Friday, 30 March 2012


Here we go...!  The movers arrived last Wednesday which means that we're on day 3 of the packing and already I'm absolutely shattered. Although we're not actually doing any of the packing and carrying ourselves, it's the running around, making sure that they haven't packed something they shouldn't, that's exhausting.  Also trying to sort out our stuff:  what to throw out, give away, send to Manila or send to the beach house.  And to think that I was feeling slightly smug, as I thought I'd been pretty organised.  I'd been going through every room in the house for the past few weeks sorting things out.  But nah - it was all an illusion.

I just want this part of moving to be over now:  how I wish I could just wake up and find myself in Manila tomorrow!  But sadly we've got at least two more days of this.  Can someone just wake me when it's all over?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Au revoir mon chat

Back home after a 4-night visit to Scotland.  This was a last visit to see LH's family before leaving for the Philippines.  There were a few tears, but funnily enough, not from me.

I'm not sad because I KNOW that it won't be long before we see the family again; they will come and visit us in Manila and we definitely plan to come back to the UK every year.  So I wasn't too desolate as I honestly don't think that there will be any difference in the number of times we see them; and I actually believe that the next time will be a better experience as we will make the most of the limited time we have together.

I was however, distressed to leave our cat behind.  But at 19 years of age, we were not sure she would survive a 15-hour journey to the Philippines.  And although we can discuss with LH's family our decision to leave, Poor Cat has not had any explanation and probably feels abandoned.  Sniff.  Being a French cat, she does the cold shoulder very well and has put it on to full effect.  I just comfort myself knowing that LH's parents put cats on top of their priority list; in fact, Poor Cat will probably be wonder why we didn't send her there sooner.

PS. Poor (French) Cat is female, and I could've made the title reflect this properly. However,  I realised to my detriment a few years ago that you do not (ever) use the female version of cat in French.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A simple choice

Last week I had brunch with the loveliest S and L and we started to talk about a particular music teacher.  S and L (sounds like a strange sexual pursuit) mentioned that this teacher always feels that the current school he's at is 'the best school in the world'.  I fell silent at that point as I almost felt alluded to.

I suppose in a way, I am like Mr M - I'd like to think that wherever we find ourselves at the moment is the best place for us.  I'm not delusional; I don't believe that there is a perfect place - but certainly, the best for us, at that particular time, in our current circumstances. If it isn't, then surely we would leave.  Which is what we're doing now.  Which is what we did when the children moved school a couple of years ago.  Which is what I did when I left work.

We have choices; we can decide whether or not where we're at is a good place.  And if we make the decision that it isn't, we also have the choice to leave.  Whether it's a place, a school, a relationship or a job, no-one is forced to stay.  And if the consequences of leaving don't make the move worth it, then perhaps it's time to start counting our blessings and being thankful for all that we have instead of focusing on the things that we don't have.  Surely it would be much nicer to find yourself next to Mr M, waxing lyrical about where he's at, than Moaning Myrtle, complaining about where she's not.

There is a possibility that the Philippines will not work for us; I may miss cheese too much - but should that happen, we can always move again.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A new adventure

In two weeks' or so, we are upping sticks and moving halfway across the world to the Philippines.  To a number of people, this may seem like a very strange decision - we are moving from a first world country to one that is, if I am to be positive about it, a developing country; we are leaving the UK and its seasons, free healthcare and tea to move to the Philippines' overpopulation, pollution, traffic and shortage of decent cheese.  But for myself, my husband and our three children, this is the best move. The past couple of years have been challenging:  two years ago loving husband (LH) was in a pretty serious motorbike accident and last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although we are both well now - LH has his bionic shoulder and I have been given the all-clear - it's challenges like these that make one re-evaluate and re-assess lives and understand priorities.

What the Philippines will offer us is time; quality time to spend with each other, our children and the rest of our family.  It's very easy to get caught up on the treadmill of modern life and its material entrapments:  the bigger and faster car, the bigger and fancier kitchen.  So, we've made the decision to step back and be more mindful, and we're hoping that a move to the Philippines will give us this quality of life that we yearn.

After all, we intend to make annual trips back to the UK, giving us the seasons; we can escape Manila's overpopulation and traffic by visiting one of the more remote islands of the country; I've bought 1,800 bags of tea to take with us and I'm lactose intolerant and really shouldn't be eating cheese.