Category Archives: Family

On being a childless expat

It happened at my first ever expat coffee morning. You know the one where you arrive flustered because you haven’t quite figured out where anything is in your new town, you don’t speak the language and you don’t know another living soul apart from our significant other.

I’m much better at these things now but back then I was utterly out of my depth. A fairly sudden decision to accept an offer from my husband’s employer had thrown us into a whole new life with little to no preparation. I hardly knew what an expat was and I had absolutely no plan for how I would cope with the complete change in lifestyle. To say we were winging it would be generous.

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The other side of fear


One of the first signs that Ceili had more serious fear and anxiety issues than the usual ‘settling in’ to a new home nervousness came on one of our early morning walks. As we walked along a quiet path towards some woodland, we spotted a neighbor and his two dogs, maybe 20 or 30 feet ahead of us.

Ceili froze. She couldn’t go forward and she couldn’t go back. She was stuck – totally paralyzed by her fear of these dogs.  While our neighbor’s dogs are big, they are also the epitome of laidback calm. They had absolutely zero interest in Ceili.

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Lessons from a rescue dog


A year ago we signed the adoption papers on a dog who has changed our lives in ways we never expected.

The journey to her adoption wasn’t straightforward. To be honest, it was fraught with doubts, fierce debate and the devastating loss of another dog last summer, a dog who despite being in our home for only a short while had become part of the family.

And then along came Ceili. Continue reading Lessons from a rescue dog