What to ship when moving from London to New York and back again

We’ve moved from London to New York and back again, with young kids in tow. The second time was a lot smoother. It does get easier.

Let’s face it. Moving house is a total pain, even if it’s just three streets away. All the logistics of dealing with utility companies, scheduling in the wifi, the tv, the landline, the gas, the electrics… it’s exhausting. But when you move countries, it is a whole other level of stress.

I’m planning a series of posts on how to nail it. This first post concentrates on what to take with you, and what to buy locally. Continue reading “What to ship when moving from London to New York and back again”

Goodbye, New York, it’s been emotional

Start spreading the news. We’re leaving today (well, next week). After three exciting, crazy years, we are leaving New York and returning to London. We’ve experienced New York at its finest, and it’s been way beyond our expectations. As the song goes, in New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. And anything is possible. We’ve driven in New York traffic.  We’ve lived under the Obamas and the Trumps. We’ve even made a little New Yorker of our own… Fuhgeddaboudit.

I’ve been chatting about this with C, and interestingly, he says he feels like a New Yorker now, whereas I still feel like an expat. He regularly plans his weekend walks to pass specific coffee shops. You drink coffee, I drink tea, my dear. I’m an English girl in New York…

But it’s been three years, and it is time. Six year old T expressed it perfectly the other day. “We’re excited to be going back, but sad to be leaving. It’s like bitter sweet food.”

Continue reading “Goodbye, New York, it’s been emotional”

Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch

It’s nearly Christmas! C is the most Christmassey man I’ve ever met, mocking up a spontaneous Nativity play using dressing gowns, muslins, and various stuffed animals. He also organised a traditional British lunch at The Churchill on East 28th Street for some other expat friends of ours. The Churchill’s a good British pub, check out the menu here if you fancy a roast with all the trimmings. It also plays recordings of Winston Churchill’s speeches in the loo, which is initially unnerving but then surprisingly hypnotic.

We had a v funny conversation swapping stories of cultural or language barriers, British expressions that can unwittingly derail any conversation with an American. Continue reading “Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch”

Found a cool kids’ store – Torly Kid

I’ve had a couple of days to get my head around the US election results, and have been looking about me a bit more than usual to see how New York has reacted. On Friday my eye was caught by this particularly timely and inspirational sandwich board on the street, quoting Hillary Clinton: “Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. If we lift each other up, we can make each other stronger.” It was outside Torly Kid, a tiny kids’ boutique on Hudson & Duane Street in Tribeca, and I decided to pop in.

I’m so glad I did. Continue reading “Found a cool kids’ store – Torly Kid”

Only a week left to vote! Not the US Elections, the #MNBlogAwards

There’s a lot of talk about which way to vote at the moment. Largely, it’s about Clinton vs Trump.  However, there’s another decision to make. Will you vote for me in the Mumsnet Blogging Awards?! Here’s how. Continue reading “Only a week left to vote! Not the US Elections, the #MNBlogAwards”

Tips for expat families starting New York schools

Many New York schools start term again tomorrow, closed since mid-June (Yes. Summer vacations really are that long over here).

For any expats gearing up for their first New York school experience this term, here are some tips. Continue reading “Tips for expat families starting New York schools”

Passports and other useful admin for British babies born in the US

Four months ago today, our third child was born in New York, and is therefore officially entitled to an American and a British passport. There’s quite a lot of admin involved in having a baby here (British or not), so I thought it might be helpful to share what we’ve learnt. Continue reading “Passports and other useful admin for British babies born in the US”

Giving birth: London vs New York

Well, Baby J arrived two weeks early, the very day after I posted a comparison of pregnancy experiences between New York and the UK, so it seems only fitting that I write a follow up piece comparing the births (my two eldest were both born in London in the local NHS hospital). Continue reading “Giving birth: London vs New York”

Comparing pregnancy experiences between London and New York

As my regular readers will know, I’m 38 weeks pregnant with our third baby, who will be born an American. Our two daughters, now aged 5 and 3, were both born in London. A lot of people have asked me how the experience compares between the cities. Continue reading “Comparing pregnancy experiences between London and New York”

Losing my rag over communal laundry

Had the embarrassment of being busted mid-temper tantrum in the communal laundry room by a neighbour early this morning. And it was *probably* (i.e. totally) her fault in the first place. But being English, I couldn’t bring myself to directly accuse her.

With Baby Number Three due in six weeks, my patience and inner calm has rapidly drained away, leaving me screeching, gesticulating and – in real extremes – sighing so heavily it ruffles paper. Continue reading “Losing my rag over communal laundry”