I’ve been back in the UK for nearly a week now and I can safely say I am not coping with the cold. It is FREEZING here! But I am having a lovely time with my family (faces blurred in the family pics to protect the innocent!) which does make up for the arctic-like temperatures. To give you an idea, it was 12ºC when I landed last Tuesday and this weekend I think the maximum was 17ºC. In June! If that doesn’t sound like cold I left Mauritius with its winter temperature of 24ºC…

Ridiculous-looking traveller

I must have looked like the most ridiculously-dressed traveller on the plane over here. I didn’t want to bring any winter clothes as I have loads here to take back to Mauritius. So I wore the weirdest mix of my warmest clothes to travel in.

This meant jeans with my fluorescent trainers which I brought back to run in. Mixed with the only long-sleeved top I had, which totally didn’t go together. A cardigan and double denim. Nailed that cool traveller vibe. Not.

Check out my airport toilet selfie…

To steal my travel style grab a whole load of items that don’t go together and wear 😉

But I didn’t care what I looked like (as I often don’t). I don’t have a clue what’s in fashion or stylish so just tend to go with whatever suits me. And comfort will always win over style!

And I really didn’t care because I had the biggest #win on my 12 hour night flight from Mauritius to London.

The plane was almost full, there were maybe 5 spare seats on the whole plane. I was the last person to board (because you know, last minute toilet selfie before getting on the plane), and as I walked down the aisle to my seat I was all “is it? Could it?” as I got closer to my seat and saw there was a whole bank of 3 seats that were empty.

And guess what? On a packed plane I had two free seats next to me!

After dinner, some wine and a re-watch of Bridget Jones’ Baby I set a little bed up for myself and slept an uninterrupted four and a half hours. A first on a night flight.

A few tips on recreating this yourself:

  • Visualise your 3 free seats like mad in the run up to your flight. Imagine what it will feel like. How you will create your bed. The great feelings about being comfortable on a long-haul flight.
  • Release the NEED to have a row to yourself.
  • Believe you’re going to have a great flight.
  • When your wish comes true set the bed up this way so you will be totally comfortable and won’t get disturbed if there is turbulence:
    – all middle arm rests up
    – two pillows for your head (because they are thin as f*ck)
    – one blanket under you (and over the scratchy as f*ck pillows)
    – one blanket over you (because it’s cold on planes)
    – this one is the secret ingredient: put the seat belt around your waist and clearly visible so you don’t get disturbed by the plane staff

You’re welcome 🙂

I then had another #win. I arrived early in the morning but I didn’t want my parents to come and collect me because they would either a) have to get up early or b) get caught in rush hour traffic. There was a direct train from Gatwick airport to the town next to my parents’ house, but it was going to be tight time-wise.

I was due to land at 6.20am and the train left at 7.03am.

But again I felt and believed I would get that train. Then I released the NEED to get that train.

We landed just after 6am. “Right, I can do this!” I told myself, but still releasing the NEED to get that train.

Guess what? I got that train with over 10 minutes to spare, avoiding all rush hour traffic and stress for my parents.

It also meant I had time to run to the shops and buy clothes and bits for the girls, have lunch and then hold a live call for my VIP clients within less than 7 hours of landing.

Educating and being educated

I discovered over the next few nights that jet lag exists even if you only change time zone by 3 hours. You see in Mauritius I go to bed at 9/9.30pm and I get up at 5am (2am UK time), and here I’m going to bed later but my body hasn’t got the memo about waking up later. So on my first night in the UK I woke at 3.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. 5 nights on and I slept my latest and longest last night – waking up at just 6.30am this morning. Woohoo!

Despite my lack of sleep that my first night back I had a full-on day ahead. In the afternoon I went into my old secondary school to talk to sixty 17 year olds about career, their future, opportunities open to them and much more.

It was really weird going back there. My first thought as I looked around was “where’s the payphone gone?” as it was where I used to spend a lot of time, calling my boyfriend between lessons. I quickly realised it probably no longer served a purpose.

I then found some old photos of me (aged 15 and 18) on the big full school photos on the wall.

As soon as I’d finished that talk I jumped on the train into central London to a women’s networking event with The Global Woman Club, where I met some lovely women and learnt lots from hearing them talk too.

I got off the train at Tower Hill tube station (freezing cold in my summer dress and sandals in the rain!) and remembered why I love London so much.

Immediately upon leaving the station I took in the breathtaking views of The Tower of London (built from the 11th century onwards) and the London Wall (built by the Romans around 200 AD) and smiled. I’m a HUGE lover of history and love to see it before my very eyes.

Tower of London in the top photo and the London Wall on the right with Tower of London in the background in the bottom photo.

As I headed back to the station after the networking event I stopped for a moment to read the station’s Quote of the Day:

Family get-together to celebrate 50 years

This weekend my two older sisters, my two younger brothers, their spouses and kids, my parents and I all got together at a fabulous location in Staffordshire to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

We stayed at a great farm / trio of cottages called Lower Micklin Farm which was just perfect for our needs. (In fact it seemed so perfect online that I am going back in two weeks’ time for the first UK retreat of my Life Reboot Camp.)

It was lovely to be surrounded by countryside in, what felt like, the middle of nowhere. And I’m sure that if it’s not freezing cold and raining it’s even better!

(Just to be clear – both times the stays have been paid in full, anything I share is as a full-paying client.)

The view from Lower Micklin Farm

It was so wonderful to catch up with my siblings, sibling-in-laws, nephews and nieces – some of whom I hadn’t seen for 2 years.

I have tons of photos, but out of respect to my family I won’t share them here, just this one with my parents, brothers and sisters, with everyone’s faces blurred.

My family 🙂

I created a video for my parents with a photo montage of their wedding day, and video messages from friends and family from Australia, Mauritius and the UK. We had a wonderful day catching up, eating and drinking together.

I was sad not to have my family of creation with me but it was great to spend time with my family of origin.

On the way back today we stopped in at the local village of Alton (famous for its theme park, Alton Towers) and had a whistle stop visit of the castle ruins and a couple of churches.

I can’t be bothered to find and share relevant information about it all, so here are photos of the pretty and old buildings my dad and I saw this morning on our way home.

Alton castle remains on the left
Information about Alton Castle
St Peter’s Church, Alton, up close
St Peter’s Church, Alton, through the graveyard

Now it’s time to unpack one bag, do some washing and repack a new bag as I’m off to London tomorrow for the next leg of this trip. This first leg has mostly been about family; the next part is mostly about friends and work.

I hope you have had a great week and that it’s not been freezing cold wherever you are! Brrrrrrr!!!

I’ll be back next week with all my London adventures…

Until then, big love,
Sophie xx

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