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.

 

 

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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.

Where I'm on at. Image credit: http://acraftyglass.co.uk/pubsbars/the-mug-house-london-bridge#comment-22764

Where I’m on at.
Image credit: http://acraftyglass.co.uk/pubsbars/the-mug-house-london-bridge#comment-22764

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 <3 ‘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 <3 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.)

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

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.