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My name is Denise Watson and I am an ‘expat’. In February 2006, Hubby and I decided to up sticks: I’m talking lock, stock and barrel and, well, that meant no going back. The grass always seems greener on the other side, doesn’t it but there are certain things that a ‘Brit’ can’t find elsewhere but on home ground. There’s the tourist Spain you know and then there’s the Spain we are living in, twelve hours north by car! As a qualified counsellor (I now supply my service by phone (www.counsellorbyphone.com)), I had to give myself a right listening to, to get my head round this new lifestyle. The result ….. ‘did Hubby and I do the right thing?’
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Posted at 10:00am Wednesday 8th May 2013
Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that mean so much but we don’t realise this until they’ve gone. Now being a UK expat, the things I miss most of all (after giant boxes of tea bags!) are carpets and instant heat.
Posted at 6:00pm Thursday 25th April 2013
When we think of the word ‘redundancy’, we think of shortage of money and a difficult future, yet there are other forms of redundancy which have a completely different effect. I have never lost my job because of redundancy but I have felt the pain of those other forms.
Posted at 11:52am Wednesday 3rd April 2013
Having now lived in the outback of Spain for seven years has confirmed something that I always suspected.
Posted at 11:00am Thursday 7th February 2013
I’d like to call myself old stock and, by that, I mean that I come from a world that began before satellite connections, mobile phones, Xbox 360 games and need I go on .... I thought that everything about my world had sadly gone but, last week, I had need to do some research about manners and etiquette in Britain and that, in itself, cast me back into my childhood, when such codes of conduct were an integral part of life and society.
Posted at 5:00pm Tuesday 15th January 2013
We’ve just pulled round from a bout of ‘festivitis’ – that’s my word for spreading ourselves too thinly over the festive period. Being expats, the question every December is ‘are we staying here or going there’? For Christmas, my heart will always be in England, not only because that is where my family is but also because other countries do Christmas so differently.
Posted at 2:00pm Monday 10th December 2012
Posted at 4:00pm Thursday 22nd November 2012
After almost seven years in another country, after making Spanish friends, adapting to Spanish culture (not an easy task!) and making our house in Spain have some English comforts (I’m talking curtains and, hopefully, soon, a massive rug on the tiled floor of our living room), we have to admit that we will almost be English.
Posted at 11:00am Wednesday 7th November 2012
Communication is so important and it’s moved on a long way since I was a youngster. At that time, in the fifties, I used to wait for the postman to see if he had any letters from my pen friends and our family was very popular in our little colliery street, as we were the first to get a telephone. Instead of walking about a half a mile to use the nearest public telephone, any neighbour who had a need to make a call could use our state of the art black phone with dial feature but only if they paid for the call.
Posted at 5:00pm Friday 26th October 2012
Changing country quite often means changing lifestyle as well but what about the changes that take place, inside the individual? Will you become a different person, or should you fight it?
Posted at 6:00pm Friday 19th October 2012
When you live in a country that uses a different language than the one you know, well, it can make life ‘different’. Okay, we live in Spain and, as all Brits know, it’s difficult to practise for that GCSE in Spanish while you’re on a package tour because all the Spanish waiters and receptionists in holiday Spain can speak English. There again (and I’ve done it), you could talk to the cleaner of your apartment, as these ladies don’t often come into contact with the key holders and so don’t get much chance to understand another language.