Like most women, I’m sure, we all have one of those days where everything seems to be harder than normal, we are emotional for no apparent reason and you just want to curl up and have a good cry. Now I know these days are completely normal and quite frankly more often than not hormone induced, but I have found since moving away that these moments of irrationality feel like the world is ending, albeit for 24/48 hours.
The expat life initially is an exciting one, as you dive head first into your new life abroad the adrenaline kicks in and you run out of the starting blocks with as much enthusiasm and determination as Usain Bolt. The honeymoon period of exploring and embracing all that is new, the euphoria of finding the perfect apartment, making new friends and establishing you have a decent Indian restaurant in the vicinity settles you in for the long haul. The Skype calls back home are up beat, as you reassure your loved ones that you are fine and finding your feet, the Facebook posts of smiles and sunsets proving that you are living the dream and secretly hoping this sparks an ounce of jealousy back home. Continue reading “The good, the bad and the ugly” →
This week, like many others, the need for retail therapy was calling me. For the last three weeks I have been laid up with a slipped disc, so when the earliest opportunity came, where I could walk again, albeit like a 80-year-old, I jumped for joy (not physically; the back wouldn’t allow it, but in my head it was a leap of elation) at the prospect of a girls trip to the mall. There isn’t a lot to do in Kuwait, but shopping is one of them and boy do they know how to do it.
Our day started early and we headed to The Avenues, 800+ stores all set in multiple themed areas to appease every shoppers need. The escalator took us down onto the palm tree lined boulevard, a perfectly brick paved road. Parisian street lamps buffer the beautiful store fronts, as they reach up to the glass roof flooding light onto to the glistening gold temple that is Harvey Nichs. Just like Dorothy catching a glimpse of the Emerald City, I felt my heart skip a beat the possibilities that lay ahead.
Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore
Continue reading “We’re not in Kansas anymore” →
When we decided to move to Kuwait, one of the first things my husband said to me was “what will your mum say?!” In truth I too was a little nervous about breaking this news, not just to my mum but to all my family and close friends. The news of our move to Prague, four years previous, had not gone down too well, with people shocked that I would want to leave my little island, stating this was so unlike me to be adventurous and blow caution to the wind. However, once they knew there was no going back, the visitors started coming and they saw for themselves that I was happy and had settled into the European way of life. Prague, a beautiful city and only a hop, skip and a jump from Jersey was one thing, telling my loved ones I was moving to the Middle East was quite another. I’m not going to lie the fact I could do this over the phone, almost a thousand miles away, did help (oh dear I can already feel their disapproval in reading that last statement – sorry!)
Their reaction I have to say was a positive one, to my face, I’m sure there were numerous conversations going on about should they be concerned about this bold move. The fact that most people firstly didn’t really have an exact idea of where Kuwait was, giving enthusiastic affirmations of how the UAE is a great place to live, my sister thinking it was in China, I love her for that so no judgments please, and the obvious realisation that this was a lot further away- more like a hop skip and a 747. Continue reading “Lifting the veil” →
Once the novelty of your new home wears off, lets face it it feels like a holiday for the first 2 weeks, you realise you can’t put it off any longer, you have to put yourself out there.
I know once I have been vetted and accepted into the fold, I can hardly shut up and become social secretary for all our engagements, and the people that know me would probably be surprised to know, that doing the whole meet and greet is a nightmare to me….honest. . So begins the torturous weeks of making friends, it quite literally is the first day of school scenario, putting yourself up for scrutiny, first impressions count, praying in the taxi you won’t be left in the corner of the playground to play alone. Then hubby comes home that night asking, just like your anxious mum did 30 years ago, “did you meet anyone nice today?” Continue reading “and the Oscar goes to…..” →
There comes a time around the world, where women simultaneously scream in horror realising bikini season is upon them. We are exposed to what seems to be every magazine cover spouting the bikini diet, the latest celebrity fitness DVD or food fad that will drop inches whilst we sleep.
Now coming from Jersey we boast that we have more sunshine hours than anywhere else in the UK, however the reality is we still don’t have masses of beach days which are two piece viable. So my “normal” (hardly normal to a sane person) bikini ritual would be realising you only have 30 days to that holiday and you’ve just had your 2nd helping of cake, so there is only one thing for it; a 3rd piece of cake whilst you ponder how to drop 20lbs in a month with the least amount of effort. Continue reading “In a desert, far far away….” →
Around the world people are celebrating International Woman’s Day and it’s got me thinking about how far we have come. This could be a rather controversial post, yet I sometimes feel conflicted by the pressure to be a modern woman and my lifestyle choices.
Going to an all girls school we were consistently exposed to strong women, the feared matriarchal head mistress, who lived up to the Dickensian image of a boarding school spinster, who took pride over her girls. The 6ft wooden boards noting every Head Girl in the school’s 100 years gleaming back at you in gold italics, and the Houses named after the past century’s most celebrated women; Garrett Anderson, Nightingale, Cavell, Fry and Curie. My alumni produced doctors, teachers, lawyers and artists all making their way in the world as independent women, blazing ahead. Continue reading “When doing “nothing” means everything “ →
The tendency not to start anything until you have had a cup of coffee
Each morning I roll out of bed, looking like an extra from The Walking Dead and head straight to the kitchen, for what I like to call my shot to the system. As the daily ritual begins, my blurry eyes cast themselves over the little pods of nectar and I wait impatiently for my monogrammed (I know pathetic right, but this is what coffee does to me!?) espresso cup to fill.
In my defense I never used to be one of those people that refuse a coffee,when you pop in for a cuppa and find they only have instant. What kind of uptight snob does that? Me that’s who, I hold my hands up and say it’s not my fault, it’s the expat lurking inside of me. Continue reading “Procaffeinating” →
So this is my very first blog post ever! The subject of which I gave a lot of thought, as not wanting to start this new challenge with a mundane, minute by minute commentary on my life in the desert. So as the pressure mounts, I thought I would answer the most common of questions, when people hear that I’m living in Kuwait. Why!?
Just last week, on one of our “lets make the most of exploring the region” trips, we were sat having pre-dinner drinks in Oman. Firstly the novelty of a pre-dinner drink was marked with much anticipation, Kuwait being a dry country, that we had become more social than normal, sparking up conversations with our fellow cocktailees. The obligatory questions of who are you, how long have you been here, where you from? flow round the group as easy as the wine and canapes. We quickly established that the group of retired Brits from Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire, had practically carbon copy lives of bringing up the kids, now enjoying grandchildren and seeing the world. So evidently when it came to us, we were met with (which has become the normal reaction) immediate interest, fascination and more questions. Why is it that as soon as you step out of convention you become strange and exciting? Continue reading “Shun, Sand and Sea” →