Daily diary

Finally moving from Darwin

Posted by geordie mandy
After a difficult year with hubby on deployment from Oct 2012 to June 2013 and eldest son being accepted in a boarding school down in NSW , a 4 hour flight and 3 hour train and 1 hour bus trip away from me. It was certainly a challenge. However we came through it and we are stronger for it. We had a trip to the UK when hubby came back and spend July and a bit of August visiting family and all our favourite people and places. had a week in Durham in a farm cottage, then 2 weeks in Scotland with hubbies family followed by a week and a bit in the lakes district. Having endured such a stressful time during the deployment it was great to have quality family time together. That visit back to the UK also confirmed that we had done the right thing moving to oz. On our arrival back to Darwin hubby was surprised to hear he had been selected to go to a teaching unit on the NSW/VIC border (an hour or so away from eldest son) So we were delighted at that news. We leave on the 20th of Dec for the road trip of a life time, we will be traveling through Katherine to Alice Springs staying near Alice for 2 nights and will be having an Uluru and kings canyon trip. From there spending Christmas eve and Christmas day in Coober pedy in an under ground motel. From there a quick visit for lunch in Port Augusta before staying in Adelaide for 2 nights. Driving the great ocean road staying in Waranambool (sp) and finally arriving in the Dandenong rangers for 4 nights over new year. Our last journey will be driving the forest road through healsville, Alexandria and Benalla to Wangaratta to temporary accommodation in Wodonga before we move into our new home. Certainly will be an interesting Christmas this year. With a new year and new start in a new place.

09:11 - Tue 3 December 2013 - comments {1}

Another year over and no escape yet

Posted by geordie mandy
Our move from Darwin is not going to happen due to cut backs at OH's work. He is being moved to another postion with in Darwin. To say he is gutted is an understatement. With that happening and the fact our eldest son is concerned for his senior years schooling we have elected for him to go to boarding school for year 10 till he finishes year 12. He has an interview for a boarding scholarship once hubby has organised holidays. Luckily the school is near to where our only family in oz live, so they will act as guardians in emergencies.
Not an ideal situation but got to do what is best for our son and being up here with the added stress of our younger son with aspergers preventing him being able to study or concentrate out of school has been a major factor in our decision. Our middle son has also asked if he can go to boarding school but he will have to wait till he is in year 10 as we can not afford to send both of them straight away.
Still having a lot of issues with the support for our younger son in school. It may come to the stage that i move down to be nearer to family living the OH to finish his new role up here which could be another 3 years.
I know life is never easy but sometimes we feel as though we keep getting extra challenges thrown in the mix. the olny good thing about being up here longer is i get to keep my good job.
Mandy
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11:17 - Fri 6 July 2012 - comments {0}

Hoping for the end of the wet season

Posted by geordie mandy

Christmas over and done with, a threatend cyclone over Christmas did put a slight damper on procedings, but not enough to stop our christmas day bike ride with the 2 younger boys on their new bikes.

Still working hard which is a very sweaty process at theis time of year, not liking my shirts sticking to me when out on the road visiting clients.

Life is plodding along for us, the boys are back in school. J gets assistance in class now he has his statement of educational needs after being diagnosed with Aspergers.

Hoping to be finiding out if a move out of Darwin is on the cards by June/ July time. If so we will move during the summer hols. Hopefully to Melbourne.

The biggest news we have is my sister is coming to visit us in March, so i shall take some time off so we can have a good time showing her the sights of Darwin.

Not much else is happening just living life and putting up with the humidity as best we can.

Mandy  

05:42 - Thu 9 February 2012 - comments {0}

Still plodding on now at 18months in sweaty Darwin

Posted by geordie mandy
Cant believe its December already which means been living up here for 18months now.
Its certainly getting hotter and more sweaty by the day, my washing machine is in overdrive trying to keep up with the laundry of sweaty smelly clothes.
The eldest at 13 is now taking the im playing with my mates via the computer doing minecraft as its too hot to go out and play. The 11 year old is still doing as much sport as he can possibilty endure and can often be seen around our suburb cutting peoples lawns to earn money to fund his expensive taste in x box games and trainers. Believe me one weekend he earned $180 for cutting 5 lawns with his mate (mate earned the same amount too).
The 9 year old is still finding it hard going, he does have one freind who he plays with but its now either playing at our house or at his freinds house as its been just too hot to play in the park as there is no shade.
I go on my bike rides 3x a week and have had an early christmas pressie of a spinning bike so i can go on that when its just too humid to be outdoors. Ive been on it a few times and when placed under the aircon is ace.
We have had some wicked electrical storms recently and some really bad thunder and heavy rain. Most nights last week it got bad(just as i was trying to get some sleep) but must admit once the stroms had finished it was much cooler and easier to sleep.
This will be our second christmas in oz, but our first in Darwin. Thinking of the dawn bike ride on christmas day and a bbq at the local surf club park. As for the rest of the festive season im not sure what we will do.
The OH has been offered the pay of a higher position as they have finally recognised his worth. Took them long enough.
My job is still going ok but im not happy with using my own car for seeing clients espcially when i go rural, doing that on Monday visiting 2 clients in the middle of nowhere and one in Palmy. Im not getting paid for my mileage been told to claim at tax time.This is the only real gripe i have at work. Ive earned the respect of the new area manager who allows me to work my own hours normally 25 hours but as i dont get paid over time if ever i work over i just take a day off when i fancy. Its good to finally be able to put my mark on the role i carry out. My manager is still a bit odd but just lets me get on with things although i had noticed she never comes to me directly if she has a problem instead she just writes a note in my personal file on the computer system we use. Luckily i have access to my file and if i notice any problems i speak with her. Apperatly she does the same to other collegues as well as she doesnt like confrontations .
In general still keeping my head down and getting on with life in Darwin looking forward to when we can fianlly leave to more temperate climate.

07:33 - Fri 9 December 2011 - comments {0}

Been living in Darwin a year

Posted by geordie mandy

That has flown over, cant believe how quickly it has gone.

I did put the boys into private school the best thing ive ever done. Life has been plodding on. I started work in November first as a home and community care coordinator on 25 hours and im currently working as a case manager for the elderly on community care packages in their own homes. Love the role im only covering for matrnity leave on 30 hours a week but secretly hoping the girl doesnt come back and i get to keep this role. The company is known in a few states around oz but our Darwin office is certainly not the best and has a big retention issue with staff.

We enjoyed our holiday in cairns and meeting up with some expats up there.

V and the boys are now oz citizens but i still have around 3 years to wait. I still get frustrated with Darwin especially with the health care. J has been waiting for formal assessments since we arrived and we are now having to go private to get this done as it is stalling how much he help he gets in school.

Ive had my own health issues and had a few addmissions into hospital and the expereince has not been then best. Although im fine with living in Darwin for now, i know it is not the place i want to put down roots. I look forward to eventually moving on .

The eldest is on a school camp at Kakadu, C goes next month after the half term hols.

V goes on exercise for most of the school holidays which stopped our plans for a holiday in Melbourne. Was looking forward to that as well. We are now planning on a short holiday in the gold coast in the october school hols and then in the summer going to melly. Certainly need to escape from Darwin.

WE have explored litchfield national park over the easter and public holidays and really enjoyed ourselves.

Ive not really had any homesickness, although on occasion ive missed certain people.

My life is in Australia now and i feel happy to call it home

09:58 - Wed 15 June 2011 - comments {1}

Thinking of doing the unthinkable and putting my kids into a private school

Posted by geordie mandy

The kids have been at their respective schools now about 41/2 months now and we are just not happy with the education they are getting. My 10 year old is the one who is suffeing the most as he is so bright and way ahead of everyone else in the class if not the school. He was placed in a 3/4/5 year group class, he is a year 5 and he is helping the other kids in the class with their work as otherwise he gets bored. He has started to switch off in class now because he is not being challanged, we have asked repeatedly for him to go in  another year group or to be given harder work. Neither is happening. He is not wanting to go to school anymore and sees no point. The youngest also at the same school is also unhappy, even though he is now on medication for his ADHD and is showing he is capable of much harder work, they are still treating him like a younger child. He is coming home most days upset saying he hates it and he wishes he was back at his last school.

The eldest is happier at his school but im not happy at how the kids and staff swear so much and how poor his timetable is. D hates changes and when  suggest we might be sending him to a local private school which has a christian ethos and a much better education standard, he went off on one. When he calmed down he told me he hates having to make new freinds.

Iv been in touch wih the school that i would like the boys to go to and they have spaces for all 3 and their fees  which i was shocked at wernt as expensive as i thought. under 7K a year for all 3 which i think is affordable, especially if i get a job. Be a real struggle on one wage, but im personally prepared to go with out for my kids to recieve a more acceptable standard of education.  

I never thought i would ever put my kids in private school but the system up here in NT is apalling, very low standards which is worrying when you want a good education for your kids, especially when we could be moving around in a few years time with V's job.  

I had an interview for a job at a homeless center run by St vinnies, i got a good feeling about it and i will find out this Friday if i have got the job. I so hope i have as i loved the centre it had a real buzz about it and being the assistant supervisor will give me just enough responsibility to make the job a challenge. 

Apart from the schooling issues everything else seems to be going resonable well for us up here in Darwin  

04:24 - Tue 2 November 2010 - comments {2}

The rough with the smooth

Posted by geordie mandy

Having been here for 4 months now we feel setteled and the holiday mode if ever wehad one is well and truely gone.

The things i enjoy are taking my kids to school, im usually on my bike and go slow so they can keep up with me, then i write like the wind on the way home, an exhilirating feeling. Something ive missed for the past 2 weeks.

Afte my last entry i got rushed back in hospital as i collapsed at home and my freind was so concerned she drove me the hospital (very close to us) and i got addmitted had further blood tests and had a drip put up. I was kept in over night and disharged to complete bed rest at home. So the kids had to go to school on their own and i really missed not going with them, but i would never have managed as i barely had enough energy to go to the ensuite.

Last week the kids were off school and we did absolutly nothing as V was working and had the car and the weather was so stormy and we had very meaty rain showers.

Not that the kids minded the rain they went out on the trampoline to cool down in the rain. we have a few regualr animal guests now, a couple of tree frogs have entertained us in our patio area, so sweet little charactors the kids have named them Jack and Tom. The geeckos are still visiting us and we have a baby one too, who managed to get in the house last night. Quick little thing it was but we did manage to catch it eventually and release it back outside.

This morning on the usual walking the dog session to the park, Benji jumped in the creek which has enough water in now to come up over his legs and enjoyed a paddle , he hadnt noticed a lizard was swimming near him it was watching from the bridge at the lizard swimming away as soon as the dog got near it. Very amusing to watch. Benji is now worn out after his walk out.

I didnt get the job i was after meaning money is very tight at the moment, not good when we have christmas creeping up. WE can barely afford to put food on the table let alone afford presents at the moment, i just dont know where we can the extra money needed to get small gifts for the family in the UK. Might just have to use the UK bank account.

Ive applied for loads of jobs now and not heard a thing bck from any of them, that is hard, in the UK i would at least get an acknowledgement of the application here ive not even had that.

I am getting a little bored now, with no work and only house work to do, all of the women around here work so i dont have anyone to call in and have a coffee with.

Only having the one car is causing a few problems now as well , i could be doing voluntary work but all of the centres are too far away to bike and as yet with being a new suburb we dont have any buses come near us.

I certainly dont regret coming to Darwin and i knew we may have it tough. But i wasnt expecting us  to have such a low income and for the cost of living to be so high just cos its Darwin.  Its got to the stage where i dont have lunch any more so that the stuff for pack lunches for the boys and V lasts longer, im in desperate need of a haircut, but the kids and V need it more , V for work has to have short hair otherwise he gets extra duties for not looking the part. J is going to have to get his hair cut this week as its grown so thick and he is so sweaty. So once again i shall just have to wait. If i get an interview lined up i might see if i can get a quick trim to make look more presentable.

The freinds the kids had made have all stopped coming as the boys wernt able to join the same clubs as their freinds as the fees were just so much. I feel bad but not having any spare cash means only the essentials are getting covered. J is still going to the cubs as at the moment he can go for a couple of months with no payment to see if he likes it enough to go through the ceremony and become a member.

Im sure things will look up soon. The good thing about being in Darwin is V is entitled to have a paid holiday for us all which includes flights,and accomadation. So we have thought getting a holiday which covers christmas and new year paid for by his employers will give the kids a great time. The travel agent is trying to source something for us as most package holidays are for a family of 4 and not 5. S fingers crossed we will have that to look forward to.

WEll i best get back to the housework. 

      

 

01:58 - Mon 4 October 2010 - comments {1}

scary night in casualty

Posted by geordie mandy

Fridayafternoon i started feeling unwell, started off with abdo pain, the soon i was gettin shooting pains up my spin and into my jaw,i could barely breathe, so i lay down in bed and a few hours later woke up with a pounding headache and pins and needles in my right arm. I thought i was having a stroke, i had to tolerate this for anotherfew hours as i had the kids in the house and v was at work till 3. Id phoned health direct and they advised me to keep calm, not have anything to eat or drink till i get seen by a dr ad to get to hospital as soon as i can.

V took me to casualty and before i knew it i was whisked away to a cubicle, hooked up to various moniters and had bleeping going off all around me.

one minute the drs were talkingto me the next i was asleep andthats how the day continued. My BP wa in my boots ive normlly got a low bp but even the recordigs was very low for me.

i had a chest xray, a ct scan and an ECG all shortly after i arrived, then i had blood tests, then i had to touch my nose  and reach out to the dr, i kept falling sleep while doing this(or so im told) i cant recall any of this so im going off what i was told happened from V

I drifted in and out of sleep for hours while i waited for results to come back. V finally went home at midnight, he had been home earl to arrange the kids to be looked after and get my ontact lens case and glasses.

After he left at midnight i was givensome medictio to help with my pounding head which had been constantly wih me. omewhere nthe middle of the night i got spasms again in my abdo with shootigpis up my spine and could not breathe again, my recollections is somewhat hazy but i rembember some one in the corrider askng if i wasok and me crying no. I was then surrounded by a group of people and the next was just peace and quiet. i think they must have given me somethig as a few hours later i was woken up and asked how i felt and apart from my head still hurting a  bit i felt better.

I was given a lumber puncture on Satrday morning, just as V had arrived with J, so they ad to go back home again. That is not a nice procedure, i know i felt dizzy and i woke up withoxygen so i must have passed out.

i was finally allowed home at lunchtime all the tests had ruled out anything sinister like a bleed on the brain a stroke or a tumour. They seem to think i had a cluster tension headache or a possible virus.

Last night i went to bed at 8pm and the next thingi knew it was nearly 9am and the youngest wanted breakfast  . All my body wants to do is sleep, but since V is on duty and ive got the kids to look after, that is going to be a struggle for me to keep awake.

 

01:42 - Sun 19 September 2010 - comments {0}

Frustrated and fed up today

Posted by geordie mandy

I had a job interview last week, which i felt went well. But ive not heard anything about how it went or indeed if i was successful. I know ive been told it will be a while as oz is slow at informing people but im not used to waiting more than a week or two to find out if i have a job or not.

Only having one car is now becoming a real pain, ive made appointments and arrangements and had to cancel on more than one occasion as V has priority over the car. Yesterday i managed to have the car but didnt find out till the morning, by which time a meeting i had arranged to see a recruiting firm had been cancelled by them. I rearranged for Monday as J has an appointment in the afternoon so i though i would have the car. V came in from work to say he is on duty Sunday so wont be home till Monday afternoon. Luckily J's appointment is ok but my morning appointment has been cancelled.

The boys are doing my head in constantly fighting to the point the eldest has possibly broken the middle ones nose. The eldest has become even worse than he was in the UK, the foul language is getting worse , his challenging me and his dad has got a lot worse. He is doing lots of things which has erroded my trust in him completly. This could of happened where ever we lived so im not saying coming to oz has affected that but half of me had hoped a fresh start would mean a change in the way the kids behaved away from the bad influences there were  in the UK.

V is still struggling with the heat, causing him to be grumpy and short fused with his temper, this has not been helped by the behaviour of the boys.

C is struggling at school with obeying the school rules and is in conflict with the assistant principle, educationally he is not being challenged and is becoming lazy, not doing homework as he finds it too easy and boring. We have spoken with his class teacher and she is aware of the situation and had promised to give C more challenging work .

D is constantly looking for an argument  with his siblings, parents and falling out with the freinds he has made. I cant get through to him, we have given him everything he wants, we have tried treating him more grown up but he throws that back in our faces with his attitude and behaviour. If i could i would send him to boarding school to see if being away from us would help him get back to the boy we used to have. I know that at 12 he is heading for the teenage years and all the hormones etc that kick in, still doesnt make it easier for us though. There are so many arguments that im sure the neighbours think we are the family from hell.

J is slowly adjusting to life out here, he is now on ritalin and school have noticed some improvement so im pleased about that. WE still have days where he drives us up the wall with his behaviour but at least we are getting help and advice for him. He has a review on Monday to see if the medication is the right dose etc. He finally sees a paedatrician next month so we may get some answers over his lack of sleeping.

Im off to have a lie down as i feel so tired today and my abdomen is swollen and painfull, not sure if it is to do with my band or if i just have wind lol.

 

02:38 - Fri 17 September 2010 - comments {1}

The battle has begun to get support for my youngest in school

Posted by geordie mandy

J has coped really well with the move, but as always he struggles in school.

He got assessed yesterday at mental health centre for children with ASD, ADHD and other conditions.

WE have now got a family support worker who is a lovely chap and made me feel relaxed. J has the diagnosis of ADHD finally formalised, although he does have other issues which has to be checked out via a paedatrician. Im hoping to get that organised soon. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of his lack of sleeping.

School are finding J hard to cope with, i delibaratly chose a small school which had a good ethos and a poilcy on bullying. Sometimes J loves school but most often comes home un happy, saying he has been blamed for this that and an other. I know he is difficult and often he is at fault but sometimes he is blamed un necessarily. Im going to organise a meeting with the school once they have finished the assessments that the centre want them to do. Hopefully by then i will have more of an idea about what the issues they have with J.   

J is enjoying living in oz , as are the other 2 boys, they are enjoying the freedom they have to play out and explore. there have been teething problems with making freinds, at the moment they are squabbling with other kids and falling out but then are freinds again. Im not getting involved too much, as the kids need to sort their own freinds out with out me breathing down their neck.

V is slowly adjusting to the oz army, still not enjoying the work policy or ethics but the higher echelons have noticed he is worthy of more responsible work and promotion. Giving him meaningless tasks is a waste of his talents and last week when the unit was underprepared for an exercise that came in and a one ready to deploy, V organised the lot, sort job cards and bascially fell into a role he is comfortable with management. Everything got done on time and he felt he  had been at work.

Ive sent my info off to a resume builder and job profiler so hopefully i shall get a professional CV and input as to where they think my talents lay.

I need to work now, more for financial reason than anything. Darwin is so expensive and the cost of having to pay for blood tests for J has been a shock. I knew a lot of things about oz but i underestimated how much you pay for when you are ill etc. I certainly miss the NHS. I dread to think how much it is going to cost when J has to see the paeds, but we need him to be sorted for the harmony of the family, as there are tensions in the family . At least here in oz, im taken seriously when i say something is wrong with my son. That was the one thing that impressed about the Tamarin center, they could see straight away there was a problem and that he wasnt just being naughty.

In the UK it was always well his behaviour suggests a borderline ADHD but we cant give him a label. This is why we are having to start from scratch with assessments and support and it is possibibly going to cost us a small fortune. But when you have a son who needs help and whose behaviour affects the family to the point that his dad cant bear to be in the same room as him when he is playing up, or his brothers tell him they hate him for ruining their lives then it has to be done. 

I also found a support group for defence families locally and on sunday we are off to the local water park for a bbq to meet them. I sometimes feel like i am banging my head against a brick wall so its good ive found this support group so hopefully i can cht with other parents going through the same as us.

Its over 10 weeks since we landed in Darwin, i feel happy living here however ive noticed the humidity is creeping up and to coin a phrase' ive been sweating like a pig' and feel uncomfortable feeling like that, especially if all im doing is typing on the pc or reading a paper.

Imagine what i look like after walking the kids too and from school, taking the dog out. Put it this way ive always got deoderant to hand. Im gearing myself up to get the hoover out shortly as Benji is moulting on a hourly basis, so the white tiles look like a dog rug lol

Ive no regrets about coming to oz or the fact we had to move to Darwin, we know its not forever and that eventually we will get to live where we want, till then it will be a case of plodding on. 

01:56 - Tue 24 August 2010 - comments {1}

A similar life but different

Posted by geordie mandy

As a family we are settling in really well. Somethings are very similar to what happened in the UK.

I used to walk the kids to school while V had the only car we had. That is he same, apart from occasionaly V can car share, allowing me use of the car, which is a godsend at school home time when the sun is very hot. Even though its only a 15 mn walk, it does take it out of you.

We struggle getting the kids in for tea as they are so busy playing out and having fun when its cooler in the evening . In the UK i worried about the boys being out when it is getting darker. Now i have no worries, they play in a group of up to 8 in the local park on bikes/scooters /skateboards or even with a football.  Some of their freinds are poms, others aussies, nice bunch of kids.

I'm also making freinds, the sort i can meet up with for a coffee and have a natter with, something i rarely had in the UK .

V is still struggling with the heat  and heard that his unit are looking for volenteers to move to Adelaide towards the end  of this year. I am hoping in some ways that he is not successful as we have only just started to feel at home in our new home. However i will support him if that is what he wants as i think the wet season will be tough to cope with.

Not much else to say really, life i good and i hope it continues to remain the same     

12:46 - Tue 17 August 2010 - comments {0}

Time is flying past

Posted by geordie mandy
Its now 9 weeks and my house is starting to feel like a home, the kids are happy to have something resembling their own room again, im happy to have my ornaments and photos on display.
I did have a few almost teary moments when i was emptying the boxes containg photos from the past 20 years, seeing some of those photos made me feel all nostalgic, but i soon snapped out of it.
Im making a few more freinds was out on Monday for a ladies night out and what a brill time i had, some aussies and some poms, its a monthly monday night event so im looking forward to the next one.
I went to my first tupperwear party today, again brill people and yes i did part with my money for some tubs. As living in Darwin as i have found out everything has to kept in tubs, cereal, crackers, infact anything that is kept in the pantry cupboard.
I helped out at the school on Tuesday morning and had a really good time, i was helping with the transition year group PE class, i helped with 2 different classes and i was shattered afterwards.
Ive continued unpacking boxes this week which has kept me very busy. Once ive got the house put to rights and i feel happy thats it is presentable then i will start on the job hunting.
My OH is delighted that we now have austar, and he is now watching the premier league live on fox sports, he is one happy bunny now.
The boys have their bikes ready for riding now, had to go and buy 2 new for the middle and youngest as theres were trashed in the UK so never got packed. Managed to get them in sales so got them cheap.
Im happy that we now finally have tennets who moved in to our UK house, as that was a big concern leaving an empty house behind. The tennents have expressed a wish to buy but being ex soldiers and having lived in Germany they wernt able to get a credit score for a mortgage, so hopefully in 6 months they will want to buy, then i will be a very happy bunny.
Life still has the usual stuff going on, the kids are still the toerags they were in the UK and we still have the same family issues we had then, moving to oz has not made them vanish but thats fine by me.
AS a family we are accepting any invites to anything to increase our social circle. Last weekend the 2 older boys had invites out for tea at their freinds, the oldest got a sleep over too, the middle one has a sleep over next weekend.
The youngest is making plenty of new freinds and is the happiest ive seen him in a long time. Having ADHD has not affected his social life like it did in the UK. We are finding other parents more understanding when he 'plays up' which is good.The only problem i have encounted has been he has to go for another assessment with more proffessionals so that he can get the support he needs in school.
Im enjoying the 7.30 walk to school on the morning and all the colourful birds that we see, i enjoy saying hello to the few aboriginals that i see enroute. Im not so keen on the 2pm walk as its a tad warm walking there and back in the heat, but im sensible, i wear a hat, my sun glasses and plenty of sun screen on, untill i get an job and can afford to get another car, its what i have to do. Plus it means im getting plenty of exercise lol
In short im happy with life and feel more relaxed than i ever have done in years. Its taken us so long to get to Australia and i was worried incase we may not settle but i dont think i need of worried.
I still speak to my parents and in laws every few weeks jus like i did in the UK so in that respect nothing has changed.

12:40 - Tue 17 August 2010 - comments {0}

Life in Darwin

Posted by geordie mandy
Its 8 weeks now(tommorow) since we arrived, and our furniture was delivered on Tuesday. The past few weeks have had its ups and downs and some of it really stretched our comfort zone but we got through it.
2 weeks ago our youngest son (8) developed an infection on his big toes, appeared over night, he went to school on monday and got sent home with in an hour. I took him to a local dr who gave us some anitbiotics and asked me to come back on the wed. By wed, he was in so much pain and the swelling was pus filled and very nasty, we wondered whether he had been bitten by a spider or some other creature. The dr lanced one of his toes and took a swab and my son screamed the place down, he then gave me a needle and told me to do the other one at home when he was a sleep. I was so upset and shaking when i left the surgery i was really cursing being in Darwin at this stage. It took me a couple of hours to calm my son down, eventually after advice from freinds on facebook i took him to the local A&E and what an amazing expereince. We were seen within a few mins of arriving by the triage nurse and were taken into the paeds dept within 15 mins, they used entenox and lanced his other toe and dressed both of his toes. we were on our way home with in the hour. The relief i felt was immediate, my son was groggy from the gas and finally got a good sleep.
He was kept off school for the week. On Fri i went back to the surgery to see the same dr, still not happy with him but he was more approachable and apologised for the Wed. He asked us to see the nurse to change his dressing at a local family clinic, which we did.
On tues, we got a phone call from the drs surgery asking us to bring my son in asap, so i went in yesterday, we got the results back and the dr was very concerned as it showed up MRSA, not good news. He wanted him to have a blood test done to check for diabetes, as he now has infections breaking out on his thumb and a finger.
He got the bloood test done today before school and the staff were fantastic as he was terrified of the needles and is definatly getting white coat syndrome.
In between the dramas with our youngest, we did manage to have some fun.
We went to the Northern territory wildlife park about 45 mins away from home, we had a fantastic day it cost us $71 for a family of 5 which at the time we thought was expensive but as we are 'local' we now have a free years pass which we are pleased with as we didnt manage to see all what the park offered.
I can honestly say hand on heart we have not once been homesick, we have missed the familiarity of a system that we are used to and have at times struggled with the strangeness .
On the whole i am coping with living in Darwin, no matter where we lived, i still have to do the school run, shopping and housework the normal mundane things. My kids still argue and fight with each other like they did in the UK.
while typing this my youngest shouted me to come outside as there was a cane toad, which are very prevalent in Darwin, i donned my disposable rubber gloves, doubled baggged a carrier bag and caught it, it is now sitting in my chest freezer. This is the first time ive had to do and my heart was thumping getting this creature.
My husband the other day expertly caught a redback spider with the use of a plastic cup and card and let it go away from the house in the bushes on the outer edge of our court. These are things we never thought we would ever do.
I am surrounded by chaos at the moment, with boxes that need un packing which i will do when the kids go to bed. We got the youngest one's bed sorted out today and have 2 high sleeper beds to build over the weekend. Something we never considered when we bought the beds in the UK, were ceilling fans, so we are going to have to position those very carefully so we dont have decapitated boys on our hands lol.
Somethings never change, but it is nice having warmth and sunshine while doing the normal stuff.
Well i think ive burbled enough about the past 2 weeks , time to get a brew and chill out after i get the boys sorted for bed.

12:34 - Tue 17 August 2010 - comments {0}

We made it to Darwin and wow its great

Posted by geordie mandy

Thought id best up date the blog, since we have been here just ove 5 weeks.

It certainly been an adventure, we left Scotland on the 7th of June the day after my 40th, feeling both nervous , scared, and excited. We flew fom Glasgow to London, first time the kids had flown and they loved it.

we arrive in London and stayed in a four star hotel, thanks oz army. However we only ate breakfast there as it felt too posh for us. We exlored London a little between rain storms. Found a nice restaurant nearby which id great food and wasnt expensive.

After V signed on the dotted line for the oz army we got ourselves ready for the flight business class on Qantas that night to Singapore.

 

The flight was fantastic and the kids were spoilt rotten by the crew. They tried to cater for our youngest and his dairy intolerence. The tour company who booked everything had claimed they were ensuring that J was catered for.

I was ill unfortunatly on the flight, with vomiting, not sure if there was a problem with my lap band or not, but during our 2 night stopover i was unable to keep anything down that was solid.

Singapore was very humid, but so clean and the people were very freindly and full of smiles. We did the night tour of the night zoo with the boys on the last night.

I wish i had been feeling well as  really did want to make the most of our stop over. But ony being able to take fluids meant i had so little energy.

We arrived in Darwin at 4.30 on saturday the 12th of June to temps of 25 c. We were met by V's new boss/collegue, we had a hire car ready for us an we followed his car which had all of our luggage.

We were taken to the Marrakai apartmets and were on the 15th floor, its was a 2 bedroomed selfcateing apartment. The view was amazing, the city scape and Darwin harbour just blew me away after such a long trip . J and i saw the sunrise and h thought it looked just like one of my oz/nz magazines w had been reading for the past few years.

 

After about 2 weeks we moved into our new home, with hire furniture , the dog arrived the day we move in, my family was altogether agan.

 

We bought a new Kia sportage for less than the cost of some of he 2nd hand cars we saw. We now have broadband, and telephone and are just wating for the satilite system to be installed, this is all through Telstra, not our choice but since the house is new and is plummed for telstra, then we are stuck with them.

The kids started school today, (we arrived just before the 4 week hols started), i walked them to school then finally got my NT driving licence sorted, which meant i could then activate the new mobile i bought on the weekend.

i had the use of the car today, but i find driving for 5 mins a waste, although it does take 15 mins to walk, im sure if it gets too hot i will get the car out of the garage  

Our home phone wasnt working o has been sent away for repair so i had to get a phone lol.

Any way im off for some lunch, then will get sorted out before i get the boys from school    

    

03:41 - Tue 20 July 2010 - comments {3}

My Graduation

Posted by geordie mandy

As any one who has followed my blog for anytime will know the trials i went through while studying with the OU, the amount of stress it caused me the doubts of self belief and all the problems i encountered. But all that was forgotten when i donned my graduation gown on Saturday the 8th of May at Harrogate international centre. I felt in awe at those graduates who had done masters and were being given doctorates, i was just getting an ~Open~ BSc nothing fancy compared to them.

But when my boys just said we are so proud of you, you got a degree an are very clever mummy, i chocked up. My husband just said this is your special day because you have worked hard against the odds and you did it, you got a degree before your 40. That was on of my goals i set myself when i started studying.

This is the gown that i wore with pride, it was a brillent looking around a room to other people of all ages wearing similar gowns. I also had help in choosing a special dress for the occasion, in a colour and style that at one time in my life would never have worn

Now im a graduate, still cant believe that i am, i have to think about what my next challenge will be. For me  i think more studying in Darwin is on the cards which will lead to a new career. I know i am capable of it and i sort of know what field i want to work in, just got to find the best way to achieve it.

Any way back to being mam ive got 3 hungry boys waiting for tea to finish cooking   

05:25 - Mon 10 May 2010 - comments {2}

Time is marching on only 45 days to go !!!

Posted by geordie mandy

I cant believe how time seems to be evapourating away from me. Easter was a blur of going to Scotland, down to Humberside and up to Durham visiting various relatives. We had friends come and visit us. In between all that i managed to get a gorgeous dress for my graduation ceremony on a girly shopping trip to the metro centre. i was so chuffed when i got into a size 12 at M&S that is a first for me ive never been in clothing that small.

Benji has had his first visit to the vets for his blood tests and to start flea treatment etc. He was not a happy doggy with us.

The kids finish school on the 11th of May, the 12th of May we are off to Manchester as ive got to see my consultant and team for my finl review and to get my docs, i think they are going to be really impressed with me. I know i am , ive reached my goal weight of 63 kg, sometimes it goes below that number and a few times the scales have weighed me at 63.5 but im happy with my weight for the first time in a long while.

We will be taking the kids up to Scotland to stay with the grandparents as this will make things easier when the packers come. The 16th of May is when Benji gets picked up to start his journey to Australia.

I am also doing the race for life on that day as well, V is going to hand the dog over as it would be too upsetting for me to hand Benji over, as he is so close to me it would difficult to get him to leave me.

So instead with my friend i shall be in Gateshead running the RFL, the last time i did it i walked/jogged the 5k in Durham and it was hard enough, but as im so much fitter than i was in 07 and my freind is a runner, i will do my best to keep up with her.

The 17th packers arrive so it really is all go for us over te next few weeks.

Saying goodbye to certain people has been very difficult especially those relatives who are very elderly, as i doubt very much they will be around when we visit the uk in 5 years. It would be nice if they were but im preparing myself for the not to be.

Id best crack on with tea before the kids start complaining they are starving.   

 

05:39 - Thu 22 April 2010 - comments {0}

The first of many tearfull goodbyes

Posted by geordie mandy

Last night we had my best mate round for his tea, i remembered from years gone by that he loved spagbog, so i cooked that in his honour. He is going through a tough time at the moment with his marriage collapsing before his eyes V and i have been supporting him the best we can. Tommorow my best mate leaves for a 6 month tour of Afghanistan. When it was time for his taxi we tried to make the goodbye seem normal, telling him to hurry up and visit us in oz and telling him to keep his head down.

As he got in the taxi the tears were running down my face, and im praying that he does indeed have a safe tour, as do all the soldiers. I look forward to the phonecall that he is back safe and has booked his flight over to Darwin and telling us to pick him up from the airport with a time and date.

Yesterday, the boys had their own painfull goodbye to make as Hammy the hamster went to his new home, one of the school teachers has found him a home with her neice. J found it especially difficult, even though we have bought a gogo hamster for him to fuss over.

Ive spoken to various relatives and close freinds and it seems our idea of just sneaking away was not recieved very well, it seems there are a few people who are insisting we have drinks. So now before we go to Scotland we will stay in a local hotel and those who want to will come and have a few drinks with us then. So far my parents have not shown any interest in any of our plans, no help has been offered what so ever, so at the moment my parents are not aware of our leaving drinks.

Having spoken to an old freind earlier on this evening , she has also told me she will come up and visit us before we leave the UK, ive not seen her in god knows how many years, but speak on the phone at least every couple of months or so. I was thrilled when she said you aint going anywhere before we see you.

I guess im going to be keeping kleenex in business over the next month or so.

Benji my gorgeous dog sets off for oz on the 17th of May and ims ure that will come soon enough, i find it hard enough when i put him in kennels so god knows what i will be like when he goes.     

11:25 - Tue 23 March 2010 - comments {0}

Flights booked look out Darwin

Posted by geordie mandy

I wont be there for my 40th but will be flying a couple of days afterwards.

Just sorting out the stuff needed for the dog, tried to measure him for the animal company but it was impossible , will have to wait for V to get home and help me.

Been told to get in touch with pickfords to sort out the furniture removal, its all coming together now.

Whoo hooo

02:15 - Tue 16 February 2010 - comments {1}

The visa has been granted

Posted by geordie mandy

Got the golden email this morning, i had to read it twice before it sunk in. We are aiming to be in oz some time in May now as i had only just booked my graduation ceremony for the 8th of May. Typical really but who cares, we've got the visa now and can finally start the planning to move to Darwin.

I had arranged to meet up with my little sister today so V and i could take her out for a meal to celebrate her becoming a qualified nurse. She has been offered a job on a renal unit and im so proud of her. She has worked so hard to get to where she is now. She was never academic at school and really struggled with all the essays she had to do as part of the diploma course, how ever having worked as a senior care assistant for around 12 years she has bags of experience and would have her on my team any time.(That is if i were still a qualified nurse and not lapsed).

So today we had a lovley meal out and toasted to the future of us all.

My parents were a little shell shocked when we told them, especially when i said i wanted to be in oz for my 40th. At least they will get a chance to see the boys around their birthdays.

V's family were really pleased for us, we are going up for the Easter hols and then back to Catterick for my ceremony then we expect to be moving out by then and will go back to Arran till its time to leave.

 

06:29 - Thu 11 February 2010 - comments {5}

A new looking me

Posted by geordie mandy

I had my op in August and at my heaviest was creeping into a size 22 in clothes weighing between 95-97 kg , i was miserable as i could not lose the weight .

Now im happy to say i feel fantastic, im down to around 66k with my goal only a few kg's a way, the dr said to get down to anywhere from 63-60 kg. Im wearing a size 14 now and was almost doing cartwheels when i got a size 14 jeans on and there was room to tuck into my jeans a thin jumper.

My confidence has increased, ive more engery and people tell me im good to be around as im so positive about life.

It looks like we will have to put our move to oz back a littl as the visa is still being processed so its looking more like May or even June. I so wanted to spend my 40th in oz so im hoping we are there before June. Please visa god grant us the golden ticket.

Well id best crack on with some housework aswe have freinds arriving at the weekend and ive got a lot of rooms to sort out.

10:38 - Mon 8 February 2010 - comments {4}

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