Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's news to me...

How do you take your news? In these days of mass media it seems quite easy but for expats there may be challenges, especially those who are not fluent in the local language, making TV news, newspapers, etc., hard work. Well, the wonders of the www can help and we have found the BBC web site absolutely superb as a source of top quality news and information in our first language.

Now some are outraged to find that the BBC news site is carrying advertising. Strange that this should provoke such a reaction in this day and age? Well, one has to appreciate that the BBC's history is one of independence, their TV, radio and related services being funded by UK users paying an annual licence, meaning no advertising!

In fact, since the news and other services have been available on the BBC web site* there had been much discussion that this enabled anyone around the world to make full use of services that are paid for by British licence payers! However, now the BBC has come up with an ingenious system - when you connect to their site it detects if you are based in the UK or overseas and, if the latter, the news site you see will carry advertising. As a Brit overseas, I really value the BBC services and this seems a small price to pay for continued access to a quality news source, particularly compared to, say, having to subscribe to the service - the move to advertising is strongly supported by this particular expat...

* BBC news


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Autumn of our years...

Autumn already and, to continue the (fairly) recent theme, one could be forgiven for thinking that this blog had gone into retirement - but real life and the day job inevitably take their toll from time-to-time!

Perhaps it is an appropriate time of year for the subject of retirement and I have been wondering how this time of life may be more or less challenging for expat retirees and what different options may be open to them. Many people I meet who have retired overseas seem to be enjoying life enormously - have they just been able to create their ideal retirement or does living in another place provide more opportunities and stimulation?

Unfortunately, images of typical expats and typical senior citizens seem to get in the way of seeing the real people, and their very real lives, so in some future posts I would like to try to strip away much of the stereotyping and try to look very simply at how one can make this major transition - in another place. Contributions in "Comments" will be welcomed!