Victoria J. Murphy was born Victoria Jane Bellière on the 23rd July 1972 in a somewhat shabby corner of South London called Croydon.
She grew up in the Suburbs and enjoyed a wistful youth engaging in such antics as “Scrumping” (the sneaky act of hopping over a fence and pillaging fruit from the neighbour’s gardens), “Knock Down Ginger” (the classic ringing of the front doorbell of the above mentioned suffering neighbour’s and then running away to hide behind a Privet hedge to giggle at their confused, bewildered faces), and of course “Kick the Can” (a game of wits and courage, of which Victoria had both good days and bad).
After graduating from Ardingly College, Sussex in 1991, Victoria moved to London to find her fortune. Well, she didn’t find her fortune but she did meet her first husband, Mike, in a pub in West London. Mike was from California and a few months later they moved to Los Angeles. The marriage went South however, and they divorced to go their separate ways.
At that time, Victoria worked as a Real Estate Agent ‘s assistant in Beverly Hills for a lovely lady named Marci. It was a terrific job however, Victoria felt unfulfilled and dull.
Then, one night, quite randomly while drinking a glass of wine in her best friend’s restaurant, Victoria declared that she was going to “re-locate to an entirely different place.”
“Where to?” asked her friend.
” Erm…VIRGINIA!” she exclaimed.
So, shortly after, Victoria packed up her measly belongings in her garishly pink Ford Escort and drove across America to the charming college town of Charlottesville, Virginia. There she discovered her true vocation: plants.
Plants were simply everywhere in Virginia. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting one. She adored them. Victoria decided to become a gardener. She applied for a position at The University of Virginia’s Landscape Department as a Grounds Worker and by some miracle and an open-minded supervisor by the name of Roger, she got it.
She was later promoted to Senior Grounds Worker where she ran a small, motley crew of fellas that played enough good spirited pranks to have possibly inspired a handbook entitled, “How to Make Your Boss’ Eyeballs Roll.” She loved them dearly though and wouldn’t have changed a thing.
And then there was Scott. Scott was the Landscape Supervisor for Central Grounds at UVA and Victoria’s boss. Victoria avoided making Scott’s eyes roll at all costs because she admired him and loved him immeasurably. She believes the feeling had to be mutual because they married each other in the University of Virginia Chapel in May of 2013.
That’s where her rock comes in. Enter: Ambergris Caye, Belize.
It was the morning of the second day of their honeymoon. They were at the Colonial Victoria House (no relation, still ironic) located one mile South of Ambergris’ only town of San Pedro when Victoria leaned over her plate of sliced Papaya at breakfast and said: “Scott… we’re moving here.”
Without looking up from his coffee, he agreed.
Fours years later, they did. It took four years only because Scott had to hit retirement age at UVA.
So, after 22 years and a pizza party with all the fellas, Scott and Victoria packed up all their stuff in grocery packing boxes from the local supermarket (thank you, Mimi!), boarded a plane, landed in Belize, and moved into a little blue house with views of mangroves and sparkling water.
Both Victoria and her husband enjoy the bountiful natural beauty that is Ambergris Caye, especially the second longest coral reef in the world however they also hang onto their old passions.Scott, horse racing; Victoria, films.
Victoria is often found annoying unsuspecting people by using her favorite quotes from movies like, “Fiddle-dee-dee!” (Gone With The Wind, 1939) and “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” (All About Eve, 1950). The latter is often used when inevitable trouble looms on the horizon – a thunderstorm, a hurricane, a rum party with friends.
Victoria cannot trot into San Pedro on any given day without returning home with some bizarre anecdote regarding the everyday coming and goings of a wonderful and endearing country.