So, what did we do?
During 2018, we continued to explore what it is like to immigrate here and to share insights and tips about living in the UK. We talked about everyday topics and shared experiences, like the weather: so often people tell us that coping with the British weather is a big change when moving here – and our weather during the last year has certainly been extraordinary. We talk about the weather in the UK a lot because it changes so much and it is rarely extreme but this year, we had the ‘Beast from the East’ so we wrote about tips for coping in the snow in a blog called ‘Let it snow’, and we then had a heatwave in the summer so we gave some tips on managing the heat in ‘Here comes the summer!’
We write and focus on details of daily life, in all their variety, such as the struggles of renting and the importance of keeping inventories when you rent (see ‘Tips and Tricks for House hunting in London’) and we made a short film about the importance of having a National Insurance number but of course, we can’t escape Brexit – the issue that has dominated political discussion and been a source of arguments between families, political parties and many friends. We found hope in an interview in ‘A chance encounter in Kew Gardens’ that we would survive it but unfortunately, as trade deals take ten years or so to negotiate, we can expect to still be talking and arguing about it in 2029.
We also wrote blogs and content led by the national calendar. This includes two beautiful poems, one by Mike Taylor and one by our own Dee Mohamed on the experience of immigration. We are increasingly concerned about the importance of mental health in the UK and we wrote a blog about its importance and signposting to resources on World Mental Health Day. We marked Black History Month in October with a series of tweets which highlighted the British Civil Rights Movement and a blog about the history of black people in the UK going back to Roman times ‘Multiculturalism is as ancient as the Romans’.
We also focus on the rhythm of life: going to university, what its like to start a new school and days at the seaside. These things are eternal and we will always be writing about them and any international student will enjoy, ‘An interview with Alia’.
One of the most exciting things we did last year was to decide to become research based and much of the work that has gone on this year, you won’t see until next year. We are investigating the challenges people face in their first eighteen months here and with our findings so far have come up with some original and thought provoking insights. Keep an eye out for its publication in 2019.
We hope that wherever you started life, you are enjoying the Christmas lights seem to be particularly imaginative and wonderful this year and I suspect help us adjust to the dark nights of winter.
Do have a look at our Daily Life category for more tips on living in the UK.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your families.