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

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A Dish Best Served Cold

I woke up this morning feeling somewhat the worse for wear. To be precise, I woke up first at 3AM on a sun lounger on the roof terrace, clutching a bottle of Click and feeling like death; but once I re-awoke in bed a few hours later, I was merely the worse for wear. I think it’s the haze. Environmental pollutants do tend to affect my highly sensitive internal ecosystem. Most probably because of my elevated empathy quotient.

The stress I have been under these past few days seems to be taking its toll. I haven’t even been able to have a pedi – you should see my poor neglected toenails. I am having to wear Chanel espadrilles every day (sometimes last season’s for the sake of variation which is downright humiliating), despite the searing heat, to hide the woeful mayhem that lies beneath.

Because I can’t wear flip flops, and it takes that much more time and effort to put on actual shoes, I was a bit too late to see Max and Mills off on the bus to summer camp today. I therefore thusly deemed it a foregone conclusion to stay in bed, though I did make it to the window, opening the lovely Peranakan shutters almost in time to wave them off. They wouldn’t have noticed anyway, but at least I know that I did all I could to be an excellent mother under the present arduous circumstances.

I felt so down at the mouth and frownful (argh, must pull myself sufficiently together to book a Botox sesh ASAP) that I had to cancel Eva. I just couldn’t handle being yelled at in that trans-pan-Atlantic-continental-European accent she has. Some people love that sort of thing (I’m aware of that from a Japanese film studies course I once did), but for me right now, not so much. Thank Dios she let me off with just a text, and didn’t phone me back to shout motivational quotes at me like, “Do zumzing today zat your future zelf vill zank you for!”

I closed the shutters and tried to go back to sleep, in the hope that I might dream of the lovely flaming crown I encountered yesterday at yoga. Instead, my wakeful tormented mind offered up thread upon thread of emails between Don and Clara (my cousin who he apparently almost married!! Wtf?!), and Don and Liz (the lowdown husband-stealing C word he’s apparently leaving me for), each one more disgusting and daemonic than the last.

Around midday I gave up on sleep perchance to dream, babeses, and went downstairs for a lemon water and a green smoothie. Whilst perfecting the latter with a shot of something or other (which is fine because all the good stuff far outweighs the bad stuff cancer-wise, and that’s totes scientificated because I read about it on the Internet and why would anyone lie on the Internet?), I had the help run a bath, liberally tossing in essential oils of lavender, bergamot and lemongrass. Sending her back to her quarters, I sank my hot self into the fragrant bath, working hard to ignore the hell of my toenails which emerged all too often into view, and drank the green smoothie.

The next thing I knew, my phone was making that Skype ringtone sound. So distinctive, that tone! Well done them for making it so darn unique!! These tech companies are truly awesome. Fumbling for the phone, I observed that I was now in bed, wearing some of my most prized Agent Provocateur. I clicked to accept the call, and realised that the departing image my consciousness was replacing with reality was of Seth; his afro gleaming and his smile beaming.

Seth

Seth

“Hullo?”, I said, as elegantly as I could muster.

“EJ hi, it’s me, Clara.”

Upon hearing her voice, I felt organic kale, spinach, strawberries, red dragon fruit, chia seeds and other stuff rising up from my stomach, as if I was about to spew forth the bile of my rage. I paused though, thinking about Eva’s annoying quote.

“Oh hi, Clara babes, how nice┬áto hear from you. What’s up? To what, precisely, do I owe the pleasure??”

(If I can’t mince my words now, when, dear readers, can I?!)

“How are you, love?”, came the vile traitor’s reply. Little does she know that her head will soon be metaphorically speared on a spike at the Tower, as far as I’m concerned.

“I’m great, sweets. You know, just doing my thang. Hanging with my girlies, racing around Singas in my soft-top. Brunching. Lunching. Shopping. Working out. Looking hot. And I’ve written another amazebobs rap to follow on from the first one. Expat rap is seriously scaleable, I’m told.”

“That’s good, love, I’m glad you’re doing fine”, the traitorous C replied. (When did she start calling me “love”?? Oh right, just now, silly moi.)

On she went: “I’ve been thinking that it might be helpful for you to consider how things will be if you’re coming back to England. There’s a very good chance of that, right? So I’m wondering how you can start the transition process now, for your sake, but also for the kids. I loved your post on having a rehab for expats, and actually I think you might need a bit of a rehabilitative intervention when… I mean if… you do come back.”

“Yes lah, honey, you’re SO right. As you always are, izn’t it??”

Clara of course didn’t appreciate my fabulous Singlish, but you know what: F her.

“If you mean schools and stuff, lah, it’s all gravy”, I said.

“My remote assistant in the Philippines has sorted that sh** out. Asian Tigers and the company relo peeps will fix everything else, so it’ll just happen like clockwork. Oh but wait… Hmmmm… Maybe you’re talking about my emotional┬átransition. Yeah, I bet that’s what you mean. You just luuuuuurv talking about that stuff!”

“Yes, Emma-Jane”, replied the C, “That is what I’m talking about. You seem to be quite settled in Singapore, and I feel anxious about your readjustment when, I mean if, you come home. So I want to help, if I can. It may be a difficult time for you and the children. But I’m here for you. I want you to know that.”

“Yes, hon, it probably will be a difficult time”, I humoured her further, “Which is why I’m sooooo happy to know that you’ve got my back. Where would I be without you, huh?! Look, sweets, I gotta go. Stuff to do, peeps to see…”

“Of course, love, I’ll let you go. I know things must be hard for you right now, but this too will pass. You’re a strong person. You’ll find a way through this, whatever happens.”

Yeah, hashtag whatevs to you too, cousin Clara. Always pretending to give a crap when, behind it all, you’ve betrayed me as much as Don has. More, perhaps.

So you can cry me a river, you sad effing nut job pathetic excuse for a cousin.

Since the call, I haven’t had time to start looking for a lawyer. I’ve been way too busy thinking about what to do to Clara.

IMG_4533

No more Mister Nice Guy

What Fresh Hell is This?!

I have had to take some time off from being able to share my fabulous life with you, dear readers, because I contracted a classic Singaporean treat: Mycoplasma. Chalk that up (next to the smoke from Sumatra) under “things no one tells you before you move here”.

Luckily though, the shopping is good, and there are a lot of v cool restaurants around Club Street, so that cancels the other stuff out.

Anyway, my whole body became like a block of splintered wood, and it is only today that my fingers have recovered from the stiffness and aching enough to be able to type. Even now, I can barely raise my pretty head to look at the screen (the illness hasn’t affected my hair though, which is still looking keratin-lovely). It has been murder, I tell you. Poor me. I didn’t deserve this! Get well messages gratefully appreciated.

It would also help with my recovery if you would please have a look at the Join the Parteee! page. Thanks, beautifuls : )