My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

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

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 put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s