Daily diary

Trip away - Cervantes - day 2

On the second day we called into Lake Thetis on our way out as it was so close. They are part way through building a boardwalk to the stromatolites so we followed that and checked them out. They are the oldest 'living' thing in the world although they didn't seem to be doing a lot of 'living'  but what do I know.

We then headed off to Jurien Bay which was gorgeous. We will definitely be going back there that's for sure. The beach was beautiful and there were little cafes and shops dotted around, in fact we have decided to go back there for a week at some point and hire a house. The aussies don't really 'do' hotels favouring caravans, tents and chalets and it's not any wonder when you see the prices hotels charge. However I am not someone who can sleep in a tent so we are going to save really hard when we get a chance and get a caravan. Never thought I'd ever say that !!

We spent a good few hours battling the flies and then popped into Leeman (why ?? There was nothing there) and Green Head which looked like it may have a bit of life in tourist season before heading back to Cervantes and a bbq. On the way Paul had to brake to avoid two wild emus which he then chased down the road roadrunner style before they went off into the bush. Nakita was worried Paul was going to hit them but I think he was more worried about the damage they'd do to his ute !

 

03:34 - Thu 20 November 2008 - comments {0}

Trip away - Cervantes - day 1

Well I finally managed to persuade Paul to take some time off work to get away. In the two years we'd been here he's only had two days off !! So  booked a few nights in a hotel in Cervantes, a few hours north of Perth.

Saturday morning we left home at 9.30am and after a quick stop for a Body Shop delivery (and picked up a recruit !!) we prepared ourselves for the long drive.

We had to stop off at Gingin, one of the BS consultants had done a party though so I had to be nosy and check the place out. It was pretty with a lovely little church and set of shops and a cafe but the flies were bad so we didn't stop too long.

Next stop was the Pinnacles. These are wierd. They are like staligmites but made from limestone and rising up out of the sand. It was a very yellow sand. For $10 you can drive round them all and stop and have a look around. The girls chose to stay in the car but Paul and I wandered around for a bit swatting flies and battling the wind. Having sand blown in your face is a very good exfoliator I have found !!

We then stopped at Hangover Bay which was lovely - beautiful white sand and turquoise water (you can see why they call it the turquoise coast !)  and also Kangaroon Point (but not for long at the latter - between the dragonflies and the flies you could barely see anything !!)

We finally arrived at our hotel in Cervantes at 4.30pm, very hot, tired and hungry. The restaurant there was fabulous with lovely food but the pool was out of action for our stay - argh !!! Worse still, the social club across the road had a 21st birthday party which started at 8.30pm and lasted until 4.30 the next morning and came complete with the odd firework every now and again. 3 hours worth of sleep later Nakita woke up !!!

 

 

01:38 - Thu 20 November 2008 - comments {0}

Orthodontist

So this week we had our consultation with the orthodontist. I paid $120 for the two of them for a 5 min look at the x rays we'd had done and a quick look at their teeth, jaw alignment etc. Now it turns out that Nakita swallows wrong !! Not that I ever knew there was a right way, but most adults put their tongue to their mouth to swallow, unfortunately Nakita still puts her tongue to her teeth to swallow which is what babies do before they have teeth. The downside of this means that she is pushing her teeth out which is doubly bad as she still sucks her thumb too !!

Nakita's teeth are worse than Tallulahs, she is also missing two adult teeth which have never formed but the two that are there are coming down at an angle which is impacting her two adult top middle teeth which, if not corrected, will mean surgery. Gulp.

So we now have another appointment for November - $250 for them both to have moulds and more x rays done and then an apoointment in December for a consultation to agree a forward plan and costs. It's not going to be cheap that's for sure - minimum of 8 extractions and five implants for starters !

Tally of costs paid so far - $170

 

 

03:18 - Sat 18 October 2008 - comments {0}

swimming lessons

well the school hols are drawing to a close and the only thing the girls have managed to do is swimming lessons. Both Paul and I have been sick all through the holidays so they have been pretty lousy ones for the girls again. Hopefully the next holidays will be better - well it will be Christmas after all !

On the plus side Nakita passed her swimming badge so is onto the next stage and Tallulah passed two badges !! On the negative side all of their swimming stuff has lost all of it's colours due to the chemicals - I hate to think what it's done to the girls themselves !

 

03:02 - Sat 11 October 2008 - comments {0}

Perth Royal Show

Since landing in WA Nakita has begged every year to go to the Perth Royal Show. This is very similar to the Bath and West show but on a smaller scale and happens every year for a week at the end of September / beginning of October. We wish we'd agreed the first year when we had the money but ever since have said "not this year, we'll go next " So we finally caved in.

We had been warned that 1) the crowds are really bad and 2) it's as expensive as a holiday overseas !

Crowds - yes, true but similar to the Bath and West and ok by English standards, the Ozzies just aren't used to seeing so many people in one place. Getting there and back though was a doddle. We got the train up, changed at Perth to a train that stopped at the showgrounds, unfortunately it was packed when we got on and it did stop at every station between Perth and the showground for more pople (and buggys !!) to try and squeeze on. By the time we arrived we did look like a tin of sardines ! At the show it was easy to get in, we had prepurchased a ticket with a $6 saving but it looked like everyone else did too as this queue was the longest so we went into a queue to buy tickets for all of, ooh, 30 seconds and went straight through.Going home was even easier, the station is right outside the door and trains were leaving every 5 minutes or so. Easy peasy and all for $8.40 for two adults and 3 children !

Expensive - $54 for a prepurchased family ticket. I didn't think that was too bad but, when we got in, I did start to wonder exactly why we had to pay to get in as everything cost once you got in. Food was expensive, luckily we took our own food and drinks. There were rides there which are one of the highlights with each ride costing between $5 and $10 and a lot saying children had to be accompanied by an adult so the average ride for both children was $27 !! This would add up quickly and considerably. Then there's the showbags, the excitement and demand for showbags is incredible - I liken it to the Next sale ! Showbags are like goodie bags with lots of different things in them. For example a Cadbury show bag may have $20 of chocolate in for $10 and there may be another one with chocolate and a shoulder bag worth $40 in total for $20. The weekend before the show the national newspaper puts out a leaflet listing the hundreds of showbags available so you can choose before you go - nice of them. There were people laden down with showbags of all kinds, it has to be seen to be believed !

After having done lots of research before going we gave the girls a $50 budget - they could go on rides or buy showbags or food or whatever they wanted but had to stick to that budget. It worked really well as they all made the call that the rides weren't worth the money and instead ended up with loads of showbags ! Not one cent was spent over $50. I am glad we went, it really was an experience, but not one I would do in a hurry again. Could definitely put that money to use elsewhere.

Now I just need to find another excuse as to why we can't go to Adventure World again this year !

02:58 - Mon 29 September 2008 - comments {0}

..and the results are in.

We had Nakita tested for allergies a week ago as every now and again she gets covered in lumps like mossie bites which are really itchy and which she picks at leaving scars !

Turns out she is allergic to house dust, dust mites and cockroaches.

Help !!! That means I have to clean the house now !!

Paul decided to replace the loo in our ensuite as it was continually running, only to find it cemented to the floor so the floor tiles had to come up. He got a bit carried away and ended up removing everything bar the shower  !!!! So now my house is looking even worse (if that's possible) as he still hasn't finished the patio yet either (that's the outdoor roof area). Not like Paul to start lots of jobs and not finish them !

Luckily the weather is meant to be good next week so he won't be able to demolish anything else. However, I do need an ensuite I can use as it's a long walk to the other loo and bathroom - especially first thing in the morning when everyone is trying to get in.

 

 

 

 

09:41 - Sun 21 September 2008 - comments {0}

Definitely NOT Tallulah's week !

Poor Tallulah was identifed as potentially needing glasses a while back and, since then, her eyes have got worse so she now has glasses. We were dreading the bill but the opticians had a special offer on - buy one get one free for $268 and then, luckily, our health cover stumped up all but $68 so that was a pleasant suprise. Also, Tallulah adores her teacher who wears glasses so she thinks it's all quite cool really. Fingers crossed she doesn't stand or sit on them or lose them !!!

A couple of weeks ago the government introduced a new scheme for teenagers (12 and above) whereby they got a $150 voucher for a check up at the dentist. As you have to pay for all dental work for children, not many actually go and the school dentist only sees them once every two years and that isn't a proper dentist but a dental nurse. So to try and stem the problems with peoples teeth the government introduced this scheme for teenagers whose parents earn less than a specific amount. Our voucher came through a week or so ago and today it was Tallulahs date with my dentist. He was quite concerned that she still had two baby teeth that she should have lost at around 8 years old as well as another two she should have lost at 10 years old. After a bit of wangling they managed to agree to a free all round x ray and this showed up that on one side she is missing an adult tooth and the other the tooth is coming down at an angle. This is fairly rare at about 3% of people and is genetic (thanks Paul !)  so we had Nakita x rayed to see what is happening with her and will find out tomorrow. Tallulah now needs to be referred to an orthadontist (sp?) to see what can be done as it is the worst scenario that could have happened and we'll find out tomorrow if Nakita needs a referral too.  The worst bit of all this ? The cost - $s of dollars we are talking here which we just don't have nor can get hold of - there is no equity in the house and no space on the visa bill. But, on the other hand, I am glad we found out now and not any later so thanks to the government !

 

05:36 - Tue 9 September 2008 - comments {0}

Nakita's week

Well this definitely was Nakita's week.

On Friday it was the faction carnival aka sports day. Tallulah was in lots of races - 100m, 100m relay, 75m hurdles and most other sports too. Nakita, as far as we were aware was only in shot put, javelin (very risky for a dyspraxic child !!) and tug-of-war. They both wanted me to watch all day but I managed to negotiate just the afternoon. A lot of parents do go all day, they take chairs and an esky full of food and settle themselves down for the day ! The races are run along the lines of the Olympics, very professional commentary, bronze, silver and gold medals and are taken seriously with children putting in mximum effort.  However, by the time I got there Nakita had run 75m and come second .... and I missed it !! Needless to say she was very chuffed with herself. Tallulah, unfortunately, didn't come in the top four for any of her races but she has been put up a division in each race as she has finally realised that she can run !!

Today was Father's Day and, yet again, the church put on a spectacular amusement arcade theme. Paul was dragged to church and the girls had to dress up as super heroes - Nakita was Wonder woman and Tallulah was James (aka Jane!) Bond ! Last week they had to draw a picture of a super hero for an art competition and the winners were announced today. Nakita came first in the over 10 catagory !! Yayyyyy Nakita !! She won two tickets for the cinema. So we have a very happy Nakita at the end of this week - quite different to last week. Let's hope these events build up her self confidence and she remembers them !

The sun is back most days now and is lovely to see and feel. Paul is still spending every spare moment on the patio and yet still it's not finished, nor are the pictures up in the house (well it has only been nearly two years !) the retic hasn't been mended and the 'to do list' of jobs around the house is ever growing. Considering there are only a couple of months left before he down tools until winter due to the heat I'm not exactly a happy bunny but, as Paul says, I never am !!!

06:23 - Sun 7 September 2008 - comments {0}

Citizenship test

They changed the rules just after we landed so that you have to live here for 4 years before you can apply to become a citizen but we still only have to do two !

Before you can apply you have to sit a multiple choice test in Perth so Paul and I trundled off last Monday after having revised for weeks - this is no easy test and, if it wasn't multiple choice I wouldn't stand a chance. In fact when they tested it on the Aussies they failed !! Luckily there is a low pass rate too of 60%.

I passed with 100% and Paul got 90%. Paul started to tell me that he'd had harder questions but I had the same ones as he got wrong so that didn't wash ! Still, we both passed which is the main thing as Paul had to take a day off and now just have to wait until 30th August before we can apply for our citizenship.

02:20 - Wed 13 August 2008 - comments {0}

Summers coming !

We have now had sunny days for the last few weeks with no hint of rain, at last !! It is still a bit nippy during the day though and cold at night especially as we are now out of wood for the woodburner !!

I currently have 2 or 3 Body Shop parties a week and the last 6 Sunday afternoons have been parties so, this weekend, Paul decided to take Nakita out in the kayak. Other than putting the kayaks in at the wrong place and Nakita getting stuck on the rocks, it seems they had a fabulous time so this may be a regular thing in the summer. Not sure how we are going to go with only two kayaks as, I am sure, Paul and Nakita will head off never to be seen again leaving Tallulah and I twiddling our thumbs ! Nakita's arms are still hurting her though three days later so she may have to build up her arm muscles !!

Tallulah has decided that she is fat  and, luckily, has decided that she loves her food too much so is going to become more active. She already does hip hop but has now joined the scouts too. She also forced me to let her do swimming lessons in the school hols. Swimming lessons here during hols are called Vac swim and cost $1 a day (they go every day of the hols) plus pool entry so that's a total of $4 a day - equivalent of approx 2 pounds a day so I booked them both in despite Nakitas protests. I have also booked them in for the summer hols. Here in Mandurah they offer lessons in the sea for the total sum of $1 a day but Tallulah is still scared of sharks so they'll be back in the pool - she may regret that when the temps are in the 40s !!!

So you'll know the olympics are on. We are lucky in that Bejing are on the same timezone as us so we watch it quite a bit for the first time ever. This is definitely a sporting nation though, yesterday I went to the dentist and it was on in the waiting room (the fish tank had been removed) and each dentists room. I rang the beauty shop to book the facial with voucher Debs gave me for my birthday and I could hear it in the background too. We have been warned though that the Aussies are biased towards their country so you may miss the final of something as they'll cut to the ceremony if the Aussies win a medal. Not seen that as yet except in the gymnastics where they didn't show the last two teams as the Aussies had performed !! Still, it is good living in a nation where they win lots of medals !

 

 

02:10 - Wed 13 August 2008 - comments {1}

Christmas in July, well August.

Over here quite a few people celebrate Christmas in July which I thought was wierd until this year.

The weather is cold, the television is showing Christmas episodes of all the American programmes (that's all of them then) and you just do feel Christmassy - I have even caught myself singing carols !

Last night a good friend, Karen and her two girls Molly and Alice, invited us all over for Christmas dinner. We had the full works - nut roast, mash, boiled potatoes, green beans, sprouts, carrots, peas, cauliflower cheese, yorkshire pudding and gravy etc etc followed by home made pavlova and chocolate log. She had even put up a little Christmas tree and we all had presents under the tree. It was absolutely fabulous and felt just right ! I think we will make this a regular thing now, every year, Christmas in winter. Not sure if Paul will let me put the lights up though ! I will have to make sure we get extra crackers this year to put away.

Karen had just had her cinema room all fitted out so we then sat and watched Polar Express on the cinema screen with surround sound. What a fab night !

 

01:07 - Sun 3 August 2008 - comments {0}

school hols

We have just had two weeks school hols in the middle of winter and what a difference the Body Shop makes !! Instead oif staying in every day we were able to get out and about a lot. We visited an old work colleague, Lucy, from AXA who lives in Tapping, about an hour and a half north of us, we went up by train and she picked us up from the station so all very stress free and great fun. She has a son who is lovely and always seems to be smiling and the girls just love him so they even enjoyed themselves.

We also went up to Rockingham for a spot of shopping, Lucy had given me two free passes for the cinema so the girls went to see a film whilst I food shopped so everyone was happy once again !! There were sleepovers at ours and the girls went to other peoples so barely a day went by withoust something happening.

We went up to Perth one day with Karen and her girls and the kids were able to pick up a 'kids pass'. This enabled Nakita to have a couple of slides down a ski (man made snow, obviously) slide on a rubber ring (Tallulah was too tall) and Nakita also had a session throwing snowballs. There were lots of other things they could do too but we didn't have the time unfortunately. We went to Scitech (a bit like @ Bristol but smaller) and ended up getting an annual pass as it was so easy to get to and will enable us to have free trips for a year and we also did a spot of shopping much to Tallulah's excitement !

Karen had both girls for us one night so Paul and I went out for a lovely meal - we have finally found a restaurant we both like - shame it's pricey !! She is having them again for us on Saturday night but Paul has had his annual night out now so not too keen. I am still working on him !

Another night I had a girley movie night with a few friends, drinks and nibbles. We watched Shirley Valentine followed by Calendar Girls and it was a great night.

In between time I have managed to paint Tallulah's room and we are now just waiting for Paul to finish off the flooring and noticeboard so she can move back in and I can clean and repair the spare room !

Back to life with a vengence now. I hadn't booked many Body Shop parties in for July as I wanted time with the girls but now find I have 9 for August and September, October and November will now be mad due to Christmas. I need to start getting some early nights !

08:30 - Wed 23 July 2008 - comments {0}

Finally school hols

School terms here run for approx 10 weeks without a break so by the end it is a struggle to roll out of bed !! Twice this last week Nakita was late for school as she couldn't get herself ready. It looks like this may be a common thing as they are changing the school hours again next term so that they start 10 minutes later (8.40am) and no early close. I always forget that they finish early at 1.50 on a Thursday (have even left them there waiting quite a while before realizing !), what's the betting that now they finish the same time every day I show up early on Thursdays !!

Anyway, I'm sure I've mentioned before that Tallulah is taught dancesport at school. This is really ballroom dancing to hip hop music and the kids love it. Every year they have a social dance in the evening showing off their talents and having a party, however, due to the industrial action being taken by some of the teachers, this year it was cancelled (as well as the school camp, graduation, excursions etc etc - cheers teachers !!!!!!!) so they had a mini afternoon performance. As it rained early on, Paul was home so we both were able to go and watch. It was awesome what they had learnt. They had all the old time dances off pat to modern music and 'line dancing' consisted of hip hop moves to rap style songs whilst in a line.  They all danced with a partner which was quite funny as a lot of the boys were small and the girls mostly tall and there was obviously more boys than girls !! At the end the parents had to join in ........ lucky Paul was there really !!

Anyway, school all over for another term, hols are now in full flow. We have trips lined up to visit friends and the museum and I have promised to decorate Tallulahs bedroom which is no mean feat as the shower leaks into that room !! So no rest or chill days here....will I ever learn !!

 

 

09:14 - Sun 6 July 2008 - comments {0}

Kids

Well Tallulah came home with another merit certificate last week. These are not given out lightly, there's no PC here with teachers making sure everyone gets rewarded... you have to work very hard for them. Nakita has never received one which upsets her every week !!

Tallulah's read " For consistently producing work of a high standard. Your brilliant independent and time management skills are a fine example for your peers to follow. Keep up the huge effort ". I was a very proud mummy depsite the fact that it isn't cool for me to be so !!

This weekend has highlighted how they are growing up. Tallulah disappeared off out Saturday afternoon for a fancy dress party and won't be coming home until Monday after school ! Nakita had a friend over Friday evening and then waltzed off to the beach with another friend and her family at 9 o'clock this morning not to be seen until tea time - what a life and pretty good for a winters day !

Weather is now lovely - warm days and cold nights but the wood burner makes things cosy now Paul has worked out how to light it !! Still I'll be happy when Spring gets here.

 

 

02:48 - Sun 22 June 2008 - comments {0}

Winter

So winter is finally here and don't we know it !! Each week we now seem to get about four days of sunshine and three of wind and rain. When I say rain, it's never a drizzle but a torrential downpour that floods the garage (until we can get the alfresco roof up this will always happen !) and the wind takes roofs off houses !!

As our house is 16 years old, single glazed with no form of heating and drafts everywhere it does seem to be colder inside than out - in fact if it wasn't for the price of petrol I'd sit in my car with the heater on all the time !! However, a little while ago Paul bought a wood burner and decided to place it in front of a window so needed a building licence to block up the window. Last week he submitted the application and was told it would take at least a month to approve, fantastic, just what we need, especially as it has turned really cold now (about 18 degrees day time and 8 degrees at night which I know doesn't sound cold but anything less than 25 degrees now has me shivering). So Paul decided to install the fire without bricking up the window yesterday. All went well with the exception of the fact that he was unable to start a fire that stayed lit !! So today he is still practicing .... he should have been in the scouts !!

 

02:49 - Sun 15 June 2008 - comments {0}

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

That's one of my favourite sayings at the minute. For Pauls birthday I bought him a Wii (the girls persuaded me he really wanted one!). He never used it and, in fact, it was in the box for weeks before they bullied him into setting it up for them. After that it had the odd bit of use but that was it....until now !!!!

Wii fit is the funniest thing I have ever seen. I have been in hysterics at Pauls attempt to hula hoop, Tallulah's fitness age and Nakita pretending to be a penguin capturing fish. Every school day Nakita gets up with Paul at 6am. She's always dressed, ready to go and watching telly when I get up which I have never liked. However now I never know what she is going to be doing ..... jogging, step aerobics, yoga, heading a football, skiing ........ it's incredible. After I've got them off to school it's my turn and I've seen my Wii fit age reduce from 57 (Paul told everyone he met about this hysterical fact) to 31 (I have the best one in the family) and even had to change into a sports bra for the jogging which left me pretty breathless. I love it !! If you are undecided  - get one, you won't regret it !!

One thing I have always done since we arrived in Oz is read The Sun online. To begin with it was so that I knew what my dad was on about when he rang but now I just like reading it to reinforce that we have done the right thing and keep the rose tinted specs off ! Well, yesterday I was reading it and came across an article on dyslexia and that a celeb guy promoting a form of treatment was actually on the board and paid to say the treatment was good. Anyway, I thought I'd check it out and stumbled upon the little known fact that the Dore centres have gone into receivership !! Nakita was due to be tested next week which is the first I'd have known when the centre was closed !! This has now thrown everything up in the air. We paid up front and are unable to claim any money back and Nakita can't be tested for improvement or given the next set of exercises. Paul and I had a big discussion about this last night. It's not as simple as 'oh well, nothing we can do, get over it' Nakita has never got a merit certificate or any other kind of recognition in school and really feels this. Dore was her opportunity to work towards, finish and truly achieve something that Tallulah couldn't. She would have got an award and a certficate which would have raised her self esteem incredibly from the very low level it's currently at.  So we have decided to act as if it hasn't happened. She is continuing her exercises and I will take her to the centre next week as she is expecting this...at that point I will just tell her it's nothing to worry about and I will ring and sort it out. We have enough exercise to last until the end of June, so another month. If nothing changes in that time then we will decide whether to restart the month or end it there and sort out a trophy for her and put a certificate in the post. It certainly won't be the same nor will she have the euphoric feeling she would have got but at least she won't be crushed.

Roll on the next challenge....I am ready for it !!

 

 

03:49 - Sun 1 June 2008 - comments {0}

Nice neighbours..

... or not. Our fabulous next door neighbours (those of plant cutting, trespassing, grass killing fame) stepped up the action against us last week by complaining to the council about us. Apparently rainwater came from our property onto theirs !!

Now, bare in mind we live on a steep hill with him below us and when he built the property he didn't put in retaining walls Mah-ani.gif and the day he complained about it was when we received the whole monthly rainfall in a couple of hours and Paul was out there all day pumping out the garage and stopping everything flooding. Petty is a word that springs to mind.

Anyway, all turned out good. Paul used to play football with said council guy who was a pom thumb23.gif so they stood outside, close, to the neighbours open window and chatted about everything and anything except rainwater, had a good laugh and council man drove off just saying "put some pipes in when you can" Grin2-ani.gif

Don't you just love it when melicious acts backfire thumb23.gif Unfortunately they obviously weren't happy as the next day my bourgainvillea was completely hacked back again (I think it's only managed two flowers all year !) and now they spend their time hanging over our fence checking what Paul is doing and reversing up the road as they come out of their drive for a better look !! It's a shame really that on putting the pipes in Paul has to raise the level of the ground to half way up the fence !! Why did we have to get them as neighbours !!!

Saturday we all travelled up north to Joondalup (about an hour and a half away) for the girls' birthday treat (I know, a bit late !) They had managed to save most of their birthday money so went on a bit of a spending spree. It was great spending the day as a family and we hit every shop, I think. We even managed to bump into someone we'd met from Yatton when we were in the UK !! Getting the train there and back was a doddle and took all the stress out of the day. I now need to set a date for my birthday treat (Paul had his on the day - suprise !)

Talking of dates - we've booked our tests for citizenship - 4th August. I can't believe we've been here nearly two years already. Paul and I have to sit a 45min multiple question test on history, values etc. It's not easy, there is quite a thick book we have to read and digest, but luckily the pass mark is 60% so fingers crossed ! If we pass we can apply for our citizenship and then, finally, will belong somewhere. It's funny really but it's not nice not having a voice. We can't vote in either the UK or Oz until we get citizenship.



07:22 - Tue 27 May 2008 - comments {0}

Cats

The hunt for a new cat began on Monday. Robyn and I went up to only sole cat sanctuary in WA. We looked at the 'hold' where new cats were put, the section where cats were up for rehoming and also the kitten section. We were then shown the sick bay and a lovely persian called Benny. It was then explained to us that Benny would be put down as he was sick (cat flu) and they didn't have room for all the cats as so many new ones were coming in every day. To say Rob and I were sick to our stomachs was an understatement. I cannot abide animals being put down unless it's absolutely necessary. One cat, Ullrick, caught my eye and we vowed to come back.

On Thursday we went back, this time with Talluah in tow and did the same tour as before. Loads of cats that we had seen on Monday were missing (turns out 27 had been put to sleep) including Ullrick so I plucked up the courage to ask about him. Apparently he had sneezed so he had been carted off to death row and was due to be killed that afternoon. Upset doesn't begin to describe how I felt. Tallulah immediately jumped in and said we'd have him (without even seeing him) and we were then taken to death row to see the others. There were 8 in total and we ended up with two - Ullrick is now renamed Jaffa and Nina. Both are less than a year old and absolutely stunning. Robyn worked on her family (they never intended to get a cat) and she went back yesterday and saved Spike from death row (if only it wasjust a row and not a room).

Each time we've been there people keep coming in and dropping off their cats as they don't want them anymore........all this because the pet shops sell these cute bundles of fur that people impulse buy and then regret. The same happens with dogs. So now I am going to do my best to add my voice to campaign to stop pet shops being allowed to do this.

If you want to join me the website is :http://www.saynotoanimalsinpetshops.com/index.html

 

 

 

 

05:39 - Sun 11 May 2008 - comments {1}

Casper found

Unfortunately it wasn't good news. Casper was found dead Thursday night. He'd been missing nearly a week and, despite many posters and phone calls being made there was no sign. On Sunday Paul had searched the attic but he wasn't there, on Thursday he looked again and he was there and dead. We have no idea what happened but suspect he was bitten by something. It was horrible. Tallulah ran around screaming and crying and Nakita just kept talking about him and crying. Paul (bless him, he hates dead animals more than live ones !) buried him and on Friday the girls and I went to the garden centre and bought an hibiscus to plant on the top. It's not really the right position for it, but, fingers crossed, it will survive. I did prime Paul that I would be wanting another cat, it's the only way I can deal with the death of a cat, so today we went to the Animal Protection Society fete and looked at all their cats in the shelter.

I am completely shocked at the attitude most people have towards cats here. In the whole of WA there are only 2 shelters that take in cats and a few other foster carers - so many healthy cats must be put to sleep here it's heart breaking. Tomorrow I am off to the other cat shelter and will contact some carers. Whilst it's not always easy to introduce a new cat to an existing one, we have the added disadvantage of having to introduce it to a beagle who thinks it is a cat (allbeit a large, heavy one !!) and tries to jump out on them to play ! Tallulah saw a cat today that she liked, but which wasn't suitable, and got quite upset when I said no so I think I'll do this search on my own.

Whilst I was still looking for Casper, Mutley kept going to a palm tree out the back and staring up at the top. I couldn't work out what was going on so got a step ladder to look. I hadn't even made it to the top when two birds flew out and one flew straight, smack, into the glass pool fence. It was then a race as to who would get to it first - Mutley or me - I won !!!! I picked the tiny silvereye up, it was breathing heavily, eyes closed and feathers everywhere so I just held it in my cupped hands and gradually it opened its eyes and sorted its feathers out so I put on the wall and Nakita took care of it (whilst being bitten to death by the mossies) until it managed to fly away. The same thing happened last year with the study window......... I hope it wasn't the exact same bird !!

The girls have shocked me this week, no, they are still arguing, but they spent most of the week playing with lego !!! Even Tallulahs 12 year old friend spent Friday evening building houses !! It was fantastic watching them and I'm glad I kept it all. Let's hope they are still playing with it next year too ! Mind you, I quite fancied having a go myself !

Today, after the APS fete, we visited Serpentine Dam and Serpentine Falls. The dam was lovely - gorgeous scenery and a lovely walk (although there were lots of steep steps) and there looked a fantastic restaurant at the top - we peeked in but didn't buy anything but the food looked lovely. It did look pretty full but the stats in the restaurant stated it was only 37% full.

The Falls were fantastic too, it cost $10 per car and there were lots of free bbqs, wild roos and streams. The girls wanted to go into the water and stay all day but we, as usual, weren't prepared. So we plan to go back and spend a day there...this time with towels and sausages !!

10:01 - Sun 4 May 2008 - comments {2}

Birthday week and a sad loss

Thrusday was Nakita's 10th birthday and, luckily for her, it was school hols. She had some great gifts curtesy of ebay and mum & Mike, Aunty Gaynor & Uncle Brett & co, Nanny Pat  & Aunty Lynne all sent gifts too so she had a great day. Tallulah had to go to hip hop so Nakita and I went down to the foreshore and grabbed an ice chocolate. It was a lovely sunny day and, despite Paul having to work, was a fab one.

Friday was the joint party. Nakita had 3 friends and Tallulah had 4 over for the afternoon, sleepover and next morning. Paul was, once again, working so it was left to me to entertain. Luckily the weather was stunning and it went to 26 degrees so they all dived in the pool for a few hours. The water was freezing but they didn't seem to notice, they all then got out, had a hot shower, stuffed their faces with goodies and then hit the pool again in the dark, mad things. Unfortunately it was at this point that we lost Casper, our youngest cat. He was last seen in the afternoon and there has been no sign since. We've door knocked and checked the scrub and empty blocks and the attic but there is no sign of him. Honey and Mutley aren't the same and Muts keeps looking out the window for him but I fear he is now gone forever. Last night and today we have had a lot of rain which hasn't flushed him out. It hasn't been helped that the neighbour threatened to throttle our cats a few weeks back.  There has been quite a few tears from me but the kids are very philisophical about it all !!

Today is Tallulah's 12th birthday and she has had a great day too, plenty of gifts once more and, despite the rain, we went down to Dolphin Quay for a coffee and hot chocolate. There we saw 6 dolphins which was wonderful - not to mention unusual ! We generally see 2 at a time but never 6 in one area. They weren't all together but three lots of pairs - so that was another present for Tallulah ! Lucky girl.

Tomorrow is the last day of the school hols and I think we all need to sleep....what's the betting someone rings early as usually happens ??? After that I need to get out there and apply for every job advertised whether I am qualified or not, on Friday I received a rejection letter from the council job so am going to ring and find out why I am not getting interviews. I know it's because I'm a Brit. I have been told that now...appparently most jobs are already taken before advertised and Aussies are employed over Brits whether they are more qualified or better for the job or not. It's a case of knowing someone here gets you a job. I am still working on Paul to move but failing still !!

 

08:46 - Sun 27 April 2008 - comments {0}

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