Driving home for Christmas

oxford-street-lights

Several weeks ago, I met up with an Australian friend who has recently relocated to the UK in search of a new adventure.

He was experiencing the lead up to his first ever cold Christmas, following a lifetime of festive barbecues and Santas on surfboards.

It was all completely alien to him, but I found one of his observations particularly interesting. He said that for the first time in his life, he truly ‘got’ Christmas.

Continue reading

Summer daze

hay bales

A couple of months ago, I wrote about my anticipation at the start of summer, fingers firmly crossed that it didn’t turn out to be a fizzer.

I needn’t have worried, because despite the best efforts of Ex-Hurricane Bertha to spoil things over the last few days, this summer really has been a glorious one.

Week after week of warmth, with July 2014 even being hailed as one of the top 10 sunniest and warmest Julys since records began (1910, if you’re interested).

Continue reading

Summer on the Downs

Downs

Whilst the official start of summer in the UK isn’t for a few weeks, I always think that June 1st has a symbolic, start of season feel to it.

And, as if in agreement with this sentiment, what a glorious day it was – warm, but not too warm and accompanied by a gentle breeze to propel the fluffy clouds across the sky.

Continue reading

Two years on

Qantas

Today it is March 28th – a date that will be forever etched into my mind.

The reason is that it was the date, in 2012, that I zipped up my suitcase and headed off to Sydney airport for a flight to the UK … only this time, clutching a one-way ticket and lugging all my remaining possessions with me.

It seems like it was only yesterday.

Continue reading

Turning back the clocks?

Weather House

Perhaps lost in all the drama surrounding the impending arrival of the tempest that was St Jude’s storm, last weekend also marked that annual ritual of putting the clocks back.

Overnight, journeys home from work, previously undertaken in a sort of weak, dappled sunlight, were suddenly plunged into premature darkness with the prospect of this scenario continuing for another 5 months or so.

Continue reading

Glastonbury

Glastonbury

This weekend sees the Glastonbury 2013 take place down in deepest Somerset, one of the most iconic music festivals in the world, let alone Britain.

I’ve been struck by how many different music festivals there are on the English summer calendar, catering for just about every life stage and musical taste, but ‘Glasto’ remains the jewel in the crown.

Continue reading

Bluebells

Bluebells

Living in Sydney, October was probably my favourite time of the year.

It was then that the colder, wetter weather of winter would be safely consigned to the past and the skin-searing heat of summer would be yet to arrive.

This in-between season was usually warm by day and mild by night.

Continue reading

Spring

192

When I returned to the UK a little over a year ago, there had been an unseasonably warm March and as result, Spring had well and truly sprung by the time I stepped off the plane.

This year, the reverse is true with a cold March and April ensuring that nature spent a little longer tucked up in bed than normal, thus delaying the time when I get to experience my first English Springtime for many years.

Continue reading

Happy first birthday

first birthday cake recipes idea

It’s March 28th tomorrow. Just a regular date in the diary eh?

Sure, some may celebrate the birthdays of actor Vince Vaughan, ex-cricketer Nasser Hussain or all round loon Lady Gaga, not to mention Teachers Day in Czech Republic and Slovakia or Serf’s Emancipation Day in Tibet, but for most it is a pretty ordinary date.

Continue reading