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. 14 March 2018

    Although it’s a full two years since I relocated to London, there are days when I feel as though I’m a kidney, transplanted into the body of a benevolent but fractious host. Some days the host body shudders, develops an infection and the kidney, seemingly, begins its slow path of rejection.
    But for the majority of the time I feel as though the transplant has been a success and if the host body could just keep taking its meds and stay away from acidic alcoholic beverages, all would be well.
    The secret to making sure that you, the kidney, adapt and thrive in a relatively new environment boils down to having  a positive mental attitude (mine is dubious), but friends, girlfriends in particular, make a hell of a difference to your daily status quo. At the ripe age of this particular kidney friends are needed more than ever, [...]

  2. 31 January 2018

    There’s nothing quite like the ‘flu to kickstart a detox. I don’t know about you, but that was how 2018 began for me. There I was, on the flight home from Sydney, dreading the thought of giving up everything delicious in life when along came a virus which ensured nothing passed my lips for days. Everyone here in London has had flu, flu and more flu; Aussie flu, Japanese flu, H1N1 flu, Ol’ Swine flu and the list of maladies goes on. Mine evolved with what imagined were tiny men pulling on my orbital nerves, a strange buzzing sensation in my face and relentless nausea. When I finally scraped myself off the bathroom floor and the comfort of both its tiles and its damp bathmat, I floated off into the ether for days like a bewildered creature trapped in a Damian Hurst sculpture. I quite literally couldn’t get out of [...]

  3. 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 [...]