Vale The Beagle

My sister told me the story as I was driving, we were both on speaker phone. She was talking about an older couple, people she's close to, the couple had fallen in love later in life. Both had adult children on opposite sides of the world. He was from the UK and she Australian. As retirees their romance had worked perfectly, one that perhaps many … [Read more...]

Breaking the Marriage Rules

Picture this, your marriage has its own personal umpire. The umpire is there to make sure none of the cardinal rules are broken. And when I say rules it's more than in sickness and in health. It's the down and dirty, the murky stuff that we know is wrong but we just can't somehow help ourselves. The tiny little dig, the raised eyebrow, the silent … [Read more...]

A broken heart

It was in January of this year that I first had an inkling there was something wrong with my heart. There were tests, angiograms and monitors, more tests, and then finally a triuphant call from my cardioligist. As I puffed my way up the steep incline of the treadmill he watched my heart screaming for help on a screen in front of him "there it is!". … [Read more...]

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...]

The Expat Holding Pattern

Definition of a holding pattern. 1 : the usually oval course flown (as over an airport) by aircraft awaiting clearance especially to land. 2 : a state of waiting or suspended activity or progress I was flying into London to meet my husband G who'd been there working all week. As Aussies living in Canada with four young children it had taken … [Read more...]

Let Me Tell You A Story

It was here that the stories began, both on this page and in a hotel room surrounded by suitcases and small bodies. Their four faces held a pattern, a template from G and myself: his eyes, my chin, his long arms, my hair. While they were all different, you could tell they were the same, somehow linked, a product of us. In Canada they were four … [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...]

Before you put your pink bow on

October is a big month for our family, it begins with my son's birthday and ends with my husband's (which is usually completely overthrown by Halloween). Over the years it's meant four kids with four costume requirements and some crazy class party baking requests. A couple of years ago a breast cancer diagnosis meant I added chemo to the list of … [Read more...]

The Expat Mongrel

*Spoken at The Big Fat Expat Meet-up at the Shangri-La Shanghai* Before the pedigree plague of poodles of varying degrees, before the oodles, the spoodles, the cavoodles and groodles, or Golden Doodles depending on which part of the world you're from (Australians stop giggling now) before the oodles - there was your basic mongrel. The family … [Read more...]