Happy Happy Birthday!

Today it’s my mums birthday! Here’s some penguins singing Happy Birthday to you because, well, why not?

I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the little treats that I sent you as you deserve the very best Mum xxx

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Because I am a terrible singer and over use emoji’s …..

Happy birthday to you
🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈
Happy birthday to you
🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Happy birthday dear Mum!
🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈
Happy birthday to you!
🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰

IMG_0571.JPG image is available here

There’s No Place Like Home?

Today I am taking part in the #fireworkpeople blog hop. The #fireworkpeople is a community for creatives, dreamers and entrepreneurs who want to change the world which launched on Facebook from a Twitter Party on Tuesday nights at 9pm. You can see what everyone else in the blog hop has posted here.

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A lot of people don’t live where they were brought up or near their family like me and it made me wonder where you call home?

Even though I am English and living in Australia I do still consider England to be my home, especially my parents house where there are some of my favourite people andΒ our animals.

When I visited England for two weeks in September I described it to people as going home and it really did feel like that when I got there and it was a wrench to leave my home, family and friends. However I do also consider Darwin to be my home and I had the same going home feeling when I arrived back in Darwin as when I arrived home in England. I wonder if it is because this is where I live with the Aussie?

Thinking about it all, I think that the saying “Home is where the heart is” is very true, for me at least. England has my parents, extended family and my best friends and when I saw them all evenΒ for that short time it was as if I hadn’t been away. We started up where we last left of by text, FaceTime, email or What’s App message and carried on as if I had actually seen them last week in person, it felt exactly the same as it was before I moved to Darwin.

Being back in Australia has been the same although I do miss spending time everyone in England in person, especially with these god awful time zones!

Arriving back in Darwin though made me realise what I have here as well. I’ve got a great job, lovely apartment, awesome friends and always seem to be busy. Every week in Darwin we seem to meet new people as well and they always make an impact upon you even if it is for a short time.

So I think that the reality is that you can have several places that you call home and will always love to visit or return to each of them because of what that place means to you. The fact that you miss people and a place means that they have a hold over you and will always be special to you.

So yes I believe there is definitely no place like home but I think that home is whatever you need it to be.

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Keeping My Feet On the Ground…

At least for the time being anyway!

So I have finished my adventuring for a little while. In the space of 3 and a bit weeks I traveled from Darwin to Somerset in the UK to spend two fantastic weeks with my family, attend one of my best friends weddings, catch up with my other great friends from home and work and catch up with my extended family which I loved.

I arrived back in Darwin 2 days after leaving the UK, due to the joy of time zones, and after a short day at home was back at work, for 2 days, before jetting off to Melbourne for a girlie weekend with some of my great friends from Darwin!

We had a brilliant time in Melbourne and I will write a separate post about our visit because we did and saw lots and I fell in love with the city just a little bit.

Anyway it is lovely being back in Darwin and sleeping in my own bed but again I feel the pull of the UK and everyone who I love being there whilst I am so far away. I’m luckily to have two “homes” with wonderful people I care about a lot in both places and everyone is so good at keeping in contact it does feel a bit like I have never been away when I am when I am home.

After a short break from adventuring it will be time to plan the next one – until then here is a video of a penguin being tickled, you are welcome!!!

Love You England

When this post publishes I will be on a plane somewhere between the UK and Darwin. I have been having a blast during my trip to the UK and not even an ear infection can dampen the spirits (even if it happens 3 days before I am due to fly back to Australia as well!).

View of Cheddar

I’ve spent lots of time with my parents and brother which has included trips to the seaside and Cheddar hunting for some good old Cheddar cheese as well as some lovely days at home with them and our dogs. We’ve been exploring the village where my parents live whilst taking the dogs for walks in the evenings as well which has been fun as there are lots of nice walking tracks to wander around.

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My Mum has cooked me some of my favourite meals of roast turkey, lamb and beef, beef stew (not the wisest of choices on a 25 degree C day) and cakes and we also enjoyed some proper cod fish and chips as well.

Cheese Cheese Cheese!!!
Cheese Cheese Cheese!!!

I’ve also spent lots of time with my Grandma, cousin and Aunties and Uncles which has been lovely as I haven’t seen them since before I left for Darwin and I’ve missed a couple of family get together’s whilst I have been away. We had a lovely lunch on Saturday and I was even surprised by my Auntie and Uncle coming along when I thought they would be away.

As I mentioned in this post, I came to the UK in September to attend and celebrate my friends wedding which meant catching up with her and some of our friends who we went to school with at a dinner and then at the wedding.

I also managed to catch up with my old housemate who I lived with for 5 years through University and also for a bit when we started work. We both started our first job after university on the same day on the 27 September 2004. We always remembered our joint work anniversary and she realised that it is 10 years since we both started work when I was at home. We spent a lovely afternoon together having lunch and wandering around the shops in Bristol, and if the Aussie asked I definitely didn’t buy anything!!!

Have to make time for cocktails
Have to make time for cocktails

There was also time to catch up with my friends from my last two jobs in Bristol and we met up for lunch in my first week home and also cocktails at my favourite cocktail bar called Coal (two for one cocktails too! and dinner this week at Brasserie Blanc which was pretty amazing food!!

Dinner at Brasserie Blanc
Dinner at Brasserie Blanc

All in all I have crammed a lot into these short two weeks and have managed to catch up with almost everyone that I wanted to see. Fingers crossed I will be back at Christmas so we can spend even more time together.

I have also invited everyone I’ve seen to come stay with me and the Aussie in Darwin. We only have one spare room so fingers crossed they won’t all rock up at the same time, although I think it would be fun!

Our Best Friends Wedding

I came back to the UK in September because one of my best friends was getting married. It was such a lovely and exciting day to see one my favourite people in the whole world marrying such a wonderful man.

I have known the bride since our first day of secondary school in 1993 and we have grown up together sharing and celebrating many important moments in our lives. She has been there for me throughout and has been a huge support for me in my move to Australia, being at the wedding was very important to me.

The bride and groomΒ asked me to do a reading at the wedding and after scouring a lot of wedding readings I found one by Edmund O’Neill which they and I loved. It was an honour to play a part in the ceremony and to share the day with them.

I was asked by the brides Mum to take a few photos at the brides house before she left for the ceremony as a surprise and I was very glad I brought my DSLR camera home with me to the UK so I could do this. I had fun taking photos as everyone got ready to leave for the venue.

It was so lovely to share this time with the bride because I was able to help her get ready for the wedding and also stayed at her house with her until it was time to leave which meant we were able to spend some quiet time together with her step dad laughing and reminiscing.

The weather was perfect, the bride look stunning, the groom looked very handsome and everything went smoothly. I spent the day with our other school friends who I have known since I was about 5 and met the brides lovely other friends who she has met whilst living in London.

We danced until the music stopped and then stayed up chatting about how great the day was before meeting again for breakfast the next day. The only downside was that I had to leave the Aussie in Darwin for the trip this time and he missed a great day but I have told him all about it!

There were a few tears when we had to say goodbye as the bride and groom were heading off for their mini moon the next day because they wouldn’t be back until after my flight back to Darwin left.

I’d like to wish them a huge congratulations on their wedding day and I cannot wait to hear all about their mini moon.

WEDDING PICS

I’m Home!!!

Wow I just looked on the blog and realised I haven’t updated the blog since the 9th September!!! It’s been a busy old September so I’m going to go with that being the reason rather than lack of motivation!!!

Life has been great as usual with lots of time with the Aussie and our friends in Darwin as well as meeting lots of new people (including one of my blog readers who has also moved to Darwin and who we randomly met last week when introduced by mutual friends!!).

I also flew back to the UK very early on Saturday morning and after a shortish flight from Darwin to Singapore and what seemed like an endless flight from Singapore to the UK (it was an hour longer as we thankfully took the longer route around) I arrived home in London and was greeted by my brother.

Since coming home I’ve been spending time with my parents and brother, my gorgeous little dog Henry as well as my parents dogs and catching up with other family members too.

It’s been funny wandering around my old town and listening to the accents I grew up with and also trying not to pass out due to the jet lag but I am loving being home although missing the Aussie every day.

I’ll try and keep the blog going whilst I am home as I am lucky to come from Somerset in England which is a very beautiful place which deserves to be shown off as its often overlooked when its a great old place.

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Happy Tuesday!

13 Sleeps!

I’m flying to the UK to spend two whole weeks with my family, catch up with friends and attend one of my best friends weddings on 20th September. I am VERY excited! My mum and I text each other with the countdown most days now and currently there are just 13 sleeps!!!

I do love living with the Aussie in Darwin, especially now we have our own place but there are lots of things I miss about the UK and cannot wait to see/do/spend time with.

1) my family – I’m a big homebody and love just spending time with my mum, dad and brother at home chilling out so I cannot wait for 2 weeks with them. My brother is picking me up from Heathrow Airport so I’ve told him he needs to get practising so he can do this (also an excuse to share this video as I love it):

2) my dog Henry – I hate that I can’t spend time with Henry every day at the moment and feel very bad for him that he won’t understand why I’m not there. He’s a bit of a technophobe as well so there’s been many occasion where I’ve tried speaking to him on FaceTime and he’s literally turned his back on me! I’m looking forward to seeing him a lot

3) Tilley and Tess – these are my parents dogs and Henry’s partners in crime when they not making up their own crimes of course! These girls are such sweethearts and they actually interact with me on FaceTime (I swear Henry is afraid of technology) and I can’t wait to see them too.

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4) my extended family – I keep in touch with them regularly via Facebook but I’m hoping to spend sometime with them when I’m home especially as I unfortunately missed my cousins wedding earlier in the year when everyone was together.

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5) my friends – as I said above one of my best friends is getting married when I’m home and I’m very excited about her wedding as I’ll get to see her marry her lovely fiancΓ©e but also see our friends and her family too. I’m also doing a reading for her and am very proud to be a part of her day.

I also can’t wait to meet up with my old housemates from when I was at university in Bristol for a catch up and many work friends. There’s been a few babies born in the last year so I’m hoping to meet the little ones for cuddles at last.

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Expat life is pretty cool but can also be pretty tough when you are so far away from some of the important people in your life. It just means the times we spend together are that little bit more special and you really value these times together.