Just 5 weeks ago I wrote about how hard it was to watch them struggling each day. Since then they have moved with unexpected ease from a 9 - 1.30pm day (summer hours) to a 9 - 4.30pm day. Even the 5 year old who had only ever been to playschool in Ireland until 12.30 has been thrown in the deep end. But they have coped admirably.
Exhausted, time-poor new mothers relish the beautifully packaged bundles of nutritious goodness carefully crafted by clinical experts, together with advice from their Chinese Physician at Thomson Chinese Medicine. The 28-day menu is catered to mothers who have more discerning palates, whilst maintaining the nutritional aspects of the herbs used in preparing the meals.
The issues my parents faced living in a foreign land never truly dawned on me until I began living abroad alone, and that "dawning" was only a superficial realisation. Growing up, I found my parents uncouth and I was annoyed by the seemingly unending confusion and embarrassment they bestowed upon me: why did they have to speak Vietnamese so loudly in public?
As an expat living in South Korea, the North Korean threat is always present. I would be stupid not to take notice. Lately, the threats have been more jarring than in years past. However, like many Koreans, most of the expat community shrugs it off, likening the threats to whining from a petulant child.
Living in the UK, I'm more aware of what's happening in politics from Saudi Arabia to Russia, from Japan to France. Perhaps that's why I'm so fretful about what will happen if Mitt Romney is elected today. I see the attitudes espoused by him and Paul Ryan and wonder what the hell happened over there, that this team - with their retro view of America uber alles and scarily dismissive view of women's autonomy - are seen as the kind of people Americans want in charge.