Back Again …

Back in the Outpost.

Who’d have thought? As much has changed as has stayed the same. You still can’t get a cappuccino, a head of highlights or a pedicure. But you can buy butter, water is shunted down the pipes and out of taps more frequently and there are more like me. Expat wives. A small clutch – myself included – are full time residents, more are of the lesser spotted migratory species, winging in and winging out, their roots newly done, their wardrobes a little less shabby.

When I first got here, trailing children and a bad attitude, I was the only permanent one. Steadfastly hanging on, grimly, through gritted teeth and crossly-slit eyes. Partly in my determination that I could bloody well do this. Partly for a lack of choice. Largely because alternatives didn’t make economic sense. Mostly because I said I would; I did.

It’s easier second time around. I know what I’ve let myself in for, my children are bigger, there is no Hat to teach – and, granted, keep me glorious, joyous company – but nor is there a small person present that I am compelled to worry about endlessly, is she lonely/sufficiently well stimulated/getting enough greens to eat ? I miss her sunshine and smiles company, and the missing is spiked every time I do something second time around that I did first time around with her.


I have thought hard about picking my blog up since I returned here – it was in anticipation of Outpost living that I began it. I miss the writing. Stringing words along sentences as beads on a thread so that I might coherently record my time here, with a modicum of articulateness and a lot less swearing. I considered abandoning it and starting again, in a bid to reinstate some anonymity. One or two people have noted, since I returned, ‘we read your blog, you know’; and it sounds like an accusation not admiration. I’m appalled to have been found out.


But then I thought, nah, this blog will be nine years old in March, I’ve posted 512 times since then. That’s a lot of years, and more than a quarter of a million words. I’m not going to abandon it – it was a lifeline back then.


I think it may be now.

18 Responses to “Back Again …”

  1. siobhán Says:

    Good to see you back! You write so well. As a Dubliner, was surprised and delighted with your Dublin-based post – and by some strange twist of fate I was in Tanzania at the time. Hope your mother is doing well.

  2. D. Says:

    So very glad you have decided to keep writing. Thank you.

  3. Elaine - I used to be indecisive Says:

    I’m glad to see you back too. 🙂 I always enjoy your posts.

  4. joannastevenson Says:

    I love your blog. Please don’t stop writing.

  5. Sabine Says:

    Yes, keep it up. Please.

  6. Becky Says:

    Another reader (who doesn’t always comment) who is so glad to see you continuing. Thank you, and welcome back.

  7. chris Says:

    Hear hear I totally endorse all the above comments. My life would be poorer without your writing to read and enjoy. Thank you.

  8. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you all. i am truly moved – and encouraged – by your words x

  9. Ad dy Says:

    Great to see you back. Hope you are settling in OK. Don’t stop blogging. You always write so beautifully.

  10. inthewronggear Says:

    good to have you back… and to see there are still a lot of us who want to keep reading you…! It will be fun to see how the Outpost has changed. Ironically, I can’t help thinking there might come times when you wish it hadn’t… I love hiding in the depths of France and not needing to touch up my roots. What a fag if you’re going to have to keep up with the new arrivals! xx

  11. Connie Says:

    Just received an email from daughter in Geneva to me in Queensland to say ‘…she’s back!’. So glad. Your writing gives my feelings words.

  12. Alex Patten Says:

    Good luck back in the outpost – and it seems from the comments here you have enough keen readers to make you continue blogging about life there! Funny about the local readers – I used to dread people finding out about my blog when I was in the US.

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      thank you Alex – I know, funny about the locals. makes my skin crawl to think people I know read my words and yet the compulsion to get them out there is impossible to ignore.

  13. Cathy Says:

    Welcome back – I also would like to see you scribbling more often.

  14. Ellie Says:

    Really really pleased you’re back! And decided against stopping writing! I always miss you when you need to stop for a few weeks, and am always happy to see a new post 🙂

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