with a population about the size of Bermuda (I moved from Bermuda to Putney in 2008). In the 1840s, Putney was still a part-wooded, part-agricultural village. As London boomed, it became an international city. I moved there because my brother, his wife and my brand new niece lived around the corner. Many South Africans, New Zealanders, and Australians had the same idea. Afrikaans is not a convenient secret code language in Putney, Earlsfield, Wimbledon, Clapham, Richmond and Fulham. 'Reverse Colonisation'. As Trevor Noah says, we were told it was Great Britain, so we came to see why. The UK is in the same time zone as South Africa, has a deeply intertwined history, shared sporting culture (rugby and cricket), and the Pound goes a lot further than the Rand (if you take it back). The fact that I had friends and family here, made 'leaving home' much like moving cities. I think we can deal with some different, but common ingredients make the transition easier.

A white welcome in 2008

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