My name is Kathy, I am mum to Emma (8), Lina (6) and Niklas (4). I am also a journalist, a writer and have been happily married for the last 12 years.
It’s our family’s second stint in Dubai after first arriving here in 2015 from London, where I lived on and off since my teenage years. My husband and I first met at university back in 2003. What started off as a long-distance relationship has turned into the most wonderful adventure of a lifetime. The last years have been anything but boring. Many country moves and three children later, we’ll be celebrating nearly two decades as a team this summer.
He’s my greatest supporter, strongest critic and lately become a trusted A* Beta reader for my first children’s book, which is about to be released here in the UAE, the UK and Australia.
WHERE IS HOME?
Home is Dubai (now and hopefully for more years to come). Prior to that I lived in Denmark, the UK, for a short while the US and many moons ago Germany, where I was born.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?
Oh, many things! Zookeeper is the first one I recall! I had bunnies and guinea pigs and a fish tank at home, but I had always been fascinated by wild animals and would have loved to work with them.
I also remember putting in many hours to create a ‘portfolio’ for Disney Pictures to join their animation team. Youtube wasn’t around at the time, but I remember trying to get my hands on all the Disney mags in our local newsagent, which had short behind-the-scenes features about their animated films.
And then – for as long as I can think – I had a passion for writing. I used to keep diaries and wrote short stories. I still have them. They’re safely stowed away in a cupboard up in my grandma’s attic.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
The latter. I write. I am a trained broadcast journalist and for the most part I spent the last 15 years reporting on news and entertainment, mainly in the UK but I also worked on freelance assignments in Denmark, Germany and the UAE.
Lately – I decided to do something a little different to fulfil my lifelong dream to write a children’s book.
It is called ‘Hop Lola Hop’ – a story about a young and curious toy bunny that one day decides to go on its own little adventure. It was inspired by my daughter’s favourite toy, which we lost many, many times – during trips to the supermarket, walks in the park and on holiday.
The story has been in my head for a while, but last year I decided to make time for it. I wrote it in between moves, home schooling the kids and freelance assignments. It was a lot of hard work, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to be able to write more books in future.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN?
It’s definitely a 50/50 split between exploring the outdoors and getting crafty at home. I love painting (my form of meditation) which has definitely rubbed off on my kids. If you came to our house, chances are you will spot some leftover paint marks on the floors and walls (or maybe not, because I do try and cover them up with plant pots, books and shelves).
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR WEEKENDS?
My husband works in Saudi, so we only get to see him on weekends, which means we try and squeeze in as much quality time for the family as possible. We love hanging out at the beach, the desert and (during the cooler months) going camping. Equally, we love spending time at home.
We have a small group of friends we go cycling with on Saturday mornings in Al Qudra. I am not a morning person but found this to be a good way to kick off the day.
I’ve also started spending a considerable amount of time cheering on my daughter from the side-line of the football pitch on a Sunday morning.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?
Oh, there are so many good movies, it’s hard to pick. I recently watched ‘Two Popes’, which I thought was fantastic.
If I went with the most watched movies of all time – it’ll be a tight race between ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Clueless’.
IF YOU COULD EAT ONE MEAL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
(Cheddar) Cheese – FULL STOP.
WHO’S YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?
My 16-year-old self would have confidently answered this with Leonardo DiCaprio, but then Regé-Jean Page was very well cast in ‘Bridgerton’.
If girl crushes are allowed, it’ll be Julia Roberts!
WHICH DESTINATION IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST TO VISIT?
Norway – when we lived in Denmark, we visited Sweden and have also been to Finland many times, as my husband used to live there. But we’ve never made it to Norway. We had planned a trip, which got cancelled due to the pandemic.
Happy to say that I just booked our camper van, and you will find us travelling the Norwegian Fjords this summer.
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
On the F&B front: Coffee (any time of day) and salted caramel ice cream (any time of day and season)
I don’t really binge-watch any TV shows, but I can pretty quickly get sucked into watching and reading up on news events – a habit that comes with my profession (I guess) and which, to the frustration of other family members, I can’t shake off.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My childhood heroine used to be Pippi Longstocking – I always wanted to be like her – so I guess being the STRONGEST GIRL IN THE WORLD would be a good superpower to have. Sadly, there are a lot of bullies out there. They could all do with a dressing down ‘Pippi’ style.
Whilst I haven’t been successful in my pursuit to carry a horse, I have developed a strong mindset and try to teach my children an ‘I CAN DO THIS’ attitude.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN DUBAI?
Dubai is a wonderful place to raise your young family. It’s safe, it’s vibrant and it offers a great lifestyle. Being such a transient place means my children grow up in an environment that gives them the chance to learn about different cultures and languages, which will hopefully help them grow up to become open–minded global citizens.