I have talked about happiness before. I’ve never talked about making lists before. But lists make me happy. It’s a genetic trait I think. My Mum always has a list on the go, at least one, on the back of old greetings cards held together with a bulldog clip. I can’t remember a time before “pop it on the list”.  List writing is deeply cathartic. From writing a list of things you need to do, or groceries to remember, or what’s happening next week to writing a list of life goals. No list is too big or too small. Sometimes…

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I’ve recently watched a film called Remittance. You won’t see it advertised at your local cinema. You won’t see glossy posters with the names of famous actors at the top. Remittance is a tale of foreign domestic workers in Singapore. It’s a tale of truths from two hundred or so foreign domestic workers already in Singapore. And it is, for want of a better word, heart-breaking. I won’t spoil the film for anyone, but there are moments that are so clearly based on personal experience you forget you’re watching the tears of budding actresses. The budding actresses you see on…

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I’m not homesick exactly. But this week the reality of what life in the UK would have entailed has been inescapable. For this week, had we remained in the UK, Clara would be starting school. And I’m not sad that she isn’t exactly. It’s not that simple. I don’t wish we were back there either. But there’s something about watching the lives of her little friends back home moving on to school that feels like the chasm of distance is widening more. Even if we weren’t going down the home schooling route, Clara would still be in pre-school here. And…

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  I’m terrible when it comes to sleep. I blame motherhood. And my husbands snoring. And the constant noise of traffic in Singapore. At home (the UK), I sleep with two duvets piled on top of me, but with the windows open. There’s barely a sound from outside, and the fresh sea air guarantee’s us all a decent sleep. However, if we were to sleep with the windows open here it would be like sleeping at the side of a motorway, the flying wildlife of Singapore’s East Coast would come and join us uninvited, and the “fresh sea air” would…

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You don’t move to the other side of the world and a year later still have the same friends. You gain some, and you lose others. That’s just how it is. And obviously moving to the other side of the world is a factor specific to expat life. But actually, when you think about it, some friendships evolve and grow whatever the circumstances of life, and other friendships fizzle away to unfamiliarity no matter how hard you try. Since moving to Singapore I’ve found the changing dynamic of friendships to be magnified. At home I have a core group of…

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