The Death of a Memory

My mother in law has a rich cache of memories that find their way easily into a conversation - a walk on the beach, a cup of tea in a comfortable chair, or on the bleachers of a child's baseball game. Her stories span from a rural childhood riding a horse to school to a young nursing career. Marriage lead to an expat life in the seventies in Asia … [Read more...]

Beware the Professional Parenting Expert

*My welcome address at the Parenting and Toddler Forum in Doha on March 2nd 2019* Hello there, I’m Kirsty Rice - some of you may know me from a website called 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle - others from the expat podcast Two Fat Expats - and to some I’m possibly one of the mums from school, or perhaps I’m just that woman on instagram who … [Read more...]

Home is a language of the heart

Home is a language of the heart. Do you know what your heart language is? While being told the story of an expat woman who'd adopted a child I learnt a beautiful expression. She was taking her new son home for the first time to his new billungual home - he was four. Both she and her husband spoke more than one language. Her son had also … [Read more...]

In the Middle of a Marriage

We had one of those terrible wedding videos, we're talking pre digital. Our VHS cassette tape arrived a few weeks after the wedding and was played as a source of entertainment for the first couple of years until it was packed away in the back of a cupboard rarely to be seen again. I can't really remember the fine details now but if I had to recall … [Read more...]

Midnight at the Airport

*Today I'm speaking at The Hilton on Orchard Road in Singapore. It's our very first big fat expat meetup. Here's a copy of today's talk.* It's after midnight and I'm sitting in a restaurant at the airport. I have all of my familiar airport paraphernalia with me: a neck pillow, a long scarf that will later serve as an additional blanket on the … [Read more...]

A Buttered Bum

*I gave a talk yesterday at a Breast Cancer Awareness function in Doha. There were some great speakers from Hamad and the Cancer Centre - lots of great info and a great event to show women in Qatar that they are in good hands. I really want to say thank you to the American Women's Association. Those love heart cushions and drain bags are so … [Read more...]

An Elephant Never Forgets

  At aged two my son held a grey plastic elephant in his hand at all times. Breakfast, park, lunch, nap time, dinner and bath - the grey elephant his constant companion. I have no idea when or why he stopped doing it. I just remember it being a thing, and then it wasn't. The grey elephant was filed into the same folder as bedwetting, thumb … [Read more...]

Ladies Who Do Much More Than Lunch

There was a moment, maybe a minute, in Abu Dhabi this week where I wondered if my self perceived spirit of adventure was perhaps a little reckless. The seed of doubt was planted by my mother while speaking on the phone that morning, me in a taxi on my way to the airport, her in my hometown of eight thousand people in rural Australia. "Just be … [Read more...]

Heading Home

If I'm driving to my parents house in the country I often tell people I'm heading "home" for the weekend. While I'm there, in their house, the one I've called my own for years; the one where I celebrated our marriage, and returned with baby, after baby, after baby, after baby. So many babies. While I'm there, in their house, my home, on a lazy … [Read more...]

The Backstabbing World of Working From Home

Working from home means I often walk from room to room while carrying a laptop and wearing noise cancelling headphones. The headphones often feel like I'm entering a vacuum, the modern seashell to an ear. While I sit at my desk in Doha I can immediately be transported to a colleague's inner city Melbourne apartment with the muffled sounds of … [Read more...]