Crawling out of procrastination slump

Hello everyone. It’s me. Apparently it’s that time of year when I finally emerge from my Christmas cocoon and force myself to start writing again. Producing a beautifully crafted and polished piece is feeling a tad overwhelming, so I thought I’d break the ice with a brain dump of some recent highs and lows. Continue reading “Crawling out of procrastination slump”

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”

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”

And this chocolate coin medal is awarded for…

We’ve had interesting conversations about the value of earning a medal in our household this week, as T has just earned her very first medal for completing a four-month gymnastics course.

Families were invited to watch a display on the final week (normally B and I hang out with all the nannies, coats and strollers until class is finished). C left work early specially, and B was bursting with excitement to finally watch T on the trampoline, bars and floor. At the end of the display, each gymnast was called to jump up onto a box, arms raised, and receive a medal. B begged for a turn. The coach agreed, so B clambered up onto the box, raised her arms, and beamed expectantly. Nothing happened. “But where is my medal?” she called reproachfully.
Continue reading “And this chocolate coin medal is awarded for…”

22 helpful things to know before you move from the UK to New York

 

There are many similarities between London and New York. There’s also a whole lot of differences. In no particular order, here are some really useful things to know before your own move to NYC:

  1. Tips. Everyone gets tipped here. Restaurants expect 18-22% for good service, taxi drivers like you to add a dollar, hairdressers, supermarket check out staff all like tips (not obligatory). Clothes shop staff work on commission, so don’t get tips. Schools may well ask you to contribute for staff and teacher tips at Christmas. Doormen, concierge and janitors in your building also bank on a generous tip at Christmas. There’s a sliding scale for how much you give each person in your building, factoring in how long you’ve lived there, how much help each one gives you throughout the year, and how fond you are of them. It’s not unusual for a friendly Manhattan apartment doorman or concierge to get $100 tip at Christmas.
    Continue reading “22 helpful things to know before you move from the UK to New York”