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Moving to the UK launch day bayyyybeeeeeee!

Your handy guide to moving countries without losing your mind
Moving to the UK launch day bayyyybeeeeeee!

Hello loves :)

Moving to the UK: A Concise Guide for South Africans is officially on sale TODAY.

I'm so proud of this little book. It grew out of a wildly elaborate spreadsheet that I started putting together when a dear friend moved to the UK two years after me, which I mostly created on the couch while being sick with Covid and bored out of my mind (what, other people don't make comfort-spreadsheets when they're ill?). It just kept growing and growing, until it became a 40,000 word document, which eventually I sent to my agent with an apologetic "look I'm sorry I know I'm supposed to be writing another novel but this book really wanted to come out of me instead".

So here it is: your end-to-end guide to moving from South Africa to the land of tabloid, tweed and terrible weather.

Writing this book healed me. Moving countries is one of the most difficult, emotionally fraught things I've ever done, and writing about it has been my way of making sense of it all. It's a very pragmatic guidebook, but it's also - in a way - memoir. Maybe self-help books always are.

I lost myself in the admin of it all. Admin is my drug of choice (and my love language apparently – I’ve never been more sexually attracted to Matt than when he suggested we make a Gantt chart to figure out the timings of our move).

The admin was a cope, obviously. I channelled all my grief into fretting over inventories. I ignored my worries about whether we were making the right choice by worrying about how I was going to get Digby into his carrier.

That last Cape Town summer had the audacity to be perfect. It’s hard leaving a life you still love, just because of a vague intuition that, in the long run, doing so will bring you deeper joys and a richer life. What’s hope for the future in the face of long hikes in the Cederberg? Over dinner parties that go late into the night telling jokes with your brilliant, beautiful friends? Over sitting in a lapa with your family as a Highveld thunderstorm rolls over the sky?

Leaving is hard because you know you’re breaking your mother’s heart. Your best friend’s heart. They won’t tell you, because they love you and they want you to be happy, but you’re abandoning them and it sucks. And you know it. But you have to do it anyway.

So, you step out into the big, wide unknown. You board a flight. Hurting. Hopeful.

The book is divided into four sections:

  1. Deciding to move. Factors to think about when deciding if moving is right for you, pros and cons, what it all costs, the best ages to move with kids.
  2. The move itself. How to get a visa, find a UK job, ship your stuff and your pets over, and deal with the mountains of admin.
  3. Setting up your new life. How to open a bank account, find a home, and set up the basics of your new life.
  4. A path back to happiness. Some thoughts about making friends, surviving the weather, figuring out your finances, and learning to love the UK on its own terms.

South Africans, you should be able to find it in any local bookshop.

People who are already in England, get the ebook here (physical book coming soon).

Launch dates

I'm doing two Moving to the UK book launches in South Africa, which I'll be running as short workshops covering how to think about whether moving to England is the right choice for you. Come say hi!

Cape Town

  • Date: Tuesday 12 September
  • Time: 18:30 for 19:00
  • Venue: Exclusive Books V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
  • RSVP is essential to book your spot via events@exclusivebooks.co.za


  • Date: Wednesday 27 September
  • Time: 18:00 for 18:30
  • Venue: Exclusive Books Rosebank, Johannesburg
  • RSVP is essential to book your spot via events@exclusivebooks.co.za

Londoners, come join us at the Newcomer's Club summer meetup, this Sunday (August 27th), details here.

Thank you for your support, friends. I'm wishing you emotional-support-spreadsheets and hope!