British Expat Newsletter: September 2018

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In this issue

This month

Our preparations for the big off are well underway now. The bureaucracy is almost all lined up – we’re told our visas are ready to be collected from the Embassy, and the medical insurance has been settled too. Most of our things for shipment were collected last week, leaving us with just a relatively small “float” which we’ll be packing up for storage in the UK and which will tide us over when we come back…whenever that might be.

As I mentioned last time, we’ll be closer to the UK than before. This meant that we’re in the slightly unusual situation of having been able to have a recce visit before we move in earnest. It’s a strange feeling – in the past Dave and I have both usually just pitched up in a country with relatively little information about what we’re going into, and certainly no definite knowledge of exactly where we’ll be living. This time round we’ve had a full viewing of the flat and had a walk around the city centre too. Just as well as it’s very different from our previous experiences in South and South East Asia.

So now we face the mad dash to get our house ready for letting before we leave. The house is a lot emptier now, so it’s that much easier to move things out of the way to give us easy access, and avoid getting paint all over the place where it’s not wanted. (That was how we planned it, of course.) On the other hand there are a lot of things to be done.

We’ve found that the big thing is to have a plan of action and keep reviewing it. It’s reassuring to see all the things on the planner change status from red (not started) to amber (started but not complete) to green (done). And it also helps us spot things early on that we might otherwise have to deal with in a last-minute panic. It wasn’t until we sat down earlier today and thought systematically about how we were going to get to the airport (including our last-minute baggage) that we realised our plan to sell the car a week before departure and hire a van for the last week probably wasn’t the best way of doing things.

So by the time of our next update we should be settled in to the new place. Exactly when we send that update will depend how easily we settle in, including how quickly we can get online. Of course that wasn’t an issue when I first headed overseas to work. But, thanks to the Internet, it’s so much easier now to prepare the ground before arrival. If all goes well I’m hoping to have a freezer bought, delivered and plugged in ready for our arrival so that I can bring a couple of items with me…

This month’s Pic of the Week and Quick Quiz are from Ghana. Known as the Gold Coast before independence, Ghana was the first West African country to become free of colonial rule, in 1957. Despite some ups and downs, it’s been a relatively stable and prosperous country since then. But how much do you know about it? Find out in the Quiz!

The Pic of the Week is from the Cape Coast Castle, the fort which was at the centre of English and then British rule in the Gold Coast. The neighbouring territories were known to Europeans as the Ivory Coast (which it still is) and the Slave Coast, roughly equating to the coastlines of Togo, Benin and western Nigeria. Hundreds of slaves at a time were incarcerated in the dungeons below the Castle before the misery of their shipment to the Americas in the dangerous and disease-ridden Middle Passage of the Triangular Trade.

Are you ever flummoxed by fancy foodie words, mystified by menus, or confused by culinary terms? Then head on over to and become enlightened by our quirky A-Z of food. And it’s got cartoons in it! Don’t forget to tell all your friends about it too.

Meanwhile, of course, the forum continues to provide information on a wide range of expat issues, as well as the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people all around the world. You can see the full range of discussion boards here.

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British Expat Amazon Shopping

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BE Amazon Shop: UK & EU | BE Amazon Shop: non-EU

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Till next time…

Happy surfing!

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