Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Taste of Oxford

My girls and I popped over to Oxford for a few hours go to the Chinese supermarket and shop for a Chinese feast. We took some time out and went for a stroll to soak up the atmosphere. Love the cycling culture of Oxford and all the bikes lined up remind me of Shanghai.


Love the history and the buildings of Oxford. The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford's first classical building and the first large building by Christopher Wren built 1664-1668.

Sheldonian Theatre

Love the literary atmosphere. Grab a book and read, wherever you are. Copies of all the world's books are held in vaults under the streets. You can feel the history seeping through.

On the street

If only the walls could talk, the stories they could tell.


Oxford's version of 'The Bridge of Sighs'...actually a bridge over New College lane linking two parts of Hertford college. It's graceful arch making it's own statement amongst the stunning buildings.

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford stlye, New College lane

The Covered Markets, built in 1774 is home to many stalls. You can buy anything from fresh flowers, souvenirs, stop for a coffee or a meal, visit a greengrocer, butcher or fishmonger. A fabulous cake shop. Cool market with lots of variety and a great atmosphere!


A short stroll from the hustle and bustle you have the added beauty of the canals, complete with long boats. I can't wait to spend more time exploring Oxford and surrounds!

Oxford UK

Monday, 25 March 2013

What a difference a year makes

A year ago today, my little family landed at Heathrow for a look into our new lives. A busy week of looking into locations, houses and schools. Time to decide where we would set up home and establish a new life in a foreign country. It looked pretty bright...we were greeted by sunshine and daffodils.

25 March 2012

A year later, the daffodils are struggling to push through the cold earth. Some brave, bright faces are taking on the snow, though some of the winter berries hold on, tough and proud, not yet ready to change seasons. We are a bit of both, those first daffodils, taking on a challenging environment and coming up smiling. The winter berries, boldly embracing the changes thrown at us.

25 March 2013

We shook off our jetlag and wandered around some of the villages that we had researched. Excited at the new beginnings. Gorgeous buildings, fresh air, quiet roads...vastly different to our life in China.

25 March 2012

Those same villages and roads are no longer the unknown, they are our villages. Maps no longer required. What was different and new is now our familiar surroundings. We have become established in the school and village communities. We have weathered the seasons and come through with flying colours.

25 March 2013

We went hunting for a house, a place that we could call home, welcome new friends, start our new life. We looked at so many places, none of which felt like 'home'.

25 March 2012

The last house we looked at was 'the one' the icing on the cake of our 'look see' trip. We signed the lease...we had an address, visas and schools could be applied for. Plans could be confirmed. A year later,we are established in our new home, in our village, our school and our new life. Settled!

25 March 2013

A year ago the skies were bright and blue, new growth was beginning to show.

25 March 2012

The sky is still bright, just a little different than we expected. A year ago today we started preparing for our new life in a new country. We have been through so much in that year, moving countries and cultures, farewells and welcomes, laughter and tears.

25 March 2013

 Oh what a difference a year makes!

Friday, 8 March 2013

International Women's Day


I am fortunate to have many amazing women in my life. Friend's I started school with ... just a few years ago, those friends and a few more, who finished school with me, 30 years ago this year.  Friends from Pharmacy days, Protective Service days and Immigration days. Friends from all walks of life, women that got me through divorce, the loss of both parents, single parenthood....oh how I love those friends who bought over and shared a bottle of wine and friendship in those days. Mum's group and O'Connor friends. Friends who stood by when I met the man of my dreams and respected my decision to move to China with my girls. My Mother and Sisters in law who welcomed me into the family. Friends I made, and who I had many adventures with in my amazing Shanghai life... new friends I have made since arriving in the United Kingdom. Friends who joined my life journey along the way. Some have left my side, most have not. My life has been enriched by many fabulous women. The two most important women in my life, my beautiful girls. Women from every corner of the globe. I value each and every one of you...and those women friends I haven't met yet. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I am strong, I am invincible, I Am Woman

Happy International Women's day to all women!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Spring is on the way!

Look what I saw today...
The Daffodils are coming out! 


I  have survived my first UK Winter ... and I actually quite enjoyed it!
Now I can't wait for some Spring Adventures!