What’s in my suitcase?

What’s in my suitcase?

I’ve just moved back to Australia from the United Kingdom and the packing was a mammoth task! It was very much worth it though. We’ve had more sun the last two weeks in Sydney than I think we had all summer in London. Wearing SPF 50 daily for my pasty rosacea riddled skin.

I do miss my new family though! A big shout out to the Hamby’s in the UK. Thank you for welcoming me into your family and your country. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and I look forward to seeing you again next year xx You are completely responsible for one of the more unusual items in my suitcase and I love you for it.

Living in London, we kept the household items to the essentials + a few luxuries (Dearest Nutribullet – I hear you are being put to hard work in your new home!), so we expected packing to be not so difficult. We still managed to mostly fill two large boxes and two small from Seven Seas Worldwide who were wonderful to deal with in London.

These contained heavy boots; winter jackets; fancy dresses (I’m looking at you BAFTA ball gown); assorted kitchen-ware that *meant* something, like gift mugs; filled notebooks and diaries; and one very lonely but very beloved piece of *art* – a framed scrabble pasted photo of Han Solo and Princess Leia between takes (see above).

I love you

I know

Sigh – I read The Princess Diarist earlier this year and adored it. It travelled back in one of the boxes too. Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds – you are sorely missed!

Despite the four boxes, there were still some effects that we couldn’t leave behind. Which leads me to the list of 5 unusual things that I brought back to Sydney via Dallas and San Francisco in my luggage:

  1. Warrick the Ewok (we pronounce it Yoric, Life of Brian anyone?). We bought him in June from Disneyland Paris. My first trip to Disneyland: I think I must have been waiting for all the Star Wars rides and merch. Warrick – was sat beside my bed hiding from the boxes. He must have wanted to see the US of A. Can’t blame him, it was a fun trip!
  2. Manduka Eko Travel Mat in Midnight. It FOLDS! That’s why it makes this list – it’s unusual. Brilliant design for travelling. I love it. It smells nice too. It’s made from sustainably harvested tree rubber.
  3. Two laptops – one for writing and one for work. I’d hoped to leave the second behind in London, but since I’m transferring internally, it was advised to bring it with me. At least that one is small. The writing one is the brick! I got a few odd looks from security when I pulled two laptops out of my carry-on :S
  4. Four pairs of shoes – how many do you travel with? It’s always the hardest decision I make when packing.
    • Irregular choice heels. Candy whistle style. Similar to this pair … but with a different pattern painted on. I love how quirky they are. I chose Irregular choice heels for my wedding too. Have you seen the film Me Before You? This brand of shoes feature. They are so much fun!
    • HiTec walking boots – these came in handy in the Lakes District and again in San Francisco’s Muir Woods. I also pulled them out in Sydney for the walk from Maroubra to Malabar. It’s a new one that’s opened up behind the shooting range. We were very lucky to see a pair of whales frolicking.
    • Aasic sneakers for running/working out. Ha! Happened twice, maybe? More now that I’m back in Sydney.
    • Havaiana Thongs (or Flip Flops as non Sydney-siders call them). My go to footwear. Probably because I’m usually too lazy for socks or laces or even just pulling up the back of a ballet flat.
  5. A photo album of my husband’s life to date.
    My favourite of all the unusual or unexpected items in my suitcase. This included his original baby photos and the wrist band from the hospital. A gorgeous gift from his mother to us and the new family we are starting in Australia. I am so grateful to her for putting this beautiful piece of family history together for us.

Have you ever travelled around the world with something unusual or unexpected in your suitcase?

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10 London Favourites

10 London Favourites

My time in London is coming to an end after 18 months of incredible experiences. Here are just a few, not strictly in order except for number ten… that one is definitely last:

  1. West End – All the theatre. All the musicals. All of it. I’ve absolutely loved it!
  2. The Globe – because, duh. My favourite was Imogen, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. So many abs! The cast were all such fit dancers. It was an incredible performance.
  3. National Theatre – Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a longstanding favourite of mine and they did it so very well.
  4. The extra large Foyles, second-hand bookstores on Charing-Cross Road, the Piccadilly Waterstones. The smell of books!
  5. Secret Cinema – Moulin Rouge – my God! I have never seen anything like it. Secret Cinema’s immersive experience surpassed all expectations. You’re not just seeing and hearing. You get to live and breathe it. You get woven into and swept up and away in the magic of that world. It was incredible!
  6. Walking across London Bridge and looking across the Thames at Tower Bridge. So pretty.
  7. Brockwell Park – I will always be a home girl and the park next door will always hold a special place in my heart. Brockwell has the good fortune of having a very beautiful walled garden in the middle, and it’s own resident swans and grey heron.
  8. The Eurostar to Paris. My first time in Disneyland Paris! Woohoo! So glad we waited till Disney bought Star Wars. Now I have my own ewok. He is named Yoric and is super cuddly.
  9. All the quirky yoga and fitness studios: Battersea yoga (in a yurt), Hotpod yoga (in a large indoor tent), Fierce Grace, Hit and Yoga, Embody Wellness, 1Rebel, Basefit, Light Centre, GymClass and more…
  10. The Northern Line – a London favourite? Really? I know, I know – but I think it’s been the making of me. The cause of so much angst and anxiety. It’s made me stronger. Never again in my life will I be so close to twenty sweaty strangers all glaring at each other and jostling for air.

Want to know any more about any of the above – let me know 🙂

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London Film and Comic Con and YALC

London Film and Comic Con and YALC

I made it! My first comic con and literature convention. It was awesome! I loved it 🙂

My friend has a Back To The Future poster that was signed by almost all the stars. Tom Wilson who plays Biff was there and completed the set, except for Crispin Glover, who he reckons he is unlikely to get.  He also got photos with Tom and Christopher Lloyd! 

I was more interested in the talks. We saw the two of them chat about BTTF and their favourite actors. We also saw Alan Tudyk. He’s a favourite of mine from Firefly, Dollhouse, Rogue One and all his voice over work. Incredible talents. They were all so kind as well!

Other stars there on the day included Benedict Cumberbatch, buried under hundreds of fans; Natalie Dormer, looking absolutely stunning; Allison Hannigan, couldn’t get near her! So my inner fan girl was just melting into a puddle on the floor. Peter Mayhew was in the house, I like that Wookiee. 

The costumes were incredible. There was not as much cosplay as I expected, but there were some really brilliant outfits. My favourites were a lego batman in his bathrobe with a lobster on a plate, Kaylee from Firefly in her frilly pink dress and the Stark family complete with Ned’s severed head. 

At the Young Adult Literature Convention, there was V E Schwab, Holly Bourne and Emily Lockhart amongst others. I wandered around adding more and more books to my Goodreads Want To Read list. I feel like I’m spending so much time catching up on reading that I’m a little behind. There are not enough hours in the day. 

Interesting to see how social media is changing the industry. There were a number of stalls for book boxes. I’ve seen a lot of these on Instagram. They are so creative, often filled with knick knacks as well as new reads. I plan to subscribe to a one when I get back to Sydney. Suggestions?  Most likely a YA one …

Have you ever been to a comic con or a literature convention? What was your favourite experience?

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Pugs in Green Park #weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I’d recommend you crash a meeting of pugs in the park, like I did today. Not three, not thirty, more!

I confess, I never liked pugs before, I always thought them squashed-looking. But today, I am quite converted. Big ones, little ones, fat rolly ones and skinny ones, old and young. A whole crowd of pugs and their delighted owners gathered together, surrounded by surprised park wanderers like myself. Such a joyful and unexpected union.  

They run so fast!

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If we were having coffee, I’d remind you that the coffee in London almost universally sucks compared to Sydney, and that we should be having wine instead, or that coffee after 3pm will keep me up till 3am. But you know all that, so why nag. 

Instead, let me sit in silence a while and just listen to you. 

Just listen. 

Because you need it. 

With love, 


P.S. Recommendations for good coffee in London are very very welcome in the comments below!

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