Where were you born? This is always a good question! I was born to a Scottish dad and an English mom in Baghdad, Iraq! Yes, that is on my passport and yes, it raises eyebrows!
Where else have you lived? Only two countries, Hong Kong and London. (We were not in Iraq long after I was born!)
How long have you been in Hong Kong? I moved here in 1979. When I left for university in 1996, my parents stayed here and I had my flights paid for until I was 21 so, came home at every opportunity. I moved back about four-and-a-half years ago with my family (my son was born here) after my mom died. My dad and brother also live here. I am a permanent resident here and sponsor my hubby and daughter!
In which part of Hong Kong do you live? Shatin. Fo Tan to be exact. But I have lived all over Hong Kong over the years. I am a Kowloon/N.T.-side girl through and through, although I did like it when my parents lived in Causeway Bay and Happy Valley when I was in my 20’s and came home to visit! Cheap taxi’s home from Wan Chai were always a bonus!
Children and ages? My daughter is almost seven and my son is four-and-a-half.
Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do? I have been self-employed for most of my working life. I am a naturopath and nutritional therapist and my company is called Loula Natural. I work in schools and companies, and teach natural health classes. I also see clients and their families in person and on Skype. I love the flexibility of my job and travel to Macau, Singapore and Bangkok to teach and see clients too. I have written a book on fermenting called Culture Your Life and one on weaning babies onto real food called Nurture Your Life. I also have a very successful blog called Loula Natural.
What work did you do in your past lives? I have a masters in acting from the Central School of Speech and Drama and I was an actress until about the age of 26, I worked in shops (Gap!) and did catering and temp work to fund my passion for the stage. I then became a personal trainer in 2004. And in 2006 I began my training to be in my current career. I have loved every experience I have had and it has all informed my work every day. I regret nothing!
What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? My parents brought me here — I had no choice! Although I lived in the UK for 16 years, I never felt settled and have always had Hong Kong in my heart. I am so proud to be able to share it with my kids and give them the same opportunities I had (although, we are on local terms here!!). Sadly, I did move back to Hong Kong to help nourish my mom and to motivate her in her healing journey, but she died a few months before we got here. I am pleased to be able to live with my dad and give my kids a strong relationship with him and to also be able to see my brother and his wife on a regular basis too. We will stay until my dad probably retires, but no firm plans to leave as yet. I would happily stay if finances allow it!
What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? I normally check in with Hong Kong Moms periodically during the day.
What posts do you comment on and why? I tend to comment on the health questions especially for children’s nutrition for obvious reasons. However, I do like to chime in now and then with my Hong Kong nuggets of information and to generally cheer on the positive posts. I learned early on to stay away from the heated arguments as most people are set in their minds and it caused me way too much stress!
What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? I love to hear people’s stories and experiences. I love the lost and found posts and all the positive reviews for places. I have also met some amazing people here who have really formed a different tribe for me here in Hong Kong as a parent rather than a teenager!
What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? The one recently where you asked for people to be interviewed was awesome. There are some very special men and women, moms and dads here in Hong Kong.
What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? I recently asked about Irish language resources from other Irish parents. And I generally love to ask for recommendations.
What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? I absolutely love the proximity to nature we have here and am regularly on the hiking trail up behind my house. Asian food is my comfort food so, I love the variety of food from around the world we have here. The simplicity, price and efficiency of the transportation system after being in London allows Hong Kong to be an easy place to live and work. There is kindness and generosity of spirit from young to old here all the time and the Chinese culture, in general, can actually teach us a lot about how to live. I love the way that the kids in school love learning and exploring and the housing estates and that playgrounds are safe places to be and full of old people dancing and talking to one another.
And frustration? Very little frustrates me about Hong Kong, I am saddened to think about the potential future of the Hong Kong youth and its place in the world. I think this place is intensely special and I am frustrated that it may eventually get swallowed up. I think and hope the spirit of the place will hold strong as I would love it to be a place that my kids could one day share with their kids too.
What is your craziest Hong Kong experience? OMG too many wild adventures over the 30-odd years that no one can ever know about! I bump into school friends on the street on a regular basis and I am currently writing a children’s mindfulness course with a friend I went to Kindergarten with here — that’s pretty cool!
Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms? Yes! All the time, which is completely awesome
What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms? Lasting and very powerful ones! Women from all over the world doing so many wonderful things!
Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? I would love to see the Oompa Loompa’s Priscilla Darryl and Rachael Whitfield; My very awesome friends Charlotte Douglas, Kate Baldwin and Kate Mercurio, who have plenty of interesting stories; Michelle Harris who has healed me in so many ways; Angela Pedron, Ali Oliver, Helen Scott and Ruth Benny, who are tireless at what they do here in Hong Kong — and so many others but there is a good start!