Thursday, 29 November 2018

Expat Update: 6 Months Since Returning to the UK.

So it's been six months today since I made the move from Sydney back to London, and I thought I'd do an update on what I've been up to and how I've been finding it. I've made no secret that this year has been one of the toughest of my life - if not THE toughest - but as always I've come out stronger and with a gratitude for life, and a determination to continue living life to the full.

View of St Paul's from Madison Rooftop


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Hotel Review: The Curtain, Shoreditch.

Shoreditch is a bit of a funny one for me. Almost every time I have been to Shoreditch I have cried. Not because I hate it, just because I always get lost there...and when I get lost I panic, and when I panic I burst into tears. I often find that getting those tears out then gives me clarity to actually figure out where I am and where I'm going, I guess like all things in life? 

So in proper Catherine-in-Shoreditch tradition, I also cried at The Curtain. I wish I could say it was out of happiness because it was so beautiful (it was beautiful!), but actually it's because it was so freezing cold I couldn't swim in the rooftop pool.

How's that for a first world problem?

The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Finding the Perfect Christmas Gifts for my Brother.

The past two Christmases have been tricky for me. Two years ago I was in Australia so had to send very light or virtual gifts in the post back to my family in England, and last year I arrived in the UK just days before Christmas, so had to do a mad dash to the shops to get gifts. The only person who I planned-ahead for last year was my brother. He's a huge basketball fan so while I was in NYC on my way to London from Sydney, I popped into the NBA store and bought his gift there. This year however, I've had plenty of time to think about and organise gifts which has been a bit strange, but thankfully Boots* have stepped in to help me out a little bit and remind me what it's like to plan Christmas in advance!

Boots christmas gifts for my brother - Tom Ford Black Orchid and TGI's cocktail set


Thursday, 15 November 2018

Hotel Review: Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo.

During our French Riviera Roadtrip we were really lucky to be staying in some of the most beautiful hotels in the region, with Hotel Metropole being one of the most glamorous hotels I have ever stayed at. We arrived in our hire car and it was instantly whisked away from us by the hotel valet while we were shown inside to the check-in desk. Cocktails were placed in our hands as we spied Thierry Henry sat across from us, and before we knew it we were exploring our incredible suite!

The exterior of the five-star luxury Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Minimising the Stress of Starting Over in a New Country With Leesa.

Moving countries is something I like to think I'm an expert in by now. I've moved across the world a total of four times - out to Australia when I was 16, back to England two years later, out to Australia again when I was 25, and back to England again two years later. Obviously when I was a teenager those moves were very different experiences, as my parents did pretty much all the hard work and all I had to do was pack my suitcase and boxes. The second and third times I moved countries were a little more tricky, as suddenly I had to organise everything completely alone and start from scratch each time with new furniture and homey bits.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

Roadtripping the French Riviera.

Earlier this year when I was in the midst of my grief over my latest miscarriage, I was stressing about the due date and what I would do on the date. As I recently said in my Refinery29 article, it's one of the hardest dates in the calendar when you've gone through miscarriage. Filled with so much hope whilst pregnant, it's difficult to know what to do with the date when there is no longer a baby to welcome into the world. I didn't want to sit at home feeling sorry for myself, and I also didn't want to go to work and carry on my life as normal because it felt disrespectful to the baby I lost. 

I always travel over difficult dates and anniversaries (including the anniversary of my first miscarriage), so my best friend in Australia suggested we go on holiday together over the date. I had a think about it and then announced I'd always wanted to do the South of France, so we started planning and dreaming of roadtripping the French Riviera. And despite my numbness and tears on the date itself, we had the best week ever and it was a brilliant way to take my mind of things, and concentrate on living life to the full and being grateful for what I have.

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