My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

My Garden ~ e-Christmas


One year on, and it’s nearly Christmas Day with an e-motional shift.  Himself and I are experiencing the reality of an e-Christmas. E-cards. Ex-pat gatherings. Ever-so-far away from home. E-gifts. One year ago, we blithely enjoyed precious time with our sons and their families and with our extended families. Time and distance soon puts the importance of loved ones into perspective. We are not alone in being far from home. We talk about how both our late parents always kept open-house and how there were always extra people at their tables.  We are experiencing similar hospitality, a warmth and generosity of spirit from people in the UAE.

Displays of Xmas trees and decorations in the malls tell us a certain festive day is happening. This is not that long after the Eid Adhar and National Day holiday celebrations. People here know how to rejoice and how to party. So as ex-pats, we will get together with others as a blended Kiwi family for the day. We’ll top up our mobiles for those long-distance calls. I remember how my English-born mother in the 1950s had to book an international toll-call days in advance with the local manual telephone exchange to phone her mother, brothers and sister at Christmas. And there were time constraints on international calls and because we were on a rural party-line. Never enough time to say the things that ought to be said to loved ones. Always tears. Always reaching across the miles to touch the other in some way. Now, it is technically so much easier for Himself and I to connect with our families while living in another country. Yet, I am experiencing that same reaching out to those I write messages on the e-cards for.

That’s the heart of the matter. The head, meanwhile, remains focussed on work. A few days ago, getting to work took on a whole new meaning. Rain. It rained in the UAE. And it rained day and night. Water spilled over the streets and into buildings. Water with nowhere to go. I think of it as nature’s way of giving this dry, dusty sandy city a wash. Before I came here, I’d never imagined that it could rain like this in the desert. I’m told the flows of water are spectacular in the wadis in the Hafeet Mountain Range.  It’s all go in this part of the world.

Author: Jenny

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

2 thoughts on “My Garden ~ e-Christmas

  1. Hello Jenny,
    How lovely of you to come over to Tenerife and say hi! I’m so glad you did as I had lost track of you.
    I’m full of admiration for your temporary move to UAE. It must have been a terrible wrench to get you away from your garden but I read now that your son is taking good care of things for you while you’re away.

    I think Christmas is perhaps the most difficult of times for us ex-pats. It’s the time when we’re most conscious of being away from our loved ones and from the traditions that have been such an entrenched part of our lives. E-communications are incredible in today’s hi-tech society and, as you say, compared to how difficult it used to be, it’s very easy to stay in touch. But it’s not quite the same, is it?

    I am very happy to have found you again and I look forward to reading more about your new life in a land that is so markedly different from NZ.

    Feliz Navidad, Jenny

  2. Jenny

    I so understand the weirdness and longing feeling you get when you are far away from loved ones. However, one of my most memorable Christmas memories was of being at a holiday party when I live in Tokyo. Our building was full of ex-pats from so many different countries. We were usually all going our own ways so we did not get to talk much. But at the holiday party, there we all were, talking and having a great time. It was a thrill to be talking to 5-6 people all from different countries all at once.

    On the downside, it could get very lonely, especially when our friends went on holiday back to wherever they came and we were left behind.

    I always refer to my days as an ex-pat as “The best of times and the worst of times”. Hope yours are more “The best of…” from here on out.


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