Please hold and we will connect you, Your call is important!
As part of this we need to close down accounts. This usually means dialling a premium rate number. working your way through a dozen "menus" and then trying to explain to someone in a call centre where English is not even the second language.
They will invariably ask for as many details as they can about you in order to prove who you are, name, address, DoB, bra size and left nostril capacity....
You try asking them to prove who they are...or prove they are working for who they say they are....the answers you get defy belief.
Then try explaining to them that you can phone premium rate numbers from abroad...Where I am working some numbers are blocked as we actually dial through Germany
"but sir.... put 44 ahead of the number"
"No you can no do this. I need the international number"
"I am sorry sir, we do not have a phone number here, please dial 0870 $$$ ££££"
These are UK companies, I am a UK citizen (at the moment) why the hell should i pay for the privilege of complaining, checking or cancelling an account through my phone call and then have to spell out every last detail to some muppet who, for all I know is jotting the details down on a piece of paper next to his desk (although why he does not just look to HRMC for a copy they are bound to send another one soon).
Anyway last night after a particularly gruelling phone call to our Broadband provider last night I was sent to my room by the wife for being in such a bad mood....hence the rant....
Anyone else want to join in
A new look ... the blog not me! :)
It has only taken the best part of a year nagging Graz to get him to do me my very own page layout!!
But finally it is here - i am rather pleased .
To buy or not to buy - the cornflour dilema
Once every 6 months? No probably not even that much. Once every 9 months? i'd say that was more like it ...
and here i am, potentially just a few weeks away from emigrating, and my packet of cornflour chooses now to decide to run out.
So what do i do?
Do i buy a new packet knowing that i am going to end up throwing most of it in the bin? Or do i decide to do without cornflour for the next two months? Hmm let me look into the future ... i see runny chicken korma ... i see soggy chicken and leek pie ... i see thin gravey ... maybe not then.
Trouble is it is not just the cornflour ... i am getting worryingly low on all sorts of things that seem silly to start replacing ... pudding rice, black pepper, worcester sauce - the list goes on.
Maybe i can find someone to donate all my leftover supplied to before i go?! I am sure there must be a charity dedicated to providing mustard powder for the needy - after all there is a charity for just about everything else.
Or i suppose i could say pants to that and not replace any of these things. I could limit my culinary efforts to what i can find in the cupboard - lentil casserole all round it is then.
I can just see it now ......... 'boys its time for tea', 'what are we having?', 'barley and sardine pie', 'oh no not AGAIN!'
You know you are getting old when ...
I nipped out last night for a drink (and a natter!) with my mate Peter and i would have sworn that the lad at the bar wasnt even 16. Suddenly i feel rather old.
Well i'm not having it! I refuse to admit that i am getting older - I am going to have to find a pub where they employ barstaff of a more sensible age .
(only slighlty in denial!)
Having finally called in the Estate Agent last week the diy was supposedly finished ... so i cant help but wonder why i found myself painting the kitchen today?
This isnt even a small kitchen - this is an 18 foot long kitchen! - and it wasnt even like it was a rainy day and i needed something to do - it was a glorious Sunday with beautiful sunshine! I could have been outside doing something a lot more fun.
The trouble is that i have been decorating for so long now that i cant seem to call a halt! It has become some sort of compulsive behaviour 'have day at home = must find a diy job to do'.
I really really need to stop!
Maybe somewhere out there there is a DA group - that is a DIYers Anonymous!
Hello my name is Tiggs and i am a compulsive DIYer!
What did you do at the weekend?
well on Friday i wallpapered ...
saturday wallpapered ...
and today (sunday) - yes you guessed it - wallpapering again.
so what do i have to look forward to tomorrow?
well actually no - not wallpaperig - tomorrow i am painting the wallpaper that i have spent all weekend putting up.
isnt my life just full of fun
Rainy bank holiday - isnt that a surprise :(
Well here we are, at the end of May, and we got up this morning to .... RAIN!! Again.
So no meeting up with friends, no picnic on the grass, no playing silly ball games with adults old enough to know better, no walking in the trees, no playing pooh sticks on the bridge ...
Just to make myself feel better i checked the local weather forecast - rain showers with a max. temp of 10 degrees. Then i checked Canberra - cloudy with a max. temp of 17 degrees!
It is warmer in winter Canberra than summer Whitley Bay!! Somehow i dont feel any better .
Never mind - i suppose that i will be able to find something else to do instead ... after all i should be used to rainy bank holidays by now.
Getting all over Emotional
I was apologising for how long it had taken me to email back to him - when all of a sudden i got all over emotional about going to oz and started on how much i would miss him and how much he means to me!!!
Then i suggested that he should apply for his visa and come with me!! Well i suppose if i can persuade everyone that i care about to come with us i wont have any reason to be homesick! Not sure what his girlfriend would think of this idea.
So what did my best mate make of this email? - he emailed back to ask if i had been drinking!! - lol
Stop the clock ...
Shoot out of bed...
Yell at everyone to get up and get dressed ...
I throw on some clothes and race downstairs.
I am making sandwiches for lunches, putting cereal into bowls, sorting childrens clothes for the day ...
... and no-one else is moving
i race back upstairs and into Andrews room - 'Get out of bed you have missed your bus' i yell. Andrew peers at me from under his quilt like i have gone rather demented, 'What are you on about?' he asks. 'The time' i yell, 'it is past 8'. Looking very puzzled he checks his watch, 'but it is only 20 past 7' he says.
... and he is right! Slightly subdued I head back into the bedroom and check the clock - 20 past 8. What the heck?! Turns out that Graham (who is still in bed asleep?!) had managed to hit the wrong button on the clock whilst setting the alarm last night and has changed the time to an hour ahead!!!!
Well at least i have time for an extra cuppa now.
Searching for the funny smell ...
I have been sitting here browsing BE for the last half an hour and there is the strangest smell coming form somewhere ...
i have tried sniffing various articles of furniture, carpets, curtains (i even tried smelling the dog but she just smells rather like a stinky dog ) but i an no nearer locating the smell.
If i had a cat i would be searching for something dead wedged under the sofa - but the good thing about having a dog is that if they find something dead they dont hide it - they just eat it!! (come to think of it i am not sure that that is a good thing!! )
Anyway ... back to the point ... (did i actually have a point? - oh yes the smell!)
Seeing as i still cant locate the aforementioned nasty odour i think that i might spend the afternoon carrying a bottle of febreeze - a quick blast of that here and there should sort the problem. Or even better i could just move the laptop to a smell free location then i can carry on browsing BE!
Spring is in the air - or maybe not?!?
One day is is sunny, the kids are out in the garden in a t-shirt and sun block ..... and then the next day and it is literally freezing cold i am having to defrost the car and while we are out the kids are complaining that they need their gloves on because their hands are cold?!!
I cant cope with this sort of confusion. I am just getting my hopes up that we are getting to the warmer weather (i hate being cold) and then i am back wanting to hibernate.
Do me a favour spring - make your mind up!
I feel like Mrs Tiggy-Winkle
Saturday is my big wash day with a few loads normally thrown on during the week to keep things moving along - but for some reason for the last week my washing machine has not stopped once. The tumble dryer is going constantly, half of the house has been infested with wet clothing hanging from every availably space and i am not even going to talk about the ironing (which i hate anyway )
It has been a continuous conveyor belt for days and i have just looked in the basket and there is still more!!! i am seriously beginning to wonder if my family are trying out some strange experiment on me to see how long i can keep going before i crack under the pressure .
I now understand how Mrs Tiggy -Winkle must have felt - and no i dont mean prickly! All of that washing, day after day ...
... maybe i should rename myself in her honour ... from this point forward please refer to me as Mrs TIGGSy-Winkle.
OMG i`m never going to make it to Friday
My two youngest children are literally bouncing around the house. They ran rampage around the co-op
while i was trying to shop, they have had one argument after another, and they are seriously bored and i have already been asked this morning when they can go back to playgroup!
They both want to play different games but they also want the other to play their game with them but then only if they are going to play it in the 'right' way! Aarrgghh!!
The eldest is trying his best to overcome his boredom by staying in bed all day and i mean ALL day - his record so far was getting up at 2.30 in the afternoon! Then he is complaining that he doesnt feel well - and apparently actually going outside and getting some fresh air is NOT the solution to this problem?!!!
Kids - who would have them? Or more to the point ... School holidays - which daft (non-parent!) though those up?!!
Put down the cress and step away from the kitchen
About six weeks ago i had this great idea to get the kids planting seeds. They had a great time planting and watering and have been avidly watching their seedlings rapidly grow. However about a fortnight we had a problem. The seedlings (newly replanted into rather a lot of pots) were ready to go outside, but rather than the weather getting better it actually got colder!! A couple of days we actually had snow ... in March!!
So here we are in April - and the seedlings (rapidly getting past seedling size and into full grown plant size) are still in my kitchen. In fact there is not a lot of kitchen that isnt covered in plants. We have sunflowers, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies and calendula in big terracotta pots, small plastic pots and seed trays. They all need re-potting again and i dont have the time, space (or pots!) to do it.
In addition to all of that lot the boys came home from playgroup a week ago with a pot of cress seeds each - which have grown into the into lovely sprigs of the hottest, peppery cress i have ever tasted. It is so spicy that the boys will only eat one piece at a time so at that rate they are going to be eating it until sometime around Christmas!!!
In desperation i started hardening off the seedlings on Sunday - putting them all outside in the morning and bringing them back in at night! - but to be honest it is still a bit cold and the sunflowers especially are not happy about being outside. Today it is blowing a gale and they are all lying down instead of standing up! If they make it to the weekend it will be a small miracle and i have just checked the weather forecast and it looks like much the same for the next week. Oh well.
I think that next year i will stick to something a bit simpler - i hear grass is nice.
Tom Cruise delivered my shopping
You trek around a large overheated store trying to decide what to buy, stopping the kids from emptying the shelves and listening to really bad music only to discover when you get back to your car that you seem to have just lost 2 hours of your life, you have spent a small fortune and you have still forgotten to buy eggs.
I discovered the solution to my problem a couple of years ago ... shopping on-line.
It is great - you log onto your computer (or in my case you are probably already on it anyway) you spend half an hour filling your shopping trolley (with only the things on your list so you spend far less as well) and two days later a nice man delivers your shopping right to your door!
My usual delivery guy is a really nice bloke. He is always really friendly and chatty and asks after the kids but i do have to admit that i am always secretly a little please when he says that he is going to be on holiday next week - and not just because he is a nice person and i am hoping that he will have a lovely time. The truth of the matter is that our occasional delivery man looks uncannily like a young Tom Cruise and as nice as Mr Usual Delivery Man is he is just not quite the same!
I have to admit to feeling slightly guilty about this, after all Mr Usual actually takes time to give a little personal feel to my shopping experience (not that Tom is un-friendly but i am pretty sure he has no idea what my dog is called) but somehow Mr Usual just cant compete.
So when Tom arrived this week i was being secretly pleased with myself while i sorted my shopping. Tom hands over last of the bags, says bye and heads off down the drive ... and then just as he gets to the gate he looks back my way and winks ... now what more could a girl possibly want with her shopping?!
Fried potato and beetroot
That means that is has been sitting there for everyone to see and realise how daft i am since this time yesterday.
Oh well i have probably just confirmed to everyone that i really am as forgetful as i make out!!!
Anyway I was going to write about my very odd lunch of fried potato and beetroot - but i think i have made enough of a fool of myself for one day so i am going to go and do something more constructive with my time .... and hopefully a little less embarrassing.
Trouble with a frying pan
... or if you are my kids then PANCAKE DAY!
For years i used to have a really old battered frying pan that made the nicest pancakes. They never stuck to the bottom, they were always crispy at the edges and they were always just a that nice `bubbly` golden brown when you got them out of the pan.
The trouble started 18 months ago when we fitted our all new spangly kitchen. Graham talked me into buying an electric induction hob and i have to admit it looks just the job. Black, shiny and with touch controls it fits really well with my very modern kitchen (although actually cooking on it is a different story for another day!).
Well being an induction hob i had to buy a whole new set of steel based pans to go with it (otherwise it doesnt actually heat up) so out into the bin went my tatty old frying pan and in came a lovely new sleek silver one, super non-stick.
The problem is that this super new frying pan just cant manage pancakes. You pour in the batter, it looks like it is cooking nicely and then you flip the pancake (which is a problem in itself seeing as they pan weighs an absolute tonne!) and you realise that rather than a nicely patterned golden colour you have ended up with something that more resembles a scotch pancake??!!! I have an incline that this is something to do with the super-dooper non-stick surface but that doesnt really help. I have three children all waiting, not very patiently, for pancakes and it is just not happening.
Maybe i could persuade them that it is really `drop scone` day?!
Sometimes forum threads really make you stop and think ...
But this last week or so i have come across two threads that made me really stop and think.
The first is probably the most obvious. I dont suppose there is a regular poster on BE who was not shocked by the thread that Wendy started (here) letting us know that one of BEs regular posters had lost her husband in a swimming incident.
That my heart went out to this lady and her children is an understatement and while i know that there is nothing i could say to ease their loss i am sure that together, as a family, they will get through a very difficult time. (follow up thread here).
This result of this for me was a timely reminder that non of us know how long we have. I seem to spend so much of my time trying to fit in all of the daily chores - cooking, cleaning, running about getting the kids to school, tidying, decorating etc etc etc - that sometimes i get to the end of the day and i realise that i have hardly seen anything of anyone else in the house. It seems such a waste of what could be quality time with my kids and my husband. I know that i spend far too much time on what are in effect trivial things but on the other hand someone has to do them!
Anyway my point is that I am going to try much harder to remember what is really important to me and make sure that i spend at least a little quality time each day with those that i love the most. While i dont think that you can 'live each day as if it is your last' you can and should at least try to live each day to its fullest and never miss an opportunity to tell those that you love how much they mean to you.
The second post was by WholeWorldWindow in the `updates` forum (probably my favourite forum )
Wwwindow had posted to tell people the story of emigrating to Oz with OH, 2 kids and practically no money. (thread here) Her wonderfully emotional post told of getting down to their last few cents, the struggle (then and now) of paying their bills and the real ups and downs of finding work . This thread was just so upbeat. Rather than letting the negatives get her down wwwindow revels in her surroundings, her lovely home and being with her family .... there always seem to be so many posts where those who are unhappy blame everything around them for their troubles, and for once it was wonderful to hear someone say - yes this is hard but i love and appreciate what i have.
This thread really confirmed for me what i have long believed - that it is not how much money you have but how you approach your life that makes you a happy person.
Personally our plan for Oz has always been partly an attempt to remove ourselves from what we feel has become a society where `you have to have the right things to be someone`. We have always planned that we would downsize all the material things in our lives (house, car etc) in order to remove ourselves from debts (small but always there) and, hopefully, replace these things with a far better quality of life based around our family and being together.
Both of the above threads, each in different way, reminded me of things that are important to me, plus in a roundabout way they also reminded me the value of spending time on the forums and talking to other people.
Too much other stuff on my mind i guess .... but normal service is due to be resumed
I have found the house i want in oz ... trouble is i dont have my visa :(
I, like so many other wannabe ozzies, spend rather a lot of time browsing the internet looking at potential homes for my family (hmmm probably should get a hobby) ... and there it was ... and i wasnt even looking for myself. I was actually searching for a city apartment for my parents (yes i know they are in the uk and do not have a visa .... long story that i will no doubt get back to at a later date). But anyway: two bedroom house, right in the centre of melbourne, back yard, needs loads of work doing to it:
Now just so you understand the bizarre nature of this 'gut feeling' of mine, the house we have always said we want in oz is semi-rural, has 4 bedrooms, a pool and a couple of acres of land (big plans for kitchen garden and mini-orchard etc etc ... ). Dont mind a bit of updating but didnt want major renovations (done that, got the t-shirt ).
So why in the world have i picked this house? Short answer - i have no idea ..... come to think of it long answer - i have no idea .
All i know is that the more i looked at this house the more i could imagine living there. I was even planning how we could work the sleeping arrangements until we could extend and add a third bedroom ... and then i looked again at the details ... and my stomach actually sank. This house goes to auction on the 10th Feb. I actually felt quite gutted . Someone else is going to buy it and 'do it up' and then it wont be the same house anymore.
Feeling quite depressed about it now - i think it is time to stop looking at houses in Oz and spend more time sorting out the house i have yet to sell .... at least for a few days anyway .
Another Monday - another diet (not to mention the spider)
It is to be another few weeks of looking mornfully into the biscuit tin and drooling over the kids as they eat their chocolate buttons (sad i know!).
I only have about 12 lbs to shift but i always think that the last half stone before you reach your target weight is the hardest to achieve so i am really not looking forward to this at all.
Never mind - with a bit of will power and ...
OMG - just looked across the table as i am typing and there is a spider running towards me .... hang on a mo .....Ok it is now sitting under a glass looking very unhappy! It is going to be more unhappy in a moment when i chuck it outside in the cold (i just checked and the outside temperature this morning and it is 1 degree - that should sort the spider!). I can just imagine it sat out there with its little legs stuck out at the sides frozen solid! Cruel to spiders? Moi?! Well i could have squashed it ...
Anyway havent got time to finish my post about dieting now - have to get Rhys to playgroup!
Where did it go?! The week that vanished.
I am sure that i am not the only one who plans the jobs to be done for the week ahead (those who know me know that i have a little thing about making lists!) - and i always seem to be fine on Monday, not to bad on Tuesday, getting a bit behind on Wednesday and have given up by Thursday ... !! Maybe i am just trying too fit too much into a week - or maybe if i didn't spend so much time on BE i might get more done! Anyway i am again filled with remorse and pledge - as i do every Sunday - to get on with the jobs next week ... only time will tell how it goes.
On the good points this week the new year resolutions are holding up well - and the dog is exhausted from all of her exercise and i am getting better at getting out of bed in the morning (altought there is still room for improvement!). Not so sure that everyone else in the household is sticking to the rules but then i didnt really expect them too!
Must rush now ... got to go walk the dog...
The disappearing, re-appearing blog entires (oops!)
However this has left me with the pages i have added since the new year only being visible if you are logged in - just to confuse those that are not particuarly IT minded (and a few of those who are ). I could go back and copy the content into new pages and re-post (and i may get around to this at a later date) but i am just feeling too lazy at the mo. Sorry!
This place is going to the ...... birds (?!).
For a moment there my dining room looked tidy and you could actually walk around the table without having to climb over a chair to get to the other side ... but we all know that sort of thing can't last for long.
In lasted, in fact, for all of about 2 1/2 hours ... until my parents arrived with two rather large bird cages (complete with resident birds). So for the next week, while we are 'bird sitting', we are back to climbing over the furniture to get around - but then if we didn't have to do that we would just feel like we had accidentally ended up in someone elses house!
On the plus side i now have 2 zebra finches and a budgie in my house and if i turn up the heating and close my eyes to listen to the singing i can almost imagine i am in Oz. Lol
The dreaded 'New Year Resolutions'
So just for the record this year we are looking at:
Happy New Year
*those of you who know me will already be aware that I can use any excuse to make a 'really useful' list (come to think of it I can happily manage without an excuse at all!)
Why oh why do we diy?!DIY
Why do we do it to ourselves?
We spend all week working and when we get to the weekend and we could actually have some well earned time off - but what do we actually do?
Do we put our feet up?
Do we pack up the kids in the car and spend the days out in the fresh air?
What we actually do is decide to wallpaper the utility room (well we don't actually all do this EVERY weekend otherwise the world would be full of very over-decorated utility rooms - but you get what i am on about) ... so this is how i have spent my Saturday.
The result is that i am now exhausted and have the lovely prospect of getting up in the morning and painting the ceiling of aforementioned utility room in a very nice shade of blue/green. *Sigh*
The question I suppose is why do we do this to ourselves?
I can only assume that at some period of pre-history some human somewhere decided that cave paintings were all very well and good but what their cave really needed was some Laura Ashley flock wallpaper and a flowery chais longue.
If you think about it diy must be the most bizarre idea any species of creature has every come up with - and for some reason we all keep doing it .....
My first foray into the world of the escribitionist ...scribe-bish-uh-nist] - noun - a person who keeps a diary or journal via electronic means.
Hello and welcome to my very first blog entry!
Finally, after much due consideration, i am taking the plunge and starting our very own family on-line diary. With the long road towards our visa stretching out ahead of us we should have loads to write about so ...
...In the beginning when Graz suggested the place to go was OZ, the path to our visa was a formless void and darkness covered the forms. Then someone said, "Let there be Expats"; and there was Expats and Tiggs saw that the Expats was good; ......
..... hmmm much to biblical methinks!! But pretty accurate!
I am not going to start by giving loads of background info on us and our current progress towards our visa - those that do not know us already will be able to catch up as they read and i am determined that this is not going to be one of those blogs about what i bought at the supermarket today and arn't bananas expensive at the mo ...
Please feel free to call back anytime you like to catch up on our latest exploits in words and pictures.
Recent EntriesTaking a break
Tiggs - soon to be patented - migrating to Oz diet.
The Axe Man
Up on The Roof...And in it!!
CategoriesLiving in Oz
Migration to Oz
My family and other animals
Rhys and Callums stuff
Whatever happened to ...