Expat-ish

Expat-ish
On the Beach

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Fame at last!

...well, for my house at least!

A couple of weeks ago, The Guardian newspaper in the UK asked UK expats to send in the view from their window and I did. Well, to be honest it was not quite my view but more a view of me! It's a picture of our house.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/gallery/2012/dec/11/uk-expats-view-windows#/?picture=400800009&index=12

Apparently, was one of the photos that made the Guardian want to reach for its passport.

Funny, they should say that because it had the exact effect on us. This was an estate agent's bid to sell our house and, apparently, it worked. We bought the house in a very 21st Century way- having seen it on the web but not in person. We're not that crazy- we had excellent advisers on the ground advising us . Plus Google Streetview and a working knowledge of the area helped us.

We were a teeny bit nervous when we landed and went to visit a home we had chosen but never been in before. Luckily, it was love at first (actual) sight and  the view from the garden towards the mountains is even better in real life with the warmth of the sun beating down on you and the occasional waft from the sea 17km away.

It's an exceptionally beautiful place in which to live- we feel very lucky to live here.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Replacement Parent

As parents, I am sure most of us think at some point that- to our kids- we are irreplaceable  For me at least, this emotion can swiftly be followed by the feeling that I wish someone would replace me, just for a moment.

I got to thinking the other day what "value" I add to their lives and I came up with a list of 4 things they really need someone to do for them.

Someone to drive them places

When I asked my girls the other day what I did that they liked best, they both replied that it was driving them somewhere (the older one said to Monkey Town, the younger one to her grandparents' house).

And it's true, at some point in the last 6 years I seem to have- unbeknownst to myself- applied for the position of chauffeur to 2 noisy midgets and accepted. I'll be honest- the working conditions are tough, the pay non-existent and the only tips you get are on what music they want played.

Someone to find things

My younger daughter has been known, mid-stride, to suddenly burst into tears and start bawling that she can't find something which, judging by the racket she's making, must have life saving properties. It's not that she's been looking for it for a while, she just wants it RIGHT NOW and can't see it in her immediate vicinity  She gives me no clues (very often to what is IS: "I caaaaaaaaaaaaan't find IT!!" - not helpful) as to where it was last seen. Apparently I am blessed with psychic properties.

The older girl is a bit better in that she doesn't howl- she'll just whine, generally after we've put her to bed- but make equally little effort to find it before declaring it to be lost.

Someone to hold stuff.

The children like to take half the house with them when we go out. We have tried to limit the amount to hold luggage on a transcontinental flight. So we fight, tell them to take less, then relent and leave with the boot and back seat so full you wouldn't want me to reverse the car in your direction.

Inevitably, when we reach our destination, after 3 minutes I morph into a porter/valet. Another favourite time to dump me with a load of stuff is when they're getting out the car. I have no idea why   Later, I am held responsible when the treasured item that was flung at me with a million others cannot be found .


Someone to referee

My husband and I are regularly called on to passed judgement on who had it first, whose turn it is, who it belongs to (not easy, as they have engaged in a barter economy, the value of the toys being a mystery to us) or who is entitled to the last ice cream/biscuit (insert any other coveted item in short supply).

I have been giving a lot of thought to what or whom could replace me and fulfil ALL these vital roles for my children.

The conclusion: a psychic donkey (for carrying/holding- it could come with baskets) with a driver's licence and a whistle.

If anyone can tell me where I can get me one of those, I'd be grateful. It's day one of the holidays and I feel I may need a short break soon.