Did you know that London is the greenest major city in Europe and the third greenest city of its size in the world (officially)? Well, it is, and it has so many beautiful spaces where the city gives way from cold architectural structures to thriving green lungs that give us city-dwellers respite. Selecting the best London parks and gardens for this post was a job I adored taking on.
Oh, and they are wonderful places to party, to picnic and to just get away from it all.
This date will be scarred into the New Zealand psyche forever.
My heart shattered to hear how many families have been forever affected by the horrific actions in Christchurch. My home is grieving for its countrymen, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite have the words to express how I feel. I am also so proud of how my country has reacted in terms of compassion, changing laws and gathering together.
Sadly, it has happened before in different places around the world and will happen again. In a million different ways, and so many different levels, in many different countries and to too many families around the globe.
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Following the terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday that left at least 49 people dead, NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference where she condemned the attack, saying that the country rejects violent extremism. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who needs it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack,” she said, “You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you.” (📹: AP, Reuters, 📝: @kassy) – #jacindaardern #primeminister #politician #christchurchshooting #shooting #massshooting #gunman #gun #guns #terrorism #terrorist #violence #attack #mosque #mosques #islam #religion #muslim #muslims #jummah #jummahprayer #islamophobia #islamophobic #victim #victims #rip #christchurch #newzealand #nz #aotearoa
As a rule, I don’t get political on my little blog. It has always been intended as a religion and political neutral zone that I can share what makes my soul happy. A little travel here, touching on a bit of history and a few tasty dishes there – some of the lighter things in life as a refuge for when the times get tough, hoping to make someone smile.
This little corner of the internet is also my journal in many ways, a place of hope, a place of peace.
Pubs. They’re great, aren’t they? London is great too. Put these together and what do we have? – the great London Pub. It’s practically an institution in British culture, and often becomes the extended lounge of busy Londoners. With that in mind, I thought my blog was lacking a list of the best pubs in London, so I roped in my local expert of hopped beverages.
I met my lovely husband in a London pub (read our story here), and so it was only natural to ask him to share his favourite pubs in London – the ones he disappears to when I’m busy with blogging fun! Take it away Mr Kiwi!
Here are some of my favourite London pubs, ones I’ve spend a little time in over the years.
Aoteoroa, Land of the Long White Cloud, God’s Own. New Zealand is known by many names, including ‘home’ for me. At least once in your life, you must do a North Island road trip. With gorgeous waterfalls, geothermic oddities, amazing beaches, snoozing volcanoes – the North Island is gorgeous, but it often plays second fiddle to the glory of the South Island.
What qualifies me as an insider? I’m a born and bred North Island lass of New Zealand. I’ve lived in gorgeous cities from Auckland all the way down to Wellington, and beautiful places in between like the Art Deco capital of the world Napier and spent a lot of time the beautiful shores of Tauranga.
Health and wellness as an expat. It’s often something that isn’t at the top of our very busy, very full to-do lists, and in this stressful world, it really ought to be right at the top as a consideration. Recently the Aetna International team interviewed me about health and wellbeing as an expat, and they raised questions that I haven’t considered in rather a long time. (Read the full interview via the link at the end of this post.)
Disclaimer: This post was commissioned by Aetna International, who recently ran a very interesting wellness survey which looks at the concept of what ‘wellness’ means to expats around the globe.