MumAbroad founder Carrie Frais reached a milestone this week and shares her thoughts, memories and observations with 50 years under her belt
I used to be a TV news presenter but never felt totally at ease. Far too exposed. I am fairly clumsy so sometimes after a shift I would notice that I had toothpaste down my jacket.
I was lucky to have both intelligent and funny parents. Our conversations at the dinner table could vary from who could make the silliest sound whilst eating to discussing the long term effects of the holocaust.
I wish that my parents had pushed me more to learn bridge. They got so much pleasure not talking to each other for hours on end.
I don’t remember loads of details about my childhood. My mum always said that was because it was a happy one, as trauma is difficult to erase.
But of the memories I do have, it’s the simple ones that last – my dad jamming on the piano, my mum reading a newspaper, drinking whiskey and smoking a cigarette whilst my brother and I watched Dallas in pyjamas with the sound turned down.
My brother has inherited my dad’s sense of humour which is both a curse and a joy.
Grief is inexplicable. My mum died 6 years ago and my dad just over a year. You can put grief in a cupboard for a bit but sometimes it punches you in the face totally out of the blue.
Since I moved to Barcelona I always have referred to London and the UK as ‘home’. Now my parents are not around, it’s a bit less clear but I can’t imagine not living there again.
I can be overly sensitive, which means I can’t easily shake off things. I’ve tried so hard, but it is intrinsic.
One of the few times I have seen my husband truly open up was when I interviewed him on the radio. I found out things about him that I never knew and we’ve been together nearly 20 years.
I have been vegetarian for years. I hate the animal cruelty aspect more than anything, although I also don’t eat meat for environmental and health reasons. My daughter is vegetarian too and my husband has finally turned and that has made me very happy.
I didn’t particularly enjoy being a parent when the kids were toddlers and unlike the cliché I don’t wish I could have that time again. Now they are a tween and teen I would bottle the time up forever.
I am most proud of my kids for being kind.
Aside from kindness I would wish on them self-confidence, resilience and the ability to laugh at themselves.
Truly special friendships come from the shared and often extremely challenging experience of living abroad. We have been through so much together.
If I could change one thing about myself it would be the ability to have a good night`s sleep.
I will always be a cat person, but now I have a dog I finally get it. Reggie lives in the present and is a constant reminder of mindfulness.
A pub quiz, a large glass of Merlot, a group of fun friends & family and I am at my happiest.