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If you were to ask India to describe her ex-landlord, she would likely say that he’s an aggressive little runt who looks like a cross between a Chihuahua and a pot-bellied pig. She would then laugh and say that she meant no offense to either of these fine animals. India, in animal terms, is definitely a cat. And though she may have grown a little lazy and soft in recent years, due… Read More

And now, for something a little different from my usual posts… Last night I was in Hong Kong, reading an excerpt from my published story, “The Rainiest Season”, at a book launch party (that’s me in the photo, signing books). I thought I would share the same piece with all of you. It’s a very personal, true account of the breakdown of my marriage in the Philippines ten years ago. This excerpt… Read More

I have just resurfaced from a horrendous ordeal — which is the reason there have been no blog posts for a while. Some of you may remember from an earlier post (“Homecoming” in July ) that the owner of our house gave us three months’ notice that he would be moving to the Philippines from Australia in October. And yes, this is now October. I always knew that we could only stay until the owner retired… Read More

I was flat broke. My estranged husband controlled the purse strings and since he had run off with the maid, those strings had been pulled tight. I was so broke that I hadn’t left southeast Asia in five years. New clothes? Only in my dreams. When I lost my sunglasses while swimming in the South China Sea, I was left squinting in the bright tropical sun for more than six months until… Read More

I want to move to Bali. I’ve come here on holiday three years in a row and it’s absolutely the most perfect place I’ve ever seen. The people are lovely, the scenery is stunning, the food is delicious — I just can’t say enough about this wonderful island. I can’t wait to leave behind the hassles and irritations of life in the Philippines. This could be a new beginning for me, a… Read More

For eight days I will live without caffeine or meat or alcohol or the internet. This is Day 3 of an eight day yoga and meditation retreat in Bali. I am neither in prison nor in rehab, so I do have the freedom to leave the retreat and order a t-bone steak for lunch if I wish, but I’m choosing to follow the suggested guidelines. Surely I can survive a healthy lifestyle… Read More

I woke up in Bali this morning. Not by accident — I had booked the trip on the internet, clicking here, clicking there, without having any concrete expectations of what those casual clicks would materialize into. But sure enough, there was a smiling driver holding a card with my name on it at the airport at 1:30 in the morning, who reached into a small cooler and presented me with a chilled… Read More

I sit in a bamboo hut, waiting for the Filipino healer to arrive. Tuesdays and Fridays he comes down from the mountains to heal whoever might be sitting in this flimsy, makeshift shelter with the dirt floor. My knees are ruined, casualties of a hill that I never should have hiked down — but did. For three months I have suffered, limping and grimacing in pain. Nothing has helped. I’m now a little… Read More

On a flight from Singapore to Manila yesterday, I felt a flash of fear. What if I’ve chosen the wrong path? I’ve always lived with the certainty that my life is exactly as it was meant to be. But what if I’ve been wrong? What if I’m wasting my life in the Philippines? The classic expatriate toast has always been “to absent ones”, as though friends and family have left us rather… Read More

My camera and I are gearing up for a lot of travel between now and the end of the year: Bali, South Africa, Botswana, northern Canada and southern California are all on the agenda. Lately, I’ve been doing more writing than shooting, so for the past few days I’ve been walking around Singapore with camera and tripod in hand, practicing. My goal was to spend a lot of time doing street photography… Read More

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