It’s been a long time since my last blog but that time has gone in a heartbeat. It’s called London. My favourite city in the world, offering the ultimate variety package and perfect for this variety junkie.

I’ve been here now for four months, since the middle of October when I packed up my beautiful Tuscan villa for the winter and prayed that it would not be too harsh a winter for those who live there and that all would be in order when I set foot again in la bella Italia.

But for me now London feels like home and as I returned to renew my friendships and create a life here I slowly and surely find myself moving even further away from Australia. The process of closing bank accounts, setting up everything on line and choosing to put my frequent flyer points into the system at British Airways rather than Qantas is part of what feels like a very organic shift. I’m not sure where it will lead or where I will live in the longer term but right now it does not seem to matter much.

It is tough in the middle of winter when all my Aussie friends post countless pictures of beaches and sunsets and glasses of champagne on Friday nights with the backdrop of brilliant blue skies, but I soldier on knowing that in the blink of a British eyelid, I will have 4 months of long, languid days and nights in the next European summer.

I have to combat endless questions of what I will do with all my furniture in storage, don’t I miss my art on the walls, why don’t I bring my car over, shouldn’t I go back and get some of my clothes before they get too out dated, and so on but none of that seems to matter either.

To be honest, although I have lived in my own homes for 35 years I am entirely happy living in a rented flat without much of my stuff. I have enough clothes here to sink a ship and if I want more, I buy them. I go to enough art galleries to be inspired by what I see there without having to have my own and what would I do with a convertible Mercedes parked in a London street? Well, I’d work something out with the car. I sometimes miss it….

The truth is, I am living day to day and I don’t have to make any of these decisions until an answer is obvious. And right now, it is not. I don’t have to put down roots here. I don’t have to come back to Australia. I don’t want to live in Italy full time. I just want to prop here and travel and have fun enjoying every day. Do I feel guilty? Yes, sometimes I do. Sometimes I feel I should be ‘doing something’ like work, or a charity, or something meaningful. But thankfully that passes and I’m out again with a friend or inside the next museum or opening the next bottle of red.

So whilst I don’t know what else I ‘should be’ doing, I know what I don’t want to do any more and have deregistered my last company Ultimate Relationships because I know I have no energy for it any more. That will create an energy shift which might well lead me to the next piece, but until then, there is a big city and a wonderful continent just over the Channel to explore.

On the useful side, I am a member of the Advisory Group for the first Australia New Zealand Literary and Arts Festival which will be staged in London at the end of May. We have had a summer barbecue with 4 authors including Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton, and we had a super glam launch at Australia House in November. Next is the Program Launch in March at the New Zealand High Commission which I am organising. And then we have 4 wonderful days to fill with, so far, around 60 authors and artists and another 51 in discussion. I have met some amazing and interesting people and am looking forward to even more excitement as we move towards the Festival date. One of the highlights was an evening lecture at the Royal Academy with Tim Winton who spoke incredibly movingly at the Australians’ connection to the land, captivating every single person who was in the room. Tim will be returning to open the Festival on 31 May which is fabulous.

I have also met a great collection of women at the Australian Women’s Club which has many arms like films, books, art and drinking. I am participating in the latter two. Every second Thursday a group of 12 of us meet at a different gallery, with our knowledgeable guide, to visit an exhibition and talk about it. Amazing how it crystallises your thoughts when you have to articulate to a group of women you hardly know about a piece of art you thought was crap! Well that was the first one: at a gallery in Hyde Park and the Chapman Brothers exhibition of penises, brains with maggots and at least 30 figures dressed as Ku Klux Klan members. Our second visit to the Barbican and Pop Art was more interesting and my chosen piece to discuss was an old Coke vending machine that looked like a Mobil petrol pump, minus the flying white horse, of my childhood. And last week we went to the Royal Academy to view the series of sometimes weird installations by Bill Woodrow who has the well known elephant made of car doors in the Tate Britain.

I like the drinking bunch. Some I met at the Australia Day luncheon which was very pleasant except we were drinking New Zealand wines which I thought was not quite right, and others I met when we gathered a few weeks ago upstairs at a nice little pub near Sloane Square, famous for being the watering hole of the servants from the big houses nearby. Apparently it still is. Anyway we meet again tonight which will be a challenge for me as it’s day 4 of a 5-day juice cleanse and no drop of alcohol must pass my lips. I guess I can make do with a sparkling Pellegrino and leave it until tomorrow night at the National Portrait Gallery where I am going to an exhibition of David Bailey’s photographs, presumably of the glitterati and the rich and famous.

When I was in the US in December at Date with Destiny we had a round table of ‘what’s great in your life right now’ amongst the trainers who gave me a bit of a cheer when I said my life consisted of galleries and lunch, but it is indeed the truth – if we can extend it to theatre and dinner also.

So in these cold winter months I have ventured out to see Dame Edna, The Duck House, Ciphers, Red Velvet, The Hotel Plays and Rapture, Blister and Burn; the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, Tate’s Britain and Modern, the Saatchi a couple of times, the British Museum and tomorrow I venture into the east end to the Whitechapel Gallery.

I have also enjoyed several lunches at Ottolenghi in Islington, and at The River Café and Iberica, several dinners at an amazing Italian just a stone’s throw, called Rocco, the last of which was on Sunday to celebrate the birthday of my son’s girlfriend Eve and, once more, The Chelsea Arts Club.

Late December saw me in Ireland for the first time (rather late considering my Irish ancestry) and in January I explored the amazing Highgate Cemetery, before a few days in Paris with a friend from Oz. It was of course Sale Time so a good bit of shopping was to be had.

Next week I return to northern Norway with some friends to look upward again and hope the Northern Lights Gods are with us this year. It’s very cold there so the thermals and the ski pants have come out of storage and I bought a furry hat on a visit to the Lake District back in November to keep my brains warm as my father would have said.

Plans for my pool in Italy proceed but as yet there is no permission. I am wondering if I need to give the man at the Comune a plain brown envelope as I did in 1999 to get permission for the barn to be restored but I am hoping not.

Reading this makes me feel it sounds very Aussie-centric but that is not the case. I have been foraying into the world of British men with a number of dates, none of which would make me leave home for, and of course spending heaps of time with my wonderful British friends.

So, that’s probably it from me for now. Loving life. Happy to be here. Living in the present. Not doing anything useful for anyone but me…and totally happy about that. For now.

Until next time. Live with heart.