Flying Home for Christmas

The year is nearly over, but not until we’ve decorated our trees, sung a few carols, and stuffed our faces with more turkey and than we know is good for us. For me this year that has meant swapping the Econ girls for the KES girls, flatmates for parents, papernoten for gingerbread, Sinterklaas for Santa Claus, The Village Coffee and Music for Tamper Coffee, my bike for the car, miles of flat streets for the seven hills of Sheffield, and the flood management savvy Netherlands for a flooded UK. Continue reading “Flying Home for Christmas”

Table for 5

Family is something which is incredibly important to me. Therefore, showing my sisters and brothers-in-law around my new city was one of the highlights of my year. Having only lived in Utrecht for just over two months I still felt like a tourist for many parts of the weekend but having visitors meant we could do fun, touristy things that I wouldn’t usually do as a student like canal boat tours and exploring parts of the city I hadn’t been to yet. Coffee, cake and beer made up some of the best parts of the weekend along with trying Dutch delicacies such as Bitterballen, some delicious Indonesian food, and all enjoyed with brilliant company. Continue reading “Table for 5”

Fiets, Feats and Feet(s)


A friend commented recently that most of my pictures from my time here so far have been related to bikes (or in Dutch- Fiets)! I explained to her that living in the 3rd most bike friendly city in the world (beaten only by Copenhagen and Amsterdam) this is simply unavoidable.

The Netherlands in general is a biking paradise and there is certainly no shortage of bikes! There is an estimated 18 million bikes in the Netherlands, compared to their population of around 16.8 million (you do the maths). Continue reading “Fiets, Feats and Feet(s)”

First Impressions

Having arrived exactly two weeks ago I thought it was about time to write my first post from Utrecht! Arriving on Sunday both physically and emotionally exhausted seemed to signal much of what the week ahead would be like. The international meet and greet was first on the agenda and was sold as a way to meet other internationals studying in Utrecht (either on exchange, a bachelors, or a masters course) however in reality it became a game of “how many people can we find from the same country as ours and squeeze into a circle?” while I’m happy to have met other people from the UK I’m glad that I have now also met a lot of other internationals from all over the world as well as many Dutch students too. Continue reading “First Impressions”

It’s time 

This blog post is coming to you from the departure lounge at Manchester airport. The day has finally come! It’s time.

It’s one of those days that’s been looming for a while but now that it’s actually here it feels pretty surreal. The Bateman wedding was full of joy and dancing and emotional goodbyes and I can’t imagine a better send off than all my family being together.


The beautiful bride herself 

Someone pointed out to me recently that moving away doesn’t mean you lose all your old friends and start from scratch. I think I’ve needed reminding of this recently as moving got closer and it felt at times like I was leaving forever.

I’m really going to miss the places and people I love in Sheffield but can’t wait to arrive in Utrecht.

How to pack your life into 40kg

9 days to go and there isn’t much left to do apart from pack. Seems simple enough if you’re going to Uni in the UK… as long as you can fit your stuff into a car then you can’t have too much right? Sadly studying abroad is shaping up to be a bit more complicated. Since Harriet (my totally amazing and beautiful sister) is getting married the day before I leave, the best option seemed to be to fly with all my luggage. The maximum I could take with the airline was 40 kg plus 8 kg of hand luggage. To put that into perspective that’s approximately 48 litres of water, 48,000 paper clips, 96 loaves of bread, about 92% of my own body weight, or 336 apples. Clearly I’m not planning on packing my suitcases full of fruit, nor will I need quite so many paper clips, but you get the picture.

In fact, most of my stuff seems to fit into three categories:

Absolute essentials:


Things I want to pack but can’t:


And people I wish were coming with me:


So if you happen to be in Manchester airport on the 30th of August then keep your eyes peeled for a short-ish blonde girl trying to get a cat through airport security.