I have been invited to contribute to the comedy anthology book called UPROOTED AND UNDILUTED. My co-contributors are a terribly funny bunch of expats who write about their experiences in Germany, Latvia, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and Croatia (I’ll be covering the Netherlands angle). The book will be a blast to read. More details about the release date will be posted here soon!
The bloggers who are involved in this fantastic project (in absolutely no order) are:
Charles and Elisa
Blog name: Our Adventure in Croatia
Blog URL: adventureincroatia.wordpress.com
Ms E and Mr C are a fifty-something couple, who one day decided to buy a holiday home somewhere by the sea in a hot country, a real “Place in the Sun”.
Having lived most of their lives in a cosmopolitan European capital city like London, they often wondered if they could own a property abroad, where they could spend lots of holidays and “quality time” in a warmer climate, where the sky is not always grey and overcast.
They started blogging to write down what inspired them, where they looked for that “place in the sun”, the countries they visited to look for this investment, how they ended up buying a house in Croatia, and their trials and difficulties during the buying process, renovation project, dealing with red tape, being sued by the locals, and everything else that goes with trying to find your very own “place in the sun”, especially in a foreign country.
They hope their blog will give some help and hints to others who are looking to buy a property abroad, and perhaps help them avoid some of the pitfalls.
Blog name: Notes from the UK
Blog URL: notesfromtheuk.com
Ellen Hawley is a fiction writer, a blogger, and an American living in Cornwall—the south-western tip of the U.K. Her novels are The Divorce Diet (Kensington, 2015), Open Line (Coffee House Press, 2008), and Trip Sheets (Milkweed Editions, 1998).
Blog name: About a Gadabout
Blog URL: aboutagadabout.wordpress.com
The About a Gadabout author goes by many, many different names. These are David Nolan and also Dave Nolan. Having grown tired of working for somebody else he boldly decided to hand in his notice and start his own graphic design business. Just a short half decade later he finally got around to doing it. This gave him the freedom to travel and work from anywhere on the planet along with his wife, Susie. Susie was a self-employed PR and Media Analyst specialising in social media. David was not entirely sure what a PR and Media Analyst specialising in social media was but after seven years together it was well past the point he could just casually ask. Together they set out for adventure armed only with a fistful of dreams, a bitch-sack of attitude and a travel pack of Kleenex in case they got the sniffles.
Blog name: Expat Lingo
Blog URL: expatlingo.com
Jen Brown is a former Seattle lawyer who spent a decade working and travelling for the international NGO, Landesa. Since 2005 she has lived abroad in mainland China, England, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. She humorously blogs about expat life, languages and travel at the blog, Expat Lingo (expatlingo.com), which also features comics, parodies and book reviews. Jen currently lives in a jungly corner of Hong Kong with her husband and two young children.
Blog name: Multifarious Meanderings
Blog URL: multifariousmeanderings.wordpress.com
M.M., alias Joanna Munro, is a 20 (+26)-year-old Cornish expat living in the Languedoc, France. It all started when she fell hopelessly in love with a French student and slathered herself in goose fat to follow him from Perfidious Albion to the land of the sacred pain au chocolat. She promptly got a job as an English teacher, proving to her father that she could, indeed, be paid for talking. A quarter of a century later, she lives in the Hérault valley with P.F. (Pater Familias) and their three children Bigfoot, Rugby-boy and Little My.
When she grows up, MM wants to live in world where people wear brightly-coloured odd socks. She would like to meet Paddington’s Aunt Lucy in Lima, and has started writing a book that she hopes will be funny enough to make people snort their coffee out through their nostrils on the Intercity train from Plymouth to Paddington. She is terminally hooked on the three Ps (playmobils, pyjamas and peanuts), and talks way too much for her own good. Which is why she writes – it’s easier to put a book down than it is to put MM on pause.
Multifarious Meanderings is a humorous hotch-potch of parental palavers, run-ins with the evil Queen CERFA (aka the French administration), the eternal mysteries of life such as the LSD (Lost Sock Dimension), MM’s hate-hate relationship with the sadistically smug Wondeur Wooman, her inability to become a Febreze Fairy, and the trials and tribulations of being a peanut addict.
So pop by, and learn how to embrace your inner bitch, deal with recalcitrant bathroom plumbing and get teenagers to adopt a Nike approach with the housework (i.e. “just do it”). There is also some serious stuff about Herr Hormone and his Henchmen, hunting down snakes in your home, the migration of the lesser-spotted boob, and how to deal with cougars chatting up your husband at the bus stop.
Blog name: Jules Told Me
Blog URL: julestoldme.com
Jules Brown has been a professional travel writer for over 25 years. He has travelled the world writing guidebooks for Rough Guides and Fodor’s, and travel features for newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.
Born to adventurous expat parents in Ghana, Jules took his first solo trip around Europe when he was seventeen, and has been travelling and writing professionally since he was twenty-three. He has written a very large number of guidebooks, and if you’ve ever been to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Scandinavia, the UK, the USA, Hong Kong or New Zealand there is a good chance you had him along for the ride in your travel bag.
His blog presents the more personal side of his travel experiences – his funny anecdotes from around the world and the interesting people he has met.
He has gone backpacker-style and first class, climbed volcanoes, splashed in warm oceans, driven across Australia, helicoptered over the Niagara Falls and lived for a few years in Portugal. He’s also been robbed, got lost, fallen in and off things, and eaten a jellyfish. And a puffin.
Blog names: Expat Eye on Latvia and Expat Eye on Germany
Having lived in Latvia for a while, Linda began to notice that the Latvians were, well, a little odd. Feeling like she was going mad, and that, perhaps, she was the only person who noticed this, she decided to start a blog to document her findings. Unfortunately for her, the Latvians were reading it too.
After being chased out of Latvia by pitch fork-wielding locals, Linda made her way to Berlin where she hoped to fit in with the natives a little better. She set herself the task of “becoming German” in 473,937,493 easy steps. However, now at the end of her first year, she realises that this number may have been a rather conservative estimate.
Blog name: Englishman in Italy
Blog URL: englishmaninitaly.org
Pecora Nera (Black Sheep), lives in Piedmonte, Italy with his Sicilian wife (Mrs Sensible) and his trusted Italian–English dictionary. Mrs Sensible emigrated to Great Britain to escape the chaos of Italy, and while she was there, married Pecora Nera and, against her better judgement, she allowed Pecora Nera to persuade her that they should live in Italy. Pecora
Nera writes about life in Italy, from the trials and tribulations of obtaining an Italian driving licence to being detained at Gatwick Airport because his Sicilian mother-in-law decided to go through airport security with a rather large pen knife in her handbag. He can be found on facebook here and although he is a technophobe and can’t spell he now has a twitter account @englishmanitaly
Blog name: Lady of the Cakes
Blog URL: ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com
Simone Baroke, aka Lady of the Cakes, spent the first twenty years of her life in Germany, followed by two decades in the UK. She now lives in Central Spain where she works from home as a freelancer but, at least once a day, she will leave the house in search of some good cake.
And last but not least, the lady who brought us all together,
Veronica di Grigoli
Blog name: The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife
Blog URL: siciliangodmother.com
Ten years ago Veronica visited Sicily for a wedding, and accidentally fell in love with one of the groom’s three hundred cousins.
She plucked up the courage to leave her family and friends in London, give up her job, sell her house, car and collection of seventies disco albums, and move to a fishing village in northern Sicily with a population of about two hundred people (several of whom still have their own teeth).
Everyone, Sicilians included, keeps asking her how she could do it. She started her blog to try to figure out the answer.
Her interests include cooking pasta for thirty people at a time to impress her mother-in-law, aka The Godmother; putting laundry away QUICKLY before anyone realises she hasn’t ironed it; and avoiding sunburn by smothering herself in SPF 100 until she looks like a Geisha.
This post was updated October 15. The editorial team is re-visiting its connection with the earlier mentioned charity as the book might be too “undiluted” for their taste!