I come to you from Bali…
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
8M ago
I come to you from Bali. From a make believe world of plunge pools day-time naps and domestic paladins who appear each morning to wash breakfast dishes, make beds, remove laundry and then disappear on scooters into the tropical sunset. It’s day three possibly four, I’ve lost count. I’m now at the sunscreen for make-up and bathers for underwear point of the trip – I haven’t worn underpants in days which isn’t nearly as exciting for my husband as it should be. Did I mention we’re here with our four “children”? Those inverted commas are because it’s hard to refer to your six foot something ninete ..read more
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I Might Not Remember Your Name
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
We’ve been trying to piece our different recollections of our last Bangkok trip into one seamless story but after 20 years the details are a little hazy. We keep having conversations that sound eerily familiar to how I remember G’s parents talking about old friends from a different time and a different place. “Who was that guy that we went to see? He was in an apartment, we went there for dinner…or did we meet him there and then go out for dinner?” I ask G while we drink our beers looking out the window at the evening skyline of Bangkok. “Andrew” he says, predicting my next question “I worked ..read more
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Expat Women
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
I’ve been back in Doha for almost two weeks and like any return there’s the inevitable comparison of what’s different, what has changed. For the two years I’ve been away Doha hasn’t slowed down – with a World Cup on the horizon there’s the constant thrum of building development and growth. While covid provided the necessity technology allowed for tap and go, cards now have certain chips, drivers licences are done online. It’s not only structural, it’s social. There’s an F45 down the road from me which can only mean one thing – Lululemon. Short shorts, strappy yoga tops and midriffs now power w ..read more
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Just About Done
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
I don’t know about you, but I’m just about done and unfortunately I’m not talking about Christmas shopping. Covid has finally got me. Not in the viral bedridden sense, that’s yet to come, but the fatigue of the what comes next hit me hard(er) today. G (husband) was meant to be flying into Australia this Monday. We’ve been counting the days since he left us in August. You know how that works right? You’re miserable for the first week, then you make it through to the end of August and you’re greatful because you can now say to the kids “it’s just a few months” and Dad will be home. You then you ..read more
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Vale The Beagle
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
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 of us would dream of. Half the year in his country, half the year in hers. Pick the season, the events you didn’t want to miss, a Christmas here a Christmas there – until Covid. They found themselves having to make a choice. It wasn’t just the decisio ..read more
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Breaking the Marriage Rules
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
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 treatment, the eye roll. The deep sigh that’s sometimes questioned with a “what? what’s wrong?” only to be followed by the excrutiatingly passive aggressive….”nothing”. We have one rule. Don’t blame each other, blame the situation. It’s a piece of adv ..read more
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A broken heart
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
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!”. A bicuspid aortic valve. While others have a tricuspid valve, three (think peace sign) I have a bicuspid, two (think fish mouth). Eventual heart surgery is on the cards. The wry smile that appears as I type, the foolishness of thinking this would be ..read more
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The Death of a Memory
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
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 with a husband who travelled back and forth to New York. Follow this up with a return to Australia moving to and from three separate cities, children educated in each and a foray into small business which had her working six day weeks. The majority of ..read more
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Beware the Professional Parenting Expert
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
*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 seems to be at the airport a LOT. And to work colleagues I’m Barefoot Kirsty – the Community Manager for the Barefoot Investor.  But to the most important people in my life, I’m the same as you. I’m Mum.  I’m a mother of four children, and my exp ..read more
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The Expat Holding Pattern
4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
by Kirsty Rice
1y ago
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 german organizational skills to make it all happen. With the help of visiting parents, great friends and neighbours we were set for four days in central London. High above Heathrow you couldn’t have asked for more perfect conditions. It was summer, blu ..read more
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