Tag Archives: saying goodbye

Farewell Uganda

The day has arrived. The past week has been quite wonderful with dinners and breakfasts and coffee breaks spent with good friends. It has been a slow but soulful goodbye and I feel happy and ready to depart. Of course my mind swings back to the last farewell, two years ago, when we said goodbye to Trinidad.

I am absolutely sure that I will come back, I am already day dreaming about a visit next year.

In the mean time it is time to bid this great land farewell.

And 3limes will be taking a short break too. I am boarding a plane for Bahrain today, then a short week later I will hit London for the weekend. Finally on July 3rd we arrive in Montreal! It has been a long two years since we were home and I intend to have a splendid summer both lake side and in la belle ville.

See you later, Uganda, and thank you.





Filed under Being brave, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda

Last days

Tearful, celebratory, funny and warmhearted, these last few days. And through it all I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, relief and bittersweet feelings about moving. Leaving is hard and in the past few days I have, again, said more goodbyes than most would in a life time.

When Handsome left some 3 1/5 months ago I looked at the mountain of tasks before me and thought it would never be possible. And now I have climbed that mountain and am free wheeling down the other side, I am aware that I am stronger than I thought I was.

I have done it all.

Marked the exams, written the reports, packed up the house, wiped the tears, clapped my hands, cheered for my girls, hugged my students, tried not to cry, failed and cried, sold the car, paid the bills, dined with good friends, said goodbye to the Nile, went to Jinja, filed the paperwork, danced, said some very hard goodbyes.

And I watched as the entire Year Ten stood on their chairs and clapped in my farewell assembly.

I was royally roasted and made fun of at the leaving teacher’s function. Created by this clever lady, all my quirky anti camping, cockroach freak out, pedicure loving, car crashing princess tendencies were caricatured and made hilarious in the skit prepared and acted out by a few talented staff members. Of course the show was stolen by my impersonator, the lovely leggy, hard as steel, Aussie MALE PE teacher who donned a short dress, heels and feather boa, all in the name of Theatre. He took it, went with it and made us all laugh, rather than cry.

The next morning, despite a night of dancing and tequila I was up and in the car driving to Jinja. A last little jaunt out of town where the girls could swim with best friends, play mini golf, wash off the worries of moving and feel free and glee.

And now two more days….then Bahrain.


Filed under Being brave, Miss Teacher, Photography

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Yes. Leaving today and heading home to the real world of Kampala after a whole month in London! It has been the dose of the west I needed and I am returning with renewed vigour, good spirits and hope for a good year. I have eaten my fill of cheese and Waitrose food,  shopped ’till I dropped, coveted soft leather handbags, bought red lipstick, been to the doctor for an all over check up and out, spent good times with special people, loved up my nieces and nephew,  laughed with Sophisticated Chelsea Girl, my sister, and stared at good art. I am happy, satiated and content. And now back to Africa.

I will post more London memories in the coming days but for now I leave London with a last few pictures. Next time….from Uganda.


Filed under Great Big Shiny West, Photography



I am in Barbados, a quiet and gorgeous island, with sea a moving turquoise, sometimes pale, sometimes darker, the beach a white so soft that it looks like a cliche. There really are places this beautiful. It is a lovely place to be sad. Leaving Trinidad was so hard, it was like wrenching my self away from a beautiful friend. I believe that my heart has grown to accommodate all the people that now have to fit in. Looking into the eyes of my students and having to say goodbye was heartbreaking. 


I felt a great deal of love on my last day or two. I heard and read things about me that were sometimes surprising in their generosity, but mainly pleasing that my philosophy of life should have seeped out and infected others. I was told that I look at life as a thing of beauty. When that view is compromised a crack appears and it is most distressing, but I never lose hope.


Maybe I do look at life through rosy sunglasses. I do, in fact have a lovely pair bought in New York. Buying them was a fun moment spent with my mother on 5th Avenue. Instead of that being a mundane activity, it was indeed a real pleasure. Life is like a pearl necklace. Each pearl is a perfect moment of pleasure. And I don’t just mean sexual pleasure although in this theory lots of sex helps, this is a moment of pleasure spent enjoying the perfect chat with friends, a moment of magic in a classroom, a story read before bed, a novel, a magnificent work of art, a beach, the best mango, the touch of velvet, the excellent photo, the joke that makes you laugh, the look of a sleepy girl in the morning, the weight of a soft dog on my bed…the list goes on. Pearls are not handed to us. We need to go out and seek them and even more than that, notice them. There might be some bits of the necklace that are mere string, barren and sad, but pearls are there right in front of you waiting to be strung on that necklace and worn.


Looking at the beach today, listening to my girls laugh and heal after their sad goodbyes, I felt real joy. 







Taken at Orchid World, Barbados.



Filed under observations

Goodbye Sweet T and T

Well here it is, the last post from Trinidad. After this 3 limes will be taking a little vacation while I go and dip my toes in some good Canadian lake water.


I didn’t want to come here. Looking back at that resistance now, the tears and the fears, I, of course, find it ironic, since now I am so sad to go. 


This is a land filled with beauty, colour, song and a thousand smiles. It is also a country of crime, bitterness and anger. I have rarely mentioned the question of crime here since I hate to taint the reputation of the sweet land, but it is a fact. I just think it is a great shame to think “land of crime” whenever Trinidad is mentioned because it is a whole lot more. However, in a strange way the hatred of the crime and the terrible slip in respect for one another is what bonds many Trinis. The vibrant culture sings out “ we are more than that!’


As much as I have loved being here I am looking forward to not looking over my shoulder, except that will probably take some time. I am excited about letting my girls have more freedom, perhaps a walk to the store or park. But I must say, and it should be said that I have had nothing but beautiful times with good people during my two years here. In the vein I would like to conduct a little Trini wrap up.



In Trinidad hot yellow is the new white.

Large earrings are worn to the beach.

Sarong must match bikini.

Doubles are delicious, who knew chickpeas and dough could rock the world?

Trinis love Soca. I mean really LOVE. SOCA.

Cricket is a really big deal.

Rum is like water.

Roosters walk wild, a cow lives by the highway, ancient turtles lay eggs, and there is an animal called an Agouti which looks like a rat from a horror movie.

A LIME is relaxed but if a DJ plays some SOCA wining will ensue.

Parrots fly wild.

The drive to Maracas is magic. 

Men call each other Hoss. Instead of Dawg.

People dress up to go to the movies. People dress up all the time.

You can see Venezuela.

Pepper sauce in Not an option.

My new favorite word is Macocious. It means Nosy. Facebook is the ultimate place to Maco.

Trinis take their time, and Lime.





I hope that you will come back and follow our journey to Uganda. I am anxious to start telling stories from Kampala. 

Here is a little picture of our route to Africa. Trinidad-Montreal-London-Kampala. Luckily that route will take 6 weeks. In that time I hope to freeze my derriere in a gorgeous lake, eat some mighty fine sushi, gorge on cheese, laugh with my “sisters”, visit a giant doll house, meet a new born, reunite with some old friends, drink some mighty fine wine, watch my girls on a canoe, take a red bus and buy some pretty shoes.


Filed under Travel, Trinidad & Tobago

Where does the love go?

We have found a home for dear sweet Zola. She is going to our housekeeper who knows and loves her. The parting will not be sweet nor easy. Knowing we only have 2 weeks left with her is a rather strange feeling, somewhat like knowing the moment of someone’s upcoming death. I look into my dog’s liquid brown eyes and I ask myself “ What will I do with all the love?” The love doesn’t stop when we go away. I cannot box it up and send it along with her bed and bowl. The love will remain.

These last few weeks have been an intense love affair between us. Rather than pull back and protect myself, as would be the safer option, I am constantly rubbing her head, tickling her belly and staring into those eyes. As I read  one hand hangs down absent mindedly rubbing her neck, her warm chin, her back. She is the softest being I have ever touched, Now I can kiss her nose and feel the softness of her neck when I feel the love. What will I do with all this love when she goes?



those eyes


Filed under I love dogs


My grandmother, Joan Beer, died today. She was 90 years old. It is hard to imagine that she is no longer in this world. Here are some memories of Granny.


It starts when I am three and I jumped into her suitcase in South Africa wanting to leave with her. She had given me a doll called Cherry who came outfitted with an entire hand knitted set of clothes. I hated her because she wasn’t blond. She is now one of my treasures possessions.

Her house at 109. Watching the hedgehogs in the garden after dark, eating Wiener schnitzel and filling up on chocolate buttons.

Then summers at Blandings playing in the enormous wading pool or Wendy house. Driving around London listening to Abba, playing air hostess with her box of scarves and gloves that she always kept by the door. Buying dress up clothes and assorted fun things at Woolworths and WH Smiths on the Broadway.

Eating more chocolate buttons.

A trip to Bourmouth on holiday when I was 9 was when Granny and Grandad bought the house at Corfe. Wonderful memories at Corfe were soon to follow. Running in the garden, visiting the miniature village, playing in the mini house, having tea parties, eating chocolate buttons.
It was Granny who took me shopping before I started boarding school. Helped me buy all the toiletries and got me ready before she dropped me off for the first time at my new boarding school.

I could always talk to her. She was a happy confidant and loved a good gossip. She was the one who saved me when I accidentally left one expensive black leather boot in a hotel room in Russia. She bought me a new pair and promised to never tell my Mother.

She walked me and a friend around Carnaby Street on a weekend home from school because we were so excited to see it.
But she was strict. She could laugh and giggle like no one but she was very strict. If I crossed a line or upset her I knew it.
Then my sister and I grew up and she made it her mission to ensure that her granddaughters had smooth soft skin, handing us bottles of Dior and Clarins lotions and potions whenever we saw her.
Lunches at Harrods became a firm tradition. First in the fancy room with the piano and later at the terrace with the wonderful smoked salmon sandwiches.

Granny loved being a great grandmother and great she was. I always told her that she was the matriarch of the family and she loved that. She loved to see all four girls at once. Hiding treats in the garden and watching them all run about was the greatest joy for her. She would even make a fairy tea party in the garden and spoil them with little cakes, goodies and wonderful clothes from Paris. She taught them to knit and was always working on some sweater or cardigan for them. They grew faster than she knitted, however. When she stayed with us in Burford she loved being woken up by all four girls, sharing her morning biscuit with them. And how she loved her little great grandson, Sammy. His big hugs! She always looked at him with a special expression of awe and wonder. How could such a special boy exist?

And always chocolate buttons. Before I would leave to return to Canada she would give me bags of buttons for my suitcase.
However far away I was, there was a strong bond. We would chat on the phone and her and my eldest would write to each other. At times she was lonely and cross and would never hide that. She needed to vent a little.
She just loved to go out and have fun. Whether to the ballet, out to dinner…but the visit to Buckingham Palace topped them all. I remember her squeezing my arm and saying “isn’t this fun!” She also said “oh I am happy I lived to see this!”

My Gran was simply the best Gran in the world. She could spoil us, laugh with us, chat away and yet when we were small be strict too. I always knew she loved me. There was never a doubt in my mind that she got huge joy from being a grandparent and great grandparent. Nothing pleased her more that seeing all the children run in her beautiful garden.
She was never an old lady. In fact she always had an elegance about her. She refused to be old or let herself go. The ladies at the Dior counter knew her as well as the people at her local gourmet grocery store.
I can’t imagine a world without her. She had a huge personality and was a large presence in all our lives. I am so grateful that my children got to know their Granny Joan. She made an impression on them that can never be wiped away.
We will all continue to love her.




Filed under Family Stuff, personal