Part 1: London, where it all began
When I was 22, I graduated with a science degree, but after studying hard for three years, I stepped into the working world at a crossroads - I had no idea what I was going to do with my degree.
So, I solved the “what’s next?” in a way that seems to be a rite of passage for many young Australians, heading for London. Lucky for me, it was a time when you didn’t need a lot to arrive in a new country - I landed at Heathrow with a one way ticket, 2 suitcases, $10 000 in the bank, and no job. I had family in London - my aunt Jan and my father’s cousin Malcolm - so I knew I wouldn’t be alone. I didn’t settle in Earl’s Court, like those sojourners of the swinging sixties, but pretty close - a short distance away in West Kensington, taking a tiny bedsit that played host to many memories.
I was young, naive, and had no idea what I was planning to do once in London, or how it would be somehow different to Australia, but I was drawn to going somewhere new.
The start of something new.
I got a working visa for two years, and within a week I was working at the Home Office, doing DNA fingerprinting for refugees arriving in the city. It was steady but mundane, and I was missing something creative. In my spare time, I’d explore the arcades and markets of the city’s eclectic neighbourhoods. On Portobello Road, I started collecting vintage fabrics, finding the best skirt ever - a layered skirt of old fabrics sewn onto the top part of denim jeans. I loved that skirt. It made me feel light, happy and carefree, a welcome break from mourning.
Ideas started brewing.
Decades later, to go back to London with film director, Keyur, in tow, to retrace and explore once again, with a business to expand into a new market, I saw the city through a different lens. This was more than a business trip - it was an honour, a gift, an opportunity which I am so grateful, to share life journey.
This is now the beginning of the next chapter. It’s the one where I work out what’s been missing in my life, my purpose. What better place to start again than London.
Winnie extended her heart and home to us, we stayed with her for 5 days. It was incredible, we sat in her courtyard and learnt about her life, chatting over tea, wine, and cigarettes, and looking at photos, and listening to music.
James and Fiona – these two friends took me under their wing when I first arrived, they were my first real friends. We went away to Portugal together, drank beers and just hung out. It was wonderful and warm.
Bedsit – No 7. Stanwick Rd, West Kensington. My first London home, our bedsit. If these walls could talk, there would be some great stories coming out. What a hoot we had - so much fun, personal growth, and independence.
Portobello Rd – One of the many streets used to hang out in for inspiration, random walking around and looking at things.
Work on the run – life and business never stops - on the contrary, it is actually speeding up. I have found ways to get some balance back and enjoy myself whilst juggling everything and making sure my family, friends, clients, and staff are happy.
Photo session a few snaps for social media and for my blog. I was meant to start the blog last year but didn’t because I wanted to be in the moment in London, to soak it all up.
Pure London Trade Show – We launched Naudic in the UK market via a trade show called Pure London, picking up new clients and establishing a relationship with a fashion agency to continue representing our brands.
After Hours – The days never end, and I didn’t want them to end either. It’s great to walk the streets of London and just end up where you end up - no planned destination, no pressure, just living.