A  former pharmaceutical marketing executive in Europe, Jackie and her family decided to move back to their homeland, South Africa and start a new, slow life in a remote area of the country.  This blog chronicles their adventure.

2012 Update

Much has changed, – early on in my adventure my partner and I split up and now my child has fled the nest to go to study so I continue alone – out in the African bush – idyllic 🙂

2014 Update

Much has changed again 🙂  I have met a wonderful man, am engaged to marry him and have moved to Nelspruit to be with him.  This city is 3 hours away from my previous home, still in the lowveld and still next to the Kruger National Park.  We live outside of the city on a farm.

38 thoughts on “About

  1. I just copied the code and pasted it into a text widget – easy peasy. Shout if you need help. No need to upload or download anything. Just register your blog with them then they send you the code to paste in.


    • Anna – the area I live in is called the Lowveld. Because I aim to live a slow life here – I mixed it in with Slow – to get Slowvelder – however I cannot lay claim to the word because many people call themselves this locally as a bit of a joke because the pace is slower than in the cities


  2. It’s wonderful to meet a kindred spirit! Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment – I look forward to reading about your adventures!


  3. hi Jackie
    Thanks for visiting my blog, in answer to your question: Baboons don’t seem to leave anything untouched if they are hungry. However the less damaged goods are of the leafy kind, ie spinach, cabbages, lettuce etc. They love the root veggies and tomatoes are their favourite, on our spot anyway.
    Good luck!


  4. If I ever get to South Africa, I will look you up! You live in an awesome land! Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. Reading other’s blogs and seeing their photos has been a wonderful journey for me. Despite the challenges Nature gives us and man’s inhumanity to man, it still is a beautiful world.


  5. Hi Jackie, wonderful blog, and always nice to see a fellow Slowvelder… I would like to ask you a question, I am an illustrator, and my new book is coming out early next year, on indigenous plants, fruits, herbal recipes etc. basically living lightly on and close to the land, making use of natural ingredients without exploitation and so on. I have a beautiful Marula illustration, and want to ‘borrow’ your marula jelly recipe to go along with it, all credit to you, of course. Would you mind?


    • Hi Mellissa
      Thanks for visiting my blog. You are welcome to use the recipe – I modiefied it from a couple of others I found on the web though so it’s not all my invention 🙂
      Good luck with your book and keep in touch. I would love to hear more about it.


  6. Hi Jackie
    Thank you so much. I’ll keep you posted regarding the book, and send you an invite for the launch (I am angling to have it done somehere local). The publishing date is set for January, and while the book itself is completed, the illustration deadline is coming up, so it’s almost done. Can’t wait!


  7. Great to see your new place….quite different from the house in Brussels, right??…..tell me: coul you accomodate 2 adults and 3 children??? If yes, i will start preparing our holiday in South Africa!


  8. Hi ‘We are ‘moving’ into the area (for however long that may be) and I NEED, compulsively, to join up with an art class somewhere.
    Do you attend classes, or can you suggest one in the greater Hoedspruit area? Our place is on Lissataba.

    Enjoy following your blog. All those maroelas in your latest one have me ‘lussing’!


    • Hi Karen

      Our art group is great and we welcome new people to join. Email me on jackie(dot)hills(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk and I will introduce you to our amazing teacher Anne.

      Bet you can’t wait to get here 🙂


  9. Hi there

    I enjoy your writings and as a recent convert to become self sustainable by growing my own vegetables as I live on a plot I agree it has been a most rewarding exercise. I stumbled upon your website looking for ideas on how to grow Rosella’s I live on the West Rand (Muldersdfrit) and will be planting the seeds early spring. Would this be correct? I also saw that you make a cordial with the Rosella flowers and lemon grass which sounds delicious and was wondering what quantity of lemon grass did you utilize in the recipe?


    • Hi Tony. Wow your plot sounds great – I know the west rand quite well. I would say in the highveld your growing season for rosella would be spring/summer.

      For the cold drink I use a big handful of dried rosella petals and a big pinch of dried lemongrass. If you use fresh lemongrass I would use about two big pinches as fresh has less pungency than dried. 1500 ml boiling water and honey to taste. Then cool in the fridge and bottle it. You must consume it in a couple of days because there are no preservatives.

      It is not really a cordial because you do not dilute it down when you drink it although I believe there are some really good rosella cordial recipes out there too


  10. Hello Jackie,
    I worked at Mariepskop a lifetime ago as a radio operator for some months, after I failed as a pilot. I have very fond memories of us guys trekking down to the Blyde River in our free time, swimming, exploring and enjoying a break away from the camp.
    Today I got nostalgic and searched for Mariepskop pics and found your Blog.
    Thank you.


  11. Hello,

    I am a casting producer for an American television show about people buying homes abroad. I came across your blog and wanted to reach out to see if you might be interested in participating in an episode of our show. Right now we are casting recent expats who live in rural areas of South Africa.

    House Hunters International tells the story of people who have picked up and moved to a foreign location to pursue a new life abroad. For this particular series, we are interested in people who have moved “Off the Grid” to a remote or unusual location in a new country. The harder to get to, the further removed from modern conveniences, the better. Being on our show is a lot of fun for our participants and is a great way for them to document their search for a new home.

    We are casting people who either have already bought/rented a home or are currently looking for a home in a new country. If you or anyone you know meet these qualifications please let me know. I would love to tell you more about our program and hear about your experiences in rural South Africa.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon!




  12. So I’m moving from Cape Town to Hoedspruit soon, and unsure of what to expect I typed in ‘rural living in South Africa’ into Google and stumbled upon your blog! It sounds like a lovely place to live 🙂


  13. Hello!
    I just bumped into your blog – our daughter is going to do an internship with African Dream Horses in Hoedspruit from February to June 2015, and we will be visiting her on that occasion. I look forward to be back in RSA, I think it is still the most beautiful country on earth!


  14. Hi Jackie,
    Thanks for following my blog, there will be some new posts and photos as soon as I finish this mad scramble to get adequate shelter up before winter sets in. I am looking forward to reading through your blog this winter.
    All the best,


  15. Thanks for following The Immortal Jukebox. I hope you will enjoy plenty of entertaining writing and a wide variety of music. I usually post each week. If it has been a while since you last visited come on over! I welcome your views and comments. Good luck with your blog. Regards Thom

    Liked by 1 person

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