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Australia and I

I am a West London girl, born and bred but I'm also a proud Australian. The daughter of an Aussie Dad, some of my earliest and fondest memories are of travelling 24 hours to the other side of the world, to the warmth, the sunshine and the people. From the Aussie words and slang in my vocabulary, to watching NRL (rugby league to those unfamiliar) to feeling my most content at the beach, I love being Australian. Even if my home is on this other side of the world, in London, part of me yearns for down under.

My Dad grew up in Sydney. He is one of six and the only sibling to have left Australia. The family tree is deeply rooted in Australia with many branches in the Sydney network. We are the odd ones out, my brother and I, as we have been raised in London. While there's the huge geographical gap, I feel a deep attachment to and affection for Australia, and my family that live there. 

In April I went to Sydney and to Byron Bay. This trip was special for three reasons: it was my first time in Australia in six years; my first time in Australia without my Dad; and my first time in Australia as an adult. I went with my best friend Lily, and we had three weeks of fun. But for me, it was also a deeper experience. 

I stayed with my Uncle and Aunt in Cabarita in North West Sydney, and the family could not have been more welcoming. Lily and I had dinner with that branch of the family and I was struck by the sharp wit of the Aussie banter. I was also taken by their deep connection with sport, each of them a player in their own right, and with the injuries to prove it. My cousin Emma had just recovered from hip surgery. My soon to be cousin-in-law Nick, a knee injury. My cousin Brook just had her wisdom teeth removed (ok not a sport injury but she plays netball). But none compared with my cousin Chris, the professional rugby league player who was recovering from major facial surgery acquired in a head clash in training. At one point Brook complained how hard it was to eat with her face recovering from the teeth. Chris responded, 'Your face hurts? My face has nine metal plates in it'. Apart from the humour, I was impressed by the resilience they all showed. They take the hits, move forward, and laugh about it. I think this is indicative of the Aussie culture. 

One of the best nights I had, would you believe, was going to dinner with two men in their mid 50s - Uncle Roso and Uncle Apps. These guys were the legends of my childhood, the heroes of my bedtime stories - my Dad's two best friends. I was in awe of their wild nights, their adventurous spirits and their plain stupidity and humour. I spoke of their legendary status to my childhood friends, and they'd pass on the stories too. Pascale, who I first met when I was 6, will still ask me, 'How is Roso?', despite never having met him. Lily and I went out for dinner with them and laughed the entire  night. We  ran into one of Roso's ex-girlfriends in the restaurant who they called 'sausage' (I'm still not sure if that is her real name). She didn't believe his story that we were their tinder dates. But it was a night of great hilarity. My Dad's friendship with them goes back nearly fifty years. It was forged in a tough working-class environment and at times a fairly brutal world but it is unbreakable. The fact that my Dad left thirty years ago and they remain as close as ever reflects the sort of friendship to which we all aspire.  

I took Lily to one of my favourite childhood spots in Sydney -  Coogee beach. From the surf shops to the pavilion, it felt so nice to be back to the part of Australia that felt like home for me. We also watched a rugby league match with my team Souths, although we did lose to Manly and I did sulk afterwards. 

think pink

My style is constantly changing. Different places inspire different colour palettes, moods, silhouettes. Recently I've been drawn to pink and more feminine pieces, something I would have stayed away from a few years ago. I found this dress at Zara at the beginning of the Summer and it's an effortless statement. Plus, it matched perfectly with the pink flowers of Kaş, Turkey, where these photos were taken.

interior inspiration

While I've always been interested in style, I never really cared for interiors. My childhood bedroom was more a collection of my things, an evolving museum of my life, rather than a curated space. When I moved into halls for university last year, I avoided the classic pre-uni ikea trip, and brought whatever I had leftover from my room at home. I could never really be bothered to actually design my room.

Only now that I've started renting a flat with two friends for my second year have I started thinking about interior inspiration. I've been screenshotting dreamy spaces on instagram, taking pictures of places across my travels and collecting a fruitful pinterest board of ideas. 

Here are some of my favourite finds. 

The above pictures are actually of the villa I'm currently staying in in Turkey. The minimalism is striking and the view of the ocean is unbelievable.

A white fluffy carpet and oranges and yellows - ultimate '70s decor. 


An amazing Brunch place in Barbados called Bliss. I love the greenery throughout the space along with the warm tones. 

old hollywood glam

I can't quite get over university summers - they feel endless. Especially the way humanities courses are structured, I've been on holiday for what feels like forever. Having done an internship, flat-hunting for uni housing next year and taking driving lessons, I've been productive, as well as spending time travelling and relaxing.

I'm currently on my final stretch of sunshine on a family holiday in Turkey. I'm feeling very relaxed and present. Equally I can't wait for uni to start again in September and to move into my new place. Life is good.

This has been one of my favourite outfits of Summer. It has notes of Old Hollywood and Grace Kelly, one of my ultimate muses as an avid fan of '30s and '40s films. The one shoulder bodysuit paired with the wide leg trousers feels young but elegant. 

Barbados with a boy

I've had a year rich in travel and adventure. Just yesterday I returned from Barbados. I went with my boyfriend and his extended family - 50 of us in all - to celebrate his lovely Mum's 50th birthday. This was new for me, travelling with a boyfriend and his family for such a big occasion. It was a wonderful experience for so many reasons. 

Matteo's family have strong connections with Barbados and they know it well. I quickly learned that discovering the island as a newcomer was best done by car, listening to soca music, and taking in the scenes. Beautiful beaches, surf shops, shabby yet colourful houses and endless greenery (it's the rainy season). The food was exquisite. We had fresh fish, coleslaw, mac pie and rum punch at what felt like every meal. I'm a beach girl at heart, so the simple pleasure of swimming in the sea everyday and being able to lie on the sand with my boy made me so happy. The island lifestyle suits me very well. 

The vibe of Barbados is chill. No one is in a rush, whether you're walking down a street or being served in a restaurant. While it can be frustrating coming from a frantic city lifestyle where everything moves so very quickly, the slow pace opens your eyes to think you might not have seen. You are not constantly thinking about the next thing. My favourite example of this was a day when we were at a restaurant on the beach whingeing about how long our food was taking. We glanced over to Matteo's grandfather and he seemed transfixed, just staring at the water and the sand, the one of us not complaining. We chuckled at how he seemed to have drifted away. That was until we realised what he was seeing that we weren't - a nest of turtles hatching and making their first tiny steps to the water. We stopped our complaining and watched this gorgeous natural show, thankful for the delay in our lunch. 

In contrast to the leisurely pace of day-to-day life was the energy and vivacity of Crop Over, six week long festival, originally to celebrate the harvest of the sugarcane, and now a breathtakingly vibrant, fun filled occasion. We watched the colourful parade of bands and floats on Kadooment day amid blasting Bajan music, with drinking and dancing with the locals in a joyous celebration. I was struck by the positivity of the women, who regardless of their age shape and size, dressed in glitzy bikinis coordinated with their party and danced with confidence and pride. It was empowering. There was such range in body types with no air of self-consciousness or judgement; it was wonderful. Not only that but we saw Rihanna dance through the crowds to say hello to the Prime Minister and get a mango.