Category: Personal Essays

I write personal essays, creative non-fiction and memoir. These are “think” pieces where I’m trying to unravel and work out a problem creatively.

My first book in more than four years has been published on Amazon. If you’re curious about what it’s like to start a new life in a developing Asian country as a single expat woman of a “certain age”, this book will tell all, including: – what it’s really like to live in Vietnam – expat jobs, particularly freelancing – problems of living in Vietnam – pros and cons of living in Vietnam – cost of living in Vietnam – whether Vietnam is safe for expats. Part diary, part memoir and part travel guide, Vietnam: It Seemed Like A Good Idea

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A while back, I posted an essay to a Facebook group of women writers that I’m in. In a nutshell, this essay is about me — while I was living in Hanoi — dating a much younger Vietnamese man for 10 months, who turned out to be a covert narcissist. He almost killed me. You would think that the comments about my essay would centre around the cycle of narcissistic abuse, or trauma bonds or intermittent reinforcement. Or how a smart, educated woman like myself could be drawn in by manipulation and lies. How I was gaslighted and controlled. Or why leaving emotionally abusive

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After all the doom and gloom of the last year or so, this is an “I’m happy in Hanoi again” post. It’s taken a Stupid Fucking Virus™ pandemic, lock down and a bicycle to start enjoying this city again. After a long winter, punctuated by brief bursts of warm weather, summer — with all its sweltering heat and horrible humidity and ferocious storms — has finally arrived in Hanoi. I’ve packed away put my winter coats, jackets and jumpers (actually, I’ve posted them to Australia in anticipation of my return) and hung my sleeveless shirts and floaty dresses and baggy

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I first published this letter to civil servants everywhere on 29 January, 2017. In light of recent events — Black Lives Matter and the Stupid Fucking Virus™ — it seems timely to republish it because its more relevant than ever. Dear civil servants everywhere (but especially in America), You have an important job to do. And it is more important than ever. Your job is to speak up and out about things that happen in the government organisations in which you work that you know are not right, or are criminal, or even downright psychopathic. I know that you worry

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Yesterday, I woke up with a familiar feeling gnawing at my insides, and it wasn’t the upset stomach that had appeared out of nowhere (and that I attribute to a veggie burger or onion rings from my favourite burger joint in Hanoi). It’s a feeling I’ve not encountered for a while — at least a few months, even with not being able to exit Vietnam when I’d planned, and subsequently sitting out the soft lock down in Hanoi when I really wanted to get back to Australia. I had plans, dammit — but I digress. It was my old friend

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