Toodlepip, My Loves! It’s Been REAL!!

Want to say a mahusiv thanks to everyone who came to my gigs last week, and for the three people in the whole expat wife community who didn’t make, I’m sure you had a good excuse (like husband away and helper sick). So for you, I’ll put the clip in this post.

I was meant to leave Singapore on Friday, but a series of rather wonderful occurrences occurred, so I thought HEY, why not just stay?! Hotels don’t give you the bill until you leave, right? So all I have to do is stay long enough to make some major cash (somehow), and then I’ll be able to afford the Raffles invoice.

Given that Agent Provocateur (the brand of my trademark sunnies) didn’t come through with the $2bn sponsorship deal I put to them, I’m pretty sure that Chanel (my new glasses) will be up for it. I’m happy to negotiate because hello, this is Chanel we’re talking about, so I could probably meet them at $1.9 or even $1.75bn. I’ll leave it up to them. They seem to know what they’re doing, so they’ll figure out what’s fair here.

That was my plan A, and then… Then I did my second sell-out gig from my sell-out tour of the whole of Asia but only in Singapore, at Chijmes. A lovely audience member tweeted this pic of me extolling the virtues of Grant Property, and now I’m thinking that they would most likely also love the opportunity to sponsor me as an emerging Asia expat (sort of) talent (totes).

Grant Property

 

Armed with Plans A and B, I also realised that I didn’t get to finish my second Tekka Market joke at the Blu Jaz, so I really need another shot at that. Plus, it has been so amazing hanging out in the sun that it just made zero sense to dash back to London.

Then the most incrediblé thing of all happened…

So you know that I met up with Mrs Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey last week, and that she is none of the above anymore, and that I actually started to like her because she has turned into a proper person with sensible values like partying and handbags, but then she said she’s getting her blog published, and mysteriously I didn’t like her anymore and considered throwing myself off the Swissôtel (I’m a complex person, as you know, dear readers).

Well. Crazy upon crazy, she came to my first gig and she brought a friend with her who’s a talent agent, and he loved me!! Not only that, but she showed my blog to her publisher and… He loves me too!!! OMFG!!!

So I’m like WOW, I have at least a gazillion reasons to stay in Singas, and only a few little crappy ones to go back to London, not counting the irritants. They’re fine with Don. He knows where their clothes and schools are, and has apparently hired a housewife I mean housekeeper. Oopsy, it’s just too easy to mix those things up, isn’t it?

Over the coming months, I need to assemblé my past posts into a book, as requested by the publisher, so I’ll be too busy to blog. Hashtag sad face. I’ll miss each and every one of you, and I know the feeling is mutual, despite you missing me more.

I might pop up occasionally, but it’s best I keep a low profile, in case Don thinks I should come back, and what with being on a tourist visa and all that.

I think, dearest readers, that I might be experiencing an epiphanification. I used to believe that I had worked hard to get where I was, to be an expat wife – like my mother before me, and her mother before her. Now that I have suffered the torture of repatriation, and returned to my spiritual homeland of warm nights on roof terraces, weekends in Bali, the peace of separation from family, the eternal transitions and exciting losses, the shopping, the laughter, the wonderful quicksand of the Unknown and Unknowable… Now I realise that this is where I was born to be. Not an expat wife, but a free soul: embracing the now, leaving behind that which no longer serves, and taking lots of selfies along the way. Descartes was wrong when he quotheded “I think therefore I am”. Or maybe not wrong, just not right anymore. Here, today, I have likes and followers therefore I am. There are 7.4 billion people in the world today, but I am somebody. And some people are more somebody than others.

 

This was my diary.

Love love love

EJ xx

IMG_4558

Eyes, lah ; )

 

 

Like I Never Left…

So fabulous being back in beautiful SG. It’s one of the few places where life just makes sense to me. Like Disney, and possibly Dubai.

I had a great first day by the hotel pool on Sunday – needed to get a tan before I could see anyone here or I’d have died of shameful pallor and pastiness. I still don’t get this Asian whitening thing. Then in the evening I decided to take a walk down Orchard Road to see what has changed in my absence. The most significant development is that there is now a salad and juice place in Tang’s, opposite Krispy Kreme. So now people can go for a doughnut, feel bad about their dietary choices, and have a quinoa bowl instead. Not being one to suffer the slings and arrows of personal guilt, I stuck with the doughnut. It’s fine because I was up at three this morning so I spent a couple hours at the gym. I thought that the six glasses of New Zealand’s finest would’ve been enough to make me sleep through the night, but jet lag is a capricious mistress.

I got to about 15k on the treadie when the lag did its wavey woaaaah thing, making me instantly unconscious, and next I knew, I was lying face down on the floor, following a minor collision with a cross trainer. I was so tired that I stayed there. What a lovely sleep I had! To anyone observing, it no doubt appeared that my unintentional fall was a deftly executed acrobatic transition between running and rest. As I slept I had a wonderful dream that I was back in my bedroom on Emerald Hill Road, after an awesome night out with my girlies; sleeping the morning away while the help packed the irritants off to school. When I heard, “Ma’am… Ma’am”, I thought sheesh, she still doesn’t know what day to send in Milly’s library book?!! How TF am I sposed to know??

Opening my eyes, I saw the hotel gym guy, looking all flustered.

“Ma’am, are you alive??”

“Thursday is library day, isn’t it?… Oh. Yes, I’m totes alive”, I said, “I was just napping. I always like a nap after a run.”

“But are you ok? I’m sorry, I don’t start til 6am, and I came in and saw you lying here, and I thought…”-

“It’s coolio, babester, I’m all good. I’ll do a few weights and abs and whatevs, and then I’ll shoot off.”

I didn’t really feel like any of that, but once I’d said it, what choice did I have, dear readers? None, that’s what. Hate having to do stuff just because my mouth says I’m going to, partic when I’m on holiday. Damn my integrity.

So after Tang’s, I thought I’d go for a roof terrace beverage. Happily ensconced at the Loof Bar on my own (girlies all on Valentine’s nights out apparently, these dull still married expat people), I was admiring the sky and thinking deep thoughts about active wear, when the very last person I wanted to see showed up: Mrs Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey. She was delighted to see me because she’s so awful at taking hints. I told her about me moving back to London and Don disappearing after his appalling behaviour, which she took as an invitation to recount her entire life since I saw her last June.

“You won’t believe this, EJ, but it turns out that my husband – soon to be ex-husband – is gay!! Can you believe that?..”

I totes could because I’d seen his sneaky airplane snogging, and as I’m a terrible liar, I looked away, pretending to have spotted a rare and fascinating bird hovering above Raffles Hotel.

“Unbelievable, right??! And you’ll never guess who he was having it off with…”

(His male PA perchance?)

“His PA! Who’s a guy!!”

(Right under your nose?)

“Right under my nose!! And guess who told me…”

(Uh maybe Flo, the most illustrious gossip on the island..?)

“Flo told me! What a good friend she is!! She said that everyone knew except me, and I didn’t believe her at first, but she was the only person brave enough and loyal enough to tell me the truth.”

“I’ve just got to go to the loo”, I said.

In the cubicle I practiced what I was going to say, with appropriate accompanying facial expressions, in order to indicate that I for one abso did not know, abso was v v taken aback (surprised face) and felt abso dreadful for what she had been through. Once I’d nailed it, I went back out.

“Well, babes, I for one abso did not know”, ectsetara, etc, and I must have successfully conveyed a sense of concern because she went on with the deets of her drama.

She told me that she is so much happier, without her hus, and for the first time she’s starting to enjoy being an expat. She even thanked me for my brilliant advice on expat divorce, and for my beauty and wellbeing guide (seems she hasn’t read any of my posts about her, phew). As she was talking, I found myself beginning to… like her! What now, now?? No longer a wifey, she was apparently not full of doom about being an expat anymore. Or gloom! She said she has made some new friends through the divorce support group, she got herself a job, she’s been working out, and she has stopped feeling guilty about assigning more of the childcare to her helper and her husband. Go her!!

“Wow, hon, that’s just amazing!”, I said, without having to practice because I really meant it, “You’re like a glowing exemplary to expat divorcees everywhere!! I’m so freakin’ happy for you!”

“Oh”, she blushed, “You’re always so sweet, EJ… But that’s not all! The best part is that a publisher read my blog about my experiences of living in Singapore, and they want to publish it!! As a book! Isn’t that awesome?!”

I looked up to find the imaginary bird again, but all I could see was my imaginary self about to jump off the Swissôtel.

“Oh golly, I seem to really need the loo again!”, I said.

Staring into the bathroom mirror, I tried some meditation techniques, focussing on my breathe, feeling the rise and fall, and visualising the ocean washing gently against the shore, calmly ebbing in and out. Rise and fall… Ebb and flow… Then I thought, “That f***ing smug c***, getting her blog published! Well my hus may have had his little dalliances, but A) At least he’s not gay, and 2) He came back to me, and I get to move to Bishop’s Avenue!! So there! So what if she’s here in the sun, with a live-in, having fun times, while I’m getting rained on in London, making packed lunches and wondering why there’s no home cooking in my house. So very what exactly?? She had clearly taken advantage of my empathic nature, and pushed me over the edge. To think I’d reached the point of actually liking her!! What a B. These expats are so damn self-satisfied. (Except the ones who are my friends, of course.)

Returning to the table with my composure intact, I said, “You know what, I’m really suffering the lag, so I think I should probably go…”

“Are you sure? I’m with the ladies over there for an anti-Valentine’s. The divorce support posse. You’d like them. In fact, you probably know most of them.”

She pointed round to a dark spot near the bar, and there I saw a bunch of my girlies – the ones who’d said they were out with their husbands tonight.

“Oh, that would’ve been soooo nice, but really I should take off. I’ve got this gig on Wednesday, and I need to practice. Yeah, I was into blogging, but now I’m more about the public speaking. I just think it’s a way cooler medium for sharing my life*. Wow though! It’s been a-maaazing to catch up with you. Congrats on uh things and stuff. I’ll see you soon…”

“Yes, see you soon! We’re coming to your gig actually, so see ya then! Can’t wait!!”, said non-D or G expat non-wifey. She kissed me goodbye and I noticed that she had finally absorbed the correct protocol for expat lady air-kissing, which she was always so shit at.

 

Unknown

The Loof Bar

 

 

* Didn’t mean it, dear readers. I only said it because the other thing my mouth had queued was, “I knew all about your gay husband”.

The Donster Returns

Can just about see the v hot pilot in there.

Can just about see the v hot pilot in there.

Am rather behind on filling you in about my glamorous life, so offer vast apologies. Have been instead putting archive posts on my Facebook page, but I know it’s not the same. Soz, babeses.

My big news is that I’m off to Singapore today to see my girlies, turn my fake tan into a real tan, and do a stand-up tour of Asia. (Well, just in Singas.) Yes, babeses over there, I’ll be making an exclusive appearance in my active wear for one night only, at the Comedy Club Asia on Wednesday 17th Feb! So pop along, why don’t you!!

The other big news is as follows…

Having been ejected so inelegantly from my mother’s hearth, I returned to my well-appointed Highgate home to face two surprising surprises.

The first came as we piled through the door – me rushing to turn off the alarm, and the irritants tearing through the house.

I let them dash around whilst I peruved a month’s worth of post, some of which had red ink in caps, telling me that I was in arrears with my council tax, my utilities, and my eyebrow and bikini service. So weird because, although I sacked my accountant a while back to cut down on outgoings, I’ve done an accountancy course myself and I totes don’t get how all the money my father gave me last year is gone now.

So anyway, that night when I got back from my mother’s, I had all this terrible post and I thought surely I must’ve had my identity and bank details stolen. Surely the money hasn’t just disappeared!!

Then there was a ring at the door. It was late and I was in bed, but I looked at the front door camera monitor. There was Don.

“EJ, it’s me. Are you awake?”

I went downstairs to open the door and before me stood my husband, tanned and glowing, post-Hawaii.

“Why are you here, Don?”, I mustered, looking stunning in my unicorn onesie.

“I’m here because I want to say sorry… for everything I’ve put you through. I got lost. I was pulled away. I’m sorry.”

I was baffed by his words, and thought I was probably dreaming, so I decided to just look like I knew what was happening. Seems to work with dreams.

He went on: “So I met up with Ed a few months back – you remember Ed – and things have really taken off with his business. He asked if I’d go in with him… Here, London. And I thought about the kids – and you of course – and realised I want that back. You’d like a house by the Heath, you always said so, right? Well, with this job we can get a great place and put all of this silliness behind us.”

This silliness, I thought!! My hus running off to Hawaii with my teenage half-sister is silliness??!

Reminding myself it was just a dream, I said, “Oh sure, ok Don, so even though you were swinging all over Singapore with a lady who dumped you and then met an unfortunate soggy end in her condo pool – argh, the tragedy of it – and even though you disappeared last August with Angel the day we were going to Langkawi, and even though I’ve had to move back to England all on my own, with only the help of a global relocation firm, you think you can waltz in here, saying forgive and forget, just so that I can have a house near the Heath??”

“Well, yeah… How about Bishop’s Avenue?”

Oooo, I thought. Fair play. We all have to make compromises from time to time, am I right, dear readers? We all have to be grown up about stuff – for the sake of the children, if nada mas. When you become a parent, that’s the deal. That’s what we signed up for.

So that’s another reason I’m off to Sing: with Don back, he can look after the irritants. It’s a perfect opportunity for him to repair his tattered, battered, shattered relationship with them. They’ll have a wonderful time.

Right, I can hear my name being called on the tannoy, so I’d better be off. See you soon, Singas!!

On Non-Awesome Mothers (of the Repatriated Expat)

When I returned from my divine time in Disney, I had to drive straight to Mummy’s Holland Park abode to collect the irritants. From the way she had told me to hurry back to Angleterria, I was anticipating a scene of the utmostest calamity and devastation at her place, but none did I find. All cool: Max hiding in a wardrobe with his iPad so as to avoid his grandmother’s ban on Minecraft, and Milly, somewhat thinner than I remembered (but people always do seem thinner after a sojourn in the northern Americas, don’t they?), half-heartedly doing a jigsaw at the kitchen table, underneath which she held her phone, Whatsapping away with her little friends. They’re so cute at this age. It really is incrediblé how fast five year-olds can type. She has barely learnt to write, but wow can she Whatsapp! That’s my girl : )

Mummy was at the Aga, making juniper berry venison with Jerusalem artichokes and unfeasibly small onions (I do love her cooking! I wish we had more home cooking at my house hashtag sadface.)

She insisted on telling me absolutely everything that the children had done over Xmas and New Year’s – went to Auntie this, saw cousins thems. I wasn’t in the least bit interested, but her focused obliviousosity gave me the chance to message Phil, and to catch up on all the important Facebook news I’d missed during my journey back. I refuse to pay for wifi on planes. Upper Class tickets are expensive enough as it is! I’m not going to subsidise the poors in Economy a penny more than I absolutely have to.

The next thing I heard was Mummy saying, “blablabla-bla-bla-bloo, so you’d be wise to leave now, before the traffic gets bad”.

“Oh”, I replied, “I thought we ought to stay the night. I’m really rather jet lagged, and my chi is flip flopping all over the place, as you can imagine. And you’re doing my favourite sups: juniper berry venison… with Jerusalem artichokes… and unfeasibly small onions. So it would be nice for you if we stayed to keep you company…” –

“Emma-Jane, have you heard nothing I’ve been telling you? I have someone coming round later for dinner. Which is why you’d better get the children’s things together, and go home. You know what the traffic’s like. Or have you forgotten? Not quite the same as Singapore!”

[Ha, like I didn’t know that! I had just spent millennia getting through customs and driving from the airport in the pelting rain. Had it been Singapore, it would’ve taken me half an hour from the time the plane landed to be lying in my rooftop pool with a bottle of Veuve Click. Like I didn’t know!! How totes dare she?? Rub salt in the wound much, Mum-ski?! What a b***h.]

Not one to take things personally, nor blow matters beyond reasonable proportion, I said, “Fine!”, and stormed off to gather the irritants’ paraphernalia, apparently quadrupled in volume due to Xmas presents. They had quite enough stuff already, without people bloody giving them more! There’s nothing for it: we’ll just have to move to a bigger house. I’m sort of running low on money (dunno where that vast sum my father gave me went, though I should really know given that I did an online accountancy course when I sacked my accountant), but I could just get a job or something.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that it isn’t easy to fit three people and shedloads of luggage into a Maserati, but given that needs musted (Mummy was not d’accord with me leaving the gifts or even one of the children at hers), I had little choice, did I, dear readers? As we squeezed into the car, I informed her in a completely not passive-aggressive way that, by demanding our immediate departure, she was risking the lives of two of her precious grandchildren, and her only daughter (apart from the other one, my sister), whilst simultaneously depriving said daughter of much-loved juniper berry venison with Jerusalem artichokes and yes, unfeasibly small onions… Which basically fed into and compounded every other moment of deprivation, disappointment, and dreadfully dire mothering she had perpetrated against my person from conception onwards. As I made sure to let her know.

We said goodbye – well, she said goodbye to the kids – and I sped us home, at least enjoying the roar of the fine engine and the appreciative glances from gentleman drivers. The open road reminded me that I was free, and in spite of Max and Milly’s protestations, I put the top down. With the wind in my fiery locks and Beyoncé blasting loud, I felt myself to be on Orchard Road again (somewhat chillier, of course), recalling the days of cruising from one happy, warm place to another happy, warm place.

Then the car in front came to a halt, as had every car beyond for as far as my azure almond eyes could see. It was really cold. I turned the music down, and flicked the switch to raise the hood. It took almost as long to cross London as it had to cross the Atlantic. I say “almost”, only because I am not prone to exaggeration.


 

Thanks to Mummy’s salt rubbing, I am now missing Singas more than ever.

Leafy Orchard Road

Lovely leafy Orchard Road

 

Bankers on Roof Terraces

Bankers on roof terraces

 

Botanic Gardens

Sunny days at the Botanic Gardens – Hampstead Heath is so much chillier

 

Nikoi

Paradisical retreat weekends on the island of Nikoi, after a long five days of gloriously exhausting social mayhem

 

Fun times

Fun times wid my girlies

 

Laundry

& laundry hanging out of HDB windows in 100% humidity

 

So this was me after last night’s gig in Soho. I’m doing my happy face like a true pro, but inside my extremely awesome biker jacket, my heart was sobbing, “Take me back to Singapore!”

Potential repatriates take note. It’s not great.

 

Blue Post

 

 

Netflix and Chillin’ Wid My Disney Prince Charmin’

What a tremendously long bloliday!! (That’s bloggers’ technical termificology fyi, you’re welcome.)

Babeses (for the Expaterati)/ Dahlins (for the Brits), where to begin?? Xmas was an amazingly spiritual time of giving for me, hence my blogging hiaticus, and it has been a crazybobs delicious whirlwind. The previous occasion when I lay down the annals of my life for you, I was in Disneyland Florida, as you will recall. So I’ll begin with now, work backwards, doing some bits in the middle, then proceed to the end of the beginning bit. Or no, I’ll just start with Disney.

Given that life just made sense there, I decided to extend my stay beyond the kids’, and popped them on a plane back to London with Clara. They were having an awesome time, but Chrimbo is really so much nicer for irritants to spend with their grandparents, isn’t it? In the afore-mentionsed spirit of giving, it felt only right and proper for me to forgo my selfish maternal needs, and that Max and Mills returned to the bosom of the extended family. Plus, an incrediblé thing happened out there in Florida – even more incrediblé than the Burberry and LuluLemon prices at the outlet mall: I met my Prince Charming! Literally.

After a brief fling with a Mickey Mouse guy (it just didn’t work out; there was such a distance between us due to the immenseness of his ears, and frankly his attempts at reassurance, saying, “All the better to hear you with, my dear”, quickly became tiresome and creepy), one day I was watching the parade at the Magic Kingdom for the 87th time, and there was a chap on a float, playing Prince Charming. As our eyes met through the adoring crowd, he held my gaze, doing his charming waving posing thing, and in that moment, time stopped. Suddenly it was as if only he and I existed in the universe, while all around us became just a blur of… of other stuff going on, and stuff.

It must only have been a matter of seconds, though it felt like a lifetime, and then, I knew. So, long story short, I shacked up with Phil, once the irritants were departé, checking out of the resort, as it would’ve been unethical for a Disney employee to be fraternising with a guest, and I didn’t want him to put his character career at risk. My principles just wouldn’t allow me to do that, and also the whole place was booked solid. I located a very droll motel next to a highway, and made that my HQ for the remainder of the trip. It was hilarious because it was just like the motels you see in films, and one half-expected to be awoken in the middle of the night by a Quentin Tarantino villain in possession of a suitcase full of automatic weapons. So fun.

Phil and I had a simply divine time, and it’s extremely true that at Disney, dreams really do come true. We did some serioso Netflixing and chilling, let me tell you!! Mostly Disney films. He’s an actor/ dancer/ singer/ model on a one-way trajectory to Hollywood (of that I am certain, and as you know, I have yet to be wrong about anything), and apart from my British accent and fabulous physical being, he adored the fact that I am distantly related to the Royal Family, and that I have a ton of media contacts worldwide, and a boatload of fans in my own right. We just clicked, you know? Therefore thusly, it was with some considerable annoyance that I received a call one sunny afternoon while he was at work, and I lounged by the motel pool (imagining myself in Gone Girl), from my mother. She rudely demanded to know when I would be flying back to “attend” to my children, which I thought was pretty rich given that she was failing horrendously to attend to my needs as her child, by interrupting this special period in my life. Just like that, I went from Gone Girl to Girl Interrupted. The painful irony was, of course, entirely lost on her.

What could I do, babeses, as a doting mother, but dash back to London as soon as very possible?? So that’s what I did, after a few more beautiful days with Phil. He was just perfect for me: he smiled and waved, and smiled and nodded, and was completely charming all the time. I wondered how my life would have been, had I married Phil rather than Don, all those years ago. Unlike Max and Milly, our children would’ve been (could still be!!) a cosmic combination of my searing intellect and his smiley, wavey charm. How far they would go in this world, with those qualities!

In my excitement, I told Clara about Phil and she must’ve been in a bad mood (why are so many women in such a bad mood all the time?!) because her less than enthusiastic response was, “EJ, do you really think that’s the basis for a mature, lasting relationship?”

Why I had expected her to be happy for me, I do not know. Too often people delight in the misery of others, I observate upon reflection, rather than in their joy, and that explains a great deal about the human condition and the state of the global economy and just goes to show that everything Plato and Buddha said was true. They’d back me up here, no doubt.

Coming back to non-Disney London has been a shock to the system, I won’t deny it, but I’ve been rushed to the bone with my performance work. Thanks for your support, my loves, Expaterati or otherwise. Below are some fab pics  – thanks to these mega cutting edge film peeps for helping me with the stills – of me doing a full-house performance at the London Comedy Store. It was a weird one because how it works is that a whole bunch of freebie comics show up (obviously I’m not a comic, more of an edicator, sharing the message of my glamorous life, but let’s keep that to ourselves) to get judged by the first rows of the audience, and the first rows are the ones who bagged their seats early, so they’ve had some loooong drinking time. Super smart business model, and if I ever wore a hat, I’d take it off to that venue; but I don’t wear hats because they suck the chi from my fiery locks.

So I said some important stuff

So I said some important stuff

Yes it IS

& made some valid points

Tee hee

& it was all going great

Rap

But then I did my Chrimbo rap (available for download as a ringtone, so ping me because you won’t want to be without it next Christmas!)

Seriously??

& suddenly my time was up… Without even getting to the dog in a bikini or my camel toe issues!

Not sure about putting the clip on my YouTube channel, as the compere repeatedly used the C word shortly before my set (not with reference to me, por supuesto), and there’s just no way to stop children getting on the Internet. Could cut that bit out, I guess…

Finally, I’m very excited to say that I’m planning my visit to Singas next month!!!! It does depend on childcare arrangements as I appear to have somehow lost Mummy’s willingness to assist, but Don has turned up… Yes, he has! Will save that for another post, even though I know you’d love to read another couple thousand words from me right now. Sorry!! Delayed gratification is a good thing though, for many people (not me), so I’m doing you a favour.

What with my visit, I am urgently wanting to contact a hot Aussie chap by the name of Jonathan Atherton, as it would be way cool to do some performance while I’m over there. If anyone knows him, feel free to put in a word on my behalf. Just say hi or guarantee him a sell-out night at the Blu Jaz Café, or just hi.

Sending lots of love. Xx

Well, Happy Holidays, Babeses

Magic Kingdom

I’m having the best xmas everrrrr at Disneyland Florida, babeses! It’s crazy to think that only a year ago I was busy having a sh**ster time being persecuted by my mother, and then suffering the terrible pain of two weeks in Boracay (Boragrad), holidaying sans help in extreme heat.

I see on Facebook that my glamorous Asia Expaterati girlies are having awesome sauce times on various beaches from Bali to Bondi, but are they fully engaging in family life the way I am, and thereby experiencing the deeper meaning of this holiday period..?

No, I think not. They’ll be checking their kids into wrap-around childcare, to indulge in every pleasure available chez the fabulous Four (Seasons – I call it the Four due to my intimate acquaintance, but not everyone can do that). And the ones without irritants, or whose irritants have stomped from the nest: they’re having spa treatments with hot stones and gongy tunes, doing ridic fun stuff on boats, drinking cocktails and chatting cool bants from glowing red sunset into the starry night. Never cold, even in a bikini… Toes sinking into white sand, washed clean with each new warm wave, as every year comes to flow over us, offering redemption…

Renewal

Opportunity

Possibility…

But anyway, regardless of what my girlies are getting up to, Disney is great because there are lots of rides (for Clara to take the irritants on), and because dreams really do come true (I keep hearing that and why would Disney lie?), and because the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall has Burberry cashmere jumpers and hot Lululemon gear at a fraction of U.K. prices (haven’t yet worked out which fraction, but it’s definitely a fraction).

My ex-accountant rang me this evening, which was odd because I thought I’d dismissed him given that I’ve done an online accountancy course, and have been therefore thusly managing my considerable fortune autonomously. I was unable to take the call as I was experiencing character dining with each and every Disney princess. There are an awful lot! They’re such great role models. They’re pretty, they’re passive, they wave, and they’re just looking for their Prince Charming to complete them. How sweet is that?!

Clara, au contraire (I think she might be a communist) says Disney sells an “oppressive myth that a woman can’t be complete without a man, and encourages women to subjugate themselves as servants or beautiful objects, rather than existing as equals “.

Yeah, Clara, that’s why you’re single.

A Glorious Few Days

It has been a glorious few days in leafy Highgate, since the cold weather has abated. Difficult, nonethelesssomuch, to think that my Singapore Expaterati girlies are right at this moment lounging poolside in bikinis or taking air-conditioned shelter in malls, gyms or places of work, if work is their thing. So difficult to imagine… It’s not that I’m jealous – no, not at all because jealousy exists only in the unrefined mind and I think you’ll find that my mind is refined. As dear readers will already exclusively be aware, of course! (It’s the newcomers I’m addressing here, given my burgeoning UK following, who will not, at this early stage, be capable of fully grasping the deepest dichotomies of my psyche.)

The gloriousness is due to the fact that I have at last located appropriate staff!!! Thank bejesus for Shahira! Bless her, she made it over here somehow and is super keen for work at Singapore helper rates, so I was like, “When can you start, honey??” Praise the Universe for bringing us together in my time of need.

It’ll be awesome because I’m soooo over my mother and cousin Clara hanging round the house. Seriously, don’t they have their own lives?? (I did mention they keep coming over, right?… Did I not mention that?)

Also glorious because I have finally found the BEST nail place in the region (on the Holloway Road, so it’s edgy as well as amazebobs), and at the same time simultaneously I’m luvvin preparing for my second sell-out gig next Tuesday!

 

Over shoulde for post 27.11r

 

I’ve been thinking about Don reaching out to me, sending me the link to Adele’s Hello. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I should get on Tinder. He has shown me zero respect, so I’m thinking wtf, I should just get out there and meet someone who actually deserves me and my awesomeness. Am I right, babeses?? Please let me know in the comments because otherwise I just won’t know.

 

 

Max here

Mum left her compurter on and went owt so I will tell you stuff about mum. (Lol she hats wen I call her mum not mummy lolol)

1. She is a big lyer
2. We dont live in Highgate we live in Archway and that is not the same place becos rich people live in Highgate not in Archway.
3. Dad is not in Hawai he is in England. I know becos he calls me on my mobile some times.
4. Mums hair is not reel she dies it
5. Granma is reely nice and looks after us a lot but mum is not nice to her. Aunty Clara is reely nice too.
6. Mum is a big lyer so dont beleave what she sez ever and also she is not very clevur which you shud know by now

She wont even notice I rote this on her blog becos she doesnt know how to chek her stats even or any thing. And dont tell her or I will get in trubble and that will be ur folt.

Whose a irritant now Mum?

 

Mentirosa 2

2 face mentirosa. I cant spell but at leest I know langages like all expat kids

PS I am not adicted to Minecraft I jus really like it.

Plz So Stop With The Guilt Trip

I’ve a bone to prick with you, dear readers, and prick it I will now, as follows.

After all I’ve done for you over the past year plus, keeping you a-nipple of the fascinating twists and turns of my life, generously sharing my deepest thoughts, and providing you with hot pics of my hot self, as well as seemingly endless reams of expert advice on Singapore, beauty, fashion, expat marital bliss, expat marital disaster, and a whole bunch of other stuff – after ALL THAT, this is how you repay me??!!!!!

Really?

Really??

Really??? (I heart this repeated “Really?!” thing. Dunno where it came from, but long may it prospiferate. Let’s all keep doing it. A lot. Forever.]

You repay my generosity by making me feel guilty every waking hour for not having enough time to blog hashtag sadface. Weeeeell, that’s very nice, isn’t it!!?! So than-Q awfully muchly indeed. I didn’t expect this of you, loyal readers.

It’s not that anyone has exactly pacifically said anything to this ends, but the fact remains that I do feel constantly wracked with guilt for not being able to write, given the lack of suitable support staff (yes, we don’t all have 24/6 help you know, over here in the West! Sheeesh!! So spoilt, you are…), and I can’t possibly blame myself for this feeling, so whose fault is it, if not yours..? I hope you feel proppa ashamed of yourselves.

OK. Now that I have gotten this off my perky chest, not wanting the misery to seep into my chi, I’ll tell you what I shall do for you: I shall take your profound apologies as a given from this moment henceforward, and babeses, I hereby forgive you : ) x

So we’re fine now! It’s all good.

That’s called mindful conflict resolution. If only there was more of it about in these turbulent times.

Now that I do in de facto have a spare moment to write, I will enlighten you about my “gig” (it was an educative lecture and rap really, but no one beyond us need know that) what I did this week. In case you’re not a Liker of my Awesome Facebook Page, you can watch it here. [Um, but why aren’t you a Liker?? Get likin’, honey! You might miss something and then you’ll feel super hard-done-by.]

As you will note, I successfully got my message across to the vast audience, and they were fooled into thinking that it was comedy, which means they actually listened and no doubt learned a great deal. Singapore Expaterati readers will be gratified to know that at least eleven people in London now realise how much cooler Singas is than here, and how awesome it is to be an expat. These London people are, I’m certain, v interested in the glamorous lives of the Expaterati, appearing to know not a whole helluva lot about the subject; and the poors among them know v little about glamorous lives, period full-stop. They know what they see of the Kardashies and the Kate and Willsies, but ffs, that’s not real! So I gave a wonderful gift to the sell-out audience that night, be them poors or not so poors. I gave them the gift of Real.

IMG_3896.PNG

Blurry but awesome

 

To everyone who has offered their support and appreciation re the “gig” on my Awesome Page (did I mention I have a Facebook page?), you are truesomely the wind beneath my thighs, and I thank you whole-thighedly, and I know you just thank me right back, to which I reply: You’re. So. Welcome. And in your cases, I totes retract the first part of this post. Just ignore it. Pretend it never even happened.

Best go because tomorrow morning I have my first 1:1 boxing training session, so need to be tip-top. I’ve found this incrediblé lady who looks like a killer in her online pics, but is really v sweet. I’ll tell you about her some time. Thought I should take up a fighting sport now that I’m back in Londres. Sh** goes down here, you know? Toto I’ve a feeling we’re not in Singas anymore…

One last thing, in case I’m not back for a while (and don’t make me feel guilty for that, ok lah?!). I’ve been chatting more to my neighbour whoms I told you about in the last post, and he’s def going to come with me to Nike Town Oxford Circus to sort out my camel toe issue. I’ve now discovered that his name is Montgomery Nugent. I looked him up on the dark web (I know how to access that because it’s how you get the best gigs) and OMG, this guy!! Nothing weird or nasty, but if you’re on the dark web too, check him out!

Repatriation is Never Easy, I Know

Yet again, I’m find myself apologising for my silence, even though I know, my loves, that you understand implicitally and don’t feel due an apol. The reasons for why I have failed to show up on the blogosphere for thoroughly ages are threefold:

1. I still have this major childcare and house work problem in that I continue to interview potential staffs, but they are all dreadfully spoilt and demanding, and fail to meet my specificalations in return for a Singapore helper’s salary.  Rude.

Secondly, I am currently hard at work preparing for my debut on the London performance scene. I met this guy who came to the door wanting money for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and he was mega charming, and asked me all about my fascinating self – what kind of work I do and stuff, and how come I’m so wedged up. I explained that I’m a celebrité blogger and rap artiste, and I want to continue sharing my glamorous life with normal dull people, whilst spreading my wings to horizons new and fields afresh. He told me I should do stand-up comedy, so I was like, “Wha?”, and he was like, “Yeah!”

So now I’m what’s called a platinum donor to those nice dogs and cats, I think. He was so nice!

I always thought stand-up was telling jokes and being funny, but he reckoned that I could just be myself, and get my message across about everything I know, edicating the general public re expat issues, far-flung places they’ve probably never been to or even heard of, and what it’s like to be a sizzling hot SAHM of two, living in North London, unable to find suitable staff.

Hence therefore thusly I did an amazing stand-up course with an amazing guy (I didn’t tell him that I’m not really doing comedy – more edicating), and I met some super-nice peeps. Who knew that people who take comedy classes would be so funny?! Carving my way elegantly to the chase now, the crucifix of the matter is that one of these funny people said I could do a “five” at her comedy night, Crown the Knave. No idea what Crown the Knave means, but as a seasoned comic, albeit yet to do my first “set” and I’m not really doing comedy, I do now know that a five means I have five minutes to share my wisdom with the assemblage. And a set is my thing what I’ll be doing. It’s astounding how much I’ve gleaned in a mere six Saturdays, but I’ve always been a fast and perspiratious learner, as my love-you-long-time dear readers will know.

Said “gig” is the week after next (a gig is what we pros call a performance) and I expect it to be a sell-out, with all 20 seats taken, and possibly one or two people standing at the back as well! Apparently there’ll be a few other acts, and I think I’m on in the first half which means I’ll very much be setting the standard for the evening. So I hope the others are up to scratch!! It’s agony to watch comedians bomb! I’ll feel so sorry for them, having to go after me. I just can’t reign in my empathic tentacles. I’ll experience their pain as acutely as they will. Possibly moreso moreover.

Three: Don got in touch yesterday, quite out of the blue, and that is now absorbing me and invading my think space. He didn’t even say anything. He sent me the YouTube link of Adele’s beautiful Hello song (sooooooo much better than Lionel Ritchie’s version). What now, now?? Really?

Really?

Really?

You know, like really??? I mean, helloooo!! (Is it still cool to say that..? It’s def cool to say “Really?” over and over, but “Hello!!”, I dunno…)

Anyhoo, I was just almost getting my life together and the last thing I need is my philandering hus showing up. Hashtag stressful hashtag anxious face.

That’s the threefold list, and I’ve just thought of another thing. I’ve still got this outstanding issue with Nike going on, and I really need to resolve it soon because it’s messing badly with my chi. Not wanting to take on a corporate giant alone, nor enter Nike Town Oxford Circus in possession of camel toe-ness without morale support, I’ve been trying to find someone to come with me. I’ve asked a bunch of my London girlies, but they’re all busy avoiding Town (come on, babeses! Town is a 7k jog away, wtf??), and when I broached the matter with last-resort cousin Clara the psychologist, she raised her eyebrows and changed the subject. What is it with these therapy people?? So effing precious. Like they never have poop skids on their white g-strings! Yeah, right. I for one wouldn’t be seen dead at the crematorium in a white G (particularly since the loss of my tan… Miss Sing so much!!), but I’ve heard tell of this revolting phenomenon. Apparently it’s a Thing on Instagram. Argh!!

Then though though, the coolest thing happened which was very much Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist-ish (OMG such a classic text, what an awesome writer), in that the other day when I was outside re-positioning the recycling because it matters in these parts what’s on top, I got chatting with my next door neighbour. He was here before we dashed off to Asia so I’ve known him for years, but I don’t know him at all which is one of those great Londin tings.

Because I was situating two Nike shoeboxes so as to hide some Waitrose Essentials items (“essentials”?! so Tesco’s! what has gone wrong with the John Lewis gang – did they also get bought by the Chinoiserie?), whilst balancing out an Hermes scarf box with a bit of Street, Mr Neighbour called over, “You really like your Nikes, don’t you?”

It was sweet of him to show an interest in my shopping choices so I decided to tell him the unabridged tale of my Nike leggings camel toe debacle, and that they’ve invited me to come for an inspection, but I’ve no one to go with. Bless him, he then offered to accompany me on my important mission. He said he doesn’t “have a lot on at the moment”, and would be “delighted to provide any level of assistance required”.

So there I’d been, getting hetted up about finding someone to help me with this tricky business, and he was right under my naturally unique nose all along! #fate

You gotta embrace fate. I do. You should too, babeses. Or dahlins. People say “dahlin” over here. They say it like dah-LIN, with the emphasio on the lin. I might go there with that transition, if you don’t mind, Expaterati babeses/ dahlins. Lemme know if it grates, but I’m making no promises. It’s important for the re-pat to to de-pat.

Plastic Bags Basically Murder Squirrels

Hilly Muswell Hill

Hilly Muswell Hill

I see that the haze has returned to lovely Singas, and as always, I am dreadfully soz for my Expaterati friendses. When I get all the guest rooms sorted, you must jump on a plane and come to stay.

Despite Singapore being soooooooo much better than England, and being a glamorous expat also being soooooooo much better than not, I don’t miss having the view outside my window obscured by smoke. The haze was, in de facto, my second least favourite Sing Ting, and I’m glad to see that it is finally hitting the world news as it truly is ridic and must be stopped.

My first least favourite Sing Ting was the plastic bag situation. You might not know this about me, given my many fascinating aspects, but I am a keen environmentalist and all round eco warrior – espesh now that I’m not flying thousands of miles several times a year, and can therefore thusly be more integretated in my environmentality (am planning a trip to Florida for Xmas, but that’s only a teensy pop across the Atlantic, and I’ll put the kids in Economy as that’s presumably more envo-friendo… why else would it be cheaper??). Also, there’s this truly wicked camouflage trend over here which I have whole-heartedly adopted as it looks fantastic on me, so dressing as a warrior is cool, and puts less strain on the earth’s resources because camouflage actually absorbs methane and greenhouse gases, according to an online study I read somewhere. SO, if I buy even more camouflage stuff to add to my suddenly vast collection which I won’t be wearing once it’s way passé next Spring, I’m actually supporting the desperately needy Asian economies (well, mainly China, but that’s fine because it has been lovely hosting President Xi Jinping this past week and it’s obvious that he totes❤ ‘s us and all things Britannia, so I’m happy to participate in the lurv), as well as doing my bit for the environment.  Win-win!

I digress though because the point is is that in Singapore they positively throw plastic bags at you in the shops (not the high-end clothing shops, of course; they use a paper-based material that is related to trees and thereforely easily grown in forests), and when I did any supermarket shopping for myself (the help did tend to get the wrong stuff despite ample tutelage), I had to practically shout at the assistant, “No bags, lah!”, as they over-zelottedly packed my incrediblé expensive cheese and Veuve Click into damn plastics! What super annoyed me as well was seeing the customer before me and the customer after me accepting said plastic bags… for single items which could easily have fitted into their enormous LV handbags or the stout arms of their offspring. I gave those people some looks, I can assure you, but no one seemed to care nor have the leastest awareness that there are seals suffocating in the South Seas, and squirrels who’ve had their tails entangled in plastic due directly to this default handing out of unnecessary bags. It’s a disgrace. If those squirrels lose their tails, they’re basically done for. And how would you feel, as a squirrel mother or father, knowing that your little one had been taken down by a Singaporean plastic bag..? Not great, I would wager. Given that I am a big on making a difference where it counts, I did contemplate the initiationification of a campaign to tackle this issue (like, could the check-out person just ask, “Do you really really need a bag?”), but my Singaporean bestie said I shouldn’t as it might cause problems for expat vs local relations. In the end I was so busy juggling my life as a celebrité blogger/ rap artiste, with being an awesome wife and mother, whilst maintaining my rigorous health and beauty regime, plus my serioso hectic social life, that I didn’t really have time to make a difference. That said, I guess I have made a difference by sharing myself with you, dear readers, and I do not under-estimate the valuation therein.

Anyhoo so, in the UK (well in London at least… UK..? I’m not sure… where does that cover exactly, outside London?) they’ve just introduced a charge on plastic bags , which I think is amazebobs. I ventured to Muswell Hill earlier this week to see how things have picked up there – they so have!! A Sweaty Betty next door to a Le Creuset! Praise be!! – and I dashed into the new little Waitrose to get Max’s preferred brioche. I was just about to extract a cloth bag from my Burberry Prorsum Bloomsbury when I realised how tacky it looks now to not pay for a plastic bag. Argh!! Hashtag mortified!! Luckily my astute brain clicked in early enough to avoid social mortificato, and I got three bags: one for the brioche, one for the chicken sag masala (love that now I have to cook for myself), and one for the very padded loo paper. It felt wrong to put the input and output goods in the same bag. Just wrong.

When I got home I was faced with yet another layer of mortificationism as the cleaner had placed low-value detritus at the top of my recycling boxes… Outside the front of the house!! A woman’s work is never done, I thought to myself as I covered up the Sainsbury’s mild smoked salmon sleeves with Gucci online shopping packaging, and then a Nike shoe box to add a touch of Street. As if life as a single mum in London wasn’t hard enough without a cleaner who shows scant regard for recycling etiquette!!

I <3 gentrification!!

I❤ gentrification!!

A Woman’s Work???

Although I am def heading for celebrité status locally, I have to say that I remain super chuffed that most of my dear readers are expats; particularly those in Singapore who can sympathise with my horrendous plight borneded out of my ongoing subsistence without a helper. As I shall illustrate below, some others here – those who I perhaps naively, nay nostaligically, nay foolishly call my “friends” – are being far less understanding…

Since returning and not having a live-in, I have had virtually zero quality time to myself, and therefore thusly, I am hardly ever able to share my glamorous (#notsomuchnow hashtag sadface) life with you. There have been dreadfully dark days when I’ve thought, “If I have to fold another towel I will literally lose my mind and throw myself off Archway Bridge”, despite the mega-precautionary structures which are installed thereon, so desperate and fervent has been my distress. How do people live like this?!

 

Beautiful Archway Bridge. Credit: Nigel Cox

Beautiful Archway Bridge. Credit: Nigel Cox

It’s not that I don’t know what I must do. I am trying. I have made every attempt possible to locate appropriate staff who match my specificatations, as I shared with you previously, but the working classes here are so spoilt and unrealististically aspirational that they believe they are worth a living wage for minimal work. A nanny, apparently, despite her enormous fee, won’t even wash windows. “Call a window cleaner if you need your windows cleaned”, was the disgracfeul retort I received at Nanny Interview Number 107. (I have an Excel sheet for everything now, thanks to my online accountancy course.)

Will someone not tell these people that the American Dream (as fabulously as it works over there, where people get the opportunity to work three jobs and then have awesome stuff happen whereby they magically climb the social ladder through merit and hard graft and all that, and end up as Kanye)… Will someone PLEASE tell them that we just don’t operate like that over here?! In Blighty, you are what you are – deal with it. That’s Britishness, so suck it up, babeses. We are incrediblé lucky to retain our amazebobs Royal Fam because they preserve the sensible order of a class system, thank eff, which is beautifully reinforced by the public school thing, and the sweet pre-prep thing before that. I like to compare it to the whole caste jobbie in India. It just makes sense, you know, and has been so fab for those nice Indian people, as evidenced by their slammin’ economy. They are nailing it!! Go them! Essentiallially, all it is is that it’s Darwinisation, so come one: “Inequality”..? What even is that? It clearly rocks, whatevs it is.

So anyhoo, in my limited, v precious time I have been trying to touch base with my old girlfriends over here because they obviously want to catch up with me, and who could blame them? What with FB, they know that I’m back and I have had to formulate a Specific Intent (that’s what my life-long yogi practice has taught me) to get in touch with at least two of them each week. This week I had Evie and Robbie next on the list.

I squeezed together some time for a gel mani-pedi at Margot London in Crouch End (totes awesome BTW – so speedy, such lovely ladees, and nails now divine), during which I was able to Facetime with Evie. Evie is one of my London besties from way way back when we were both juniors at the same law firm. She was almost as talented as me, but she already had a kid at the time which of course meant that she couldn’t compete with me, let alone the chaps. Then she divorced, re-married and popped out three more irritants (what now, now??). So currently she has three children under five, AND a frankly insane teenage daughter. Plus, the blokie she married later is a musician or something, so b’byeee corporate lifestyle! What was she thinking?? She moved outside the M25 into Commuter Land, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Can’t 100% see the point in staying friends with her, if I’m honest, because I mainly like people who live in London, preferably zones 1-2. They’re just better, you know?

I was telling Evie what an awful time I’m having for want of decent staff, as a single mother in this glorious hectic city that she clearly no longer relates to, and she was actually quite nasty to me. She said, “Oh well, EJ, I don’t know what it’s like to have everything done for me and the kids, so I can’t really offer much help. Why don’t you just get an au pair?”

An au pair!! It was then that I realised the full extent of the gigantic gaping chasm between us, which has arisen through no fault of my own, but due to her lousy choices. Had she made wiser choices, she would know for herself that an au pair brings all the downsides of having a stranger in the house without a sufficiently compensating number of upsides. FFS, au pairs are worse than the over-paid nannies I keep meeting! They do practically nothing, are constantly making toast (so I’m told, and that’s a lot of bread), and then bugger off back to Bulgaria or wherever as soon as they witness their first stabbing. So no, Evie babes, thanks for your poor-person advice, but I won’t be going down the au pair route.

Praise be, three of her four irritants started to yell while we were chatting, so that closed our hashtag awkz conversation.

Next, because I had some time left, I phoned Robbie (Roberta, not Robbie Williams), who is also a v old friend of mine. We met when we did our Law degrees togev and she was always a right-on feminist type. I’m sure she fancies me (all mega-feminists are lesbians, let’s face it), but she is generally single or mingles, gender-wise.

“EJ”, she said, “I hear you! I’d rather have a wife than be a wife, any day. And the word, ‘wife’!… It shouldn’t even be about gender. It’s about convenient servitude. Women are told all the time how f***ing rewarding it is to raise children. But we live in a patriarchal society! If it was so damn rewarding, men would be clamouring to do it. Are they..? No, of course they aren’t. Then there’s all this nonsense like the thing going around on social media this week, suggesting that women should be grateful, or feel guilty if they don’t – did you see it? ’10 Things Mom Is Grateful For’… Are those the only choices available to a mother in 2015? Grateful or guilty?? Honestly, Eeej, it makes my blood boil!”

As likers of my awesome FB page will be aware, I have seen said post, and here’s my take on it:

 

Vom

Vom

At least Robbie understood my pain. Though probly mostly because she wants to get into my pants. (Which might be cool, now that I’m back in London – mightn’t it? I’d be a very hot lesbian I reckon, and it’s still so trendy.)

My Fascinating Camel Toe Resolution Process With Nike

As likers of my Facebook page will be acutely aware, this week I have had a problem of the camel toe variety. And first world problems are totes still problems, are they not, babeses?? The point is, is that they are.

So despite being an incrediblé busy single mum, struggling gracefully but mahusively to keep home and raise irritants sans helper, I needed to address this issue with Nike as a matter of urgency. It was interfering with my chi quite badly and I am certain that even corporate giants have hearts, and therefore thusly do not like to cause anyone pain unknowingly, particularly a customer as highly valued as myself.

The first stage of addressment of the camel toe problem re my recent purchase of workout leggings (as they’re American, they call them “training pants”, but that sounds like something to do with the toileting of toddlers, hence raises a degree of discomfort for me) was to fill out an online form. I explained that my issue simply could not be accommodated by an online form. What followed was an abso lovely exchange with a gentleman called Mo, and rather than paraphrase, I will post it in full below for your perusal. I know, dear readers, that you will find it riveting, but as always, there is no need to thank me.

[Unless you feel overcome with gratitude, in which case, go for it! I v much believe in freedom of expression – partic for those who want to say nice stuff. Otherwise, not so v much…]

 

 

Nike 1

 

So this was my mail:

Nike 2.1

Continued…

Nike 2.2

 

And these were the attachments:

 

CT issue

My dismay is all too evident

 

Lulu no CT

A Lulu tag on leggings I have since purchased at her Covent Garden shop. Wait… £118?! I didn’t see that! The things a Syrian refugee could do with £118!! Hashtag GUILT! (Just because it’s Canadian doesn’t make it right.)

 

And thusly came Mo’s sweet response:

Nike 3

 

Hencely the upshot is that I will be running to Oxford Circus at the earliest possible opportunity, labia-a’flailing, in order to present myself and the training pants for Inspection.

I shall keep you abreast of my progress, fear not.

So Choked Up For You Singapore Hashtag Proppa Sadface : (

Oh my loves over there in Singas, my beloved girlies (you know who you are), my beloved stalkers (you know who you are), beloved general members of the Expaterati, and all the gazillion people who find me from googling “footsie” or weird Brix questions (yes, you too know who you are):

I am SO utterly deva’d for you, going through such horrors with the haze. That PSI is up in the hundreds, I see, and the schools are closed – am I right!? I feel so v sad for you that I have cancelled a rare night out with my London Honeys to write a post, and let you know that I’m totes thinking of you, and hopefully cheer you the heck up at a time which must be frankly a bit sh**. I shall do my utmost best. I mean actually like I also couldn’t get a babysitter so I sort of had to cancel anyways, but it’s the thought that counts, ya?

As many of you noticed, I posted the London skyline header on my awesome FB page, and thereby thusly I heard more about the horrors you are experiencing, comparing my blue sky here to your smoke. Rest assured though, it’s not always that blue, and if it makes you feel any better, in a few weeks’ time when your pollution is gone, you’ll be basking poolside and at glamorous roof terrace bars, while I’m freezing my behind off and getting rained on. The waterproof mascara I used in the Sing humidity is already not holding up here on rainy days and I have looked like a drowned badger, albeit a v hot drowned badger, on quite a few occasions over the past month. (How can it only be a month??)

There now, hasn’t that made you feel happier?! I do hope so. I’m so empathic and generous still – maybe moreso now, I dunno – you must be missing my caring presence whilst I am less able to write. And it’s such a shame for you! As if the haze wasn’t bad enough, but also plagued by loss of me… Again, my heart goes out to you, kisses mwa mwa.

From all the FB posts on the Formula One fun-ness, I really thought your air pollution woes were over. It’s bizarro that the burning stopped or the wind changed exactly before the F1 and then it all came back exactly after it was over. Is it a God thing, je me demande..? A divine intervention that made Singapore’s air clean while the eyes of the world’s press were upon it..? I guess so, but in that case, how come God didn’t sort out the torrential rain last year. Robbie Williams was a great sport to get all wet like he did, but it wasn’t ideal, let’s face it. My Lebouties from that night were so soaked and caked in mud that they were ruined. No point in even keeping them. I had to selflessly donate them to the helper.

I do rather miss the helper, as I think I may have mentioned. Well not miss her, so much as miss all the stuff that magically got done for a mere $1,000 a month. In pounds over here, that gets me 42 hours of cleaner or nanny. 42!!! That’s what Hilda cost me for THREE DAYS!! Ugh. I must be mad (or just super caring) feeling sorry for you lot, given the predicament I’m in. Ok so my father gave me a ton of cash and Disappeared Don is plonking regular chunks into my account, but the salaries here for domestics are just too high! It’s ridic. So until I know where I stand financially (I’m doing an online course in accounting because I abso refuse to spend money on someone who tells me how to spend money, but it’s all still as hazy as Singapore), I am keeping my out-sourcing to a minimum. Hence only two days of having a cleaner, and a nanny on Saturdays. Sounds like nothing, doesn’t it? Poor me. Needs must though because I will not, nay cannot, compromise my status as a fashion icon, so shopping is far more important than having a tidy house.

Now that I don’t live walking distance from the Lulu of Lemonia, etc., I’ve been doing rather more of my shoppage online. It has been necessary because, despite joining an awesome gym in Crouch End, I have started running into town. Yes, outside! It’s akin to my previous rollerblading along Orchard, but as that’s too hazardous here what with narrow pavements and occasional cobblestones and rain and stuff, running will just have to suffice. I do the seven K most days once the irritants have gone off to school (get a taxi back) – mainly to escape the chaos of my unbearably messy house.

It’s much chillier here than Singapore, as I believe some people may be aware, so I have had to order a whole bunch of new gym kit. Only prob is that this means not trying things on of course, therefore thusly if the need arises to return anything, one does have to stand in a queue at the post office alongside the normal people. So today I had to do just that, because one of the four pairs of Nike trainers (Americans! That means sneakers!) I’d ordered didn’t fit. Argh! I needed four new pairs because I had to get some medium ride muddy ones for Highgate Woods and the Heath, some sexy indoor ones for the gym, some super mega high-spec Air ones for the Street, and some just plain cool ones for general everyday dashing about.

The post office queue had like a million people in it, and I didn’t see a fast-track option for people who are rich and therefore by rights deserve speedier service, so what could I do but stand in it?? Appalling, really… I’d heard the Royal Mail was having some issues, but this was alarming in the extremely. Can not the Syrians come and work in the post offices for a pittance? They’d love it, surely!! It would be a well-deserved break from their hardship.

The good thing was that I got chatting to a nice lady behind me, which passed the time while I jogged on the spot to kill two birds with one stone (i.e. kill the exercise bird as I was too busy today to go to the gym or for a decent run). She had a baby with her, asleep in a grimy pushchair, so I pretended to admire it (and it was genuinely somewhat sweet, given that it was sleeping), telling her all about my “babies”, now growing up, and how arduous it is to look after our little ones. I gave her the benefit of my wisdom on child-rearing (gleaned, as you know, from my six months’ counselling training which included rigorous, in-depth exploration of developmentalist matters), and on how vital it is that we, as mothers, strive for balance with our self-care. She looked so knackered and whithered (and no tan! Cannot get used to this no tan thing!!) that I knew she would benefit hugely from my beauty and wellbeing advice. Then, to demonstrate to her that I truly understood what she was going through, I told her about how awesome Singapore is, how much I miss it in the inner core of my being – despite looking so hot on the outside – and about how horrendous it is for me to be a single mother without a live-in. Knowing that live-ins are an entirely unfamiliar entity to the London working classes (a member of which she defo was), I had to go into great detail to enable her to understand the extent of my loss and pain, whilst utterly empathising with her position. So hilarious though because it turned out that the baby was her grandson! No wonder the baby had more of a tan than she did (I so heart this inter-racial thing we got goin on in this city) and that she looked so haggard! But she told me she was 41!! What now, now?! That’s only slightly older than me and she looked at least 60. She takes care of the irritant while her daughter does shifts as a prison officer. Sheesh, well TF for grandmas.

Allst I can conclude, Expaterati babeses, is hang on in there. It could be

A

Whole

Lot

Worse.

Missing you,
EJ xx

If nothing else makes you feel better, surely this will, babeses

If nothing else makes you feel better, surely this will, babeses

Blighty Blueses, Actually, Babeses

Well, sweet to be back, my non-fat a**!

You will no doubt have noted my tragic absence from the Internet, which I’m afraid is due to having far too much stupid stuff to do that I am simply not accustomed to doing. Singapore expats, hear me now: wherever she is when you are done reading my riveting words, grab your helper(s) and give her a hug (or a good firm handshake if you’re British, and therefore thusly more knowledgeable about appropriate boundaries with staff), to thank her for attending to the mind-numbingly boring minutiae of daily life, such as loading the dishwasher and child-rearing. Honestly, I had no idea how much Thingie did (what was her name again..? Hilda? I think Mummy said it was Hilda) until now that nothing seems to get done! My old cleaner can only come once a week, and I’m sure anyone else will rob us, given that this city is full of criminals. I’d heard life as a London single mum was hard, but this much hardness?? Hashtag shear hell.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve interviewed 74 nannies, wasting precious time when I should be at the gym (it’s a miracle that I’m still so toned and hot, but I am), or working on my social life and my as yet unidentified meteoric career path. The shocking upshot is that none of them are willing to put in the hours that Hilda did (it was Hilda, am I right?… do you recall??), let alone bother to wash a few windows, and do a bit of ironing or whatevs while the irritants are at school.

All I’m asking is that she gets the kids ready in the morning, does the school run (I didn’t even know what that was! I’d heard tell of it, but it sounded so ridic dreadful I thought it must be some kind of religious allegory, or maybe even a joke), spends the day helping around the house a teensy bit, picks the kids up, and does dinner, homework and bath-time. Then I take over to read them a story, or better yet, go through my FB newsfeed with them because that builds our relationship in a way that books just can’t. After that, she does the next hour or three of them d**king around and not going to sleep, so that I can get on with other more important things or go out. Come on!! Is that really too much to ask? The work ethic in this country is truly appalling.

I can’t wait for the Syrians to arrive and get stuck in to the job market. Surely a nice desperate Syrian wouldn’t be as pernickety as my 74 fails. All this immigration nonsense leads me to utter dismay! The Politicos can’t sort it out, but if they gave me a ring, I easily could. The solution is so obvious. I need a Syrian or three… they need me… what’s the problem?? I can put a summerhouse (well, a shed probably) in the garden (well, it’s more of a yard), or I have a lovely little basement which is mostly dry. There’s even the loft. Ok, so it’s a bit poky and has no windows, but in idyllic Singapore these people live in bomb shelters and they don’t even have a fear of actual bombs, unlike Syrians. So one would think, would one not, that as long as no actual bombage occurs, the absence of windows would be a tremendously minor issue… particularly in terms of post-traumatical stress syndrome.

I must go now because I need to maximise my usage of the irritants’ sleep time until I have recruited a Syrian. I need to do a tree pose, a frog, and a few down dogs, plus have a bath with a drop of NZ’s finest. It’s not quite the same as lying in the pool on the roof terrace at Emerald Hill Road accompanied by my girlies and Veuve Click, but it’ll have to do. Anyway, I wouldn’t be on the terrace today even if I was there. Poor Sing is enveloped in smoke from the Indonesian burning. Feel awful for my Expaterati babeses. Fingers crossed and lots of namastes that it’ll end soon. Weird that, as the wealthiest country in the region, the Singapore government does nada niente to counter the problem. Surely they don’t have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo despite the impact on the health of their own population. No way, man! A governmentification not taking care of its own people? That would just be nuts. Crazybobs. Wouldn’t happen over there or over here, trust me.

I’m using an old image because I haven’t had time for new ones. Miss you, Singers! XOXX

It was so cool hanging out with the locals and eating their weird food.

It was so cool hanging out with the locals and eating their weird food.

Back In Blighty, Babeses!!

Blighty rain so not like rain in Langkawi : (

Blighty rain so not like rain in Langkawi : (

Oh my luvs, I hope you didn’t think I had deceasedéd and decomposéd. I haven’t. I have mainly been very busy transforming my personage from Expaterati to Londonati, more specifically Highgate-ati. Highgati? Hmmmm. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Expaterati, but I suppose it’ll just take time for me to emerge from my chrysalis into the glowing social butterfly I was in Singapore, and christen a new ati.

In many ways, it is quite sweet to be back. The old place hasn’t changed that much. Highgate Village (pronounced vill-aahj) is still the same reassuring cocktail of estate agents, charity shops, pubs, coffee chains, etc, with a few independent shops apparently managing to pay the rent (and a betting shop… What now now??!). In Singapore, places like those little shops are a front for other things I’m told, but surely that couldn’t happen in Blighty, where accountability, democracy, transparency, and social justice prevail over all else.

So the Vill-ahhj does seem to be thriving, despite the conspicuous absence of our celebrité vill-aahj-eurs. The Jude, the Sacha, and all that lot. Word on the street is that they still have houses in Highgate, but they’ve upped sticks to LA or whatevs, which means that loads of the places round here are empty. Seems a dreadful shame because these houses are divine, but if they’re paying their UK taxes then I’m not one to have a go. Maybe they are living the heady expat life that I have had to forgo.

And forgo, I am needing to on a number of fronts since our departure from the gleaming island.

Firstly, I have attempted to wear closed shoes, as the climate tells me to forgo my vast collection of Prada flipflops and Chanel espadrilles. Attempted I tell you, I truly have, but after only 16 minutes in my handmade, extremely limited edition Doc Martz (made in the Yukes, babeses, yes here, not in some factory outside Shenzhen – I have one pair, and there are three or four others kicking around in the world, I believe), my feet were screaming to be rescued from their savage fate… So back to the flipflops I did dash. My toes have on occasion turned a shocking shade of blue, but I’ve made time for a pedi, choosing a shade which both tones with the blueing and enhances my suddenly lingering tan.

[Note to self: add tan to the list of things forgone, in addition to blood circulation in toes.]

Secondly, I have had to forgo the ease of obtainance of Nespresso pods. No longer can I roll out of bed, meet my girlies for breakfast and then loll to the basement of Takashimaya to stock up (or easier still, send the help). No. Now I have to order the damn things! Ridic!! How heavily the Mighty tumble, hashtag very sad face : (((!! Ok so it only took 22 and a sixth hours between makin the call and takin delivery, but that’s 22 more hours than it took in Singas.

And threely, the forgone thing that so sucks the most is my girlies. Missing you, babeses!! Can’t wait to see you in Nov when I come back for the ANZA Melbourne Cup. X X O X

But I’ve got a whole bunch of girlies here to catch up with so it’s like totes cool, right?! Yes, lah.

I should probably unlearn my Singlish. I keep givin it “can” and “cannot” on my calls to the utilities and the TV license and the council for the Maserati resident’s parking permit (yes, I got another one hahaaa! So much cheaper here!! Cheap as chips… Have kept my old silver car too, but I’m not sure classic cars are still cool, are they??).

I’ve found schools for Max and Mills, no thanks to Don as I haven’t heard from him at all and presume he is still in Hawaii with my teenage step-sister.

Everyone said the school thang would be a nightmare, but actually not at allio. I just researched where celebs send their irritants, applied, said some stuff about my proximity to the royal fam, and we were a-go-go. Mixed school for Max, girls’ school for Mills. The Max one wanted to have him “assessed”, so I was like, “wha?!”, but they were like, “ya”, so I did and the educational psych said he’s dyslexic. OMG! So he’s not just a useless moron, likely to follow in his philandering useless father’s footsteps. Turns out he’s got Difficulties and Needs. How cool is that?! Love it.

Mills totes hearts her new uniform, so she’s all good.

I’m thinking about getting another dog. No hound could replace my lovely Froo Froo, of course, but with Hampstead Heath on our doorstep and an amazebobs grooming salon in La Villaahj, frankly it’s churlish not to. Should the poop regulations feel too arduous, we can wander down the hill to Archway and donate droppings liberally, as is the wont of those zed zone Islington people. At least Froo Froo mark two’s number twos will be formed from organic food stuffs, purchased at the Crouch End branch of Waitrose when it re-opens after its annoyingly ill-timed refurb. Were they not informed of my return date? Deeply annoying.

At Raffles Hotel, Rising Above

The irritants and I are back in Singapore before our next trip on Thursday, and I thought it would be nice to stay at Raffles so I got two suites next door to each other. Leaving Max and Mills with the help, I went down to the bar for a beverage. As I sat there, deciding how best to spend these last few days in Singas, a curious thing happened. I got a Skype message from Chantelle.

[For those of you in need of a Previously on Expat Somebody… Chantelle is the estranged wife of my demented father. The two of them and Chantelle’s daughter Angelica (Angel, ugh) were living in Noosa before he lost his marbles last year, and once said marbles were truly gone, he decided that his wife was not in fact the gorgeous young Chantelle, but a lovely smelly old dear at Shady Elms where he had been incarcerated for his own safety. In possession of a tremendously weak character, Chantelle proceeded to indulge in a nervous breakdown and I accidentally agreed to have Angel come and live with us for a few months. Then the week before last, my husband ran off with Angel and there you have it. That’s your Previously on…]

So here is the Skype conversation from last night:

Skype with Chantelle 1

Oh Hawaii, is it? How divine. Don has moved to Hawaii with his teenage girlfriend, and I’ve got a one-way ticket to freezing my A off in London…

I had a quick think and messaged her back:

Skype with Chantelle 2
One of the screenshots Chantelle sent was of Angel standing in front of a sign saying ‘Lokelani Suite’, with a great big grin on her stupid face and the location tagged as the Four Seasons Resort, Maui. So I rang the Four and got put through to the suite (it was late in Hawaii at that point, but all I had to do was give my name and say that something awful had happened to Max). Don answered the phone.

“Don, it’s me. Don’t talk, just listen. I don’t know what you’re up to, and frankly the number of sh**ts I give is in rapid decline. But I want you to know that I mahusively enjoyed our family holiday in Langkawi – where I made the acquaintance a delightful pool boy with a much nicer c**k than yours FYI – and I’m looking forward to taking the kids to Phuket this week, as we’d planned, for my Expaterati girlie’s awesome birthday party… And oh, by the way, your children keep asking when you’re coming back. But I’m totes cool, as are my chi and my Kundalini, no thanks to you very muchly. I’m all set to head home to London next week. Not that you care, obviously, but we’ll be at Mummy’s until the shipment arrives, and then we’ll go up to Highgate late August. So you need to let me know what I should do with your possessions, particularly the enormous pieces of furniture, such as your vile ancient grandfather clock. You’ve made it quite clear that my home is no longer our home, and I do not want your things in my home.”

I paused for breathe. Gosh I really am very fit to have gone on speaking for that long! Well done me : )

“Ok”, he said, “Are you finished?”

“No. No, I’m not actually. Chantelle got in touch with me just now and it could’ve been mucho embarrassando were I not so quick witted…”-

Cutting me off, Don asked somewhat abrasively, “What did you tell her?”

“Nothing, Don. She thinks we’re all having a wonderful holiday together in bloody Hawaii!! But we’re not, are we, Don? No, we are not.”

“Oh, thank god”, he said, under his breathe, before regaining his usual smug tone, “Ok… Well look, EJ, I know you must be worried about all this… but there’s really nothing to worry about… and certainly no reason to alarm Chantelle. Don’t worry about money or anything, I’ll” –

This time I interrupted him.

“No, I’m not worried at all. You just carry on doing what you want to do. As you always have. Why change the habits of a lifetime, eh? But now I’m going to do what I want to do. Goodbye, Don. Good effing riddance to a lowly excuse for a man. If you’re not going to be grown-up about this, I suppose I’ll have to be. And I meant what I said about the pool boy, so there!!”

With that, I hung up. That told him, I reckon. It’s always best to rise above.

So Where The Eff Is Don?

Kinda rainy...

Kinda rainy…

Having said that it’s all awesome and fab here in divine Langkawi, I might’ve failed to mention that it has been raining the whole freakin’ week. I’ve had a word with the hotel manager, but he said he can’t do anything about it. Come on, Four Seasons, what now, now?!!

It isn’t totes terriblé though, I suppose, because it’s probably best not to go back to England with a tan. People get so jealous about stuff like that. It’s as if unless you’re pasty, they don’t want to know you. Ridic. Well, properly pasty I soon will be.

My Kundalini activation is fading as quickly as my tan, probably because of the stormy weather, both inside and out. I’ve been thinking about Don, and how this is all going to work, what with the move back to London in ten days’ time. No live-in helper AND no husband?… What kind of hellish combination is that?! It’s a living nightmare, I tell you.

I was going to wait until next week to see if Clara knows where Don is (as she knows him so bloody well, though supposedly I don’t know that!), but it was playing on my mind rather badly yesterday, and I decided to Skype her ASAP, for the sake of my chi. I felt a tad hashtag awkz about the conversation because: A) I haven’t told her I know about her and Don’s hidden past that they’ve concealed from me for so many years, and frankly I’m more than a little miffed about the situation; and 2. she hasn’t mentioned that anything untoward has occurred at work, so I wasn’t sure what state I’d find her in. I didn’t want to have to listen to her drone on about her woes while trying to sort out my own, did I? Nope way, Josephine!

So I messaged young Chilly Mallone (ok, he’s not that young anymore) to find out whether Clara’s career was in tatters yet. I sent him the money weeks ago and thought I’d hear about it from Mummy the moment the poop hit Clara’s fan.

It turns out that the wayward delinquent Chilly once was, grew up into someone with morals, of all things! He texted me back saying he’d realised that he couldn’t go through with the allegations because Clara had “been there when no one else wuz”, and it was “wrong to mess with her”. Oh, brilliant!! Since when do these people have a conscience?!

I was quite annoyed by this revelation because so far none of my carefully crafted plans for rewengé have come to fruition (see Revenge Phase Two and Three if you haven’t been paying sufficient attention to my glamorous life). I had hoped that at least this one would.

To dig a little deeper, I phoned him. He said he was busy, but “I meant what I said in my text… And I’ll give you back the money, awright?”

“Yeah, whatevs, sweets”, I told him, “I’m in London in a couple weeks. Let’s hook up in my manor and you can give it back… If you haven’t spent it on crack by then!”

“Look lady”, came Chilly’s retort – oh so now he’s allowed to have tude?? – “You’re the one who’s on crack. Seriously. What are you smokin’? Trying to mess with your own cousin. That’s your family, man! Thas your blood! Thas” –

I couldn’t bear to listen anymore to this uppity nonsense, so I interrupted his flow.

“Ok, Chilly, ra ra ra and all a dat, but I’m outa here. Call ya when I’m back. Lay-tah”, I said with my finest Londin verbiage, and hung up.

Then I Skyped Clara. She was at work, but accepted the call because it was lunchtime, and also she wanted to tell me the “great news” she’d just heard. She has been promoted. Well, yay for her. (I really must get a job when I get back so that I can get promoted.) As we spoke, it was obvioso that she had no clue about Don’s disappearance because she was asking how the packing went and when we’re back, with irritatingly genuine care and excitement. She positively gushed at me.

“I’m so looking forward to seeing you all, Emma-Jane. The kids must have grown since I saw them last! It’ll be wonderful to be able to be in their lives… and yours too, of course. We must get together for a drink as soon as you’re back. Remember how we used to meet up in the City after work for a good old natter? That’ll be so lovely… And if there’s anything you need, anything I can do, just give me a shout, OK?”

“Yeah, Clara babes, it will be lovely”, I said, thinking there was really no point in continuing the convo, and making my exit thusly: “I’d better be off-ski now anyhoo. You know what Don’s like when he’s on his hols – requires constant attention, LOL! But soooo amazebobs to hear your news. I am mega happy for you. You rock!”

I clicked end call and felt miserable. Chilly let me down, Clara made me feel all guilty by being so effing nice, and I was still none the wiser about Don, or about my stupid step-sister Angel. What I’ll have to do next, which I’m hoping to avoid, is call her equally stupid mother in Australia, Chantelle. Ugh. Please Lordy, don’t make me have to do that. I don’t want to talk to her period, but I especially don’t want to tell her that her teenage daughter (who was sort of my responsibility, I guess, was she?) has done a runner with my husband. It’s not my fault, is it, dear readers?? I didn’t see it coming. Did you?!

To make myself feel better, I resorted to the two things that always work: I ordered some Veuve Click, and had a bikini photo shoot. Weather be damned! I thought Max could take the pics, but he proved to be utterly useless, so I sent him back to the kids’ club. Instead I got this sweet chap from a resort down the road to help me out. He’s a pool boy who I met at Langkawi’s famed jungle waterfall on Wednesday. I did tell you about him, I think. Or did I? Golly perhaps I failed to mention that too!

As you can see, I needed a brolly to protect the hairdo, and I’ve just had a profound reflection in my beautiful complex brain: that you, dear readers, are the brolly for my psyche. I heart you.

Rainy Langkawi 2 edit

Oh yeah Langkawi trio

Am triple-horrified by this weather business…

Expat Agony Part Two of Two

I still have a couple more woes to share before you are up to speed with my glamorous life, but you’ll be happy to know that I am at least feeling a whole heck of a lot better. Having spent a lot of time at the amazebobs hotel spa, I am now both grounded and uplifted, and I look fabulous from the tip of my toes to the top of my flaming locks. I have been: scrubbed, stroked, kneaded, nurtured, massaged, manicured, pedicured, pampered, emphatically lymphatically drained, and my Kundalini has been repeatedly activated. All rather marvellous, so I am today sufficiently restored to continue with my tale.

After the leaving do, saying goodbye to my Maserati, and then the terrible tragedy, the packing process began. Because of our enormous collection of furniture and art, and my equally vast wardrobal contents, it took five days to complete the move, with a total of 572 boxes. Argh! It was like slowly tearing off a plaster from an open wound. I’ve said it before, but I’ll reiterate: how much pain can one person endure?! Endure it, I did though. What choice did I have, given that Don prioritised his career and his own wishes over me? Zero, babeses, zero nada niente 没有.

What was good though is that we had less stuff than was estimated for the shipment, so I popped out during the week to buy more. I got a few bits of furniture from Timothy Doulton (love that shop!!) at Dempsey, and some odds and ends from Crate and Barrel. It all just went into boxes straight away, so was quite easy.

Of course, everything was done for us by the twelve strong chappies from the moving company, but that doesn’t mean that it was stress-free for me. Quite the contrary. Watching my life being dismantled bit-by-bit was shear hell. Until they did the roof terrace, I could at least take myself up there for a Veuve Click and a lounge. I was in fact engaging in that very pursuit when the time came for the packers to dismember the area. I heard clinking and realised that, for some unknown reason, there were at least twenty Veuve empties concealed behind the ornamental pool towel cupboard. Extraordinary. I do recall putting one or two back there when I forgot to take them down for the recycling, but that many?! Must not have been me. No doubt the help has been drinking my fizz all these years without me noticing. That woman! Can’t wait to see the back of her. (Though what to do with the irritants until I have a nanny in London?… Am somewhat worried about that, as 16-hour a day staff may be too pricey to justify. So unfair that there isn’t cheap help in London.)

Anyway, the next thing I knew, all of the empties were being carefully wrapped and put into a box. Ooopsy! They’re just so wild and impetuous, these moving guys. If it’s not nailed down, they pack it.

On the fifth day it was finally over, and although I felt exhausted and devastated, it was a relief to see all of the boxes gone and to close the door on my beautiful Emerald Hill Road home; and on the past. Well, I say “close the door”, but I personally wasn’t there for the final goodbye because I had a late lunch with my girlies. The children weren’t there either (they were at Camp Asia), but it doesn’t matter, I’m sure. Kids are so resilient, particularly expat kids. It was only their home. It’s not like they won’t have another one.

Boxes

My lovely life in 572 boxes…

We moved to a serviced apartment on Orchard Road as we weren’t due to leave for Langkawi until the next day. That night we all went to Andre’s for dinner to celebrate Angel’s seventeenth birthday and mark the end of the move, but it wasn’t the most fun evening everrrr despite the venue. Don seemed like he was on a different planet – very strange and distracted. The irritants were chaotic and even more irritating than usual. Even Angel was off-key and not her normal “I’m so hashtag young and hot and cool like Cara Delevingne” self. It was dull enough that afterwards I took myself off to meet Flo for a few beverages as a consolation.

The next morning, I was a bit tired and didn’t wake up until after 10 o’clock. Milly took it upon herself to pull me from my dreams, dashing into the bedroom and saying, “Mummy, where’s Daddy? Cannot find him, lah. And where’s Angel? Wasn’t she coming to the airport too? She’s going back to ‘Stralia and we’re going to Langkawi, but she was coming to the airport with us. Is she gone already?”

I got up and went to ask the helper where Don was, but she hadn’t seen him since the previous night. Not very helpful, helper. I phoned him, only to find that his phone was switched off. So, I decided to just go about my day and get ready for the holiday. I had a shower and was brushing my teeth when I noticed that Don’s wash bag wasn’t there. Nor was his toothbrush or anything else belonging to him. Then I looked in the wardrobe on his side of the bed, and it was empty. Starting to feel alarmed, I ran arms flailing to the desk. Laptop not there. Nothing of Don’s anywhere. In a horrible flash of realisation, I dashed into Angel’s room. Also empty. WTF??? I didn’t know what to do or think, dear readers. What could I do? I completed the preparations for the holiday, told the children that Don and Angel weren’t coming with us, and off we went to Changi.

So here I am a few days later – bruised and confused, but unbroken. I have heard nothing from Don, and his Singapore phone has now been disconnected. Next week when we’re briefly back in Sing (before heading to Phuket for an awesome party), I think I’ll contact Clara to see if she knows what’s going on. In the meantime, I will just focus on Me Time, and keep getting my spa on.

Expat Agony Part One of Two

IMG_5005Forgive me, babeses, for I have sinned against blogging. It has been ten days since my last blog. I can only imagine the profound sense of vacancy and loss you have had to endure through my silence, and for that pain, I am truly sorry. When I tell you though, about the pains I have suffered over this time, and why I have been unable to share, I have no doubt that my torment will replace your own in your hearts and minds. I know how empathic you are.

In the past ten days I have experienced a series of increasingly difficult events, all of which have showered great boulders of loss upon my toned shoulders; loss which other, less toned shoulders might have found too desperately weighty to bear without breaking. Break, I have not, dear readers, nor intend I to do so therefore thusly. One would think that I had had more than my fair share of said shoulder boulders of late, but no. Cruel fate tests even the those who are as hot as I be.

And very hot I have managed to be this week, permanently adorned in my gigantic collection of Sea Folly bikinis and coordinating resort wear. I write to you now from the beautiful island of Langkawi, a paradise of radiant beaches and misty, lush forested hills. Thank goodness I had the foresight to choose this magical place again. I could not have made a better choice. Perhaps deep down in the wisdom of my psyche I knew that I would need a complete rest in the divine arms of the Four Seasons. (And the pesky macaques, but they’re the least of my trials.)

The first of my agonies was our goodbye party. Tanjong Beach Club for the day, then on to the rooftop at Potato Head. I decided to combine both events, so that I could wear an impressive multitude of outfits in the same 18-hour period, which is the hallmark of the genuinely stylish.

It was all just perfect, but by the end of the evening I was beginning to come to grips with the horrid truth that there will be no more days and nights like this. As each awesome Expaterati friend said goodbye and drifted away, I knew that I had to accept this was truly Goodbye. Every departure was more tragic than the last, and I really put my waterproof, bulletproof mascara to work.

By midnight I was down to my last few girlies, and had so fully accepted the sorry state of affairs that I realised I had no choice… I simply must come back in November for the fabulous ANZA Melbourne Cup 2015! It’ll be too sublimely exciting to miss, and I know that because I know who’s organising it, and lemme tell you: that chick knows how to throw a parté. So there on the rooftop, I got out my phone and booked the flights straight away, with the help of a lovely bar man who was able to see better than I could. It does get quite dark on that particular terrace at night.

The following day, there came the next searing loss. I had to say adieu to my beautiful purple soft-top Maserati. Hashtag mega sad face : (!!! I was feeling quite tired because after Potato Head, we remaining resilient few went to Brix for one last hurrah, to drink in the heady cocktail of great chunes, super-friendly Russian ladies, and desperate, horny men. Such an amazebobs time!! So very much amazebobs that I got home around 4AM. I think. I’m not totes sure because my Rolly disappeared from my wrist, and I was too exhausted and starving to fumble around the recesses of my LV clutch for the phone. I had a quick foie gras with wheat-free toast, and crashed out on the downstairs Louis Quatorze sofette.

The next thing I knew, my lips were being kissed in a most unusually licky way. It was different, but not unpleasant enough to shake me out of my slumber. Only when the licking became persistent and furry did I open my eyes to see Froo Froo’s gorgeous little face staring into my gorgeous face, and I noticed the quite disgustingly rank smell of her breathe. I dashed to the loo, thinking I might vom – albeit elegantly – but then didn’t. Instead, I splashed my face with water to immediately restore its youthful glow, and wiped off the traces of encrusted foie gras that had somehow made their way onto my personage.

I was heading to bed when I passed the 206 year-old grandfather clock in the east wing (one of Don’s many hideous family heirlooms), and saw that it was just before 9 o’clock. Argh!! It flooded back to me that the car was being collected at 10AM and I absolutely positively had to take her for one last spin down Orchard Road. I didn’t have time to change, but the leopard print mini dress from the night before looked damn fine, and totally gelled with the Beyoncé, Katy Perry, et al playlist I had planned for the excursion. I drive better when I’m a little hungover anyway and it’s even more #awesomefunness (I’d never drive drunk though, so don’t be all up in my face, haters, you get me?!).

I did the Last Drive with my approx 12 auditory disciples (they would be if they knew me, right?!), and as I was turning into Emerald Hill Road, Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire came on. I don’t really know what happened, but all of a sudden the exhilaration turned to grief – knowing that these were the final moments I’d have with my beloved Mazzer. I pushed my foot down on the accelerator, swerving around the jutting pavements (sheesh, those traffic calming measures on EHR really make it difficult to drive fast!!), narrowly missing a lamppost, a silver Bentley, and a whole entire shophouse. As I careered onwards, I sang out, “Nobody knows that she’s a lonely girl, and it’s a lonely world, but she gon’ let it burn, baby, burn, baby”, at the top of my voice.

Then, through a glaze of tears, I saw my helper on the side of the road looking like she’d just discovered she was going to be deported, and I felt a dull thud against one of the front wheels. The help let out a blood-curdling scream, which alarmed me so much that I stopped the car.

“Froo Froo!!!”, she shrieked, “Nooooooo, Froo Froooooo!!”

Somewhat shaken, I opened the car door to exit, most unfortunately falling face-first onto the cobbles which is v much not my modus operandi. (I know how to get in and out of all variety of cars that matter – even in movement-restricting outfits – due to personal experience, but also thanks to an intense period of training I undertook in my late teens.) It was the shock of the situation that threw me. Quite literally. Again, I must have known that what had happened was a dreadfully dreadful thing. My intuition is incrediblé.

And so it was, dear readers, that my sweet Froo Froo left this world, and left me. She left me at this very difficult time, when I needed her the most in fact, and clearly there is only one person who bears responsibility: the helper.

As she, the help, was wailing, I crawled my way to the rear of the car, and there I saw what I already feared to be true. Horrifically, I scraped my fresh be-flip-flopped pedi on the ground to the point of ruination, but worse than that… my Froo Froo. It was unbearable. Excruciating. How could any loving omnipotent deity allow this to happen to me?! Take Don, take Clara, take me (yeah, no, maybe not me), take the irritants, take the help! But not little innocent Froo Froo!! She never did any harm to anyone.

It felt so wrong, and it still does now, days later, as I watch the ocean waves pound the shore and work on my pre-London tan. I almost wish that I hadn’t put myself through telling the tale because my chi is getting thrown back to that moment of The Thud.

Dios gracias, I have a three-hour treatment booked in. The buggy will be here any minute to take me to the spa. Hard times…