there’s no place like home

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It’s a funny feeling when you’re about to head home for the first time in two years. Combine it with being a surprise trip for my 30th (ew!) birthday – I actually felt more nervous than excited when I left my office in East London to head west for Heathrow.

What if no one cares that I’m back? What if everything’s changed? What if I don’t get along with anyone anymore? What if the place I have always kept so dear to my heart, is no longer a place I feel at home in, connected with, or happy to be in?

I honestly needn’t have worried. The second I stepped off the plane and heard that kiwi accent I knew I was home.

If anyone is ever planning a surprise trip to the other side of the world…do it. Don’t get me wrong; it’s hard, it’s stressful and involves a lot of lying – but the look on people’s faces and the sheer joy and excitement generated from popping up in real life not on-screen after two years away when they’re least expecting it, is absolutely priceless. I still get goose bumps and tears in my eyes thinking back to the moment I surprised three very special groups of people. Continue reading

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two years a londoner

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Two years ago today I was on the brink of my biggest challenge yet. I was consumed with butterflies, a complete mix of nerves and excitement, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt such a mix of emotions in one day. One month; I walked with a new spring in my step. Three months; I never wanted to move home. Six months; my new normal hit, reality bites. One year; I was enveloped in pride. 18 months; I could see my life at home, but I couldn’t see me in it.

Two years? The jury’s still out.

The Great London Conundrum. Continue reading

twenty months a londoner

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Prior to moving, I had hoped to celebrate every six months that I had survived life in this hectic city. Turns out that was somewhat overly ambitious, apparently.

When I first arrived, all I remember hearing from both born and bred Londoners and from longer standing expat buddies, was the constant and incessant use of the word ‘busy’. It used to baffle me that you needed to book a date with a friend weeks out just to catch up, how you could go for weeks on end and not see your friend who lives one tube stop away. We have the same contracted hours in London as we do at home, so how is everyone so busy all the time? I used to feel ashamed if I was – shock horror – free when someone asked to sporadically catch up one evening after work. Ahhhh, those were the days. Continue reading

like mother, like daughter

 

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What a ten weeks it has been: the disaster of Brexit (remaIN all the way), heart wrenching terror attacks, the coldest and wettest June in history and basically the entire British parliament quitting their day jobs leaving us in an array of utter confusion and market decline…. the upside for me of the last ten weeks was of course, as you know, my parents coming to visit – and my mum staying!

While I bid a teary farewell to my dad 8 weeks ago, the silver lining of my mascara stained cloud was that the hilarious, kind, wonderful person that is my mother, was staying – staying for 8 more weeks! Continue reading

the parents and the expat

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It’s funny when roles reverse – in any sense really; girl / boy, doctor / patient, teacher / student but for me, the most interesting in recent days has been the parent / expat child reversal.

My entire life has seen my parents showing me the ropes. The ropes of life, of New Zealand, of travel, of cooking – basically of everything! Anyone half has lucky as I am will know exactly what I am talking about. Your parents are your guide, your safety net and your due north. When you move your life to the other side of the world you may be able to take those ropes with you but suddenly the ropes don’t seem to work the way they used to.

Continue reading

the week that was . . .

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While this week in February I love adore London, I found this post in my drafts from a few weeks ago which has me half entertained, half in absolute despair…ahhhh the week that was…well, simply awful.

January 2016

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life
Samuel Johnson

Actually Mr Johnson, I disagree. When a man is tired of London, he is absolutely bone crushingly exhausted… frustrated… sad… angry… alone… stressed… sore… anyway, you get my drift (oops).

This week has been the worst of the worst. While I’ve been counting down the days till I reach number 365 of life in London, I couldn’t possibly be enjoying London less than I currently am. My dear reader, if you’re sitting on Samuel Johnson’s side of the fence, here’s a recap for you – I’ll let you decide whose views on being tired of London you agree with… Continue reading