Long time, no see.

Hey there. Guess what, I am finally back from a few months of silence.

As you all know, in November last year, I moved to little old New Zealand and have been rather busy with settling into my new life. So, after that eerie period, I’m dusting away those cobwebs to write this piece.

It’s funny how you very quickly settle into a space you know so well. I grew up in New Zealand, in my small town aside the ocean, and to be reunited with it after 4 years came easier than expected. Before I left London, I always got the “it’ll hit you after a while, you’ll miss the hustle of London.” – well, I’m here to tell you, I don’t.

And honestly, I don’t miss it at all. I thought I would; miss the traffic, the busyness, the cafe ridden streets, the atmosphere, but I simply don’t. However, the one thing I do long for, is hangouts with my cosmopolitain friends; the work pals; I met some of the best people in the world in London; I just don’t long for the place itself.

This did come as a surprise to me. I expected myself to struggle with small town living at least for a little while, to regret ‘giving up’ (for better the word) London for a simpler way of life, but I’ve come to realise that New Zealand kinda suits me. I thrive on exercise, and fresh air, and devour outdoor spaces. I’ve caught up with old friends, explored new places, rediscovered my love for cooking and creativity, joined a band; the open space of New Zealand, has allowed me to fill it with more fulfilling activities. There’s something special about this country, and I cannot wait for my London-made friends to come and visit me, so I can show them too.

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It definitely takes leaving a place, to find the appreciation.

It’s cheesy, and the same sentence has probably been said in a million different ways, but it’s true. I left thinking I was too big for the small life, that New Zealand was boring and not good enough for the life I thought I desired. In reality I just didn’t know how to live yet.

I went to London and it was there I learnt how to live. I discovered myself through trials, tribulations, tears and smiles. And that person, this person I became, ended up craving a bigger space to breathe and grow. London suffocated me. It’s definitely a big city, but it’s also hugely populated. I listened to my body, and it was telling me I needed to move on – it’s funny how perfectly, gloriously, accurate your gut instincts can be. Researchers are discovering that microbes in our gut can send messages and important brain chemicals to our brain, affecting how we think, feel, and remember. Well, my theory is that so do your lungs. Breathe the air you should breathe, and you exhale happiness.

I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I just know that New Zealand air is my kind of air. I encourage you to find yours.

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My Winter Must-Reads

Winter is not only great for aesthetics – who doesn’t love a good palette of bare brown trees – it also hosts perfect reading weather. The sun goes down earlier with each passing day, and you slowly find yourself reaching for your favourite scarves and woollen hats. I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold out and I’m wrapped up warm, my favourite thing to do is grab a cup of coffee and a good book.

So, here it is – something different for my blog, however right up my alley – my book recommendations for this Winter.

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ― Bill Watterson


The Diabolic  S.J. Kincaid 

Initially this was a book I found quite hard to get into. HOWEVER once I began to understand the world and the narrative perspective, I was hooked! This is an extremely diverse world, and main character Nemesis keeps you questioning moral throughout. It’s a story of how far you’ll go for love, and what characteristics deem a human being.

“Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.”

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You Are A Badass Jen Sincero

This is hands-down, one of my all time favourite books!

The cold weather can sometimes bring on uninspiring moods and unwanted laziness. When the season makes me feel like this, I like to read something super kicky-up-the-assy. And this is that for me. Need I say more? I can also highly recommend the audio book of this – read by Jen herself –  I listen to it walking to and from work; not only does it distract me from the cold, it’s exhilirating with a leaf pile worth of humour.

“By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.”

[Here’s a picture of my tapestry, because I’ve even leant it out. *cough* read it *cough*]

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How To Stop Time Matt Haig

A book recommendations of mine would definitely be incomplete without something written by Matt Haig. I walked into a bookshop, saw it on the new release shelf,  and bought it – without reading the synopsis. Matt Haig is just one of this authors who never disappoints – and with How To Stop Time, he went above and beyond. Being mostly based in London, I loved that I could relate to the places the main character, Tom, mentions. However, this book takes you on a journey with relationships Tom makes and breaks, and distances, such as America and Australia.

“Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.

He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries…”

I’m going cut off the synopsis there, please just pick up the book and read it. Not only will it occupy a full, rainy day spent indoors, it will keep you enticed from the first to the last page.

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Nemesis Brendan Reichs

Last but 100%, certainly, absolutely, to-the-nines, not least is Nemesis by Brendan Reichs. Some may argue this is a YA fiction novel, but for me it was an exceptional plot that I couldn’t predict. I’ll give you a snippet of the synopsis (which is extremely long because the book is jam-packed) so you get an idea.

“It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.”

HOW ARE YOU NOT HOOKED ALREADY? It ended on such a cliff hanger, but I erratically searched the internet for a glimmer of hope for a sequel, and it’s coming my friends.

It’s coming.

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“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” – Stephen King

Be sure to comment your favourite wintertime read down below!

Happy reading & happy Winter and festive season to all!

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