If you’re THAT interested in this section, I’m truly flattered! But hopefully it illustrates that there’s nothing too extraordinary about my life so far…
1982: Born. Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, UK
Father, Australian. Mother, English. Both total theatricals – a theme in my life. 2 passports = bonus. Only child (also a bonus most of the time). Moved to Australia at the age of 8months.
1986: mum and I returned to the UK. Me, with a terrible Aussie accent which she soon groomed out.
1988: parents divorced when I was 6, spent a few years with just my mum. She’s my pocket sized hero!
1994: mum remarried when I was 12 (another theatrical type – he sings very loudly in the mornings). Acquired massive family which keeps expanding. Christmas now = very expensive. And noisy.
School: fairly academic (state schooled, I hasten to add) then was told I “peaked early” by one of my teachers when my A-levels (college for the rest of you) brought a B, B and E. That was a shock – now I was simply average! And those grades wouldn’t cut it for a degree in Physiotherapy. Rethink.
2001: Took a ‘gap’ year – worked a bit, travelled a bit. Returned to Australia for the first time and spent time with the family I’d had little to no relationship with to this point. Awesome.
2002: Went to uni (because it’s what you do). Quit one course, started another one, quit that. Worked part time in a clothes shop, worked for free as a production runner to gain experience in film. Got a job on Harry Potter. Liked earning my own money. Loved Hogwarts.
2004: Unstable work in film so got a salaried job working for a theatre producer’s office in the big smoke that is central London. Loved it. But novelty soon wore off.
2005: dumped by boyfriend at tube station on my birthday (boys – please note, this is not okay), was hating losing 3HOURS A DAY of my life to London transport system (we don’t get along). Rethink.
2006: Time to escape! Planned a year away. Ended up being three. Mainly in New Zealand. Love that place. Got a proper job in NZ, met a boy, bought house, got engaged. Oops. Mother panicking.
I’m aware this is starting to sound like a bitter and twisted Adele playlist – bear with me.
2010: Came home with a boy in tow. Boy left soon after. Lesson? Kiwi boys do not love London. Many tears/no longer engaged/much drama ensued. Spent 15months back home, familiar feeling of boredom and hatred of commute kicked in.
2011: put the small amount of savings I had to my name in to buying a tiny flat at the other end of the country (London prices being a pipe dream for a single twenty-something) for fear I’d spend them taking off travelling again. Everyone around me was buying houses and being all grown up so thought I’d join in and do the ‘sensible’ thing. Some elements of my break up had also put me on a mission to prove I could invest and be financially secure as an independent female… (admittedly bit pathetic on my part but break ups can turn us in to temporary weirdos).
Thankfully one thing lead to another while working in travel and landed a job in entertainment on cruise ships. Had no money but could get paid to travel! Bloody brilliant. Made amazing friends, saw amazing places, was able to save up some cash and have regular 2months holidays me at home and/or take long breaks in new and exotic places.
Switched things up a bit for what turned out to be my final summer overseas by working as a stewardess on fancy private yachts. I happened to be home between contracts when we suddenly lost my lovely Uncle Barry to cancer in a matter of weeks of being diagnosed. Awful. But no more morbid stuff. It did mean I finally felt I wanted to stay home this time to be with my family.
But it also meant I was back in London, back in the rat race and kind of determined to do something to change that.
So those are the facts. Which bring us to late 2013… when I started this.