During a particularly tough week in Angola a friend said to me: ‘surround yourself with your favourite things’.

Life as an expatriate is generally wonderful, but sometimes it gets lonely, stressful and tiring. While it’s not usually possible for us expats to magically transport our loved ones from abroad in times of need, a few little touches can make all the difference.

Candles, flowers, books, and photos all do it for me. They’re sensory reminders of the best times in my life. The difficult times I’ve overcome, the fantastic memories of long ago and a note to self about the most important things in life.

This week I finally got around to getting some photos up (with the help of some workmen… crikey, my walls are tough as hell!)

Photos of me and my baby snoozing in Antwerp. Of my husband braving the great wall of China.

Of my Dad looking after my boy Rafa as he was just starting to improve from his many medical conditions.

Of the people I love and cherish.

Mum, mum in law, best friends… I know what you’re thinking. You’re here too. I just need more time to get you on the walls!

Photos don’t replace friends and family, but they sure do make a difference.

I’m exhausted with the day long drilling, but hey, it’s worth it. A photo speaks louder than words.

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