The Irish Abroad ~ Part 1

Over the past few months, I have been inundated with messages, calls, texts, letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, smoke signals and pigeons about whether or not The Temple Wolf can create The Éire necklace with the heart in different positions. The Wolf listened, and today, is delighted to announce that I am launching 4 different versions of The Éire. Now you can declare your allegiance to Ulster, Munster, Leinster or Connaught! We all know which one is best though...

To celebrate the launch of the new Éire range, I asked Irish women living abroad to answer a few questions about their life. Part 1 features two lovely ladies who are representing the Irish in London and Hong Kong.

1. Jessica Garland-Blake - A blogger living in London

First up, we chat with the talented Jessica Garland-Blake of Fashion and Lifestyle Blog 'I HAVE THIS THING FOR.' With over 50 thousand followers on Instagram, you could definitely say she is making waves in London, where she has lived for the last few years. Jessica has many strings to her bow and she has worked hard to get to where she is. Her photographs are works of art and it is clear that she puts a huge amount of time and thought into each one. 

Q: What do you do in London?

I’m doing a few things! So I’m currently in final year at London College of Fashion, I’m on the Fashion Contour course-which is lingerie and swimwear. I have a blog, I do the Instagram for Burger & Lobster and I waitress. 

Q: What do you like most about living in London?

I have such a love hate relationship with London. Sometimes I’m like, you know what?! Everyone is so rude, it’s so expensive, I can’t wait to get back to Dublin where everyone says hello to you……and then other times I’m like, London is an amazing city and yes it’s expensive and hard work but there is always something to do. There is always new people to meet and make connections with. This year I’ve had a bit more work with my blog and thats enabled me to meet some great new people. I think you have to have a mindset of yes ok it will be hard work but I can get so much out of this city. I had an email a few weeks ago about a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet in an old church with a live choir-I grew up watching that film I called my mum straight away and she was like I’m booking flights now! I love eating out and London has (in my opinion!) some of the best restaurants, I eat out quite a lot here, because you can have good food for cheap.

Q: How would you describe the style in London?

People I think are a bit more experimental, I will maybe have a different view as I’m in an art college! So many different cultures here that bring their own styles that then others adapt. 

Q: What do you miss most about Ireland?

I miss my mom and my sister, I miss my friends, I miss being able to just ‘knock over’ to a friend's for a cup of tea! I miss the sea, I miss the easy and relaxed lifestyle.

Q: Any plans to come home?

I’m still not sure, I would like to moving to a different country, like Denmark or Sweden-just to try it, ya know? But moving back to Ireland I think would be hard after living in such a busy city like London….

Jessica wearing her Éire necklace

Jessica models her Éire necklace above.

You can visit Jessica's blog at and check out her BEAUTIFUL Instagram account at @ihavethisthingfor

 2. Steffi Smyth - a vice principal living in Hong Kong

Next up, we have the splendid Steffi Smyth from Moate, Co. Westmeath. Steffi is a vice principal in a primary school in Hong Kong. Steffi is one of my best friends and I was delighted to visit her in Hong Kong last October. In this interview, she gives us a glimpse into her life in the city of HK!

Q: What do you do in Hong Kong?

I'm the Vice Principal of an English school over here... I used to be a teacher and this is my first time in management. So I'm missing the classroom but learning lots of new skills!

Q: What do you like most about living in Hong Kong?

The city itself! I love the craziness of it. I love the high rise buildings. It has a massive population in a very small area.  But likewise 30 minutes outside of city centre you can be on the beach or hiking in the countryside with lots of greenery. 

Q: How would you describe the style there?

There's such variety in style because there's such a variety of people living here but the Asians definitely dominate. I think their style in general is very androgynous, loose and cool. They wear a lot of pastel and monochrome colours; never too loud or in your face. It always seems casual and effortless too. At the moment I see so many baggy culottes with massive oversized jumpers. It would look like a tent on me, but they pull it off. 

Q: What do you miss about Ireland?

Family and friends is the obvious one, but it's so true!... The cost of living - it's not cheap in Dublin but it's so much more expensive here. You have to go to certain places to get good chocolate but I have that down to a t now. Birdseye potato waffles and decent old man Irish pubs!

Q: Any plans to come home?

Ah yes, of course! This was always just something I wanted to experience. I'll definitely be home sooner or later!

Keep an eye out for PART 2 of Irish Women abroad where I chat with some more beauties living in Abu Dhabi and Australia. 




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