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.

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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!

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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.

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.)

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.

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.

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How could I part with this beauty, babeses??

Boring Well-Off Wifeys Who Do Charity Work

I don't need to be no Mother Teresa to justify my existence

I don’t need to be no Mother Teresa to justify my existence

Annoyingly, the landlord wants us out of our fabulous Emerald Hill Road shophouse by the end of July because apparently saying we’re not sure if we’re staying doesn’t cut it. What now, now?? Is chivalry and general politesse truly so dead? I mean, the guy must own half of the island so like, what’s the big deal…?

The implicationses of this are that we’ve been forced to accept viewings of the property. I abso hate having strangers – even Expaterati strangers – traipsing around my inner sanctum, delving into my most personal nooks and crannies, and checking out my vast collection of shoes and such. Can’t bear it. And some of them want to come before midday! Imagine!! It’s very stressful for me, as you will no doubt sympathise, dear readers, and it interferes quite intensely with my roof terrace relaxation and meditation.

I got the time of a visit wrong yesterday morning and was faced with an horrific rush to stash the Veuve empties behind the ornamental pool towel cupboard, pour the remainder of a glass into my fabulous bourganvillia bush (utterly wasteful and I loathe waste when so many people in this world have so little – even if my bush is the finest on the street), and shimmy into some elegant resort wear. I’ve only my sharp wits and perceptiveness to thank for my rapid response. Otherwise I can’t think how embarrassing it would’ve been for the potential tenants, particularly the wife, to stumble upon me in all my hotness.

Anyhoo, today we had another couple round and on this occasion, I knew exactly when they were due to arrive. I’m almost certain that the reason I got it wrong yesterday was because of those pesky relocation people not telling me. Don says it was my mistake, but he says that about so many things that it can’t possibly be truesome.

They seemed nice at first – loud American wife (loud in that lovely way that only Septics can truly carry off) and beige Belgian hus. They really liked the house and she asked me lots of questions about the neighbourhood and living in Singas. Little did she know how privileged she was to be picking the complex brains of an expert expat and celebrité blogger. Some people don’t know they’re born, honestly. As a kind soul though, I was happy to give her the benefit of my wisdom. I even gave her a cup of tea. Apparently they drink Earl Grey now, these Americans… Funny that, after all the hoo-ha they made about our tea.

Then she started to get all personal and up in my face! Gently at first, so I didn’t even notice. She said, “Soooo, Mrs Austen-Jones, God I love your name!! It’s so British! So cute!!! Kinda royal, and classic! But so loooong. Is it ok if I call you Emma?”

“Errr well it’s Emma-Jane really, so I’d prefer EJ… You know, like your OJ or your PBJ and stuff…”

“Sure Emma, sure. I hear you. EJ it is!”, she said, and I thought gosh I really love Americans.

“So Emma”, she continued, “You’ve been here for a few years now. What’ve you been up to? I mean, I know you’re a mom, which wonderful – I’m a mom too – and I understand from your husband that you used to be a lawyer. Me too! Funny, huh?? And I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with myself here if I’m not practicing, so I’d love to know how you’ve spent your time.”

“OMG, you’re a lawyer too! It’s like totes contagious among corporate expat spouses… law and accounting. Bizarro!! Ummmm, well what I’ve been mainly doing is taking some time out to explore, and you know, get to know the real me, who I am as an awesome person.”

[At that point, I did a moving rendition of the song, I’ve been to paradiiiiiiiise, but I’ve never been to meeeeee. It was a beautiful moment.]

The woman, Kelly, appeared alarmingly unmoved, and asked, “So what have you actually been doing?”

“Well, as a life-long yogi and dedicated meditator, that has taken much of my attention. Plus I go to the gym a lot, and I work out with my personal trainer. And I think it’s important to look one’s best in flip flops, so regular pedis are essential. Very time-consuming. And it’s totes vital as an expat wife to have a strong social network, so I meet up with my Expaterati girlies as much as poss… And I write a blog… Maybe as a newcomer you haven’t heard of it… You should check it out. Diary of an Expat Somebody. It’s all about sharing my glamorous life and the profound insights I have with the universe and beyond.”

“Oh, ok”, she said, and this is where it got nasty, “So you don’t have a job, you’re out all the time exercising or partying” –

I had to cut her off, “No babes, I’m at home sometimes, being a really great wife and mum or having me time so that I can become a better wife and mum.”

[This mom sh** has to stop. But it won’t!!! It’ll only get worse! It’s being adopted everywhere I look. Even the Aussies ffs. What would the Bard have thought about the systematic slaughter of our language?!]

“Sure, Emma, I get what you’re telling yourself, but we’re moving here from India, where I had the chance to be involved in some incredible charity initiatives. We really did some amazing work, so vital. Now ok, maybe here there’s less need, but I’m sure there are plenty of volunteering opportunities. Don’t you think you could’ve used your time here a little more… constructively?”

Enough was starting to become very much enough. This complete stranger was sitting in my kitchen, interrogating me about how I live my life! Rood. She didn’t even know what a generous, giving, hugely-empathic person I am. Hold my tongue, I no longer could.

“Well, Kelly, it’s really super-nice that you did all that helpy stuff. Super dooper nice, and you obviously find yourself to be a more important person because of it so it’s just marvellous that a few orphans or whatevs gave you the pleasure of being holier than thou. Now, what did you say your husband does for a living again? Oh yes, he’s a banker – yes, aren’t they all? So effectively, babes, as the wife of an evil capitalist, sustained by a system that exploits and robs the less fortunate, all you’ve been with your do-gooding is your husband’s conscience. It happens all over the world, spoilt rich wives consoling themselves with a supporting role, pretending that fannying about in soup kitchens will compensate for the social crimes to which they themselves are accessories!”

I was on a roll! Words were pouring out of my mouth in a stream so amazebobsly smooth and coherent that I even surprised myself!! I suspect I may be a gifted orator. And I seem to know a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t even know I knew! I’m a gorgeous mystery.

She tried to interrupt, but I was havin’ none of it.

“And an accessory is precisely what you are in this life – just another gaudy bauble – so don’t you forget that. Don’t go thinking that your tiny contribution to poor people has any more value that a tacky piece of costume jewellery. Your husband’s, and therefore thusly your, contribution to everything bad in the world faaaaaar outweighs the feeble attempts you’ve made to give back. It’s a drop in the ocean. All you’ve really been doing is making yourself feel good about YOU. And that, my girl, is a shameful and narcissistic thing to do.”

I paused, and then added, “So there!”, to further emphasise the power of my oration.

Kelly looked blank, and asked, “And what does your husband do exactly?”

“He’s a banker. Of course. But that’s on him. Unlike you, I am my own person. I don’t need to be his conscience. So that’s why I don’t do charity work. I’m no hypocrite. And anyway, actually I have done a bit of volunteering in my capacity of Events Chair with the Singapore International Women and Trailing Spouses Association. We raised a ton of cash for Ebola last year thanks to moi. But I did that as a favour to a friend who positively begged me for my skills, not because I needed to feel good about myself.”

The beige evil capitalist then entered the kitchen with the letting agent.

“I think we should go now, Stephane”, said Kelly, “This woman is insane. I could never live in a house where she has lived.”

Good. Now GET OUT, I thought.

Flying Long-Haul With Irritants, ie. Children

Picasso's Guernica aka What it's like to fly with children

Picasso’s Guernica aka what it’s like to fly with children

It’s that time of year again when a bunch of the Expaterati are pootling off, hitherly and thitherly, on glamorous holidays or paying the piper back home. For many of us fab folk, this brings up the inevitable question of whether perhaps the children are now old enough to fly unaccompanied, or even stay behind for the summer with the help. The latter creates its own ramificatory problemations (because the people at home want to see the kids and the kids want to see the people at home), but all options suddenly become viable when faced with the hideous reality of flying for ten+ hours with our irritants.

Under these potentially traumatic circumstances, we could be forgiven for looking back longingly at our younger, child-free days, when flying was basically an airborne bar/ cinema (though even then some of us complained about how exhausting long-haul flights were), after which we would arrive at our gorgeous destination, and do exactly whatever TF we pleased. No whining, no incessant chatter. Just lovely lovely niceness. Mmmmmmmmmm.

So as much as I am loathe, dear readers, to pull you from that reverie, I am afraid that I have a duty to tell you:

THOSE DAYS ARE OVAAAAH.

Soz.

(Unless they aren’t for you, in which case whatevs and all, because oh kids are so cool and great, and stuff.)

Having been quite harsh with my insistence upon reinforcing realitification (cousin Clara the psychologist says true friends discourage self-delusion in one another, and I consider my readers to be nothing less than true friends), I can at the very least hereby thusly provide you with my tried and tested expert advice on the best ways to approach these dreadful issues.

Option 1: Fly Separately

a) Unaccompanied minors are still able to fly, as they were in the Glory Days of expat history. I believe there are now more restrictions, but cannot advise further as I do not work for an airline (I’d be awesome at that though). So you just get a different flight and meet them somewhere at the other end, or send a driver to pick them up from the airport.

b) Have your spouse fly with them. This is an excellent route, provided your spouse has no qualms about it, and will not use it in future as a source of poisonous resentment. Before pursuing this approach, I strongly suggest that you read my post on expat marital bliss and how to achieve it.

c) Have your helper do it. This is way better than 1.b) as you will be able to travel with your spouse, thereby strengthening the marital bondage, free of irritants, and you will not have to endure the hell at all. I do not personally know the practical ins and outs of this. I am not an immigration service. They have a very clear websites and you should look at them yourself.

Option 2: Sit Separately

Kids in Econ, you in Business or preferably First because it’s further away and therefore so worth the extra moolah. Sitting separately can be achieved by:

a) Bringing the help. Again, it’s not my place to advise on this or any other legal matters. I’m so over all that law stuff.

b) As once happened to moi, an airline which shall remain unnamed took Don aside during check-in and offered him, but not his family, an up-grade. Do not dismiss this offer. After an hour in the air, no jobsworth steward will dispute switching seats between spouses for touch-tag childcare. If they do, I have it on good authority that a few notes changing hands will remedy the situation (but this is, I stress, entirely hearsay).

c) Bite the bullet, buy one seat in the highest class you can afford, and apply the parental turn-taking strategy as per above.

Option 3: Fly and Sit Together, argh!!!

This is the most horrific option, but for many, the most difficult to avoid. If you want to arrive at your destination with your sanity intact and without the burden of a criminal record, I will now give you – entirely free of charge – the means to do so. You’re welcome, babeses.

a) Phene… phen… something, I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s an anti-allergy med that causes drowsiness in some children. I reiterate some because it can also have the opposite effect (as it does on Max and the Millster : ( hashtag bummer), and so must be tested in advance. Clara says we should never ever medicate our children to meet our own needs, nor to placate our anxieties or guilt as parents (and that American psychiatrists and drug companies are doing a number on young people today by over-prescribing bla bla yada yada… Clara should really chill out and have more fun, away from her job; she should totes become an expat and realise that there’s more to life than facing grim reality all the damn time). But Clara hasn’t been on a plane – five hours in, eight to go – with two wired irritants, and a hangover. So she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

b) As close as possible to the time of your flight (and overnights are best), take the kids to a crazy-making place like Universal Studios. Put them on every ride they’re tall enough to go on, regardless of protestation. Multiple times, if nec. Give them ice cream and highly-coloured frozen beverages. When they say they’re all funned out, keep sending them on the rides. Then go catch your flight. Once up in the air, feed them carbs and watch them fade. At most, it’ll be four nightmarish hours before you can switch to me time, for a few Veuve Clicks, and a couple movies that you’ve been meaning to see for ages.

c) The draining path of actually engaging with the irritants and “journeying with them”. Oh yawn. I got the text below from Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey’s blog (sheesh EVERY f***er has a blog these days!), and I can’t find the link right now, but it’s really not my job to promote other bloggers, right babeses??

So here are her recommendations. I can’t recall the name of her blog. Expat something-ish, I guess. Ok, I’ve sort of stolen it, but no one is going to enforce copyright law for blogs anyways. Ridic.

I have done many long-haul flights with our children from when they were tiny babies until now that they’re four and eight. Most of those flights, I’ve done alone because my husband is so busy with his work. I am definitely not an expert, but I’ve found things that worked for me, so I want to share them and hopefully hear from other people how they handle flying with kids. It’s hard, right? There’s no one single answer.

[Sheesh again, it’s so nauseating that she does that blogger thing of pretending to be all sweet and sharey, when actually she just wants to go viral with a popular topic, and get a publishing deal. Vom!!]

The easiest time to travel was the early months. My babies just slept and ate throughout flights, and I know it’s a bit scary for new parents, but honestly, while they’re infants, it’s fine. Hold them as much as they need, and feed them on take-off and landing if they’re awake. If they’re really upset and you feel ok about administering a painkiller, that might be the best thing to do because their ears could be hurting.

Once they can walk and are within the toddler bracket, it’s much tougher for parents. Take them for walks in the aisle and remember that, although some passengers might prefer not to be disturbed, many love young children and will welcome the opportunity of engagement that your toddler is seeking.

For the toddler years, the key to success is preparation and breaking the time down into manageable, repeatable sections, so that you feel in control. It’s about being fully aware of your own time-frame and the children’s routines, so that you can minimise their excitement of being in a different environment.

For kids that age, one important component is to bring with you a “Magic Bag of Fun”. I like to think of this as a little like a Christmas stocking, full of fun, interesting objects they haven’t seen before. Gradually offer items from this magic bag throughout the flight – interspersed with aisle walks – and eventually the toddler will shift from exploration to relaxation, and then to sleep.

Once your kids are around the age of three or four, they’ll begin to enjoy the flight experience of watching TV and see that as a treat, in addition to time on devices, should you choose to offer that.

From there on out, it’s plain sailing, or plain flying tee hee. As they get older, they are able to stay in their seats and entertain themselves. My kids are still young, but what I hear from parents of teenagers is that it’s not about the flight anymore (that part is easy), but what it represents, be it a happy or a sad departure. I can’t speak to that, personally.

That’s what’s worked for me. Happy flying, and above all, enjoy!!

So that’s her advice and it sounds pretty reasonable (albeit incrediblé dull), if there is truly no alternative to flying with your offspring. Based on my personal expertise, I would summatively conclude that parents encountering the troublesome trouble of travelling with their irritants employ any means necessary to ease their immense burden.

I hope that I have provided effective solutions, and in exchange for my outstanding assistance, it is surely no biggie to request your ongoing support with my campaign to get a second helper by clicking here. Come on, I gave you all that for nuthin!!

Expat Ex-Wife Flying Solo

1408995526zolbvDespite being the incredibly resilient woman that I am, I’m really feeling quite miserablé about the prospect of returning to the UK. There is a triumvirate (thanks again to M in India for that awesome word!) of reasonation for my woes.

Firstly, the weather. London, of course, has its own micro-climate which makes it that much nicer than the rest of the country, but it is still quite crappy compared to Singas. I can’t get my head around not just chucking on Chanel flip-flops every day as I sashay out the front door, dodging clamouring fans and tourists who want in on my glamorous life. (The lack of clamouring is also not so appealing, which makes me think we should move to a house with one of those lovely blue plaques from English Heritage. I suppose we could just get the plaque made ourselves. I’d quite like one that says Charles Dickens. That would be way cool.)

Secondly, but related to the weather, is the issue of snot-ridden children. As dear readers will know from previous posts , I cannot abide by snot, and like I have said before, Crouch End is positively awash with the stuff. If Max and Milly become one of those children, I don’t know how I am going to cope. I’m all for unconditional love of our irritants, but vile effluvia raises a v real obstacle to that IMO.

Thirdly, and this the the most worrying part of my dire situation: no live-in help! Never mind my ongoing quest for a second helper, at home they have these awful laws about minimum wage and how many hours a person can work which prevent us from having even one live-in. ARGH!! And yet I have two children to look after! It’s terribly unfair because it means that either I do literally nothing else besides irritant and home-related tasks, or I squeeze in other things such as a rewarding job, a social life (which would be a fraction of what it is here), and my gruelling health and beauty regime, in which case I will be perpetually exhausted. I certainly won’t have the time to continue sharing my glamorous life with you, beloved babeses, as I will barely find the time to have a glamorous life : (

I was thinking these thoughts today at the hairdressers, and before I knew what was up-ski, I felt a big sad tear running down my cheek. I must have looked truly tragic because the expat ladeee seated next to me took pity on me, handed me a tissue and asked if I was ok. She was super sweet and reminded me of Angelina Jolie, smiling beatifically as she goes about her charitable missions. It made me think that maybe I should abandon my Kate Middleton smile and channel Angelina instead. Because Angelina is also hot and has a hot hus, so perhaps that would be a good transition for me as part of the repatriation process. I could even switch to her hairdo. Make a fresh start. Become a new repat EJ through being Angelina-ish. Ya think??

The woman told me her name was Katie (LOL #weirdness!!), and said she’d be at the salon for a while, in case I needed someone to talk to. I guess I must have because I started telling her about my life as an expat, my marriage, and my dreadfully difficult predicament of now having to return home against my wishes. The words just tumbled out of me. I even told her about when I thought Don was having an affair, and that now I think he probably surely isn’t, but actually I only probably surely think that because he said I was being ridic.

Katie listened and smiled sadly, saying, “Something quite similar happened to me actually, with my ex-husband. He met another woman here, and said I should go home with the children. I was lucky though, much luckier than some, because my business was going well, and I had just managed to get my own Employment Pass. If I had still been on a Dependent Pass, I would have had no choice but to leave. Tim didn’t want the kids cramping his style with his new relationship, so he did everything he could to persuade me not to stay. It was hard. And hopefully your husband isn’t doing that, but it sounds like what you’re going through is very difficult.”

“It so is, babe!”, I said, “And I really appreciate that you get where I’m coming from. It’s just so hard to talk to my actual friends because, you know, we’re all mainly having an awesome time all the time. And if Don is having an affair, well, that’s just… that’s just… humiliating!! What does it say about me?? Where does it leave me..? What if this whole repat thing is about sending me and the kids home, and he’s secretly planning to do a u-turn and say we’re leaving, but he’s staying?…”

When I started crying again, Katie got up from the chair, her head full of foils, and gave me a hug.

“How did you do it? How did you cope with being so massively humiliated and so horribly dumped… cast aside, like a disgusting old piece of rubbish??”, I asked, sobbing elegantly into her neck.

She gave me another tissue and sat back down, pulling her chair and the head-heater thingie closer to me.

“You will be ok, whatever happens, and you just have to believe that. If he is seeing this other woman – Liz, did you say? – then it’s really not about you as a person, it’s about him. It’s about whatever has changed inside him, not about who you are. And you will get through this. If I did it, anyone can.”

“Ok”, I faltered, unconvinced, “What did you do?”

“I moved to a smaller place with our kids, switched them to local schools, and I worked 70 or even 80 hours a week, for a long long time. Thankfully I was able to keep our wonderful helper. She is like the co-parent for me. Tim has a baby now with the other woman, and he sees our kids every few weeks, but only because I’ve insisted on it. He has only ever contributed the bare minimum, so I really didn’t have much choice. The choice was between going back to a place I hadn’t lived for years, taking the children away from the only home they knew, and seeing their father maybe once a year, as well as me losing the business I had worked so hard on, or doing what I have done. But now it’s a few years down the line, and I’ve been able to hire some people, so work has eased off. I get to spend much more time with the children. And I can even get my hair done once in a while!”

She grinned as she said that, and I wondered what my hair would look like if I could only get it done “once in a while”. As well as what I would feel like if I lived in a tiny flat, and worked for 70 hours a week. Seven zero!! That seems rather a lot.

I was deep in reflection when Katie began speaking again: “But you know, I have learned things about myself through this experience that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. There were days when I thought I couldn’t go on, when I wondered if it was really worth it… when I had a hard time believing that it would all be ok. And I wondered if I had made the right decision, or if I should’ve left. But now I see that it was the right decision, not because it was the easy one, but because it was my decision. No one else’s. I made sacrifices, but they were worth it. For me and for the children. I look at my three little girls, not so little anymore, they’re teenagers ha!… I can’t believe it!!… I look at them and I see three strong, independent-minded, thoughtful young women. And that makes everything we went through worthwhile. So you’ll be ok. Just believe that.”

My hair was finished and my mani-pedi was dry. I wanted to stay and talk to Katie some more, but she said apologetically that she had a conference call, and I thought I had better not cancel my girlies’ date for high tea at Raffles. My hair looked frankly stunning, and thankfully my bullet-proof mascara had not suffered unduly from the emotional journey I had endured with the lovely Angelina doppelgänger.

The Horrible Horrors of Repatriation

I haven’t been able to sleep for the past few nights, since reading the frightening article on the Expat Wall Street Journal site about repatriation blues. It’s partic awful for me right now, given the ongoing unknowingness that is occurring re Don’s job. When I have slept, it has been in fitful and anxious bouts, interspersed with dreadful dreams about rollerblading through Waitrose (Americans, that’s a high-end grocery store; Australians and others, you’ll know already, yes lah?) in a g-string bikini, with a faded tan and a woefully unkempt Brazilian (wax, not person from Brazil). As I round the corner from household to bakery, I fall over, but no one understands the language I am speaking, calling out that my legs and heart are broken.

It got so bad last night that I literally became delirious through sleep-deprivation. I found myself on the roof terrace, in a state of panic that April’s delivery of Veuve Click was already exhausted. How could that be???!!

FullSizeRender

The only option I had was to phone cousin Clara the psychologist, and beg for her help to get me out of this wretched head space. I really need my sleep because tomorrow I’m kickin’ it with Charli XCX at her pre-concert meet and greet, and then I want to be 110% grounded in my awesomeness to enjoy her concert in the evening.

So I phoned Clara and I instructed her assistant to tell her that I was v upset, and I might do something stupid. (I just meant I might buy something hideous from Marc Jacobs. Dunno what she thought I meant.)

Within minutes, Clara called me back, bless her : ) Therapists have such good hearts.

I explained to her about what I’d read, and that I’m totes terrified about the repat blues if we have to go back to London soon-ish. And that I’ve run out of Veuve Click.

I was practically in tears, and she must surely have felt my pain, so I was totes blown away when she laid into me!!

Check the diatribe, babeses!:

“Emma-Jane. If you want to know why it is that expats suffer when they return to their home countries, I will tell you. You won’t like what I am going to say though, so I will ask you now, do you really want to know my thoughts on this?”

Because of my desperate state combined with my general intense curiosity about psychological issues, I said, “Um, ya, ok lah.”

“Some people become expats because they are unable to reconcile existential human givens. Givens like the fact that existence might be meaningless and that we are all just tiny fragments in the universe, simultaneously unique and insignificant. They can’t bear their feelings of insignificance, of feeling like nobody, so rather than staying put to reflect on those anxieties and learning how to process them, they run from their fears. They run to the next big adventure, and then the next. It’s as if they think they can escape from themselves or become somebody else, if they only run fast enough to new and different places. And then if they do go back home, there are all the fears and anxieties, right where they left them. And now they’re older, and have a new set of fears, like ageing parents they have to face again; as well as their own ageing, and retirement. So, for someone in that position, repatriation will be a huge loss: a loss of adventure, a loss of expectation. A sudden coming down to earth with a bump.”

“But babes”, I interrupted, feeling quite battered and baffed, “You’re actually totes making it worse! I don’t want to come down to earth with a bump!! Why me?? Why should I have to? I just want to feel better, so that I can sleep better, so that I can hang out with a pop star on Wednesday! Can’t you be a bit more supportive here, and get me through this?! That’s why I called you!”

“EJ, as your cousin, I would like to support you. But you have called me at work, and I too have worries that keep me up at night. Worries about patients, worries about funding cuts, worries about my family. And I am not going to just reassure you in order to maintain your current patterns. Coming down to earth is actually a good thing. It’s an opportunity to finally be still enough to explore the losses, fears and anxieties you have been trying to run from. So if you are coming back, yes, it’ll be hard for the first year or maybe longer. But then it will get easier, and hopefully you’ll find a way to feel at home in yourself.”

She paused.

“Look EJ, I have to go now. I have a patient waiting for me.” We said byes.

To feel at home in myself. Hmmmmm. I decided to contemplate that with a G & T, and as it turned out, the idea really did help. By my fourth glass, I was fast asleep on the roof terrace sofa. I had a lovely dream about living in a house overlooking the ocean. It was only when I woke up drenched that I realised the thunder storm wasn’t just part of my dream. As I got ready for bed, I thought that Clara may be full of sh**, but the house on the ocean did look pretty nice.

Is the Term “Expat” Really Reserved for Whities??

My week got off to a bad start, what with Don not talking to me because of the stuff that I allegedly did at his bday party.

It’s not just this, I’ve since realised, that has lowered my mood of late. I read an article in the Guardian online last week, which really upset me. I am still feeling the pain of it, hence thusly I am sharing my disturbance with you, as I am sure you will understand.

The article says that only us whities are called “expats”, whereas anyone who isn’t white is an “immigrant”. Now I would say that an expat is someone living a fabulous temporary life in a country other than their own, but I have tons of non-blanc Expaterati friends, who are 100% expats, as far as I’m concerned.

So it super bugs me that the author has used racialistic parameters to define a word that totes isn’t about race. It just feels like stirring, and does this world of ours really need more aggro? No, babeses, it doesn’t. Let’s leave that crap to ISIS.

I felt so glum that I Skyped with cousin Clara the psychologist to get her take on the matter. Her conclusion was that the article “says more about the author’s experiences, and the bias of his own psyche than about a definitive, global perspective. Had the story focused on the concept of white privilege, or on an objective discussion of out-dated, but still present, colonial attitudes among some expats, perhaps the writer could have moved beyond unconstructive provocation to a more meaningful discourse. Unfortunately…” bla bla bla…

I stopped listening because Clara wasn’t making me feel any better. After clicking IPhone_calling_screen copy, I messaged her to say my wifi must have dropped out. Love that about online comms: no hashtag awkz, just one click and you’re free to go.

After that I went for a dosa in Little India with my Expaterati girlie, Priya. Then we headed to Chanel to get another pair of their amazebobs espadrilles, and spent the rest of the day chatting at the Tanglin Club pool. If my sista Priya isn’t an expat, I serioso don’t know who is, lah. Colour me baffed.

 

Photo: http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2013/04/murugans-idli-shop-lovely-dosa-thosai.html

Photo: http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2013/04/murugans-idli-shop-lovely-dosa-thosai.html

Ass IF Don Would Do That!

If you recall, some weeks ago I asked Will to follow Don at a convenient time. Not in a nasty way, and of course I totes trust my husband, but I felt a tad disconcerted to find naked pics of Liz on his iCloud. The convenient time was last night, and this is what Will just messaged me (ignore the first bit – that’s from when he started ignoring me after my amazebobs feminist mission):

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Knowing the dangers of the screenshot, not trusting Will, and fearing that anything I type could one day be used against me in a court of law, I had no choice but to connect by actual speakage on the phone.

Will told me that it was a swinging party – what now, now??? – and added the gruesome detail that he witnessed this unutterably unspeakable act occurring.

At that, I had heard enough. I thanked him for his assistance in the matter, re-confirming that absolutely no blackmail had taken place on my part. Threatening to tell his wife about his cheating ways does not count as blackmail because he is totes in the wrong anyway.

Despite my shocked and delirious state, I somehow found my way to the wine fridge and then to the roof terrace, where I lay in the pool, drinking Veuve Click from the bottle with a tremendously long straw (only alcoholics shouldn’t drink in the morning). Immersing my hot self in the cool waters, and staring up at a care-free sky, my mind tried its bestest to find a way out of this emotional quagmire.

It’s Don’s birthday today, and the party is tomorrow. Liz will be there. Her loser husband will be there. What, precisely, is the decorum in this situation, I asked myself, and I ask you now, dear readers. For I know not, and I grow weary a-wondering. My chi is very much in a bad place this day : (

Ass if Friday the 13th hadn’t already taken its toll, while I wondered lonely as a cloud on the roof terrace, an iCal alert pinged on my phone: “Angel arriving 1pm”. Argh!! With so much happening in my life, not to mention this fresh hell, I totes forgot that my Australian teenage stepsister is coming to live with us because her ridic mother can’t cope… Today!! It so crept up on me! I can’t bear it! Why didn’t I try harder to be less nice, and back out of the arrangement??? WHYYYYYY?!!

While I ran, arms flailing, to the rear-wing room I was supposed to make into a bedroom for Angel weeks ago, I questioned for the gazillionth time how on earth, in a six-bedroom, six-bathroom house one could possibly accommodate another human being. There’s no way I’m giving the help the helper’s room, ie the storage space off the laundry room. No way! If I did that, it would utterly scupper my online campaign for a second helper* because Don would say there isn’t enough space in the space. So she has to keep one of the real rooms, to share with potential Help Number Two.

I got to the room ear-marked for Angel, and miracle of miracles, it had been transformed into… A totes appropes bedroom for a teenager! Posters of One Direction and airbrushed celebs up on the walls and everything. The help must’ve done it. I put it in the house diary some time ago, but who knew she’d go all out like this?

I’ve must dash now, to make myself AHAP (as hot as possible) for stupid annoying irritating p-in-the-a Angel’s arrival. Gotta show the teenagers where hot is at!! iCal also told me that she’s joining us for dinner tonight, to celebrate Don’s stupid annoying irritating p-in-the-a birthday. Mega-hotness therefore required from moi.

Thanks to my extraordinary strategies of resilience, I will get through this day. I will say nothing to Don, and continue to be an awesome expat wife until I have all the facts.

I will now apply a Korean pig-placenta mask (not tested on animals, maybe), meditate for a full twenty minutes in the presence of my Buddha water feature, accompanied by a nice burn of Nag Champa, drink 500ml of green smoothie; and then, all will be well with the world. Will is obviously a liar, angry at my snubbage, and jealous of my marital bliss.

(As if people actually do that!! How ridic.)


* Not looking so good : (
I need 1,000 likes on my FB post, and I’m not even at 100. Babeses, HELP MEEEEEEEEEE!!!! First world problems are totes still problems. Click on the pic and share like your life depends on it!!

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