Going with the flow...around the world

Indeed it is!
(in Sydney)

Before musing on the flow of life...I want to thank you all for the creative and clever names you suggested for our 'perch' in Hong Kong. We loved them all!  They continue to come in and as soon as I am back in Hong Kong I am going to sit and contemplate each and every one!

Hong Kong to Sydney 

Going with the flow...
I am in Sydney having left Hong Kong three weeks ago and I will be here, off and on, for a while.  The thing about expat life is it never seems to rest, just when you think you are heading in one direction, you turn around and you off in another...and then another, in reverse.

Tahilla Farm to Hong Kong 

The long and short of it is...I will be living between Tahilla Farm (New Hampshire), Hong Kong (No. 43) and Sydney for a while. I will be checking in with Mr. H in Hong Kong, the homestead in New Hampshire and the kids in Australia ( sons #1 & #2, daughter #1 and DIL #1)...and in a few months, Botswana (daughter # 2). The kids asked me when I was going to get a puppy...I nearly lost it on that one. ;)

How will I swing living between three countries..three continents?  Good question. It takes careful planning...and hope and a prayer. In the end you just do it...and try and keep yourself entertained. An easy thing to do in Sydney when you are hanging out with a gaggle of kookaburras..and a lizard.

I am currently staying in a home (Rental #2)
with seven hungry kookaburras and a lizard
who is trying to get the camouflage routine down. 
The owner of the property left me a note to ask
if I would mind feeding a few kookaburras who like to visit. 
A fresh supply of mince was in the fridge.
Little did I know...what I would be in for. 
How much mince do you feed a kookaburra? 
I had no idea...but clearly, 
they knew they were onto a good thing.
Word got around..and friends flew in.

Living in Dickens world...
"Please, Madame, I want some more"

I spy with my little eye...

The rental...
Kookaburras and lizard aside, it has been a challenging few weeks sorting through furnished rental properties in Sydney. Moving into our home (Windswept) seemed like a natural move but it is leased as well. The rental market is tight...and competitive, especially when you are picky...like me.

Thinking like Jimmy Stewart in 'Rear Window' 

Before the kookaburras, 
my view (from Rental #1) 
was along the lines of the Hitchcock movie
Each night I peered out the window 
to our neighbours across the way 
and thought of Jimmy Stewart
and Grace Kelly.
All sorts of thoughts come to mind
 in the dead of night.

Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, Rear Window

On the move...again
Week three is upon me and I will be moving into my third rental property tomorrow. I have been taking them one and two weeks at a time, discovering new areas of Sydney as I go.  It has been a tremendous learning curve... one that I am happy to share with those on the hunt as well. I will give you a few ideas on where to start in a future blog post. If you have any questions, my email address is noted below.

Getting creative..
It has been relatively easy for me, slotting in where I left off in 2005. Family and friends are close by, the local spots are still there..if anything it is a bit surreal stepping back into a life that I left so many years ago. Since then we have lived in New Zealand, England, Vietnam and now...here and Hong Kong. I have come full circle to a place where I first started painting which ultimately led me to 'Collage of Life'.  Maybe this is a sign...if it is, it will certainly help with my next project.

Next project...
The next creative project is the renovation of our Carriage House/Barn at Tahilla Farm. The drawings are underway and Mr. and Mrs. H are in deep discussion...or we were until life kicked up it's heels. I have plenty to keep me challenged and top of mind is the best use of space for a studio.

Mr. H goes shopping..
I am also still trying to decorate our Hong Kong apartment from afar. Mr. H went shopping last weekend for a dining table and chairs ...and he took me along via WhatsApp. Pictures were flying back and forth. A month ago I would have said "no way" to sending him off on his own...but when push comes to shove you have to go with it. He was a trooper...shopping with Mrs. H a continent away is not easy.

I could go on and on but I won't because not only will I confuse you...I will surely put myself into a mental twist that could take me days to get out of.

I am off to pack up my 'apartment kit' for the move tomorrow. I look forward to telling you all about that...it has a few essentials to help me keep my sanity. We can't have 'mother' losing her mind now can we??? ;)

On that note...
sending you a bit of frangipani love 
from Sydney.

Happy Weekend! 

Jeanne xx



  1. The birds are amazing. The Perch sounds good for 43 or Sydney's rentals.
    There are times when at the end of the post, the "You might also like" enter thoughts. Dubarry and Tika is one of those times. A puppy with so many moves, might not be yet, but walking dogs at a local shelter can fill in, if that is possible.

    1. Agree May...a local shelter is a wonderful idea!

  2. If you ever feel like sharing your decision process. So many options, so many dear ones and dear places, how do you DECIDE where to be when and what is the priority at any given time?

    Meanwhile, cute kookaburras:).

    1. That is a very good question Lisa...my most recent post, The One Thing, is a bit of insight. My number one priority at the moment is my family, it is my ONE thing. ;)

  3. You are a trouper Jeanne! I can't wait to follow along with the revival of the carriage house at Tahilla Farm!

    1. Stay tuned Cindy...man cave meets writing studio. It's evolving... ;) xx

  4. Your words and photos are always a welcome piece in my inbox. How you manage the complications of diversify in locations and keeping a strong family contact and interaction going always shines brightly for me. You are an inspiration and encourage me to not just "hole in" but to keep the distant and precious connections alive in my life. The kookaburras are a wonderful addition to your rental...friendly, active, alive little friends, the frangipani looks to be a most beautiful flower; I have always enjoyed the fragrance.
    Nice to follow you along in your journey, and how magnificent it will be for you to have your studio at Tahilla when the renovation of the barn is complete; then we can all enjoy seeing your paintings on the blog, no?

    1. You are so kind Kristin, thank you! I am hoping the studio will be a 2018 reality...it's a very real possibility!! ;)

  5. You always seem to have it all together Jeanne. I admire your spirit and the ease (or at least it seems that way) that you move and adapt from one continent to another. Looking forward to hearing more about your wonderful adventures.

    1. Thank you Loree...my latest post hints to moments of complete hysteria, but then I pull myself together and focus on The One Thing. So thankful that I can write about it and that you are reading it. :)

  6. Enjoyed your post Jeanne, must be tiring moving from temporary rental to rental. Rental market in Sydney is crazy as most places are let on airbnb. Longer term rentals are increasingly harder to find and on the same price scale as HK.
    No jet lag travelling between HK and Sydney, which is a huge plus. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Sydney.

    1. You are so right Lillian, it has been a very big learning curve. What seemed so simple in thought has been a big challenge but I got there in the end. The three hour time difference to HK and much shorter flight vs. the USA is a bonus. Quality time with my family has been the biggest bonus of all. :)

  7. Lovely photographs...I finally get to see a (row of) kookaburra(s), about which I, like so many others, have sung a song since childhood. And that frangipani is the most beautiful example of that flower I've ever seen...I can almost smell its fragrance! Three rentals in three weeks...that's quite amazing. Thank you for sharing your observations and stories; they are endlessly engaging! Leslie in Oregon

    1. Thank you Leslie...I so appreciate your patience in following along! :)

  8. I'm so excited to follow along on the carriage house remodel! Happy Monday, Jeanne!

  9. What a crazy existence you have, Jeanne, and somehow you manage to keep your sanity. I am amazed that you are leaving the Hong Kong decorating to Mr. H. You know he can be full of surprises, but they seem to turn out OK. Carry on and enjoy wherever you are.

  10. Jeanne, I have been following along on Instagram and I have been curious about these birds! I have never seen one but I recall a childhood song whenever you post a photo.

    I am sure that it is nice to be with your 3 kids and daughter in law and well as friends. Full circle indeed. I started to follow you just as you were leaving there and moving to England. It seems like yesterday!

    I cannot wait to see the progress are the farm! I "see" you in the future hosting writing retreats and writing a book very similar to "Out of Africa" about your life and adventure as an expat.

    How is your mother doing by the way? Did she have a successful sale of her store? Did she get a new dog yet?

    Have a wonderful time. I am looking forward to seeing your new HK apt.

    xo Elizabeth

  11. Life is solving geometrical puzzle, families in different parts of the world. Always a new adventure. No confusion. I wish you safe travels.

  12. This needs to be in THE NEW YORK TIMES!
    I do not think I could do what you are doing................of course as women we do what we need too!
    MISTER H shopping for a Dining room table and chairs via WHATS APP..............you had me in stitches!SAY HELLO TO HIM FOR ME and do tell him NO MANGO in the dining room!


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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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