Finally moving from Darwin

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:11, Tue 3 December 2013 | 1 comments | Link
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.

Another year over and no escape yet

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:17, Fri 6 July 2012 | 0 comments | Link
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.

Hoping for the end of the wet season

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:42, Thu 9 February 2012 | 0 comments | Link

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.


Still plodding on now at 18months in sweaty Darwin

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:33, Fri 9 December 2011 | 0 comments | Link
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.

Been living in Darwin a year

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:58, Wed 15 June 2011 | 1 comments | Link

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

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

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:24, Tue 2 November 2010 | 2 comments | Link

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  

The rough with the smooth

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:58, Mon 4 October 2010 | 1 comments | Link

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. 



scary night in casualty

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:42, Sun 19 September 2010 | 0 comments | Link

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.


Frustrated and fed up today

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:38, Fri 17 September 2010 | 1 comments | Link

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.


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

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:56, Tue 24 August 2010 | 1 comments | Link

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. 

A similar life but different

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:46, Tue 17 August 2010 | 0 comments | Link

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     

Time is flying past

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:40, Tue 17 August 2010 | 0 comments | Link
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.

Life in Darwin

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:34, Tue 17 August 2010 | 0 comments | Link
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.

We made it to Darwin and wow its great

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:41, Tue 20 July 2010 | 3 comments | Link

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    


My Graduation

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:25, Mon 10 May 2010 | 2 comments | Link

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   

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

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:39, Thu 22 April 2010 | 0 comments | Link

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.   


The first of many tearfull goodbyes

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:25, Tue 23 March 2010 | 0 comments | Link

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.     

Flights booked look out Darwin

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:15, Tue 16 February 2010 | 1 comments | Link

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

The visa has been granted

| Posted by geordie mandy
06:29, Thu 11 February 2010 | 5 comments | Link

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.


A new looking me

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:38, Mon 8 February 2010 | 4 comments | Link

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.

The visa is being processed

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:08, Thu 28 January 2010 | 0 comments | Link

Hopefully we shall have our visa soon

I cant believe January is nearly over, just where is time going to i wonder.

Christmas is now just a blur its great looking back on the photos and remembering the fun we had. The kids said it was the best one ever. They didnt get a great deal of expensive pressies for a change. However being active and in the tropical pool nearly every day certainly made them happy.

At the moment our lives seem to be in limbo, unable to make plans as we are hoping by April to be on our way to Darwin.

Ive been giving a lot of thought to how i want my future plans to go. I know i want to go to uni and get a qualification that will enable me to work till i retire.

My options are do the easy route and possibibly familar route and re do my Enrolled nurse training and have a diploma after 2 years. In some ways it would possibibly be a step back as i qualified some 20 years ago as an EN

Do the degree nursing course of 3 years which would give me a long term job, the hard work dosn't put me nor does the studying but unsure if i want to go back to nursing again.

Thirdly i could do a humanitarian and welfare course lasting 3 years again i would be registered with the association of welfare workers but im not sure of the job avaliabilty at the end of 3 years studying.

Im 40 in June so no spring chicken and want to work with people and use my life expereinces as well as my current qualifications to secure a decent life for myself.

I dont think V is too keen on me going back to studying again and would rather i just get a job, so i had a look at some of the jobs that interest me and they all need formal qualifications in either nursing or welfare/social work. So either way i think going back to uni has to be done.

Not much else going on.



I passed my final exam

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:53, Tue 15 December 2009 | 3 comments | Link

Just seen the results on the OU website, i got a grade 4 pass, i had hoped i would get a grade 3 but a pass is a pass. So thats me got a degree, at long last.

Im just waiting for confirmation on the degree from the OU asi canged to an open degree, i need to find out if it will be the BSc or the BA. Hoping it will be the Bsc, i then have to accept the award before i get the certificate. also my last course gave me an additional certificate in health promotion.

Ive been crying with a mixture of happiness, relief and sadness that my gran wasnt alive to see me get my degree.

Im treating myself to a bailieys tonight and maybe even a take away.

Any how got to get the kids from school, back into the pouring rain.


The Visa application has left the building and is on its way to oz

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:39, Thu 12 November 2009 | 2 comments | Link

I could have almost kissed the girl from DHL when she picked up our precious envelope.

So this is it, police checks done, medicals done and in oz already, just waiting for the visa now.

I start voluntary work on Thursday, i will be visiting an elderly lady who lives on her own in the next village. I only visit for an hour and ive also agreed to help out at the local day centre for the eldely when they are short staffed. Im now going to body max classes on a Monday, spinning class on Wed and aqua fit on Friday. Feel happier having something to occupy me now .

Im off out shortly to take the dog for a walk as he has not had a walk for a few days due to the state of the field near us, way too boggy but as its freezing outside the ground is solid now.

Now ive just got to be paitent and wait for the medicals to be finalised and the visa to be granted. Ive got Christmas to shop for and the holiday to look forward to.

Thats all for now



Visa application has finally been finished

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:50, Thu 5 November 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Cant believe the application form has finally been finished, just need to photo copy it so that if anything happensand they query any of the questions then we can refer back to anything.

Going to get DHL booked for next week. Will be so glad to get this paperwork on its way to oz.

V has decided no matter how much the kids and i want to get to oz asap he still wants to wait till April. This is really bugging me as i turned down the chance to do my return to nursing course which finished in April as i did not want to delay him. But since it is his employer sponsorship that is taking us to oz i just have to accept it. Even if im freezing and hating the cold weather so much.

It seems strange to not be studying and i must admit i have been rather bored with just doing housework while the kids are at school.

Ive started a new fitness regime and my body aches so much, ive been doing aqua fit for just over a month now and have enjoyed it, so this week i also started going to a body max class on Monday, i enjoyed it but i felt stiff and sore when i finished and yesterday i did a spinning class which was the hardest work out ive had in a long time, im alll aches and pains today, tommorow its back to aqua fit. I shall give it a few more weeks before i decide if i will keep  the spinning class up.

I suppose i had better get on with tidying the living room up  

Labour Aggrement nomination has been recieved

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:19, Mon 26 October 2009 | 2 comments | Link

WE are slowly getting closer to a life in oz.

Im almost ready for sending the visa application off. Just got to get some copies of the data page of our passports done and have them certified. V needs to finish filling in his forms( i thought he had) then i will be booking the courier and getting them sent off asap.

I know one of the laterals has just recieved her visa today, they had theirs sent off in September so it not been too long for them.

V wants to wait till April before we move over to Darwin, but im hoping to go sooner. I suppose we will just have to wait and see how things go.


Medicals done

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:46, Wed 14 October 2009 | 1 comments | Link

A big sigh of relief now that the medicals have been done. Over the weekend the boys had come down with cold and high temps, so i panicked a little over if they would be well enough for the medicals. i kept them off school on Monday as a precaution and kept them topped up with cough and cold medicine , medinol and a daily multi vit. It seems to have paid off, despite the kids still having sniffles and a bit of a cough the panel Dr saif they seemed fit and healthy. My BMI was within acceptable levels.

Just waiting on the police checks coming back and a few documents need certifying then the visa application is good to go.

We have been told to expect to get the visa between 6 weeks to 4 months. Cant wait.

Its been a long day, getting up early for the drive to Hull and waiting at the hospital for what seemed like hours ( well it was hours) but since we had the xrays and medicals all done in one day it was well worth it.

WEll the kids are wanting tea now so best get in kitchen 

Studying finally finished and visa paperwork started

| Posted by geordie mandy
06:50, Tue 6 October 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Its been over a week since i sent off my final work for my course. Its up to the markers now, i will find out in December if i have gained a degree or not.

Since ive no more study to do ive thrown my self in to the visa paperwork, the police checks have been sent, the medicals are next week and the visa application paperwork should be finished before we go for the medicals.

Our tennets have moved out and despite not having permission they have decorated the house top to bottom very badly in colours that are simply disgusting, they must have been colour blind. On top of that they have stolen curtains, blinds, nets and even shelving that was fixed to the wall. the list goes on. We have told the agency who were managing our house to sort it out. In the meantime we have instucted a different agency to sell the house for us( once it is decorated of course).

The kids are happy to be back at school although they cant wait for us to be finally living in Australia.

My operation that i had in August is starting to show results, ive lost 2 stones so far and my BMI is now below the threashold for concern for the immigration medicals. I feel great ,have more energy and no pain when walking the kids to school. Ive even started going to Aqua fit on a Friday morning.

Once all the visa paperwork has been taken care off, i shall be starting to clear the garage and thin out all our wardrobes. I suppose you could say we are going to have a good clear out ready for oz.

Autumn is certainly here, already the dark nights and damp cold days are in abundance, will be so glad to no longer have to deal with the cold weather.




Medicals booked for next month

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:17, Thu 17 September 2009 | 0 comments | Link

Im almost at the end of my OU course , im busy finishing my end of course assessment. ive got 4 more parts to do, should have it done by the end of next week.

Ive got all the visa paperwork printed and V will start filling them over the weekend. WE have managed to getthe medicals booked in Hull at a hospital where they organise both the medicals and the xrays.

Got some sad news today, V's aunty whom we visited in Rutherglen died yesterday. She had been poorly for a few weeks but suddenly went down hill this week. She was a fiesty old bird, i thought she was great,  getting the email letting us know this morning shook us up a bit, as we had hoped that we could have taken the boys to visit her when we arrived in oz. As i think D was a baby the last time she was in the UK. Instead when we visit Albury to see his uncle and aunt we shall put some flowers on the grave.

Ive been doing the research on Darwin and despite the fact they only have dry and wet seasons im sure we will cope. Saying that i will look forward to when we can get a posting to either NSW or Vic.

Well id best get on with some more of my assessment


The formal offer has come through

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:02, Mon 31 August 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Well it appears that we are off to Darwin after all, thats what the job offer says. We have also been told once he has signed the formal offer and emailed it back to them we can start filling in the visa application.

We have been told to front load the medicals and police checks. Im going to wait till October to get the medicals done. As i see my consultant who did my op in the beginning of August at the end of September. So once ive seen him i will get a letter stating im fully fit after the op to take with me.

WE are aiming now to get out to oz asap. Im not going to be doing the return to nursing course at York Uni after all. they offered me a place in January which i would not finish till June. The oz army where prepared to wait till April but any later would affect V's job offer.

Instead im going to back to basics and re do my training. I had hoped that we would of been going to Townsville as they have a graduate entry nursing degree and having contacted them once i had completed my BSc i would have been accepted at JCU. I have already contacted CDU and they dont do the graduate entry so i will have to do 3 years. But considering V will be posted there for 3 years im sure it wont be too bad.

Ive still got my current course to finish, ive been given an extention to get my 6th assignment compleated, ive made a start but having J to look after all the time its been hard to concentrate on essay writing and ensuring ive got the right research materials. Im hoping that i can get more work done later in the week. At a push i could get it finished in a few days once the kids are back to school.

Then i will have to get my end of course assignment done, this is writing up 6 topics ive covered in the course to show what ive learned. This work is in lieu of an exam. My work gets sent to 3 different markers and i get the result in December.

Ive now lost over a stone and im wearing jeans ive not worn for over a year, well pleased with that.

Im now eating soft food, like pasta salad, small tuna fish sarnies (with the crusts off). Im feeling much better about my self. Im not getting out of breath when i go for a long walk. I still feel a little tender over the operation site especially pushing a hoover around, or a full shopping trolley.

Its the kids last week of school thank god, they have been so fed up as the weather has been awful the last few weeks. this has also made studying harder.

Any how id best go as the toerag is making a loud noise in the garden.


The op went well and im feeling good

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:50, Tue 11 August 2009 | 0 comments | Link

The surgeon used a new method where he only need to use one incision. I came out of hospital on Saturday afternoon after i could prove i could manage to have something more than water and apple juice. On Saturday morning they offered me some yoghurt but i really struggled to swallow it. i managed about 4 teaspoons. So the nurse who had looked after me (a lovley aussie from Sydney) produced some clear chicken soup and i really struggled having more than a few mouthfulls. It was so salty, so V had some for me. I did manage to have a little more yoghurt, about 50g and i was stuffed. So eventually they let us go home.

Im bruised across my abdomen and i did look very swollen almost as if i was pregnant. thankfully the swelling is coming down now although the bruising is spreading. I have to give my self some heprin injections every morning to help prevent clots and im still wearing the sexy TED stockings.

On Sunday it was my parents ruby wedding anniversary and they were having their vows renewed, so i managed to put on a pretty dress that covered my swelling abdomen well. I also managed to get away with not wearing the 'stockings' for a few hours while we were at the church.

It was a good service and despite afterwards being surrounded by people tucking into a buffett it didn't bother me. V got me a cup of tea and we sat with my 2 favourite auntys and my great aunt and uncle. They new i was having an operation but not the details, or so i thought. It seems my mother had informed a few people i was having the band fitted. I was not impressed that she had informed other people. Not that i am ashamed or anything, its just i wanted to choose who i told.

Any how, V and my aunt C were on top form taking the mick out of me, getting lovley food and waffting it past me and saying a shame you cant eat it.

To be honest ive not felt hungry in the slightest since i had the op. On Sunday i managed to have a slimfast bottle of diet drink, for my breakfast and the remainder for my lunch. For my evening meal i tried a baby meal of veg and rice but it was truely awful, even if it was liquidised.

So im sticking to thin soup, jelly, liquidised fruit and marmite. Yesterday i managed 1/2 a weetabix mixed with warm milk and i can say it was very enjoyable, and very filling. Im drinking loads of water as i do find im thirsty more than hungry, im also having a carrot and orange juice to boost my vitamin intake.

Ive got 2 weeks on the liquid/puree stage before i go to mushy/soft food before in 4 weeks i start on solids. I will be having my first fill in 4 weeks time as well.

Yesterday i had a slow day at home, as i felt exhausted, i think going out on Sunday took it out of me.However i did manage to get through the day with no painkillers, only an afternoon nap. Today im feeling more alert , im not in pain and i dont feel so tired either. Im going to try and get a bit of work done for my assignment and maybe a litle prep for tommorow. 

Tommorow ive got my interview for my return to nurse course at York uni, then in the afternoon im meeting up with my good freind Mel before she disappers to UAE to live. Thursday im off to Scotland to be with the boys again then home again on Sunday with my family back together.

Well thats it for now, im going to enjoy a nice long drink of chilled water while i catch up on some reading.


Go for my operation tommorow

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:49, Thu 6 August 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Im feeling nervous now, about tommorow, but excited at the same time. I have to be in Manchester at 7am which means getting up at 4 am and being on the road by 5. V has been very supportive and after reading the information the hospital gave me on Tuesday, has agreed to follow a more healthier diet as a way of encouraging me. He has alo said he wont have any chocolate or any other goodies in front of me . Not that i eat a lot of them any way, but i think he is trying to show he cares.

V also addmitted he could do with loosing some weight himself, now that he ahs ben accepted in to the oz army.

We should get our formal offer of employment through by the end of the month. Cant do anything towards the visa till we get that.

On Wed ive got an interview for a return to nursing course at York uni, not gret timing so soon after my op, but they only have that date available, so i will just have to get on with it.

The assignment i sent off before we went to London i passed, did really well o it, so im pleased with my progress so far.

Ive got my final assignment due in at the end of the month, then i will be concentrating on my end of course assignment which is instead of an exam.

After the turmoil of last year when i was so down and had the break down, this year has so far been good. About time too i might add.

On Thursday we are off to Arran to stay with the inlaws, and after the weekend will be coming home with the boys . then it will be a case of getting the boys uniforms sorted for school, sorting out D's transport to the high school. At the same time we will be getting stuff sorted towards the visa, the medicals need to be done at the same time as the police check and all sent in with the visa, well that what we have been told by the recruiting team.

Time for a brew then i shall be packing my case and getting an early night

The oz army say YES

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:07, Thu 30 July 2009 | 4 comments | Link

Its just starting to sink in, it was the most stressful day i had yesterday when we were interviewed by the panel of important army bods.

When they said, V, we have a letter here we would like you to sign, as we would like to offer you a job with ARA. Once they recieve the signed letter(not allowed to sign on the day) then we shall recieve our formal offer. They have told us we will be going to either Darwin, Townsville or Brisbane. But most likly will be Darwin. We were a little disappointed that Victoria wasnt on offer. But we have no come to realise that Darwin is better than anything and it will only be for 2 years.

Most of the family and freinds we have told are happy for us, however my parents dont seem to be as thrilled as us.

Just got to sort the medicals, police check and send them in with the visa application. In 6 months we could be on our way to oz .


Right back to earth ive got another assignment to start reading up on.


A week to go till we find out if the oz army want us

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:36, Wed 22 July 2009 | 1 comments | Link

The nerves are starting to get twitchy its taken a long whole year from applying to finding out we had an interview. The rollercoaster has certainly been bumpy. Our freinds who were interviewed this time last year have finally got their visa through. WEll done guys.

Im trying to get my 5th assignment done before we leave for London on Tuesday, ive done the notes, just got to get it in to an essay formatt.

The house is quiet as the boys are all up on Arran now. I had a lie in this morning, the first id had in ages and my god did it feel good .

This morning i also got a letter from York Uni to say ive been shortlisted for interview for the return to nursing course that starts in October. For the first time in a while i finally feel as though things are starting to come together for us as a family.

Well im off for another brew then i shall start my assignment. Would be good if i got it finished before thsi week was finished then i can enjoy the weekend before our trip to London.


Summer holidays are nearly here

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:48, Tue 14 July 2009 | 0 comments | Link

Last week was a good week for J, he came home with a certificate for his good behaviour, that in itself is a moment to be treasured. i think the school have finally accepted his is not deliberatly being naughty that sometimes he cant not stop his impulses. He will possibibly never be able to sit still , he will always fidgit. Since giving the school a copy of his medical report on his ADHd, thinks have got better for J and the school.

The boys all came home with school reports yesterday and im proud to say that the 2 older boy's reports were fantastic, J as usual academically was good just the other stuff needs improving on.

This time next week the boys will be on holiday on Arran , while i will be frantically getting my 5th assignment done before the London trip.

 Ive done loads of reading in prep for the interviews for the oz army, infact ive been researching oz since before i joined BE. So they cant say ive not given a lot of thought to living in oz. Shame V hasn't done as much of the research as i have , as up until the other week he didn't realise that Tasmania was a state. What a row it caused when he was reading some stuff about the states and territories, i asked him to name them and the idiot thought it was northern territories and Tasmania were the territories honestly, Would he believe me when i explained the name gives it away ie ACT and NT. Why is it some blokes wont admit they are wrong and when found out go in a huff. I had to dig out one of the many books on oz we have and show him in print what it said. I hope he sounds a little more informative at the interview. 

In reality the oz army lateral transfer is our only hope of getting to oz. After going to the Australia needs skills expo in London last month, he found out that he would not be able to get his skills assessed as an engineering manager with Engineers Australia. He spoke with the rep at the expo and showed him his career history and with out doubt he can only be assessed as an engineering technologist via the Sydney accord . Unfortunatly i dont think that is on any of the skills list for state sponsorship. He may be lucky and get an employer to sponsor him or he may by a fluke get Vic to sponsor him.

So come the 29th we will have to give the interviews our best shot.

Well id best get back to my books , ive got a boring chapter to read on how to make public health policy work.


The highs and lows in the past week

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:36, Mon 6 July 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Last week really has been like a rollercoaster involving the whole family.

Monday, we had a meeting at the boys school regarding J, the school are finding him difficult to cope with due to his ADHD. We had given them all the info from his previous school and have been completly honest and up front about him. We have all had to sign a behaviour management contract , including J.

Monday and Tuesday he had good days in school, Tuesday was the sports day and despite him comingin last in a few races he didn't get frustrated or angry which he usually does in those situations. I was so proud of him. D and C did well in the sports day.

Wednesday i got my 4th assignment result back and i had passed with the highest mark yet on this course, so i was delighted. When i picked J up he had not had a good day in school and wasa pain in the bum at home.

Thursday D and C represented the school in the district athletics , over all the school came first and my boys had won a lot of the races. I was so proud of them. However J had been difficult in school and at home.

Friday, J got sent home from school for his behaviour , it appears he had been discussing condoms and sex in front of a girl in his class on the Thursday and her parents had complained about my son, the teacher had also said he had been silly. He had been in school less than an hour. I picked him home and gave him the work he had to do and he got it done in 30 mins at home. So i set him some work book to do. His behaviour was fine, apart from being upset and puzzeled as to why he was sent home.

Ive asked about getting him a statement of educational need but the 'support worker' that school have arranged for us has told us that he has to have been in the school for over a year before we can apply. I think this is very wrong. If the school can't cope with him then they have to provide a support system that can help him.

In the meantime ive been in touch with a school that is specifically for children with ADHD and Autism, its residential and manages to turn its children into adults who are confident and fit in society. some of its ex pupils have gone on to university and gained PHD's, become army officers and basically have not had any problems .

The only snag is this school is residential and they only take boys on from the age of 9. They did however tell me to contact the secetary to arrange a visit as they feel they could help us. So im torn whether i should. AS i expect us to be living in oz by the time J is 9.

Saturday I was at my OU study day and J was fine, he had the occasional bout of 'bad behaviour' but nothing like what the school are complaining about.

Sunday at church J was his usual self, full of energy but not too demanding.

Today, D is on his outward bound residential trip with the school, he was so excited at what the week will hold for him. Im sure he will have a great time. Meanwhile im at home half expecting the phone to ring with the school telling me to pick him up.

It will be interesting to see if  having the eldest away, changes anything at home with the other two.

Eh well time to get some work done       

Operation is booked

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:02, Sun 28 June 2009 | 2 comments | Link

After seeing the surgeon on Saturday, i was very impressed. He was so informative, very through and i felt very comfortable with him. V came in with me and he too felt very happy after the consult for me to go ahead with the surgery.

I will be having the lap band done on the 7th of August, not long really. Ive stoped taking the orlistat as it has been making me feel so ill, the pain ive had in my bowels and abdomen has been awful. So the surgeon just told me to eat sensibily for till i have the operation. to cut down on the amount of sugar i take in, which to be honest is quite low any way.

I know for me this operation is giving me a chance to get my life back. I know there is a 10% failure rate, mainly people who tend to snack on biscuits and sweets. so i am making a pledge now once the op has been done i will avoid them. Ive already cut out all the choccys i love. Cant remember the last time i ate any.

My back is aching today from sitting in the car for the journey to Manchester and back, then travelling up to Durham again to get the kids yesterday.

Im cracking on already with my next lot of course work as i need to get ahead as my next assignment is due when we are in London for the interviews with the oz army.

Ive got heaps to do so best crack on


Going to see a consultant about the operation that will change my life

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:37, Tue 16 June 2009 | 4 comments | Link

After much thought and sleep less nights, ive finally plucked up the courage to see a consultant about having a lap band. Now V is earning again and after talking about how i feel he says lets see the man.

Im waiting to have an appointment date confirmed for 2 weeks time(they could see me this Saturday but childcare a problem).

Im going to arrange to have the operation done in August while the kids are in Scotland.

Atlhough i want to have the lap band the surgeon may decide that a bypass is more appropriate in my situation.

There has been a lot of recent research done on the merits of weight loss surgery and recent findings suggest that doing the operation either lap band or bypass is benificial to obese people who are in the >30-35 band, especially those who have metabloic syndrome, which i have.

The Dr ive already spoken to has told me although im under the bmi of 35 threshold i can still have the op. It looks like im pre diabetic and this op will help prevent me developing diabetes type 2.

I know its going to be expensive but my body cant cope with being the weight i am, the aching joints and being out of breath is really getting me down.

I feel both excited and nervous about finally being able to achieve my normal weight for my height.

WEll got to get on with studying ive got an assignment to prepare for

oz army medical passed yeeha

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:37, Thu 11 June 2009 | 1 comments | Link

V send his medical report from the cardiologist to the oz army earlier this week, got an email today saying, medical passed no need for wavier. Then it goes on to say, i suggest you start researching living in Australia, schools, life style etc, as well as investigating how your spouse can have their qualifications transfered. They also suggested we think about a back up plan if we are not accepted. So i think we have ticked all the suggestions they have made so far. We have been researching australia now since 2006

We have both been jumping up and down at just getting the good news that the medical is passed. We still have the medicals to do for the visa but that wont be as detailed as the one V has had to do.

V also got an invited to the Australia needs skills expo in London this month. He will go along as Engineers Australia will be there and he can get the low down on getting his skills assessed. After all we want to make sure all angles are covered.

Right back to the books



Where does time go?

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:04, Mon 8 June 2009 | 2 comments | Link

As another birthday is passed and im another year older, i wonder where the year has gone. This time last year i was preparing for an exam and living in Germany, i was struggling with my life and coping with all sorts of stress which culiminated in a breakdown in the summer holidays. At the time i thought my life would never improve and was in such a negative cycle. Here i am a year one , feeling much stronger and happier and wondering why it all went wrong last year. One important lesson i have learnt about my self is im not super woman, i cant do it all and at times i do need help.

I m enjoying studying again, im plodding on, im not getting fantastic results but im passing my assignments and if i continue as i am i will pass the course and gain my BSc. This something last year i thought was beyond my reach, i thought id blown it, but taking time to reasses the situation i realised i could still get a degree.

Next month is an important one for the family, we will find out if our plan to emigrate to Australia via the army lateral transfer scheme is a viable one. We hope and pray it is , but if its not we know what steps we have to take to reach that goal. It may take longer to get to oz but we will one day be able to call australia home.

Since moving back to the UK my parents seem to have taken a back seat in my life, they have made no effort to visit us and see where we are living. They never call to see how we are doing unless they have something to tell me. Thats fine by me. Once over i felt rejected when i saw just how much my parents ran after my sister and her children when they arrived. Now i think so what. weather my parents are adjusting to life with out my family in preperation for us going to oz i really dont know.

As my gran used to tell me you only have one life so go out and life it. So we are, we have no intention of living in the UK permanently.

I hope that i will be celebrating my 40th birthday in Australia, ive also told V that for our 20th wedding anniversary (July 2010) we will renew our vows, i picture doing this on a beach with our oz family and freinds sharing a special moment in our lives.

As i grow older i tend to find my self reflecting on what ive done in my life and what i still want to achieve. There is so much i still want to do, but for now getting my degree and getting back into nursing are my 2 imediate goals. V being accepted into the oz army will just be the icing on the cake.

Well id best get back to my books , as i still need to work hard to get through this course.


Another hurdle crossed starting to feel as if oz is in reach now

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:56, Mon 1 June 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Fri V went for his cardio referal and had his cardio risk assessment. The consultant made our day when he said your heart is very healthy and there is no risk of any heart problems. As for the cholestrol levels they need no medication and are not a health issue. He is sending the report to V so it can then be scanned and email to the oz army 

It was the best news we have had for a long time. With the interview being next month for the oz army for the first time in ages we both feel as though we are in with of a chance of being accepted and finally emigrating to oz.

Many of our friends who have gone through the army lateral transfer have said the interview is the easy bit. So lets hope that we have no more hurdles to climb and its a straight road from now on.

I finally got a 2nd person to give me a reference as well so now i can get my application form filled in to do the return to nurse course starting in October.

Any way got to crack on with my course work, my next assignment is due in , in 28 days time. Sounds like i have ages, but when i consider how much reading i have to get through let alone understand it then it will be here before i know it.



Hotel and train booked for trip to London

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:33, Sat 23 May 2009 | 0 comments | Link

Since July is not that far away, i thought i'd best get things booked up. The kids will go to Arran a few days before we go. That way we can prepare our selves for the interview. I got a shock when i saw the price for hotels in London, some of them are more than we could ever afford. Thankfully i found a recommended hotel which was only just out of our budget. We are staying for 2 nights . I got a bargin on the train fare by booking in advance on the net. I just need to get some smart clothes, i dont want to let the side down by looking too casual.

I really hope that V passes the medical he has to have with the cardiologist  for his cardio vascular risk assessment. As this may be the factor of whether the oz army say yes or no. 

The job front is still not looking good for V. Its awful to see a man who once was so busy he rarely got time to watch tv. Now he has so much time he gets bored and is starting to get to the i cant be bothered mode when i ask to do things in the house.

He is off on a course in a fortnight with Everest the double glazing people. All though he will be self employed , they will ensure he has the skills to become a salesman. The only problem with this type of job is no sale no money coming in. Unfortunatly this has been the only offer of employment to come his way.

As he has said he will see how things go and if he is crap then he will pack it in. If a 'proper' job comes along he will also pack it in. Hopefully he will have a little sucess and it will tide us over till we go to oz. 

Hopefully after the trip to London the oz army will offer him a job and we will know how long we have till we are needed in oz.

I really do hope this comes off, as V is desperate to be in a job where he feels comfortable, the army is all he has known for 22 years. Civvy street has been a big shock to the system.

Thursday night/ Friday morning i finished and sent of my 3rd assignment, i hope i pass it as im not sure if i did everything ok.

My weight is still slowly coming off although my clothes are still too tight on me to wear comfortably.

Ive just bought in the sales a mid length summery skirt and blouse, something different to wear to church tommorow. Im sick of wearing the same pair of stone linen trousers every week.

Eh well id best tea started as  C has a freind having a sleep over, we are having a movie and pop corn later.



The ozzies have landed

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:41, Mon 11 May 2009 | 0 comments | Link

This weekend V's aunt and uncle from Albury arrived, they are staying with family in Durham, so we arranged for V's parents to come and stay with us for the weekend. Things did not go to plan however. Friday on the way down the car broke down, they were very lucky not to have had an accident, the wheel bearings went and the back tyre nearly came off while they were doing 60mph on the motorway. they phoned V up while we were in tesco's doing the shopping. So V drove nearly 2 hours to where they were. Luckily he found a garage that could recover them. however this meant that V had to drive them to ours and the car would not be ready till today(mon). They had plans for going out to visit loads of the older family members along with the ozzies. So thinking on our feet new plans had to be made.

So yesterday with the car packed with 3 generations we drove to meet up with the ozzies for lunch. After the initial greeting and photos the kids got bored with the older folk reminising. Its 20 + years since my FIL has seen his brother so they had a lot to catch up on. Our original idea was the inlaws would have their car so after lunch we could have taken the kids and left the oldies to it. However in the end a whole day was spent together in a smallish cottage while it chucked down with rain and 3 boys were complaining they were bored. When it eventually stopped raining the kids were taken to the local park.

When it was time to go it was so poignant when the sister in laws said goodbye as they both knew it may be the last time they would see each other. The brothers both being proud men had tears in their eyes as they hugged. Both V and I had lumps in our throats. WE are just so glad we made it possible for them to meet up.

Today V has set off with his parents to reunite them with their car as they make their way back up to Arran. WE presented his parents with a cd copy of all the photos that were taken yesterday. WE will see his parents in July when the kids go to stay on Arran while we are inteviewed by the oz army.

AS for the ozzies, V is taking them to their next destination on Friday when they visit more family in Derbyshire .

V's aunt has told us she has a bottle of wine with our names on for when we get to oz. Bless them they want us over there as much as we want to be there.

So a hectic weekend is over and normaility is resuming, im back to the books to work on another assignment. Thankfully this one i know what im doing so im not winging it lol.

I just hope that there is a god and he will make sure we do finally get to emigrate to oz.

Well back to the books


High's and lows of civvy street

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:31, Mon 27 April 2009 | 3 comments | Link

V is now officially unemployed. He has applied for hundreds of jobs and has been to the job center. At last he has recived his lump sum from the army so we can crack on with his assesment for engineers australia. I think it makes sense to keep our options open re getting into oz. the oz army have asked V for the police checks so thats what he will be doing next, hopefully they will be done intime for the interview in July. Either way we are doing all we can to ensure we get a chance of emigrating to oz.

He is very frustratied from all the rejection letters and emails he is getting . Although he is trying to look on the bright side he is getting to spend time with the kids and on Friday helped the school with a bike ride for C's class. He got a buzz out of feeling usefull. 

 Im still plodding on with my course, i sent my 2nd assignment off a week late but it was so hard trying to get it done with the kids off school. I still get days where i wonder what im doing , but at the same time im really enjoying learning about health promotion. I just hope i pass the course.

Ive also got an application ready to send off for a return to practice course at York uni. hopefully getting back on the register, will give me more options once i get to oz and of course in the meantime while we wait to hop over the water.

The course starts in October which is great timing as this health promotion course ends with an end of course assignment in October.

The dr has put me on orlistat again, im not convinced it will help with losing weight. I contacted a private clinic and they said i would be eligible in principle for lap band surgery. Im seriously considering it as my clothes just dont fit me. ive cut right back and all the walking im doing getting the kids to school should help me to lose weight but it doesn't seem to be.

I know my metabolic rate is extreemly low so im not buring calories like i should and i try to eat very healthy. Hopefully when i see the dr next for a weigh in i will have lost weight and he will continue the tablets. If not then im going to seek a consult with the private clinic.

I got a new bike at the weekend so as a family we can go out on rides making use of the many cycle paths around us.

Im having a break from studying today as my left eye is very blood shot and sore, not sure why, possibibly from the new contact lens my optician has got me to try. I shall try tommorow but if it causes my eye to feel sore i shall just go back to my old one.

Well my eye is watering so im off to rest again. 

Something to look forward to at long last

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:03, Thu 2 April 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Having out of the blue recieved an email from the oz army, it seems this route could be back on for us.

V is having his medical this afternoon, which the results will be sent to the oz army. WE have been given an interview date of the 29th of July. We are trying to not get too excited, but on that day we will know whether it is a yay or nay from the oz army. V is concerned about passing the medical, his hearing being the main factor.

V is still waiting to hear if he has been sucessful with jobs he has applied for and interviewed for. At the moment its hard to judge. I know he is getting bored now and despite me being busy studying has no inclination to do any housework. Yet he used to be the first one to complain about the state of the house when he was working. Im not going to nag him as its just not worth it.

Im currently doing  a research about Beatties model used in health promotion, ive got till the 16 th to get it sent off. My brain certainly is getting over load at the mo. Im enjoying this course though, even though it is a big challenge for me. Im no longer doing essays but projects and 2 small (750) words summaries. Im finding this harder than writing a 1500 or 2000 word essay.

Im glad i passed my first assignment as it has given me a little more confidence.

Im off to Arran on Monday till Sunday so V can sort out his dad's car and we will be away for D's 11 birthday . The kids are looking forward to the break and seeing every one on Arran.

When we get back ive got appointments with the contact lens people and im going to see if im suitable for laser eye treatment. V thinks it may be worth it for me, so i will see what the opticans think. Ive also got a review with the dr about my thyroid treatment. AS my weight has just kept going up im getting very worried, my BMI is now nearly 35. Im going to ask about lap band surgery to see if im a suitable candiate. I try so hard not to eat the wrong foods and my diet is usually very healthy so for the weight to be keep rising is causing me a lot of anxiety. Especially if my weight could cause problems getting into oz.

Spring has certainly arrived and with it my mood has lifted , sitting at my desk and looking out at blue skies certainly is doing me some good.

Well id best get back to the research as assignments dont do themselves. 

Mothers day

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:10, Mon 23 March 2009 | 0 comments | Link

Once a gain a day filled with memories of my gran. We all went to church this morning, there was a christening on of  2 children, a lovley service. Although D was babtised as Cof E the service was very different to how i remember his christening. AS the vicar from this church had vouched for us on D's application to sfx, it was only right that we should up hold the promise and go to her church. It was a very welcoming place, which was good as the kids were a little nervous. C is methodist like my self so things felt strange for him a few little changes than the methodist church we last attended. J went out to junior church and made me a lovley mothers day card and posy. D was a little miffed at having to go to church seen as we have now found out that he cant get a place at sfx as it is full in his year group. WE could appeal to the govenors of the church but to be honest as we have been non practising church goers for a long time i didn't think we stood a chance, against the kids who go every week and were confirmed c of e.

Hopefully we can still get in at either  Richmond or Bedale High.

Any how back to mothers day, V was not organised at all, all i asked for were some nice flowers , no choccys. AS he left it till the last minute with the boys the shops had no flowers. So when i woke up on Sunday morning to a plate of cold jam and toast (at least they tried) and a cuppa, i was presented with a sweeping brush, ( i was very diplomatic and said thank you to the boys whilst giving V the look), the boys had made lovley cards for me, which really made it special. i go choccys and a cd (take that circus) so i could grumble about that. i then asked V what he was cooking for my special dinner, he replied pizza from the take away. I must confess i was starting to feel a little annoyed at him, he had been told that i would not be cooking and i expected either for him to make an effort and cook a proper meal from scratch like i do and like my dad does for my mam. If he could not so that then to make sure he knew a place to take us for a meal out. AS usual it was lasr minute dot com. I ened up on the lap top looking for some where to go, but when we got there it was fully booked up. so we drove round till we eventually found somewhere that could cater for the 5 of us.

I think V realised he had been useless as usual at organising something special.

I keep thinking back to days gone by when mothers day was a time for kids to show how much they appreciated the mother/ granmother of the family. Last year we were in Germany and it felt strange as it was only 3 months since my gran had died. I still thought of her and wanted to put flowers on her grave, but V didn't fancy the drive up just for that. hmm!

I spoke to my mum and told her that a card was on its way, i had asked V to post them last week, he eventually posted them on Saturday. I suppose despite me studying and him being bored and watching day time tv is a good excuse for nothing getting done.


Any way enough of the whinging, V is on his way down south as he has an interview tommorow assessing the young soldiers for NVQ's. Im not too sure how things will pan out if he gets offered the job, as he would have to live down there in furnished accomadation ( if he can find any) and  i would need a car for getting around here. so financially i dont think we would be better off. Once again he would be home late friday and leaving on Sunday afternoon. Im not sure i fancy living like that again even if it is only for a few months till he can get another job closer to home.   

I do feel for V he is fed up with hardly any positive replies from the jobs he is applying for. It hasn't helped that our estate agents in charge of the house we rent out havent paid the rent for last month. WE have phoned, text, emailed and short of using carrier pigeon have used every means possible to find out why the rent has not been paid in to the bank. AS our funds are extreemly low, which is why V has gone for an interview so far south.

Well id best get this assignment finished before i get a telling off from my tutor    

South lakes zoo

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:05, Mon 16 March 2009 | 0 comments | Link

Yesterday we finally got to take the kids to the zoo as part of their birthday treat. Last weekend was so wet and windy there was no way we could go. So we set off with a flask of tomato soup for the boys and coffee for us, sarnies and pasties.

We had a great day, despite it taking a good 2 hours V had thought it took only an hour. Why he did not listen to me when i told him it was longer than that i dont know.

the ring tailed lemurs again stole the show, last time we went a few years ago for the boys birthday there was snow on the ground and a chill in the air. C got attacked by an emu who slipped on the snow. so he was wary this time. However he was brave enough to take a photo up close of an emu on his own camera.

The boys actually took time to read the posters about the animals this time instead of just charging up to see them in action.

I treat myself to a lovley picture of a giraffe with the map of Africa in the background. Its what i consider a warm picture and ive found the ideal spot in our living room.

Last night a sleepy J said it was the best day ever, he loved it and looking at the photos he took on his camera he could be a photographer when he is older. He captured a lovely peacock and is very proud of it. So im going to get it printed off and framed to go in his room.

C was amazed by the lemurs running around and jumping over the barriers, one brushed past him and virtually put his bum in his face. He thought it was soft and cuddly and was chuckling about it  at bed time.

It was late and dark by the time we got home, after a quick bath/shower it was time for bed.

This morning it was like waking the dead, luckily we still made it to school on time.

Today is the dead line for the appeal letters, we drove down to Harrogate on Saturday to ensure the education authority got the forms on time.

We have a meeting with SFX on Wed with D  hopefully it will help in the decision the lea make about where D is to recieve his senior schooling.

Our main argument was about the lea giving a place at a school we had not chosen, mainly a failing school. so hopefully the letter V has written will be good enough.

Any way  im half way though my assignment , which this time is in 3 parts of 500 words each, ive almost finished the 1st part before my brain got foggy. So after my lunch id best get back to it.


Back in the UK and wishing we were in oz

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:34, Wed 4 March 2009 | 1 comments | Link

Finally found time to up date the blog.

The house is lovley and the estate is quiet, neighbours lovley. Kids are happy at their new school and have settled in really well. Despite only being 45 mins away from Durham my parents have still not been to visit our new home. It was J's 7th birthday today and not even a card from them although they phoned this morning while he was still in bed.

I made a bananna bread cake and used roll out icing on and got candles that spelt his name . He was well impressed.

The boys now go to beavers, cubs and scouts and love it. its such a relief to see my boys happy.

V still hasn't got a job lined up and money is tight, so much so that we havent managed to sent of the engineers australia stuff to go matilda yet. Will have to wait for V's pension money to come through next month.

Im enjoying my new course and feeling confident doing it. Ive got my first assignement due in on the 12th but im still catching up with the reading and course work. Cant be helped what with moving and having not internet for a few weeks made it difficult.

The only problem we are having is D got turned down for a place at Richmond school although we can appeal. The put his name down for a local school which is under emergency measures for failing its students. No way is D going to that school. WE have today recieved a prospectus from the local catholic/coe school which we had as second choice. So we are going to try and get him in there. As he new freind at his current school will be going there to.

Not much more to add, apart from i cant believe the snow we have had in catterick. I hate the cold and long for the warmth of oz.

Its V's 40th tommorow , then C's 9th birthday on Sunday so if the weather is ok we are off to the south lakes zoo in the lake district on Saturday. Going to church on sunday to the place we got C and J christened.

Its strange living on the edge of the garrison and no longer part of the army, its strange having V home all the time, well its only been 3 weeks. Saying that family is good.

Well thats it for now. 


Surrounded by boxes

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:31, Tue 10 February 2009 | 1 comments | Link

My whole life is slowly being boxed up ready for Thursday . As i was going through some of my drawers i found a letter from Ina, possibibly the last letter i got from her before she died, i then found a lovley card from my granma  to the boys, in it she described what her and granda were up to. I welled up as i read it, i miss them all so much. When ever i moved house and opened the door to my new house there was always a card on the door step from Ina and my gran.  this time there will be none. There will be no more excited phone calls describing the new house and thanking them for the cards.

AS i was clearing out stuff and decluttering i realised that some ornaments and keepsakes can never be replaced so they will come with us where ever we go. However there are some stuff i have that mean very little to me, things i bought and or have been given that i no longer need or like so i will get rid of. It has been a somewhat theraputic yet painful process. like finding old letters. I can never part with them. Some are from when i training to be a nurse. They are part of my history.

Im glad im leaving Germany now, the past year has not been a kind year for us out here. Its a clean start, a chance to put a few demons behind me.

We start life as a civvy family and not another army family. I know our move to Catterick will be a tempoary move while we wait for the visa process to take shape.

I know emigration is a roller coaster of emotions and seeing the fires in Victoria made me realise just what being in Australia and in Victoria may mean. There may be risks in living in a hot country. The heartache i felt watching the devestation to a place i hope one day to call home. I imagined what my family would feel knowing we were living there if another fire happened. Despite the emotions i know in my heart that i would rather take the risk of living in a country where things can happen such as fires, hurricans and other natural disasters.

Every time i feel some doubts creaping in to my mind, i can my gran saying life is always full of dangers but if you try and avoid them you will miss out on a good and exciting life. You could get run over by a bus just walking across the road to get a loaf of bread.

I know pur roller coaster has been along one and our first avenue has come to nothing, but we will try another and hope it pays off.

Moving back to the UK gives me a chance to say my goodbyes properly to family and freinds who have affected my life both positivly and negativly. If we had gone from Germany straight to oz i could not have done that.

AS V says we can sort our life out and do what is important before we finally can say goodbye to the UK.

My Uncle Steve used to say life is what you make it, just go out and live it. Those special people who were a big part of my life that are no longer on earth im sure follow me and help me make the right choices in life.

WE may be going to Catterick, with no job in the offering, with my final OU course to get my BSc, money may be tight but i know if we pull together as a family we can make it.

Ive more packing to do so i shall see ya when i get to Yorkshire  


A week to go then its civvy street

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:11, Fri 6 February 2009 | 2 comments | Link

I cant believe this time next week the army house will be handed over , the removal van will have all our possesions, the car will be loaded to the gunnals and we will be driving through Europe to get the single trip from Rotterdam to Hull.

 V found out yesterday that he had not got the job in Linton. So back to the drawing board. I was searching the jobs boards all last night, found a few of interest for him.

D is still causing us some concern at school, part of it im sure is the fact that his teacher is obnoxious and is picking on the lad. However im well aware of his faults so im still trying to ensure he keeps his head down and gets a good school report.

V and I have both been ill over the past 2 weeks. V was ill most of last week and still has the husky voice (rather sexy). I spent Monday- Wednesday in bed . just as well im feeling a bit better as its my ladies night out tonight so i can say good bye to the good girlys who have helped me stay sane whilst living here.

Ive got a million and one jobs to do so best crack on.


Its all coming together now, feeling more relaxed about the move.

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:36, Fri 23 January 2009 | 0 comments | Link

V got back in the early hours of yesterday morning and so much has been sorted out by us for the move back to the UK.

V loved the house when he saw it and my gut feelings when i saw it were correct, great area to bing up the boys and big enough to give us space. the only issue he has was the pale coloured walls and pale carpets , with 3 boys that is going to be tricky to keep it clean. So we have thought of a way round that. We will get some very large rugs or carpet off cuts and put over the pale carpets, so at least i will be able to relax more. I was impressed when i saw the video footage and photos he took of the place.

V was more than impressed with the school and having read the most recent ofstead report i feel happy that ive chosen a good school. V felt the school was small enough for the kids to be made welcome, there are also some army kids go to the school and the staff fully understand how unsettling it can be for kids who move schools frequently. The only problem we have is D goes to senior school in September and the school in our catchment area is under special measures and was very badly reported on in their ofsted report. V also saw some of the kids coming out of the school smoking. I had already looked up other schools near enough and i may be able to get him into Richmond school it has an excellent reputation. I emalied the head and he said in principle D could go to the school but its up to the school administration dept, he also said i would be responosible for getting him to school as he is out of the catchment area. However i do know kids from the garrison go to the school and there are buses availabe. I should of applied for his school place last October but obviously we wern't in a psotion to do so. However i shall fight to get him in to this school as no way to i want him to go to the school in the catchment area.

V has come back from his interview feeling very confident there is another candidate to be interviewed so V should know with in the next few weeks as to whether he has the job or not.

We have decided to take Hammy the hamster back with us, after a quick call to check on the rules with DEFRA there are no problems and he doesn't need a pets passport or anything like that . Just need to get the Vet to pass him as been healthy enough to travel to show the ferry company. We also need to get him an appropriate travel box.

Benji just needs to have a tick and tapeworm treatment on the day before we travel as his rabies jab is still ok. His booster lasts 3 years so he wont need doing till 2010.

The removals are booked for Thurday 12th the army take the quarter over on Fiday 13th (worried about that) and we travel on the overnight sleeper ferry that night. Furniture arrives on the Monday . The kids will be staying at my parents once we arrive till we get the house sorted which is way moving during the holidays is so good .

The OU have sent me a letter to say that despite the evidence i produced and what i felt were valid reason to have my exam result checked, they have decided not to re-score my exam. So that is that. I shall now be continuing on with the Open BSc degree with out honours.

Maybe if i can afford it or if i feel the desire to do another course to gain my hons degree in Health and Social care i will but for now i shall continue my efforts to pass my new course which starts soon. My study materials have still not arrived and i am getting worried, if they are not here by Monday i shall chase them up.

Next week is my cleaners last day and i shall really miss her she really has been a godsend in helping keep the house the way i like it. Ive told V if he gets the i would very much like to get another cleaner to do the basics while im concentrating on my course. I dont whether it is the done thing or not but i will buy my cleaning angel a bouquet of flowers and a card from us. I know some of the officers wives have treat her badly and more or less treat her like a servant. I however have never felt like that towards her. I always felt a bit strange paying someone to clear up after us, when essentialy i would normally do it. But without her dedication to her job my house would be a mess. I just hope i can find another person who i feel comfortable with to come in once a week and sort the house out. 

It will be strange moving back to the garrison, after nearly 7 years away from the area. Both C and J were born in the area and we did enjoy living there. It will be strange being surrounded by army units but not part of them any more. Our closest freinds who are both still in Iraq have told me recently that they are putting in their preference postings to the garrison when they get back. that would be so cool to have our freinds around for a little while.

We are still very much planning on going to oz though i suspect a few people in the family think it wont happen now. We have decided to just keep plodding on with the application, doing all the stuff for Engineers Australia is certainly a lengthy process. Just as V thinks he has done it he re checks and thinks of something else he better put in for the CDR. It will get to Go Mattilda then our fate is in their hands as it were.

Well ive waffeled on enough id best get some work done.    

A manic week organising for the move back to the UK

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:47, Fri 16 January 2009 | 1 comments | Link

V finally got the call, he has an interview so it has been all systems go. His interview is on Wed in North Yorkshire. The army will pay for the travel back to the UK and hotel costs for one night. So technically he should travel Tuesday for the interview Wed. But he got the ok to travel earlier. after all he has to relocate his whole family and needs to sort accomadation and schooling. so he is going to travel back on the early hours of Monday, will stay monday night at my parents and while there will catch up on sleep , get his suit drycleaned and a few other things. Then Tuesday he has arranged to view the house we are going to rent as well as sort the paperwork out , then i made an apt for him to see the head teacher at the school near to the rental. Interview Wed morning and then back on the ferry late Wed night. poor bloke is going to be so knackered.

As we are going to an area we are familiar with and enjoyed living i think we should be ok living in Catterick Garrison. Hopefully we will only be there for a year and then will be on our way to oz.

V is almost finished his CDR then he will be sending it off to go matilda and providing its ok it will then go to Engineers Australia. We is trying to get assessed as an Engineering Manager and if sucessful he will apply for sponosship from Vic gov as they have now included the EM on the skills list. Although V will be 40 with sponsorship and being on the MODL it will give him enough points.

Im still waiting for my new course material to arrive so i can crack on with proper studying. Ive tried using the PDF's but reading from the screen was hurting my eyes too much and giving really bad headaches .

Ive been thinking about what i want to do with my life when we get to oz. Providing i get my BSc i will be eliigble to go on a graduate entry nursing course which lasts 2 years and will give be registered nurse status. In theory it sounds very appealing, however it would mean i would be going back to fulltime uni and training and i would be 40!!!. I found it strange that Sydney uni do the same graduate entry course resulting in a Master of Nursing qualification. Sounds very grand. So i could have a BSc MN after my name. Where as the other places offering the graduate nursing programme it would be BN. Im going to look more into it. I would still like to get into the alcohol and drug work but it seems i in need expereince before i can do the diploma course.  Which is tricky as ive no expereince at all.

The reason ive been thinking about doing the graduate nurse training is that the enrolled nurse training would still be the same length of time but the same end result..

Late last week i spoke with the back to nurse practice course co ordinator and the next available course i could do is in October which is not good timing as it would be 15 weeks long. If we have a visa almost sorted by then , i dont really want to hang around and do the course.

The only thing that has been stoping me from getting on with applying for registration with vic nursing board is the problem with a professional reference from my last employer. So since im going to be living close enough to where i last worked im going to call in and see the matron and try and sort that problem out. If she will agree to give a basic reference then i will try and register with vic . that will at least enable me to do a return to nurse course while living in oz and may give me more options on how my career should progress.

I am so looking forward to getting to oz and being able to have new challenges and a different type of life.

Staying in the UK permanetly does not appeal , even if i did a return to nurse course in the UK i have been told it would be nigh on impossible for me to get work as an EN. Ive looked into to a nursing course, but i would not get a bursary due to already having a degree(that is if i pass). Long term being in the Uk does not give us the options and the life we want to live.

V realises that the UK can only be temp, our life needs to be in oz. this winter has affected me quite badly, ive not felt warm unless the heating has been on high. ive not being able to breath as the air has been so cold, ive been quite miserable , ive got no energy to go outside. walking the dog leaves me freezing . I will be so glad when this snow has thawed and i can see blue skies and the sun.

Any way its time for a cuppa , ive waffelled on enough  

On the move again

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:15, Fri 9 January 2009 | 2 comments | Link

Yesterday was really hectic getting the unpacking done and sorting out our move back to the UK.

We have got a rental sorted out now (reference just need checking) and are aiming to move in during the Feb half term hols. 41 Days !!!!!!!!!

Ive got a primary school sorted out , awaiting the paper work to fill in. V has been told that the interviews will be sometime in the next 2 weeks and he is the strongest candidate for the job(according to the recruitment company). The paperwork is in for the removal company, the army will move us back to the UK at no cost to us, well i suppose 22 years service deserves it. Next week the army come round to do a pre march out and tell us what we will be charged for damages and what we need to do to hand the house over to them.

Ive also sent a letter with support from my Dr to query my exam result to see if my circumstances warrented another look at my exam. If nothing positive comes from it i will continue on with qualifying with an open BSc degree. If they do change their minds and award me the extra point for my exam then i will follow the BSc (hons) in Health and Social Care. Either way providing i pass my course im about to start then i will complete my degree this year and graduate in December or Jan next year.

Im feeling much more positive about the future now, having some where to live after our army life finishes is a relief. Next week im going to start via my PDF booklet with my new OU course. AS moving just as the course has started is not good planning but thats life.

I got an email from the return to practice co ordinator for the North East this morning so if i can sort  a course to enable me to retun to being registered  with the NMC then it will make life easier.

V is slowly sorting out his Engineers Australia paperwork and hopes to get it sent to go matilda before we move to the UK.

As far as we are concerned moving back to the UK for possibilbly up to a year will give us a chance to tie up lose ends and sort the stuff more easily for emigrating to oz . V obviously is not informing the potential employer of our plans to emigrate, as he needs this job to enable to afford to live in the UK while we wait.

well ive got loads to do still so id best crack on as the kids will be home in a few hours and i want their rooms sorted out before they get in    

A hectic time over Christmas and New year

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:31, Thu 8 January 2009 | 0 comments | Link

Arrived in Hull on Christmas day and spent an okay day with my parents and single sister. The kids loved it of course. Boxing day was great it spent with good friends and their kids, we havent seen each other for over 2 years but it felt like it did when we saw them every weekend.

New year was freezing on Arran, so cold we bought a an electric blanket as soon as the shops opened and hot water bottles for the cold.

In some ways i hope that will be our last in freezing conditions.

V has got an interview for a job near York and hopefully he will get it we have lined up a rental in Catterick Garrison.

I shall do a proper up date later on, as ive got the decs to take down , cases to un pack, shopping to get in and of course laundry to start.

I will get a degree after all.

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:38, Mon 15 December 2008 | 2 comments | Link

After speaking with an educational advisor i have decided not to resit my exam, the stress would be too much for me to cope with. Instead i  have changed the degree i am aiming for. I am no longer going for the BSc in Health and Social Care with honours. Instead once i have completed and passed my next course i will be able to graduate with a BSc open degree with no honours. I still have the option of topping up my degree to honours at a later date if i want to .

Now ive made the decision i feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. In the past i would have thought i was taking the easy route or the cowards way out. My parents may even feel that is what i have done. But having suffered the breakdown i dont want to over load the amount of stress i will have. The exam would be in April and i would be a few months into my next course by then, possibibly even doing an assignment at the same time. So to ensure i pass my next course i am going to concentrate all my efforts on to that. I feel that is the most sensible thing to do. Especially when i dont know where i am going to be living after the new year. Nor do we know when we will get to live in oz.

V is still applying for jobs in both oz and the UK and unfortunatly still not getting anything positive.

However we did get an email from South West Victoria about a recruitment team looking for work with sponsorship avaliable, so there is still some hope.

Well ive got a mountain of laundry to do so best get on   

Looking at my options

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:27, Sat 13 December 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Ive had time to reflect on failing my exam. Thank you every one for the supportive messages. They meant a lot to me.

I cant get a remark, its not OU policy. I can do a resit or i can try and get consideration to be taken about my breakdown. However i should have informed the OU 7 days after my exam at the latest. Although they may accept a dr stating that at the time i did not realise i was on auto pilot till i had recovered at the stage im at now.

Another option that is more appealing to me is that of changing my BSc in health and social care (hons) to an open BSc with out honours. Im waiting to find out is this is possible from the OU.

If this is a case it wont matter about failing my exam as long as i pass my next course which starts in Jan/ Feb. It also means i will still graduate at the end of 09.

So i shall have to wait to see.

V is now trying to find work in the UK to tide us over till we get to oz while ive been looking at houses to rent. We have seen a really nice old vicarage which we can rent for 6 months, its huge and cheaper than some of the more modern lego style houses.

Im starting to try and get over the obstacles that seem to be in the way at the moment.

well best get on with tea, the kids are starving lol 


Totally gutted and upset, failed my exam

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:22, Wed 10 December 2008 | 5 comments | Link

I can barely type through the tears. Just seen on my OU website that i have failed my exam, by one measly point. I can resit the exam component but i think it has to be in April. I dont know where i will be living then.

Im in limbo. We have to go back to the UK to live. V has applied for a job in North Yorkshire on a RAF base, if he gets that he starts in Feb. Ive enguired about an old vicarage to live in on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, its only a 6 month let but hopefully it will help us get sorted.

So what am i going to do about my failed exam?

My new course starts in Feb and its one ive been looking forward to for over a year. My live at the moment is all hinged on what ifs.

Having worked so damm hard on a course i didn't enjoy i dont know if i have the strength to re sit the exam. If i do i dont want it to have a knock on effect on the course i will have started.

To fail by one point is really hard to accept. I know others failed the course too but they haven't got another course starting.

This year i think has had to be one of the worst years ive had in a long time.

Temporary plans to go to the UK, till we get a visa

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:22, Fri 5 December 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Whether we like it or not reality is that we will now to be relocate to the UK for possibibly up to a year.

We finally got word back from the oz army and they are not recruiting V's rank as thay have to many and only need Cpls so that is no good for us. so our reserve plan is quashed now.

We have now decided to use a migration agent and after emailing 3 highly recommended agents that use BE we have plummed for go matilda. The consultant whom i have spoken with has advised that they can ensure that V has the best possible chance of passing his skills assesment with Engineers Australia and get assessed as either a mechamical Engineer or even Engineer manager. they have read his CV and his career history and feel confident that it is possible. So with their help we hope to start the visa process asap.

So where do we live in the UK? we cant possibly live with family for up to a year, a few months maybe but no more. so ive been on rental websites and the cheapest rental areas that i could find for a 4 bedroom house were in Hull. Having done my EN training there and having a few friends still in the area and a cousin who works in the automotive industry im thinking of getting in touch with him and seeing what suitable work there would be for V.

We are still gutted that we have to move back to the UK, and we will have to start making plans as once Christmas is over then it wont be long till V is out of the army. Luckily we will have his army pension to supplement us in case he cant work for a few months.

I think realistically although i will be doing my fial OU course im going to have to try and get a return to nurse course done and get my self re-registered with the NMC.

Ive given up trying to register with NSWNB as they were putting do many obstacles in the way which i could not get over. so after emailing NBV i was advised to phone them up and speak directly to the registration board. So Wednesday night i stayed up late and spoke to alovely woman who informed me that in Victoria they take each individual applicant as a seperate case so those that dont fit the criteria exactly  have a good chance of still gaining registration. Even though i have not worked for nearly 6 years now, they are still happy to process me providing my last employer can confirm that i did work and my hours and role i had. So ive got my fingers crossed that my ex boss will do that for me. They are quite happy for me to show copies of old pay statements for my previous jobs as well.

If that is not going to work out then i will use my degree (providing i pass) and do an extra diploma course in Alcohol and Drug counselling. Then when i do finally get to oz i have the option of working in the welfare or social work field.

Its been of a crappy week for V getting so many knock backs from jobs he has applied for that he has been a little down with it all. which is proabaly why i took the bull by the horns and contacted migration agents.

AS V's attempts have proved fruitless as they people he spoke with gave him a load of rubbish.

The cold weather has really affected my mood too, i hate feeling cold and all the snow and the chill factor have meant i have rarely left the house other than the school run. Even then if i could i got V to take the boys.

WE have yet another busy Saturday with the boys and football, last  Saturday, C had his match at 12 we had to be there at 11.30 for the warm up etc. It was freezing on the touch lines, which the fact V broke the flask did not help. After C's match D's started by which time my feet were so cold i could barely stand . How the boys didn't feel the cold i do not know. any how it took nearly 2 hours for me to defrost once i was in the house.

So this Saturday, D has a match in one place he is going with his mate and dad. C has a match at the other side of town then in the afternoon they have an indoor tournament at the football club. Ive told V i will watch the tournament but i will keep J at home with me. ( he got so bored watching the football and made a bit of a nuisence of him self).

Well thats my news , on with sorting things out for the dreaded move to the UK.


Hopes of a job are dashed today

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:18, Tue 2 December 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Still realing from the email that stated V was not going to be shortlisted for the jobs he applied for with Thales. Thing what annoyed me is they sent emails that sounded very promising. so we are back to square one. Feeling gutted for V as he cant understand why he is getting knock backs. Especially when he feels his skills are very much wanted.

However we did get an email out of the blue from a rep from Warambool on the Southern Coast of Victoria. When we were at the expo in Leeds in October we handed out CV's to lots of people and to be honest cant remeber who got one.

Anyhow we have been placed on a data base for skilled migrants and our details passed on to a recruiting agent.

I just really hope we get some good news soon as the time is getting closer to us leaving Germany and we will have no where to live and no job to go to.


Dilemma, not sure what to do

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:33, Fri 28 November 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Well operation oz is not going to plan that is sure.

One of the jobs that V was going for with Thales is a no go, but he did apply for 2 more with them so fingers crossed that something comes of them.

We now have to think what we are going to do if we cant get to oz in April when V is officially out of the army and we are homeless.

1 Stay with my parents, not ideal although a 5 bedroom house it is very cluttered and i feel claustrophobic there.

2 Stay with V's parents on Arran, plenty of places for the kids to play but only a 3 bed house and Benji would be a problem as Tinker is living there now and their last encounter when we lived in the UK saw Benji try to eat Tinker.

3 Kick our tennents out and move back to our home which could be for a month or a year (we just dont know) then we may have problems getting a tennent to move back in.

4 Look for a rental for ourselves not sure where or for how long

5 try and get a house in Germany and stay here till we move, however the kids would have to go to a German school and we would not get the army perks we have now.

6 Pray that some how an employer will sponsor V and we can move to oz ASAP.

My brain is hurting with trying to decide what we should do.

V is applying for his assessment with engineers Australia and is doing the CDR in the hope he gets Mechanical Engineer. But even that wont allow us to get to oz by April.

So im praying and hoping that our plans suddenly start to work the way we want it to.


Its snowing in Paderborn

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:44, Mon 24 November 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Friday when i was walking to the bus stop to get D of the bus the snow started, it was really bad overnight. D's football match was cancelled due to the bad weather on saturday. Thankfully we had a reprieve yesterday and managed to get to the Christmas fayre. However we woke up this morning the snow has came back with avengence. Ive just walked the kids to school and ive come back resembling a snowman. A bowl of porridge has warmed me up apart from my toes.

The kids of course love all this snow, as i did when i was a kid , But now im a sensible adult id much rather be snug in the house drinking a cappachino with a dash of baileys.(only on a night mind.

Still not much happening on the operation oz front.


So frustrated at lack of news from potential employer

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:00, Fri 21 November 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Why is it a company makes all the right noises so you start getting excited that you could be getting sponsorship and plans can start to be made.

Then you hear nothing despite emails and requests to find out when is the best time to speak with them.

As time creeps on we need to make plans on what to do when V is out of the army, do we put our furniture in storage and live on Arran with V's family, do we live with my family (not an option i really want too crowded)

V is getting so disheartened he has applied for loads of jobs that he is capable off and when Thales got in touch we thought yay we have a good prospect here. V has even told them tha tif they could sponsor him for either the ENS or RSMS he could leave the army before April as early as late Jan/ Early Feb, would be a rush but we are so desperate to get to oz. Its our dream and it seems as though it could be slipping away from us.

Im now classed as a lapsed enrolled nurse now, feels weired not being able  just get a job any more. I have decided that should we get to oz , once ive got my degree i shall do one  more course but at TAFE and do a alcohol and drug course so i caould work as a case worker or counsellor, as i think i may be more suited to welfare and health related work. Time will tell, so far every plan we have made something has come along to change things, sometimes for the better other times for the worse. (if that makes sense)

Last weekend we had a proud parent moment when C on his debut for his football club came away with the man of the match. He played his little heart out, the team lost 2-3 but i was still proud. He did have a match to play tommorow but the bad weather has caused it to be cancelled. D however still has an away match to go to in the afternoon. The boys are really enjoying their football. It seems to have boosted their self confidence up.

D got a hamster on Sunday, for free, its called sleepy although D calls it hammy. I hardly see it as it lives up to its original name. Benji is not sure about it and keeps pestering it, poking his nose up to the bars and staring at the poor mite. We think Benji may be allergic to it as after pestering it he coughs like he has a fur ball. And no the hamster is not in his mouth lol. 

Winter is certainly here in Paderborn, the heating keeps getting turned up as the temp keeps dipping and i start shivering. Despite the wolly jumpers and hats and gloves coming out im still freezing taking the kids to school. To add to my cold misery, it has been so wet and windy. the lights have been on most of the time as it is so dark too. I reckon it wont be long before the snow starts. At least  the kids will be happy. ( just looked out of the window and it has indeed started a hail/sleet/snowy rain) great , my poor cleaner has to walk to the bus stop in this.

Ive not heard from my freinds who went to Iraq last week, as they say no news is good news. I hope they stay safe.

Well my hands are numb with the cold and i cant type with gloves on , so im off for a warming cuppa


The up and downs of this migration roller coaster

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:57, Wed 19 November 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Despite V emailing Thales about arranging a chance to have a chat to see what the prospect of getting a job with them, we have heard nothing.

Thing is they have indicated that they are keen on employing him, they just need him in oz.

V has finally got his IENG rubber stamped, so his next stage is to get his CDR done for engineers australia. Hopefully he will get assessed as a Mechanical engineer, which will enable a 175 or 176 to be applied for. However if all he gets is the ME technologist then our choice of visa is very limited. With out employer sponsorship we would only be able to apply for the regional visa for queensland. An area we dont really want to go to. But getting to oz for us is so important we would have to do it.

One minute we think we have things sorted, then something comes along to cast doubt over whether we can actually get a visa.

ah well back to the real world and the house work 

Feels like we are in limbo

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:53, Fri 14 November 2008 | 0 comments | Link

We are still no further forward on this migration roller coaster. We are still waiting to hear from Thales to see if they would be prepared to sponsor us. Even though V hasn't been offered an interview, an email we got off the recruiting guy did seem to suggest they were interested.

The Murray regional board had said they would have a chat and find out some information from Thales. So far nothing. Its just so frustrating.

Once V gets back from Switzerland then he will throw himself into sorting out his Engineers Australia skills assessment. With out that we cant progress any further. He will either get asssessed as a mechanical engineer or mechanical engineer technologist. Hopefully the former as then we can apply for the independent visa or even get Victoria to sponsor us. If its the latter then we will need sponsorship from an employer or possibly as a last resort sponsorship from Queensland on a temp regional visa, which really is our last hope. As that is the only place that lists mechanical engineering technologist as being in demand and it is only on their temp visa listing.

WE still have recieved no information pack from migration abroad or email. Will be checking to see if they have taken our money for nothing. Not sure what we can do about the money if they have taken it and not produced the goods. Certainly will not get them to act on our behalf as agents.

All this has made me feel a bit fed up, i was so optomistic after the Leeds expo, but know im feeling as though we will never get to oz.

The kids have been a real pain as well, they all want to go to oz and keep asking when we will be moving. All i can say is when we get a visa sorted out. Which is like asking how long is a piece of string.

J has been in trouble at school again, they phoned to say if he has any more bad behaviour then he will be expelled. The annoying thing is his behaviour in class is now much better, he is working harder and trying to concentrate more. The problem now lies in the times he is outside in the play ground.

Ive also had a letter send home about D my eldest, we need to make an apt to see his teacher as she is concerned about his behaviour as he has lately becoming silly in class. Apparentley his best friend also got a note home, although his mum has checked his school bag so not sure if he said that to get off the hook or not. I only found out when D when to bed.

I just sometimes feel like i must be a bad parent to be having so many problems with the kids at the moment. It always seems like it's my kids thats in bother , yet there are more trouble makers that go to both their schools who never seem to have a problem with the teachers. It could just be me being paranoid of course. 

 Im sure the lack of knowledge about what is going to happen to their lives after their birthdays must be praying on their minds, i know it is on mine.

Im one of those people who likes a plan even if it is a flexible plan so i can make arrangements etc.

WE have only around 5 months left before V is in the army and i DO NOT want to go back to live in the UK, but if we havent got sorted out with a visa then we will have to. Its so frustrating the not knowing, the wondering if it is all going to work out. Just recently ive dreamed about a our new life, the house we will live in the stuff we will get up to , the freedom the boys will get.

I know Australia is not  going to be some magic place that nothing ever goes wrong. Im well aware of the pit falls and problems we may well encounter, but despite all of that i just want to shout gizza job and let us get to oz.

It doesn't help that it is getting colder here in Paderborn and the weather is awful most of the time. I hate the cold and have had such a bad summer i need some sunshine in my life to help me get through the periods of winter weather. I honestly think i may be developing SAD, ive just lost my motivation and if i could i would just hibernate in bed till the sun comes out.

Looking forward to living in oz is what has kept me going through all the crap ive gone through in the past couple of years so i just hope my dream is not about to be shattered.

right time i was getting a nice mug of cappachinno to warm me up, my fingers are almost iced over, my nose is blue and im starting to resemble a snow man. I kid you not, i feel that cold, im wearing more layers on me than an onion.

so Australia LET ME In

The reality of conflict and war and army life

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:59, Sun 9 November 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Last night V and i went out for a farewell meal with our friends, not because we are leaving but because they are deploying to Iraq this week. When they get back (which i hope to god they do) we will hopefully be on are way to oz.

It was such a fanatstic night, we drank to the future, a safe return from Iraq for them, then we had a toast for our fallen friends.

It wasn't till it was time for us to leave the bar to come home that it hit us all that this could be farewell forever.

AS with the army life you get posted and people come and go. WE have been lucky that 18 years ago when i first met my bro Mick and had such an intense relationship and had a bond that will last for life. V and Mick are like brothers and i was the same with him. In army life that is very rare.

so i was delighted that my bro was in Paderborn, although we had not seen each other for over 15 years, it was like we were never aparted.

His wife has become a dear friend and she to is deploying to Iraq. On having a final farewell hug we were all in tears, partly through the drink but because of the fear of the un known.

Paderborn is becoming a ghost town as the soldiers leave to serve once more for Queen and country.

A while back V got his photos out from when he first passed out into the army, out of those not many are still in the army and sadly a fair few have died in conflicts since 1990.

AS a wife over the years ive supported scores of wives who have found army life difficult, ive held them when they have been told their hubby had been injured , ive been their holding their hands when the husbands have sadly died.

This time is different as V isn't going and it feels strange when the boys friends talk about their dads leaving. C my middle son his two closest friends their dads are going away. Its heart breaking hearing them talk about their daddy may not come home , like its a normal thing.  Famlies who are part of the army have a tough life and although im glad that V will never see conflict again, he still has the memories of serving in the Gulf in 1990 when he was travelling in convoy when it was hit by freindly fire, he lost many comrades that day. I will always remember the anguish i felt when i heard it on the news, not knowing if V was injured or not. The guilt when he survived but my neighbours husband didn't.

So tonight, i remember those people i have known who have died since 1990. I shall also say a prayer for those deploying shortly, for a safe return for them all.

No matter where i am in the world i will remember them

I really needed that holiday it was great

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:38, Fri 7 November 2008 | 1 comments | Link

WE all had a great time in Holland at the Center Parcs at Loohurst

It wasn't as busy as the one we were at fro christmas last year, the pool wasn't as good (at least that it what the kids thought)

But we all needed a break and made the most of it. the kids found the Dutch signs hilarious trying to prounounce words in a pretend Sean Connery voice.

It was good to just have fun. the pool tired both me  and V completly, after the first day in the pool, we managed to get the kids in bed before 8 and we were asleep before 9.

Our freinds came by train and v met them at Eindhoven, so we could show them around. WE had a lovely meal at the resort family grill restaurent. Ive never seen the kids eat so much.

Our holiday home was near a lake with a load of ducks and J managed to mimic the duck call and had them following him every where. He kept singing here comes the ducks yeah (think the song here comes the girls and you get the picture).

On the day before the holiday finished we went to vist our freinds in Amsterdam, following the trusty satnav. Mel lives not far from the city center above a row of shops so parking was a bit of a problem.

the flat was very modern and it felt homely, Mel and her mum took us on the tram which the kids thought was brill having never been on one, J in particular was amazed by it. Ive never known him be so quiet.

Once in the town center we had a trip on a canal boat. The boys have been on the boat trip around York before, but for them this was so much better , it was a case of look at this look at that, 3 very excited boys.

Afterwards we had Dutch hotdogs, yummy. followed by a walk around the main area.

All in all a brill day. Thanks Mel and Margaret for such a wonderful day in your company 

WE got back to Loohurst late at night, and 3 very sleepy boys had soup and buns and went straight to bed.

Last Friday we got back in time to get sorted for trick and treating. V took J around for 30 mins and the older 2 were with the freinds with discreet parents watching. ( the boys like to think they were on their own) Both boys ended up at different halloween sleep overs . so it was a quiet night for us.


The weekend , saw me catching up on the washing.

V left for Switzerland on the Sunday and i must say ive missed him so much.

Thankfully he is back late tonight.

This week has not been great, ive had a bug and have spent most of it in bed. D now has the bug and has had yesterday and today off school. the  today J complained of a poorly tummy, so i took pity on him and told him to stay in bed. I must of fallen asleep for a couple of hours and when i woke up D informed me the J had been mucking around and been a right pest, so the little toerag had pretended to be ill. If i wasn't feeling so shattered myself i would have took him back to school.

Whilst all this has been going on, we have had contact with the Murray regional board, they are going to see Thales to find out if there is a job avaliable for V and sponsorship is possible.

So thats all that is happening with us. time for a cuppa

A positive vibe from the weekend at Leeds expo.

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:05, Tue 21 October 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Despite us now knowing we cant use my skills to get the extra 5 points for the 175 visa. We have now a few options open up to us.V spoke with a few engineering companies who were very keen and have taken his cv. One of them had a very good relocation package aswell.

We spoke a great deal with murray regional board as V had applied for a job in Mulwala and the board have said they will get in touch with the company to ensure they know they will get support to sponsor V on a Regional sponsored migration scheme to get a permanent visa. So that looks hopefull.

Queensland also showed interest in sponsoring us for state sponsorhip, as were WA.

Victoria have saifd to keep an eye out on their skills list as it is changing soon and it could benefit us.

I also spoke with ramsey health who have told me once ive got registration through with NSWNB  that if i email them they will help get me on a return to nursing course at one of their hospitals. So again it looks promising.

So all in all the expo for us was a good expereince and we have gained a lot of contacts .

So next step is for V to get his assessment done by engineers australia. The result of that will depend on how we proceed. If he gets assessed as a mechanical engineer then we can still go for the 175. If not then it will be either the rsms or 176.

Time for a nap, as i got back at 4am and im knackered.   

Had a brain wave

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:16, Wed 15 October 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Something my freind said to me last night has just dawned on me, she said i should use my qualifications ive gained to get to oz.

So i did a bit of research and it looks like i may have a way for us to get the independent visa. Im now looking into getting my qualifications assessed as a a welfare worker using my expereince of nursing alongside my diploma in health and social welfare.Lets hope it will be possible. Fingers crossed

Operation oz

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:39, Wed 15 October 2008 | 0 comments | Link

It looks like operation oz is not going to b e straight forward. not that we thought it was going to be easy.

NSWNB have emailed me to say they need more information, firstly a passport, lucki;y i can scan and print the pages they want from my passport, they then asked for evidence of my working history so have copied as many pay statements as i could, my character references hadn't been sent, that was easy to sort out just phoned my friend up to remind her. She felt so embarrassed about that.

The hardest to sort out is my professional reference as my last employer wont give me a reference as i hadn't worked there for so long. Not sure what i can do about that. Lastly the nursing transcripts that the NMC sent apparently weren't good enough as they did not have any theoretic components nor a syllabus of training. So that is going to be a hard hurdle to overcome.

Poor V is getting demented with how to get his skiils assessed, as it stands he can be assessed as an engineering technologist  via the sydney accord. However that is not MODL so we are going to need sponosrship to get to oz.

However there is a glimmer of hope as V has applied for a few jobs with Thales in Mulwala, they have emailed him wanting more information. So fingers crossed they will be willing to sponsor him and that will be out route to oz.

Tomorrow we set off for the UK, getting a daft oclock ferry from Dunkirk to Dover. hopefully we will hit Durham around dinner time. the kids and I are looking forward to getting to Durham. I desperatly need to get a smart pair of trousers ready for Saturday, so im hoping i wont be too tired to hit the shops.

Saturday is the expo in Leeds we are both looking forward to that and having a break from the kids. wE will be attending both Sat and Sun. Just hope we get all our questions answered.

Well got loads of laundry to get done so id best crack on  

Exam over operation oz begins

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:36, Wed 8 October 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Now that the worse course i have ever done is over, i can concentrate on how we are getting to oz.Got an email from the oz army and if we wait for them it will at least April 2010. So i think its safe to say we wont be bothering with them.

At last we are starting to get some where with some of the applications that we have sent off. A few have asked fr further information, so fingers crossed.

Looking forward to the Leeds /oz expo. Im certainly feeling so much stronger in my self.

I still get the odd day when i feel crap but im getting there.

I dont think i did very well in the exam but just got to wait till DEC to see if i did enough to pass.

Benji has yet another ear infection and is not well so im trying to get an apt with the vets fr him. poor thing is feeling very sorry for himself.


The exam is looming, starting to panic a bit

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:16, Wed 1 October 2008 | 1 comments | Link

My exam is next Tuesday and i feel far from ready for it. I know i can only do my best so i shall concentrate on ensuring that i can remember the course themes, the theoretical perspectives and names of the theorists. Thankfully some of the theorists like Goffman, Maslow and Rodgers are old friends from when i did my nurse training and previous OU courses. So at least i can recall them and use them in the exam essay questions.

I had a review with the Dr today and he is pleased with my progress but wants me to remain on the Anti-D's for 6 months, so im not going to argue with him, im glad im feeling much stronger and happier as the whole house seems to be more happier too. My mood was certainly having an effect on the kids, something which i do feel bad about.

Come the 3rd of October V has exactly 6 months left in the army and i think it is finally dawning on him that he needs to secure a job in Australia for our future plans to come to fruition.

I have had to be brutal with him and tell him i cant keep doing everything for him he has to sort out stuff for himself. I cant do his engineers assessment. For the pst few months i have looked for jobs for him and prodded him to get his CV out. I think when i told him about the oz expo in Leeds and virtually booked it for us gave him the push he needed, as he is now starting to get his stuff together.

Well ive got revision to get done.  

The dark clouds are starting to disappear

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:07, Sun 28 September 2008 | 0 comments | Link

After a week when i was poorly with a virus and spent a fair few days sleeping all day i am finally starting to feel much better.

Yesterday we booked tickets for an expo in Leeds for the 18th -19th of October and a hotel room for me and V. The kids will be staying at my parents to give us time to be ourselves.

It seems like ages since i felt more content and could look forward to the future.

The support from my cyber friends has been really good and i have been so touched by it. having that support has helped me so much. The emails and private messages and messages on my blog have really helped, so thank you my friends.

Starting on Monday i will be getting my head into revision gear so i can hopefully revise enough to pass my final hurdle on this course.

Time for breakie and sorting out the kids. 

Last week flew by

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:51, Mon 22 September 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Having John stay was a really good, he helped me so much by just talking and listening to my worries. He encouraged me to go on German buses into Paderborn town center. Something i would not have done on my own. Thanks to his company i feel so much stronger. In return he enjoyed being part of our lively family. On Saturday we took him up to Hameln our favourite city in Germany. We all enjoyed wandering around and being tourists. We got John a lovely wooden plate with the pied piper as a reminder of staying with us. I cant believe just how quickly the time has passed.

He left on Sunday, V took him up to the airport on the morning and today i can honestly say i am missing his company and wise cracks.

I feel a little flat today, but the whole family are. D is in bed feeling poorly, a little like C was last week. So hopefully he will be back to school tommorow.

I need to get my head round my revision as ive only got 3 weeks till the exam then i can truely relax .

Well id best crack on with revision  

God knows how i did it but i passed my assignment

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:46, Tue 16 September 2008 | 3 comments | Link

Im still finding it hard to believe that i managed to pass my final assignment. Only the exam to go next month. Just need to get my head around revision.

Im slowly starting feel much stronger, i still have days when i just want to stay in and avoid people but thankfully they are becoming less and less.

We had a great family day out on Sunday at Rasti land about 1hr 30 mins away, the kids really enjoyed the rides, and the grownups enjoyed the water raft ride, travelling down rapids on a circular raft.

  C is off school today with a high temp , so hopefully the medinol will do the trick and he is back to school tommorow.

The welfare officer has advised us to make a formal complaint against the welsh woman and her family.We also informed D's school that her school had been spreading malicious gossip about our family which really upset D. When V called into the school he found out that the boy had been expelled from school after smashing another pupils nose.

V is going to the RMP's today to put in the formal complaint, now im feeling stronger we are going to fight against what has been happening.



Feeling a little brighter

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:35, Tue 9 September 2008 | 3 comments | Link

The Dr was great yesterday, he put me on a milder anti d and told me to take it on at bedtime. So last night was my first dose, i got a good sleep and after V shook me awake i actually felt brighter on waking.

Ive got the rmp's coming shortly to take my statement about J and why i feel he is being victimized  as well as why i believe he has not been involved in the criminal damage on the estate. So im hoping that i manage to hold it together.

Glasgow John arrived on Sunday and the kids have found him to be so amusing. He is an old hippy who loves country and western music. He wears a pony tale which for the kids is so funny.

I still need to finish my assignment, well just make sure it reads well and put in all the references. i shall try and do it this afternoon before the kids come home from school.

The sun is shining and for the first time in a few weeks it is acutally making me feel better too. any way best get my self sorted ready for the plods

One step forward and 3 back

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:29, Fri 5 September 2008 | 3 comments | Link

I know now that i was being foolish thinking i could manage without the anti d's . Im still having trouble with keeping awake. Im feeling reasonably clear headed today but yesterday i was all foggy and not very good.

Im seeing the dr on Monday as i do need help but i think the strength of the tablets were too much.

Im managing to take the kids to school and thankfully my next door neighbour has walked with me. She has been a real support and has gone through what im going through now. i hate going down on my own, if i have to a walk very fast just to get there and back as quickly as possible. However when ever i see that woman i feel like my heart will explode. Thankfully ive only seen her twice this week.

Some how ive managed to complete my assignment i think, god knows if what ive written will pass but ive done my best. It was hard going as i only seem to get an hour or 2 where i feel ok at the moment. then i just start staring into space, not really thinking of any thing. i still have to do the references and get some to make sure what ive read is answering the question. If i fail i fail nothing i can do about that.

This nervous break down has scared me so much though, as my dad has mental health problems and had been in psychiatric hospital on and off for most of my adult life. i dont want to be like him.

My mum knows what has happened and she was so shocked as im the strong one, the one who every one in the family turns to for support and has answers when their life is crap. Yet now im the one needing their support. My mam should understand what im going through but somehow has distanced herself from the situation.

V has been a real rock even though i know he has been stressed to hell over this crap.

He has set up a chart system for the boys over behaviour they have to comply with as well as jobs around the house to help me. So far it seems to be working. Im still finding J difficult to work with at times.

Im getting my hair done tommorow V thought it would be a nice treat to get pampered. Must admit i do look a mess at the moment, ive just had no intrest i how i look this week.

On Sunday we have V's mums cousin coming to stay for a while, it was all arranged months back and he has had his tickets booked for his flight for ages. So i will just have to hope it all pans out ok.

part of me thinks i just need to just get on with things and it will all be ok in my more clearer moments, but then when i feel really low i just want to sleep and disapear.

Ive had so much support from my cyber freinds it really has amazed me. One of them spoke with me this morning on msn just to see how i was. it really brightened my day up.

Hopefully i can look back on all of this and learn from it from one day.

Back to school and attempting to get my my life back on track

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:34, Tue 2 September 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Since Friday, my life was turned into a sea of fog. the medication i was on caused me to feel so sleepy infact i cant remember anything about the weekend. From what V tells me and a few friends who saw me i was either spaced out and rambling on about nothing or i was sleeping. I know id been told they would take 2 weeks to take effect but a weekend of no memories was bad enough, never mind 2 weeks.

Certainly not something i want to go through again. so i stopped taking the tablets i just could not live that way. Yesterday i was all jittery and still sleepy. however today i feel sort of ok. At least im still awake. I managed to get the kids to school , i even passed the woman who has made me ill, apart from a small amount of hyperventilating i did ok. V was so worried about me and how i would cope on my own. He is on a Health and Safety course as part of his army resettlement  so not able to drop everything , however he is on school hours. 

My tutor has been reasonably understanding but if i want her help i need to crack on with my last assignment. so i shall do my best to write something down and hope it passes.



Been to see the Dr

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:56, Thu 28 August 2008 | 6 comments | Link

I want to thank every one for the support and concern people have showed me. I really do appreciate it

My Dr has prescribed me some anti d's and sleeping tablets and wants to see me in 2 weeks to see if im feeling any better. Which i certainly hope i do.

My kids have been a right nightmare today fighting with each other and adding to the stress that ive already got.

The Dr did say if i still feel as bad as i do now in a few weeks time that he may consider admitting me to hospital. Which is the last thing i want .

 I really need a holiday away from it all and im sure i would feel much better. so providing i can cope with everything till after my exam has finished in October then i going to give my self a break.



palpatation and panic attacks

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:58, Wed 27 August 2008 | 5 comments | Link

ive just got back from the local naafi, and i nearly fainted. i had to go and get bread and milk as i had ran out and V was in a meeting . Walking down i was sweating loads and by the time i paid for the shopping everything was getting fuzzy and and i was shaking like a leaf. Ive never experienced anything like it. The woman at the till told me i looked awful but to be honest it was as if she were talking to some one else.

i hate feeling like this my breathing was like i was having the worst asthma attack ive ever had. My head is still throbbing and i feel sick.

ive made an appointment to see the dr as i cant go on feeling like this, im not sleeping, very tearfu, so very un like me . im not sure if im comming down with a bug or what. i just want to curl up in a ball and sleep but i cant.

Im trying to keep it all together for the boys, they can do with out a mother whos falling apart . im just hoping the dr can help me feel better


Feeling very let down by the system

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:53, Tue 26 August 2008 | 4 comments | Link

The Rmps came today for a informal chat and they came fully expecting us to rollover and take the blame for the actions that J had been acused of. However what they got was us informing them of all the problems and how J had been victimised. They are coming back at a later date after they have gathered more evidence to get statements of V and myself over what has been happening. All the information will be given to V's Commanding Officer and he will make a decison based on what he feels is right. so if he is in a bad mood V could get a black mark against his name and we could be in effect thrown out of the country which will affect our chances of getting to oz. However he may decide that there is not enough evidence to apportion blame on us and a warning is put on his record. so either way this whole nightmare is very upsetting.

We had to turn down the house they offered as it was way too small, we would have to sell most of our furniture to live in it. So how can we do that. So for now we are stuck where we are.

I spent most of last night tossing and turning. The Welfare SGT now knows just how upset this whole ordeal is as despite my best efforts i broke down when i talked of the accustions against my self for verbal abuse. The police woman apologised and i think understood just how this is all effects the family. We have also informed the RMP that we are seeking legal advice regarding what we believe is slander from the Welsh woman across the road from us. I just hope this nightmare is over soon.

Ive informed my tutor what has been happening and how im struggling to get my  head sorted for this assignment. I will do the best i can but im sure had i not had all this crap going on then i would be getting better grades.

Im longing for this to be all over and for us to living a new life in oz. That at the moment is the only thing keeping me going. I just hope it doesn't get snatched away.  


Its all come to ahead now and im furious

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:34, Fri 22 August 2008 | 5 comments | Link

Last night some one put a brick through a car window . And just now my husband phoned me up to say that J has been accussed of it is ridiculous. V noticed this morning the car with a breezr block on its bonnet when he went to work and we were all in bed. J now has to be interviewed by the RMP, with us present and a welfare representative. The car owner has gone out of her way to some how pin the blame on our family. Yet she is the foulest mouthed welsh woman i have ever met. Untill last night i had never even spoken to her directly, it was usually V that dealt with her when she used to accuse the boys of something or other. so it was rather suprising to hear that im in the firing line now too.

She has accused me off mouthing off at her last night. She caught me in my back garden and wanted to speak to me as my eldest son has called her son a lying BsD(i dont swear but im sure you get what he said) i was mortified and told her i would speak to my son. I have grounded him for it. The reason he did say it was cos my eldest , middle son and there friend were playing in the park when her son came up and threw some stones at them. However this kid told his mum that he was playing in the park and they threw stones at him. Im not sure exactly what went off but i let this woman say her piece and told her i would deal with my son. I never once rowed with her. But now due to her car being dammaged she is saying we are involved. When V told me what she had said i just burst into tears. Ive told V i want out here as i cant take anymore of it. I loved living in this area but 2 familes have gone out of their way to make it immpossible to live here any more.

V is phoning up to get the keys of the house we have been offered and we will take this house no matter what as if we dont ive told him im taking the kids and i will go and live with my parents.

Any one who knows me know that i avoid confrontation and walk away that get drawen into arguments. If my kids have done wrong then i always make them apologise and i punish them. If they have damaged property then we pay for the damage.

But these accusations are laugable but it really has got to me. Im not seeing the funny side to it at all.

My kids are cooped up for fear of what may happen to them next. Even being in bed hasn't stopped my youngest from being blamed.

I dont know how J will cope with being interviewed as often he gets confused when people bombard him with questions. Altogether there were 4 cars damaged and he is being questioned about every single one as a so called wittness claims he was there. Ive told V i want us to have a legal representative. Just incase they trip J up and he ends up saying something that they think may be an addmission of gulit. AS last night when we talked to him about the cars he got confused and thought we meant the cars he damaged in March. As he knew he had not scratched the cars.


Hopping mad

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:21, Thu 21 August 2008 | 2 comments | Link


Once again people on the estate we live on have showed just how shallow they are. J has again been accussed of scratching cars. The first i knew was a girl knocking on the door saying J had scratched her mums car and had been swearing. I asked when it was and she said just now. When i said it cant have been him as he had been in teh house for over an hour, she said well so and so told me. 

This time i know he is completly innocent but it hasn't stopped not only the kids' blatently lying and blaming him even to the RMP's The adults are pointing the finger, my hubby witnessed it all from our front porch.

J has been in the house the majority of the time apart from short bursts of time at the local park. But what got me was of one the kids he had been playing  with even she lied saying she was with him when he scratched the cars. But the only time she played with him was in our house. Older kids are egging the younger kids to lie as what was written on one of the cards, J doesn't even know how to spell.

Im waiting on the RMP knocking at the door and trying to blame him. I really have had enough. Ive told V that if the house we have been offered is bigger even if its only a little bit then i want us to take it.

So Once again im having to keep J in for his own protection. V was fuming when he left for his ten pin bowling match. No doubt he will hit the pins and pretent they are the gossips.  

The main person going around encouraging others to join in the blame J is a woman over the road from us. She is Welsh and  she rants and raves and is the first to blame the boys for anything, usualy as her own son is a right toerag.

Right that is my rant over, time for a cuppa and chill out.


| Posted by geordie mandy
02:12, Tue 19 August 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Its been a rather frustrating week this week, ive not managed to get much work done towards my assignment the discussion forum which has to referenced as part of the assignment still hasn't been started, so i get started on that. The kids are playing me up so dont get much chance to concentrate on anything.

We have been offered a house in the area we wanted however only a 3 bedroom which is what we have now. Welfare had told us that it would be no problem getting a 4 bed. However the housing people said we needed a medical letter to say that  due to J's ADHD we needed the extra room. Which we duely did. So today we got a call from welfare saying the letter had been turned down. So we either wait on list for a 4 bed, or accept the 3 bed or just stay where we are.

Im not a happy bunny as i told v i would only remain in Germany if we were moved due to all the problems.He wont move into another 3 bed sees no point in it, which i can understand. But ive already agreed to some one moving into the house we own  on a long term agreement. So guess im going to be stuck here with keeping J in as much as possible due to the attitude of some of the people who live around here.

The thing is this house is so small that we have no space for the boys who share to have a chest of drawers in their room, so all the clothes are piled in boxes in the corner.

Im might get V to have a look at the house we have been offered and if the bedroom are indeed bigger then i might just tell him to go for it.Anything is better than this cramped house with no storage.

Right best check on the toe rags as they have just  disappered out of the house 

Enjoying a little break from studying

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:07, Mon 11 August 2008 | 0 comments | Link

God knows how ive done it but im now ahead of myself with my course, my next assignment needs to have OU forum input and that doesn't open till the 18th of August. I have been a little reading going over earlier work books. But as V has just left for the UK to sort out the new car and other stuff i wont get a great deal done while he is away. So tomorrow once the kids and i are sorted, provided the weather is ok we will go for a long walk with the dog. The past few weeks ive hardly had time to scratch my nose let alone spend time with the kids so im going to make up for it.

My next assignment is again a toughy, using a case study which implies possible child abuse i have to argue how emotional impact communication can have on situations.WE have to discuss different scenarios on the forum within our tutor group. I just hope i manage to do well enough to pass.

Im going to enjoy the freedom from studying while it lasts as i know once im back at the books there will be no let up.

Am dancing on the ceiling now with happiness

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:55, Thu 7 August 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Ive just found out that ive passed my assignment so now ive got a good chance of actually passing the course providing the next assignmetn results in a pass and i get a pass on the exam. Im strating to feel more optomistic now.

Right im off to get a bottle of wine now asi think ive deserved it now

I cant believe it i passed my exam

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:34, Thu 7 August 2008 | 2 comments | Link

O my god can you believe it, i got a grade 3 pass, the highest ive ever had and im so happy im crying. I really enjoyed that course, although i did find the exam tough going. The relief i feel is wonderful. Just need to get through this communication course.

Right back to the books, still have another assignment to go before the revision starts for that exam.


Im so happy so happy, as mandy dances around her bedroom/study

I actually made the dead line

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:45, Wed 6 August 2008 | 1 comments | Link

For once on this course i managed to get my assignment in on time. Ive worked so hard this week , hardly spent any time with the kids or V and have been living on caffine.

My exam result was supposed to be in today but when i checked my student home page it looks like i will have to wait till Friday now.

Fingers crossed that i have passed both my exam and my assignment.

Off to join my family now as im taking a whole day off from studying to do any thing they want to do.

Still waiting to hear from the oz army

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:09, Sun 3 August 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Despite regular emails from us to the lateral recruiting team we have still heard nothing. Apart from emails back saying  they cant proceded till they get his qualifications assessed. It was April they were sent off and to be honest we are fed up with waiting.

Today whilst i was trying to get my brain into gear to complete my assignment i put together all the info for V about migration and put it on the desk top with his name clearly on it. AS he knows nothing about the whole process of migration. Why is that i wonder?

Any how i managed to get a little bit more of my assignment done, its taken me ages and still need to find around 400 words to meet the word limit. I just hope to god it passes this time.

My exam results are due in on the same day as my assignment has to be in so ive got every thing crossed.

Im off to bed now and hope i will some how manage to wake up and know exactly what to write to finish this dammed assignment off. To say i dislike this course is an understatement.

Had a fantastic weekend

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:08, Tue 29 July 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Got back late on Sunday after spending the weekend down at Mohnesee. It was quite liberating sleeping in a tent some 20 odd years since i did my camping for Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The kids loved it. There were a half dozen familes from the unit also there so the kids all played whilst the adults caught up with what every one had been up to.

Saturday morning we went mountain biking around the lake very scenic, the blokes and kids were miles ahead of us ladies. My god my bum was saw after it though. I think i need an armchair on a bike for comfort lol.

In the after noon we went on body boards, pedaloes and canadian kayaks. It was great fun, the boys seemed to jump at the challenge. I managed to get sunburnt though. A case of me sorting the kids out with lotion and forgetting about my self. We had a great barbie on the evening till the heavens opened up and the worst storm that Germany had seen hit us. That was certainly an experince living through that in a tent. It lasted from 10pm till 5 am. I finally got to sleep when the storm died down. J slept through the lot and the other 2 thought it was exciting and a bit scary.

Sunday morning was so calm it was unbelievable , the kids and V went back out on the water, i just chilled out and watched and if im honest caught up on a few ZZZZZzz. WE set off back for home in the afternoon. All exhausted but happy.

We got home and were a little miffed that some toerag whilst we had been away thought it was amusing to lob stones and balls of mud at the back of our house, the patio was covered as was the window and our patio furniture. It was dark by the time we had un loaded the minibus we had used. So the clean up operation began yesterday.

We are still waiting to hear about the house we were offered. I so want to living in a quiter area, as we seem to be getting plenty of things happening to us which are unneccessary.

I have managed to make a start on my assignment and have got the introduction done. I shall try and get more done tommorow so my tutor can cast her eye over it and make sure im on track with it.

Its nearly a year since we moved to Germany and although in the main im happy that we decided to join V and get our family back on track, i still have a few regrets. mainly about the house in the UK. We still have no tenant  and im not sure when we will.

Any way its late and im off to bed


Going to plod on with this course

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:50, Wed 23 July 2008 | 2 comments | Link

After much discussions with my tutor i will carry on with my course. Despite the fact im not enjoying it the tutor is going to up her support for me.

I told her in no uncertain terms that i felt i had been let down by her. she realised that i am a good worker and despite all the crap ive endured ive always handed assignments in, even if later than every one else. She still wont re mark my work and stands by what she feels is correct about my last assignment. so im forgetting about that now. Im almost finished my current work book and after the weekend's camping i will crack on with my assignment. She has been given permission by regional office to check my draft essay prior to marking so that she can offer more help and ensure im doing the essay in the style she likes. So hopefully it will mean i pass my next two assignments.

If i can pass the remaining assignments i can pass the course (providing i pass the exam). So ive got my fingers crossed that is what is going to happen.

Ive worked dammed hard for this degree the effort i hope will be worth it when i 2009 i get the degree.

Well got to crack on with this work book and its reading list. I may not be enjoying it but im no quitter and i will finish this course

Feeling as though my mojo is gone

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:36, Mon 21 July 2008 | 0 comments | Link

I got my assignment result back today and it was not good news, ive failed again. Out of the past 3 assignments ive only passed one. Im not enjoying my course and im starting to think about pulling out of it. However im not sure if i would get any money back on it as ive self funded and nearly £700 is a lot of money to go down the drain. Ive been looking at alternative courses and i could potentially get another course started in October which would mean i was doing 2 courses again for a short time next year. Not good.

I really do need to get my degree finished by 2009 other wise i will have to pay international fees for my final course. Just cant afford it.

I really am confused and just dont know what to do about it. Ive worked dammed hard on this course , the content has been difficult to read at times and the questions have been very difficult. I know other people on the course are also struggling so im not alone. I think my tutor is not very helpful and even admited that my assignment showed a good argument but was not enough to pass. i think other tutors would have passed me. Im annoyed and upset. I have another assignment due soon but right now i just want to down tools and say sod it. Im not a quitter though and i feel as though if i plod on i might just scrapre enough to pass the course(miracle if that happened)

Off to sort the kids out now, sounds like they fighting again

Still recovering

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:41, Mon 21 July 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Im never drinking again. Still feel rough and im now coming down with a cold.

Mind you at least i managed to get out of bed yesterday, some of our mates never managed that lol.

Im drinking coffee and lempsips like they are going out of fashion.

Ive got to get loads of work done for this assignment and all i want to do is pull the douvet over me and sleep.

Ive decided im sending all the rain we are getting in Paderborn over to Albury as they are in depserate need of it and im fed up of it.

Got to crack on the course work aint going to do its self


Feeling rough today

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:42, Sun 20 July 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Well last night was brillant. Large quantities of alcohol was consumed as people were buying us drinks left right and center. It would have been rude to refuse. The bloke who did the speech was rubbish (too much alcohol to blame). V on the other hand did a brief but funny speech as usual. Which more than made up for it.

WE finally got home around 4ish i think. The baby sitter was brillant and got on the transport home by special arrangement(saved us taxi fees).

Both of us feel rougher than a badgers bum and with the kids getting up at 8 .30 we have not had much sleep.

V is off on adventure training tommorow and on Friday we will join him with the rest of the families for a weekend of fun.

I need another coffee so will write more later  

A special night for my husband tommorow

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:36, Fri 18 July 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Tommorow night we are going to be wined and dined in honour of V serving 22 years in the army. There will be speeches and toasts and hopefully a good night. Although V does not leave the army till April , it was the only time he can have his dine out as all the friends and collegues he has will not be in Paderborn when we leave. Instead they will be serving in either Afghanistan or Iraq. that is a sombering thought that tommorow night may be the last time we see some of our very good friends. Hopefully they will all come back safe from the tours and we will get vistors once we get to oz.

However i am realistic and know that out of the many that go a few will not come back. That is what life in the army is life.

I am so proud of my V he joined the army at 16 and has served in the Gulf twice, Canada, a few times, Ireland initally for a 9 month tour when it was still troubled and then 4 years most recently.

I met V when i was 17 and he was 18 so i knew that my life would never be a stress free and boring life. We have had scary moments when he has been in war zones when i thought i would never see him again. More so in 1990 when the convoy he was in got hit by friendly fire (stupid yanks) although he lost friends in the convoy he survived and he vowed he would make his life mean something. I think he has as well.

Neither of us a wild party people but we are very sociable and most people when they see us together they know we belong together. As i listen to the speech, im sure i will have a lump in my throat as they praise my man.


WEll enough jabbering on ive got course work to get done.

Playing catch up on my studying

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:17, Tue 15 July 2008 | 0 comments | Link

My next assignment is due shortly and i have only today just sent of my last assignment. its tough going at the moment. for some reason this course has had no break at Easter and will offer no break in summer. So for 9 months solid this course is worked on. i think the OU are expecting too much of its students on this course.

Im feeling the pain now of constantly studying. When the 6 th of Aug comes round i should have my 4th assignment sent off, but that is not going to happen so once again i will have to have an extention. All through this course ive needed extentions, im only supposed to be allowed no more than 3. hopefully my tutor will understand that everything has had a knock on effect and with no break factored in no chance of catching up properly. I still dont know how im going to cope with the kids off for 6 weeks and a house move to boot.

I am feeling much stronger now though, the past few weeks were hell as i started spirling into a near depression type state. But knowing that i clean this stressful enviroment behind has boosted me.

D my eldest has been having counselling at school for the trauma he suffered a few months back, it seems to have paid off as he is much happier in himself. He confessed that knowing we are moving away but still close enough for his friends to visit has boosted him aswell.

V is writing the letter today to the welfare office to formally request the move to the new house. (the army cant just give us it paperwork has to be done) also because it benefits us we also have to pay for the move ourselves. so we arn't too sure whether we will get our little holiday to center parks after all.

However next weekend we are off to Mohnasee(dambusters) for a weekend of campling and activites for the familes. The men(army ) folk go down this Monday for a sailing course and activity courses.

The kids are quite excited, ive not been camping since i did my Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes in the 80's i just hope i can handle it lol.

V's skill assesment still have not come back, he emailed the recruiting team to see what is going on.

Ah well best crack on with this work book 

Slowly getting there

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:36, Fri 11 July 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Im half way through my assignment now. Just got to work out what to write next. Its been painfully slow doing this assignment, but im not giving up and my tutor understands what has been going on. I hope to be able to send it off after the weekend. AS i then need to crack on with another assignment due in on the 6th of August.

We visted the area of the house we may be getting. Its only 2 streets worth of army houses in a German housing area. It has a big play park for the kids and a few German shops handy. Its about 10 mins away from the town center so is very built up. i couldn't find an obvious place for Benji to go for a run out.

The house its self is massive compared to what we have here. It has an area i could use as a study a proper laundry room, the kitchen and living area is double the size as is the garden. It has a lot of positives going for it. D my eldest however would have the very top floor with his own ensuite as that room only has a single wardrobe in it and not enough height room for any additional wardrobes. Im sure my 10 year old would love that. so we would have to use the family bathroom. I personaly think the move will be worth it, even if we only have 9 months left in the army. Its either that or in November we will move back to the UK which finacially would be difficult to afford to live as we want to.

Still no word back from the oz army, so V is going to get cracking on applying for our own visa now, time is ticking by and we need to be proactive.

Ive got just about everything ready to send off my application to the nursing board of NSW. Unfortunatly i only have one character reference as ive lost touch with alot of my old nursing friends witht he constant moving ive done over the years. I did have a good friend who is a teacher who was going to do a refeerence for me but she hasn't been qualified enough. Its annoying that my friends have to be in certain professions to be eligible to do a character reference for me. I haven't got a professional reference either as ive not worked for 5 years and my previous employer can not remember me. so the OU are giving me an academic reference instead. Im sure if i write a job summary it will show what experience ive had. Just hope it will be enough.

Right back to the assignment

Finally some one is listening to us

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:30, Tue 8 July 2008 | 2 comments | Link

I have just come from a meeting with an educational psychologist who could actually offer some help with J. Thanks to my persistance we are finally getting somewhere. He is going to put together an action plan for the school so they can offer J the kind of education he needs and deserves. He acknowledged that his is a bright lad and above his peers with reading , numeracy and most other subjects. It is only the social aspect of things that are making it difficult for him. He understands his difficulities in dealing with groups and is going to put a plan in place to help J intergrate more with him.

We also spoke with the head teacher and he understands now why J has had a few problems in class setting. so hopefully when the school term starts in September it will be all action stations and life should get better for J.

WE have spoken to the kids about a possible move and in principle they are all for it. It will be a fresh start with J , he can play out with out the baggage of being labelled the 'naughty kid'. . Just got to find out if we can actually afford to move and if the army will give us assistance.

It sounds daft but as i listened to the educational psychologist  i found myself thinking of my course work in communication and thinking wow he is using the core skills of communication here. Which is what my assignment is about. Both V and i came out of the meeting with a renewed optimism for the future. WE know that life is going to be a challenge for us with J , but now we have the startings of a plan we hope no matter where we move to we will get the help we need with the professional information to hand over.

Back to the assignment now 

18 years of wedded bliss

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:24, Mon 7 July 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Today is our wedding anniversary and it should be a happy occasion. But it has been overshadowed by a meeting today with the family who have accused J of terrorising the estate. It is mainly the woman who did all the talking. Not even listening to the welfare officers who are representing our units when offering her solutions. 

As i suspected the meeting achieved nothing other than this woman got an audience to rant and rave about how bad our son is. she would not listen to reason and could not accept her daughter has some responsibility in the situation. It boils down to she wants to be away from us and wants us to keep our boys away from her girls. She thinks we are bullies.

Im emotinally shaking after she doubts our parenting skills and put all her daughters problems squarely at our door.

Un known to this woman we have been offered a chance of  a 4 bedroom house 5k's away where all the other senior ranks are. Im seriously thinking about this move. As this woman really does intimate me and im sure she is trying to get back up from other familes to say we are awful.

Hopefully we are going to see the houses this week. It will be an upheaveful but i personally think if it gets us a chance to relax and live stress free then it is worth it. As keeping J in all the time for fear of what other things he gets accused off is affecting us all.

Although she may feel that if we move it will be her victory, at the end of the day, we get an extra bedroom so the boys arn't sharing anymore , a bigger garden and a much nicer 'posh' house. I know that if we do move some one else will be guilty of 'hurting' her daughter. So i know moving will give J chance to play out with out any hassle.

Ive got an assignment to get started , but tonight i will crack open the wine to celebrate not only being with V 18 years, but celebrating the success he had at the army 10 pin bowling championship. he got 5 trophies in all.

Well back to assignment


Things are looking better for Benji and for us.

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:14, Fri 4 July 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Benji is definatly on the road to recovery. He is now eating and drinking on his own, a few days of hand feeding him and encouraging fluids have paid off. The lump is jelly like now and much smaller. The odema however has spread from his jaw down to the toes of his left paw. He is moving ok although limping or hoping on 3 legs at times. He looks as though he is no longer in as much pain and seems happier in him self. I was going to get him back to the vets today but i have no means to get him up there today. V has had to go to Frankfurt airport (left at 3am) So when they open up after 10 i shall arrange an appointment for Monday afternoon.

On Monday its our 18th wedding anniversary but instead of having a relaxing day, we have a meeting with the familes officer and the woman who has put the complaint in about J. Im not sure what this meeting will achieve as she will not listen to reason. We shall see what comes of it.

Tue i have to meet the educational psychologist at J's school so hopefully will find out what the way forward is for J in school.

Still haven't heard from the oz army regarding the skills assessment. However V now realises it might be time to start looking for alternative work in oz and start the visa process are selves. I highlighted a job for him(one of many i may add) and he got very excited about a job as a service manager for a truck company in West Melbourne, paying $150k a year. Ive not seen him that excited for a while, as the job is something he could do easily by transfering his army experience of running an army unit to a civvy organisation. He is going to be applying for it this weekend.

Ive now finished the work book i needed to to be able to start my assignment so i shall be starting to tackle that today and hope to have it finished by next week.

I know last week i was feeling very down but thanks to the support of friends on BE and here in Paderborn i am feeling much better. My problem as always is taking too much on and letting things get to me . So i am back to feeling more normal and will just tackle problems one at a time.

Well best get back to organising my assignment

A little bit of hope for Benji

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:31, Tue 1 July 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Benji was back at the vets again today, another injection and was given some food replacement stuff to help keep him going. If i dont manage to get him to eat anything tonight then he is back to the vets in the morning for iv fluids.

The test so far have shown that it is not a bacterial infection, so is possibibly a virus. the good news is the lump is reducing in size although the odema is increasing at a shocking rate. He still has a high temp and hopefully the injection he had at dinner time should help with this. It is still a mystery as to what Benji has actually got. The vet is happy to say he hasn't got a tumor , as tumours would not shrink in size after antibiotic treatment.

Im trying to keep him cool whilst its in the 30's outside with no breeze. He has now given up walking as the odema is pressing down on the nerves across the top of his left leg . Trying to carry a springer spaniel is no easy task especially up and down all the flights of stairs we have.

Although im still worrying about him i feel easier knowing we are not dealing with a tumour.

My nursing skills are certainly being pushed to the limits caring for him.  Giving oral antibiotics, giving topical lotions to the affected area and now trying to keep him hydrated and feeding him a dog version of build up. Maybe i should retrain as a vet nurse lol.

Hopefully tommorow will see him starting to feel better, i hope so as its heart breaking seeing him suffering in silence unable to communicate how he feels.

Time to give him more fluids before i get the eldest off the school bus.


Benji is very poorly

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:03, Mon 30 June 2008 | 3 comments | Link

Its been a worrying day . We took Benji tot he vets this morning, he was shaved to see if there were any signs externaly that would cause the swelling. That was negative. The vet then did an xray which showed up areas of pus but no foreign bodies. He has been given an injection a bit like a cortosoid. the vet thinks there is a slight chance it may be a tumour but as Benji is young he thinks its highly unlikely. The vet at this moment in time has no idea what has caused him to be so poorly. He had his usual run around on Friday and then Saturday afternoon we noticed the lump and we just dont know why .

This afternoon he has gone down hill rapidly. concerning us so much that V has taken him back to the vets. The swelling is increasing he has not eaten or drunk since last night. At one point he lay behind the front door and stayed motionless for a few hours. I honestly thought he had died.

WE are trying not to alarm the kids. D has already asked if he is going to die like Angus did. WE said no Angus was an old dog.

Fingers crossed he is going to be ok.

Trying to keep on top of problems

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:29, Mon 30 June 2008 | 0 comments | Link

On Friday we got a copy of the officaila complaint this woman has put in against J. It was like reading a fairy story with onlya hint of the truth in to. She considers our son to be a grave danger to her daughters and to the estate in general. a load of rubbish.

Apparently a meeting on neutral ground is going to be arranged to sort out 'the problem'. However, i think no matter what we say she is adament its all down to J. so i feel it will be a waste of time.

 After a good night at my friends house, after a few drinks we put the world to rights and im now convinced that i need to remain where we are as we have not done any thing wrong and the whole situation has been blown out of all proportions by her family. I cant believe how low i felt with this situation. sounds daft but after reading the letter of complaint i know she has not got much chance of getting us moved on. I know i had it when the army pulls rank, but in this case it is a corporals wife against a senior rank. The army would sooner move her family out than some one of a higher rank. I never had used my husbands rank for anything. But as she has started the process and by using her husbands rank has opened up a whole can of 'political worms' then she wont have much a chance against us. I am hoping that she will see sense and can be sorted out amicably. 

Ive been given an extention by my tutor after i explained about my problems affecting my person life. Im still studying and will get there and hope to get my assignment done with in the 2 week window she has given me.

One problem that arose on Saturday is our dog Benji is very ill. He started off with a lump and odema around his neck , was off his food and very lethargic. His breathing became erratic so at 10pm he was rushed to the vets. She is not sure what is wrong with him. But gave him some antibiotics and anti inflamatory injections. He was a little better yesterday, managed to eat a small amount. But last night i noticed the swelling was spreading across his cest to his leg. He now is limbing very badly. the vet opens at 10.30 so we are taking him there again. He has always been my shadow, where ever i go he follows (including the loo). Its painfull to watch his trying to stand up to follow me he manages to hobble a few steps before he gives up. It took him 30 mins to get up the stairs to be with me while im studying. 


WEll back to the books

Ive had enough of everything

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:34, Thu 26 June 2008 | 3 comments | Link

I really am down today, ive already been crying due to a certain girls mum having another go at me about J.

Yesterday, J had been playing happily with his little friends for a good few hours, then this girl who j has a problem with, came up and started teasing him and winding him up. Knowing fine well that he loses his temper very quickly when provoked. well he thumped her and of course she went running off to her mother to tell her J had hit her for no reason. The mother chased him but never caught him. I told him off for hitting the girl and have grounded him.

what gets me is this girl is doing it on purpose to get him into trouble, other adults have witnessed what she has been doing. She is also 2 years older and her sister is in J's class and she has no problem with him.

So this morning the mother told me that she is reporting us to the families office and is insisting that we be moved off the estate as J is a lose cannon and causes too much trouble. In the same breath she says she has no problem with me. As J hit her daughter for no reason. I informed just what her daughter has been doing and as usual it falls on deaf ears. However when i tell her that other adults have seen her wind J up and then laughing after words when he is being grounded or told off. she defends her daughter still by saying well she hasn't hit him.

I have just had enough i cant bear it no more, im doing my best , V and i have tried every suggestion that the professionals have come up with.

In my mind ive decided it will be best if we return to our own home , However V thinks we are running away from our problems.

I dont care any more i just want it to stop, all the pointing fingers all the acusations , my mental health is suffering my studying is suffering and our family is suffering.

I doubt it will be better back in Durham, but at least i can have him on the soya diet completely as we are finding it so difficult to get stuff here. 

I wish i could get 'me' time but i cant very often , however ive been invited out on Friday night to a friends house away from this estate to a candle party. A chance to escape for a few hours.  

Well ive got studying to try and get done , my tutor has given me extra time to complete my assignment as im nowhere near to being ready to complete it.

Not sure what to do next

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:13, Wed 25 June 2008 | 1 comments | Link

As i suspected the dr has taken me off the orlistat claiming they are not working. Despite the fact ive lost another kg this month. My weight loss has always been slow even before i found out about my thyroid.

He has now refered me to a dietician to see what more can be done. I feel so demoralised at the moment. Before christmas i was 92 kg and im now 84kg so my weight is moving in the right direction. The dr reckons i have a sydrome that causes me not to burn carlories (Cant remember the name)  as i should and he is doing further research to see what the solution is.

I asked about the gastric lap bandand he says im not suitable for it as im not a binge eater, nor am i obeses enough. Instead of being being clincally obese he now considers me to be on the border lines of over weight and obese. 

Ah well back to the books

Life does make me feel frustrated at times.

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:53, Tue 24 June 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Yesterday we had a review with the camhs team. WE waited over an hour to be seen. WE tooki J out of school at 1.30 for his appointment at 2pm. We got to the med center a 1.50 and werre told the mental health nurse hadn't arrived but they were expecting her soon. 20 mins later still no sign of her the receptionist told us another 20 mins as she was on her way. WE were about to leave when she finally arrived at 3pm. V was spitting bricks and i was none to pleased either. J had become very cross and bored with waiting so when we finally got into her office, he played up really badly.

i asked her about what we should do regarding J getting blamed by other kids parents for stuff he had not done and about the situation we had a few weeks ago. She could offer no advice. Great i thought. She then asked us to leave so she could work alone with J. WE gladly went to get a coffee and vented our frustration out on a ginger snap lol.

Any how we go back in and she claims  that J has a an ego problem as he drew himself as large compared to his other siblings. Daddy was very tall but had called him dummy, she reckons that it shows that dad was boss but couldn't explain the dummy bit. His siblings he drew as smallish and he included his cousins from Scotland. I was almost microscopic in appearance and she never mentioned that. she did say she would refer him to an educational psychologist as she feels that as he is so bright he is not being challenged educationally and is bored and not enjoying school. I could have told her that and im no mental health nurse.

WE really do want what is best but at times even the professional leave us feeling confused and frustrated.

The past few days ive found it really hard to study, My gran's birthday has played heavily with my emotions and ablity to concentrate.


Tommorow im back at the drs and no doubt i will not have lost enough weight despite trying my hardest, so i know he wont prescribe the orlistat any more. I just have no idea of where to go from here with my weight. Having hypothroidism has certainly played a big part in finding it hard to lose weight.

If the dr thinks im so obese then im going to ask for a gastric band as ive treid every diet going and even exercising wasn't helping. Infact my weight even went up hire.

Ah well we shall see tommorow what he says. im off for a brew and an early night.

Happy Birthday Granma

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:47, Sun 22 June 2008 | 0 comments | Link

How i wish i could say it to you. Its been nearly 6 months since you left me to join Granda , Uncle Steve , Ina , Walter and David in the peaceful place called heaven. Im sure you are all looking down on us and keeping us from harm.

 There is so many things i still had to tell you and so many things i wanted to show you, i wish i could you show you the photos of the house we live in. I remember when i first left home you said, sweetheart send me a photo of your room in the nurses home and the views you can see from it. I did as well, you told me it made you feel closer to me. Every house ive lived in while being away i have done the same. When we moved to Germany i promised you i would show you footage of the house V had taken, but we  just never found the time. I regret that now. No more will i be able to share the excitement i feel on seeing something new.

I miss you so much still granma , but im trying to keep it together so i can pass my studies and make you proud. you always said i wore my heart on my sleeve and it would get broken. Yet you always told me to be true to myself. So being true to my self i will always see teh good in everyone and i know i will get hurt at times. But im sure i could be no other way.

I try to get on with my parents as i know that is what you wanted, i will never have the automatic love for them that i had with you.

I hope if you can see us that you will be proud of me and the family as we work hard to make a decent life for ourselves.

I know you liked a drink on special occasions so i shall say bottoms up and have a good birthday, sorry i cant put flowers on your grave or place a card on it. I shall do that next time im back in the UK.

Just so you know when we finally get our own block of land in oz and build our house, im planting some special roses for you and the rest of the freinds and family i have lost to heaven.

For ever in my heart your loving grandaughter xxxxxxxx


starting to make plans

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:59, Thu 19 June 2008 | 0 comments | Link

I got a call from a small school near to where our house in Durham is. They havereserved a place for all 3 boys till we can confirm for definite if we need to go back to the UK. the head teacher sounded lovely and fully understood why we needed to make plans incase we were moving back to the UK in the October school holidays. I feel easier on that score now.

Part of me thinks it would be best to go back and wait to move to oz.

V is in discussions with the big wigs to see what is happening regarding us staying in Germany or returning. If he remains financially the benefits are greater for us tax free stuff the extra living allowance. If the army will pay for removals in April if we haven't secured a move to oz by then with the oz army then we will stay in Germany and move back to our house in April. However if they wont pay for removals in April then we will return back to the UK in October and wait till we move to oz via the army or my other means.

WE are hoping that before we start the summer hols we will know what is happening and will plan accordingly.

In the meantime the police , estate agent and my parents between them have emptied the house and the locks have been changed . WE will need to get a cleaner in to sort the place out and the EA is sorting that out. my parents are going over today to check what damage was made when the police carried out a through search of the house.

So for now im plodding on with my remaining OU course and just take things as they come.


Relief and exhaustion

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:51, Wed 18 June 2008 | 0 comments | Link

My exam went ok i suppose, not what i expected and i found a lot of what i had revised i was not really able to use, which was a shame. I dont think i could have done any more than what i did. I did my best and now its up to the markers. I find out in Sept/ Oct.

Tommorow im back to studying my level 3 course as ive got an assignment due on the 2nd of July. So i have my work cut out to catch up.

Im exhausted and just want to sleep so while the kids are out playing im going to snooze on the settee. Ive told them all its a take away for tea as i simply dont have any energy left in me.


Exam and limbo land

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:15, Tue 17 June 2008 | 3 comments | Link

Ive just taken a quick break from my exam revision, this time tommorow i will be sitting a 3 hour exam, in an area i have never been to before. v has got the address plumed in to the sat nav. Im already jittery and feeling sick, so god knows what i will be like tommorow.

In amongst all the revision ive had to start making plans about our future. At the moment it looks like we will be moving back to our old house in the October/November school holidays.

I phoned one of the local schools near to our house and they wont be able to take the boys as they will be full. Ive not contacted their old school as the dragon in charge i never want to see again. So i contacted the last reamining school with in walking distance a small school of under 100 pupils. they have taken my details and will phone me back with a view to discussing then joining the school. WE are hoping it will only be till the summer of next year, but we cant be sure.

The police still have the keys to our house and are still investingating the tenant who appears to have done a runner. My parents and estate agent also informed the police that they were going to evict him for none payment of resnt and utility bills so hopefully Npower will realise that the bills are not ours but his.

V is off to order the new car, as the car we had has to be handed back next month as it was on a special lease deal. Instead we are getting a good deal on a Zaffera Breeze which we will pay off completly when V gets his lump sum from the army in April.

He still wants to wait for the oz army to accept him and move us over. However i have told him to be more proactive and apply for jobs and see if we can get to oz another way.

WE shall see what happens. Once thing we do know moving back to Durham is only going to be tempoary as we fully expect to be living in Australia next year at some point.

WEll i best get on with revision


I could scream

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:25, Fri 13 June 2008 | 2 comments | Link

WE are not having a good time right now, ive got an exam on Wed, and despite my hardest to concentrate on that loads of things are distracting me.

Firstly we got an email from the oz army recruiting , it seems we may not be getting to oz when we planned next year, due to V quals not coming back from assesment we wont be getting an interview in August this year and the next interview board is next August. So V will be out of the army in April in if still in Germany will have to self fund a move back to the UK. That is unless we spend the last 6 months of the army in the UK. so we may in November be moving back in limbo waiting for the oz army.

Then today the estate agent and my parents vist our house as our tenant has not taken any notice of the letters demanding the rent and utilitiy bills to be paid.

They saw a light up in our attic and it turns out he is growing cannabis in our home. They are now waiting for the police to arrive . So where does that leave us, well out of pocket he hasn't apid us since January and owes for the utilities since he moved in.

Im furious and shaking right now. Why is all this crap happening now. My head is spining with what is going on. Im not sure i want to move back to my house any more as i feel as though it has been violated. I loved the house but not the area.

So V and i are going to have a long chat about our future and what happens , do we ditch going via the army and find our own way over to suit us and pay a fortune to get their. OR to we ride it out and wait for the oz army.

Ah well time to go out in the pouring rain and pick the boys up from school.

Why is it always happening to us

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:18, Mon 9 June 2008 | 2 comments | Link

What should have been a good weekend for us, turned into another disaster.

On Saturday we got an irate mother at our door, claiming J had punched her daughter in the eye. She told us in no uncertain terms that if she sees him out playing in the streets she will get the police involved.

This all stems for earlier in the week when J has teased the girl about her weight, she came to the door complaining , so i had a word with j saying it wasnt nice, as a responsible parent does. Any how next day i get a telephone call from the school saying that the mother has come to the school very upset due to J calling her daughter names. Again we had a word told him off and and asked why he was calling her names. He told us that she swears at him and has been nasty to him.

Next day same mother rants and raves at J he is not sure why, witnessed by the next door neighbour who's garden my son was in playing with his friend.

We ask him what he had done, he says nothing naughty, but she tells him she is getting the police to arrest him for being nasty.

So on Saturday when its claimed that he has punched her in the eye , we have a real go at him(once she had gone) However she then accuses V of hitting me and bringing up violent thugs.

It turns out her daughter has exagarated most of the name calling and j flicked her cap off her head and threw it in the garden, he did not punch her.

Now we are not the sort of parents that believe all that our kids tell us we always ask witnesses, so in this instance a witness was asked and confirmed what j did. So V went to her house and informed her very diplomatically (i add) that her daughter was not telling the whole truth. She was having none of it.

So today when i took him to school i had a chat with the class teacher and asked that they make sure that as far as possible that J does not go near this child or her sister. the fact that the one accusing him , is 2 years older in my middle sons class. However the younger sister is in his class.

I informed the teacher how this woman is just waiting for an excuse to get the police involved and make life even worse for J  

 Not only has this being going off, but C our middle son was stranggled again by the same lad who stamped on his neck a few weeks back. That time we informed the mother and she gave V a right verbal bashing using more swear words than even he knew.

so this time we didn't bother the parents, we just encourged the eldest to hellp sort out this bully. Now i hate this sort of thing, kids fighting, but this kid needs to be sorted out as he constantly bullies C and his young friends, he is also 2 years older than C. so David sorted it out and he is now giving the boys a widebirth.

Poor j is now confined to the house for the forseeable future not because of bad behaviour but to protect him from being blamed for things he hasn't done.

This happened a few weeks ago when J was in the shower and a kid comes to the door saying j had just broken the spokes on his bike and we had to pay for the damage. V laughed and said no way he is in the shower and had been in for the past few hours. Now had J been outside playing then no doubt we would have had a hard job proving his innocence.

This is really bugging me, just because he has caused damage to some cars prior to his change in diet, he now is the automatic scape goat. i was so upset and annoyed yesterday, as J cant couldn't even go to play in our garden as his accusers live a few doors down from us.

I know moving to oz wont stop this sort of thing from happening but at least it will be a clean break and if we get to live on acerage then we wont have near neighbours.

I almost feel like becoming a recluse and shutting us all in.

Where does the time go to

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:55, Fri 6 June 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Another year older. To be honest i actually forgot my birthday this year, ive been so busy with study that the days just seem to go past with out me realising. In fact i think even V only remembered yesterday when the kids asked if he had bought a card. no wonder they all disappeared before the shops closed after tea.

Any how the kids got me some milk tray and heros (guess i will have one or two). got a lovley card from V and the kids with a westie on, it made me smile but also brought back memories of Angus, the likeness was un canny.

i got the best present the other day when i got my results from my assignment i passed. The relief i feel is immense. Revision is going well, condensed the first work book to key points using a power point presentation. Will do work book 2 today. I have 7 in total. Ive also done a spider gram so as i remember or need reminding of certain points i can add it to revision notes.

So what have i achieved in 38 years, i trained to be an EN, married V(18 years next month), had 3 wonderful boys, have lived abroad and have been happy with my lot so far. What do i still want to achieve, well i want to get my degree, i want to live in oz and i want to get back to nursng. i also want to see my boys grow up to be well adjusted boys who enjoy life  Can i achieve it all, i hope so.

If all goes well we should be in oz this time next year, i should get my degree before the end of next year. the rest will have to wait and see.

Well got to crack on with revision


Finally finished that assignment

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:28, Wed 4 June 2008 | 0 comments | Link

I sent my 2 nd assignment off today as my tutor had requested it. Im still feeling nervous about it as i would have like a final proof read from my friend . Never mind just got to hope i did enough to pass.

Im starting to get myself organised ready to start my revision. I need to get my printer all sorted out a job for V to do. Im going to do study plan and hopefully i can stick to it. My exam is on the 18th and i had hoped for a welfare car to take me up to Gutersloh, but unfortunatly i cant be certain of a lift being avaliable. So V has arranged for a mate to take me while he gets the kids to school.

Im nervous but i know i can do it and i just hope i pass. Last year i enjoyed the exam prep study day but unfortunatly this year i cant get to any. So my tutor has promised to sent me revision notes and handouts to help me. Also they have set up a forum or chat facility for my course so i will try and use that to.

Although i have revision to do i cant afford to fall back on my K309 course so i will have to work on that at least once a week before the exam.

Ive promised my self that once this exam is over i will get back to the gym at least once a week seen as i will be down to one course again.

Well im going to enjoy a cuppa now and chill before i have to pick the kids up, i think ive deserved that much.



OMG lucky to get out alive

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:13, Wed 4 June 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Last night we had yet another thunder and lightening storm, this time it had far reaching consequences.

Some time just before midnight V and I were woken up by a loud clap(and scared the living day lights out of us) and thunder immediatly followed by lightening then we heard an explosion, intially we thought it was just our imagination playing tricks with us. Any how not able to sleep and hearing another loud bang we got up, i got smell smoke V couldn't we checked the house and nothing. then we noticed what we thought was constant lightening. after opening the sky light we saw flames and smoke on a house 4 doors away. Luckily the German fire brigade were already there. V got dressed to make sure our car was not in the way.

When he came back he told me that a house had been struck by lightening on the roof. This is where it get scary as all the master bedrooms in our estate are in the attic. OMG there were 2 fire engines with the cranes extended up at roof level 6 in total down our street . By this time people were out in the street praying that occupants were ok. A big cheer erupted when we saw a man being led out with his dog. Rather shaken but uninjured.Then the crowd got worried when they saw a stretcher going in and coming out with a blanket covering something. It went deathly quiet every one fearing the worst. A huge sigh of relief was heard when the blanket was uncovered and it was just some equipment being moved out of the house. 

By some miracle the mans wife and children were away in the UK other wise it could have been much worse. It has rained all night and in the light its very easy to see the damage to the roof line. The houses are in a terrace format so the house next door has had to be evacuated and the other house joined on is our friends who thankfully are in the UK also.

It has certainly got the whole estate concerned as there is no escape from the roof, we have a velux window in our room that opens up but no ladders or anything to help aid escape. Jumping 3 storeys does not appeal to me.

This morning it was a very nervous estate. None of us slept much it was after 2 this morning before the last of the flames were put out and the fire brigade left the scene.

As an army community we will rally round and help the unfortunate family with clearing the house and moving the furniture out as the house will be no longer habitbal until repairs and an investigation is done.

What worries us is it could have been worse and none of us could have helped if the man had been trapped in his bedroom. Luckily for him he was not asleep when it happened and escaped.


What a storm we had

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:44, Sat 31 May 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Last night was the first time ive witnessed a lightening storm, the whole sky lit up . V described it like being in the Gulf in 1990 when bombs were flying and craching all around. It was amazing to watch. J slept through the whole 3 hours of it. D and C never managed to get to sleep before it started. At around 11pm hail stones started hitting the sky lights the size of golf balls they were. It was scary and exciting . Benji was terrifed and hit under the bed. once the hail atopped we saw some daft people playing snow ball fights, it was so surreal , nearly June and the ground was white all over.

The lightening lasted till after midnight, it finally calmed down enough for us to get some sleep at around 1am. We are all knackered now though.

Every one around is all talking about this freaky storm, i just hope we dont have another like it again, as when i was closing the sky light in our bathroom i saw fork lightening just above the row of houses in froont of us and it left me with a stiniking headache and problems with my vision. V reckons it was like arc eye what welders some times get. It wasn't nice.


I still havent finished my assignment ive got half way and i will tackle some more tommorow when the kids are sorted out.


kids on holidays and assignments dont mix

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:23, Tue 27 May 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Im having a mare trying to get this assignment done. The kids have been grounded for bad behaviour over the past couple of days. They are doing my head in. Ive managed to get so little work done its just not funny. When i planned my work schedule i forgot the kids were on holiday. V is at work till Thursday so im going to have to work over the weekend otherwise this assignment just wont get done. i cant even subsitute this either as with level 3 courses there are no subsitutions and having failed my first assignment i need to get a good grade on this one.

Ive put a film on for the boys but already i can hear arguments down stairs. Why cant they just happily watch a film so i can crack on and get my working brain on.

I was at the drs today and ive lost another 3 kg, feeling happier, although this new dr seems to think the orlistat is not working effectivly. If i havent lost another 3 kgs next month then he wants me to come off them.

Well i certainly think they are working, so lets hope the weight continues to come off.

Any how back to refereeing the toe rags. Give me strength!!!!!!!!!


I cant believe it

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:42, Fri 23 May 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Ive got my result back for my final assignment for K202. and not only have i passed it, BUT i got 70% the highest ive had for any of my assignments. AS i keep telling people i am not academic and although i probably know the subject im tackling i find it difficult putting it down in assignments and exams.

That assignment was a pig , it was all about human rights and that tie in with care, welfare and community. I honestly expected to just scrape a pass. But to get the mark i did im delighted. Ive still got the exam to do so i still havent finished yet and im not building my hopes up yet.

Ive started on my K309 assignment but so far haven't finished the introduction. I will be pleased to get that done. Then i can concentrate on my exam.

Im just hoping this good fortune is going to stay as i need a really good result to make sure i get my BSc next year.

Ah well the kids are off school and are shouting for my attention so id best go (off i go skipping with happiness)

Slowly getting there

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:03, Wed 21 May 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Well my hard work this week has paid off. Ive completed my workbook and hope to start preparing for my assignment. My tutor has given me extra time as all the stuff with D has caused a few problems resulting in me being behind schedule.

The lovey Asher has agreed to proof read my assignment, which means a lot to me. As i can not afford to fail this assignment.

Once this is done then i will start my prep for revision for my other course. At least the end is in sight for that course.

Ive got a splitting headache from all the reading ive had to do, and im near exhaustion so will get to bed soon.

Ive got a lot of the prep done for my application to the NMB NSW, one referee has agreed. My last employer  has still got me down on the old staff list so i can prove when i last worked.

I cant believe how much paper work is involved with enrolling on the register.

Well thats it for now



Some good news at last

| Posted by geordie mandy
06:40, Sun 18 May 2008 | 1 comments | Link

On Thursday, J saw the paedatrician, she has formally diagnosed him as having ADHD at the lower scale of the spectrum, so now he can get the extra support he needs in school. He will also be assigned a CAMHS nurse, who can support us with management stratagies to cope with his frustration and the anger he often gets when he is frustrated.

Educationally he is doing well, above average for all subjects, he just doesn't cope too well with some class room situations. The soya diet we put him on before Easter is certainly improving his concentration and he is a lot calmer. The paeds are pleased with that and have noted it in his file so that we can get support on keeping him on a diary free diet from the school.

I also had some good news, ive been very concerned about my nurse registration which is due in October. I have emailed both NBV and NMB(NSW) and finally i got an email from the NMB, that i am eliagble to enroll on the register with them, despite having not worked for a while. So being honest has paid off. Ive emailed an old friend of mine who i worked with years ago to ask her if she will give me a character reference. Im still waiting for her to reply. Ive also emailed an old tutor of mine from the OU to see if he will also give me a reference. Im still waiting for a reply on that too. Ive also tracked down my last employer and emailed her ages ago but ive not had any response so i may have to either phone or write via snail mail.

Ive got the information ready to send off for my verification pack via the NMC. I still need to fill in the application form, but ive not been able to type the the info required on the document as it is not a Word doc. Never mind i just need to save it to my memory stick and see if V can print it off at work. Our printer is out of ink and have not found a supplier yet.

D seems to be coping well after his ordeal last weekend. C still needs to be formally interviewed by the RMP's but they failed to turn up on Friday when they arranged to see him.

So far this weekend has been reasonably ok, the weather has been awful but the kids have been ok just playing with their friends in the house.

We are hoping V hears some news soon from the ADF, as we want to just get on with things.

Ive got another assignment due soon (25th of May) so im going to have to work like a trojan to get the work book finished so i can tackle the3 question set. I am finding the level 3 course harder than i imagined, im having to use a dictionary at times just to understand the words in the books. So much for it being a course on Communication in health care. Never mind im sure i will get there in the end. Once ive got this assignment done i will have to crack on with the revision for my exam. Im just hoping V gets some ink soon, as i need to do my revision mind maps and other aids so i can print them and use them right up till before the exam.

Im getting quite nervous about the exam already. I some times think ive bitten off more than i can chew doing 2 courses the way i have done.

Well id best get on with some laundry and other things as the well as getting J off to bed.

The aftermath after the weekend

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:12, Mon 12 May 2008 | 2 comments | Link

D has spent most of the afternoon with the RMP's at their station in Sennelarger near to his school. V was with him. He gave what amounted to as an 8 page statement. They are taking it very serious what happened to him and we have told D we will support him to get the man charged. D has been having night mares ever since it happened, although he had not told us that, we suspected it. He spoke with an military police man who has had special training to deal with children and after 2 hours he felt D had had enough for one day, as he was becoming quite emotional. so tommorow he will be getting his bruising photographed as logged correctly at the med center.

Im trying hard not to wrap the boys in cotton wool and allow them to play with their freinds as normal. But D is refusing to go any where other than his best friends garden which is very close to our house.

Im trying to keep the normal routine going as much as possible, partly as it makes me feel better.

I should have been studying today but after 2 nights of very little sleep i had very little energy to study. I shall attempt to get an early night tonight, now the boys are in bed. I think an alcholic drink might do the trick.

Ive already told V that this weekend i want to be away from the area so we can feel relaxed and the boys can play and have fun.

We arn't sure how long things will take before things go to court, as the man is refusing to attempt what he did but with witnesses we hope it wont take long as we want to put it all behind us.

V and I have tried not to think what could of happened to our son, as to do that would drive is both up the wall and possibily into insanity.

Instead we are just grateful that he is still with us , bruised and shaken but he is alive and well, which is the main thing.

The support from friends has been amazing , no one can imagine what it is like to see your child suffer and be frightened , but im sure with some help he will be able to get over this.

Im off now to have a stiff drink and curl up and think off better things that we hope to do in the future.


The moment every parent dreads, your child being snatched

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:17, Sun 11 May 2008 | 4 comments | Link

Yesterday we got a message through our door intercom telling us that an old German man had taken our 10 year old son, from our middle son and the friend they had being playing with.

V flew out of the house and i followed (in the process slamming the door with the keys in it). We ran along the street and round the corner to where we knew the kids had been playing football. My heart was in my mouth not really knowing what had happened. When we got to the area, a hugh sigh of relief swept over us as we saw our son. He looked absolutly terrorfied , he must of been scared as he had soiled himself when it happened. 

It turns out a man had tried to snatch him and he had clung onto an electric box for dear life, the man had slapped him twice and was incredabily aggressive towards him. Some passerby and a woman who lived right next to the area it happened intervened and saved him from god knows what. The man claims that D had been throwing stones at his garden but he denies it as does his younger brother , the witnesses to the event never saw any stones being thrown either. Once we identified what had happened we called the royal Military police and they inturn called the German Civil police. D had screemed so loudly that there were plenty of witness who heard and saw most of what had happened.

The main witness and first on the scene actually heard the slaps.

I headed back home to find my self locked out, but luckily i hadn't locked the patio door and managed to get it. While V went looking for the man who had assaulted him, so he could give the police an address.

The boys had a late night while they were interviewed by both the GCP and the RMP. C the middle boy complained of a bad tummy at bed time and slept very poorly, meanwhile D tossed and turned most of the night . It really has scared them.

Today the boys the boys have not ventured further than to their friends house close to home.

It scares me to think of what could have happened if people had not been there. We dont know what the mans intentions were , but we have told the police we wish to make a complaint about him attempting to abduct and asaulting our son. Hopefully we will be informed of what happens to the man.

Even if our son had thrown stones he would  not  have deserved the treatment he got from the old man.

The witness who saw it reckons that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 Tonight after D came out of the shower i noticed bruising under his arm and across his shoulder, judging by where the marks are it could be seen where the man had held D. We have taken photos to add to the statement that we are handing to the families officer.

Tonight my middle son has said he doesn't want to go to school as he will have to pass the area where D was traumatised, ive reassured him that we will go to school together and i will inform the school about what had happened.

Hopefully tonight the boys will sleep better.



Got my head around my assignment

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:02, Thu 8 May 2008 | 0 comments | Link

My assignment is i feel nearly finished now. My course forum were no help as no one came forward when i asked for help. But  for once my tutor actually replied to my email asking for help and with extra pointers i feel as though i have done well. It wont be a master piece getting loads of marks but, just to get a pass will do me.

My other tutor on my other course has also reponded to my email wanting further clarification on how she wants the essays done. It bugs me each tutor has their own way of how they like their students to write. Never mind im sure i will adapt to her style soon.

Its gorgeous outside today and as the cleaner has been in the house looks brill. How i wish i could afford for her to come in everyday and sort my life out. Ive managed to get the bedding washed and on the line so i hope this good weather continues and i can get all the laundry done.

Ive got an aplication form on its way from the nursing home where my sister works to supplement her nurse training. the matron said there would be no gaurantee of work.

 Im off down to the local bakery to treat myself to a ham salad sarnie and a bottle of pop. I feel i deserve a treat

My brain hurts

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:31, Wed 7 May 2008 | 2 comments | Link

I got the results back from my last assignment and thankfully i have passed.

However my current assignment is proving to be a night mare and i cant find any one i can bounce ideas off to help me get it done. Its all about human rights and social care practice. But my brain is melting with so much information and just not knowing where to start and what to include.

Ive emailed my tutor for some advice and pointers but i doubt he will respond as so far on this course ive recieved no help and no information that others got at tutorials. So i am disadvantaged to say the least.

Im off for a cuppa and hopefully it will all appear and i will get it done by Friday.

Its so unfair it gorgeous outside and im stuck up in our attic bedroom and i cant open the window as its a fire escape window and opens so fully that i get a gale blowing through the room.

Grrrh i need inspiration !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

A good weekend

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:39, Mon 5 May 2008 | 1 comments | Link

For the first time in ages, the sun shone for us over a weekend.

On Fri, v had the day off work and we got all the shopping we needed to do for the week. this meant that we had a relaxing weekend to go some where. On Saturday we were invited to a barbie by people we know. We had a good time, J behaved himself which meant i was less stressed (the soya diet is certainly helping him). I got rather tiddly on the 'house punch' not sure what was in it but it tasted ok.

Sunday we went up to Hameln were we lived the last time we lived in Germany, we saw the pied piper play, although in German i knew enough from memory to translate roughly for the kids. Well impressed i was. the town has changed a lot in some places but thankfully not enough for us to get lost. Loads of photos were took, we drove round our old married quarter, passed where we used to work. then explored the hills over looking the town, we went up Ohr park and the view was fantastic, we had a picnic looking down on the valley and river below. Then we drove to the other hight point the Kluttum momument, we climed the tower and what a view the whole of Hameln infront of us. We pointed out to the boys where we had walked and the land marks. In all a fantastic day .

We also saw no less than 5 westies and we all looked whistfully and remembered Angus.

The kids fell asleep almost as soon as their heads hit the pillows last night. The fresh air certainly knoacked us all out.

Ive had a few replies regarding my registration both in the UK, i need to do 450 hours off work before Oct if i want to re register. Nbv have sent me a link to down load the application form, so ive got nothing to lose by filling it in and getting all the verification done. Hopefully it will get accepted and once in oz can get a return to practice course done.

Ive asked my sister to see if it would be possible for me to work 10 nights shifts after my exam in June for a few months  to get my hours up. The money would come in handy. V is not keen on the idea though, as every month i would be leaving him with the kids for 10 days while i studied and worked back in the UK. It is a means to an end for me. It enables me to re register again with out any worries.

My very last option would be to do an Enrolled Nurse training course in Wodonga which would last a year and the earliest i could do it would be Jan 2010, as we would not be there in time for me to be on next years course. I dont particullay have to go down this route as i already have the qualification and i want to progress on and not start again.

Any how we shall see.

Ive started my final assignment for K202 and hope to have it finished before Friday. Then i will have to crack on and get all the work done for my K309 course. Then as soon as ive done that assignment i can get my revision done for my K202 exam.

Ive never known me to be so organised i just hope i pull it off.


Upsetting news from the UK

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:37, Thu 1 May 2008 | 3 comments | Link

The phone call i have been dreading arrived this morning. My beloved Westie Angus has died. He had a heart attack. I will phone my Mil up tonight to get more details, as it was my SIL that informed us.

Angus was a gorgeous teddy bear of a dog he was my baby before i had the boys. He was my companion for so long. It broke my heart when he was not allowed to travel with us to Germany due to the epilepsy he developed in 2006. My MIL kindly took him and tinker the cat on and has loved him and cared for him so well.

Tears are welling up as i write. Im just so glad we saw him at easter and could once again give him love.

When we get to oz i will get another Westie as i love the breed so much.

RIP Angus

Trying to be organised

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:44, Wed 30 April 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Tma 6 is now gone and im awaiting the results, ive nearly finished work book 7 and will get that assignment done. Then will have to switch on to my K309 course as i have my 2nd assignment to get done before the end of May. Once that is done it will be revision for my exam in June for K202. I just hope i can get all that done.

I have found it really hard having to struggle with 2 courses. i must have been mad to think i could pull it off and get good grades. Never mind one the exam is over i can give my full attention to my K309 course.

I had a panic last night as i realised that in October my Enrolled Nurse registration is up for renewal. Unfortunatly as i have not worked for 6 years (can it really be that long) So i emailed the NMC to find out what the score is. I know  i need to do an 'return to practice' course. But how can i do that while living in an army garrison in Germany. So trying to be organised i came up with a possible soloution, i could  while still registered send off to register for one of the oz states either Victoria or New South Wales. That way in a year when i get over i would be eligable to a return to practice in oz (i hope) any how ive asked a few questions on various  websites for nurses in oz so hope to get some answers on that on.

Or i could leave V with the kids for a few months in Germany while i go back to the UK and do a 10 week course in Newcastle. That would mean having to live with my parents for that time. Not something i really want to do.

last option would be to re do my EN training in oz once we are settled. Why cant live be more simple.

Any way best crack on ive got a lot to get done if my plan ive set is too work

Proud mummy moment

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:24, Fri 25 April 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Today my middle son C is representing his school in both a fun run and cross country.

As army schools tend to be wide spread, he is travelling to Herford around 2 hours away from us in Paderborn.

At the weekend we bought him a track suit and t shirt to wear, he has packed all his spare clothes and spare shoes ready for the day. He was so eager to get to school this morning he forgot his packed lunch that he needed to take. Just as well i spotted it when it was time for J to go to school.

I managed to get it to him before he got on the coach. I really did want to go to support him but parents were not allowed. I told him i was proud of him no matter where he comes or what time he does it in. As this is the first competion he has been in. I know he will do his best and for me that is all that matters. I look forward to him coming from school tonight and telling me all about it.

Ive finally started my assignment so id best crack on with it


When the unexpected happens

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:43, Thu 24 April 2008 | 0 comments | Link

It can give you a smile so big that the whole world can see.

Last year when i first joined face book after many BE members sent me requests to join them. I searched for a good friend of V who served in the army years ago. We knew he had married a Canadian and moved over there and kept in touch for a while but as life got in the way contact dropped as we moved around and possibibly he moved. I tried looking for him on BE but to no avail.

So imagine the shock and suprise when the leat expected did indeed happen.

WEll today i finally got a response to a message i sent to 4 people with the same name. I could have done cartwheels when i got a message saying yes you found me with his contact details, in an email via facebook.  I sent V a text and i can only imagine the smile on his face.

The thing with army life is quite often your close friends can become your family especially when you are serving abroad. So getting contact  again is like finding a long lost relative. a much loved one at that.

The sheer joy i feel on behalf of my hubby is immense as they became like brothers , like his other mate Fish who we finally hooked up with in Paderborn. Its almost like the brothers are back together again, only 2 more to find and im just hoping i finally find them too. With the internet it might just be possible.

No doubt V will hog the Pc tonight in sharing with Geordie the past 10 years of our life and hearing what he has been up to in 10 years. The best of it is if he were to turn up at our door tommorow then the past 10 years would just vanish and be just like the good ole days.

The army way of life can be harsh but the friends you make are usually for life even if you rarely see each other. Sharing and risking life in a dangerous and hostile environment is something you never forget and will always share with those trusted special people.

Such a shame i have never managed to find any of my old nursing student friends.

WE have had ackknowledgement today that the oz army have recieved our application form and are processing it now. So this is it we are in the system.

WEll back to my assignment now that ive calmed down and can concentrate again.



What an idiot i feel

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:03, Tue 22 April 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Yesterday i realised that i had been studying the wrong book for my next assignment. How could i have possibly done that. It wasn't till i had finished one of the units(unit 21) that i thought i would look at the questions on offer for my next K202 assignment. i thought thats strange the questions dont relate to what id been studying, puzzled i looked at the guidence and when it said units 18, 19 and blah blah will be useful. Then it dawned on me. A quick email to my tutor and ive got an extention. My assignment is supposed to be in on Friday but ive now got till the end of the month to get it done. Not long  but im sure i can do it as yesterday i worked like a trojan and nearly finished unit 18, only 2 more to go then i will get my 6th assignment done.

Then my 7 th assignment is due on the 15th of May and ive an assignment due on the 25th of May for K309 and my K202 exam is on the 18th of June. So guess im going to be very busy for a while.

We are still having problems with our tenant, he has paid no rent for months, the utility bill is mounting up. He are going to get the agent to evict him  and hopefully we will get our money off him. So fed up with the situation.

J is improving on the soya milk and our friends who stayed with us were a real help with him. Mel who has taught older children with ADHD and Austism thinks he may have both conditions but mildly. she has seen him at both his worst and his best, so ive been guided by her tips and suggstions.

After seeing the CAMHS team we are still no further forward, the mental health nurse claimed she does,t like labelling children but with out a diagnosis written down he wont get the support he needs. Im even looking into star flower treatment for him. Its hard work trying to exclude dairy from him. Especially here in Germany as i can only get a limited amount of things for him from the  German shops. The Naffi have agreed to look into getting more stuff for him, but i wont hold my breath.

When we went back to the UK for the easter, it was really easy to get most of his favorite foods as dairy free alternatives. But now he is resticted and not quite as happy having to miss out.

WEll got to get back to them books. I just hope all this hard work pays off and i get a good result, god knows i need it.



Feeling disappointed

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:11, Thu 17 April 2008 | 2 comments | Link

What a month ive had. The first 2 weeks were spent in the UK and too be honest i didn't enjoy it as much as i thought i would. It was very stressful as my parents. Despite my parents having a 5 bed house, it was so cluttered with crap that it was clostropobic. WE spent 3 days in Durham trying to sort out the estate agent our tenant has not been paying the rent ontop of the utillities bill he had not payed. WE then went up to Scotland and the weather was so cold and miserable we were all cooped up with my inlaws. Normally i get on great with them but there was a tension in the house as the slightest thing the boys did they were chastised for. Im normally strict with them but it was ridiculous the things they were getting wrong for.

We then returned back to my parents and stayed 2 further nights. We could not wait to leave the UK i never got the studying done i needed to do as the promised time to use the computers at both my parents and inlaws was extremly limited. So i had to ask for an extention on my K309 course (first assignment) not a good start.

i got my results back from my 6th assignment on K202 and had got a low mark despite all the effort i had put into it. So was really down about that.

Our friends from the UK had travelled back with us (in their car) for 10 days. They stayed in our room where i have my'study area' and that proved more difficult than i thought it would. they are lovley people a mother and daughter and we have had a great time with them. But i had expected them to visiting lots of places around Paderborn so that i could study while they were out. The daughter however didn't get up most days till after 11am. So i managed to get my assignement done in one session last week. They went out for the day only as i had the cleaner coming in. It was bliss to have space and time on my own to study. However it was not long enough as my result reflected. i failed my assignment. Im extremly dissapointed and have a dragging feeling in my stomach. Perhaps ive taken on too much trying to get my degree. Maybe academia is not for me.

Well ive got to crack on with my k202 course now as ive got an assignment due in 10 days time ARGH!!

Oh yeah our oz application to the army got send back. The numpties claimed we had not had the documents signed etc. But if they had looked on the back of the docs they would have seen the stamps and sigs. After much emails to them they agreed they had cocked up and for us to send them back again with a covering note. So lets hope we have no more problems.

Turning a corner perhaps?

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:37, Mon 17 March 2008 | 3 comments | Link

Thank you to all who gave suggestions over ways to help J.

Yesterday we started by switching his normal milk on his cereal to Alpro soya milk. What a difference, he was much calmer and almost a different little boy. For the first time in ages we had a good laugh together, as he was back to his charming self again. It was short lived though V gave him some cheesy puffs to eat while they were out at the shops. Wont be doing that again.

Im trying my hardest to get an apt with the paeds people so we can have tests on food intolerence.

Im almost finished my assignment which is due in on Friday, (having a mental block so took a break)The Insurance company look as though they will pay for the damage to the cars. So we are going back to the UK as planned. Quite realived about that. I need a break from Paderborn.

To cheer my self up im finally getting my hair done, the works, cut, colour and new style.

My weight is still coming down , slowly but im happy. Im still getting tired though so not too sure how effective the level of thyroxine im on.

All the family have now been told that we have applied to the oz army. Not too sure how they will react if we get the go ahead. As although they have been supportive so far , i still think they dont think we will get in or go to the other side of the world.

It seems that every other asdvert on TV is about oz right now. I doubt we will have saved enough money up for the trip in Octber which i really wanted to do. But we will just have to wait and see.

WEll back to the assignment as my brain is starting to kick in again

The application has finally gone

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:29, Tue 11 March 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Yesterday our application to the oz army has finally gone. We had to wait over a year before we could apply, V has spend the last few months preparing the application and yesterday the post office finally took it off our hands. It should take 2 weeks to reach them. Now its just a case of playing the waiting game.


We got the quote for one of the cars the J had damaged it has come in at E 900. Nearly died we cant afford it so we are seeing if our insurance will pay it. If not then its possible we will have to cancel the trip back to the UK and sell the DS lite we had bought for J. It really has put a dampner on things, as we had planned on gettting some new chest of drawers for the boys as their furniture is literally falling apart. that will have to wait now as well as replacing some other furniture that has seen better days.

We have our first visitors arriving on the 6th April, we had hoped to have the house looking good with no tatty furniture but they will just have to close their eyes to our less than perfect home. 

Well back to the books ive got an assignement that has to be in next week as thanks to help from BE ive managed to get some good ideas.


Testing for Jen!

| Posted by Fly Away
10:54, Friday 7 March 2008 | 2 comments | Link
Jenni said she was having trouble setting up her blog, so I'm testing the system - how boring for you folk wanting to read interesting stuff....

Light at the end of the tunnel

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:01, Fri 7 March 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Thank you to the Pm's and emails i recieved , the support i have been shown over my son has been fantastic.

We finally have an appointment to see a specialist in April, i wish we could have it sooner but just to have some help is a start.

The tension has slowly eased this week and although J is confined to the house he has accepted it quite well. Its my middle sons birthday tommorow and providing J is not in a mood tommorow then hopefully we will go out for a family meal.

It is still difficult taking J out in public for meals as everything has to be just so other wise he creates on so much it all becomes too much for us.

As usual my parents have not offered any support apart from the lad needs a good hiding for damaging the cars. It could be awkward staying with them at Easter but it will only be a short time so hopefully we wont get too stressed, as this will be the first time we have stayed with them as a family .


We have got the application form ready to send to the recruiting team for the oz army, V's boss has signed and stamped the docs as being certified copies, so fingers crossed we find out soon if we have got to the interview stage.

Got to crack on with my studies


Feeling numb

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:59, Tue 4 March 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Thanks to Sam and Gill for your support. It means a lot to me.

Today has been difficult, J didn't want to go to school, he never mentioned the fact it was his birthday. He knows both V and i are upset over his behaviour yesterday. I informed his class teacher and assistant of what has happened.

When i tried to talk to him today about what he had done and why, he just replied that was yesterday.

We are waiting for the quotes to come back to see how much the repair of 2 cars is going to cost us. If it is too much then we will have to cancel our trip back to the Uk and get a refund of our tickets.

Im emotionally drained and just dont know where to turn. We have tried to get in touch with the Paeds department and with CAMHS but so far no joy. Being in Germany with the army can make it difficult when trying to get help as often the right people arn't based near you and it can mean a good hour or two's driving for a 10 min appointment.

Ive been trying to study today as i have 2 assignments to get done. But my head is all over the place. V is no better he is struggling at work today. 

I dread picking J up from school as i know the other parents will give me some funny looks, they already blame J for any problems on our estate. Which is why for such a long time we kept him in. So we are back to keeping him in so that we can know for certain he wont be causing any more damage.

I cant believe how over the past 4 years ive had such a struggle with him. As a baby apart from being born big (10lb10 oz) he was normal. Once he got to 2 year old he became so hyped up and my struggles began. Asked to leave play groups and toddler groups due to his behaviour. We asked for help then but all i got told was he will grow out of it. Once he gets to nursery he will be fine, once dad is home for good he will calm down and when he starts school you will notice his behaviour improve. Well none of that has made any difference.

Ive been so close to breaking down today when i spoke with his teachers .

The stress we are under is bad, and if im not carefull i will end up with a nervous break down. The last time i was like this was when i had problems with D not doing well at school and refusing to do homework. Then i got help from a volunteer who managed to get D to do his homework . I was on my own then as V was in Ireland and unable to help much. Nor did he understand how hard it was for me.

V now realises fully the preassure i was under then, as he is feeling it now. At least we can support each other and with a bit of luck get through this.

I wish kids came with a manual and could tell us what we need to do. 

Im trying to be positive and think it is only a glinch but i dont want my 6 year old to end up with an ASBO and us being sent back to the UK while V remains in post. That will break the family up for good.

Hopefully the help we need will be avaliable soon and things will turn themselves round.

What to do now?

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:03, Mon 3 March 2008 | 3 comments | Link

Both V and I are at our wits end with J the youngest. After he damaged a car last year we had him on severe restictions as to playing out. I though since he had an invite to play at his freinds house accross the street i would let him go. The little toe rag didn't go to his freinds instead an irate mother brought him home as he had dammaged 2 cars throwing stones and scratching them  . We off course are going to pay for the damage. Its the final straw for V though. AS if J gets into any more trouble then we run the risk of being seperated as the army wont tolerate what they consider to be out of control children. V already has one family on a final warning from the army in his unit, in their case it is a teenager causing problems. From what we have been told that as J is so young it will be us as a family that will get sent .

Its his 6th birthday tommorow but we wont be celebrating it. It sounds cruel and i feel awful about that but we just cant seem to get through to him. We know from his visit to see the paeds that he possibibly is on the spectrum for ADHD. But so far we have not recieved the help we were promised . We are trying so hard to be good parents but we must be failing him if he is getting worse.

Life did seem to be getting better at one point but now it feels as though it is all going wrong again. We just dont know what to do any more. We have tried all the punishement and behaviour charts there are. So as a last resort we are having him put on virtual house arrest till we leave paderborn which will be another year. God help me as it wont be easy. As if i dont lock the doors then he sneaks out and goes wandering off and i never know where he is.

well know ive getting it off my chest im off for a cuppa then once the kids are all asleep it will be a stiff drink

Missing my Gran

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:05, Wed 27 February 2008 | 2 comments | Link

Today after writing out my mothers day cards for our mams, it hit me that this year there wont be a card for my gran. Ive got a lump the size of coal in my throat as i stop my self from breaking into tears.

Because i dont have a great relationship with my mam, my gran has always taken her place in my affections. I am trying so hard to encourage the way my mam is with me. WE can talk about the weather , what the kids are doing but nothing personal. When i was a teenager, my mam called me all the names under the sun as in her words i was not the daughter she wanted, me to be. Unfortunatly that remark has stayed with me and although i go through the motions and get her a card out of a sense of duty. It was always my gran that i spent ages finding just the right card.

I miss her so much and just wish i could give her a big hug and tell her how much she means to me.

I try so hard to be a loving mam to the boys , even when they play me up and are right horror bags. I never want my boys to feel like the way my mam made me feel.

I know the boys are hiding something from me, as ive been told not to go into their school bags this week. What ever they are doing i know i will be happy with.

I know im not the only one feeling a little raw , this time of year, so for those who are facing a mothers day with out a mother figure or mother, then have a hug and love from me  

Back to the books now the weepiness is easing again.


A few days off for good behaviour

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:54, Wed 20 February 2008 | 0 comments | Link

AS the kids are on 1/2 term , ive had a few days of not studying. How strange that is. Today we had a drive out to Mohnasee which is where the Brits in ww2 practiced for the bouncing bomb. Unfortunatly we couldn't find the damm its self. although over a decade ago we found it easily when we last lived in Germany.

Any how we packed the 3 boys, the dog and a winter picnic (flask of soup, sarnies , crisps and a large flask of coffee)

It was rather cold once we left the car and as as its was out of the tourist season the loos were locked. just as well the kids are male lol.

After skimming stones against the water and filling our stomachs up it was time to get home again.

Im awaiting the results from my latest assignment and ive got another one before easter leave and one to be in before we get back from leave.

So far im doing ok. My cleaner started last Thursday and what a difference it has made, i was ablre to concentrate completely on course work and my assignment. She is back in tommorow and thankfully the place is still reasonably tidy.

WE are looking forward to visiting family at Easter as we have decided that will be the last time we go back to the UK this year. WE simply can not afford the ferry fare. Nearly 1000E for the 5 of us .

WE got a quote back to fly from Frankfurt to Melbourne in Oct and we will have to save a fair bit to cover the costs. But with the forces discounts we may just manage it.

I know the Albury lot are longing for us to be there, sending adverts for houses we could afford to live in.

Hopefully by the summer we will know if we are successful in joining the oz army. Although we know now we could have a plan B as V has seen plenty of civvy jobs he could do in oz.

Im off to my bed now as im knackered , this cold weather just doesn't suit me at all.


Coronation street causes floods

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:38, Mon 21 January 2008 | 0 comments | Link

Well I should never have watched corrie on Friday night. I was in floods of tears as Vera died in her sleep.

V laughed at me telling me it was only a soap, but it seemed so real and the past few weeks of emotinal turmoil ive been through im sure caused the flood gates to open.

Im sure im not the only person to have been in floods that night.


Some thing to look forward to, we are looking ahead to when my exams are over and we can come for our holiday to oz. We just cant decide where to go, Perth to see a long lost rellie of dads and visit the surrounding area, Queensland to the oz zoo, great barrier reef, or Melbourne where we know and love. Its so hard to decide, Ive told V im sure the kids wont mind where we go as long as we get there.

Any how my assignment needs completing so best get it done 

Trying to move on

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:36, Fri 18 January 2008 | 1 comments | Link

Ive been back home a week now. The funeral went well i suppose. I managed to say the poem although my voice did wobble and croak a little.

i held it altogether till we got to the grave side. Then all my stiff up lip just came crashing down, luckily one of my older cousins managed to comfort me , as i collapsed into sobs that i had curtailed for so long.

It was strange going back to Durham and staying at my parents home, ive never had a fantastic relationship with them and at times the atmosphere was tense. My mam has taken the death very hard, enough though she never showed any emotion towards my gran when she was alive. I helped her as much as i could. The paper work has been horrendous as my gran never left a will. She had already told us what she wanted us to have, just never wrote it down.

I managed to get a little bit of studying done and im trying my hardest to stay focused to get this assignment done, hopefully by next week i will get it sent of to my tutor.

My new course materials arrived while i was away so i really do need to get my act together. So that im ready to start that course on time and not be behind on my current course.

Ive been fighting fatigue all week, i had my bloods done on Tues and i see the Dr next Tue to make sure everything is ok . D has had his final appointment at the hospital and they are happy is arm is healing well, he just needs to keep up the hand exercises as he has slight nerve damage that is affecting his little finger.

J has an appointment on Thurs to see the paeds to see if we can get to the bottom of his behaviour and what solutions are avaliable to us.

Im so looking forward to our holiday in oz in October im not bothered if we take the kids out of school for a few weeks as i feel it is so important for them to experience oz before we finally move next year. That sounds weired saying next year. As 2006 was when we first decided we wanted to got to oz.

People say time is a great healer and i know in time the emptieness i feel will ease. Last week as i burried my gran was also the 8th anniversary of Davids funeral, so its no wonder my emotions have been all over the place.

Last Saturday with our friends we all went to see Abba mania in Bielefeld and it was brillent, just what i needed to inject some fun back into my life. Im trying to be positive and to live my life in a good way.

My grans sister told me just recently that my Gran was so proud of the way i have just got on with things and bounced back after all the set backs i had in my teens. Just knowing that is making me more determined than ever to get this degree and start a fresh life in oz. A big part of me will always belong to Durham but i know i have the strength to just go out there and make a new life with my family.

Well back to the books, other wise this assignment will never get done.

Ps thanks to all those who have given me support when i most needed it   


A time to reflect

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:25, Wed 2 January 2008 | 2 comments | Link

As 2008 begins, the death of my granma has weighed heavily on my mind, the things i never got to say, the things i never got to do with her.

I booked flights today so that i can get back before the funeral and get my head together. Ive asked my parents if i can say something at the funeral . I know i will be finding hard but i feel i need to say something, about the lady who i admired for so long.

i found this poem and i just feel it is so right to say it.

All is well

Death is nothing at all

i just slipped into the next room

i am i and you are you

whatever we were to each other , that we are still

call me by my familar name

speak to me in that easy way which you always used, put no difference in your tone

wear no forced air of solemnety or sorrow

laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together

play, smile, think of me, pray for me

let my name be ever the house hold word  that it always was

let it be spoken with out effect, without the trace of shadow on it

life means all that it ever meant

it is the same now as it ever was, there is unbroken continunity

why should i be out of mind because im out of sight?

i am waiting for you, for an interval , somewhere very near

Just round the corner

All is well


Although it has been difficult to accept my granma has gone i know that she would not have wanted to suffer anymore from the ill health she had . She is now with my granda and my uncle.

I also know that she believed life was for living and not letting it slip you past. So many times over the past couple of days ive felt as though my heart would break open with the grief. My granma was the person along with aunt Margaret who i woud phone if i had anything on my mind. Ive lost that know , as i just dont have that sort of relationship with my mother or any of my siblings. My MIL is great i can talk over some things with her but not all.

Yet from somewhere i seem to be gaining some strength, when im in bed im sure i could hear my gran saying snap out of it girl, get those books out and pass that course. So i have opened up my books again and im trying my hardest to get back in to it.

 i have an assignment due in on the 16th and i know even with none stop studying i wont be able to complete enough to get it done. As i fly back to the UK on the 6th, funeral on the 8th and fly back on the 10th. i just wont have enough time to get my assignment done. Normally i would go into panic mode , but ive emailed my tutor explained what has happened and he said i could have an extention or could ask for a subsitution.

I think i will ask for an extention so that i can have a good chance of passing my next assingment. If i do badly on it i know it will be the best i can do under the circumstances.

Im determined to make my granma proud, i just wish that she could have been around to see the only person in our family get a degree.

Ive set my self little goals to acheive this year instead of new year resolutions.

I shall do my best in my OU studies , i shall try my hardest to get on top of the weight problems. Most importantly i shall not be afraid to ask for help when i need it.

I shall try to have a positive attitude to life and not let things get me down.

To the friends who have given me support over this difficult time , i really do appreciate it


The best and the worst time at Christmas!!!!!!!!

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:29, Sat 29 December 2007 | 3 comments | Link

For my boys this Christmas has been the best ever, we kept the suprise going about center parks till we got there. The smiles on their faces was pure magic, the laughter and excitement was infectious.

We arrived on christmas eve in the afternoon, after un loading the car and taking the dog out for a walk we explored     Bispringer Hiede while it was still light. We had tea and got back to what was to be our home. Once the 3 monsters had gone to bed V and i enjoyed a glass or 3 of wine while the natural events of santa unfolded.

The next day (or should i say a mere 3 hours later) we heard has he been yet? loudly whispered. At 4 in the morning we managed to persuade them that it was too early. WE finally gave in at 6am. Opening their pressies the kids had smiles that could light up the world, Ds lites for D and C and J got a dvd player(he thought it was a lap top). When they saw the snokles they just wanted to test them out straight away. Once the swimming paradise opened up at 10 am we were there. In my whole life i have never spend christmas day in a cossie in 30.c water, it was brill we finally left there at around 3pm feeling hungery. the boys choses to eat burgers and all the junk food i would normally frown at. But this was their special christmas and i was not going to spoil it for them.

The rest of the day was a blur of activities and at around 7ish we found a pancake house and had tea.

Unfortunatly for me chosing an italian pancake was not a good move for me.


Boxing day, I awoke with severe chest pain and unable to breathe, it was like the worst heart burn and indigestion i had ever experienced, so i spend the rest of the day in bed sleeping when i could and trying to sip water to ease my pain.

V took J to the cowboy and indian activity i had booked him in to and the other 2 played on their ds's for a while. Then in the afternoon the boys promised their dad they would behave if he took them swimming again. So off they went leaving me in the land off nod. Sometime in the afternoon, my mobile went , i knew it must be an emergency as our families knew not to call while we were on holiday.

On answering it my whole world shook when i heard my dad say, Mandy ive got some bad news, your granmas died suddenly in hospital.

AS i was ill it caused me to virtually collapse , i managed to get on to my bed and i must have sobbed my self to sleep. When i awoke it was dark and i reied to shake my self together . I ran a bath, i did not want my boys too see me in such a state. V walked in just before i got in the bathroom. He gently told the boys and they took it well, better than i was. WE had decided we would still continue with the holiday and i would try and join in with what ever we had planned. I did not want to stop the boys fun.

The next day the 27th i awoke with stomach cramps and the trotskies in a bad way. Thankfully by 11 that had cleared up a little(as long as i only had mineral water). Again we headed to the pool, i spend most of it sat on a deck chair watching the boys having fun. J now is the proud owner of a body board and he proudly showed off his 'surfing skills' when the wave machine came on it cheered me up no end seing the boys having fun. Once the memory of the camera was full i decided to brave going in the water. I inisted that i found the whirlpool and chill in there, while the others went down the various slides and chutes. J had to stay with me . (He split his head open a few days before we left) we told him even though he had a swimming hat on he could not go down the big slides as he would go under the water too much. Luckily the baby pool had various slides that amused him where i could supervise him.

Our final day on the 28th was spend trying to pack the car and buy those last minute goodies we had promised ourselves.  2 hours later we were home and more or less back too normal.

It was a day that i finally had a long discussion with my younger sister about what had happened to our granma. Mam was too fragile to speak .

Today i finally got to speak to my mam, both of us trying to make arrange ments for me to travel back to the UK , it was a difficult conversation, trying not to break down.

Its only when the kids are in bed and im truely on my own that the tears well up as i think of how much my granma has meant to me. She was a lady that i admired for many a year, she ran youth clubs in her 50's and 60's only giving up when the dwindling amount of children gave up coming.

She tirelessly raised thousands of pounds for charities.

 It's only been the past 10 years that i found my self getting frustrated at her for no longer taking care of her apperance and letting her standards of hygine slip.  I shall try not too dwell too much on those years, but on the years when she was at her best, when she battled with my parents to allow me to go in to nursing and to start 'going out' with V. She always saw the best in me and for than i owe her everything.

I shall miss my Gran so much , she was my confidant and my champion.

The last time we spoke to each other before moving to Germany, she knew we would not have much time together as she told me not to forget my dreams and if we got to Australia before she died she still wanted us to go.

Her motto in life was dont look back always look forward , so i shall try my best to live up to her motto.

Despite my granma's untimely death we had a fantastic christmas and hopefully as the raw ness of the grief im feeling eases i will remember the fun we had more than the saddness.


What a week , wondered how i fit it all in.

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:11, Sun 16 December 2007 | 0 comments | Link

This week has been so hectic the fancy dress night was a hoot on Monday, the kids school plays were really good , i managed to get my assignment done and sent off. i even managed to fit a shopping trip in with my friend so we could get the desirable underwear for under the ball gowns.

Last night was the christmas ball and i really enjoyed it, there were a few people gave me hassle, one a German lady who im on a 'hello how are you type of relationship' She told me she thought i was the most lonliest woman she had ever met and always grumpy. Thankfully i just told her that just because i dont hang around in a big group of fellow army wives doesn't make me lonley  nor am i grumpy. I think the booze made me brave. i also told her that im just not an 'in your face type of person'

I also had the workshops octopus drag me up to dance, i felt ill after having the misfortune to dance with him. Thankfully the other gentlemen who asked me to dance were charming and didn't mind my two left feet when trying to waltz with me.

I even woke up this morning with out a hangover or feeling too tired considering it was gone 3am before i got to my bed.

When ive got photos of the do i will add them on.

Tommorow i have a review at the drs to see how things are after taking the thyroxine. Then we have a week to get the boys christmas pressies. so another hectic week beckons.

Our good friends have agreed to store the kids big pressies at their house and when we are due back from Bispringer heide will put them around the tree with a note from santa. (we can only take small gifts with us hidden in the suitcases.


Panic over , i think

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:14, Sat 8 December 2007 | 0 comments | Link

WEll god knows how but i have managed to find a costume for the fancy dress night. Although it is holly wood night ive got a hippy out fit, as V is going as Austin powers so im saying im felicity shag well. (his idea) So that is that sorted. Then i managed to find a lovley German boutique shop that sold ball gowns even in sizes for the fuller figure. Ive chosen a gorgeous emerald green dress which has a metalic sheen that in certain lights looks blue. Ive been for the fitting today and i pick it up on Wednesday. just need the under wear to go with it now.

Thank you to every one for the support, i really appreciated it.

Im going to the hairdreser on Tuesday and hopefully she can also fit me in before the do on Sat so that i can look my best.

The tablets seem to be working too as my weight has come down a little bit, not enough to notice with my clothes but its a start.

Im going to be really busy over the next few days getting my assignment done, ive made a start and hope to finish it by Wed.  

At the moment im that busy that ive not had chance really to think about christmas, ive not done any cards apart from the one to oz. Ive sent on line cards to my friends on face book, but that is it.

Even going round the lovely christmas market today hasn't sprung me in to action.

Well im off to see the x factor results now


starting to panic!!!!!!!!!!

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:05, Tue 4 December 2007 | 4 comments | Link

Its coming up to the silly season, on Monday i have a 'Hollywood theme' fancy dress to go to. Have i anything to wear. Nope. The fancy dress shop is miles away and V is constantly working and despite me telling him that i need an out fit i just know it will be a last minute thing and off course as im in the larger sizes there wont be anything i like that will fit me.

On the 15th ive got the christmas ball to attend. However none of my clothes fit and so far the only shop ive looked in dont have my size. So im starting to panic as i dont know where all the clothes shops are. A friend had promised we would have a girly shopping day to get our ball gowns , but as she is in the army it never happened. Most of the shops close early so its hard to go shopping when V gets in from work also we would have the kids which is a recipe for disaster.

Since finding out about my under active thyroid ive been feeling quite down. Im just plodding on with studying and hiding my self away. As ive put on so much weight all my self confidence has evapourated away. Im almost at the stage of cancelling the baby sitter and not going to the christmas functions. As im sure i will look like the back end of a bus no matter what i get to wear..

V is trying his best to boost me, but i just feel like a beached whale. It doesn't help that the kids have started calling my wobbly bum, fatty etc. (thankfully only in the house)

I hate feeling this way. I normally love christmas and really get into it. But this year there just seems to be so much going wrong. The kids are constantly fighting with each other. V is hacked off with the constant preassure at work and then coming home to another battle ground.  We have tried calmly talking to the boys but it goes in one ear and out the other.

Im so looking forward to our break at center parks. If only just so the kids can be looked after while V and i can chill.

Im hoping that the thyroxine will kick in soon and the weight will start coming off as i feel so un heathly, despite having a good healthy diet. Im going to try and get back to the gym again soon too. the dr advised me to wait untill my energy levels start to rise other wise iw ill just over do it.

Ah well back to studying

I passed

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:11, Tue 27 November 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Im so pleased to have pased my first assignment, especially after i was so worried about it. With all the extra studying ive done im now on track with my course.

ive not seen what my tutor has written about my assignment as i only so the score on my Ou student home page.

Im going to starting my next assignment shortly as i know my energy levels are very low right now. Its not due in till just before xmas, but i dont want to be too stressed.

I see the DR on Friday so hopefully it wont be long till im starting the thyroid medication.

Short but sweet tonight as im struggling to keep awake.

Relief and confusion all rolled into one

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:07, Fri 23 November 2007 | 0 comments | Link

As some of you may know who read my blog, ive been struggling with my weight over the past year and been getting down over it.

Ive been to see the Dr and have blood tests done. the results are in and ive been quite shocked by them. It looks like ive got an under active thyroid which explains why ive felt so tired and have struggled with my weight. It shouldn't have come as a suprise really as both my gran and my mum have the same condition.

The relief as i now know its not been my fault the weight has gone on as fast as it has. But im scared and confused as what it all means. Ive been in touch with the lovley Ipom and she has pointed me in the right direction so i can gain more information.

Ive got more tests to come on Monday to check my antibodies as if they are abnormal then i have a condition called hoshi something or other. The Dr has told me i will need to be put on thyroid treatment which will be for life. That scares me!!!!!!!

My brain just feels like it is going to explore, im trying hard to keep up with my course work as i dont want to fall behind especially since my next course starts in Feb so i will be in effect studying full time between Feb till June when my first course ends.

Its taking all my strength to keep going with the studying to the point of exhaustion at the end of the day.

V has now agreed that i need to get a cleaner in to help me out, other wise i think i will just be of no use to man nor beast.

im off for lunch then back to the books


The magic of christmas

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:02, Sat 17 November 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Of late ive become a little cynical of christmas as just an exercise by shops to get loads of money from hard cash strapped people. Despite always loving christmas and always getting into the spirit of things in the past.

Then today my boys made me see christmas in a new light , the magic of christmas.All because we watched Miracle on 34th street. As my boys were clearly engrossed in watching the film i sat back and watched it with them. After wards my 7 year old said how much he enjoyed the film and was looking forward to christmas, not for the fancy pressies that they get, but because people are nice to each other and smile. He gave me a lump in my throat. My eldest even said he wasn't bothered if we cant afford much this year as he knows we are saving up for oz. 

The kids have even asked if we can make cards to send to our friends this year instead of buying them. I told them it was a lovley idea  and if can get the stuff and i have time then we shall do that.

The boys still dont know we are going away for christmas and im sure it will be magical, just the five of us and Benji the dog. We plan on taking the pressies in a suitcase so they are none the wiser. Im even going to wrap a pressie from their grandparents . They wont be getting much this year as they still haven't played with all the stuff they got last year. So it will be mainly clothes and educational stuff. ( i know boring parent alert)

 As we wont be able to watch tv (German only) im taking plenty of board games and things to do as a family.  Im going to use this christmas to try and show my kids that we dont need a lavish christmas to have fun. I still remember as a kid haing dad's pit socks filled with fruit and after dinner playing scrabble or draughts. May sound a little old fashioned in todays society but i think it was the best time i could have had as a kid. 

Ive also decided to give pressies that have real meaning, instead of buying something for my gran that i know she will never use, im going to buy a goat or something similar for a family from a developing country. Ive aways been the type of person to give a lot of thought on pressies as i enjoy giving joy so much. It never really bothers me if i recieve little in return.

So i guess the magic of christmas is truely in our house this year. Im itching to put the decs up but i shall refrain for a few more weeks yet.

Time for me to get some kip as tommorow we are off exploring Paderborn 



Another hospital another test

| Posted by geordie mandy
02:40, Mon 12 November 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Today we have been at the kinder klink , the staff were lovley especially the receptionist who spoke good English. However the woman doing the MRI was silent through the whole procedure. D was really frightened despite my best efforts to prepare him. He was physically shaking as he entered the room where the 'tunnel' was kept. He did however manage to stay still for the whole procedure. Not too sure what is going to happen when we see the DR on Friday. One of the Dr's who spoke to us after the MRI said something about tendon damage.Ah well just have to wait and see now.

Talking of hospitals my Gran got rushed into hospital yesterday with severe breathing difficulties, my parents are keeping me informed (when i phone them to ask after my gran) It feels strange as its nearly a year since granda died. Im just hoping that my Granma pulls through . 

One thing the kids and i have noticed is how cold is becoming , we have had little flurries of snow, so i think its time to make sure the kids have wellies to fit and plenty of hats etc.

 My assignment is now on its way to my tutor  so fingers crossed i passed.

Ive been thinking seriously about how im coping with all the study, trying to get to the gym and getting the house work done and ive come to the conclusion that there are just not enough hours in the day to fit in all i want to. Im determined that i need to keep going to the gym especially as since ive not been my weight has soared up again. So after much humming and harring ive decided to go ahead with getting a cleaner. I feel such a snob saying that, as ive always taken pride in doing it my self. But the house is a tip as ive been so busy . So hopefully in a few weeks i shall have a cleaner come in twice a week just to keep the place presentable.

kids need their tea now so best get on with it 

Not the good news we were expecting

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:48, Thu 8 November 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Yesterday we spent most of the day back at the hospital with D . The consultant is not too happy with how his arm is healing. He was in so much pain when the pot was taken off, he could barely move it.

He has had a fresh pot put on and an appointment has been made for Monday for him to have an MRI scan. We then go back to the hospital on Friday to get the results and to find out what is going to happen. He was rather down in the dumps to have another pot back on.

Worse case scenario really is that he will need to have it manipulated back in place under anesthetic. The staff have been great at the hospital, not all speak good English but some how i manage to understand some of the German they speak.


Got to get back to this essay so no rest for the wicked as they say 

Against the clock

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:12, Mon 5 November 2007 | 0 comments | Link

My OU materials finally arrived just as the kids went on their school hols. So now im against the clock to get the first assignment done. I hate it when things dont go to plan. If the materials had arrived when they were supposed to then i could have had my essay done and be working towards the next one. Instead im playing catch up and having to burn the candles at both ends to keep it going.


J is still giving us a lot of concerns , he is getting assesed this week in school so we shall see what comes from that. Im trying to take a step away from the situation so i dont get so upset when he goes off on one. Its hard work and im not sure if im doing the right thing.

D is at the hospital this week and will hopefully get his pot off.

C is stll amazing us with how well he is doing at school, his teacher has placed him at the top of his year group already and expects him to finish the schhol year at the same standard as the year above him. God knows where he gets his brains from cos it aint from me lol.

Ive not been to the gym much since the kids were on hols, mainly as i have so much to get done. But once this essay is done i will done to the gym like a shot.

WEll back to the essay, it wont do it's self

Mums gone to Iceland (part 1)

| Posted by Daunted
08:27, Wed 24 October 2007 | 2 comments | Link

I couldn’t get out of work quick enough today. It has been a tough couple of weeks and I am more than ready for this break.  Reality hit home around lunch time when I suddenly felt very nervous about the whole travelling alone thing. If the travel agent had rung and said that they had had to cancel the trip I think part of me would have breathed a huge sigh of relief! Quite ironic really when you think that in the not to distant future I am going to be moving to the opposite side of the world with two children and the only thing that is certain is the whole uncertainty of it all! (Anyway that’s another story!)


John arrived on time to give me a lift to the train station.  Before leaving he gave me a card with some much sought after Icelandic Krona (the travel agent had forgotten to order mine) and I made the decision that I was definitely going to do the Glacier Adventure tour now!  The card was a photo of Earth taken from space which seemed very appropriate for life right now.  Inside he had written the words ‘The world is your Oyster’.  A favourite phrase of mine! The world really is a massive place with so many places to explore and experience and I don’t understand how anyone could not possibly want to get out there and see as much of it as possible.  I can go to Australia knowing that I have seen a large chunk of Europe and not being able to jump on a plane and be in a different country so quickly and easily is one thing I really will miss. (But that’s that other story again J )


The train journey was pretty straight forward, Clitheroe to Bolton and then change for Manchester Airport.  It wasn’t until we reached Picadilly Station that things got entertaining.  Jake and his family got on the train!! I know his name was Jake because it was plastered across the front of his T-Shirt.  Now poor young Jake was probably about 8 years old and epitomised everything Jamie Oliver and his cronies have been ranting about! He was as round as he was tall and judging from his behaviour (or lack of it) he had been fed a diet of pure additives and colourants, either that or he was a disobedient little shit who would have benefited from a bit of discipline in his life!  He was travelling with Dad and Step Mum and his younger sister who provided most of the entertainment for the crowded carriage! You know the type, the ones who always have to talk at full volume thinking everyone wanted to know their business.  By the time the train arrived at the airport I was aware of how Step Mum had only married Dad for his money (according to Jakes Sister LOL) and how they had left the oven, hot water and Tv all switched on!  The handle on their 70’s style suitcase had broken but it was ok because Jakes Dad was sure he could mend it once they got to the hotel and that no one was to worry because he had tied it together with his belt!  ‘Please god let his trouser waist be tight’ – I’m not sure I could cope with his trousers falling around his ankles when he stood up to leave the train! 

I found myself hoping that they weren’t going to Iceland – but they didn’t look the type, if it’s possible to define ‘the type’! Football strips and endless cans of lager by the pool seemed more there kind of thing – not a politically correct statement I know but I’m sure you understand the type?

As I stood up to leave the train I noticed Little Miss Sophisticated with her matching luggage (no Matalan goods for this one).  She was around my height, long mousy blonde hair tied back in a pony tail and dressed in jeans, top and jacket.  It was a very casual look but she seemed to carry it off with such ease.  She had a look of confidence and sophistication  about her and  made me in my ‘off to Iceland – dress for warmth and comfort’ clothes feel very frumpy and dated without even muttering a word to me!


Off the train the mad dash to Terminal 1 began.  I knew I had plenty of time yet I felt compelled to join the masses all scurrying along as if their flight was about to depart without them.


The departure hall is much smaller than Terminal 2 where I have only flown from before (hey international jet setter that I am lol).  I was feeling very conspicuous being on my own.  It’s a feeling I have grown used to but never felt comfortable with. It’s like everyone is watching you wondering why you are travelling alone, as if you have no right to be there and have no friends.  One of the perils of moving home frequently is that you never get to have that close friendship women usually have. Sure I have friends, lots of them but I haven’t had that all seeing and knowing friendship for a long time.


Once I reached check in I was disappointed to see Little Miss Sophisticated first in line to the desk!  Great! Now not only did I feel out of place on the train but it was beginning to look like I stood to be the only person arriving in Iceland dressed as if expecting to be anything less than an outdoor experience! 

Check in went smoothly and I went straight through to the departure lounge in search of dinner! I hadn’t felt much like eating lunch with the nerves but now I could gladly have eaten a scabby horse so long as it was hot and served with a side salad!  Luckily I didn’t have to resort to that and settled down with a sandwich and bag of crisps.  A flight to Tenerife had been delayed 4 hours and there were a lot of tired, frustrated passengers hanging around.  You couldn’t help but feel sorry for them, especially the ones with children – not a good start to their holiday! Rather selfishly I hoped that their delay wouldn’t have a knock on effect on other flights, more specifically Icelandic Air flight FI441 to Keflavik!

No trip away would be complete without a trip around Duty Free so I treated myself to a bottle of my fave perfume and 3 x 250ml bottles of wine for £5.  (One for each night of my stay). I had been warned that alcohol was very expensive in Iceland, as was everything so I was impressed with my find J  My shopping tucked firmly under my arm I set off to find somewhere to sit and wait for my flight and do some serious people  watching.  I sat with a school party from Solihull who were also on their way to Iceland. They were a lively but lovely and very funny bunch of Year 10 students, 28 of them in total.


40 minutes from departure our flight was called to gate 23.  It turned out there was a music festival happening in Reykjavik that weekend, Airwaves, and suddenly the departure gate was surrounded with lots of very hip and trendy party animals obviously on the way to the festival.  However there was now a happy mix of others dressed as myself, ready for the elements – PHEW!! I wasn’t going to look so out of place after all.

Little Miss Sophisticated was there, now sporting a party outfit which must have been hidden in her designer hand luggage and there were two women (Thelma and Louise) obviously already in party mode courtesy of the departure lounge bar! They were very loud and excited but very funny and no trouble.

Two young men were standing towards the back of the queue.  Probably in their early 20s and dressed in drain pipe jeans and winkle picker shoes. There was no mistaking they were off to party and not walk up volcanoes.  One of them looked like Gok!! You know! The guy from the Tv ‘How to look good naked’, so he promptly became known as Gok which then of course meant the other had to be Spiel!  (Gok ‘n’ Spiel?? Get it??) Looking around I wondered what people made of me! I wondered if my nervousness was written all over my face or if they saw me as, perhaps closer to the truth, a lonely, single traveller trying to be brave and adventurous.  Perhaps I was going to be the oldest swinger in town LOL – I was after going to celebrate my 40th birthday. SHIT! Maybe I’m having a mid life crisis – although of course I’m far from middle aged as myself and John were discussing in the car on the way to the train station.  Just at ‘what’ age does middle age start?? Seems to me it’s always at least 10 years older than your current age!


When I came to board the flight I was excited and surprised to see that I had been upgraded to Saga (Business) Class! I did have to check with the air hostess that my boarding ticket was right but didn’t argue when she showed me to a beautiful black leather seat, extra wide (they must have heard about my growing backside!) and as comfortable as any lounge room chair I have ever sat in! Now THIS is the way to travel! My travelling companion in the seat next to me was non other than Little Miss Sophisticated!  She was travelling for the music festival and was staying with a friend who lived there. She had been several times before and spent ½ the trip with the been there done it kind of stories before pulling out an eye mask from her bag and ‘sleeping’ the rest of the way. She was after all going out on the town on arrival!

‘Dinner’ on the plane consisted of a croissant type thing stuffed with cheese and ham. It wasn’t the nicest I have tasted and I hoped it wasn’t an indicator of the food to come.


On landing at Keflavik airport the mad rush to the luggage carousel began. Why do we always rush to get there when we know damned well we are going to have to wait for the luggage to start circulating?  Thelma and Louise were anxiously stepping from foot to foot already convinced that it would be their bags that went missing, and Gok and Spiel were still laughing and joking clutching their case of lager to get the party started no doubt.  They were also heading to the Cabin Hotel so we agreed to stick together.  Thelma and Louise decided that as I looked like I knew where I was going and what I was doing so asked if they could join me to find the ‘Flightbus’ which stopped off at all the hotels.  My party of 1 was now a party of 5! 

Little Miss Sophisticated was stood by me talking frantically and loudly on her mobile phone.  She was supposed to be being met off the flight bus by her friend but it seems her friend had decided to start the party without her and was now dancing the night away at Nassa nightclub and was very much the worse for wear!! Little Miss was understandably very close to tears and just before panic set in I gave her my mobile number to ring if she was stranded. (once a Mum always a Mum I guess).  I’m not sure exactly what I could have done but I did at least speak English and I had emergency contact details for the tour operator should she have needed to find accommodation.  SEE!!!! Not quite so sophisticated NOW hey?  J  My party of 5 was now 6 as we all headed off to find the bus!


The bus trip was pretty uneventful, it was gone midnight and there isn’t much street lighting in Reykjavik.  There was however a very strong smell of sulphur – thankfully you soon got used to it!  The journey took about 45 minutes but by the time we had dropped off at various hotels it was 2am before we reached the Cabin Hotel, 3am UK time, which my body clock was still working on, so I checked in and promptly collapsed into bed wondering what I had done! Arriving late at night is never much fun, doing it alone is even less so.

My room was very small, two single beds with a small desk and chair between them.  There was a large mirror on the wall, no doubt placed to create the illusion of space – it didn’t work LOL.  At the foot of the bed was a single wardrobe with a TV on top of it. Great! I will be able to watch the rugby I hoped unaware at the time that it didn’t have UK programmes and Iceland wasn’t interested in the slightest about the rugby world cup so would not be showing it!   There was an en suite bathroom with a cubicle shower, sink and toilet. All very clean so I was a happy bunny, I didn’t intend to spend much time in my room anyway!


I slept well and woke with my alarm at 7.30. The shower was fantastic.  Being on top of a volcano Iceland has endless supplies of hot water and steam which is piped throughout the country providing heating and hot water for the population.  In winter it is even piped under the streets in the city centres to prevent roads freezing over!  The only negative is the sulphur smell when you run hot water but as I said you soon become used to it.

Breakfast was a huge buffet of cold meats, cheeses, cucumbers, eggs, fruits, cereals and a massive variety of breads.  The toaster was fun, a conveyer belt which you put bread on one end and it passed through, if you wanted anything other than warm bread you had to keep chucking it back in at the start again LOL

Gok and Spiel were already sat having breakfast and called me over to join them which I appreciated; I always think it looks sad to be eating alone!  Gok and Spiel had ordered a 12” pizza when we had arrived at the hotel. It had cost them £21!!! Obviously they weren’t joking when they said Iceland was expensive!

I arrived at reception with a list of trips I wanted to go on.  The old guy at reception rang the company and booked them for me.  I was a little uneasy when amongst all the Icelandic lingo he said ‘James Bond’ followed by a hearty laugh!! He was obviously referring to the Snowmobiling on the Glacier Adventure tour but I couldn’t help wonder if there was something he wasn’t telling me! (wonder if my travel insurance covered such activities – probably not!)

Sat: Gulfoss & Gheysr direct  then Northern Lights at night

Sun: Glacier Snowmobile experience

            Mon: Blue Lagoon then on to airport

Trips booked I had a couple of hours to kill before pick up so I wrapped up and went for a walk down to the sea wall which was only a short distance from the hotel.  The sea wall was made up of volcanic rock and lava deposit.  It was very strange to think that the rock was millions of years old – maybe being 40 isn’t so old after all.


Reykjavik Excursions sent shuttle mini buses to all the hotels to pick up passengers for the tours ½ hour before scheduled departure from the main BSI Terminal.  Waiting for the shuttle bus was always a bit of a concern, time keeping is not that good out there and you were left sitting hoping that your plans weren’t going to be messed up by a failed pick up.  I saw it happen to a couple of people but thankfully didn’t experience it myself.  

My first trip was to Gulfoss Waterfalls and Geysirs.  Safely off the shuttle bus and sat comfortably on the main coach I was joined by a couple of Americans. Luke and his Father, who I am pretty certain was introduced to me as ‘King’! (Strange name but guess nothing is impossible in America hey?)  Luke was flying a plane over to Birmingham to its new owner.  They had flown from Seattle to Canada, on to Greenland, then to Iceland where they had taken the day off to enjoy rest.  The following day they were flying from Iceland to Wick, in Scotland, up to Denmark then down to Birmingham.  Apparently it’s cheaper to import from Denmark??  His Father had gone along for the ride which bearing in mind he didn’t particularly like flying was a brave thing to do – it was only a very small light aircraft and he told hilarious stories of their trip so far.  I went on to spend the rest of the day with them, they were fantastic fun and very interesting people.  We had a bit of a debate about the morals of eating Puffin, which is Icelands national emblem but also their national dish! I had set off on my trip determined to try it but after being presented with a ceramic Puffin, to prod my conscience at times of weakness, I never did get to eat it!


Our coach didn’t sound too healthy from the word so we made an unscheduled stop at a ‘garden centre’ called Eden so the driver could have a look for the problem, he was convinced a drop of water would sort it out – we weren’t quite so sure!

Outside the garden centre was a ‘hot spot spring’ which had appeared suddenly a few weeks ago! The owners of the garden centre had put some bricks around it to make a bit of a feature.  Apparently these springs can literally just ‘spring’ up anywhere over Iceland and can disappear just as quickly, sometimes after a few days sometimes months or longer. 


With the coach now ‘repaired’ (?) we got back onto the coach to set off for the Geysirs.  As we drove along we could see steam billowing from the ground sending white clouds up into the clear skies.  Steam is directed through pipes that run above ground (due to constant underground volcanic activity) and in turn used to provide electricity for the Country.  Iceland is apparently the greenest country in the world! The only fuel they import is that used for cars and even that they are trying to change.  There are now 2 hydro gas fuel stations for cars which have been converted and they hope that eventually all cars will run off this gas and prevent the need to import less ‘green’ fuels.  Everything that can be recycled IS recycled, plastic drinks bottles even have a 5c refund to encourage you to return them.  It does make you wonder that why if Iceland can do it why can’t others?


There was no mistaking we had arrived at the Geysirs.  The sudden spurt of steam, 66ft into the air from Strokkur gave the game away a little! The whole of the Geysir area is geothermically active and there is a really strong smell of sulphur.  This was the location of the once biggest geysir in the world – called geysir funnily enough.  The original Geysir is no longer active but is a pool of multi coloured water from which steam rises. It last erupted in 2001 as a result of earthquakes in southern Iceland causing intense pressure underground.

Leaving the geysirs we got back onto the coach, which was once again making a rather strange noise, and headed off to Gulfoss waterfalls.  They were absolutely spectacular.  Made up of 2 waterfalls, side by side their combined drop is 105ft.  From a distance it looked like a cake with icing running over the top and down the sides but there was no mistaking it was water the nearer you got.  I have seen waterfalls before but nothing on this scale! The noise was deafening and the water looked so angry!  Luke, his father and I all discussed the possibility of surviving going over the falls in a barrel – Luke seemed to think it was possible to walk away at the end of it all. His father and I on the other hand weren’t so sure and decided we better head back to the bus before Luke decided to test his theory – he certainly seemed to have a hint of ‘crazy yank’ in his personality! 


By the time we all got back on the coach we were all pretty worn out, and some were cold and miserable.  Throughout the trip I was to regularly congratulate myself on looking like a prize dork in my waterproofs and woollies – I may have looked like a dork but hey I was the one warm and dry at the end of the day J  Take my word – if you ever go to Iceland waterproofs are the order of the day. At least they are in October!  The journey back to Reykjavik was about 90 minutes but not long into the trip it became clear that our coach wasn’t going to last the distance. We ended up having to pull into the car park of a café (which was closed) to wait to be rescued by a new coach. These things always happen to me L   I had planned to do the Northern Lights tour at 9pm that night and check in time at BSI was at 7pm.  It was looking decidedly dodgy for me being back in time to make it.  In the end I needn’t have worried as the Northern Lights trip was cancelled due to the weather conditions. 

By the time we got back to the hotel I went across the road to get some food from the garage then went to my room, showered and collapsed into bed.  Scott had been keeping me up to date with the Rugby world cup scores and once it was obvious we weren’t going to be lifting the cup I snuggled down and got some sleep and it wasn’t even 9pm yet!!


I woke on Sunday morning at 7am ready to shower and go to breakfast.  I was off on the Glacier Adventure today and was being picked up at 8am by the shuttle bus.  I was really excited about today which culminated in snowmobiling on top of the Glacier James Bond style!  It was a 3 hour coach drive and before we headed off we had to drop half the coach party at the bottom of the glacier, called the ‘tongue’ so they could go walking.  The drive seemed to take forever and it was raining or sleeting the whole way.  With the walkers on their way we left the main road and headed off to the mountain lodge, 12kms over very rocky terrain.  It was a bit like ultimate off roading but in a coach.  A bit scary at places where the track dropped off into the torrent of glacier water making its way down to the sea but I found the best way to cope with it was to look out of the right had window which looked relatively safe to be travelling on.  There were 7 of us left on the coach. Myself and a bunch of Americans.  They were a great bunch and all in the military. (or Meeletary as they pronounced it).  They had also planned to do the Northern Lights tour which was cancelled the night before so we all planned to do it tonight and then go into the city and listen to something of the music festival. 

We were met at the mountain lodge by a man resembling Russell Crowe J who had bad news. There hadn’t been enough snow and with the rain falling it had made the conditions too dangerous to go out on the snow mobiles.  Everyone was very disappointed and a bit annoyed that the situation hadn’t been pre-empted but we were told we could still go up onto the glacier so all wasn’t lost.  Standing outside the lodge was a massive orange truck – similar to a Tonka toy I remember the likes of my brothers playing with when we were younger.  It had wheels that were nearly 5ft high with big chains attached and a ladder that reached up into the ‘box’ we were to sit in on our trip up to the glacier.  Russell appeared at the top of the ladder announcing that the trip would take about 20 minutes and not to worry we were perfectly safe. Until that moment I hadn’t even considered NOT being safe but the very fact that he had needed to reassure us only served to make us nervous. 

The journey up was very, very rough and we were all thrown about in our seats.  The windows were very steamed up but through them you could see the glaciers edge and water raging down hill.  Great chunks of ice were floating down river and all along the edge was a big ‘over hang’ of ice just waiting to break away.  Was this global warming at its worst??  Eventually we came to a stand still and you could hear the clanking of the ladder being put in place. ‘Russell’ appeared and told us all to step out down the ladder and to try and walk on the black parts of the ice as it was less slippy!

Walking out onto the glacier was a fantastic experience but not quite what I had expected to see.  I had expected it to be crystal white everywhere but it wasn’t.  Sure the majority of it was but there was also much blacker than I imagined.  ‘Russell’ went on to explain how the glacier was built up over the years.  The black was volcanic ash which was then snowed on and frozen.  Later more volcanic ash would fall followed by more snow and ice.  I had this image of a black and white liquorice allsorts sweet!  The problem was that now global warming had kicked in and the top layer of ice had been melting over the years washing the layer of volcanic ash down into the rivers that we had seen on our way up. Now I have to put my hand up and say I have never really paid much attention to global warming, but seeing it with my own eyes really made me appreciate how much of a responsibility we all have to our planet.  ‘Russell’ pointed over to the mound of volcanic ash were we had parked our monster truck and explained that 10 years ago that was all under the glacier.  The mound was about 4 ft high and it had only taken 10 years for that all to melt away!   Most of Iceland is only a few feet above sea level so the rising sea level is a real danger to their shoreline and much of the farming that takes place on low levels.  It seems more than a little unfair that a country that is considered the Greenest in the world is going to pay the highest price of global warming!  I had seen many school trips on my trip so far and thought it was a strange place to have a trip to, but seeing the melting ice made me think that every school child should have to witness the consequences of our actions!  OK rant over for now J

‘Russell’ showed us the cracks running through the glacier and how they had filled up with volcanic ash and also warned us of ‘weak’ spots across the glacier just in time for Nathaniel, one of our group to fall into the ice up to his hips!  ‘Russell’ was the only one who didn’t let out some sort of yelp as we all envisaged the newspaper headlines stating the sinking of an American Tourist into the depths of the Glacier!  We were assured that the ice was still thousands of metres deep and we were perfectly safe but it unsettled me a bit wondering if my next footstep would be the one that incased me in ice!  Thankfully it didn’t J  before we got back onto the monster truck to head back down to the mountain lodge we took some photos. On one I am stood on the edge of the volcanic ash with the huge expanse of white behind me, if I had walked 200miles in a straight line I would arrive at the Arctic Circle! Pretty surreal to be so near and yet there be no snow and melting ice! 

The ride back down was equally as bumpy, like going down the intial dip on a roller coaster but thankfully slower!  It did start to snow quite heavily on our return journey and we found ourselves willing it to keep on snowing and repair the damage that had been done up there.

Back onto the coach we went to collect the glacier ‘walkers’.  They were someway off so we had time to go and look at the bottom of the glacier we had just been standing on top of.  The ‘tongue’ is the part of glacier that is sliding down the valley, named for its shape and from underneath it the dirtiest water flowed, melted ice mixed with volcanic ash.


Part ONE

| Posted by Daunted
08:27, Wed 24 October 2007 | 0 comments | Link

What a day!!!!!!!!!!

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:53, Mon 22 October 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Im so glad this day is over, its been a rollercoaster of a day.

Just after dinner time today my eldest came in from playing with his freinds crying. He was holding his right arm in a awkward way. Turns out one off his freinds had thrown a bottle and it had hit his elbow.

I phoned our local med centre and they had an apointment left with the nurse . So off we trot the eldest and youngest off to the camp. Lucliky my husband saw us and took us in to camp to see the nurse.( My middle son was out playing with his freinds ) WE saw both the nurse, senior practice nurse and eventually a DR who were convinced there was nothing wrong. But to appease me they would send him for an xray. So off we trot to the center of Paderborn to the xray clinic. 3hours later we emerged. V had phoned a freind to see if they could look after the middle one. D had dislocated his elbow . WE were given our xrays and a brief summary to take back to the med center. Big problem, they were closed now. So after getting home and while i sorted the other kids out we phoned the out of hours number for advice. Our poor eldest was in a lot of pain by now after being proded and poked with no pain relief. Thankfully i found something sutible to give him. We were told to take him to the local A&E at the kinder klinic .

I was starting to get flash backs to this time last year when our middle smashed his arm to bits and needed pins and plates to sort him out.

V took him to the hospital and we were told he may need surgery to sort him self out. Once i got the other kids off to bed i spent the next hour or so pacing the floor just waiting for news.

The relief i felt when i saw both my husband and eldest coming in the house was immence. He is now sporting a large blue pot the goes up to just above where a t-shirt stops. His arm is at right angles and this will be in place for the next 2-3 weeks.

after all that i need a drink just to help calm me down. Kids eh, the emotions they put us through


What do to for christmas

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:54, Wed 17 October 2007 | 3 comments | Link

AS it will be our first in Germany we thought we would give the kids a great christmas and do something different. We cant visit our families for xmas as the kids dont get long enough to do both families .

We had looked into taking the kids to Paris to Disney land, but even with a forces discount its way over what we can afford.

Next we looked into going to Center Parcs near Hamburg (no where near the red light district) At the moment it looks like we can afford it but we need to iron out a few things before we commit our selves.

Part of me thinks im mad to go away from the comfort of our house . The thing that bugs me is cooking christmas dinner. Dont get me wrong i love doing it and have done for years. But in this house the kitchen is so small even trying to do a sundays dinner for 5 is nigh on impossible . There are hardly any work surfaces to put plates out on or to mash the spuds and mix the yorkies batter up. At the moment i cook for the kids at 5ish and then cook later in the evening for me and V to compensate for lack of space.

AS things have been so tense in the house with the way J has been behaving i really do feel that we all need to get away from the house for a few days to get a fresh prospective on how to handle things.

Last night i realised just how much i want things to change but am at a loss on what to do. J is spending more and more time on the naughty step for various things and the threat of Santa not bringing toys to naughty boys is not working any more. In fact today J said that he wanted to live all alone where no one will tell him off for being naughty. After a lot of discussions, both V and i know we have to get J assesed so that we can get some help. AS if things keep going the way they are i will end up a recluse never leaving the house with him . For fear of what people are saying about him. Word has got round that if any one has damage to property or has been hit then it must be J (1% of the time it might be but the people on our estate are putting his name forward for everything).

WE have a Sunday lunch on camp to attend this Sunday, but i wasnt really wanting to go. But ive been pursuaded to go as ive done nothing wrong . I just hope that J manages to behave long enough for us to eat our meal.

All this brings me back on what to do for christmas. As i feel if we stay in the house we will all end up biting each others heads off .  I think going somewhere that the kids can go swimming indoors and generally have lots of fun and tire themselves out while V and i either do own activities like learning to scuba or being pampered will give us the boost we so badly need. 

I cant even believe im even thinking about christmas when its only October!!!!!!!

Ah well back to studying .

Going out of my mind!!

| Posted by Daunted
10:39, Sun 14 October 2007 | 1 comments | Link

Well it is finally beginning to feel like I am going completely insane! I have taken a break from a lot of the threads on this site cos frankly i find it all too stressful.
This last week has been awful. I have been ill with a chest infection (I never get ill!!) and I feel stressed out the whole time. The house is under offer - if the  buyers ever get back in touch with their solicitors details - and the neighbours have pretty much bought all my furniture this weekend.  I have told work I wont be going back after Christmas (hopefully before that), work is pretty much intolerable at the minute.  I have never been in a position before where I have had to stay in a job when it was in my best interests to leave. I bite my tongue every day for fear of saying the wrong thing or upsetting the wrong person  I have however, written my letter of resignation and I for one am not going quietly.  My Uncle died just over a week a go and tomorrow i have to drive way down south, stopping in B&B overnight ready for the funeral on Tuesday. It is with mixed emotions i am going. Obviously it is sad circumstance but it is also the final time i am going to see the extended family. My cousin emigrated to Canada a year ago and she has had to come back to bury her Dad. It is going to bring home all kind of emotions i am sure!

My ex husband has been a complete t*** tonight! Abusive text messages all evening about how i am taking his kids away from him!  I rang and he is obviously under the influence (!) and will remember nothing of it in the morning. Why cant pepple understand that it isn't all easy for me either?  I know I am taking the kids away from not just their Grandparents but their Dad. If I wasn't so sure it was the right thing to do I would have buckled long before now. Its not going to be a bed of roses, of that I am certain, and I haven't bought a pair of those rose tinted glasses everyone talks about, but I do believe that one day, it is all going to make wonderful sense and the kids are going to turn round and thank me for biting the bullet.

All that remains left to be said is ............................................." please please please let my visa be here soon ! xx

A night mare of a day

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:07, Fri 12 October 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Yesterday, i think must have been up there with the worst day of my life award.

It all started when i picked my youngest up. The teacher mentioned that she has some concerns over his lack of concentration and constantly on the go. She is thinking of having him assesed to see if there arre any reasons for his behaviour. I think she was trying to be polite, as i know he is hard to deal with I was very reluctant as i think he is just a naughty boy and i dont really want him to be labled as some one with special needs. 

 He has just this week been allowed out to play after being grounded for stealing sweets (dared to by an older kid). I kept him in for 2 weeks for that episode.

Well he topped that off big style yesterday afternoon , he asked to play with his little freind down the street, so after telling him to behave and keep out of trouble i let him. I had no sooner sat down with a cuppa when my door bell went . It was his freinds mother to tell me my son had scratched her car with a stone all down the side. I was mortified, he had ran away and no one knew where he was. I eventually found him and made him aplogise and have told the woman we will come to some aggreement over paying for the damage. I felt physically sick when i phoned V up . V has since gone round there and it turns out that her own son had told J to do it. We have told J he will not be allowed out any more this year. WE just cant trust him any more.

Im at a loss now on what to do with him, we disapline him we try our best to show him how to be a good boy, but it just doesn't seem to be sinking in. One of V's collegues has suggested we allow J to be assesed as they think he may have a mild form of ADH.( his behaviour is similar to their nephew)

So after the half term holiday it looks like J will be getting assesed. At the moment, as parents we fell like failures. V couldn't even bring him self to talk to J this morning (he was already in bed when V got back in )

11th October

| Posted by Daunted
07:45, Thu 11 October 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Whoo hoo - I've made it back again within a week (that has got to be some sort of blog record surely!)

So what is new? Not a great deal but my house 'buyers' have had the survey done which shows they are committed (as oppose to myself who is probably not that far off needing committing )  The Estate Agent says if we haven't heard back within a week they will chase it up.  They gonna be sick of me by the time this whole process is over - I have heard of it all going pear shaped so many times for other people that the sooner we get everything sorted the better - THEN and only then will I allow myself to get excited.  I have had to fight off the urge to book our one way tickets over the last couple of days! It is probably OK to do so but I can't stop worrying about tempting fate and all that.  PLUS if I was going to book them now I would probably book for early January whereas really I want to be there before then!   Quite like the idea of a stop over in Bali - whatchya think?? Probably going to be a good few years before we can afford a luxurious holiday like that again! Have I justified such luxury yet?

I discoverd Face Book this week!! After months of being hassled to hug or throw a sheep at someone I finally succumbed.  Wierd or what?????? Still not really sure I understand what it is all about but i have to admit it is all slightly addictive!! OMG!! What with Expats and Face Book I'm never going to have a life! It's funny actually - seeing what everyone is upto now - I actually think I have done pretty well for myself (well I think so - stuff the rest of them!)

Resignation! That is also at the front of my mind this last week!! I can't wait to to do it! I remember my first couple of months in the job when I thought it was a job I would stay in until I retired.  It hasn't taken them long to zap me of both my enthusiam and confidence and it will honestly be a wonderful day the day I deliver THAT letter

OOh did I mention we have started the packing?? It's a great feeling but rather strange to tape up a box and know that the next time you see it's contents you will be at the other side of the world!  We had a bit of an 'episode' yesterday when I had read a thread on this site. It was a thread from someone asking why Customs had cut open her diaries.  The replies went on to discuss how diaries often contain pressed flowers or the like!!! WELL only a few hours earlier we had packed Rachels diary of her trip to Australia and low and behold inside it was various bits and pieces which would not have been greeted with open arms  SO of course the box had to be opened and said diary located and offending articles removed! At least we discoverd our booboo before the offending box was at the bottom of the pile!

Well that is probably all there is to tell for now. I'm off to bed to dream of that magic phonecall in the early hours of the morning!!! I open my eyes and all thought immediatly turn to the telephone by the bed willing it to ring!!! ONE day it will, I just hope it isn't too far away



A year ago today

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:54, Tue 9 October 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Can it really be a year since i left the grey skies of Newcastle for the sunny skies of oz. Where has that time got to. How i wish then it was for a permanent move to oz. However it was only for a 2 week holiday.

I have so many happy memories of the things the V and i did whilst exploring parts of Melbourne, and Philip Island, as well as parts of NSW. We met rellies who we had never met with before, some great people off BE who i had only known on line.

That year has seen ups and downs. The worst times were when my middle son shattered his arm shortly after we got back from oz requiring pins and plates to be inserted in to his arm. Thankully it has not affectted him in the slightest. Then i lost my Granda in November, I still feel his presence now and again when i hear certain country and western music played. The loss of  Ina is still very hard to come to terms with. I still cant delete her number from my mobile or scrub her name from the address book. I really do miss our chats where we would put the world to rights. I try not to dwell too much on the downs , instead i try and concentrate on the ups.

The best of course has to be having my family back together , we eargerly look forward to next Oct when as a family we will once again venture to oz to give the boys a glimpse of what is to come.

If the past 12 months is anything to go by then it will be here before you know it.

Ive started my course, although none of the course materials have arrived but that has not deterred me ive been on the student home page and down loaded the first work book, so i wont fall behind.

Im all stiff from the gym yesterday, so studying has been an easy option for today. Although its tiring looking at a pc screen all

Gotta get back to it


A day in Singapore

| Posted by walkermat
09:57, Sunday 7 October 2007 | 1 comments | Link

Thursday 4th Oct 02:00 (Singapore time)
Not bad.  Five hours sleep, but now we are awake. Wide awake and it is only 2am. Great. And Pamela's Cold has developed somewhat to watery eyes and a bad head. We decide not to fight it and lie in bed for a few hours, reading and playing on the laptops - i had found an unsecured wifi to access internet with; thanks Mr belkin54g of Singapore.

8:00 Book finished and RSI developing, Pamela had managed a few more fitful hours sleep, we get up shower  and dress.  While Singapore is very cosmopolitan and nothing would be said, we do respect other cultures as much as possible so Pamela makes sure she wears clothes that are light and airy (it is VERY hot and humid in Singapore) but cover her arms and go down over her knees.  It also makes sense as the sun can be very harsh and being blond she would burn in minutes.

9:00 Quick tidy of the room and we are out on the streets of Singapore (Breakfast not included in the room).  We had decided to take a wander to Orchard Road and have a look at the shopping Malls then go up to Scotts Plaza where a very good food hall, that locals go to, would feed us.  We had decided to skip breakfast as Pamela was not hungry (thanks Cold) and I just wanted to start working on my beer belly.

We wandered down Serangoon Rd from Kitchener Street, through the middle of Little India with its myriad of small shops selling everything from Mobile phone covers to finest silk saris and a thousand and one different spices.  Old colonial buildings nestled between 80's shop arcades and housing developments.  Different smells; cardamom, turmeric, cotton, hing, chilli, cumin, coriander wafted around and every now and then our feet would feel an icy waft as a shop door opened and cooled air would flood out and sweep over them.  Singapore has a big Carbon Footprint mainly due to air-conditioning.

10:30 Reaching Bras Basah Rd we turn right and start to slowly walk up Orchard Rd.  Shopping plazas everywhere!  Singapore is affluent.  Very affluent!!BOSS, Calvin Klein, YSL, Rolex, a shop for every brand-mug is everywhere.  Overweight middle aged men with gold dripping from their wrists and fingers wearing badly fitted designer shirts, trousers and unmatched shoes wander in and out of the shops.  Women, wives or mistresses, in front of them carry loaded designer bags filled with expensive clothes they will never wear. As we reach Cuppage and Midpoint plaza's the number of Brits increases.  Brit tourists, wherever they are, always seem to stand out!  Embarrassingly so.  Don’t these people own mirrors?  A typical Brit abroad is overweight, has bright white skin with little red pimples and stoops.  They wear trainers, socks pulled up, shorts and a t-shirt.  But it is the stoop and gormless face that really typifies them; again I have that 'we are doing the right thing getting out of Britain (the 'Great' went a long time ago!)' feeling.  At least the Aussies abroad have a bit more go about them and care about how they look!

We continue up Orchard Rd in and out of Plaza's, people watching and sneezing.  The heat and humidity getting really quite intense.  I catch reflections of myself in shop windows and note the white skin, trainers, shorts and t-shirt, then adjust my posture (I have never denied being a hypocrite!).  I make a mental note to join a gym in Canberra asap.

12:00  Pamela is getting hungry.  Pamela has simple needs, food when hungry, water when thirsty and sleep when tired.  If any of these is not forthcoming she gets, lets say, 'prickly'.  Good timing, we reach Scotts Rd and turn right heading for Scotts Plaza.  But where is it?  It should be between Tangs Plaza and Far East Plaza; but all that is there is a building site.  Pamela, starting to get focused asks a drinks seller.  I realise a Plan B was needed and that I have about 5 minutes before life starts to get difficult.  Luckily I had noticed a food hall under a non-descript plaza at the top of Orchard Rd.  Just as I am being given my 2 minute warning we find it.

12:20 The food hall turns out to be great and filled with locals, always a good sign.  A large area under a shopping plaza it is filled with table's and chairs and bordered with small Asian food stalls; Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, etc...  Fantastic, always great places to eat.  We both decide on Korean and I have a beef noodle thing and Pamela, being assured 'no meat' has a veggie Korean stew.  The food is fantastic, my beef noodles accompanied with little fried fish and other unknown dips its great.  Pamela tucks heartily into her veggie stew as I blow my head off with a chilli ambush!  As i'm recovering and regaining control of my eyes (where had that come from!!!) Pamela grins and holds up a clam shell from her 'veggie' stew.  Pamela, a Yoga teacher, doesn’t eat meat or fish.  She is not a screaming 'Meat is murder' veggie, she just doesn’t eat meat or fish - fair do, each to their own (I actually quite like it as it limits my red-meat intake and means when i do eat meat or fish I enjoy it a lot more!).  'Oh well, thought it tasted a bit fishy' she says.  As she has eaten three quarters of it its not a problem and i finish it off (very tasty actually, especially the baby clams at the bottom).  I've always thought how lucky I am that Pamela is not a 'raging' veggie in that if she does accidently eat some fish or meat then it is not a big issue; obviously she doesn’t carry on tucking in but also doesn’t go berserk like some veggies!

13:00 Fed (some more than others - i catch a glimpse of myself in a window again) we slowly head back to the hotel for a snooze.

18:30 Four hours sleep!!!  Ahhhh, how did that happen?  Lets hope we can sleep tonight, especially as we need to be up at 5:30am to catch the flight to Sydney! Damn!!!  After a shower and cleanup we again go down for dinner on the street.  Pamela had noticed a small Indian Restaurant called 'The Ganges' (thats original!!) on Kitchener Street; so there we go.  Turns out to be a great wee place, with a 'buffet' system.  The food is fantastic; you get a round metal tray with a cut banana leaf on and go along the food offerings dolluping straight onto the leaf.  Being Northern Indian it is 100% veggie, but dont think for one minute that it means tasteless!  I am a real carnivore, but the lack of meat here is totally unnoticeable, it is fab!!  We both have seconds and thirds before admitting defeat and leaving.  The owner genuinely pleased that we enjoyed the meal - these small family places are far better (and cheaper) than the larger more gaudy joints.

21:00 With the warm glow of having eaten well we wander into a large Indian shopping store - the Mustafa Centre.  After jokes along the lines of 'Musf-a-fa drink/burger/sandwich' we realise it is huge!!  In the  packed store you can buy anything from gold to tea.  The narrow isles have packed shelves.  A hundred different types of Dal (lentils), every flavour tea you can think of, fifty different remedies for any ailment you can have...  We end up spending over a hour just wandering around in total awe; this is sensory overload!  Every sense - smell, sight, sound, touch, taste - is assaulted.  This is a little version of India and it is fantastic!

22:00 Eventually we leave and return to the room.  After an enjoyable evening and good food we shower and pack, ready for the flight to our new home Country.  Sleep, thankfully, comes easily.

October 7th 2007

| Posted by Daunted
07:37, Sun 7 October 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Ok, I have been shamed into updating my blog by Tiggs!! (have you seen her blog? it's always upto date and interesting!)

Well where are we upto now? Pretty much the same place as last time I posted to be honest   It's these damned delays at LCU that seem to be holding everything up.  I am probably going to be waiting at least another month unless there is one massive catch up session over in Sydney, which is probably unlikely so I am going to have to learn to be more patient.  I think what worries me more is what if my medicals finally get to the top of the pile and then they decide they need further information - that is only going to add to the delay again hey? Oh well, must try not to worry so much!

Hey did you read about my strange dream the other day? WELL ........... I am in the house, its my house but not this one (if you know what I mean) I am there with my three children, Scott, Rachel and Mark and Scotts girlfriend Joss.  We are all upstairs looking out the window at a tiger having a fight with a grizzly bear!! Scott decides to go scare the tiger away as the bear is getting hurt!! Off he goes but he can't split them up and he leaves the dream along with Joss. No idea where they went but they are safe and unhurt.  SO that leaves me with Rachel (14) and Mark(12).  I notice that Rachel has gone downstairs and is stroking the tiger. Very calmly I tell Rachel to walk away and I then scoop her up along with Mark and we are all standing safe on the book shelf on the wall!!  The tiger is below us trying to get us, more playfully then trying to hurt us but we are suitably scared!  Then from nowhere a packet of rice crispies comes into view so I grab it and throw it into another room, the tiger follows which leaves us time to get down from the shelf and get outside locking the tiger in the house!!!!!!!!!!     What do you make of that then?? Reckon all this sitting around waiting for a visa has got to me hey

House selling progress!  WELL at long last we are sold subject to contract!! YAHOOO never thought it would happen.  I lowered the price considerably but the housing market is pretty naff right now and to be honest it will be worth it just being able to get on with life when the visa finally arrives.  I have orderd the boxes ready for the move, they come tomorrow morning.   I am using Freedomshipping who to date I am very impressed with.  I am taking 16 book cartons and 4 tea chests and it is going to cost a lttle over £500, there is the AQIS fee to pay (cant remember off top of my head how much it is but they did include it in my quote).  There is so much around the house that I can start getting packed away and hopefully make it less of a panic when THE time comes. 

OOOOOoooh did I tell you I am off to Iceland?? No not THAT (buy one get one free Iceland) the land of the midnight sun   It's my 40th and I am going to spend it wallowing in volcanic mud at the Blue Lagoon Spa.  I can't wait, I have always wanted to go and I guess once I get to Oz it ain't gonna happen is it?  

Oh well - Im bored now - there you go Tiggs I've updated, let's see how long it is until the next time. 

A member of a gym again, and back to studying

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:32, Sat 6 October 2007 | 0 comments | Link

WEll ive gone and done it. I'm now a member of a German gym, the instructors thank fully speak better English than my German. I will have to bike down to it as although it is close to home it would take me too long to walk to it. I shall be having showers at home when i get back , as the Germans like to have open showers and i feel a little uncomfortable with that idea.

Its a basic gym, no posh seats and bistro area, but there are plenty of machines which work wonders on the body (by all accounts). I need to buy a padlock for a locker as well as getting a bike lock . Im going down for my first proper session on Monday. With this gym there are no restrictions so i can use it any time on any day of the week. So once ive got the kids to school and the dog out for a walk i will bike down and do an hours work out. Im aiming to be back in the house for around 11am so i can then crack on with some studying before the kids come out of school.


    Today  we went for a little look around our local area and came across some lovley shops including furniture shops, ive ear marked a desk for my self for 20 euros and a telephone table for a similar price. Hopefully will be getting them soon. V still needs to put his chest of drawers for the bedroom and the book cases for the reading corner we are making on the boys landing. Ive also seen a lovley deep chest which will hold the bedding for the boys and they can put a cushion on top and sit on it while reading their books. The house is slowly taking shape. Once V has finished putting all the furniture together and we have got pictures up on the wall then it will really feel like home.

We have now got skype up and running and thankfully the equipment we bought for Arran works and we were able to have a chat via the pc with all the family taking part.I think this makes the families feel better knowing that if we are succesful and get over to live in oz that we can still see each other and speak on a regular basis.

Its getting late now and i need my sleep


From UK to Singapore

| Posted by walkermat
09:00, Saturday 6 October 2007 | 4 comments | Link

Finally we are here. Mat and Pamela in our new home town, after two and a half years of slog we have done it.  Sunny downtown Canberra.  I'll skip the boring getting the Visa, selling house etc stuff and do it as a diary thing;

Tuesday 2nd Oct 16:45
Door bell at mum and dads house, where we had been staying for a week, rings. Dad had booked and paid for a local taxi to take us to Heathrow from near Winchester.  Heathrow is such a nightmare that he had decided that taking us was really a no-go and that a taxi would be much better.  We were grateful as emotional goodbyes at airports are ucky undignified spectacles, usually made worse by long checkin/security queues that make it all a long drawn-out experience.

We said goodbyes, hugged mum and dad and said that we would see them in a couple of years.  My parents are well travelled, having brought us kids up in Zambia in the '70s, so knew the score and there were no tears and bawling.  At least in front of us.  We were sad to be saying goodbye, but also we had to get out of the UK (don’t get us started on that!  Lots of reasons, and the 'weather' figured quite low in the list) and at least the Internet and Videophones would help make the distance much smaller.

At 17:03 on Tuesday the 2nd of October me and my wife Pamela waved goodbye to my parents as we were taken away in a taxi.

18:45 Arrive Heathrow after having some of our reasons (UK is full and transport a mess) for leaving re-affirmed.  Taxi driver has done the airport run many times and knew a quick way to the terminal.

19:00 Checkin to Singapore Airlines.  Hardly any queue and very quick. Checkin clerk points out that as we are migrating we could have taken 40Kg hold-luggage each.  We had found that out 5 hours earlier after much, and heart rending, 'optimising' [Goto for details] and getting the weights down to 21.7Kg and 22.3Kg!  But, as Pamela pointed out, we had a connecting domestic flight from Sydney to Canberra to do as well and so the 40Kg each may have been a problem there.  I asked if we could have window seats in row 60,61 or 62 - the only 'twos' (rather than three's or four's) in economy - but they had gone;  so seats A and B in row 45 it was.

19:35 The security fiasco (you cant help thinking that the terrorists have won they affect things so much!) of having everything checked and toothpaste confiscated over we finally get into the rip-off city of Heathrow’s Terminal 2.  I had come prepared; course-grain mustard cheese and onion, salami lettuce and tomato, and pastrami cheese and pickle sandwiches made with home baked bread fed the two of us as I watched All Creatures Great And Small on my Archos and Pamela had a manicure.  No paying stupid Heathrow prices for dreadful food for us!

21:15 After filling our bellies and watching daft travellers increasing their debts buying tacky overpriced rubbish we make our way to the gate.  No real sense of celebration or excitement, after nearly three years of ups and downs in the attempt to escape we just want to go.  Like cattle at a livestock auction we are called row-by-row to be transported down the metal tube and spat onto the plane.  No, walking across the tarmac and climbing the steps while smelling the aviation fuel anymore; those days are long gone, much more efficient and run-of-the-mill now.

22:15 No delay!  Dead on time (that HAS to be a first for us at Heathrow!), the plane moves from its stand with the obligatory safety video showing - my screen doesn’t work, not a problem as I have 40 hours of TV programs recorded on the Archos but lets hope i don’t need to use the safety information.  I am by the window on the left side of the plane, next to Pamela who is chatting to an Aussie girl next to her.

22:37 As the plane rises up thru the low cloud I say a mental goodbye to Britain as my last sight of it is a traffic jam on the M25. I smile to myself, we are doing the right thing, staying in the UK would have driven us to drink or turned our brains to mush.

Flight is uneventful, I sip on G and T's and watch episodes of All Creatures Great And Small, Bergerac, Taggart, Poirot and The Profesionals while Pamela sleeps (as usual on flights).  Food is quite good and washed down with copious Claret and brandy’s - 'don’t drink alcohol on flights', what tosh!

12 Hours later arrive in Singapore, on time, pleasantly inebriated and very tired.  Maybe i should have slept more and drank less - still, wouldn’t have been half as much fun and as we have to have the window blinds down all the time now during the flight I cant watch the world go by anymore.

Wednesday 3rd Oct 18:00 (Singapore time)
As usual at Singapore Airport, Immigration and baggage collection is a breeze.  The officials always smiling and wishing us a pleasant stay (as long as we don’t spit, swear, drop litter, chew gum, wear odd socks, walk on the pavement cracks etc...) our passports are stamped and cases collected.

As we walk to the taxi rank, Pamela realises we have no Singapore dollars!!  Doh!!  So much for seasoned travellers, we forgot to get some currency for Singapore.  Oh well, never mind.  We track down the ATM, draw out a small wad and jump in a Taxi to the hotel.  One tip for Singapore is make sure the Taxi driver turns on the meter, otherwise he will charge a small fortune!

18:45 The hotel, Parkroyal on Kitchener street, turns out to be ok.  It was 'automatically' booked by Trailfinders when we got the flights.  I had noticed it on the itinerary but hadn’t realised it would be booked and be part of the package when we paid (so, if using Trailfinders be wary of this!).  When i had looked at reviews, on the web, for the hotel i had been dismayed; I had never seen reviews this bad for a hotel.  We are not 'snobs', but we know our hotels; Pamela had worked as a chef in a Scottish highlands hotel and I (through work) have stayed over a thousand nights in hotels - and these reviews were not good.  Last time in Singapore we had stayed in the salubrious Copthorne Waterfront; much more expensive (the Parkroyal was only £102 for the two nights) but very good.  We had hoped to stay there again but Trailfinders had put paid to that and saved us a few hundred quid as well.

We checkin to the Parkroyal and take our bags to room 1207.  The bell-boy did offer to carry them up but I like to carry the bags; partly because I can never work out what the right tip is and always feel awkward when I do it.  To our pleasant surprise the room was ok.  Good size, stuff worked, half-decent view, was clean (although a very odd smell!  Not unpleasant, just odd) and the bed comfortable.  Windows were double-glazed, so the room was quiet as well.  Great, thanks Trailfinders!

19:50 Strolling around 'little India' we find a great small stall for some good Indian grub.  Forget the larger, shiny, expensive joints.  The small local eateries is where the real local food is.  And the taste is far far better.  And much cheaper.

21:00 Bellies filled and jet-lag tapping on our shoulders we retire to bed for night.

Oktober fest

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:21, Mon 1 October 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Being in Germany i thought it rather rude to decline the offer of going for a drink and meet the rest of my husbands work mates. So Friday night with the babysitter brave enough to watch the kids away we went.

Steins were flowing plenty, thighs being slapped, ale being quaffed, logs being sawed in races.

Oh boy was it fun. My face was aching from laughing at men in lederhosen and silly hats. 

Surfice to say, i had a fantastic night. Although the hangover i had the next day was awful. It took till dinner time before i dared leave the safety of the bed. It has to be said im not much off a drinker and i only had a few glasses of wine (as far i i knew) It later transpired that my glass was being topped up frequently when i wasn't looking. so i proberbly had a bootle of wine to my self.

Ive now got details of a gym that is opening up not far from where we live that is very cheap . So im off to have a look later to see what i think.

Its definatly getting colder now, i think im going to need a warmer tracksuit jacket if i continue going out for runs with the dog.

My next OU course oficially starts on the 6th of Oct although the course work as yet has not arrived . Ive had a little peak on the course web site and thankfully all the books are on the net , so i can at least read through some of the work.

The kids are off school on Wednesday to celebrate the German reunification day (the day the Berlin wall came down). So i wont get much sorted then.

Lunch time then back to more house work.



What ive been up to for the past couple of months.

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:54, Wed 26 September 2007 | 3 comments | Link

~This could be a long read, so i suggest you get a cuppa and a comfy chair.

I shall Start with the end of July when we we moved out. A couple of drama's the removal men were rubbish had more tea breaks than any thing else. the most stupist thing they did (if that is a word) was take my fridge before i had taken the eggs out of it. I ran after them but they were all smashed. I barely got chance to clean the mess before they loaded it in the lorry. (2 weeks later you can only imagine the smell and sight i saw).

The day we moved out was also the day our youngest was invited to a party up at Brewsters in Durham so we allowed him to go and we all booked into the hotel attached. We booked a family room and really a family there was 2 parents and 2 kids(we told a porkie and said the youngest was in a cot)

Any how the next day we set off for Arran to see the family up there. It was a great holiday. A chance to unwind and say a proper good bye to the family. We left our outdoor westie ornament dog on Davids grave as we know it will be a long time before we get back to his grave. (Also it looks better than flowers).

WE achieved something we thought the kids would struggle to do we climbed Goat Fell the highest mountain on Arran. WE chose a great day, not too warm and certainly not wet. The view was amazing. I shall add some photos later when i get the chance.

Before we knew it it was time to head back to Durham to Pick Benji up from the kennels and say a last good bye to the house and to our few friends and my family.

The kids were full of excitedment, we only had a few hours to spend in Durham as we were sailing from Hull to Rotterdam that   night.  The kids loved the idea that they could sleep on the boat and wake up in another country.

When we finally got to Paderborn it was roasting hot we were all starving and thirsty. V went to the nearest Mc D's , this pleased the kids no end as they have discovered they dont like strange food.

The removal men were over 2 hours late to arrive and ended up putting thr boxes all in the wrong place. WE have a 3 storey town house so it was annoying to find stuff in the cellar that should have been in the master bedroom (top floor). We still havent un packed all the boxes. AS the main problem with the house is lack of storage. WE bought loads of flat pack furniture from ikea to help with this problem. (which some need to be put together).


WE had most of the 6 weeks holiday to explare the area, we took the kids to Hollywood Park in Stuckenbruck near Biefeld. WE had an amazing day, plenty of laughs. Something that in the past has been in short supply.

It hasn't taken long for the elder 2 boys to make friends . They all have settled into school, the best thing is D is actually happy to leave for school and loves going. This is something that has not happened for a long time. He is in a middle school, which means he gets to do technologhy, (wood work, cookery and needle work) he gets to do use proper science labs and is looking forward to making a volcano some time  soon. My middle son initially hated his  school as the work was so easy but they soon recognised that he is gifted and so have moved him up to a more challenging class for him. Now he loves it.

The youngest the tearaway of the family is still hard work but the class teacher is doing amazing things with him and has managed the imposible by getting him to work hard at lessons. He is still a pain once he is home but with his dad around a lot more it is getting more managable.

Once the kids went back to school i started going on daily runs with the dog only a 30 mins power walk/run but im feeling better..

Since moving im more chilled out again and V reckons the sparkle is back in my eyes again. Looking back over the past 4 years i realise the fun loving Mandy had all but vanished but im happy to say the fun loving Mandy is back for good.

Im looking forward to going out on Friday night to an 'Oktober Fest' with the rest of the unit my husband is serving with.

Well back to reality now, ive got to go down 3 flights of stairs to make my self a cuppa before i tackle the house work.

 Forgot to let you know i passed the exam i took way back in June . Only 3 more courses to go then i will have a BSc

12th August 2007

| Posted by Daunted
08:09, Sat 11 August 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Well I'm back again! I really must try and get into this blog writing thing! I know in months to come I will enjoy looking back over it all.

I guess I am now at the stage that seemed so far away when I first joined  I first logged in and read all the stories of others who were just on the final long wait dreaming of myself being in the same situation one day. Well now I am and it is every bit as frustrating as everyother stage in this visa process. After worrying myself stupid over the whole medical thing they actually passed without any real problems. WELL presuming the bloods come back ok LOL  I had a dream the night before the medicals in which it turned out I had an in curable illness and Australia said the kids could go but I would have to stay here!   Amazing what games your mind can play on you in times of stress hey? The panel Doctor went off on his holidays yesterday so he won't be reviewing our blood results etc until he is back in 2 weeks. They will then be sent off to LCU who I am hoping will have sorted out the massive back log in waiting medicals!!!!!!!  I had hoped to be flying off to our new life in November BUT i am seriously wondering whether this is going to be happening now.  There doesnt seem to be any sort of order for the processing of Visas right now so really all I can do is sit tight and wait my turn, as infuritating as it is!! Maybe i should start crocheting or something equally as mind numbing!

Australia has now over taken my life completely. How on earth anyone managed it before the good ole days of the internet is beyond belief!! I am regularly online checkin out rentals, house sales and jobs. The children have looked at pretty much every school in the whole of Western Australia and I have already priced up a volkswagen camper van ready for me to fulfil my mid life crisis in true hippy fashion.

Well tomorrow is another day.........and all around the UK people are waiting for that ONE special phone call/email or letter ........... come Monday I will be congratulating the lucky ones and wishing it was me BUT then I will have to remind myself how quickly I have become one of the ones on the long wait and realise that one day, hopefully not too far away It will be me posting 'I GOT IT!'

The time is nearly here

| Posted by geordie mandy
05:15, Thu 19 July 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Tommorow V arrives around lunch time . Just im time to See our 7 year old in his leavers service that all year 2 do as they leave the infants and go into the junior school.


This year is going to be a very special one as my son knows it will be his very last day at his infant school ever . Ive been told he may also get the schools gold award for outstanding behaviour in school.

I best get the kleenex handy.

Its going to be a frantic time over the weekend as we empty the attic and shed and chuck the stuff that needs to go out. 

The packers arrive on Wednesday and Benji goes in the kennels for a week. the kids will be staying at my parents for the very last time on Tuesday night.  So we can dismantle their beds etc.


I cant believe the time has flown over so quickly . We are looking forward to a our break on Arran visiting family there and spending time with Angus and Tinker. After we have been there we come back to Durham to pick Benji up and say good bye to my family , hand the keys over to the estate agents and off to Hull we go.

So i guess this will be my final entry for a while till we get set up in Germany.

Good bye to you all for now

Thats it no more Great North Walks for me

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:41, Mon 16 July 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Felt very frustrated last night I should have done the walk in 1 hour 45 at the most. Was going great guns with in an hour i was up to nearly 6 miles. feeling very pleased with my self. I was almost at the 7 mile mark when disaster struck coming down a steep incline which was very stoney i slipped and went over my ankle. Some how the adrenaline kicked in and i intially managed to walk on at a slower pace  for another mile. The pain started kicking in at the 8 mile point and it was sheer agony from then on in. i was determined i was going to finish even if i crawled it. The last mile i was so light headed that i was seeing things like chocolate bars runing in front of me. Whether this was my way of coping with my situation i dont know. I had queen playing in my ears and i finally limped in at 2 hours 20 . Im gutted at the time it took me. AS i iknow i wont be there to compete next year.

I vaguely remeber seeing my youngest with a spiderman face paint on clapping and cheering for me. The rest is a bit of a blank to be honest. I recall seeing the dishy young st john ambulance assisting me as i left the finish line and offering me a wheel chair but my pride refused so i know they helped me get to the first aid tent.

It was almost like i was looking down at my self while they took the boot off and sock and put an ice pack on my very swollen ankle.Ive not broken the ankle thank god but i have done some muscle damage or so they think. I was so grate full for the pain killers and the energy drink..

Im feeling much better today. A friend took the boys to school for me so after more pain killers i went back to bed, i slept for a couple of more hours and feel so much stronger.

I know its not the end of the world that i never beat last years time but last night it was. I guess my pride was severly dented .

Never mind i did my best under the circumstances. who knows next year i might do the njmagin(sp) march in Germany. i reckon that will be a challenge.

Escape to Narnia

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:18, Sat 14 July 2007 | 1 comments | Link

Ive just finished watching 'The lion , witch and the wardrobe' on sky movies. I allowed the kids to stay up to way past bedtime as they were desperate to watch it.

I remember as a 10 year old reading the chronicles of narnia and how i used to escape normal life in those books. I was always a book worm as a child and i was given the well read box set of the chronicles of narnia from my local church minister. When i completed the books over the summer holidays of 1980 i went to give them back and he said no my dear you keep them and one day when you are an adult they will remain a treasure to you and you can share it then.


Sure enough as an adult i passed them on to a neighbours daughter to read(to take her mind off the fact her dad was in the Gulf war) while i lived in Germany, i recieved them back as her parents were going to buy her own collection at some stage.

I had forgotton all about theses books till just recently when i was up in the attic sorting some boxes out.

I have promised the boys i will read the books to them, as they are a little young to read the small print themselves at the moment.

I was truely transported into the film along with my kids tonight , as i keep telling the boys being able to read can transport you into a different world . So hope fully my eldest will try harder at reading so he can tackle such amazing books. 

Although some of the scenes were different from how i imagined them it was still a wonderfull way to pass the evening away. All cosy on the couch.

Im now off to bed as i have a 10 mile walk to complete tommorow and i need my energy for that.

I wonder if narnia will appear in my dreams 

A little annoyed

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:47, Wed 11 July 2007 | 3 comments | Link

Today i had the police on my door step wanting to speak to V. A couple of days ago Our eldest was having a bit of bother with the local toerags who were hanging around our drive way.

One of the pains kicked the new car the V had only picked up the day before. When asked the kid admitted he had kicked it and rather cocky said so what to V. With bare feet he aimed a kick at the kid on his backside. Barely made contact, but the kids went running home to his mum. V got his shoes on and went down to speak to the mother and explained why he had done it .

So they called the police wanting him charged with assult, the police however did warn them that their son had caused criminal damage so we could have him charged for that.  The kids round here have no respect for any ones property.  So come the day V gets back home the police want a word with him.

It has got to the stage that my kids are being kept in now just so i can keep them safe. My eldest got attacked the day after the car incident by the lad over the road from us who is nearly my weight. The kids dad even watched it and egged his son on.

I really cant wait to get shot of this place now. WE try hard to bring our kids up with respect for others, for them to be polite . Yet just because we have certain values we have been knocked for it by the locals.

This latest incident is the last straw as far as im concered. This kid who kicked the car was the same kid who broke an expensive patio set which belonged to my parents. I asked for the kid to pay towards the replacement. No joy. They have wrecked the kids trampline pulling the netting down and tearing up the cover over the springs. Its got to the stage that the kids think they can do what they like with no come back. So when V lost his cool with this kid, it looks like he is going to be in bother with the police.

Im trying hard not to let it bother me, focusing on the fact we are out of here soon. Just cant come quick enough.  

My personal best

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:15, Wed 11 July 2007 | 1 comments | Link

Today i put on my hiking trainers and power walked the 10 mile route ive been using to train for both the race for life which i did on sunday and for the walk im doing this sunday.

I managed it in 1hr 20 mins not bad for me. Ive estimated when i do the walk on Sunday it will take me 1 hr 30. But it may take longer as i dont normally walk with 3000 odd other walkers.

Im feeling fitter for all this walking and ive told V when we go to Arran to see his family we will go up Goat fell (the highest mountain on Arran). I think i need to keep my self motivated and challenged to get my weight back down to what i want it to be.

Last night i signed my self up for my next two OU courses, My first one starts in October and is a level 2 course, then while im still doing that in Feb i will start a level 3 course. So this coming academic year is going to be hard going. I will have exams in June and in October. Then i will have a break till Feb 09 when i do my final course. So hopefully by Oct 09 i will have my BSc in Health and Social Care and should be nearly ready for living in oz.   

What ever i do in ways of challenges both mentally(the courses) and physical i always give 100% to what im doing. May not be as good as other people but ive come to realise im not any one else im ME and as long as im doing my personal best then i can be happy.

 Just  wish i could get on top of this weight business . Im wanting to get back down to 9 and a 1/2 which is the weight i felt happiest at. Ive still got a long way to go on that score. But ive done it once before so i know im capable of doing it again.

One down one to go

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:04, Sun 8 July 2007 | 4 comments | Link

Today i did the Race for life, 5k around an uneven and very clarty field in Durham. Im so pleased that i did it. I managed a time of 45 mins which i had estimated i would do it in. V had reckoned i would do it in 30 mins. The first k i ran and inbetween i power walked and ran when i felt able due to the ground condition. i managed to sprint the last k and by this stage i was breathing out of my bum. Im sure Ina and Steve were with me in spirit egging me on. the sun shone which was great to see.

Ive had a lovely shower using the stuff i got in my goody bag. Im still coughing a bit and im well knackered. I shall leave till Wednesday any more training.

Next Sunday i have the Great North walk to do. A 10 mile walk, which i expect to take around 1hr 30.

Im off to chill out with a cuppa now. If the kids will behave them selves for long enough 

Getting ready for the weekend

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:03, Wed 4 July 2007 | 1 comments | Link

Today i bought my self a really nice summery dress, jewellery and nice underwear to go with it. My weight has been getting me down so although ive not lost any weight i know ive trained very hard for the race for life and feel as though i deserve to look good. My darling beloved will be home on Friday and we are all excited. I took my time choosing a nice anniversary card and care fully choosing the right things to mark our special day.

My parents are going to baby sit so we can go out for a meal by ourselves(not done that this year) on Saturday, a chance for us to dress up and enjoy ourselves..

Mind you we cant stay out too late as i have to be up early on Sunday for the race.

Ive done a lot of power walking as the running is killing my chins. I just hope i do well on sunday and my uncle and Ina would be proud of me.

 Im off now to go on the treadmill since i didn't  go out training today. Ive put scenic train journeys in Australia on sky so i can watch the scenary roll by as i train.

then i shall chill out

Feeling like the odd one out

| Posted by geordie mandy
06:13, Sat 30 June 2007 | 3 comments | Link

Today has been a strange day. That has left me feeling a little down in the dumps

My boys were invited to a school friends birthday party at the local workmans club. I took them and was invited to stay, which i did. The boys had a whale of a time, but i was bored and lonley. In a room full of people not one person came over and talked to me. All the tables were full so i had to sit on a table on my own. i tried starting conversations with people who i recognised from the school gates but all i got was one word answers. The people there had known each other all their lives and had never moved out of the village. I joined in with the kids doing the hokey kokey and tried to get in to the spirit of things. While most of the other parents were propping up the bar. The party started at 1pm, a bit early for me to be drinking. Im not a snob but i felt un comfortable in a smokey room full of adults getting drunker as the afternoon wore on. It got to 4pm and i had enough. I felt awful dragging the kids away but the party was supposed to finish at 3.30. Now at home ive got a pounding headache and my eyes are sore.

Im pleased we are moving soon as no matter how long we lived in the village i dont think i would felt as though i belonged. On Friday one of the mums asked when we were leaving and said she would be sorry to see us go. Not sure why she said that as normally she never speaks to me.

No matter where i have lived i have always thrown my self into the community, but this place revolves around the workmans club .

I was busy texting V while i was at the party and he was telling all about what was going in Paderborn for the families. He decided not to go as he felt the odd one out going with out his family.

V is home on Friday night in time for our 17th Wedding anniversary on the Saturday and im so looking forward to it. this past month and a half has been so difficult. The kids have missed him so much and ive missed him more than ever.

I know its not long really till we can be together as a family again, then none of us will be the odd one out. V is getting a tent ready for us joining him in Paderborn, so we can take the kids camping along with the dog. We are finally going to do all the things we have wanted to do for so long. The things we imagined we would do when the boys one by one were born. The hill walking, biking, camping and places we could visit. Are all soon going to be a reality.

The one good friend i have made here (another outsider) says she will be devestated when we go as like me people dont speak to her either.  Ive told her to get on the internet and we can catch up on line. but i know she really needs a real friend to replace me when ive gone.

All my life people have judged me , at school it was because i was a little tubby, wore glasses and was the school swot.  When i was at Hull doing my nurse training it was because i was from the north east and engaged to a squaddy at a young age.

When i first became an army wife i finally found some where i belonged although some people did judge me cos i didnt wear designer clothes.

The only place im not judged is on the internet forums that i go on . I have found good freinds who take me as i am who i can have a laugh with and a moan to and not have to worry about fitting in.

Soon i will be at home again, as my home has always been beside my husband and the past 4 years while we have been apart neither of us have felt as though we belonged any where , we were the odd ones out.

Roll on the 1st of August when we will finally be at 'home' together.

Im getting there

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:02, Thu 28 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

I managed 10 miles today, im chuffed to say the least. i ran about 2 miles of that solidly and the rest power walking with the run thrown in. I found the running is killing my shins not sure why. The dog certainly enjoyed his run out and is now laid on his back with his paws in the air with a big grin on his face..


i feel confident that i can manage the race for life now even if i do power walk most of it. The week after is the Great North Walk and some of my route is up hill uneven ground which is what the walk will be like.

Im off for a shower now with A big cheesy grin on my mush.


The value of cyber friends

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:42, Tue 26 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Today has been a difficult day, some one who is a cyber friend who i have never met before had tragic news this morning. i really felt complelled to help him find information out.

His situation has certainly brought home to me that when you are away from all the people you know you can normally count on for being there for you can be taken away in an instand.

How would i cope if i had tragic news and needed help and support before i knew about cyber land i would of been completely on my own. But thanks to the internet i now have a lot of people i feel would help me in my hour of need. Luckily my problems have never been big. But the support i recived when ive had berevements in the family and when my son had smashed his arm was amazing. So thank you to my special cyber friends. You know who you are.

Some of my real world friends can never understand why i can call people who i talk to  on the net can be  called friends . But to me a friend is some one who is there through the bad times to support you, there for the good times , to share in your joy in good news and who is not bothered if you are still in your pys while sharing a cuppa and a gossip.

Im praying and have candles lit tonight for my friends family. I may never meet them but it does not stop me from feeling empathy for them.


My motivation is back

| Posted by geordie mandy
01:10, Mon 25 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Last week was tough  starting the training for the race for life, especially after all my motivation to get fit and lose weight had been put aside for my studys. Today it was bucketting down (nothing new there) so i get my DVD out (janice battersby one) and had a really good work out. Even though when the floor exercises were being done Benji started licking my ears. (stupid dog)

As i was thinking of moving the furniture back he was going mental looking up at his lead, and going to the front door. He has enjoyed his daily run so much this past week. It looked as though it had stopped raining so i kitted my self so i could run while listening to Queen. WE set off and got to the sports field and the drizzle started and the wind. So battleing against the elements i got on with it. I confess i didn't get too far, (to the end of the track before i got to the country park) when the heavens opened up it was so bad i could hardly see in front of me.

So i headed home and suprised myself by mostly running rather than walking.

V wont believe when i tell him despite the bad weather ive kept training and im sure if My uncle Steve or Ina could see me now they would be happy that im back to my old self again.

i havent weight myself today, i'll do it tommorow but i hope ive managed to lose at least a pound.

Right shower time and then sort the mess of wet clothes.

Oh we do like to be by the seaside

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:40, Sat 23 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Today we ordered the sun so we could go up to Cullercoats to see some really nice people from BE.

My 3 boys were well excited at 6am they woke up excited that today was the day i was taking them to the seaside. Horror was soon on their faces when they saw the rain boo hoo was the cry from our house this morning. Never mind i said cheerfully im sure the sun will be,out when we get there. So at 9am we set off on the bus in to Durham, we then walked up to the train station and is was dry. (i was feeling more optamistic) we got on the train and got to sit near the drivers cab which thrilled the boys seeing all them controls. Soon we were at Newcastle, we had a little wait for the metro to take us to cullercoats.

Finally the metro arrived, my boys have never been on a metro so were very excited, till they saw the rain again. Being hopeful my eldest told the other two it has be sunny at the seaside, it was the last time we where at the beach (last year).

Soon we arrived and we met up with the lovely tiggs, graz and their little boys.

AS soon as my lot saw the sand and sea, they stripped off to shorts and t shirts and ran straight into the sea. I felt hypothermic just watching them and was so grateful for the warming tea from Tiggs's flask.

Great fun was had at first as it was dry although cloudy, we watched the life boat launch into the sea, a first for my lot, they were fascinated by it. Soon the picinc was in full flow and sandcastles were being built , with much help from Graz and Vicky (their freind).

soon we thought we heard thunder, or was it a lorry going passed said i in a faint hope the weather was not going to turn nasty. No such luck we soldiered on trying to ignore the drizzle which was getting heavy, soon tiggs's boys were all covered up in big macks and my boys were getting soaked . then it stopped for a little longer. WE felt warmer and actually started to hope it might be getting brighter. Im sure we could see a little bit of blue sky hiding behind the grey clouds.

However all too soon it was bucketting down. Tiggs suggest we all go to her mums to dry off and warm our selves up. A big thank you to Mrs Tiggs for the use of towels and radiators to dry our very soggy clothes and bodies. The kids were entertained by watching a DVD on trains in Australia. Such a shame the blue skys we saw on the dvd was not with us in cullercoats. The boys had a yummy picnic indoors.

After a lift to the metro we were soon on our way back home and would you believe it the sun finally came out when we got to Durham. My sister bless her came and picked us up and i called in the chippy for our tea.

The boys have all had a warm bath and our shattered now after a very long day and after watching scooby do on tv with a warm mug of hot chocolate. They have gone to bed tired out after an adventure.

Despite such yeuky weather the kids did have a great time. The company we had certainly made up for the poor weather. Who knows the next time we meet we could be on a sunny beach in oz.

Thanks Tiggs and Graz for a really good day., Graz you are my boys hero with your sandcastle ablities.


Training is going well

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:48, Thu 21 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

I managed to shave off 10 mins on my run/power walk today. Whether the wearing of an mp4 player helped i dont know or because  the sun was shining today and i saw other people out with dogs and running and walking so it was great. hopefully all this will help lose the weight aswell.

I need to get one of those pedometers that tell you how many calories you burn etc.

Ive just drank loads of water as i was well hot when i got in. So im off for a shower now.

i feel good dadada just  like  i knew i would , so good


A lovely lunch

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:21, Wed 20 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

I met my sister today for a late birthday lunch. It was really nice to wander the shops trying silly hats on and clothes we had no intention of ever buying. Its not very often we get a chance to catch up. Normally we meet for her birthday in November and mine in June.  These not much im going to miss when i move but our lunches i will certainly miss.


We had a lovley meal and im encouraging her when she get the chance to get herself off to oz. She has started her nursing diploma course in March. Being my baby sister i like to watch out for her, she still lives at home and is always there for everyone and never does any thing for her self. Ive told her to get her passport sorted out so that for her birthday day she can come to us in Paderborn and we will do lunch again. 

Im feeling very sore and stiff today so its just as well im not doing any training today. I could barely get out of bed. Hopefully back to the training tommorow and it should not be so painfull

The training has started

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:01, Tue 19 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Despite the blisters on my feet from yesterdays walk to the butchers, and the drizzle and mist  today i went out for a run. When i say run i really mean power walk. I started off being pulled along by the dog which turned in to a jog. As soon as he was off the lead he was offski. i tried to kep jogging, but my knees were killing me as were my ankles. So i decided to power walk and im now knackered wet through from sweat and drizzel. I managed to do 3 miles all in, some of it up rather steep hills in the country park. The dog loved it and i must admit it cleared my head off all the crap its been filled with.

After my glass of water, im off to the shower and then sort out the house work. im feeling chuffed with my self for managing to go out in the yack weather. a few years back i was extreemly fit but this past year my fitness has gone down hill fast. .


Although ive reached my target you can still sponsor me for the race for life on my signature  on  BE  forum


Wake up call

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:24, Mon 18 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Today i had a nasty shock, i went in to the wardrobe and tried on some of my lovely clothes that i havent worn since last summer. they did not fit, i could barely squeeze in to them

I know my weight has been slowly creeping up while ive been in active due to the studying marlarky, but i hadn't realised just how much. i could have cried ive got one pair of 3/4 length trousers with eleasticated waist that are a little on the big side.

Since ive not been any where to get dressed up for a while ive been living in jogging bottoms and baggy tops and this probably why ive not noticed my clothes have stopped fitting me. 

im off out on wednesday for lunch with my sister (a salad me thinks now) and i had wanted to wear some of my nice summery clothes.

I feel so horrifed at how ive let my self go. Today i started my exercise regime by walking 1 mile in total . i walked down to the butchers and fruiters and ive got the blisters on my feet to prove it.

How on earth am i going to manage the race for life and the great north walk next month.

Tommorow once the house work is done im going to get out my 'janice battersby ' exercise dvd, then see how i feel. Ive pulled my ab curler from the top of the wardrobe and im going to tackle at least 50 curls before bed. Im also going to start on the tred mill on thursday.

When i do my shopping for next week im going to make sure ive got plenty of healthy food on the list.

Im hoping by the time arrive in Paderborn on the 1st of August i might have lost at least 1/2 a stone.

When i was last this big and went on a diet i managed to lose nearly 4 stones so im hoping losing 3 will not take over a year like it did last time. I also gave away all my big clothes as i never thought i would need them.

Im determined and i mean determined to get back to wearing all the lovely clothes i have in my wardrobe.

wish me luck

Fathers day and other special days

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:52, Sun 17 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Hope fully this will be the last time my kids wont be able to give their dad a hug for fathers day. For the past 5 years my kids have missed on celebrating with their dad the special day.

V has had a miserable day today, not just cos he is away, but cos he has cracked ribs and loads of bruising. He went go karting with the lads at work and his competitive streak kicked in and he hurtled him self around the track resulting in him hurting himself. I wish i could be with him to make it all better. At least he can have time to recouperate before we all see him again.  

In the time V has been away on postings with the army away from home, as a family we have missed so much. Mothers day is normally forgotton about, as the kids will make a card only if the school allow them to. V has missed countless birthdays despite trying his best to be home for them.

This year was the first time V has seen a sports day, i always video the christmas play and all the other special events in the kids lives.

My parents still find it hard to understand why i want to sell our house and move to Germany , taking the kids away from what they describe as a settled life.

AS i told my dad today when he called in for his card, we are leaving to be a family again, a proper family where V can see the kids do plays and run races, he can be there for when a tooth falls out or some one scrapes a knee. Ive grown weary of trying to be both parents at the same time. It has been hard for me having 3 boys to give them the rough play that only a dad can do.

The kids are really missing their dad right now as the last time they saw him was at Whit and by the time he comes home in July  it will have been nearly 2 months since he was home.

I feel for my friend who has the responsibility for her 2 boys on her own now since she lost her husband.

I find it hard but i know i have light at the end of the tunnel now. I know she does an amazing job and will continue to do so.

It was strange not giving my granda his fathers day card today, i do think of him, especially on special days like this. Before i leave for Germany, i ve got an angel in my garden that im going to leave by his grave. It was one i bought when David died im sure he wont mind me leaving it with granda.

Well im going to have have a whiskey and ginger and raise a glass to the dads who aren't with their kids

Happy Fathers day


Our first viewer

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:51, Fri 15 June 2007 | 0 comments | Link

After a month on the market our first viewers came today. a lovley family with 3 girls the oldest  is coming up for reception age. They seemed to like the house, appreciated the size of the bedrooms and the space it would give them.


If  they do put an offer in im not sure whether to accept as they need to sell their house first. No matter what we move out on the 25th of July. Ive got the removals surveyor coming tommorow to see how much stuff we need to take .


It all seems to be happening at the moment. C is at the hospital on Monday for his review at the fracture clinic . Just a formality really. then i pick up Benji's pet passport from the vets.

Still to sort out is my contact lens check before we go to paderborn. that way i will still get my lenses by post.

Ive got a meeting with the OU advisor to see if it is possible to finish my BSC in  2 year period.

WEll the kids are starving so best get tea sorted

Thanks god that is over

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:04, Mon 11 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

WEll ive finished exam and i managed not to puke all over the paper. My writing was awfull due to nerves. But i did my best so pass or fail there is nothing more i could have done.


Once the kids are in bed im going to veg out with a take away and a nice bottle of wine ive had chilling.

i would jump up and down but im knackard.


I feel sick

| Posted by geordie mandy
08:02, Mon 11 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

WEll todays has come , after 9 months of studying the final exam has come . I tried to get an early night but didn't sleep much . I feel sick and shaky. I have the kids to get to school, they are all arguing and fighting with each other which is not helping my nerves. Im going to have a long shower once they are at school. My dad is picking me up to take me to the train station. Then i will be on my way and will hopefully settle my nerves down once i get to the hotel where the exam is.

Thank you to all my friends who have supported me and send good wishes. It means so much to me .

One more day....

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:39, Sat 9 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Till my exam, ive got the funny tummy starting already. ive re read my notes , watched the DVD , listened to my CD's and tried to get to know as many of the case studies as i possibly can. I just hope it will be good enough to pass the exam.

Spoke to V today and he has told me to relax tommorow and not do any more work. But i think i will just re read some of the pieces that have come up in previous exams . i will also have a go at sme old exam papers. I really want to do well in this exam. V has been trying to boost my confidence by pointing out that ive not failed any of my previous exams.


With everything that has being going on just recently i just hope the stress does not get to me that some how i can keep calm and not puke when i get to the exam.

Off to bed now to try and get some sleep





Stressed out to the max

| Posted by geordie mandy
06:41, Thu 7 June 2007 | 2 comments | Link

Ive just had a row with the bloke who lives at the back of us. He is putting a complaint to the police about my kids saying they are out of control and i must be a negligent mother.

how i didn't break down in tears in front of him i dont know. i know my kids are no angels but compared to the rest of the kids on the estate they are resonably well behaved.

Yesterday my kids were playing football in the garden, (other people complain if they play at the garages)

any how the ball went over the garden fence in to his garden and he decided to keep the ball, saying he is sick of the ball going over. I appreciate that my youngest at 5 is not a good shot and it goes over the fence and i always tell him to ask for it back politely, sometimes if he is not in he climes over the fence and gets it. I might add with out trampleing on any of his veggies that are growing.

So the i tried to catch him yesterday to sort it out but was un able to.

Well the youngest today went and got  the ball as he could see it in his green house. I already told him off and explained why it was naughty.

All the kids were cheeky telling the bloke they got the ball back. which they got a good telling off for and i told them to apologise.

I do try my hardest to keep an eye on them but as the exam is getting closer im trying to fit in more revision and they have been given a little more freedom than i normally would allow them.

I tried reasoning with the bloke that i do the best with the boys . But he is having none of it, calling me a typical single mother with no control over her kids. i told him i was married and that my husband is in Germany where we will be moving to next month i told them about the punishment ive handed out to them but he has told me to expect the police to call at the house tommorow.

Ive still got tears running down my cheeks , the kids have had a bath early and are in the pys and ive grounded them what more can i do.

This is the last thing i need right now, as if the stress of studying wasnt enough or the sorting out the move to Germany, now this.

Ive just had enough i want out of here.




Another year older

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:14, Wed 6 June 2007 | 3 comments | Link

Well i dont feel any older than i did yesterday so thats a good start.

Its been a strange birthday, ive been too tired really to make a fuss, the revision is going well and i took time out to see D in his fun run, in 30mins he managed to do 14 laps of the school playing field.

The boys had forgotton this morning, but they made up for it with the pictures they did at school. Im looking forward to a soothing lavender bath once the kids are settled in bed.

My parents and sister have been out to visit with cards and im looking forward to going out for the day with my sister some time next week.

hopefully by then i should have some money and can treat my self to a new hairdo and outfit.

Fingers crossed we move out of the house on the 25th of July and into the new house on the 1st of August. I cant wait.

Well id better get the kids in for the bath and ready for bed, then i can chil out.



OMG 2 1/2 weeks till the exam

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:22, Fri 18 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Where has the time gone , am i panicking right now, of course i am.

Ive just re wrote my study plan to ensure i cover the topics i think will come up in the exam. Ive got my exam prep day tommorow up at Newcastle. So hopefully we will be given some guidence on what they think will come up.

Im not going to have any time for my self till this exam is over. There is so much i have to remember the basics ive got, its just the finer details like which author wrote which piece and in waht block Arghh!!!!!!!!!


Well bye for now, will be back after my exam on the 11th of June Wish me luck i will need it


I passed my final assignment

| Posted by geordie mandy
09:32, Thu 17 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

God knows how as it wasnt my best work that i have done on this course.

Ive now started to work out my study schedule. Im at Uni all day on Saturday which im sure will help me towards all the revision i have to do.

My headaches are getting worse, im sure its all the concentration im having to do.

The thing at the moment that is keeping me going, is the exam is the end of this course. I can relax again and start having fun again with the boys.

V has decided that if the house sells for the amount we want then we can go to oz with the boys for a holiday. Yeehaa. WE are looking into going to Cairns so the boys can see the GBR for real and not just on the PC. Just need to work out should we fly from Germany or get a flight from the UK.

V is settling very nicely in Padders, he met up with Fish who with his wife have been helping V get sorted.

The school is now sorted for the eldest, the prospectus is finally on its way and the head teacher was lovley on the phone yesterday when i spoke to her.

Benji has had his blood test to check to see if his rabies jab has worked. The vet will phone up with the results and then he will help me get the paper work done for his pets passport.

Angus and Tinker are loving living on Arran, the fresh air and open space is really suiting them. Angus has still had the odd fit but none as severe as what he had over christmas. My MIL took Angus to her vet and quite sensibily as said as long as he is not suffering and is happy in himself there is no need for medical intervention. WE are quite happy with that. After all he is an old dog and he has been well loved and cared for which is continuing on.

Tinker is enjoying playing outside, climbing trees and all the other things that cats enjoy. The vet was happy with her health and condition so he will just see her when her injections are due.

The inlaws seems to enjoy having the pets around them. Tinker now when Emmerdale comes on is content to sit on MIL lap while being fussed over. I know we have done the right thing for them, but we still miss them on a daily basis.

Well id best get on with my revision.    

Could throttle my sons friends

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:00, Sun 13 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

I very rarely allow my eldest to have his so called friends to play at the house or in the garden as when ever they do come in there is always bother.

Because the boys were so upset at V leaving for Germany yesterday i though for once i would bend my rule. Never again, one of them trashed the youngests bedroom and broke some of his toys. While the older brother while playing footbal in the garden aimed at a rather nice patio set i borrowed from my parents. His aim managed to smash one of the chairs, he scarpered as soon as he did and i only found out when i went out side to get my son in. To say im mad is an understatement.

I know my mother will go ballistic as she has had this patio set in her shed and not used it . I just hope i can replace the chair before i give it back.

I only borrowed it to make the garden look more inviting.


Tears and laughter

| Posted by geordie mandy
03:31, Sat 12 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Its been an emotional couple of days. Yesterday was the funeral and it was so good to see so many of the extended family who all loved Ina. We will all miss her as she was such a great person, we laughed as we remembered how at 80 year old she rode her one of the kid's bikes and really enjoyed the chance to visit her youth again. We cried at knowing she is no longer with us. The minister did a lovley reading that she had wrote herself. The gist of it was that live life to the full and take every chance you get to experience something new. It also said for us not to be sad as she had enjoyed her life and her only regret was never getting to New Zealand or visiting Australia. So her grandson who is in the merchant navy currently in the South Paciffic is going to if he get permission to take her ashes there is scatter a few around. We all thought it was a great idea, so heres hoping it will be allowed.

After the early start yesterday travelling up to Helensburgh (up at 5am) and not getting back till 9pm we were exhausted. The kids kindly allowed us a long lie this morning. Which was well needed.

There have have been more tears today as V left for his ferry to Amsterdam from Newcastle, lucky sod will get a 5 course meal tonight and a cabin to catch up with sleep before his 3 hour trip to his new unit.

The kids have all had tears and not wanting him to go, we were both filling up but had to be brave. Hopefully he will get home for Whit.

Due to such an emotinal  week ive not done any prep for my exam. So tommorow i will make a start.

Time for a cuppa, to try and get the lump out of my throat, i must be cried out after yesterday.


Still in a state of shock

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:16, Tue 8 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

WE are about as organised as we can be for the funeral. V was supposed to have been starting at his new unit today in Germany. But after some grovelling yesterday, he has managed to get the time off. He nows travels over on Sat (the day after the funeral). We have just both got new suits to wear, as our other stuff was looking a bit tatty.

As people are coming from all over the UK to Helensburgh to pay there respects to a wonderful lady, we offered to pick up a family friend who lives closeish to us so that she can get up.

It will be great to meet up with family members who we have not seen for a long time, just wish it was for a happier event.

The funeral is in the morning on Friday so we have to leave at about 4am . Just hope we can change at the services on route. the other night was very upsetting, i normally phone Ina up on Sunday night and for a split second i nearly dialled her number, instead i phoned my MIL up as she is still in shock her self.

The kids have been told about Ina and shed a few tears. they wont be going to the funeral as it will be too long of a day for them.My dad has kindly offered to stay at our house thursday night so we can get away, and he will get the kids to school.

We have agreed a price for the house and as we are going with 2 estate agents we have the paper work to still fill in, one of the agents is coming to take the photos tommorow. WE have agreed to put the house on the market for 6 weeks if there is no sniff of any interested in buying the house then we shall then rent the place out.

The dreaded phone call

| Posted by geordie mandy
10:28, Fri 4 May 2007 | 6 comments | Link

We got a call at 8pm to tell us Ina had passed away peacefully with her daughter and son beside her bedside at 7pm this evening.

We are still in shock, we had only just got over the news that she had cancer. Thankfully she never suffered and had lead a good and varied life.

I shall miss her so much, it was a well known fact in the family that we bothe enjoyed a good natter and when we spoke on the phone, the hours would just melt away.

RIP Ina, when i finally get to oz i shall plant a rose bush in your honour and everytime it flowers i shall remember your beautiful roses around your door.

good news and bad news.

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:02, Thu 3 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

The good news, is the decorator i had was brillent, took time to help me move the furniture around and took great pride in his work. the only area left to paint is a few areas in our room, we need to move heavy  stuff first.

Just need to stage the house  ready for hopefully all the viewers we will get.


The bad news is V's elderly aunt (his favorite) has been diganosed with cancer yesterday. WE are all stunned and shocked as she has always been the type of lady to keep busy and has never really been poorly. We had planned to visit her on boxing day, but she had flu and was not up to visitors. Im just hoping we get chance to see her before its too late.

Ina as the family call her has always encoured us to go for the move to oz, as she had the chance when she was young as a £10 pom with her husband . Unfortunatly a family crisis prevented her doing it and she has always regretted it. I hope some how she manages to survive till the summer as her oldest grandson is getting married and i know she is so looking forward to this family event.

Nothing more i can say really, life has a funny way putting us on a roller coaster of emotions just when we least expect it


I have finally done my last assignment

| Posted by geordie mandy
04:25, Tue 1 May 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Im just so relieved its done and is on its way to my tutor. I can now concentrate on getting on with my last bit of course work and revision.

Ive the estate agent coming on Saturday and hopefully the house will be on the market by Monday.

Im going to be packing my nick knacks away tonight ready for the decorator coming tommorow.

As a treat today i took the dog out for a walk, we both needed it. It was great feeling fresh air on my face , hearing the bird song as i wandered through the woods near us. Benji enjoyed running round like a nutter for the first time in ages.

Well back to getting the kids tea sorted

Feeling much better

| Posted by geordie mandy
11:19, Mon 30 April 2007 | 1 comments | Link

The antibiotics seem to have kicked in and i feel much better in my self.

We got the kitchen painted however we ran into a slight snag we have nearly run out of paint and this colour is now discontinued. So we  just painted where it was needed in the kitchen and the back hall way which is the same colour didn't get much done at all do it.

I think we may need to get a different yellow for there or go for a contrasting colour so that it looks cleaner and fresh again. I did give the walls a good scrub down so it looks ok.

Ive got the decorator coming on Wednesday to do the living room and stairs and landing and porch way.

Ive got 2 days to get my assignment done i know its not due in till the 9th of May but i just want it done. Ive informed my tutor that i will do it and even if a do get a low score for it at least i know i tried .

My tutor did say i could get a subsitute score if i didn't hand it in but ive never not handed one in through out the whole of my Ou studies in 12 years.

Yes thats right 12 years, i started studying in 1995 when i was living in Germany the last time round. Then i was just doing study packs which gave you a credit for study but no points towards a qualification.

Ive also got my application form to do the Great North Walk in July, this will be the last chance i get to it and the week after the walk i expect to be getting ready for the move to Germany. i will be raising money up for diabetic research which i feel is appropriate as David my much missed late BIl died of a rare form of the disease.

Time for a cuppa and back to the assignment.



It's been a while

| Posted by Daunted
10:39, Sun 29 April 2007 | 0 comments | Link

..........but I am back!

Lots has happened since I last wrote. Rachel and I had our holiday out to Oz, it was fantastic but would have been better with out the family fall out (dont ask - long story)  Rachel loved the country as much as I do and we came back full of renewed enthusiasm to get things moving as soon as possible.

I recieved a lovely phonecall from my agent the morning we flew out of UK to let me know i had passed my TRA, which only made the trip more exciting.

My visa application has now arrived at the agents in Oz (well it will be delivered tomorrow morning when office opens).

I have told my family, and it has been awful. I didnt expect it to go down well but i didnt expect the back lash from the australian branch of the family. Think there has been some s*** stirring going on somewhere.  Anyway it doesnt change a thing, we are all still adament it is what we want to do and now it just cant come soon enough.

Still not very well

| Posted by geordie mandy
12:21, Thu 26 April 2007 | 1 comments | Link

Been to the drs today and ive got a chest infection. which explains why ive been feeling so crap. Im also very run down and ive been told to get some rest. Ive trying so hard to get on with my assignment and keep up to date with the house work, but neither is very succesfull. Ive been falling asleep as soon as i sit down which when when you have 3 boistrious (sp) boys is not a good thing.

V is back tommorow and i know we have to crack on with the decorating on Saturday. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in and i will start to feel better.

Well gotta  go as im nodding off as i type  

Really struggling at the moment

| Posted by geordie mandy
07:25, Tue 24 April 2007 | 0 comments | Link

Yesterday i made a start on my essay part of the assignment but im really pulling my hair out with it. My tutor has told me i dont have to do the assignment if im getting too stressed out about it. AS ive done so well on my past few ones my marks are high enough for me to have a subsitute mark and still pass. However ive never taken the easy route with any thing, i always feel that using the subsitute rule is a bit of a cop out.i still have the exam and if in the unlikly event i didn't do well on the course i could still fail. If that were to happen i would feel as though not doing my final assignment would be the cause.

Today ive spend most of it in bed i feel really crap, i started a few weeks ago feeling like a cold was brewing up, last night i had a blocked nose from hell and hardly slept. Ive got a really sore throat and generally feel washed out.

My parents called over today with a few plants for the back garden and the first thing my dad said was 'god you look  awful'  my mum put the plants in the garden with the help of the boys, while my dad borrowed my pc to check his email(having problems with his pc).

I asked if they could stay till the youngest was in bed, as i didn't have the energy to run around after him today. but they only stayed long enough for me to cook the boys tea.

The boys have all been hyper active the past  couple of days. Possibibly due to me grounding them. The eldest has been staying out later than he should and not getting his homework done. The middle son has been involved in fighting some of the other boys in the street and i dont want him becoming a thug. The youngest has been using language so foul even his dad was shocked.

I hate foul language  at the best of times, so when my own 5 year old is coming out with it then i try to nip it in the bud.

I will be so pleased to get out of this area as i can predict if we were to stay that despite my best efforts to bring my boys up to be well mannered boys, they may still get into trouble simply due to the peer pressure of the kids on the estate. 

At times the eldest can be really good though, on Saturday, we were in a news agents and i gave him 50p to get some sweets (the other 2 were at a party), he politely asked for a box of poppets , the shop keeper was so taken a back and said it was the first time in over 10 years she had heard a child asked politely for sweets. She thanked  him and me i should be proud of him. I must admit it did give me a warm feeling inside.  

was the kids have settled down and are asleep , i shall be off to bed myself. I just hope i can shake this off and still get my assignment done.

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