Still not making lemonade

Hey Joan,

No, I cannot say that I’m ‘over it,’ or that I am any less sad but I am less something. I can’t find the word for it but I am less it.

There is a stage that I am sure is titled, “THE FUCK YOU ALL” stage. I am in a mild stage of that. I kind of find it refreshing. I am not being rude or giving the bird, but am not caring so much about what leadership thinks. Maybe that is my lesson out of all of this, to learn that giving a shit about what others think of me professionally, shouldn’t factor in my self-belief.

I delivered a PD to staff without much worry (when normally I would) – even when the head of the entire school turned up for the first time in my 18 months there. On a side note, she has either been out of the classroom too long – thus asking stupid questions or just wanted to appear like she could contribute. Either way, she displayed some qualities in that meeting that I am not a fan of. I have also given feedback to my head that I might not have in the past – in fear of him cracking the shits….because man, can he crack it. I don’t care anymore Joan if he doesn’t like what I say. As long as I say it from a place of integrity, where the interests of the children are at the centre – then I shall just say it.

Asking for feedback regarding my interview is something I am still not ready for. I have reflected on all my own deficiencies and could give you a handful of why I didn’t get the job – I just don’t want to hear from someone I don’t like too much. I figure you don’t want to read the things I am crap at – and I really don’t want a response from you telling me I am not those things. I shall own them. Work on them. Try to learn from them.

Being honest, I nearly pulled out of the interview, then nearly pulled out after the interview – because I actually thought that I didn’t want to work with these people. Turns out they didn’t want to work with me either. HAhahaha. I should see it as a blessing really. And I think I will…eventually. It just means I am stuck here. Setting personal goals like…driving more, having Eve time

Setting personal goals like…driving more, having Eve time etc etc will have to be my focus. I still do not want to do a masters. I do want to go to church more though. Drive first, church second – need the driving to do the church.

Anyway Joan, I just wanted you to know, that as terrible as last weekend was, that weekend has now finished.

Get your celebrating women thing in! I am going to do this weekend.

Love you Joan.



Not one bit of strategy. Not one.

Dear Joan,

I currently have another entry being typed but I have pushed that aside so that I can…vent, cry …or whatever it looks/sounds/feels like in this ever so pretend world of the internet. This is probably the most honest space I have, between you, me (ella) and whatever other person chooses to skim over this letter.

You said you wanted to know what was going on in my life. Well in summary:

  • my school advertised a leadership job externally a week before telling us internally.
  • in 36 hours I got together a full application.
  • 5 days later I interviewed, as did the husband and 2 other internal candidates.
  • a week and a half later I found out I was the loser and my husband wasn’t.


Let’s backtrack a little, to the 5 days in between submitting the application and having the interview. The hubby and I discussed a great deal of what if’s. I guess we both thought, it would be me or neither of us. Why? Because I do every damn thing at that school that relates to developing the whole school strategic plan – even shit I hate. I have worked hard. Not to say that he hasn’t, that would be unfair. But I put myself out there – repeatedly. Even he said that the fair and right thing would be for the job to be mine. What’s that? An echo from the past Eve? Something you said ringing in your ear?

I said to him – fair has nothing to do with it

And it does have nothing to do with it. I guess, the better person got the job. I know Joan, the husband will be friggen damn good at it.


these are the things though, that I find hard:

  • When I did the in-house leadership course last year, my mentor told me, sometimes it comes down to having a penis or not. Sometimes they just want gender balance. AHHHHHH!
  • The husband was happy in the lower primary school. He wanted to be there. I never did and still don’t want to be but now I am stuck. He had direction.
  • I now have no direction. I am totally adrift – more Leonardo Dicaprio rather than Kate Winslet in Titanic.
  • I honestly feel like a big, fat LOSER. Yep. how tragic is that!?
  • That the husband and I always agreed that it isn’t possible for two people to do leadership in teaching – it is far too hard on the family – and now it is me having to take the step back.
  • That he will inevitably keep secrets from me – yes work secrets – but secrets nonetheless and I know he will – he did it twice this year already. Makes me feel second best – that work will come first and me second.
  • That I feel so selfish, and such a cow but I kind of wish he would just say sorry. hahahaha.

Some fucking EXIT strategy hey Joan. Two more years here and for what? I don’t feel like I am getting anything from it. I need the universe to deliver me something fucking awesome to counter balance this one. I’m not sure its pockets go deep enough (this will make more sense once I finish the other blog).

On the flip side, one of the what if’s was around if one of us got it and what travel would we do. We discussed Italy next year in April and the USA at the end of the year. Happy 40th to me! Here we come Rome and Naples. 10,000RM will get us all to Rome and back ($3,500ish aussie). I have never been so keen to rack up credit card debt!

I also thought I wanted to do a Masters. Nope. At least being the loser made that clear for me. Think of all the debt I saved there!

Travel isn’t sufficient enough to ease the two years but I have to cling to something. Maybe it will help this Leonardo Dicaprio climb on the raft instead of letting go!

Love you Joan,


P.S. I think of your adventure and hope it is providing you with much joy.



Just a bit homesick

Dear Joan,

Nothing deep or meaningful today.

I agree though, I too love how much you are writing. The best part to me blogging more is the correspondence you and I have. It made me realise how much of each others lives we end up missing. The best example is your country swap that looks like it is going to happen for you. It is quite possible you told me and that I have simply forgotten. Though, this forgetfulness, then has me going – oh wow, when did this come about? how long will it be for? when will it be for? what will you do there? can I come? ha!

Anyway, I write today just because I am homesick. Here are the reasons why:

  • I want to be around people that are easy to be around – no second guessing, no worrying about my inadequacies, no trying.
  • Figoli. Yes figoli. My aunty makes the best figoli and for the 2nd year in a row I miss out on it. Making it is quite an amazing process. I have done it once before. It felt so good. The ingredients – particularly the nuts involved would cost a small fortune here.
  • The Milbri – a coffee shop. A coffee shop that the husband and I would go to on a Friday before work. A coffee shop where I would meet other mates before work. A coffee shop, open on a Sunday afternoon. A coffee shop where a good coffee was guaranteed.
  • Freaky Tiki – a coffee shop. Ha! I miss the before school morning dates I would have with the big kid.
  • The Water – The beach. I don’t think that needs explaining.
  • The Water – turning a tap on and drinking or turning a tap on and getting hot water.

The majority of this reasons are first world problems (man alive I hate that phrase). I am ok with that.

Anyway, homesickness comes and goes. Where is home? Hmmm

I love this song: Home It is true. It is wherever my fam is.

Peace out Joan.

Love you.


Round and Round the Malaysia go wheel.

Dear Joan,

I hate the question – So, are you enjoying Malaysia? Hate it. I am forced to say yes or my new stock standard answer – I like the chances it gives me for travel.

I hate it because if I had to answer with a simple yes or no, it would be a resounding no. Yep. No. Why? Well work takes up so much energy, time and being – that if that isn’t great then it has a massive impact. And yet that isn’t a simple explanation either. I like working with the other people in my immediate team. I like the kids. Management – eh. If I don’t believe in that – they are people that should hold the values of teaching at the core – then I simply struggle.

It isn’t just that. It would be unfair. The husband an I, for the entire 17 years (maybe 18) that we have been shacked up, have always struggled to find balance in term time as a couple. Now lets throw a few extra things into that mix – we now have kids, only one car, not the same network of people around us, work for a business so work many more hours on a weekend and all of a sudden there is no real us time for four blocks of ten weeks  a year. How did I fix this in Oz? UK? I created other networks to supplement that. It isn’t so easy here. I know it takes time. The networks, friends – I am trying hard on that – especially to make friends with locals. They are great and love a catch up on a weekday but not so much on a weekend. I only have a couple of mates from work and again, people are really caught up in their own lives. I don’t begrudge them that. It would be unfair and unreasonable.

We are also constricted by traffic. How crazy is that?! On a weekend, trying to get to a mall after 1pm is not worth it unless you want to sit and wait for a park for at least an hour. Going for a spontaneous coffee 20 mins away becomes an hour away – one way. It becomes not worth it. Not worth the fighting of siblings in the back of the car.

Going back to the work thing. When I am in a place that doesn’t share my ideals, and I have been there before, I question my career. Is it the right one? Which again, when faced with such a big question makes happiness in a place a little harder to grasp. We are defined so much by the job we hold – rightly or wrongly, by how we contribute to society, by how well we do said job. When this waivers for me I find it difficult.

I think the universe is trying to tell me it is the right one or at least that working with kids is the right thing. In earlier blogs I mentioned how former kids have contacted me and in the last couple of weeks I have had one previous and one current colleague say beautiful things to me – about me as a teacher. Sometimes I am not sure where their perceptions come from. My current one thanked me for bringing joy to the year last year (we are in different yr levels now). She said that I kept banging on about joy and it wasn’t till I left that she realised how much joy I brought to my class and the flow on effect it had to the team I was in. That would be a great thing to say in my eulogy – she brought joy to others – well some – to others she was just a pain in the arse. hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Though I am hoping we are old and grey before the line is needed.

I feel like this blog is a rehash of many other letters I have written to you. I guess I am just trying to sort my ideas out, what is happening in this noggin of mine.

Love you joan and any other eve’s dropper listening in (pardon the pun),

Love Eve

Post Script

On a completely different tangent but linked to the four lots of ten weeks – that is why teachers need holidays – to be human – to connect to their families. We invest so much into other families, we need the time to invest into ours. We don’t get weekends or weeknights like some other jobs. I just wanted to say that.





Laverne and Shirley

Dear Joan,

Whassup!? Ha! How dumb. Anyway, how’s things? I just wanted to talk about something very…ordinary.

Driving home after our weekly shop I was just thinking about Laverne and Shirley. Yep. Laverne and Shirley. Oh Joan, I love that show. For all my sci-fi geekiness of Dr Who, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe etc I still love Laverne and Shirley.

Ohhh, the theme song Theme Song . Makes me happy.

Not sure why I love this show. Lets discuss this further.

Two women working in a beer factory. Ha! This alone makes me chuckle.

Two women living by themselves, not married. Having boys over – for kisses. I like that. There is this real conflict in the show about feminist ideals versus traditional values. That speaks to me in volumes. It is a huge societal thing. We say women can work, yet we berate them when they have kids and go back to work. We say women should stay home and look after the kids, yet we say they are ‘just’ mums. Wear dresses, wear pants, wear lipstick, be natural, be a mum, don’t be a mum. Eeesh. I also don’t know how to be a ‘woman?’Simply because I have no bloody clue what it ‘should’ be. I do have to say though, I have really enjoyed finding that girly/feminine/1950’s woman in me. A bit of make up, hair, dresses, waxing, perfume. What a pity it took me so long though. I do wish though, that evolution was kinder to Mediterranean women and gave us less hair.

Moving on, I love how womanly they are – yet how practical they are ANNNDDD in the same breath, how dependent on men they are. Okay, I may have set the feminist movement back a bit with that last statement but there is an element of 1950’s housewife that I kind of like. Clearly, not the cleaning part. That I detest. Always have. Me rebelling against my heritage. Back to the 1950’s. I love being taken care of. I love knowing that if I got sick, that he would make the decisions that had to be made. I hope that makes sense. Sometimes, when it suits, I like the decisions to be made. In all honesty, it truly is when it suits. We both know that. I also know, that I would be more than capable in looking after my girls by myself. There is this inner lioness I possess. Eating someone up and spitting them out would be very easy for me…. if someone hurt my kids. Rage. Rage would be unleashed.

Gosh, I do go a little all over the shop.

There are many other things I love – the slapstick comedy, the vulnerability of the characters, the supporting characters.

I do have one thing I detest. It is filmed in Milwaukee – or so I thought. Dreaming a dream of taking those steps around Milwaukee like they did was stupid. Alright, I thought at least it would have been filmed there, in a studio. No. No it was not. Broke my heart when I found out.

Anyway, I would like to eat some frozen mushed up fruit.

Love you Joan.


Leaders and No Emotions

Hey Joan,

When it rains it pours hey?!

Beauty and the Beast is playing in the background as I type this. I just want to say this: why do adults ruin beautiful innocent movies? Never have I once thought about beastiality or even Stockholm Syndrome when watching this film. Now at 38, grown ups feel compelled to reference these things.

My girls love princesses, want to be princesses. I am just fine with that. People look at it like it is a dirty thing. Why shouldn’t they want to be a princess? Because people see them as docile and weak? What a pity their thoughts are so narrow. My princess girls are strong, compassionate, strong willed, creative, dry witted. I would also be fine with them as mechanics, astronauts, check out chicks, authors, artists, scientists. But if being a mermaid or a princess is what they want to be when they grow up, good luck to them.

Ah, so glad that I got that off my chest but I was actually going to write about my emotional intelligence and how I feel it hinders me from progressing in teaching. This letters to you go all over the shop. hahahaha

Let me explain.

I find so many leaders devoid of emotion, and yet I cry if I am really over tired. Most leaders in teaching are emotionless to their staff – ruthless almost – bar one. But even he keeps his emotions completely away from school. It seems like the phrase – “That’s teaching for you,” gets thrown around for everything – parents being rude to you, working a 60 hour week but only being paid for 40, the treatment of graduate teachers. Saying that to people you know who work hard just seems so flippant and disrespectful. I don’t think I could do that.

I am also not good at arguing on the hop. I need time to reflect and think about it. Talk it through. But how can you do that if you have an irate staff member or parent in your office? I also don’t know how I could keep myself in check when I knew someone was doing a very shit job. Teaching is the one job that it is almost impossible to get sacked from. How crazy is that!

Joy. I also like joy. I have had one marvellous role model for that. But it seems like a rare thing. Joy in my current school looks like a head who tells the children how long they can cheer for, or clap for or that they cannot sing along when someone plays the piano. Controlled joy is not really joy is it Joan?

Maybe I am just a yes person, so leadership isn’t my bag? Maybe middle management. Hmmm though I have a terrible poker face. I face this crossroad every so often in my career and I step away from it. Maybe I should look at a masters. I saw this wonderful one at Harvard. International Policy. Setting up policy for refugee children, schools in Afghanistan. When I saw this course it was the first time I got excited about the prospect of future study. Reality says I need to find one in Oz that does one that I like as I can access HELP. We have up to 100,000 bucks to use for study purposes.

Ahhh. I just wish it was easy. This choice.

Love you Joan,








The Curly Ones

Dearest Joan,

F*#k being a mum is hard. Nothing ground breaking or earth shattering about that statement. Nothing that millions of mothers feel on a daily basis, probably dads too. The thing is Joan, it’s the small things that floor me. The emotional rollercoaster of growing, the friendship issues, the homework fights, the “you will brush your teeth” argument on a daily basis – I’m ok with or at least have accepted as part of being mum.


what I was not prepared for, was crying over deodorant. I was giving the big kid a cuddle before bed. Normally the kids have their wash before bed but that night, we had got home late and they just needed to get into bed. Anyway, back to cuddles and the smell of a stinky pit. Alright, alright the next sentence that came out of my mouth may not have been the most sensitive line but it did. “You have stinky pits.” Laden with tact? Nope. Not one bit.

Queue crying.

Shit me. Didn’t see it coming. “I’m only 8!” she laments. I tried back tracking, being gentle. Too late Eve. Too late. The damage of stinky pits is done.

I have already caused other longterm damage that will eventually be a funny anecdote when she is an adult. Imagine if you will standing in the middle of a quaint little village in England, waiting for our friends to arrive when BAM! “How are babies made?” I was scrambling for anything. I said sperm, egg, baby, grow – oh look there are our friends. What is with me? I’m a teacher. I should be a pro at this.

Oh Joan. I always thought Valentine’s Day was a safe one. What could a kid possibly say then? Well, the family was driving home after school having a discussion on how dad hasn’t bought mum anything. That sounds way worse then intended. Let me explain. The girls were asking if dad had bought me anything, I said no – we have no time and that it is ok because I know dad loves me – when the big kid let this one go ….”Mums and Dads have naked cuddles and kisses on Valentine’s Day.” Oh. My. Gosh.

Insert uncontrollable shoulder shuddering, while I look out the window and ignore what has just been said. Yep. Ignore. Not acknowledge. The husband didn’t even here. Two mins later, it was repeated. My eyes went big. The husband shot it down with a remark of how he doesn’t want to hear it again. End of. Yep. All class. Dealing with the big ones here with a whole lot of maturity.

Oh Joan. It makes me understand my mum that bit better. Any stuff ups she made were done out of pure panic. hahahahahaha and out of love.

Hopefully the kids will get that one day.

Anyway Joan,

Hope you are well.


Post Script

Today my kids were in a poetry recital. The big one was also one of the hosts. Though they throw curly ones, I could not have been a prouder mum.

A collector of people

Dearest Joan,

Before I get cracking in this post, I still suck at my Lenten promises. Yep.

Anyway, as you read this post/blog/ramble/letter, I hope your are in good health both physically and mentally, that work is ticking nicely and that you found some volunteers to help you out.

International Women’s Day. I have never given it a thought. It comes. It goes. This year I thought about it. Maybe it received more social media attention than it has before. Maybe it was because it was on my school calendar so I thought school might acknowledge it. They didn’t. Or maybe, I finally get how important women are.

Reflecting on this day and the days after, made me think about the women I have collected through the years and who in fact, are the ones on my top shelf. Ha! I make it sound so not personal when I write it like that, a little removed. I asked myself, if I could have anyone here, around my table right now, who would it be?

Actually, I couldn’t think of anything socially worse by having many people together. I am a one at a time kind of person. I digress or maybe I actually am on topic…

I was surprised by my decisions. People that I thought would be at the round table (it is in fact rectangular but that doesn’t read as well – maybe I now know how the Knights of the Round table were borne), were in fact not. Not because I don’t love and care for them, not because I wouldn’t do things for them but because I feel I have to explain myself to them.

Look – a person should not go through life without having to answer to their actions or thoughts – but there is a sense of ease that should come with friends. Maybe that is what it is that was the defining moment – ease.

Well who are these women – you, my cuz Ros, my friend Ella (who also reads this) and my friend Jayde.

Ros kind of makes it by default. The question for her is, how could she not be at the table? She knows everything of me growing up, she knows everything of me since returning to Oz. I cannot really blame her for not knowing 8 years in the UK. I was rather terrible at communicating that with anyone. We both know regular contact is not a strength of mine. Ros understands the cultural pressures too – though she as stayed close to the mould of it all and for that I admire her. She has a true sense of being Maltese. Oh, she also let me cut her hair when we were younger. I left her with a bald spot.

You dear Joan, are an easy one. You were there in my awakening that began with Pauleen. You got to see me begin to find the person I wanted to be in all it’s glorious awkwardness. We temporarily scooped ice cream together, my hair came out of a pony tail and I started to wear it down, I did trips to Wagga Wagga to see Jebidiah and eat a meal at your then boyfriend’s place where we burnt the saucepan. Hmm maybe not boyfriend. Maybe just a dude you had a lot of ‘chemistry’ going on with. The hiatus was a blessing because when we did catch up again you gave me sound advice on how to solve a problem I was having. It worked. And now though in a physical sense you drift in and out, you are permanently around in a much grander way.

Next up is Ella. Our connection began in an interesting way. She was my replacement when I went off on maternity leave. When I came back I worked with her and another friend. I think we would both say that the second half of the year was much better than the first AND that our friendship grew when we no longer worked together. Ella and I are very similar in temperament. hahahaha. We we stopped working together we found that we really did enjoy spending time together. Turns out she is my sister from another mister. She taught me about being girly through dresses. I so miss shopping with her. For me, the most memorable thing between us (besides going to her parties) was our morning swim before work. There was just something about the hour we spent doing that. It was freeing in so many ways. I find that Ella gets my emotional craziness in all it’s glory and is still happy to be my friend. I feel equally vulnerable with her. Apparently vulnerable people actually have greater depths of happiness.

My final lady is Jayde. She is a new friend. That doesn’t surprise me. In fact I think it is kind of to be expected. I met her at this job in Malaysia. We laugh lots. Have a common philosophy in teaching. Share a common moral centre. Turns out that both of these are really important here. She also does anything for me. Loves my kids like she is their aunty. After telling her about how Ella and I would tell each other how our hair looks shit in times of emotional stress, has joined in with that. She just loves hanging with us and not doing much in the hang time. I like being with people who are happy to just be in the presence of you without expectation. She is a good human with a story that is so varied and rich that it continues to surprise me – but at the same time not really.

Anyway, I love these four women greatly – others too. But you four, I wish I had with me all the time. But maybe our friendship is greater for not having that?

This is by far, one of my most fave posts that I have written.

Love you Joan (and el)


40 days? What’s that?

Dearest Joan,

In my most terrible Adele singing voice, “Hello from the other side.” Buggered if I know if they are the lyrics but I have never been one to follow true to them anyway.

Reading your email made me cry. Thanks for the kind words, though please do not think that is what I am fishing for. I don’t think you would but i just need to make sure you know that.

My most favourite correspondence with you of late was your text about going to your old shopping centre and hoping that no one saw you. Geez did I laugh. It so made me wish I was there with you, so we could hope together that we wouldn’t be seen there. Mind you, if you stayed in DP or moved back to DP that would be ok, as long as it was because it made you happy.

Reading your recount of your latest adventure sounded quite sublime. Perhaps I may have even turned a little green – there I go breaking a commandment. I was jealous of your disconnectedness to people, yet the relationship you built with strangers. And yet, here we are in KL for that very same reason (well one of) – so that the expectation from others lessoned – so that we could beat to our own drum.

Insert music here that signifies a realisation of how dumb the protagonist actually is.

None of us really beat to our own drum. The beauty of humans is that we are all interconnected. My drum cannot beat without considering those around me, my family, friends, people i work with. All i can do is alter my drum beat to match the one i hear.

My beat doesn’t have to work too hard around you Joan. I think that is the blessing our time apart offered us. Acceptance. Complete and utterly. It just beats. With my family it is a little on the off beat, but dare I say, most Maltese women who break with tradition would say that. With my little family – my beat is whatever it needs to be. I can accept all of those, all within reason of course.

Work. The beat. My moral code guides this one. It is important. So knowing that my drum beat is so adversely different to others is making life a little tough right now. I can’t turn work off, put it in a box, leave it to office hours. Teaching is not that. That is why I need a reset every ten weeks. Trusting people, is for me, what makes me me. Why wouldn’t I trust someone? I place my trust in people first and foremost. This does lead to some emotional problems for me, for I take it so personally, when someone makes such terrible decisions and choices. Today I thought this, to err is to be human, to forgive divine. Oh Joan, I have to dig deep to be divine.

And cut to a new topic – that matches the previous one in a real round a bout kind of way. Persist. But if it was a film you would be irritated at the edit.

So, it turns out I am shit at keeping Lenten promises.

Firstly, I did the typical shallow – no choc. 2 days in a row I broke this. Not even consciously. What is with that? Hey JC, thanks for giving your life to open the pearly gates of heaven but 40 days of no choc is not possible. The funny thing is, this morning for brekkie we had pancakes. Kids smeared choc spread everywhere and I wouldn’t even lick my fingers.

Secondly, I remember someone saying to me that a Lenten promise should be about making a better version of you. I have always loved that. So, another promise I totally suck at is not saying horrible things about people. Yes, yes you read correctly. In saying that, it is linked to school and my struggles there. BUT, I have been surprised at how horrible I am. Glass houses and all. I would have a very airy glass house at the moment. Stepping back from it all though, I look at it as I realisation and a 40 day discussion with God about me and how to try and turn it all around. God, JC, Mary, the odd saint – we talk often. I pray every night. Makes me feel like I understand mum a little more too these days.

Next shitty edit.

Well I feel like a summary should occur for things that have happened but I won’t really be talking about:

  • Kris and I paid a fortune to attend the symphony but we didn’t get in.
  • We went to see a great version of Romeo and Juliet this week.
  • The youngest discovered that boys don’t have a the same body parts as a girl.
  • The oldest is asking me awkward questions about the birds and the bees.
  • Bring on Japan!
  • We finally bought plants.
  • Borsz is writing little things that are just lovely.

Anyway, Joan, I too cherish our time in the company of each other, albeit infrequent and short.


(me, rocking a monocle and a hat!)




Sometimes sadness is happiness.

Dear Joan,

After hanging up from my mum I felt the need to write. We clearly got internet on the weekend and am now able to access you with an edge of ease.

So much has happened. All of which you know because boy, am I great at creating a wonderful Book Of Face life for all to envy!

New home.

London. Paris. Yorkshire. Edinburgh. London.15585257_10154647114790168_472140695738838609_o.jpg

London – Oxford Christmas lights


Arc De Triomphe


Paris Disneyland

Planning new holidays.

Invites to families houses.

In all of these though, the part I don’t dwell so publicly about is the beautiful sadness attached to these things. And I do mean it Joan. Beautiful sadness.

Going back to Europe felt like a homecoming. I belong there. It was like putting on my pair of cons. Perfect. Yet it left me sad. But beautifully sad. How damn lucky am I to have lived somewhere that I just adored? Where i made friends with people that I can reconnect with instantly – even after many years apart? Yep. Lucky.

Being invited to people’s houses, being asked to see their lives – humble or not. Who am I to judge? Having them share their stories. On the weekend just gone, we went to a Chinese family’s home. Sofia and her husband or so incredibly giving. There was a moment when she asked me if we were to have more kids…because in Australia you can. I said no. Then the beautifully sad moment occurred. She explained how they only have one because of the laws in China. The laws changed too late for them. They looked at my girls playing with such beautifully sad faces. At that moment I was so grateful to be able to make that choice myself, to be able to give my girls a sibling.

I received a reply to a text I sent (just giving thanks). Sofia said it perfectly in her broken English. We are both here without our families. We need to look after each other. How lucky am I Joan that someone I barely know, wants to look after me? That she is so thankful that I taught her son that she gives thanks by opening her arms and heart to me?

In December Joan, I laughed so much. Felt so much happiness…even at work. hahahaha.

I wanted to write and tell you about all these moments. To capture them. But instead I chose to just keep them to myself. I kind of wish I had. Maybe then I could have relived the moments but instead I just get to remember the feeling. I am ok with that. Joy. Joy was a great feeling. The beautiful sadness of knowing that life cannot always be joy but knowing and appreciating it when it is.

I feel like any letter just scrapes the surface and then I just stop. Well tonight I am hungry, so my stomach stops me.