our little Texas son


“I don’t want to talk about it and I especially don’t want to write this post. My heart has been pulled with needle made of bone threaded with infected sinew. Every time I try to breathe I want to vomit. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t even drink anything. My eyes haven’t stopped burning and my cheeks look like I’ve been in a fight with a bear. And this time he isn’t here to comfort me. He isn’t here to take my pain away by crawling into my lap and snoring until I calm down. Basil Flynn, who was the greatest and most wonderful beagle on the planet — that ever has and ever will live, passed on the 27th of September around 5.45pm, in the undying love of Jack and I; covered in hugs, kind words and lots of snuggles.

We were the three stubborn musketeers and we will be till the very end takes us all.

The apartment is like lonesome coffin where I’m trapped today. It was weird not to take him for a walk this morning. It’s strange for the apartment to be empty of snoring and tiny paw steps. I’ve never liked being left alone in silences because that’s when the thoughts try to drown me, so you can imagine how I must be feeling today when the only noise is a lonely dripping from the bathroom and my heart breaking. I can hear every single thump getting weaker.
Im sat where basil and I would always sit. I walk the same halls, but without him at my feet following me from room to room. He’s not coughing anymore. He’s legs won’t struggle to carry him anymore. He isn’t with us anymore. And I can’t bare it. It’s a comfort to know he won’t lose his mind, he didn’t get a chance to not be Basil and that he now can run and eat as much as he wants. But for me breathing hurts. It’s a struggle worse than all others. This little ball of stubborn perfection, our spirit animal and little inconvenience is gone. Animals can often be a burden, anyone who tells you different is a liar. They get in the way, but they are so worth every minute of irritation, frustration and anger; every single moment for grief after they’re gone. We’ve all butted heads, of course we have — just as we’ve had ‘growing pains’ as Jack likes to call it. However, Basil was a burden I would happily carry for the rest of my life. No matter how much shit he could sometimes caused us or cost us. Realistically I couldn’t have carried him much further, he got heavier and heavier in my arms — but I would always have found a way. 

I need him today. I need him tomorrow. And I will need him everyone moment of every day for the rest of my life because he was so much a part of my being, of our lives. He is. I never wanted to live until I met Jack and Basil. The two greatest and most beautiful loves of my life. Sometimes they annoy the crap out of me, just as I annoy them but we’re were and are made for each other.

I don’t where to go from here. I don’t know how to say goodbye to him. It’s just Jack and I against the world now, and it seems a lot more daunting than it did yesterday morning. My heart can’t fathom that the next years of my life — Basil will be gone. He won’t be waiting for me to come home. He won’t kiss me when i’m crying and he won’t be running in the snow or making old man faces at our baby voices. No more falling asleep on the sofa together watching crappy television. No more judging people as the walk by us on our walks because we hate people. No more. . 

Now, it’s just me in this empty apartment desperately waiting for Jack to come home.
With my phone off, my laptop closed and staring into nothing. Tears streaming and pouring from me like sand in a never-ending time glass. My nose is running. I haven’t showered. I smell of sweat from nightmares and I don’t remember when I changed my underwear last.

We stayed with him as long as we possibly could. Till the very end and longer. Our vet said some people like to leave and not be there at all because its hard, or at least leave when they have fallen asleep. Never in this life or any other could I fathom leaving any animal to die alone with strangers. Those who leave — I will never understand you and frankly, I don’t want to. It is utterly unforgivable.
We were always going to be with him to the end. Its the only option. No matter how hard it would be. He deserves that and more for everything he has given us. I would happily have carried him all the way, to wherever ever he was going, myself. 

Leaving him there the candle lit room almost killed me, but if they’d tried to take him from me I would’ve have defended him with every bone of my being. The only way — was to walk away. I’d brought his favorite blanket from home, but we were obviously taking it back with us. Im sure the vets went in as soon as we left, but I desperately searched for them so I could see he wouldn’t be alone for long. I looked back and saw him lying there as Jack closed the door behind us. It took every thing I had in my body not to turn around and run to him. Our little Basil just looked like he was asleep, the deepest sleep I’ve ever seen. His face looked a little heavier than normal and his lip drooped slightly. Basil’s eyes were completely closed, which they rarely ever have been. He would usually be staring at you even if he was snoring/asleep.
I listened for his missing heart beat, he was gone but I couldn’t see it. My head rested on his ribs with my hands on his back and his stomach.
“Please breathe. Don’t leave us here without you,” my heart screamed.
“We’ll be ri
ght behind you buddy,” I whispered.
He didn’t breathe again.
He was gone. 

I still can’t in my mind register that he wasn’t just sleeping. Part of me still believes he’s alive and its terrible, because I don’t know where he is. Where did he go? Why was his nose ice cold already? He can’t be “Was” he is supposed to be with us for so many more years. I never truly believed Basil could die. That little fucker was built like a tank, a very food obsessed cuddly funny little tank. 

We went by Wally-World on the way home to grab a shower curtain, beef jerky and dr.pepper and to put our minds on something worse than losing Basil.  Walmart is good for something. Helping you realize that things can always be Walmart-worse.  I saw a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms — an old go to. Im depressed and devastated and therefore I am allowed to eat like shit without working it off. So I went on the hunt in the sweet section to find a normal sized bag. I couldn’t find anything smaller and I gave up, ready to give up breathing myself. Ready to have a domestic with myself right there.  As I turned I looked from the candy isle through the suitcases, bathmats and lamps. Silently weeping as I watched Basil come running to me, his big ears flapping, a big smile on his face and his legs carrying him like a feather. My eyes really started to sting. I could still run back to the Vet. I can run very fast. Maybe I can catch him before he gets put in a freezer or wherever else. He might still be warm. Warming him up could probably wake him up. As long as he knows it’s me. 
As I started losing myself I caught Jack’s eye, there he was walking through the rows of cheap furniture. He’d caught me crying in the candy aisle. He started smiling at me; and as I always do when he walks towards me like some kind of Texan Mr.Darcy, I couldn’t help but smile too.
Thank goodness for Jack.

Written on September 28th 2018.


i’m not dead — just dormant.

Finally — colder weather has bloomed in New England and i’m really excited for real sweater weather start. I like summer but it gets boring really quickly. Most of my clothes are for cold weather.
The stars are so much brighter when its cold, and i look forward to getting some really pretty astro-shots.
I know I’ve been really bad at blogging recently but so much has been going on and i have to have space for real life. Even when real life is a little crappy.
Isn’t it always the lay of the land — that as soon as one part of your life goes well another part turns to stone?

Thankfully though now everything is starting to settle down. I’ve started another new job — an office job that i actually enjoy. Considering i thought i’d feel like a caged animal in an office, i think its going well. Never say never.
I left the other new job after a week because it was the epitome of terrible. Working in the food industry usually is but i’ve never experienced insanity on this scale.
Lets just say i had a plate thrown at my head, i lost 5lbs in a week and i was given no training and basically working as a chef. I applied to be dishwasher because i just wanted some extra cash in my pocket. If i wanted to work in an insane asylum i would’ve booked myself into one. I’ve never worked a job that was so awful i had to leave after a week, its a little embarassing if it wasn’t so bat shit insane. However for my mind and my pride, i had to quit. Nothing is worth mental torture. No amount of money is worth my soul.

But as i said, its settling down. I’ve got a great new job, the one i was hoping to get out of the three i applied/interviewed for. I actually got all three jobs but obviously chose the one i wanted most and thank goodness it came along or who knows what would have happened.
Other than that i’m getting a lot of use out of my new camera — i’m hoping to get some time this week to post some of the photos i’ve taken but we will see and i’ve almost completed my first long “short story”/novel.

So things are moving forward.
At long last.

four books for travelling girls

I’m not really the kind of person who discusses what books i read with other people, i don’t know what that is, but thats how it it is. I don’t like to share them all that much because they’re so special to me and it feels like i’m telling someone a dark secret. That being said, there are a few books that made me feel less alone when i moved far away from my family and those are always worth sharing, if they can help someone else.
These books became the friends i needed, the inspiration i craved and gave me the boost to carry on when everything seemed too hard.
And thus i’ve decided to share them with you, whether you’re an expat or just looking for something new to read — these books are golden.

I’m lucky to come from a family who have read enough books to fill most of the libraries the earth can hold.
My mother gave me these books that i now give to you — they’d spent 18 years in our library waiting for me to grow up.
She saved them for me till i was old enough to appreciate the hardships, understand the power i had to do anything i wanted and even to believe in love.
Yep — that beautiful old fashioned cliché, but i didn’t move to America for the supersized fast food portions or the tan lines after all.

Mrs. Mike and Shaman’s Daughter, they are the two that really impacted me most.
They are my sisters.
My soul.
So much so that i think of both Kathy and Supaya when the days become tiresome.
They were read during times when i was truly struggling.
Not “i’ve lost my bag along with my patience” struggling but “i want to give up because i can’t breathe” struggling.
I read Mrs.Mike when i was separated from Jack for almost 8 months — a very difficult time. It was like sitting alone in limbo. Most of the women in my family have been given a copy of “Mrs.Mike” because the book is so incredible. I also specifically buy any copy of the book i see. Just incase.

Shamans Daughter i read when i wasn’t able to work legally in the USA yet, so i was volunteering at a state park as much as i could. I’m the kind of person who likes to make my own way, i don’t like to be paid for or “kept.” So the not working and having no life outside of my house was pretty tough. The state park was a release — even though all i did was drive around and pick up litter. I quite enjoyed it. I got to sit in a gator and be social with a 7ft ex-police officer, all the while doing a little to help the environment. As i said being an expat isn’t glamourous. You have to do what you to do, and a lot of the times you get some great memories to look back on, even through the hardships.
As i was reading Shamans Daughter i just felt so inspired to find the new version of me and it gave me a push to believe in whatever was coming my way. What would be — would be as it should be.
The earth looks after her own.

I’d lived in America for a few years before i received Tisha and Brooklyn as birthday presents.
I read Tisha recently. It is such a wonderful story. It’ll make you feel everything so deeply. Theres so much in this little book about clashing cultures, settling in in a harsh place and trying to find solstice in hard decisions.
Tisha is one determined bad-ass girl with a heart as beautiful as a wildflower in the spring.

In all honesty, Brooklyn wasn’t as great a read for me as the other three — but it still deserves to be in this group, because i know a lot of people would love this book. I can guarantee its better than the film — the film was pretty spot on however.
I think this one is important because it deals with distance, grief and the mind of a very mixed up young girl who doesn’t know the right decision — even when it slaps her wide across the chops. Its beautiful in its own right and i think this one would appeal to the younger readers.


Anyway, these books are wonderful stories of young women who got up and left.
They packed their bags, kissed their mothers goodbye and left everything comfortable & familiar.
All that with just a suitcase of their most precious belongings.
Just like i did.
Just like so many other expats have done and will do again.
Just like you might do too — one day.
And these books would help get you there and keep you grounded.
I promise.
And — you’re welcome.


If you end up giving any of these books a read — i’d love to know what you think!
How did they make you feel?

(side note — this is not an ad or a paid review, no nothing like that. Just something for those literary expats out there and just general bibliophiles.) 

expat blogger of the month

Hello lovely readers !
Let me catch you up a little on whats going on.
A few days ago i received an email asking if i was interested in contributing to an online expat magazine on expat.com.
I was so surprised and super excited, so of course i said yes. What an interesting opportunity.
I only recently happened across this website for expats a week or two ago from happening to glance at a few other expat blogs, so this all happened really quickly. Hence my surprise. Its a really great platform for people to learn about moving abroad and getting information from real people who have experienced that kind of life. So its genuine advice, thoughts and discussions. So if theres anyone out there reading this that wants to move abroad and wants a little help, this might be a nice place for you. (This is not an advert by the by — this is just my own opinion and i’m not paid to have said opinion). 
Anyway, they sent me a list of questions to answer about my blog and my general expat experiences. I know i don’t write like other people so i was a little unsure that my writing was right for something like this as its very “novel-esque,” but thats just the ever present self doubt we all suffer from once in a while making an appearance.

Tomorrow this little extract on me goes live on the online magazine, and i didn’t realise it that it means i am “the blogger of the month” August 2018 ! How exciting is that after only having been a member for a very short time?


Thats my little bit of news for this gloomy Monday night.
I hope you all have a lovely on going week, and that its not as humid where you are as it is here.
You can read the “interview” here!

Its never too early in the year for long johns. Ever.

 

 

the interview, a get out feeling and a bear in the call centre

“Wow, your life is so interesting. Why do you want to work here?”

I sighed deeply as i looked out the window at the wind raking through the trees, and i look blankly back at the lady; who looked like she hadn’t left her office chair since some time in the early 60’s. Her and the chair had become one. You couldn’t tell where she ended and her chair began.

“I don’t.” 

Ok, i didn’t respond quite like that however i’d already decided i just wanted to get out of that office. She thought my life was some crazy hollywood ride and she couldn’t quite fathom why i was sitting in front of her applying for a low paying job that is mostly for college students. Frankly, i couldn’t entirely fathom it either. Apart from the raw honesty of the matter of me wanting money on a consistent basis. To pay for camera equipment, flights, road trips and everything in this world that money has to buy.
She gave me the job, but i haven’t taken it, and i probably wont.
My life isn’t a blockbuster. Its a rough one.
The hundreds of sacrifices, changed plans or things i’ve missed out on because i’ve lived the way i do. Its not to say i’d change it, but i also don’t know that i would entirely recommend it to anyone unless they know what they’re getting into.
Moving away from your home country is a very hard thing to do, and i’ve done it several times. You’ll find yourself feeling like you’ve missed out and that you’re this lost soul amongst a crowd, looking in on a life that could have been yours but instead you took a step out of line — then you kept walking.
You wont feel shame, but when you return home this awful feeling of not belonging can really make your heart bleed. And theres no one else who can relate to said feeling. That is very very lonely indeed. As i’ve said so many times before, i’ve been lucky to have someone supporting me through thick and thin, but some people wont have that. They’ll be in over their heads and they’re likely to drown. I’ve almost drowned more than a hundred times.
My life? Its not perfect and everyday isn’t glamorous. In fact, most days i’m struggling to think of things to write about or things to take pictures of, because its not especially easy for me to get out and explore. This apartment doesn’t look the way i want it to. I don’t have the furniture i wish i did, becuase i dont want to buy it until i live where i want to stay — and i may never find home.  This state is expensive, and though it maybe beautiful it doesn’t inspire me. The culture, the history, the working environments and the people — i can’t quite get in there. So to speak. I’m the type of person who has to feel everything to be productive. And i find it hard to feel positively when i’m living somewhere that just doesn’t work for me.
So no, my life is not a hollywood movie, and i wouldn’t ever want it to be.
And i’m not unhappy.

So, I don’t think i’m above the job. Whatsoever. No one is above a job. You do what you need to do and you hustle. Its mostly that i know i’d quit within a few months out of the sheer monotony of it  and frankly my phone manner isn’t always polite or friendly– which would result in wasting her time and mine. Not to mention a large amount of very displeased people with complaints about an angry redhead over the phone.  Think of it as trying to cage a bear or shoving a bison into a shoe box. Not to mention those who were working at the time i was being interviewed, looked about ready to eat each other just for a change of scenery, like their souls had been sucked out of their ears. It was also the absolute weirdest and most uncomfortable interview i’ve ever been to. A pretty good indication of what the job would be like under her management. She spent more time trying to dissect my travel log, talking about her rich friends and foul mouthing Texas rather than discussing the job with me.
Mistake.
The Texas thing was the kicker, it happens to me quite frequently in New England, whatever the whole Texas thing is — lets go ahead and get over it. Shall we? I mean there are places i don’t like either, but i make note not to shit on it and rub anyones face in said fecal smudge. Its rude.
By all means have an opinion but also common decency.

As i’m writing its storming outside — the sky is in as much turmoil as i am. The thunder is rolling and lighting is snapping at the ground like a bullwhip. I’ve got myself thinking, wandering and pondering. My mind has run on ahead of me. I feel trapped and i’m ready to move again, somewhere by the vast plains, . Maybe in the dark woods in Denmark. All I know is i’m not built for the office life or the everyday 9 to 5. Im not made to stay in the wrong place or in the same place for too long. It just doesn’t function with me. Im not saying its a bad job or a bad state, i’m just saying i know i couldn’t do it personally.
There are some jobs that just don’t work for some but that happen to work for others.

I need to create like i need air. I need to be free to imagine, get dirty and find out what life is all about — and to me life can’t be about living in a cubicle everyday. Its about the road and getting there. I need to discover life so i have something to write about. Thats not to say i don’t work shitty jobs, because trust me. I know how to work a shitty job pretty damn well, i’ve worked a lot of them — and i do it gladly because life has to go on, but an office job is just too much of a reach for me.