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.

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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…

The Hellish Hells of Relocation

I am desperately sorry for neglecting you, dear readers. It has been suuuuuuuch a busy time. I’ve had to do so many dull things related to the move, not least finishing the insurance inventory for the shipment. Counting clothes (and, on a separate not, what happened to the Counting Crows?) takes an increbibé long time! Apparently, I own 325 pairs of shorts, and for the sake of precision I wanted to sub-categorise each type of garment, so I didn’t just put “Shorts x 325”. No. I sub-categorised into Hot Pants, Elegant Shorts, Resort Wear Shorts, Boho Glamour Shorts, Long-Ish Shorts, Short-Ish Shorts (excluding hot pants), and Tiny Shorts (also at the exclusion of any of the afore-mentioned categories).

I did this with all my other clothes, accessories, and shoes too. I have hardly slept for days. And at the same time, I’ve had a whole ton of other stuff to do. I’ve needed to liaise with the dreaded relocation agency re booking into serviced accommodation next week; AND I’ve been finalising our last-minute Asia trips before we return to miserable weather. So next month we’re going to Langkawi – staying at the Four, of course – and then to a fabulous birthday party in Phuket. It’s for one of my Expaterati Girlies who I haven’t seen for yonks, and it promises to be quite fabulous, as she herself is beyond fabulous. It’s a shame that the irritants are coming (not to mention Don), but the help will have moved on by then. We lose her in a couple of weeks. There’s another thing that’s been v stressful: constantly speaking to her potential new employers and having to be all Nice. The first few times, I told them about my suspicions that she has some sort of online business which involves her wearing racy undergarments, but then I realised that was just causing me to have to speak to more annoying people, so I stopped.

Angel’s flight back home to Oz is all booked, thanks to moi. Why can’t a sixteen (almost seventeen!) year-old woman book her own flight? Since when did human beings take so long to grow up?? Ridic. I mean, I out-sourced it to my remote assistant in the Philippines, but that still involved sending an email.

I’ve also been doing some high-value shoppage, as a means of obtaining cash. Handbags and such. I acquired a divine one last week from the Burbster. The point of my endeavour is to buy things and then sell them on in order to build up my cash reserves, but the Burb one in particular, I’m not sure I can bear to part with… Perhaps I’ll keep it. Surely just one can’t hurt.

I’ve been Skyping with Mummy lately because I will need her help with the irritants if we are definitely returning to the UK. Yes, I’ve had to be the grown-up there and swallow my pride about her terrible treatment of me last Christmas. Honestly, how much can one person take?! Even a person as highly resourceful and resilient as me. At least Froo Froo dog is taking all this in her stride. She seems to be oblivious to what’s going on. She’s happier than she has ever been, in fact. How dreadfully sad that her life is about to be utterly changed without her having any control or say in the matter, but I suppose it’s a saving grace that she is blissfully unaware. Oh, to be a dog!

Speaking of dogs, before I get back to my busy tedium I will share with you that I have scheduled my confrontation with Liz for the end of this week. I can hardly contain my excitement. You will love it, dear readers, and I promise not to spare you any of the gruesome details.

FullSizeRender

How could I part with this beauty, babeses??

Only Alcoholics Shouldn’t Drink in the Morning

After my transformational parenting experience the other night, I bounded into Milly’s room on the morning of our trip to get her dressed, for the first time ever on a non-Sunday, and to help her finish packing. I wanted to reassure her that she is beautiful despite not having a thigh gap, so I was a bit disappointed to find her room empty, completely tidy, and her suitcase all packed.

“No mattery!”, I thought to myself, being the tremendously resilient person that I am, and off I cantered downstairs to make breakfast for my sweet children – another first for a non-Sunday, go me!! I was in such a good mood that I decided to make pancakes, of all things! I know!! Ambitious, but that’s me all over, as you know, dear readers.

I could see from the state of the kitchen (argh! So not Downton, babeses!! Cannot get the staff, lah) that the helper had already made pancakes; and there was apparently no one in the house other than Don, up in his office. I waved charmingly to him through the windows off the courtyard, but he didn’t see me as he was engrossed in the screens on his desk. He works so hard, bless him. Even on days that are technically holidays. Of course he’s being stalked by another bird. Who wouldn’t stalk a man like Don?

I rang the helper and discovered that she had taken both kids to the skate park off Orchard for a scoot. “Oh well, no mattery”, I thought again, “I can still… umm, I can still”… And that’s where I totes drew a blank. I had yet another weird, as yet unidentified feeling, and the strangest thing popped up in my pretty head: the empty space in our glamorous ensuite bathroom from a few weeks ago. That awful emptiness where, as it turned out, my designer loo brush had been (since then, happily replaced with even lovelier water closet ware). What now, now? Why would that vile thought invade my so sane brain?

To exorcise the unpleasant image, I walked from room to room for a while, looking for something useful I could do. Something motherly perhaps. Drawing a mega zero, I found myself by the wine fridge, and although I would never dream of drinking at 9.37 in the morning, I realised that it was a day of celebration. Chinese New Year! Gong Xi and all that!! So I opened a bottle of Veuve to toast all those gazillion nice Chinese people out there, particularly our Chinese hosts in lovely Singapore. Rude not to, and we weren’t leaving for Penang until the afternoon.

Sitting in our rooftop pool with my champers and my Facebook newsfeed for company, I stopped feeling all those ugh feelings. What’s the big dealio with morning celebrational beverages anyhoo? Nothing, right babeses? Anyone who thinks there’s a problem is ridic and crazybobs, and must have a drink prob themselves. It’s pure projection, which is v nasty stuff.

I must’ve dozed off on a lounger (due to my late night of being a great mother) because the next thing I knew, the helper was standing over me, saying, “Ma’am, Sir is looking for you. We are leaving now on the vacation”.

Argh!! I sprang into action (concealing the empty bottles in the ornamental pool towel cupboard – the helper can be so judgmental), threw the last few bikinis and lippies into my ludicrously expensive Rimowa suitcase, put on my gorgeous travelling outfit (it’s important to look one’s hottest when travelling, particularly as a celebrité blogger), and sloped elegantly to the front door, just as the limo cab was pulling up outside. I’m so good at travelling. I can do it like the back of my hand.

We really had a great time in Penang. This trip, unlike Chrimbo in Boracay, we took the help with us. I told Don that if he stuck to his “family holidays are for family” policy, Froo Froo Dog might well poop in his car. Accidentally, of course. That dog is so bold now, since her amazebobs therapy session : ).

We came back today on an early flight – early enough to attend a fab free-flow lunch date at the Westin with our Expaterati crew, and everyone was enthralled by my tales of our super lovely hol. I do totes heart Malaysia. I can see where they’re going with the whole “truly Asia” thing. I think it’s a little misleading though, because increasingly it’s more “truly Middle East”. Which is also awesome because I totes heart Dubai too.

 

Where we didn't stay in Penang.  Anyone with a proven track record in marketing, PLEASE contact these chaps.

Where we didn’t stay in Penang.
Anyone with a proven track record in marketing, PLEASE contact these chaps.

 

 

Sneaky Snogging on Airplane?!

Holiday snaps of Vagi Wraps

Holiday snaps of Vagi Wraps

Well, babeses, I’m writing to you from the airport because, although I was having the best holiday everrrrrr, like I always do, it was also pretty crap. The encounter I had on the first day with my least favourite member of the Singapore Expaterati got me off to a bad start, and then the children were driving me over the edge, without our helper with us. Furthermore, spending so much time with the little irritants was in direct contravention of Item Six of my New Year’s resolutions.

Then yesterday Don said something about having lots of work to catch up with, so I thought, right! You get back to work, and I’ll get back to my proper holiday. Yayay!! Can’t wait to be home, rollerblading down Orchard Road, after a few glasses of Veuve Click, with the wind cascading through my fabulous flaming locks! Singas, look out! Momma’s comin’ home : )!!! До Свидания, Boragrad!


It’s a bit later and we’re on the plane back. I love using the internet on flights, just because I can. Plus, I wanted to let you know ASAP about the shocking revelation that has just revealed itself to mine eyes. You’re not going to believe this, but I SWEARS it’s truesome.

So. Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey’s husband, Fred, and his (male!!) PA are on our flight, but they haven’t spotted me as I’m quite inconspicuous when I want to be, and we’re sitting a few rows behind them (no, not in Economy!). Right after take off, they ordered champagne, clinked glasses, had a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching (haha!!), and then… They snogged! OMG!! As if swinging among the Expaterati wasn’t shocking enough! Now we have this married expat chap having a flingthing with his blokie assistant!! What else is going on in our very midst? I dread to think, dear readers, I really do.

It’s no wonder though because that wife of his is a mega-drag and if I was a gay guy, Mr PA would well be on my wuddya?-hells-to-the-ya list!!

I’d better go because it’s only a short flight and I need to watch at least one film, as well as find something from the inflight shopping mag to buy that I don’t already have. Tricky!

Ooooh, tuna wasabi yum yum!

Ooooh, tuna wasabi yum yum!

Just the Usual Expat Hol in Paradise

A spot of beach art, where the other half (3/4? 7/8?) lives.

A spot of beach art, where the other half (3/4? 7/8?) lives.

Following my completes crappola Chrimbo (who would have thought it would’ve sucked so badly that morning when I was making my Expat Exmas Message, like Her Maj?), we are now on our fabulous holiday in Boracay. Boragrad, if you must know, babeses, LOL.

Another top-notch hotelee por supesto, to wind away all the stresses and strains of my equally fabulous life. That said, even with the kids’ club, I’m rather wishing we’d brought the help along. I had forgotten the full horror of the tedium that bath and bedtime can be with Max and Mills. I am having to do it myself!! And I don’t mean supervising! So, after a full day of lounging in the sun, and attending to my rigorous health and beauty regime at the gym and spa, I then get myself all worked up on the few evenings we don’t hire a sitter, thanks to the irritants. Well happy bleeping holidays to me! Don, as always, said that bringing the helper was “unconscionable”, and that holidays should be just the family. Hmmmmm. This means that I don’t really have a holiday!! Which leads me to conclude that:

Paradise – Help = Almost Hell

Gandhi said something very similar when he observed that, “Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as”… I’ve lost the rest of the quote, but the skinny is that it’s totes ideal for me to depend on my helper because she depends on us for her livelihood; and it’s totes reasonable for me to have a bit of a sh** hol without her.

As if things weren’t bad enough, guess, dear readers, who is here. One of my all-time least favourite members of the Singapore Expaterati: Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey. Ugh-amundo. I know you feel my pain.

On our very first day here, I noticed Mills in the pool, playing with another little girl who looked vaguely familiar. Returning my attention to my iPad edition of Vogue, I heard a kerfuffle from the pool, as an adult waded in – yes, D & G Wifey – telling Milly to stop pulling the other girl’s hair. Oh Lordy, Mills! Being the responsible parent that I am, I had no choice but to put down my iPad, and dive elegantly into the pool, to pretend to reprimand Milly. Poor kid. The other little girl, Janine, has obviously inherited her mother’s dour looks and tote lack of humour, so I’m sure she got nothing more than she deserved, but what else could I do??

Once I’d forced Mills into a half-arsed apology, I then had to make polite conversation with D & G: how lovely to bump into you, what a coincidence (yeah, right), how’s your hol, are you having a good time, ra ra ra.

She was apparently gagging for someone to talk to, because she launched straight into her standard doom and gloom diatribe. I noted from her lack of woven resort bag (only available to the upper echelons) that she must not be staying in one of the villas. Probably in the main cell block. In the timeless words of Beyoncé, “Sucks to be you right nooooow”. Wise woman, that Queen Bee.

“Oh, I suppose I’m having a good time…” she began, her dull preamble warning of so much worseness ahead.

“I wanted to go home for Christmas, or maybe skiing, but Fred’s PA couldn’t take much time off, so Fred decided we’d better not go too far away. And they’re flying back before me and the kids anyway.”

“But, babes”, I told her, “Skiing is just so wet and cold, and accidenty. And England is totes miz right now, with the yucky climate, and all that economy stuff… still… I think… Here we’ve got the beautiful relaxing beach, and the lovely weather… Um, apart from the whole tropical storm thang, but that’ll pass”.

“Yeah, I know….,” she said, and for a moment I thought she might shut up, so that I could dash back to my sun bed. Alas, alack, and mega-bummer, I was profoundly mistaken. She went on.

“It’s just that we’ve been on so many of these trips: Bali, Langkawi, Krabi, Koh Samui, Yogyakarta, Hoi An…”, she continued, as I switched off and admired how smooth my freshly waxed Brazilian was looking.

“Bla bla bla, fa ba na noo fa bla, and at this point, the whole of Southeast Asia has just merged into one big blur of white sand, palm trees, and resorts. When I look back over the years, I can barely distinguish one holiday from the next. How sad is that?!”

I re-engaged with her bla when I noticed that the gel nail on my thumb was lifting, and much as I loathe nail-biting, I found myself gnawing at it.

“And what really gets me is”, she droned on, “I’m getting so tired of being the well-off Westerner, surrounded by locals calling me Ma’am, who bow and scrape in the name of good customer service. I can’t relax when I know that the people around me are so much worse off. It’s the inequality of it all! What does it teach our children?”

[OH GOD, kill me!! JUST KILL ME NOW!!!, I thought prettily.]

“And Thailand! Just awful. We were there last year for Christmas, and I heard such incredibly devastating stories about the tsunami. Whole families, wiped out. Babies, children. I thought, how can I sit on this idyllic beach, knowing what happened right here, just a few years ago? Horrendous.”

I tasted thick saltiness, and looked down at my thumb to find that it was bleeding. The woman was boring me so much that I had actually started to bite off my own hand. Enough was enough.

“Darling sweetie babes”, I managed to say, following a quick check-in with my higher power, “The fact is that without us well-off whities coming and spending our spondooli, these nice people wouldn’t even have jobs. We’re doing them a favour! The least we can do is have a good time, honey. Don’t we owe them that much?!”

I hoped that my impassioned words might turn the situation around, but she got her mouth straight back in there: “That’s a ridiculous argument! The fact is that our spondooli, as you call it, is because of disproportionate salaries, earned through the exploitation of people just like the ones working in this hotel, borne out of their disadvantage and our good fortune. We did nothing to deserve this, any more than they deserve the poverty they come from!”

O
EM
GEE

I found, then, that I was sucking my (half-eaten, bloody) thumb – something I haven’t done since childhood. Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey woman, I shouted silently in my head, it’s only Day One, and you have RUINED my holiday.

Gott sei dank, D & G’s helper suddenly appeared from nowhere, saying, “Ma’am, I am the one to take Janine for her nap?”

D & G nodded, “Yes please, Reyann”.

“Well, that’s lovely anyway!”, I chipped in, determined now to either lift this bleeping woman’s mood or get the bejesus away from her.

“At least you have the help with you!! Lucky old you, babes! Don never wants to do that, and frankly it’s a nightmare come truesome!”

“You say that”, (oh ffs, despite my awesome adorableness of niceness, she was finding a way to persist), “but the thing is that I knew she would have a better Christmas here with us than lonely in Singapore, while all her friends are working, or if we sent her home to her family. When she goes home, she comes back a stone lighter, and completely exhausted. Do you know what she does when she has a holiday at home?”

It was patently clear that I didn’t give a rat’s bottom, but evidently the woman has none of my empathic or intuitive skills when it comes to observing the responses of others. Instead of noticing that I was desperate to get back to Vogue, she…

Kept.

On.

Talking.

“She works on the family farm! For fifteen hours a day, every day! Can you believe that?! And not only that -”

While she was talking, her husband’s PA sauntered over, a vision in white linen.

“Mrs Davis,” he murmured – golly, such a treacle voice for a man! how divine!!, “Mr Davis asked me to tell you that he and I unfortunately have work to do, and will be gone for some time. He’s so sorry. He booked you a few treatments at the spa, and I’m awfully sorry I didn’t let you know earlier, because the first appointment is in five minutes. There’s a buggy waiting for you at the lobby. You should probably hurry. Have a great time!”

And with that, the delightful cloud of a man floated away on the honeyed gusts of his own voice.

What a charming chappie, I thought, and how fortuitous that:

A. D & G’s sweet husband had booked her a pile of fab treatments,

and

2.) She was gone, and I wouldn’t have to listen to her hideous whining any longer.

 

I got back to my Vogue, but promptly fell asleep. I must have been plain plum tuckered by that woman’s chi. Assaulted, I would say. I have had to do a veritable sh**load of chanting since then to cleanse myself.