Author Archives: wordgeyser

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and The Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It’s a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get you through are a sense of humour and the amazing people you meet along the way. . .

Interview with Expatsblog – USA to the Netherlands

A while ago I was interviewed by Expatsblog for their great website which is full of resources for anyone moving from somewhere to, well, just about anywhere else. Their website a phenomenal amount of information available on wherever it is you’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Advice for New Arrivals in the Netherlands, Dutch Culture, The Netherlands, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Older Parents: When to Step In

Good health is something I’ve generally taken for granted, my own and that of my family. We’ve been lucky over the years and despite some major issues with Missy, our daughter, last year, I’ve never thought of us as being … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Where has the year gone?

It is with shock and horror I realise how long it’s been since I last posted on Wordgeyser. I wish I could tell you I’ve been traveling the world, or training to be an astronaut ready for the manned space … Continue reading

Posted in Personal challenges, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Transitions: Life’s Waiting Rooms

The carpeted floor beneath my bare feet pitches gently and I realise the ship has left the placid calm of the harbour, cleared the rocky promontories encircling its entrance, and moved out into open water. The movement is almost imperceptible, … Continue reading

Posted in Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Inspiration and Reflection | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Living in the Netherlands: The Good, The Bad and The Frustrating.

I first wrote about moving to the Netherlands several years ago when I’d had time to settle in and get established, but was still new enough to the Dutch culture to see it through fresh eyes. Since that original article … Continue reading

Posted in Advice for New Arrivals in the Netherlands, Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences, Family Life | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Sense of Place: Genetics and Travel

Have you ever traveled somewhere and felt instantly at home? Or arrived in a new place and felt a sense of disconnection you couldn’t put your finger on? I’m sure we all have, but why does it happen? I’ve arrived … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Inspiration and Reflection, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Dutch Delights: The Magic of Winter Days

The first snow day of the winter and in its wake the dreary, endless days of the Dutch fall are forgotten. Day after day of leaden skies, like a dirty, heavy, sodden blanket thrown over the country, dripping constantly, suffocating … Continue reading

Posted in Advice for New Arrivals in the Netherlands, Expat Experiences, Inspiration and Reflection, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Frank and Fearless: Facing 2013

The end days of the year, the cusp of the past with the future, when most people are out of their normal routine and daily structure. Add school holidays, more family socialising, a change in diet and it’s no wonder … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Unexpected Goodbyes: Part of the Package

We all know the poem about friends who are there for a reason, a season or a lifetime – how often do we see it forwarded on emails? It’s something we relate to and instinctively understand. Friendships in a global environment … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Presidential Politics: Who Holds the Real Power?

The circus is over, the votes are in and everyone in the USA, and governments around the world – who appreciate the impact of the election on global politics – will know where they stand for the next four years. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics and Social Comment, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane Sandy: Facing the Aftermath

In the past days the world has looked towards New York and the northeastern seaboard of the USA and watched with awe as mother nature flexed her muscles and reminded us there is no place on earth where she cannot … Continue reading

Posted in Hurricane Katrina, Politics and Social Comment, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Role Models: Why Ordinary People are Mine

Last week saw the celebration for the birthday of a special lady. Someone who has recently survived breast cancer and who dealt with the prospect of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy with dignity and grace. There will have been quiet … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Empty Nest Syndrome: It’s Not All About the Kids Leaving

I promised myself I wouldn’t write anything further on the empty nest syndrome. Not because there’s nothing to write about, but because it’s an emotive subject for many, with parents on either side of the fence and the majority just … Continue reading

Posted in Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Forced to Fly: Expat Survival Guide

The second edition of Jo Parfitt’s Forced To Fly is the much anticipated, updated anthology of expat experiences – finding humour in the strangest of circumstances and unusual places – and is a great read on many levels. The book is in … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Related Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

An Inconvenient Posting: Everyone’s Had One

In its broadest sense an expat is defined as someone living outside his/ her birth country. There are various reasons for expats living overseas; some by choice, others following a company remit. For the latter, personal preference or convenience can … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Expat Related Book Reviews, Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Walking the Walk: The Reality of the Empty Nest

Having written a four-part series on the challenges of a child heading off for college, (see below for links) I’m now having to put that sage advice to the test. A few weeks back my husband and I headed off … Continue reading

Posted in Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

College Bound Kids?: After They’ve Gone

Part 4 in a series of 4 So they’ve finally headed off into the big wide world. Whether you’ve taken them yourself or because of circumstances that responsibility has been passed to another family member, the time comes you find … Continue reading

Posted in College Bound Kids, Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

College Bound Kids?: Changing Family Dynamics

Part 3 in a series of 4 Whether a child is leaving home for college or because they choose to, parental emotions will run high. From the first time you held them to the day you wave them goodbye you … Continue reading

Posted in College Bound Kids, Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

College Bound Kids?: The Practical Stuff for Heading Overseas

Part 2 in a series of 4 It was a pretty big can of worms I opened with my first post on college bound kids. I had no idea all those cool, calm and collected mom’s packing their kids up … Continue reading

Posted in College Bound Kids, Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

College Bound Kids? You’re Not On Your Own…

Part 1 in a series of 4  What a strange time of year. So far summer has been non-existent in The Hague and yet in a few weeks school will be back for the fall semester. Expat families will be … Continue reading

Posted in College Bound Kids, Empty Nest, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Living in The Netherlands: What to Bring with You

I was recently asked what would be an essential item to bring to the Netherlands if I was moving here. A loaded question – one I didn’t want to answer without serious consideration. Much depends on where you’re coming from, whether … Continue reading

Posted in Advice for New Arrivals in the Netherlands, Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences, Family Life, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IB Diploma: The Only Way Forward for Global Education

Throughout the world thousands of students are waiting for the results of their IB (International Baccalaureate) examinations sat in May and June. They are the culmination of two years of blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights and some hard partying once … Continue reading

Posted in England and Things English, Expat Experiences, Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Light Bulb Moments: Recognizing the ‘Monkey Mind’

Ever heard the expression ‘monkey mind’? For those of you rolling your eyes in disbelief that once again I’m behind on things, please bear with me. I only came across this recently, in the process of editing a book. I … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Personal challenges, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

James Brownhill: Moving Forward

A year ago James Stephen Brownhill was tragically killed, alongside his climbing partner and friend, David Evans, during an ascent of Mont Blanc. A peak previously climbed  along with others on different continents. A year in which everyone who knew … Continue reading

Posted in Family Life, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flying Solo with KLM

The past three months I’ve been bouncing backwards and forwards across the Altlantic every few weeks or so. Before I have time to adjust to being back in one time zone I’m hurtled into the other, a seven-hour time difference … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences, Family Life, The Netherlands, Travel, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Queen’s Day: The Quieter Side

I’ve decided to share the quieter side of Queen’s Day, Koninginnedag,  a day to celebrate the birthday of the former Queen, Juliana. The present Queen, Beatrix, spends the day with members of the Royal family, visiting towns throughout the Netherlands. … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

PVC: The Journey Continues

This week finds me back in Houston in time for Lizzy’s surgery to relieve Pelvic Vascular Congestion. (I chronicled her journey to here a couple of posts back). I have to admit this trip was not as hopeful as my … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Personal challenges, Politics and Social Comment, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Fly Away Home

Like many, I’m fascinated by the lives of other people, how patterns weave themselves through the generations, how shared DNA links us to people we can never meet. How many times in our own lives have things happened and we’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Related Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

PVC: Raising Awareness of a Chronic Female Condition

I have no wish to publically discuss my family’s health, yet a family member, let’s call her Lizzy, has been dealing with a little known health issue we had no idea existed, which impacts the lives of countless woman worldwide. … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Personal challenges, Politics and Social Comment, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Expat Life: Slice by Slice

March saw Apple Gidley in Washington DC, in her capacity as Board Director of Families in Global Transition, who held their annual conference in the US capital. It was also the month her much anticipated book Expat Life: Slice by Slice was … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Related Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Expat Good Samaritan: Cultural Attitudes to Caring

Whether you’re a serial expat moving from country to country with the huge machine of a global company, working in a foreign country under your own steam or emigrate from one country to another, there will be times when disaster … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Family Life, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Global Tax : Inescapable and Unrelenting

It’s February and there’s that sinking feeling in my stomach. Not the winter blues, instead the gargantuan beast from hell, the preparation of the annual tax returns. You can’t forget about it, or pretend it’s not happening, stick fingers in your … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Laws, Taxes and Bureaucracy, Expat Experiences, The Netherlands, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Managing Expectations: The Dutch Health Service

Before we start I’d like to make it absolutely clear that on arrival in any foreign country, whether to live, work or take a vacation my expectation of the local health care systems is always neutral. This avoids confusion should … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Versatility: Something We All Need

It seems I am Versatile. A startling and unexpected revelation to someone who has spent much of the past month deliberately under the radar. This is the time of year when awards are awarded (think the Baftas and the Oscars), … Continue reading

Posted in Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mental Sabbatical: A Time to Step Back

After the New Year and a return to the Netherlands from visiting friends and family, I did something inconceivable only a few months previously. I decided to take a step back from life, review it and decide whether anything needed … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The End Day of the Year

The end days of the year; the hiatus between Christmas and the start of the new year. Strange days with a dreamlike quality, slightly out of focus and removed from the reality of day-to-day routines. A sense of anti-climax after … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Thanksgiving and Holidays, Expat Experiences, Family Life, Inspiration and Reflection | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hallmark Holidays and the Cyber Dilemma

The annual dilemma – the Christmas card list. To send or not to send. Who has made the list this year and who hasn’t. Send to local friends or only those outside a geographically defined area? Are acquaintances defined as … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Thanksgiving and Holidays, England and Things English, Expat Experiences, Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Dutch 30% Tax Rule and International Teachers

I’ve written about the Dutch 30% tax ruling before, a topic foremost in most expats’ minds during the annual tax period. This year the topic gained the status of national debate when the junior tax minister, Frans Weekers, considered introducing an income … Continue reading

Posted in Advice for New Arrivals in the Netherlands, Dutch Laws, Taxes and Bureaucracy, Expat Experiences, Politics and Social Comment, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creative Detox: Using Writers’ Block to Refocus

I hold my hands up. I’ve been struggling with what I can only assume is writer’s block these past few weeks. Not in a hand wringing, anguished kind of way, rather an intellectual curiosity as to why the creative juices … Continue reading

Posted in Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Thanksgiving: The Purest Holiday Of Them All

Growing up in Europe I’d never given much thought to Thanksgiving, except as an American holiday at the end of November. I knew it commemorated the pilgrims first year of survival in the New World and that was about it. … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Thanksgiving and Holidays, Expat Experiences, Family Life, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dutch Car Insurance: Standing Up To Intimidation

I have just had a very interesting discussion with the insurance agent dealing with our stolen car. Whilst I would love to on move on to lighter topics of an uplifting nature, the wheels that are the insurance company  have ground … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Dutch Laws, Taxes and Bureaucracy, Expat Experiences, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Dutch Car Insurance: You’re On Your Own

We all have those times when negative energy seems to stick to us like glue, overshadowing everyday life with lethargy, leaving us dispirited and resentful without fully understanding why. It saps strength and creativity, sucking away fun and joy as … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Dutch Laws, Taxes and Bureaucracy, Family Life, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Law and Order Dutch Style: Impersonating a Police Officer

Last weekend our youngest son experienced a rite of passage we had hoped he could have avoided, unlike his older siblings. With much high-fiving from them, he joined their ranks, having come into contact with the local constabulary during a … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Expat Experiences, Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Facing Fears: Linda A. Janssen on the Launch of Turning Points

Linda A. Janssen is a dynamic women I respect as a writer. Linda has many ongoing projects the latest being Turning Points, launched this week, which she writes about below. Having read the book and already written one review I can … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Related Book Reviews, Women and Female Related, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Through the looking Glass: Spinning Plates

Wondering where yours truly has disappeared off to, yet again? Or has the dismal absence of blog posts driven you to pastures new, assuming wordgeyser is finally wordless? Well, dear friends, I have neither disappeared or been wordless. The words … Continue reading

Posted in Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, Writing | 7 Comments

Sunshine Soup: Global Nourishment from Jo Parfitt

So here it finally is, after a quarter of a century writing non-fiction books (27 published), Jo Parfitt has finally achieved the dream of putting her first fictional book on the shelves. She is a whirlwind of energy and passion. … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Related Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Somewhere Between Anna Wintour and Citizen Kane

The next great adventure and literary project? A concept and vision which first appeared on my horizon at the beginning of September. A dream graphic designer, Simone Branson, has nurtured since her late teens. The product of a British father … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Silver Linings: Two Sides to Every Coin

You may have noticed I’ve been AWOL over the past week, but maybe that’s an arrogance on my part. Perhaps other things have piqued your interest during my absence and you’ve moved on and engaged with other things. Despite rumours … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Laws, Taxes and Bureaucracy, Personal challenges | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Lest We Forget: All War Crimes Should Be Punished

Twenty years ago war erupted in the former Yugoslavia. It was shocking, terrifying and reminded us the atrocities of World War II weren’t relegated to history as we’d hoped. The war in the former Yugoslavia brought it home that neighbour … Continue reading

Posted in Expat Experiences, Inspiration and Reflection, Politics and Social Comment, The Netherlands, Women and Female Related | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grand Theft Auto : The Bureaucracy Begins

. . . a continuation from previously, when I entered our secure garage to find my car gone . . . There was an awful blank moment when the enormity of the empty space hit me like a train. Where … Continue reading

Posted in Dutch Culture, Dutch Laws, Taxes and Bureaucracy, Expat Experiences | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments