Daily diary

Melbourne

Every year the main Body Shop conference is held in August in Mebourne so, as I am doing quite well, this year we all decided to go over for a weeks holiday.

We flew Tiger which was basic but at $90 each one way, not to be sniffed. Did the red eye flight over (aptly named for a 1am flight) and it took 3.5 hours. Got the skybus from the airport to Southern Cross Station and didn't see the best of Melbourne on the way through. It reminded me of old Market/ Easton in Bristol with lots of very old decript buildings, very built up, lots of tagging and high rise flats. Not a great start. We then got a free shuttle to the head office of where we were to stay to pick up the keys and then a taxi to our appartment. Taxis are plentiful in Melbourne which was great to see as in WA you really don't bother with taxis as there are so few of them. Our apartment was fantastic. Two beds, bathroom, and open plan kitchen and living room. There was a pool and gym too at the base of the building. All clean, modern and on the 20th floor so we had some fantastic views too although the balcony was scary !!

We spent a few days shopping (and didn't get anywhere near round them all - I could shop there for a year I think and still not see all the shops!) and also went to the visitor centre (which is really good!), gaol, DFO (outlet centre) and hopped on and off the free tourist shuttle and tram. We never really got to grips with the trams which run down the centre of the roads and had a few narrow misses !! We also, at night, went up to the 88th floor of the Eureka building and did 'The Edge' and have the photo and wristband to prove it !! Fantastic views - just wish we could have got the binoculars on the stadium Pink was playing in !! We even tried out the krispy creme doughnuts that everyone raves about but, I have to say, I don't get what is so special about them. Still, I must be missing something as on the flight home people were bring back boxes and boxes of them !!

On Friday  I had the Body Shop Business school so Paul and the girls hired a car and headed off to Philip Island where they saw the penguins, chocolate factory and spent many an hour (and $!) at the go karting circuit, they even stayed over night and came back via the aquarium on Saturday. I had my conference on the Saturday and was proud to be nominated for the Values award. I didn't win ... but there's always next year ! Then Saturday night was the gala masquade ball. Very dressy, must have been the first time I wore a dress since my wedding day but it did feel good to get all dressed up for a change.

Although the drink was free and flowing all night, Paul and I paced ourselves so Sunday morning we were able to get up and out without so much as a headache and we spent the day at the markets. There were three markets on that day but we only made two with my favourite being the one at the Arts Centre. Here there were all locally made arts and crafts including some fabulous cupcakes, beautiful pictures, scarves, jewellry etc etc. If we weren't already close to our luggage limit we probably would have bought more !

On the Monday we headed up on the train to Berwick where we met my online pal Hevs. We spent the day being shown the sites around the Dandenongs including lots of little villages we could have spent hours wandering around, feeding the wild parrots who ate out of your hand (and landed on your head !) and admiring the views. We saw areas where the bushfire hit in the summer and you just wouldn't believe it now. Obviously Hevs can see the difference as there used to be loads of trees there but, for us, it just looked like normal green fields. It is amazing how things grow back so quickly. Hevs was fab and even cooked us a lasagne for tea, it was great for Nakita as she met up with Niall who also has dyspraxia and ADHD and Flynn who was so much in our thoughts and prayers for such a long time when he was born.

On Tuesday we checked out and left our bags at head office before spending the day at Chapel Street (more shops) and finished off with a meal at TGI Fridays (we don't have one in WA) before heading back home.

My overall impressions ? I loved it. In the end I likened it to London, so many things to do (I didn't go with a list of things to see but I have returned with a long list of things I want to see when we go back), so many shops, so many people of different cultures which was reflected both in peoples' attitudes to you and in the food at the thousands of cafes and restaurants ... finally decent take aways and loads of vegetarian food to chose from. There were lots of the little birds everywhere, not full of magpies and rooks. Although it was colder temperature wise than where we lived, it didn't 'feel' as cold as there wasn't a wind, the sky was grey most of our time there but it didn't bother me as there was so much to do. It was busy, anytime, day, night, Sundays, there were loads of people everywhere and I loved that. However, that was the CBD of course,. When we ventured out I noticed that the houses were very much like UK ones, closer together, less garden etc but we only saw a small part of VIC obviously. What I did see though made me want to go back again, soon ! Not a place I'd want to live as yet though .. that search is still on !!

02:39 - Sun 9 August 2009 - comments {1}

Wow

Just thought I'd check in here and realised that I hadn't written anything for a couple of months ! So, sorry, but I have been a tad busy and there shows no signs of this letting up anytime soon.

So we (the girls and I) went back to the UK for a flying visit  and it opened my eyes a bit. All the bad stuff we'd left behind just didn't seem to exist anymore. Other than petrol everything was cheaper especially food and clothes and the quality was so much better too. We stocked up on food and clothes and ended up bringing back three times more than what we took. Luckily Emirates had upped their baggage allowance to 30kg or we'd have been stuck ! There was no real traffic and the sun shone too so it was lovely. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, we didn't manage to catch up with many friends but the girls want to go back again in a few years and, hopefully, next time we'll be able to take Paul. It was nice to see all the family again though and I do feel bad about the girls missing out on a relationship with the family but they slotted back in like they'd never been away and I'm sure Emma and Amanda welcomed the rest when we left !

It did make me more unsettled when I got back but the 'shall we move' thoughts I had were firmly put out of the way by Paul.Not that I want to move out of Oz but I do want to move states as WA irritates me in so many ways. However, the girls are in good schools and Paul is set up for work so no move is on the horizon ... yet !!!

Since then we've got the new car, a Honda CRV, it's bigger and less fuel economical than I'd like but you do need a car like that with all the travelling I do. So far I have done 500kms in three days so cruise control is a must to save your legs, tiredness, and all those speeding fines ! The girls have been on school hols and I think we must have been up to Perth every day for over a week but all the calls to live closer to Perth have fallen on deaf ears too so looks like it's Mandurah for a while.

We've also decided on the high school for Nakita. She gets an automatic place at Freddies but my gut told me it wasn't the right school for her. When we got back from the UK she had an interview at the Baptist College and was offered a place there and then so we have taken that. It is also a private school but seems more relaxed and friendly in some ways and they are very strict on bullying with two expulsions so far this year (just over 5 months) so I think Nakita will be happier there and, sad to say, think she'll do better without Tallulah around !! Paul did need winning around as we'd be losing the 20% discount we'd have got at Freddies but I do think that high school is more important than a discount !

Things have got colder now and the fire has been lit more. Today is beautiful and sunny outside but it is cold out of the sun, in fact I think I'll get the fire lit now as my fingers are freezing.

Am bound to have forgotten some things that have happened. I am always busy so there must be more ! If I remember I'll add them in at a later date.

 

 

01:16 - Sun 12 July 2009 - comments {1}

'That' call

You know as an expat that at some time 'that' call will come but I have to say I wasn't quite ready for it yet.

Wednesday was our wedding anniversary and a very busy day. We had Tallulah's parents' evening as well as loads of other stuff so the day was a bit manic. We finally made it out for a meal at 7pm with kids in tow and got home to collapse in bed when there was a major storm. Now we haven;t had any rain for about 6 or 7 months so the rain was welcome, however the wind wasn't and it was strong !! I did think we were going to lose our roof at quite a few points !! Nakita's bedroom window isn't at all sheltered and her bedroom is slap bang in the path of a couple of palm trees so she came in with us. After many hours of flailing arms, smacks in the mouth and kicks I retreated at 4am to the spare room (why didn't I think of that before ??) Then at 5am the call came. 5am, only UK calls could come at that time. My stepdad had died whilst on holiday with my mum in Germany. It was a total shock. For all the chats and plans you put in place nothing does prepare you for the moment the call comes.

Paul and I had always discussed whose funerals we would go back for but when it came to it, it's not about the funeral after all. It's about being there for the ones that are left. So the girls and I are off back to the UK on Friday after nearly three years away. Paul wants to come but he can't as he's self employed so it'll just be the three of us ... that's scary in itself ! Tallulah is missing her exams but, for some reason, doesn't seem bothered ! I don't think she's realised that she'll have to sit them when she's back after more than two weeks absence !

Now I am encountering the blood sucking companies who make money out of people like me who have to go back. You'd think that they'd be glad to have someone sat in an otherwise empty plane seat but it's not the case at all. Instead they want even more money from you. We meant to keep savings for something like this but it didn't happen, the house sucked all of that from us, but needs must so you find a way. Now I am just running around like a mad thing, trying to clear two and a half weeks from my diary, washing, drying (in winter ??) and ironing, packing, cleaning etc etc etc and because I'm not firing on all cylinders it's all taking twice as long.

Oh well, best get back to it. I can't help but wonder how I'll find England after all this time and even if I'll recognise my home town !!

03:02 - Sun 24 May 2009 - comments {1}

Voting

So today was the first day I was allowed to vote in Oz. Actually it is compulsory here so you get fined if you don't. Paul hasn't yet as he's working and he only has less than an hour and a half left !! Would be typical if he misses it and we have to pay a flipping fine !

The vote was on daylight saving and, to be honest, the debate in the run up has been hilarious. Some people, for some reason, think that there will be less/more hours of sunshine ! Apparently if we have daylight saving the cows will become confused, the curtains will fade etc etc, daft.  Still, it is funny to see the Ozzies so hot under the collar about it, most other issues most couldn't care less about.

So I have voted for daylight savings, having sunshine before 7am is unnatural and wakes me up and I do like having some daylight at the end of a day to go to the beach. Would really hate being woken at 6am and then it getting dark as soon as Paul is home from work, not good for our family life !

Oh well, will find out soon enough if all my curtains are going to fade .................

 

04:42 - Sat 16 May 2009 - comments {0}

Birthdays

I managed to survive the girls' birthdays .... yay !!!

It was the end of the school hols so very busy with entertaining the girls, scitech, days out etc and the girls chose to have separate parties .... never again !

It was Nakita's birthday on Friday and she chose to spend the day in Perth, after it taking 1.5 hours to find a parking space to get the train to Scitech earlier in the week, we chose to get the bus to the train station. I must admit I was pleasantly suprised, it's been a while since I've caught a bus but we only waited 15 mins, bus was clean and new and we bought a family rider which covered the bus, train and all other public transport for the day for all of us for the sum total of $8.40 (just over 4 pounds !!) Every school hols Perth does a playground pass which basically is a card which gives the girls freebies or discounts or special offers etc all over Perth so we caught another train to Harbour Town where they got a free library bag filled with goodies and discount card. After exhausting Harbour Town we headed back to Perth and went into every shop (well it fel like it !). Our feet were hurting and we were ready to drop when Paul picked us up in the car and we headed up to Sizzlers in Innaloo. The only Sizzlers we'd been to before was in Kelmscott and a bit of a nightmare but this one was fab, clean, calm and no queue. The food is buffet style like Butlins without the people serving you so you just help yourself which is what the girls like as they can eat what and how much they like ! We eventually got home at 10pm and ready for bed.

Saturday was Nakitas party so four girls came and all 8 of us headed to the cinema to see 17 again which is actually a good film ! Home then for pizza and a sleepover. After reading the riot act at 2.35am Ithink they fell asleep ! They were all picked up at 10 the next day, actually they weren't as one mum turned up over an hour late for two girls without so much as an apology ! Luckily we weren't going anywhere. Rob was ace and took Nakita as well as Lexie so we were Nakita free and ready for Tallulah's 13th Murder Mystery party. What  a lot of work that was !! Not sure I'd repeat it but the girls (all 11 of them !) seemed to enjoy it and Tallulah was spoilt rotten by her mates. They all slept over too but I have no idea what time they went to bed as I was passed out through exhaustion by midnight. Wasn't for long though as Paul woke me at 5am when he got up for work and then the waste collection came at 6.45am and spent half an hour clanging and making an awful noise picking up all the kerbside waste. Then one girl was picked up at 8.30am and the rest at 10. Tallulah's birthday on Monday was a very quiet affair as everyone was so tired !

So I survived although am still sleep deprived and have a backlog of Body Shop work to do let alone the housework. Nakita is back to school tomorrow and Tallulah is off shopping to spend her vouchers and then Tallulah is back in Thursday and I'm training all day so still no rest for the wicked...... I need a holiday !!

04:29 - Tue 28 April 2009 - comments {0}

winter's a'coming !!!

Well it is only early autumn and most days are still quite warm and some still hot, however, we have noticed that the night times are a tad cooler these days so thought we'd go and collect the firewood ready for the winter. Last year Paul fitted a wood burner but we ran out of the wood a friend had given us after a few weeks and, at $7 a bag (a bag lasted a day), we couldn't afford to buy much so it was rarely used and we froze  !!!

This year we decided to do some research and found that you could buy a licence from the info centre and then go and collect your own ! So last week Paul bought the 30 day licence for $7 and yesterday Nakita, Paul and I (yes, you guessed, Tallulah managed to get out of it !!) trudged off to collect the wood. We had a fab day, it was hard work and we learnt a lot (like next time take a better axe, Paul broke his straight away, a bigger chainsaw, a wheelbarrow and another bloke !) but it was a beautiful setting, so quiet and peaceful (save for the chainsaws!) and is definitely a good day out for the family. We treated ourselves with coffee and cake in Dwellingup on our way back through and watched all the other trailer loads of firewood pass by ! Now Paul just needs to cut the rest up, stack and store it and then we can go back for another tonne  !! This year, we're going to be ready for winter.

11:53 - Sun 5 April 2009 - comments {0}

Swimming Carnival

The swimming carnivals here are voluntary so, needless to say, Tallulah has never put her name down for one ! Nakita hadn't until this year either as she didn't have the confidence but this year has started differently !! Nakita felt good enough about herself to give it a go

She swam two races; 50m  breaststroke and 25m back crawl and came 5th and 4th resp gaining a ribbon for each. I was so chuffed with her just for trying so gaining two ribbons and doing so well was the icing on the cake.

All those swimming lessons paid off

 

 

06:12 - Sun 8 March 2009 - comments {2}

Surfs up !

This week Tallulah had her school camp with a difference. She trotted off to school as per usual on Friday morning but, instead of coming home, she stayed at school and disco-ed the night away. They all then slept in the classrooms before getting woken early at 6.30am for breakfast and then spending the morning at the beach ! I picked her up at lunchtime and it was obvious from the start she was tired ! Still, she had a great time so it was all good and cheap as school camps go !

We arrived home and an hour later left again for Margaret River, Tallulah slept all the way down in the car and Nakita watched a dvd so it was a quiet drive ! Paul's ute is dead at the minute and will be for 6 to 8 weeks so it was my little car making the long journey with me driving ! Luckily we made it there and back without incident. We managed to get a cheap night at Margarets Beach Resort (don't you just love www.wotif.com.au ?? ) and after checking in we tried to find Gas Bay. It was with some difficulty as neither TomTom or whereis could find the place but we just followed the surfers all hitting the surf after work. Then there was tea at the bar and we watched the bushfire over at Prevelly, apparently a possum had climbed onto a power line, electrocuted itself and, as it fell sparking, started the fire. Before the Vic fires a bushfire wouldn't have worried me as the firies are awesome but now every smell of burning and every red sun panics me ! Luckily by morning it was gone, yay !!

Sunday we headed to Gas Bay and the surfing competition. Paul is just learning to surf so he was in awe at the talents of the guys and girls ! There was even an over 40's section so he couldn't blame their youth ! We spent the morning there before heading up to Bunker Bay near Dunsborough and, after having dreamt of owning a holiday pad there, headed home and back to reality. Oh for a caravan so we can get away more frequently and cheaply. There are still so many places I want to visit !!!

07:37 - Mon 16 February 2009 - comments {0}

Schools back !!!!

The schools are finally back now after the long summer hols. Tallulah is now in high school. She very happily trotted off, no sign of nervousness at all, all smart in her uniform. She has mainly stuck with her old school friends for the time being but I suspect that will all change soon enough. So far she is enjoying herself but then the homework hasn't really kicked in as yet !!

Good news on the dental front. Tallulah was due to have surgery to remove the tooth stuck in her gum but the dentist still wasn't happy about doing so as it would cause trauma to her so he took another x ray to check it out. Turns out the tooth root is sustainable and the tooth has started to right itself and so he thinks that the tooth should be saved and capped (it's really pointy) as opposed to ripped out and substitued with an implant. Not only is that good news as Tallulah hates pain (don't we all ?!) but it will save us a fortune too. Yay !!

 

 

 

01:45 - Sun 8 February 2009 - comments {0}

Citizens ...........finally !

Monday dawned bright, early and hot !! We set off for the foreshore and arrived at 7am for a cooked brekkie of bacon, sausage, eggs, bread and beans. Then at 8.15 we sat down in the reserved seats and waited for the ceremony to start. We felt very priviledged as quite a few of our friends turned up to see us although it might have been better if we hadn't known anyone. Loads of people were becoming citizens so I felt ok knowing that I'd be able to slide to the back ........... as if !! They made 4 go up onto the stage at a time to say the oath !! Anyway, it all went off without a hitch and we were given a native plant, framed citizenship certificate, pen, City of Mandurah badge, bookmark with the national anthem on and a copy of the oath. They also made sure I signed up there and then to vote at the next elections (it's compulsory here!). After all that and posing for the photos we went home and stuffed a cooler bag with food and headed for Perth, we met up with Rob and her family at the train station and then mum and Mike at Perth train station and headed for the esplanade. There was lots of free entertainment for the kids in Perth, Nakita and Lexie even managed to play the drums and then at 9pm the half hour firework spectacular started. It was a very long, tiring and emotional day especially as we had to say goodbye to Mum and Mike at the end, but definitely one never to be forgotten - now we just need Pauls ceremony on 19th February and we'll all be officialy citizens.

Then on Friday Tallulah had her orientation day at school. She had to wear her sports uniform and didn't get off to a great start by trying to get away with not wearing the official socks (Freddies are very hot on uniform!) Luckily hawk eyed Nakita spotted them and dobbed her sister in so she was sent off with a flea in her ear. One of Tallulah's friends is also going and they are going to get the two busses in and back from the second week and this week Tayla's mum is taking them both in and I am picking up so that helps out tomorrow as both girls had to start at the same time at two different schools !

So tomorrow sees them both back at school, we shouldn't be seeing too much of T after that as she will be hit with 1.5 hours homework a night which she has never had before. Peace will regin at last. Mind you, I am counting down the days until the next school hols in 10 weeks time. Although on saying that, it is fantastic that their first day back at school coincides with the superbowl which for us starts at 10am .... a much more civilised hour !!

07:30 - Sun 1 February 2009 - comments {0}

Ozzie sayings

Nicked from Lucy .... ta

For all those planning on coming over to visit, you will need to understand the Aussie strine (language). The following english words are interpreted for you :

Chips = hot chips
Crisps = chips
Sweets = lollies
Pumpkin = squash
Squash = cordial
Soft drink (ie fizzy) = cool drink
Trousers = pants / longs
Pants = jocks (only boys though...girls ones are still known as knickers)
Project = pro-ject (with the pro as in pro sportsperson)
Yogurt = yo-gert (with the yo as in yo-yo)
Avro = afternoon
Pepper = capsicum
Aubergine = eggplant
Courgette = zucchini
Woodlice = slater
King size bed = queen size
Queen size bed = king size
Beer in a bottle = stubby
Cool bag/box = eski
Washing power = laundry soap
Washing up liquid = dishwasher liquid  
Flip flops = thongs
Field = paddock
Chicken = chook
Patio = refers to a roof over, rather than the paving floor
Router (as in PC) = Rowter
Route (as in journey) = hmmmm something I won't put on here!
Linen = manchester ????????????????????????
Candy floss = fairy floss (and there is something here called fairy bread which is bread and butter with hundreds and thousands on top!!!!)
CV = resume
Plaster = bandaid
Trainers = sneakers/runners
Vest top = singlet
Marker pen = texter
Hoover = vacuum cleaner (I guess hoover is a brand name)
Swimming costume = bathers
public school = state school
cling film = glad wrap
sunglasses = sunnies
in fact almost everything here is known by a brand name as opposed to the actual item !

12:32 - Mon 26 January 2009 - comments {0}

hols nearly over

Not long left of the school hols now so we are trying to make the most of them.

On Tuesday we headed up to Scitech with Robyn and Lexie (Tallulah abandoned us for a daytrip with a friend and Aunt to Perth as Scitech is boring!)  where we spent ages playing with all the sciency things. We also got the train up and back to so was a perfect day out.

On Friday it was Paul's 40th, so I baked 23 cupcakes and made a cupcake birthday cake complete with candles and sparklers. We managed to get Paul a surfboard for his birthday and Tallulah made him some CD's for his car and the obligatory massive bar of chocolate - I think he was happy with it all ! For tea we headed down to the forshore and cooked hotdogs on the free bbqs fab day.

Saturday was surfing again only this time Paul was on his new board ! Both Paul and Matt were standing up quite well but Nakita isn't quite there yet. We also watched the suicidal body boarders who ride the rips as they crash into each other and just miss the rocks .... fun to watch but pure madness. In the evening we all went out to Scusi restuarant to celebrate Pauls 40th and mums birthday, another great night.

This week I also heard that I didn't get the job, am not too upset as I didn't want to work but we really could do with the money at the minute especially as the lotto win is alluding us ! So instead I am concentrating every effort on the Body Shop business ... so watch this space !

Today is Mum's birthday so yet more cake ! Tomorrow is Australia Day and our citizenship ceremony. It starts at 7am and I think I'll go wearing my pjs !

02:10 - Sun 25 January 2009 - comments {1}

zoo

This week Nakita had a behind the scenes experience booked at the zoo. So Nakita, Tallulah and I left at some silly hour and drove up to the zoo and dropped Nakita off, Tallulah and I then headed on the ferry (all included in the bus/train fare !) over to Perth where we met Mum and Mike. We spent a few hours in the museum which completely underwhelmed Tallulah (but Nakita would have loved it !) before heading back to the zoo to pick up Nakita. As she had free zoo entry we all went in and demolished our picnic before spending a long time walking round the zoo in the heat !

Nakita told us how she had prepared ice blocks with food in for the sunbears (who had a baby!) and how they saw the tortoise who was sick and it had hissed at them and how all the animals including the meerkats had babies so she obviously had a fantastic time. However, by the end all of our feet were burning and we were exhuasted. We headed back to the house Mum was letting and had chicken and chips for tea and then very shortly afterwards the girls and I headed over to where we were staying and by 9pm the only sound was snoring !

The next morning we spent having a nose around Subiaco and being thoroughly spoilt before heading home. It was lovely being able to stay so close to Perth after the zoo but no amount of persuasion will get Paul to move ! 

Friday saw me having my first aussie interview, which was different. I am used to lots of tests followed by countless grillings but this was a doddle with barely a question asked ........ something tells me I haven't got the job but you never know !

08:42 - Sun 18 January 2009 - comments {0}

water week

This week has just been one for water, luckily really as the temps have been 35 or more all week.

The girls both had vacswim the last fortnight and Tallulah once more passed her level so is now on level 10. Nakita just missed out due to her breaststroke but she should pass when she has her lessons in the sea when school returns. At least they both got exercise and they love swimming especially as daddy took them as he's still off work and nanny and grandad watched once and so did I !

On Saturday Nakita and Paul had their first surfing lesson. Paul managed to stand a couple of times but not for long and Nakita just enjoyed herself body boarding on the surf board but I hope she has better luck next week. Tallulah and I made it down for support but whilst Tallulah just lounged on the beach with her ipod, I went in the water body boarding. The waves were pretty good and it put a few ghosts to rest as it's the same beach, Pyramid Beach, where Paul died nearly two years ago. I think we've decided that will be our weekly Saturday morning jaunt - at least it'll get us all out of bed early as from 11 onwards the waves get quite strong. The instructor pointed out to us where the rips are, the permanent one where Paul got caught and the temporary ones which start up depending on time of day, weather etc. He also explained to them that surfers use the rips to get further out for the waves which was really scary not only because rips terrify me but also because someone was 'lost' to a shark recently near here and there have been a few sightings since. Whose idea was it to come to Oz ??

The rest of the time it has been too hot to do much, we don't have air con so the pool has been used a lot and, depsite the agro and cost, has been a very worthwhile investment !

Next week it's supposed to be cooler with a couple of days in the late 20s which will be nice as we have a very busy week ahead once again ..... what's new ??

 

03:13 - Sun 11 January 2009 - comments {0}

New Year

New Years eve was once more spent on the Mandurah foreshore. Mum and mike had arrived earlier in the day so we all headed down complete with blankets and chairs. The girls hit the english candy store and we just sat around chatting. Karen and her family joined us for the 9pm fireworks and then we decided to give the midnight fireworks a miss and head home for the pool as it was still warm. Karen's family also joined us at home which was nice. So I saw the new year in with unexpected family and a glass of Pimms .......... exactly how it should be !

The rest of the week was spent mooching around and in the pool as it is still pretty hot. Then on Saturday we headed up to Morley for a day of shopping, Mum and Mike headed off after lunch, and after an hour or more spent in the 3 shop because of their appalling customer service ... (don't get me started !!!) .... we had to rush around to get the rest of the school uniform for Tallulah. Not exactly the day I was hoping for especially after it took an hour and a half to get there - never again !!!!!!

Today was much more like it, we were promised a cooler day at 31 degrees (but it was 38 when we got home so no idea what it actually climbed up to) so we headed out to Island Point Reserve on the estuary with Robyn and her family to do a spot of kayaking ... we even took the dog ! Paul and Matt took off first and saw loads of crabs and puffa fish then I went with Tallulah, other than a lot of moaning she did ok, then Lexie took over from Tallulah and did ok paddling out then decided it was too much like hard work. I struggled to get her back but in the end Matt came out and pushed her in as it was fairly shallow !! Next Paul and Nakita went out and finally Nakita and I. Nakita is excellent at paddling and pretty quick too, we did a lengthy run down to nose at some of the houses and she was brilliant, definitely a water babe which is lucky as her surfing lessons start next Saturday ! Only one problem - I'd obviously missed some places with the sun lotion and am a lobster pink in some places !

 

 

07:38 - Sun 4 January 2009 - comments {0}

Another Christmas in Oz

So this was our third Oz Christmas and definitely the best, not sure though if I'll ever adjust to a warm Christmas (although the day was cold at 24 degrees as opposed to the last two in the 40s).

Mum and Mike came down Christmas Eve and we went to the 11pm service at the local Anglican church. On the way we picked up Karen and Robyn so it was a tight squeeze with 5 adults in the car but we made it ! Got home to discover Paul had been busy - he'd wrapped all the presents, vacuumed, mopped and prepared Christmas dinner, what a star ! Finally got to bed at 2am.

Nakita hit the lights at 4.55am, she had woken Tallulah at 4.30am but Father Christmas hadn't delivered to Tallulah as she no longer believes so Tallulah went back to bed ! We persuaded Nakita to get in bed with us and after lots of thrashing about and turning we gave up at 6am when Tallulah showed up to discover we'd done her a stocking in our room. Stockings over we tried to keep them quiet until Mum and Mike woke up but the stockings had contained a small foghorn so they were dragged out of bed at 7am. The girls did fabulously well with all their presents, they had presents from Mum and Mike, Brett & Gaynor, Dad and Nanny Pat and money from Debs, Aunty Lynne and Grandpa Joe (well Nakita did but it was 10 pounds so unspendable anyway !) so the tree was heaving unlike previous years and Tallulah and Nakita were a bit overawed !

We had a croissant curtesy of mum for brekie followed by a sausage sarnie for dinner (I never want to see another sausage again !) and then tea was marinated steak with a mushroom sauce, wedges and salads - all done on the barbie. Well done Paul !!

Mum, Mike and Paul spent a lot of the day out by or in the pool but it was a bit cold for the girls and I so they played with all their new stuff and I spent the day on my pc sorting out my new tomtom and then Tallulahs new ipod touch. So we all did what we wanted to and never made it to the beach !

Boxing Day was a bit warmer so we mooched around in the morning and then packed a hamper and headed up to Kings Park, we walked around the botanic gardens then drove to the synergy area for a picnic tea (not a sausage in sight !) and then went into the Moonight cinema - and outdoor cinema - to watch Mamma Mia. Good film and I love the outdoor cinema, we all had blankets and hired beanbags so were nice and cosy when the sun went down, result ! Another great day.

The weather is now starting to heat up, it's back to 35 today and expected to get hotter over the next few days. Mum and Mike are next down for New Year and we'll head off to the foreshore for the fireworks then. Tallulah is off camping (!!!) with a mate and we were going to go kayaking in the sea but a guy was taken by a shark yesterday where we were going to go so Nakita and Paul went on the estuary instead. Scary. Luckily we have life assurance as Paul and Nakita are having surfing lessons in January !!!!!

 

05:28 - Sun 28 December 2008 - comments {0}

Graduation

Tallulah graduated from primary school today and what an eventful day it was !

We all had to go to the first ceremony which was the class book awards. These awards are so prestigeous that the chances of you being awarded one are practically nil. The very top girl and boy get them so they do tend to be the same people every year. This year Tallulah's name was read out which was a massive shock and this is what her teacher said about her :

"Tallulah is a caring, mature and independent young lady. As a student, Tallulah is always open to learning, tackles each task with purpose and ensure she achieves her full potential. Tallulah has built excellent time management and independent skills which will be of great  support in her future. She is always organised in her approach to her school work and with personal and school property. Tallulah is a key inclusion in any group situation as she is a fair leader, is individually accountable and ensures her group works productively and cooperatively. Tallulah is a trustworthy, reliable, courteous, respectful and responsible individual and an extremely worthy recipient of a year 7 class award for 2008"

Is this my daughter ???? The same one who was always in trouble in the UK ???  The teacher also had to pick three words to describe Tallulah and she chose ; kind, imaginative and diligent.  I am so very proud of her.

After that we had the graduation ceremony of all 96 year 7 children - took a while but we got through them all. Tallulah was given a certificate and class picture and then we all (mum, mike, Tallulah, Nakita and I) went off to Doddies beach for a picnic (wedges from the Dome, yum). We then got their end of year reports. Tallulahs was, as usual, outstanding, and Nakita's was the best we have ever received too.

So today I am getting a bit of pay back for the 10 and 12 years hard labour I have so far completed. Well done kids.

 

04:55 - Tue 16 December 2008 - comments {1}

Suprising week

This week started like any other. Nakita is being bullied at school, we have been into the school quite a few times but nothing seems to change. On Wednesday evening she had her school disco and she was sooo excited. She had a new dress and I did her hair for her and she really looked lovely.  By the time she got home she was in tears and very distressed. It would appear that the ringleaders spread a rumour around the whole year about Nakita that was humiliating and untrue and this resulted in everyone sniggering at her and avoiding her the whole night. So on Thursday I kept her home and went and saw the deputy head and demanded consequences for those involved. The one who started the rumour did at the end of the night apologize to Nakita and admit it wasn't true but that was one on one and the rest of the year still believed it ! She stayed home Friday too to give him a chance to sort it out and for the others to forget it and move on. Fingers crossed tomorrow goes ok and we get through to the end of term on Thursday without any more incidents !

Then on Friday I went to pick up Tallulah from school and, when we got home, my mum and stepdad were sat out on the front lawn. I had found out the night before but the girls had no clue so their faces were a picture. Mum and Mike have a house up in Subiaco about an hour north so will stay sometimes with us and other times at theirs which is a nice idea especially as the girls are at that 'difficult' age ! Luckily they brought the nice weather with them as it has been 35 degrees or more ever since and we've spent most of the time in the pool !! So long may they stay

 

05:30 - Sun 14 December 2008 - comments {0}

Orthodontist - part 2

Well the results are in. Both girls need treatment in three stages over the next 5 years.

Firstly T needs 3 extractions and N 2 :(

Then they will wait and see if the teeth that are up there come down in the right space.
If they do then they will both need 2 extractions and braces each to move the teeth to the right spaces. :sick:

If all this works out then then will need 2 implants each (I wonder if I can get a bulk discount as I need one too !!) :crazy:

So, all being well, it will cost us $34,000 :no: . If things don't go according to plan surgery will be needed and a divorce will surely follow.

Now I feel sick

05:37 - Tue 9 December 2008 - comments {0}

Trip away - Cervantes - day 3

We didn't fancy another day at the beach, well I didn't anyway, so on Monday we headed up to Geraldton stopping in Dongara on the way.

We met up with the emus again but one look at Paul and they were off and were fascinated with the landscape of massive sand dunes in the middle of bush and turquoise waters on the other side. Every now and again there would be a tin shack 'house' which looked incredibly isolated and that was it !

Dongara was definitely touristy but we didn't stop for long as it was about a three hour drive to Geraldton. When we got to Gero we wandered down the high street with the girls stopping in every tourist shop and then tried to find the shopping centre as we had promised them we would. After a long walk we gave up and headed for a cafe near the beach. The girls then ran through the water fountains before having a game of baseball with Paul before we headed off back to Cervantes.

Paul hated the driving and I have decided that I am not keen on these types of 'holiday' so we have now decided that weekends will be spent much closer to home and that we need to go for longer and have more flexibilty if we go further afield. A caravan it is then !

After a very early start the next day (6am) as workers were building right outside our unit we headed home. I never thought I'd ever be so pleased to see Mandurah. It no longer seems 'small town' in fact it seems practically cosmpolitan now !! Won't last long though !

03:48 - Thu 20 November 2008 - comments {1}

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