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Showing posts from March, 2009
Dear Kate,

Stories like this are starting to trickle through the U.S. too.

Today on the front page of The New York Times was another piece about tent communities growing. Featured, were two - one in Sacramento, Ca. and another in Fresno, Ca. But they're popping up in Nashville, Tenn., Olympia, Wa. and St. Peterburg, Fl. as well. I spent a summer in St. Petersburg years ago working for the local paper and I'm trying to imagine a "Hooverville" there. (That was the name given to homeless encampments during the depression in the 1930s - for President Hoover.)

While there aren't any tent cities in Manhattan, it's still coming close to home. I'm hearing stories within my community- about the single mom who has lost her job, certainly belt-tightening by almost all. Empty storefronts are growing — even within a block or two of my apartment.

The Rabbit asked me a few weeks ago if we might lose our home. I realized even at 6, she's still too young for me to have t…
Dear Lauren,

There was a storm tonight. It was an amazing sight to see; the lightening crackling through the sky, a sheet of sudden rain and garden furniture being blown about by the wind. The storm has passed now and the air is fresh and clean-smelling, a relief after days of sultry, stifling heat.

You asked me in your last letter if the downturn is being felt in Dubai. At the time I rattled on about the ads posted in the Park & Shop and Spinneys supermarkets by expats leaving in a hurry, but nothing hit home as much as seeing two cars parked outside the girl's school this week which are obviously being lived in, stacked high inside with sleeping bags and what looks like all of the occupants worldly possessions. I read an article in the local paper this morning about people starting to live in their cars due to financial problems; it seems it's an issue currently being experienced by the many Indian workers for whom being made redundant is not cushioned with a decent pay-of…
Lauren -

Yay! I'm back online. It's incredibly slow though but I've been told it will get faster once we are properly registered with the exchange??! Sounds like a load of guff to me but I'm already getting used to Dubai's funny little ways - one of which is to tell people what they want to hear, even if it's a blatant and ridiculous lie, in order to get them to go away and so leave the shameless fibber to get back to picking their nose or whatever it was they were doing before the customer showed up with outrageous demands for delivery of the service they'd paid for.

But apart from this funny little quirk (and some others, all will come out sooner or later) I'm loving it here. The house is almost together, Ikea turned up at the weekend with my bookshelves (meaning I was able to unpack the last of the boxes - a special moment) and the sun is shining (as always, will I ever get sick of this??!) - all is well. The Small(er) One also finally has a school pla…

Letter to Kate 2-3-09

Dear Kate,

I didn't mean to take so long to write back. A whirlwind around here — some normal, some annoying.

First, I'm thrilled to hear that Firstborn is loving school. That's ideal. Isn't it awful when you find you've entrusted your child to teachers, to a school, and find that they weren't really to be trusted in the first place? They don't get your child. They don't WANT to get your child. Basically, they've failed and you are left to pick up the pieces. Which you've done. And well.

Today was a snow day, which means the Rabbit did not go to school. I should find this sort of thing exciting because I grew up without snow in Los Angeles. On a rare day we might be kept home because of brush fires (ash falling on the playground and that sort of thing.) or Noah-like rain storms. (Once, our car began to float down Sunset Blvd as my mother drove us to school. She regained tread and took us home.)

Given the day off of school, the Rabbit had a mini-play…