About Homesick and Heatstruck

This is Homesick and Heatstruck, a blog about coping with my displaced (or misplaced?) existence.

For four-and-a-half years now I have lived in a noisy city in the middle of a desert, 4000 miles away from home. One might think that the pangs of homesickness would wane after a while, but one would be quite wrong. Having grown up in the lush green folds of the Kent countryside, it would be no exaggeration to say that I am finding it a bit tricky to adjust to life in the Middle East…

So, what does it really mean to be a Brit abroad? What are the things an exiled patriot misses most?  This blog explores the rabid intensity of my homesickness and nostalgia, discussing critical issues such as the curative benefits of owning a cat, the cultural significance of murder mysteries, how important it is to be able to talk about the weather and why globalisation might be a good thing.

Welcome to Homesick and Heatstruck – the Britain we all know and love viewed through a journalistic long-lens.


The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thank you so much, Eat, Travel, Photograph for nominating Homesick and Heatstruck for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award – it is lovely to be chosen for such a thing, given all the wonderful blogs there are in the wide world of blogging. It is also a great way to discover new blogs. If you haven’t read Eat, Travel, Photograph yet, it’s a delightful blog and well worth a look. Here are the rules for the award and, below, my Seven Interesting Things and Very Inspiring Blogger Nominations.

As other awards do, this one has some rules for whoever accepts it:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2.Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this blog and link to their pages.

5. Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the awards’ requirements.

Things about me…

I read The Lady Magazine; I am getting very good at cryptic crosswords; I love Earl Grey tea (with Marks and Spencer’s biscuits, for dunking purposes); I consider murder mysteries to be high art; I have written a novel called ‘Who Killed Granny Biscuit?’; I can’t wait to retire from teaching secondary school English. Despite the fact that this evidence may suggest otherwise, I am thirty six years old.

Nominated Blogs…

Bookface http://bookfacereturns.blogspot.com/ Witty,  intelligent book reviews, bang up to date with the publishing industry.

Our Adventure in Croatia http://adventureincroatia.wordpress.com/ Funny, honest and delightfully written account of living abroad.

I Have the Rage http://ihavetherage.wordpress.com/ Always clever, always humorous and always worth reading.

Gonzarro http://gonzarro.wordpress.com/ A Whovian after my own heart, Gonzarro is a new discovery for me: honest, humble and frequently very funny.

Maternal Mayhem http://maternalmayhem.com/  A dark, cynical and ruthlessly truthful account of motherhood: Maternal Mayhem is a new blog and promises to be both reassuring and completely hilarious.

Polysyllabic Profundities http://polysyllabicprofundities.com  “Random thoughts with sporadically profound meaning”: a very interesting and entertaining blog. I like the fact that the writer, like me, is clearly in love with words.

The Rebecca Project http://therebeccaproject.com/ A fellow Belle and Sebastian fan, Rebecca describes herself as an “enthusiastic Aussie expat”; her entertaining, unselfconscious blog describes her life in San Francisco – a place I have always wanted to visit (mainly because of Vertigo. And Monk).

Diana Jackson – Muse, Views and Reviews http://dianamj.wordpress.com/  Diana writes about books, inspiration and the art of writing. Well worth a look. Many of her posts transport the reader to the beautiful Channel Islands.

An Attempt to Literally Live off the (Is)land http://livingofftheisland.wordpress.com/ Gorgeous recipes from Guernsey – my new favourite place in the whole world.

Englishman in Italy http://englishmaninitaly.wordpress.com/ Very funny expat blog with a cast of wonderful characters and plenty of local colour.

Writing through the Fog http://writingthroughthefog.com/ Interesting posts and beautiful photographs; mature and professional blog about San Francisco and the wonderful world beyond.

Housewife Down Under http://housewifedownunder.wordpress.com/ A fellow expat; this US citizen writes eloquently about life in Australia. She is, in her own words, “a woman of opinion”.

Storeylines http://www.storeylines.net/ A very personal blog; well written and often very moving. Barbara’s accounts of battling illness are humbling and inspiring.

Clearing Customs http://clearingcustoms.wordpress.com/ Wittily written blog about all things cultural; plenty of food for thought here.

Tired and Stuck  http://tiredandstuck.blogspot.com/ Very inspiring stuff. Three intelligent women write about fertility, infertility and how they cope with it all. Sometimes funny and sometimes very moving.


  1. Thank you for following my blog. I really appreciate you having the link. I’m new to all of this and the support is quite meaningful. I look forward to following you as well! Cheers.

  2. Our Adventure in Croatia

    First of all congratulations on getting your award. And secondly thank you very much for nominating Our Adventure in Croatia, very much obliged! glad you like reading our blog, and I think we ex-pats have lots of things in common, and adventures to share! cheers and good blogging day! 🙂

    • My pleasure – it’s well-deserved! I had a wonderful holiday in Croatia about seven years ago, pottering around the Dalmatian Islands on a little boat – it was utter bliss – and your blog brings it all back 🙂

      • Our Adventure in Croatia

        glad to hear this, hope you’ll come back to read some more of Our Adventure in Croatia and who knows… it might inspire you to take another holiday in Croatia! (ps I am not being paid by the Croatian Travel Board… 😉

  3. Congratulations on the award, and thank you for nominating my blog.

    I will cut out the award you gave me and stick it next to my last award which is a Bsc (basic swimming certificate) I was 12 and very nearly drowned.

    • 😀 It’s my first since I was awarded my Brownie’s Hostess Badge in 1986 (for which I had to make someone a cup of tea which I then spilt all over their lap…)

      • 🙂 You were a brownie, and won a badge!!!! They wouldn’t let me join. The sex discrimination act came in to late.

  4. Thank you, Lucy, for including me on your list! I can’t remember when I got my last award, so it was definitely welcome! And congratulations to you for winning it, and for passing it along!

  5. Congratulations on your award and thank you for nominating me!

  6. Thanks for the award and the kind words. It looks like I’m in good company.

  7. I may not be a Brit abroad, but I am a Yorkshire lass far from home! I look forward to reading your posts (though I can’t get a cat, I don’t think. We have enough with our chocolate bear of a labrador…). Thanks for the follow 🙂

    • A pleasure, Rachel – looking forward to exploring the wildlife of Kent through your blog 🙂

  8. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Hope you get the pingback, or check out my post to accept the award. I find you very inspiring!

  9. erinorange

    Thank you for following my blog! What a good idea for a blog – could I ask your reasons for moving to the Middle East? Work, just fancy it? Sorry, just being nosey and slighlty jealous that you’re in such an exoctic location!

    • Hello, ErinOrange! Not nosey at all 🙂 We originally moved out here for my husband’s work. It hasn’t been a bad move… just hard to get used to! Thanks for visiting my blog – please do pop back again soon 🙂

  10. lisa evola

    Thanks for the “like”. I pray that you find comfort in your “desert”!!

  11. Thanks for the like on my post! We are 2 homesick bloggers!! 😀

  12. Glad to find other bloggers who are trying to find their place in the world, displaced by circumstances. Look forward to your posts. We are freshly pressed neighbors 😉

  13. Alex

    Gosh, I wish I knew you when I had lived in Dubai, you are a lady after my own heart. Now I’m back in cold and grey Cotswolds, I miss the Middle East, It’s the human condition to remember the good bits and conveniently forgot the not-good-bits, of which there were plenty. I’ll relive the good bits through your blog : ) Alex

    • Hello and welcome to H&H! I know – grass is greener syndrome is a tough one… I’m sure I’ll miss loads of things about Dubai when we leave… The Cotswolds are beautiful; maybe we should do a house swap for a few weeks! 😀

  14. Great blog. I was a ‘trailing spouse’ (awful phrase, I know) for a couple of years in Singapore. Can relate to lots of your posts!!

  15. Hi Lucy,

    Thanks for sharing my post, it also managed to strike up some lively discussion on my facebook page!!

    I enjoy reading your posts. Like you, I’m a displaced Brit – a Scot Abroad, to be precise. Now living and raising and my children in Canada, and missing the great British curries like crazy!

  16. Thank you for making me your featured blog, I dragged Mrs Sensible away from the washing line to show her.. Stop the pegs, come and look at this…

    It is even better than being freshly pressed, because a friend did it. 🙂 🙂
    Leave the sand and come over here for a glass of wine.

    • It’s my pleasure – I hope it brings an extra bit of well-deserved traffic your way. Thanks for the invite – what a wonderful idea and how I’d love to take you up on it! I’m rather partial to a glass of Valpolicella 🙂

  17. Thank you for liking my post on drafts… I am looking forward reading your posts! For me it’s 14 years as a German expatriate in the US, and sometimes it feels as though it gets harder with time, not easier!

    • Thanks so much for visiting H&H – I love the German paranoia about drafts; it’s a bit like the British fear of ‘catching a chill’ if you get damp feet 😀 14 years is a long old time. I don’t think I could do that long out here…

  18. Thanks so much for visiting the Jenn stories. Glad you found something you liked. Join in the conversation any time!

  19. Thanks for the ‘like’ on my post…I have been greatly enjoying your blog this morning – I can’t imagine expatting when you don’t really want to, but you seem to be giving it a great go, with humour and grace…and the following made me snort coffee out through my nose not long ago: “As far as I am aware, I have never previously eaten anything’s brain (although I have eaten a lot of cheap beef and onion pies in the past and if those weren’t at least 60% sheep-brain / horse-meat / road-kill, I’m a duchess) so I was a little apprehensive. ” I will definitely be checking in! best, Expatted

    • Hello Expatted! Loved reading your blog and can totally sympathise with a lot of your experiences… It’s all a crazy adventure isn’t it! Great to have found your blog and so glad you’re enjoying mine 🙂

  20. I enjoy reading your blog so I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award.

  21. Love me or hate me, I have nominated you for a bloger-to-blogger award. Read all about it here: http://wp.me/p2V9GN-8A

    • Aw, thanks BB! LOVE it! Hope all is well in sunny Germany. My husband’s in Frankfurt at this very moment… 🙂

      • Sunny Germany? haha! How is everything there? I have never been to Frankfurt…I’ve heard it’s very expensive.

  22. Carol Donaldson

    Many thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading yours and hope you enjoyed your Autumn trip to Canterbury. I will try to put some photos of the Stour valley on my website to remind you of home.

  23. Hi

    Just wanted to let you know we gave you a shout-out on our “Top 10 Best Dubai Blogs” list. If you want to check it out here’s the link: http://www.livingindubai.org/top-10-best-dubai-blogs/.
    It is just our way of saying we appreciate your work. Thanks!

    • Woohooo! Thank you so much, James! Am very pleased and proud to be mentioned. Loved browsing your site today – SO much useful stuff!
      Very best wishes,

  24. hey Lucy. Hope you can accept my nomination! I love your blog..http://selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/253/

  25. Hello! I really enjoy your blog, and I’ve nominated you for The Virtual Blog Tour Award.

  26. I was trying to comment using my phone, but for some reason it didn’t go through. I was explaining how I have lived in Dubai since 2010 too. And that it took me a long time to adjust to life here, although I’m from the region. I moved here after spending 8 months in London. And even though it was a relatively short period of time, I missed the UK so much for a long time after moving here. So I can totally relate to how you must feel, having lived all of your life in the UK.
    I write some articles about the culture in the Gulf region, which you might find interesting. Check out my blog here:


    All the best and congrats on the book publishing news!

  27. Jessica Worswick

    I am so glad I found this blog,it’s a huge inspiration for me and something I can relate to completely and has helped me realize I am not the only one who is homesick and I am not going mad ! So thank you for writing it and I hope you continue now your back in the UK. Your blog is helping me feel less alone and more in control of my situation (at nearly 4am) even though I’m still undecided where to go from here and more to the point how long I can carry on feeling like this before I have to go home ! My husband wants to stay for at least 5 years so when we return to the UK we can live more comfortably and I too wanted and still do want the same thing. However, (why is there always a’ however’ in life) I am so homesick I just want to go home right now back to the house where Ive spent many years including with my now departed parents, but of course this would or could ruin our plans and my husband would for sure stay here which I totally understand. In the future he wants us to move away from my previous family home we have both shared together since thepassing of my parents sic years ago, yet another uncomfortable scenerio for me to handle although I part of me too wants the same thing, the other part does not. This leads me to another issue of renting the house when we we are away, so far this hasn’t happend due to work being carried out on the house which is now complete but yet again i don’t really want to rent the house I want my home, my base, to be there when I go back to visit the UK. Now to top all this off I’ve recently got the job I’ve been longing for for a few years both in the UK and now I don’t feel I can cope with it or even want it, m not even sure if it the right job for me even though I was sure it was and even thought it will help us financially which is what I thought would be the answer to all our problems and the way to move forward and provide us with that better life. So In truth I am dangling by a few threads and don’t know where to go…I aim to stick it out a little longer and see where it takes me for my husbands sake and mine and our future…. Coming here has certainly been a journey of self discovery of who i am, or aren’t, what I want or don’t, and a desire of wanting be less emotional and sensitive….. I keep going but feel drained and zapped of my get up and go my old self. But I am in search of ways to help myself and finding this blog is helping especially 4am in the morning when I’ve awoken due to heartstrings longing for home, so I thank you for starting this blog and helping people like me out here. Time to try and get more sleep I think….. if anyone has any comments or suggestions on my situation feel free to comment. night all

    • 4am is the worst time in the world! I really, really know how you are feeling. All I can say right now is take good care of yourself and throw yourself into your life out there as much as you can. Home will always be here waiting for you whenever it is the right time for you to come back. X

  28. Thanks so much for the PingBack 🙂 Love your site!



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