Like Waking From A Deep, Deep Sleep

I saw an article yesterday reminding everyone that London’s iconic “Gherkin” building is ten years old. I’m not familiar with it at all. Oh, I know what it looks like, where it is and that its real name is its street address, 30, St. Mary Axe, but it’s not part of my London. I left … Read more

The Special Relationship

At some point during World War 2, the United Kingdom and the United States of America put aside their previous military differences and announced that theirs was a “special relationship”. In truth it’s been a rather tortuous rivalry ever since they first chucked our tea overboard, but what the heck; let bygones be bygones. Only … Read more

Forgetting My English

I suppose it’s inevitable that when you go years without speaking your native language, you start to forget a few words. Apparently it’s called language attrition and is a well-known phenomenon, particularly if you avoid speaking your native language while learning a new language, or if you rarely come across people who speak your native … Read more

“That’s Just Who I Am” – Assimilate Or Be Yourself?

Taking my inspiration from Bravo TV’s The Ladies of London this month. It’s a reality show starring two British women and five Americans, living the high life in London. A bit like the Real Housewives but without the face-slapping and table turnovers,- so far. LOL has sucked me in because of the US versus UK … Read more

Keeping Your Eye On The Expat Ball

So, a couple of things I’m hearing have this expat more than a little perturbed. The first is the fact that all British passports now have to be processed in the UK, as opposed to at various British Embassies, as has been the practice heretofore. Inevitably, we are now hearing of huge, and I mean … Read more

How To Manage Your Summer Guests

For many expats, it’s the summer – a time for house guests, who often stay for longer than a week. It’s important not to underestimate the effort it takes to host people, be they family or friends, and no matter how much you enjoy their company. Here’s a few pointers I’ve cobbled together from my … Read more

Expat Life Keeps You Humble

I suppose the same can really be said of travel in general, but with expat life, you don’t have the protection of the tourism status – “I don’t know what the heck I’m doing but that’s OK, I’m only here for a week”. And boy, there’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end … Read more

Social Media – Keeping Us In The Loop

Like many Brits, a lot of my immediate family lived close by when I was growing up, and the ones who were spread out over the country, we saw perhaps once a year. Anyone who moved overseas kept in touch with sporadic letters and even more sporadic (and prohibitively expensive) phone calls. The family jungle … Read more

Expat Life – A Matter Of Flexibility

When I came to the USA in 1990, there were quite a few Brit things I couldn’t get. I remember looking for mint sauce (to go with the lamb), being gone for hours and finally settling for fresh mint and vinegar. It worked by the way, but there wasn’t a hope of buying a jar … Read more

Expat Writing – A Veritable Minefield

I’m been writing about US/UK stuff for about ten years now, so what have I learned? (My spellcheck is American, by the way.) You can make fun of your home country almost ad nauseam and you won’t get much of a backlash as long as it’s well informed. Being a British expat makes it easier … Read more