About

I am Janet Williams, an academic, a mother and a wife in a foreign land, in the southeast of England, UK.

English is not my mother tongue. I speak and write it as a second language. You may find some odd grammatical errors, but they are not intentional. For example, I don’t seem to be able to use ‘a, an, the’ in the right place. Sometimes singular or plural nouns also baffle me. I write ‘he’ when I meant ‘she’ sometimes.

This blog covers stories of my life before the UK and my life after living in the UK since 1996. It covers my searching of my identity, and my thoughts on history, languages and cross cultures.

My most popular post on this blog is Am I British enough? Many people told me they are touched by this post, Born as an outsider. My Letters from China series about my mother’s strength is a microcosm of the Chinese migration history in the last century. The Chin Peng series unveils hidden stories in the lush jungle of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. You can find out all my posts in this categorised Table of Contents page.

Janet’s Notebook also reflects my love affairs with WordPress, and how my life has been enriched and transformed with WordPress through this brilliantly supportive and engaging community.

  • If you can read Chinese, you can find me on a Chinese blog called 英国琐记, which recorded my life in the UK since 2008.
  •  My 12-year-old son has also got a blog. He is quite funny absolutely hilarious! Welcome to Ben Williams’ World!
  • I have a small collection of stories in a small storytelling community called Cowbird. I love stories.

Thank you for stopping by.

My Stotytelling on Cowbird

45 thoughts on “About

    1. SoundEagle

      Hi Janet 玉云,

      SoundEagle would like to thank you as well.

      By the way, there is a comment from SoundEagle on Ben’s blog at his new blog post, as SoundEagle would like to encourage him to be even more articulated and creative with himself and his excellent blog. :)

      Reply
      1. Janet Williams Post author

        Thank you, SoundEagle. You have the most colourful and vibrant website, and it is very resourceful.

        Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. We have seen the wonderful mushup clip that you recommended. It is highly entertaining. Thank you.

        Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thank you Coline for your nomination — shall I do it the Oscars way with lots of shrieks and tears? I’ll have a think and respond to the nomination later. Thank you very much and let’s both keep it up!

      Reply
  1. AJ's Mom

    Hi Janet! Great blog site you have here. I’ve always wanted to use this theme but for some reason it doesn’t to work well with the rest of my stuff. I’m from the West Midlands but born and raised in the Philippines. :-) Just followed you.

    Reply
    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thanks! I’m your neighbour — from Malaysia.

      I’ve just tried again. I’m improving, but still quite get it all right. I’m getting there. Thanks for your instructions. Giving instructions is not easy.

      Reply
    2. Janet Williams Post author

      Thank you. I found this theme has limitation and I may change it some day. I chose it because it is very clean site. I’ve enjoyed your blog and tutorial. Keep it up!

      Reply
  2. Nancy L.

    Hi Janet! Great blog site you have going on here! Thanks for all your kind words on my blog, I so appreciate it! I really enjoyed your blog and your son looks like a Joy as mine is to me! Take care!

    Reply
    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Hi Brad,

      Thank you for your intelligent guess. I love this guessing game. I’m Chinese, not from Singapore nor Indonesia though. I was born and bred in Malaysia.

      Singapore used to be part of Malaysia and Singapore got independent in 1965. My family was split therefore and most of my family became Singaporeans, while I remai Malaysian.

      It sounded complicated. I must write a blog post about it one day.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Taking Care of Business… Some Thank You Notes | The Retiring Sort

  4. The Retiring Sort

    Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I hope this will be welcome news for you. If you prefer not to accept the award, I certainly understand, but I hope you will visit the other nominees, and they will visit you, just the same. To see more about the award and accepting this nomination, please visit my post at http://wp.me/p2ekZU-E4. All the best!

    Reply
  5. lifeonwry.com

    Hi! Just wanted to make sure that you saw that I nominated you for the Addictive Blog Award or So Sweet Blog Award – your choice!. Icons on my post called “Shout-out to the Blogosphere.”

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Verrrry Interesting – Specialty Blogging Awards | The Retiring Sort

  7. The Retiring Sort

    Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I hope this will be welcome news for you. If you prefer not to accept the award, I certainly understand, but I hope you will visit the other nominees, and they will visit you, just the same. To see the other nominees and rules for accepting the award, please visit my post at http://wp.me/p2ekZU-Pt – All the best!

    Reply
  8. JoV

    I found your blog from Happy Hermit. Thought you are from China but a Malaysian. I’m a Malaysian too! So happy to be come across your blog.

    Reply
    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thank you for your message — 2 Malaysians met on WP in the UK. How interesting!

      I’ve just followed your blog. I’d spend more time reading your book reviews. You’re truly an avid reader. All the best to you.

      Reply
  9. Pingback: A challenge! | Jottings by Janet

  10. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award | russellboyle

  11. amphomma

    Thank you for visiting and following my blog! I’ve been caught up in the little details of life and haven’t say down to write in a while. I look forward to getting back to it, and also to reading more of your posts! Blessings–Alison

    Reply
  12. Opalla

    Thanks for Following and I am following your Blog too :). We sure share enough in common. Lived, studied and taught in London in my ‘younger days’ and I am writing in my second language too. Will check out your Chinese Blog of course.

    Reply
    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Dear Opalla,

      Thanks for writing back. I used to teach in London but now I’m in the English suburbs. I’ve almost stopped my Chinese blog but it contained my journey in the last 4 years.

      Reply
  13. PAUL FANNING

    Your posts are interesting to me because I have always been fascinated to know how British life looks through the eyes of non-British people. In my years as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages, I have learned much about this question, but my interest continues. I see also that you’re living not so far away from me (based in Reading).

    Reply
  14. Karina Susanto

    Dear Janet
    Thank you so much for following my blog. I really appreciate it. I am truly impressed read your “about” looking forward to read more your stuff. Blessing.
    Regards
    Karina

    Reply
  15. haydendlinder

    I laughed when I read this, “For example, I don’t seem to be able to use ‘a, an, the’ in the right place.”
    I wanted to tell you not to feel bad. I was born and raised in the U.S. and I don’t always use them correctly either.

    Reply

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