I have some exciting news to share in this new year: I’m moving to Oxford, United Kingdom in two and a half weeks! The germination of this began several years ago when my husband and I were in the midst of our medical training. When we finish we would say, looking at each other with crazed eyes over study notes, let’s move overseas and travel. The thought of it was probably a kind of psychological carrot, but after a few years, seven exams and two children later, we have both managed to secure jobs and so, off we go.
As many of you know I am an Immunologist by day. I will be working as a medical researcher in the field of Cancer Immunology at Oxford University. For my night job, the one fuelled by passion not pounds, I will of course continue to write. I have already found two writers’ groups: The Oxford Writing Circle and the Oxford Writer’s House and am looking forward to joining in the local literary community.
I recently received comments back from my editor regarding my first novel manuscript and so the plan, once I am settled, is to begin my next draft. As my novel is set along the East coast of New South Wales, sitting and editing in the Oxford Winter, when the average temperature is 4°C should provide the sense of perspective I have been looking for!
I’m so looking forward to the experience of living somewhere new, of getting lost in unfamiliar streets and discovering new sights and sounds. Of meeting new people, and having travel adventures on the weekend and during holidays. Who knows, some of that inspiration may make its way into my next work.
I recently read and enjoyed Sarah Winman’s Tin Man, a beautifully told story of loss, love and friendship. If you have any other recommended books set in Oxford please let me know below. Also, if you have any pointers for trips in or around the UK, and/or survival hacks for long-haul travel with children, I would love to hear them.
Until then I’ll be doing mundane, necessary things for our intercontinental move: packing boxes, throwing away stuff I didn’t know I had, and practicing my use of the Oxford comma.