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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Blighty Blueses, Actually, Babeses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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