Are we there yet?

Last Friday was a momentous day. One that had been on our minds for months. The debates had ensued about what direction we should go and the anticipation rose over recent weeks as the nerves kicked in. Then, as if out of no where the inevitable happened, the day had finally come, the waiting was over, no more talking around the subject…..we were going home!

We arrived at Kuwait airport, with as much excitement as the Icelandic team on Monday night (like my little topical analogy?!) Checking in with the usual amount  of cheek to see if an upgrade was possible, Hubby flashing his gold card like it  was Willy Wonker’s golden ticket. Alas on this occasion his charm eluded the check in staff and the plane was full. Once  airside all Ramadan restrictions lift, so as we practically ran to Starbucks, my mind was weighing up which delight I should order to satisfy my month long withdrawal. Continue reading “Are we there yet?”

Home game

I am literally days away from going home and if you haven’t guessed it already, from the numerous references in recent posts and nostalgic Tweets, I am simply beside myself with excited anticipation. Whilst I was packing, yes I had packed with over a week to go, but before you pass judgement, in my defense I HAVE to be organised. I’m a planner and quite frankly would need Valium if it was left with only days to go, so what if I have nothing to wear for my last week desert side, I’m calm(ish). Anyway where was I? Right, I was thinking about going home and all that means in terms of preparation, for this perfecting Virgo, and what awaits me in the motherland. So sitting on my sun lounger I let my mind drift and came up with a little word play….. Continue reading “Home game”

The great escape 

There is a moment every year, where there is only one thing expats talk about. Everyone does it, everyone talks about it, they compare notes, it’s the go to conversation throughout May and rankings are drawn up to see who’s the hardcore bunch, lasting longer than anyone else. Let the expat exodus begin…….

It is completely accepted that expats disappear from Kuwait  in  June and reappear at the start of September. The locals also get in on the action, making August in the desert somewhat desolate as temperatures soar and everyday life becomes limited solely to air con induced activities. The schools break for summer a whole month earlier than the UK, due to July and August reaching above and beyond 50 degrees (that’s 122 Fahrenheit for those who prefer old money) so kids here have a full 10 weeks off. Whilst this sounds great to the kids, that’s 10 weeks that they need to be entertained, 10 weeks of activities to find and Kuwait simply doesn’t have enough options out of the heat. So with little alternatives, my expat friends escape the sand pit and head home.  Continue reading “The great escape “

Wish you were here

As Father’s Day approaches I naturally start to thinking about my own dad. When I was 25 I lost him, when he lost his two year battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). This horrific disease affects up to 5,000 people in the UK at any one time, killing more than half within 2 years of diagnosis, attacking the nerves, muscles and motor skills leaving sufferers unable to walk, talk, eat and breathe. There is no cure. My Dad’s case affected his upper body first, which meant within 5 months of diagnosis he had lost his speech and in less than a year was unable to eat. Without his communication set, it rendered him to frantically handwriting notes telling us what he was doing, wanted and thought, leaving a trail of scrap papers around the house. He was always a people person, running a customer facing business on Jersey for almost 30 years and loved to chat away to people, so as you can imagine this was a hard transition. However even as he scribbled away he didn’t lose his stubborn and opinionated side, always letting you know if he wasn’t happy or interject when there was something he didn’t agree with. So for the last eleven years he has been absent from my life and I think back to the moments where he would not be backwards in coming forwards, telling me what he thought, I wonder what he would make of his little girl’s adventures.  Continue reading “Wish you were here”

Ramadan Kareem

Today is the start of Ramadan for all Muslims around the world. Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar marking a month of fasting and is one of the five pillars of Islam. The fast  (no intake of food or liquids including water, abstention of sinful and sexual activities) must take place daily between sun rise and sunset and lasts between 29-30 days dependant on the sightings of the crescent moon. During this compulsory period of fasting, you are displaying self discipline, spiritual reflection, control and sacrifice allowing the person to cleanse and purify. Charity also pays a large part during this month, where practicing empathy and charitable actions (zakat) towards those less fortunate are paramount to the practice.

Living in a Muslim country the misconception of most people is that,  if you are not a practicing Muslim then Ramadan , is of course something you know is going on, but has little impact on you if not taking part. This is not the case. Living in Kuwait I realise how important this month is, your expat cultural awareness skills kick in and you observe and respect the changes that come. Continue reading “Ramadan Kareem”

I’m up and blogging

Three months ago I gave myself a good talking to. For the past four years I had toyed with the idea of writing a blog, but like most non critical things it was relegated to my one day I’ll do that list (which is getting rather lengthy these days). But in March this year, I bit the bullet and went for it, I typed my first post and I was up and blogging. So as I reach my first trimester,  I thought I would reflect on my latest adventure into blog-land. Continue reading “I’m up and blogging”

Going the distance

The obvious thing about living abroad is that you are no longer living in your own back yard. Your exciting journey brings new discoveries and for the first few months old home is viewed as the mundane routine of normal life and you feel freedom by escaping to your new adventure. You are away; away from home, away from the norm, away from everything familiar which makes it both exciting and scary.

Our life in Prague was a good “toe dipping” experience into expat life. A European city which wasn’t too big but was a big enough change from my little island life and at the end of the day was Europe, so wasn’t too hard to make the adjustment. Luckily by the power of the little orange planes, we were less that two hours from London, straight into Gatwick, perfect for my island hopper connection home. I could leave my Czech loft apartment at 7am and be on Jersey soil by 2pm. It was far enough to feel away but close enough to get home comforts by lunchtime and all on a budget.

Continue reading “Going the distance”