Sophie Lee's Blog

So, earlier this year my family and I pulled up stumps and made the big move from sunny Australia to what is today a frosty, Brexit-y London. To date, pitfalls, hazards, wardrobe malfunctions, bust- ups and blow-outs have outnumbered the one or two small victories but I remain optimistic. I don’t think I could ever have anticipated just how challenging it would be to restart life in a new and unfamiliar environment, but can promise you will hear more about it through my regular blogs.

As I sit at a desk in what my three children call Homework Jail, it’s all glimpses of scaffolding and plastic wrapped building sites, flaming red and orange leaves and the habitual darting of squirrels overlaid with a soundtrack of jets and sirens, the bang and clatter of building and rebuilding (‘ like giants moving furniture’ I say to anyone who can hear me) and the squawking of kids from one of the eight or so schools on this street alone. For this I traded the Pacific Ocean, early morning swims and south-easterly breezes?

Anyway, it is from this new and bracing atmosphere of conker battles and frequent trips to Tesco’s pastry shelf for reviving cinnamon buns, that I write to you with news and advice for anyone daft enough to consider uprooting their family and moving to the other side of the world.

You can also follow me on:
Instagram @slhippocampus
Twitter @SophELee
Pinterest @slhippocampus

Thank you!
Talk to you soon.

  1. 28 November 2017

    Time passes. Attitudes change.

    I’ve now been living in London for well over a-year-and-a half but for some unaccountable reason I continue to affirm this time frame, even though I’ve well surpassed it. It rolls off my tongue in such a way that I predict I’ll be saying it when I’ve been living here a decade.  Just last week, when questioned by immigration officials, I replied “a-year-and-a-half” in much the same way that the malfunctioning mutant in Total Recall repeatedly replied ‘two weeks’ as its face melted.

    Perhaps ex-pats find the year-and-a-half point pivotal. It’s the point at which your brain stops constantly recalibrating and questioning as to whether you’ve lost your marbles in the move. It’s when, if you’re lucky, you find you’ve made a handful of friends: like-minded souls you can depend upon, who’ll give you reason to laugh when things take a nosedive.  At a-year-and-a-half you stop [...]

  2. 19 May 2017













    ENID- this is a thumbnail sketch in response to the postcard below…

    Enid’s tongue poked through the pink cloud of sugar and she felt a surge of what might have been hormones, but it was so long since she’s felt them stir inside her she couldn’t be sure. For the first time in three weeks she had strayed from the four walls of her new ‘home’ at Gables Retirement Home, where-a-new-life-was-waiting-just-around-the-bend. Apparently.
    Oh, how that sugar seeped into then flooded her bloodstream. Platelets, whose count had been so low last Friday, heard, rejoiced and began to multiply. Fairy Floss was now here to save them.
    Enid’s left ankle gave her no bother as she headed through Regent’s Park in her heavy brocade overcoat, checked scarf [...]

  3. 18 January 2017

    Happy New Year!

    So, as I survived a phenomenon known as “Blue Monday” in the UK this week, allegedly a Monday so vile that it is the most depressing date to dominate the calendar, I feel compelled to share this breakfast vignette with you. See, I had been reading Arthur Miller’s All My Sons before going to bed on Blue Monday Eve, most gloomy of all the eves, and for some reason the next day my experience of breakfast itself formulated itself in my brain in his style …

    The kitchen in a large basement flat in London. A staircase Stage Left leads upwards. Morning, but still dark. David Bowie circa 1970 plays from portable sound system. A microwave bings. Mother, a blonde woman in her forties moves about the kitchen preparing breakfast.

    Mother: Boys?
    Mother: (opening instant porridge sachets) It’s time to get up …