It’s been 10 months since we touched down in Sydney and London feels like a speck in the distance. Day to day it doesn’t feel like we’ve accomplished that much but I step back a bit and realize the enormity of all the changes we’ve made and the things we have done in this time. I feel as though we have accomplished more in the 10 months that we’ve been here than we did in London over the period of 5 years. I struggle to remember certain parts of London and a lot of the negativity has since disappeared, time once again has come to the rescue. Moving abroad you’re starting your life from scratch and part of me feels like I left a piece of my heart back in London. It’s a strange feeling when home is in more than one place – it’s comforting to know that you can make a home wherever you are in the world and also sad leaving it behind. Kind of like turning your back on an old friend forever. I only ever visited Madeira (never lived) but I feel that same longing for the island, I can still remember the sinking sadness I felt as we drove off to the airport on that last morning.
Rob and Elijah have settled in amazingly – Rob has two steady jobs and a social group he meets up with every week. And Eli now goes to a Brazilian playgroup once a week. I searched high and low for a European Portuguese playgroup in Sydney but couldn’t find anything so it was decided that it was better for Eli to learn Portuguese in a different accent than not at all. The teacher doesn’t speak much English either so it’s perfect for me, as I’m learning along with all the other babies. Occasionally I zone out when it’s loud and everyone is chattering away and I imagine that I am in Brazil and I own a flat across from Copacabana beach where I dance in the kitchen and speak fluent Portuguese. But then I snap back to reality when the teacher asks me a simple question and I struggle to answer!
Since having Eli (from around about the time I went on maternity leave) I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do long term career wise. When I first went on maternity leave I read an article about a couple of 12 year olds who had made a thriving business selling bath bombs. So naturally I thought if a couple of 12 year olds can do it than so can I! So I went about learning all I could about making bathbombs and bought a whole lot of supplies online. My idea was to create unique scents and designs as a point of difference. Our kitchen became a lab with trays and trays of powdery bath bombs crumbled all over the place. Out of batches of about 12 I would only manage to make 2 bombs stick together. I don’t know whether it was the temperature, the moulds or the recipes, or whether I just didn’t have the *bathbomb X factor …(*Note to self Idea for TV show) but I couldn’t seem to make that perfect bathbomb that I had envisioned in my head. The ones that did stick together ended up fizzing out early and my scents were overwhelming and too strong. So LUSH has nothing to worry about from me!
So I packed away my bath bomb moulds and essential oil collection, dusted myself off and thought about what else I could make that I could apply my idea too. I really wanted to use scent as a primary factor in the product. I had been experimenting with making my own fragrances that were related to places and memories for the bath bombs, as I hadn’t seen anything like that before. The one thing that I didn’t like as much about the bath bombs was that the scent doesn’t last very long so I thought about making candles. I watched a lot of videos online and finally decided to give it a go. So I ordered my first candle making kit and made my first batch of scented candles. Like bath bombs there’s quite a bit of science behind candle making. There are many different styles of candles and waxes, and wick sizes and dyes and fragrance and essential oils, curing times, hot and cold throw. Basically a whole lot of trial and error. Alot of cleaning wax off of different surfaces and fragrance oils that you end up mysteriously tasting in your food! Ah the glamour!
Luckily for me I found it really fun and I became a bit obsessed with it. I loved being able to be creative and I found it to be a great stress reliever as well. When I decided that I wanted to make a side hustle out of it I mainly kept it to myself – afraid people wouldn’t take me seriously and what people would make of it as I have a young child and it’s not exactly a rock solid job. I’m only now just getting the confidence to start telling people that this is what I have been doing and it’s something I’m very serious about and proud of. Becoming a mum has been one of my proudest moments but it has really made me want to get serious about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I spent a long time chasing a career in Television only to find that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice so much time away from my family in order to do it anymore. If I could make a creative dream work and be able to be there for Elijah while he grows up, that is the REAL dream for me.
So I have created Scents of Saudade – Australian hand poured candles inspired by Nostalgia.
Saudade is a beautiful Portuguese term popularly used by poets or musicians to describe an existential longing or yearning. It doesn’t have a direct translation in English but it’s a word that encapsulates my desire to reconnect with all of the wonderful places I have visited, and people I have met over the years through the powerful memory trigger of scent. I love the idea of being able to light a candle and smell a London summertime in the middle of an Australian winter. Or have the smell of mulled wine fill the room during an Aussie Christmas. And I would love to be able to connect other people with their own memories too!
I still have a little way to go before I can launch as I am really starting from scratch but everyday it gets a little more real. Watch this space!