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Clara Wiggins

Expat Focus Columnists

(meet all our columnists here)


Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins

Breastfeeding And The Expat

by Clara Wiggins, Saturday January 31, 2015 (22:05:47)   (60 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
Recently, here in the UK, there’s been all sorts of controversy around breastfeeding – and in particular, breastfeeding in public.

It seems strange that this is a country so obsessed with women’s mammaries that many of its best-read newspapers stick them on their third page (and I’m sure they would put them on their front page if they could get away with it), and yet every time someone dares to feed their hungry baby in a public place it causes uproar.

Okay, it’s obviously not that bad – otherwise we’d be in continuous uproar, the number of babies there are needing to be fed around the country on a daily basis.   more ...

Cary L-D

Cary L-D

My Expat Cravings

by Cary L-D, Saturday January 31, 2015 (21:46:53)   (24 Reads)
Cary
Fittingly, being 8 months pregnant and a full-blood Expat, my cravings are a mix of all the places I have lived and been influenced by.

Starting off with where I was born: Austria. We have made our first batch of Topfenknödel during this pregnancy, a lovely dessert or even main course of curd cheese dumplings filled with fruit, most traditionally Apricots, or Marillen in Austrian, and covered in browned bread crumbs, dusted with powdered sugar. To be truly Austrian you eat this as main course, preceded by a bowl of soup. This has been something I have always loved about the cooking here: why bother waiting until dessert if you can have it for a main?   more ...

Aisha Isabel Ashraf

Aisha Isabel Ashraf

More Than Words

by Aisha Isabel Ashraf, Friday January 30, 2015 (00:31:49)   (48 Reads)
Aisha Isabel Ashraf
Same language, different meanings

Before moving to Canada the only consideration I gave to language was with regard to accent; I remembered hearing somewhere that Canadians had a softer accent than their neighbours across the border and I was relieved; easing in gently sounded like a good plan. I was coming from England so it wasn’t as though I was going to be unintelligible to anyone – or so I thought.

I ran into problems on day two. My husband and I were staying in a hotel while we secured rental accommodation. I had a tiny cut on my finger so on my way out to dinner one evening I stopped at reception to ask for a plaster. The young woman at the desk blinked at me and shifted uncomfortably in her chair before giving a little cough and enquiring in uncertain tones whether I'd like an elastic band.   more ...

Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

February Frolics?

by Rosemary Border Rabson, Tuesday January 27, 2015 (00:14:56)   (104 Reads)
Rosemary Border Rabson
Visitors to the Morvan in winter are mystified by displays of crêpe pans, electric crêpe makers and free crêpe recipes appearing in the supermarkets in January. A little early for Pancake Tuesday, surely? Well, yes. But February 2 is La Chandeleur, Candlemas, and pancakes are obligatory.

I can never resist an excuse for a spot of research. According to the official website of France, www.france.fr , Candlemas commemorates the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus 40 days after His birth. Like Christmas, this is a pagan festival which was adopted by the Christian church.

Clicking on Lupercalia took me to wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupercalia   more ...

James King

James King

South Africa Diaries: Part 7 – Tina Turner!

by James King, Thursday January 22, 2015 (00:50:41)   (170 Reads)
James King
Sea of change

The thought of leaving England for Durban in February, for the third time, to soak in the balmy Indian Ocean was pleasing enough. Equally exciting was the thought that I could be involved in some of the many changes that would envelope South Africa post-apartheid. For many years South Africans had been denied the chance to see their talented young athletes and sportsmen and women compete on the international stage. In 1970 South Africa had one of the finest Test Cricket teams ever and after drubbing Australia in the same year the cricket world would never see them in action again.   more ...

Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis

What’s Your Travelling Strategy?

by Toni Hargis, Sunday January 18, 2015 (22:42:48)   (315 Reads)
Toni Hargis
I recently read “Maeve’s Times – In her own words”, selected writings from the late Maeve Binchy’s pieces in the Irish Times. Whether you’re a fan of her novels or not, I recommend this book as it shows what great a journalist she was, writing eloquently on everything from her days as a teacher to weight loss, abortion, and arthritis. One post was all about the people she ended up sitting next to on planes, and one sentiment, I could have written myself:

“I often hear people saying they sat beside a frightfully interesting chap on a plane, but I just don’t believe it. The only people I sit beside are people who read the safety card with an intensity that could only come from certainty of disaster.”   more ...

Susanna Perkins

Susanna Perkins

Dancing In A Pollera In Panama

by Susanna Perkins, Sunday January 18, 2015 (21:59:43)   (399 Reads)
Susanna Perkins
When we were deciding to move overseas, and then choosing the place to move to, my husband and I were intrigued by Las Tablas’ reputation as the folkloric center of Panama. Of course, it’s well known that Las Tablas is the place to attend Carnaval, with the town’s population swelling from 10,000 to over 100,000 during the festivities.

In the neighboring town of Guarare, there’s an annual music festival featuring the mejorana, a Panamanian five-string guitar. Las Tablas also hosts two separate events each year honoring the pollera, the lovely national dress.   more ...

Clara Wiggins

Clara Wiggins

A Long Hill To Climb

by Clara Wiggins, Friday January 16, 2015 (21:01:07)   (752 Reads)
Clara Wiggins
“We’re moving again,” I told my dentist this morning, as he stood over me wielding one of those funny little sticks with mirrors on the end they seem so keen on. “South Africa, in the summer”.

He grinned at me as he moved the stick closer towards me now gaping mouth. “Lovely,” he said. “Bet you can’t wait.”

“I need to make an appointment for the children, because we’re going overseas,” I said to the receptionist as I paid my eye-wateringly high bill for approximately ten minutes of mirrored-stick wielding.

“How wonderful!” she said. “What an adventure that will be”.   more ...

June Finnigan

June Finnigan

A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany - December Reflections

by June Finnigan, Friday January 16, 2015 (20:08:43)   (555 Reads)
June Finnigan
The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Well, where to start? How about the beginning of the month? Err yes, you say, but then some of the most exciting and frightening things happened later in the month, like the Earthquake! No, it was nothing to do with my man’s amorous intentions, we actually did experience a nasty tremor several times in one day in the middle of December. One minute I was happily writing, the next me and my desk were wobbling about like we were on a jelly. At the same time, my man was sat outside on a heavy wooden bench that shook whilst he was eating his breakfast cereal.   more ...

Barry O'Leary

Barry O'Leary

Onwards And Upwards

by Barry O'Leary, Tuesday January 06, 2015 (13:58:42)   (736 Reads)
Barry O’Leary
2014 was a revolutionary year for me, and a turning point in my life. For ages I’d been toying with the idea of going back to England, or moving from Sevilla to another city, preferably a less traditional one, or just one with a beach, but during last year a few things clicked into place which made me realise I’ve become a true expat.

So, what happened? Here’s a little breakdown on why last year was such a turning point.   more ...

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