How modern technology has transformed expat life : part 2 – communication

Before Christmas I wrote the first of what I hope will be a series of three or four posts looking at how modern technology has changed expat life (hopefully for the better – although I think there is a sting in that tail and refer you to this post I wrote about facebook envy).

In my first post I looked at how the world of work has been affected and how much easier it is now for us all to work remotely. This is potentially a huge game changer for the expat partners who may otherwise have to give up their jobs or even career to follow their spouses overseas.

But technology is there to help us in many ways other than for work and in this post I am going to have a look at communication.


Way back when we lived overseas when I was a child, 99% of communication was done by letter (snailmail as it became known). Once a week we could send back and recieve letters through the diplomatic bag. Every post had a day when the bag came in; in every household eager wives (for it mainly was wives in those days) and children awaited news from home. Birthday presents, Christmas cards, even my O level results arrived this way, along with those long letters from parents and grandparents full of the news of Aunt Edna’s hip replacement and how the tomatoes were doing. It all seems so trivial but those everyday stories of home were what we craved. Every so often, we got a phone call – I remember this being the case when my grandmother died. But usually the only news we got from home was at least 5-7 days out of date.

To expats today this must all seem very strange. Can you imagine putting your child into boarding school and then having to wait a week to hear how they were getting on? Nowadays of course we have so many – maybe even TOO many – ways to communicate when we move away from our friends and family. Here are just a few of them:

Skype and FaceTime

There are of course now many more face-to-face ways to talk to people but these are prehaps the best known. Skype was the one that really broke down the barriers – for the first time we could not only speak to but see our loved ones without having to pay astronomical international call prices. FaceTime is useful because it is on phones and Ipds so more portable (ok I know, I am a bit backward here – you can get Skype on phones too now, right?). But both are excellent ways not just to talk but to share – how many grandparents have watched their grandkids growing up through the wonder of this kind of technology? Personally we have been able to build a great relationship with my broter-in-law in Florida thanks to Skype and FaceTime and there is nothing I like more than sitting down for a cup of coffee with friends in England, all over the internet.


Messenger, WhatsApp, Snap Chat etc

More immediate and probably now the most used type of communication is instant messaging. I love that you can connect so quickly and easily with anyone, anywhere in the world. Whilst Facebook is still perhaps the number one way people keep in touch with each others lives (see below for more on Facebook) I think we have started to move off the public pages and into more private spaces.

Of course we don’t just use these services to keep in touch with people back home or to communicate with friends new and old in other parts of the world; group messaging has become a real boon to expats making contacts and friends in a new country. What easier a way to organise a meet up than one Whats App group message? So much better than the old days of having to send separate emails or individual messages and then send them again when one person can’t make that particular time….

Expat Facebook groups

Another thing that I have noticed happening more and more commonly now is the use of groups for particular needs and interests and the ones aimed at expats have to be one of the greatest innovations to have hit the expat scene in a long while. As soon as you know where you are heading, you know you will probably be able to find a group to help you with your questions. I admin one here in Pretoria, where people come to ask questions about anything from where to get passport photos done to whether you need a pool heater (as an aside, there is good writing material in some of these groups – I always laugh when I see the posts asking whether anyone has a golf buggy for sale…). In the meantime, we have a separate “buy and sell” page which is a great place to get rid of all that stuff before you move on or conversely buy it when you first arrive; and (perhaps this is more pertinent to South Africa than many places) a travel page for sharing information about places to go and things to see.

Video and photo sharing sites

Another way we can keep in touch is by sharing our photos and videos. Some do prefer just to do this via facebook but equally many prefer to keep these things private. You can set up a You Tube video channel and set the settings to ensure only people you invite can view, and there are also lots of cloud-sharing photo sites (I am told Flickr is good for this, as well as Google Photos). So when you store your photos you can alert your parents back home and they can view at leisure. No more labouriously sending photos back as email attachments, two or three at a time (particularly painful for those of us without a speedy internet connection).


Finally, I had to include this one as of course one of my main methods of communication is via my blog! In my case, it is not really aimed at friends and family but many people do initially set up a blog in order to keep the folks back home abreast of their new, shiny overseas life. In a way it is just a public diary for many people (although how public is up to you – again, like a YouTube channel, you can set it up so that only chosen viewers can see it). But even if this is not the intention of a blog site it is still a way to communicate. I, for one, have met several people in real life thanks to my blog – and have many more friends who I have never actually met but who I have close and important relationships with because they found me this way. After all, it is just a way of bringing people together with a commonality so why not use it as a basis to make friendships?



So those are our main communication channels – let me know if you think I have left anything out. Next time I want to look at ways that we use modern technology for travel. After all, for so many of us travel is one of the more important aspects of our lives – so we may as well use the best tools available to help us enjoy it.

Photo credit: Yining Zhang


Stories from Blogging Africa #3

We’re back!

After a wintersummer (it’s winter here in the southern hemisphere but Frances, my Africa linky partner, is up in Kenya so summer for her) of fun and indulgence it’s time to roll up our sleeves, spit on our hands and get back to work. And this means another Stories from Blogging Africa link-up!

In case you’ve missed our first two linkys, this is a chance for anyone, anywhere in Africa who blogs to share their work. We don’t care what your blog is about, whether it’s travel or literature or expat life or politics or even sport – all we ask is that you either in Africa or write about Africa. In fact, the more diverse the better – see this as a great way to discover things about this great continent that are as yet totally unknown to you.


What can be more African than an African elephant?

If you want to know what a link-up is and how it works first of all take a look at our earlier linkys – HERE and HERE. You will be taken to a page where you can click on a variety of blogs. Have a read and please, please if possible leave a comment, give it a like, let people know you have visited. This only works if people visit each others blogs.

So if you want to join in all you have to do is write a new blog post or pick one that is already published, grab the badge below and add it to your post with a link to this site , click on the frog link below and then simply follow the instructions to add your post. Happy posting – I look forward to reading your Stories from Blogging Africa and, please, don’t forget to check out the other posts in the link-up.

Are you a blogger in Africa?

Calling all bloggers in Africa! Or even bloggers who aren’t in Africa but write about Africa!

The next Stories from Blogging Africa link-up will be out this WEDNESDAY. Yes, you heard that right, this WEDNESDAY. August 24th. Only three days away.


Soweto market

If you haven’t participated before, this is a very simple link-up for anyone who blogs in or about Africa. All you have to do is have a post ready to go on Wednesday, add it to the page, check out the other posts (and hopefully like/comment) and voila! You’re done. See, couldn’t be simpler.

But in case you are still confused, here are the links to the two previous link-ups we’ve already done – this one from May and then this one from June.

And yes, we did miss July but it was the long holidays, we were travelling, life got in the way…..

Please comment below if you have any questions but otherwise, I hope to see you on Wednesday! Happy blogging folks.

Stories from Blogging Africa #2

Welcome to the second Blogging Africa link-up – this time hosted by my friend Frances over at her blog Africa Expat’s Wives Club. We were so pleased to have so many great posts on the last link-up and hope we can repeat this success this time.

Beautiful African jacarandas in Pretoria

If you are blogging from this continent and would like to join the ‘party‘, then please click on .  All you need to do is click on the blue froggy to add a link your post (with a photo). Then grab the image code to place the Stories from Blogging Africa image link on the relevant post on your blog.
As you know, the idea is that we share the love by reading each other’s stories and leaving nice comments. This way we share/boost each other’s traffic and raise awareness of one another’s fab websites!
Please do let me know if you need anymore info, if not, see you there!

Wanted – guest bloggers

So summer is round the corner. Or rather wintersummer as I now call it – living in the Southern hemisphere as I do, we are currently very much in the throes of Autumn. But in just a few weeks time I will emerge from an overnight flight into the warmth of a British summer’s morning.

Which will probably be a lot more miserable than a South African winter’s day.

But I digress. Even though we are heading into winter here, our children go to an American International school so their long holiday will be during June, July and August. So I will be on full-time parenting duties from mid June. Which means a few things will have to take a bit of a back seat. Including blogging.


However I really don’t want the cobwebs to collect on this site so am looking for a few volunteers to help keep it looking lively. So if you are an expat blogger of any capacity please let me know. In particular I am looking for blogs about the following:

  • A Day in My Expat Life (see my first post in this series here)
  • Expat parenting – any stories about taking children to live overseas, in particular with a focus on schooling
  • Male trailing spouses (see other posts in this series)
  • Same-sex trailing spouses
  • Repatriation: what it’s REALLY like
  • Your first three months: tell me what it felt like to be new (and if possible reassure us it gets better!)
  • Travel in South Africa or the region

I am open to other suggestions but I would like to keep the posts as close to the theme of this blog as possible – eg real life as an expat, expat partners, and local Southern Africa travel.

If you think you can help please get in touch – either leave a message below or contact me I do not pay bloggers nor am I looking for blogvatorials (a made up word meaning I get paid to put your post advertising something or another on the blog).

Stories from blogging Africa link-up #1

Welcome to the first ever Stories from Blogging Africa link-up!

Started by two expat bloggers – me, here in Pretoria South Africa and Frances of the Africa Expats Wives Club in Nairobi, Kenya – we thought this would be a great way to meet other bloggers on the continent and find out a bit more about what life is like in other African countries.

My africa collage

The beauty of Africa

For those new to link-up’s, this is a place to post links to posts written by you on your own blog all with a common theme (in this case Africa). You can then visit as many other blogs as possible to see what others have written about. This is a great way to hopefully get to know some new bloggers and find out about life elsewhere on this amazingly diverse continent.

We are keeping this link-up as flexible as possible to start with and the only rules are that your posts should not be offensive nor should they be pure advertising. We will remove any that do not follow these two guidelines.

Otherwise all we want from you is an African related post, whether it be about your life, about politics, or wildlife or travel; whether it be in story-form or a photographic post – so long as it conveys something about the continent. Although you are not obliged to read any other posts, it will be a very boring link-up if everyone just posts and runs so our suggestion is to at least visit the two host’s posts and two or three others.

Please grab the badge below to add to the bottom of you post and link it back to this page and then add your post by clicking on the froggy link at the bottom. Let me know in the comments section if you are experiencing any problems – this is the first time we have done this so I apologise now for any technical hiccups! Otherwise I look forward to reading your stories 🙂



Bloggers in Africa – we want you!

Are you a blogger? Do you live in Africa? Then please join a brand-new link-up starting later this month.

From Angola to Zimbabwe, Algeria to Zambia we want you writers and photographers from all over the continent to share a bit of your life with us. The idea for a link-up specifically for bloggers in Africa started when I began corresponding with Frances who runs the wonderful Africa Expat Wives Club – which, for those of you who don’t already know isn’t a club at all but a very insightful blog about life in Kenya. Looking for a way to better connect with other writers on the continent I suggested a blog link-up and the idea rolled from there.


This is my African world – but what’s yours?

The idea will be to link up on a monthly basis with ANY Africa-related post, whether it be funny, serious, political, photographic…even a poem or short story is welcome, in fact the only rules really are that the post mustn’t be offensive and we don’t accept posts that are pure advertising. A new post would be great, but if you don’t have something relevant written recently then an old post is good too.

The first link-up will be on Wednesday May 25th and we hope to continue monthly from there, alternating between this blog and the Africa Expat’s Wives Club. If you want to join in then all you need to do is leave your contact below – either email or twitter name, or email me directly at and we will remind you closer to the date!

Sisterhood of the World blogging award

While I was away on safari in Madikwe a couple of weeks ago, I struggled to keep up with emails and blog posts etc because the wifi at the lodge we were staying in was dodgy. On top of that my phone was about to run out of data so I really had to keep web browsing to an absolute minimum. Which was fine by me – when you are on such a fabulous reserve surrounded by so many animals, it’s quite nice just to switch off the internet

Anyway one of the tweets I DID see that weekend was from my pal Pheobe – who had nominated me for aSisterhood of the World blog award. Pheobe and I go back years, to schooldays in fact. We met up again recently at a reunion and then even more recently started connecting through our blogs. What we have in common more than anything else is a loooooong history and a love of travel – both our fathers were in the diplomatic service, we both grew up jetting the globe on a regular basis. So I always enjoy reading about her travel stories (she has also contributed to my blog with this post about her memorable journey in Outer Mongolia, and me to hers with this post about a weekend in Martinique).

Pheobe had been nominated for the award herself by another travel blogger and had to answer a series of questions – you can read her answers here. But she then set a series of different questions for her own nominees to answer. I always enjoy answering these sort of things but have been pushed for time since coming back from Madikwe. However, I have finally found a spare quiet hour here in sunny South Africa with one daughter at an ice-skating play date and the other out at a zip-lining party – so here they are:


1. When did you start blogging? What is your favourite blog post, and why?

I started blogging almost exactly a year ago. As I got closer to the point when I was ready to publish my book, the Expat Partner’s Survival Guide, I knew I needed a promotional platform. I wasn’t exactly sure what form this would take except that it would include a blog. As it turned out, the personal blog side of my site has been the most fun – although it is also massively time-consuming and I am thinking of making a few changes in the new year. As for my favourite post that is not an easy question to answer! I love writing about the oddities of expat life, made all the easier now that I am back in expat-world myself, so maybe something like this post: Expat Friends – Fast and Furious.

2. How do you describe your blog’s niche?

It was really intended as a blog for the partners of people moving overseas for work; but I know my readership base is a lot wider than that. I think a lot of the issues I cover are relateable to expat life whether you are a partner or not, whether you are living somewhere temporarily or permanently, whether you are a young singleton or an older, married person….I also blog about travel quite a bit now that I am in South Africa so attract a different group or readers for that. Plus I have written a few blogs about the business of writing and publishing, something that still interests me and I enjoy reading about on other people’s blogs.

3. Do you have a day job other than blogging?  Do you support yourself blogging?

Yes I have a part-time job working as a business manager for a great little journal called the International Journal of Birth and Parent Education. It is a remote-working, flexible role that I was able to bring with me from the UK (perfect!). I can’t imagine being able to support myself blogging – does anyone these days?

4. Do you do other writing or photography professionally?

As well as publishing my own book, I do a bit of freelance writing: paid and unpaid (the latter for exposure for my book). I have also contributed a chapter to a book about giving birth and parenting abroad called Knocked Up Abroad – out soon, so watch this space!

Photography is strictly a hobby!

5. What is your most popular post?  Why do you think it’s so popular?

Funnily enough, my most read post ever was People Who Live in Small Places: Gibraltar. I think this was because it was read by every single Gibraltarian in the world! They are very proud of their home and I guess a lot of them shared it! My other People Who Live in Small Places posts have also done very well, but the other post that gets read very frequently is one on expat depression that I wrote last year. Because it gets so many reads I have since followed it up with an interview with counsellor Anita Colombara and am currently planning a series on expat depression for the new year. It is obviously a subject that has touched a lot of people, and about which more needs to be written.

6. What’s your biggest challenge or frustration as a blogger?

Without a doubt not having enough time! I have ideas coming out of my ears but there are only so many hours in the day. I try and write three blogs a week but I am not sure that is going to be sustainable for much longer – my life has become a lot busier since moving to South Africa and I really struggle to get everything done. Hence why I am planning a few changes to the site.

7. Name some of your favourite blogs.  Why?  What makes a great blog in your opinion?

I really enjoy following the blogs of people who are going through similar things to me. So the ones that I try and read regularly are those who have either recently moved somewhere new or who are living somewhere a bit more, should we say, exotic than the norm. As an example, Julie at the Expat Chronicles who moved a year ago from Barcelona to the Netherlands with her family; Seychelles Mama who lives in (believe it or not!) the Seychelles, and the Africa Expat Wives club, which is the diary of a British expat in Nairobi. There are many more but these are a few examples.

8. What is your best travel memory?  Why?

So so so difficult to answer – there are WAY too many. But if I had to pick one it would probably be travelling around New Zealand on my own at the age of 29. I had come into a small inheritence so stopped worrying about money (after spending six months working and scraping together some cash in Auckland!), and had no plans but to enjoy myself. I sky-dived, went on scenic flights, climbed glaciers, kayaked through the most beautiful national park, sat in hot baths under the stars, learnt to dive, watched seals and walruses, kiwi-spotted, and met the most amazing variety of people from all over the world. Most of all, I realised that travelling alone was actually ok – or more than ok, it was the best way in the world to meet people but at the same time realise it was fine to be on your own.

9. Travel bucket list: name the top 3 places you want to visit

Ah now this is another of those questions! Probably because of where we live, I actually have places on my list that we will get to – including Mozambique to swim with whale sharks and mantas. But away from southern Africa, I havel always wanted to visit Antartica so will keep that on my list; and Japan just because it seems so different to everywhere else.

10.  Is food important to you when you travel (other than its obvious function as fuel!)? What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Now that we travel with our children, it is mostly important that we will find something that our fussy youngest will eat! As with most travellers I do love to try different things but I am a little funny about things like seafood with tentacles, and anything with bones! I did have a mopani worm recently at the Zimbabwe stall at our school’s international day – I would not recommend it! But probably the strangest things I have tried were giraffe and zebra at the Carnivore restaurant here in South Africa. Oh and tapir when I lived in Venezuela. I also ate something very strange at a restaurant in Cameroon but I can’t remember what it was – possibly warthog?

So to the hard part – I need to nominate ten bloggers of my own and pass the award on to them. Now I know that many have probably already had this award, or a similar one. I also know that it can be very time-consuming to write a post like this. I therefore  won’t be offended if my nominees don’t respond to my questions or pass it on to others. Nevertheless, as I am about to enter my second year of blogging I thought it would be nice to nominate some of those bloggers who have been on the blogging ride with me. So they are:

  1. The aforementioned Expat Chronicles
  2. And also Seychelles Mama
  3. Tiny Expats – one of my first blogging friends, always writes beautifully
  4. My three roadtesters – Oregon Girl Around the World
  5. Nichole at From Melbourne to Manhatten
  6. And Lynsay at Mills Family Travels
  7. Morag at Wir Unst Family for being a great supporter of the blog
  8. Loisajay at …on Pets and Prisoners for the same reason
  9. Nerissa at Ersatz Expat for just being so darn interesting
  10. And finally Nicola at Expatorama – another Brit in SA who hopefully I will eventually get to meet in person!

Right so onto my questions for these people, should they wish to answer them!

  1. If you had the chance, would you change anything about your life? And if so, what?
  2. Who would you most like to meet in a lift – and what would you ask them?
  3. If you HAD to move to another country from the one you are living in now, which would it be and why?
  4. You are given the equivalent of £5,000 for a holiday just for you and your immediate family. Where would you go?
  5. Can you tell me about a couple of your favourite blogs?
  6. Do you remember your first kiss – and who was it with?
  7. If you are from the UK, where is your favourite place there? If you are not, where would you most like to visit in my home country?
  8. How have you most successfully connected with other bloggers?

I think I will stop there – 8 questions is quite enough! So over to you guys – I look forward to reading your answers!


The last few mad weeks – a round-up!

The last few weeks for me, my book and my blog seem to have gone a little crazy. I am not sure why – planets aligning, new moon, old moon, no moon….I think it is just one of those things that sometimes happens  and your life gets a little mad for a while. So here is a wee round-up for those who have missed some of these events:

First of all there was the post about Quirky South Africa that was widely shared and widely commented on. I only put nine things with the hope that someone would suggest a number ten. I got so many ideas (plus I have a few more or my own) that I am currently lining up Some of the Quirky Things I Love about South Africa Part Two. Watch this space!

Tiny eggs - one of the puzzling aspects of this country

Tiny eggs – one of the puzzling aspects of this country

Then I was honoured to be interviewed about family holidays for the fabulous expat podcast Two Fat Expats, by expat extraordinaire Kirsty Rice. I have read Kirsty’s blog for years (as have literally squillions of other expats) so it was great fun finally getting to talk to her over Skype. As many know, Kirsty has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. But I think most will agree that she is meeting this challenge with huge dignity and using it as a way to share her experience with others in exactly the same way she has used her expat experience to help others in a similar situation.

I have also featured not once but TWICE in the Wall Street Journal expat’s section – once talking about trying not to put my foot in it when we lived in Cameroon, and then a week or so later discussing expat nostalgia. In the latter, the article linked to my post on Jamaican banana bread that I mentioned in the interview – and I now have visions of WSJ readers all over the world enjoying a slice of this delcious bread with their morning coffee!

I can smell it from here...

I can smell it from here…

I also recieved a lovely review of the Expat Partner’s Survival Guide on one of my favourite blogs, Joburg expat – which I started reading when we first heard we were moving to South Africa and has been a great source of info for me over the months.

I have been writing for the Expat Focus website for a while now (must be coming up for a year as the first post I wrote was about the daunting task of moving to a new country) and my latest column Making the Most of Expat Life – or Spoiling my Future was out at the end of October. I also wrote the last post for a trailing spouse “blog crawl” I have been participating in, a post that turned into a bit of a mega essay tracing my journey here to Pretoria through the various posts I had written for the crawl and titled Making a New Home Abroad – My Journey Back to Trailing-Spouse Land.

Another of my posts went semi-viral (by that I mean it went MEGA viral by my standards but probably not so much by the standards of those posts you read on Buzz-Feed and Huffington Post; it did get shared and read quite a lot though and thus I conclude it hit some sort of nerve with people) – What Do You Wish You Had Known Before Becoming an Expat.

And finally I started a new series, one I am really excited about as I think it is a topic that needs more acknowledgement – the male trailing spouse series. My first post in this series featured Eric in Nairobi, who contacted me after reading my book. Again, the post was widely shared and viewed and I sincerely hope it has helped others in the same situation as Eric. I am on the lookout for more men expat partners willing to be featured to please let me know if you are one or know one!

So that’s it for now – a quick round-up of a busy few weeks. I need to get my head down and start work on another important project which is some posts I want to write about expats and depression. In the meantime please let me know if you have any questions about being an expat partner or if there are any subjects you would like to see covered – either in the comments below or by emailing me

Something’s gotta give….

I don’t know what is going on but somehow I seem to be even MORE busy than I was back home in the UK. I had visions of actually being able to take it slowly and enjoy my time here – but instead I seem to be manically rushing from one thing to another, writing to-do lists every evening as long as my arm and never quite doing anything properly because I have to move on to the next thing.

As busy as a....

As busy as a….

It’s starting to get to me a bit. Having newly arrived, I really want to take a bit of time to get to know my new home. I want to explore, visit places, meet people. Experience all there is to experience – including all the yummy cake and coffee shops there seem to be round every corner in Pretoria. I also REALLY want to finish the first draft of a novel I started writing nearly five years ago while we were living in St Lucia – I have had it on the back burner for a long time now and feel the time is right to get it out and dust it down. But I just don’t seem to have a spare minute.

The other day I wrote a post about this for the Expat Focus website – called Why Time Flies in Pretoria! In order to write the post I had a bit of a think about where all my time was actually going – especially bearing in mind that I should, in theory, have more time here than in the UK as the children are out of the house at school for around an extra couple of hours a day. But, I realised, all that extra time was being eaten up in the extra time you need to shop for food here, sitting in traffic jams, driving to the gym instead of stepping out of my front door to run…..

Hopefully some of this will get easier as time goes on (I still plan to get a bit more organised about meal planning and food shopping as, at the moment, I seem to go to a supermarket every other day). But there are some things that will still take more time.

So where can I find these extra needed hours? I work 15 hours a week from home and those hours can’t really change. I could give up my job – but I realise how lucky I am to have such a flexible job that I actually really enjoy, and that brings in at least a bit of income of my own. It will also mean I will have something to go back to when we return home.

Exercise is very important to me, mentally as much as physically, so I am not going to quit the gym. I have really been enjoying it and in fact, if anything, would like to step up the amount of time I go there. Well, one can dream!

There will always be chores. This week I have been sorting out presents and cards for three parties, swimming lessons, hallowe’en and international day events,  an upcoming family trip to Cape Town and a couple of other social events. Not to mention the ongoing saga of the plumber, the cushion cover man and all the other stuff that still needs doing in the home. All of this is part of life, it ain’t going nowhere.

So when I look at my week the only thing I can see that I do on a regular basis that I could perhaps cut down on is blogging. This will make me very sad as I love blogging – I love writing basically and I also love connecting with people. But I have been finding it quite hard sticking to my self-imposed schedule of three blogs a week (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less). I think the pressure of feeling like I HAVE to blog a) makes me more stressed and b) makes me enjoy it less.

Which means I am reaching the conclusion that I will need to blog slightly less often if I am going to retain my sanity. We are hoping to get a puppy soon and I realise this will be even more work for me. I need to be able to make room for this extra little bundle of “fun” in our lives and so perhaps it’s time to start cutting back a bit on the blog.

I may, I may not, I will see. But in the meantime I would be REALLY interested to see how others manage to fit blogging into their lives. Does it mean you have to drop something else – or, like me, do you find yourself manically trying to do it all? How often do you blog? How often is too often – and how often is not enough? Give me your thoughts, you might even help me to decide what to do!