It was to be our first night, just Ian and me back in our very own house again… But first let me back up a little… The last you all knew was that our tenant was going to leave our home at the end of October, which was why we had rented a furnished matchbox … More What the beep is going on?
Isn’t it time you stopped putting your life on hold? Back in May when I was lucky enough to attend a short retreat at Praana Wellness in Charente, I got to know Amanda Graham, who runs the place. Like me, she’s lived abroad for a couple of decades. Like me, she now has an empty … More Introducing the Writing Me-Treat, my dream come true
Three months into the move from SE Asia to Europe and the busy period just keeps on going… but I cannot put off my dreams any longer … More Excuse the recent silence, but
The first few weeks in a new country are always a whirlwind of overwhelm. Not only do banks, doctors, local registration, public transport cards bikes, car and somewhere to live need to be organised … but for us, this time, back in The Hague since March, there’s more… One: transit accommodation. Being officially just Ian … More Eight weeks in and it is definitely time for a retreat
I’m sitting in a café on Neue Bahnhof Strasse in the Friedrichshain area of Berlin. The window is strung with miniature coloured lanterns and tea-lights placed in old teacups filled with coffee beans burn on every table. There is a blackboard balanced on a radiator that reads ‘kalte Tage warme Herzen’ (cold days, warm hearts) and … More Lost in Berlin
I expected it to be steamy and hot, deafening with the shouting of orders, the clang of metal spoons against cooking pots and the incessant pounding of pestle against mortar. What I found instead was a haven of calm and happiness. What would you expect to find were you, too, to spend a morning … More Meeting Meeta
Suddenly the days have become sunnier and the trees more glossy. The food has become more addictive and the cheap massages and pedicures more tempting. I’m sure you can guess why… it’s because we know we are leaving. Partir c’est mourir un peu say the French. We Brits say, parting is such sweet sorrow. I’d … More Loving and leaving
It was ‘one of those weeks’. The kind that would have driven me to distraction had it not taken place in a laid back country where things go wrong, people break rules and old hands simply shrug and smile, saying, ‘that’s Malaysia!’ And though our problems were all car-related, instead of driving me mad, after three … More That’s Malaysia!
“Some places make you feel more full than others,” said Palestinian author, Nathalie Handal at last weekend’s third Georgetown Literary Festival in Penang. The theme of the weekend was irresistible to me – Hiraeth – a Welsh word that means longing for a homeland that is no longer there. Undoubtedly, this island is a place … More Finding my homeland
Konichiwa! In the Netherlands they give you a biscuit with your coffee. In Japan they give you a wet wipe. You don’t really need that biscuit, do you? You do, however, if you are anywhere near as messy as me, need a wet wipe. That’s what it is like in Japan – you get what … More Japan has everything you need