Expat Life, Food & Drink

Exploding Tomatoes

Today is a weird day. I woke up feeling a bit hungover after having a couple of drinks last night that were way stronger than I expected them to be. And, just after my post yesterday, I had a minor accident involving a hot bowl of soup and inappropriate handling equipment on my part.

This is the aftermath…


After the incident the kitchen was chaos; it looked like tomatoes had exploded all over it. As I was cleaning up I was thinking ‘I should be taking a photograph for my blog to show the carnage that ensued’. Unfortunately, I think I was in shock and I just needed to evidence to be gone. Looking at my injury now, it’s nothing serious but shock has this ability to catastrophise everything and it certainly brought home to me how far we are from everyone and everything we know.

So, when I got up, I was feeling pretty low. I decided to spend the morning curled up in bed watching repeat episodes of Sex and the City, suddenly realising I was now a similar age to them, and living a strangely similar life. Minus the different man every week! I realised that I used to watch that show as a teenager and think how much I loved what Carrie did. Maybe in some way I knew then I’d be a writer.

After a morning of moping and reflecting, I dragged myself out of bed, showered, put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and a little bit of lipstick and ventured into town. It’s amazing what a “bit gip” can do. Making myself look good can do wonders for my mood. By the way, “bit gip” is a Geordie phrase we used to use for putting on makeup when I was a kid and it always makes me smile when I say it!

I was yet to try the free bus which connects Harbour Point (our home) with downtown Stamford, so this was my adventure for today. It’s such a cute little thing, and it’s surprisingly easy to use. It’s also free and runs until late into the evening. I thought I always needed to use the car but it turns out I don’t. I can bus and walk just as I wanted. It’s hugely opened up my world.

IMG_2612 (1)

After the ease of the bus journey I felt brave enough to do something else I was planning to accomplish. I popped into Stamford library to ask about local clubs that I may be able to join to meet people. In true American style, the librarian was incredibly helpful and printed off a whole array of avenues I could try to meet some locals. I’m looking for a writing club, a reading group (of which they do at my favourite coffee haunt Lorca on a monthly basis) and I’ve recently decided I want to try my hand at a spot of acting. Who knows where that will go, I have no idea if I’ll be any good at it or even like it but I fancy giving it a shot. So that’s my plan.

After the library I was going to try a new coffee shop and blog about the venue but, still feeling a little bit fragile, I was drawn to what I believe is my new bolt hole. It’s funny how these things happen, but I already feel safe, comfortable and happy in this little cafe.

bolt hole


It also helps that the food and coffee are delicious. Today I opted for a chicken salad sandwich, an iced coffee and an alfajore cookie. The cookie was a taste sensation. Sweet, soft pastry, and subtle coconut and toffee flavours. It was the perfect little pick me up.


Cafe loving friends and family, I’m bringing you here. Mum, you’d love it!

As I’ve sat here documenting my day, I started reflecting on what is my new home. Weirdly, I must admit, I don’t miss ‘home’. I miss people, I miss the convenience of knowing where things are and how to do things, but I like Stamford. It has an alluring mix of modern convenience, with the gritty urban feel of city life but without the chaos. It already feels like home.

After feeling a bit down this morning, I almost didn’t write a post today. I was worried I had nothing interesting to say but then I decided it didn’t matter. Just writing what I was thinking was enough. I’m beginning to realise how much writing this blog is supporting me on our expat journey. It’s giving me a chance to achieve something every day, as I said yesterday, a purpose is vital for anyone going through anything new. It’s also helping me to develop my writing, do something I love, and keep a record of and share our travels with anyone who wants to read them. It’s creative therapy with a tangible outcome, and it makes me smile.

Featured image source

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