Thursday, 11 August 2011

A quick update - almost 5 months in .....

A typical winters day!

I'm sitting on the balcony with a cup of tea (it's the English in me) and the sun is streaming in across what seems like one side of the sky and the other side looks very grey and angry.  Right in front of me is the most stunning rainbow!  I absolutely love rainbows and they seem to just appear every time there is just a hint of rain.  I could stare at them for hours!!  So far the winter in Sydney has been a little chillier than anticipated - for some reason I just assumed Australia would just be warm all the time.  One of the many misconceptions I’ve had since we moved.  I’m certainly not complaining though as this chilly winter weather with it's endless blue skies and sunshine is a far cry from the grey clouds of London.   It actually makes me smile when I look go outside to hang up all my washing – it’s a complete revelation after years of having washing hanging over every radiator and door frame during the endless winter months, waiting days for it all to dry!  Now it's dry and smelling fresh as a daisy after only a few hours!  Listen to me – turning into a proper housewife already.   

Arts and craft in the playroom

Over the last few months we've moved into our rental in Collaroy and I've tried as best I can to turn it into our 'home'.  Having all our own furniture has definitely helped.  Although like most other women, there are already things that I want to change.  Mr D is a happy man living in a rental as he no longer has to do any DIY on the weekends (apart from hanging up pictures and taking them down and then hanging them up again - every time I change my mind!!!).  We've got some really lovely neighbours too.  A few weeks after we had moved in the lady across the road invited the kids and I over for 'afternoon tea' to meet the other neighbours.  When I turned up, I wasn't expecting to be the only person under the age of 65!!   However it was one of the funniest afternoon I've had in a long time - they were all hysterical and had me in stitches!!  The kids love them too - it's like having 4 grannies living next door and they're constantly running over the road to show Elsie or Janine something or the other!  It's great as they have endless patience and will chat with Master J for ages about some lizard that he's captured or a new trick he's learnt on his scooter.  A story that I've most probably heard a hundred times already!!!  I also get all the latest "neighbourhood" gossip so I feel like I've been a part of the community forever.  

Getting Master J a place at a local Kindy was a bit of a mission when we first arrived.  There are waiting lists for waiting lists in all the good ones and people have their  kids names down for years.  I came pretty close to tears and begging on several occasions before we were finally offered a place!  I have since learnt that there is point system here as well as a waiting list and you get extra points if you’re a working parent or if speak another language other than English at home etc etc!!  Had I known that at the time I would have told the Kindy that Mr D spoke Afrikaans at home and blackmailed Master J with a couple of easy words!!!  Desperate measures for desperate times!!   Luckily he has settled in amazing well considering we’ve moved him half way around the world, taking him away from his little buddies.  But he’s all smiles now and we’re even starting to hear the odd Aussie expression!  Next year he’ll be off to “big school” (gulp) and Miss H will join his Kindy. 

Fun on Manly Beach
There have a been a lot of lifestyle changes for us all and so far they have been fantastic!  We are all just loving the 'great outdoors' and really thrown ourselves into the Aussie way of life.  The kids are in the sea whatever the temperature (hence we had to very quickly buy them a couple of wetsuits or 'steamers' as they call them here) and it's just amazing to watch how much their confidence has grown since we moved.  Master J has gone from not liking his bike at all to riding without his stabilisers - he's very proud of himself.  Little 'lazy legs' Miss H is still flatly refusing to pedal her bike and is perfectly happy to be pushed along!!

Mr D has also settled into his new job and it's such a bonus to have him around so much more now that he no longer comutes to Amsterdam.  We only have one car, so Mr D has had to get used to taking the bus or the ferry to work.  We live a little way out of the city so it takes him about an hour to get to work and back.  Initially he wasn't sure he would cope with the commute (having been home based for the last 6 years) but he has found ways of getting a little 'fun' out of it!!  He has a scooter to get to the bus stop and is now threatening to use a skate board (after stealing Master J's one to practise a few childhood tricks)!!!  

The local wildlife here is pretty interesting too and most certainly keeps me on my toes!  I am very proud to say that I no longer break into a cold sweat every time I see a spider (unless its a killer one of course) and I've even allowed a few to keep their homes in my garden – I’ve discovered it's far better to know where they are.  The first time I went over to my lovely friends Sophie's house, she said "you must go into our room and look at the sea view - it's gorgeous” She was preoccupied in the bathroom at that moment - potty training! So off I went on my own and as I stepped onto the balcony I felt my heart stop for just a moment, and then I got the cold sweats and the jelly legs.........right in front of me spread across the entire balcony was the biggest web spider I have EVER seen!!!!!!!  I slowly backed off the balcony and into the bedroom.  Soph came bounding in all smiles "Gorgeous isn't it?" she said in her Wolverhampton accent (which I love, reminds me of home).  "Absolutely" I say smiling back.  Little did she know I hadn't even seen the sea - the view was the last thing I was looking at!!  We've both now had a good laugh about that, and luckily for me, she has my back when it comes to the eight -legged creepies!! 

We’ve have loads of interesting birds in our garden too.  Lots of  parakeets and cockatoo's, which are pretty amazing to look at but are unbelievable noisy and drive me crackers first thing in the morning.  It also amuses me to see them all sitting on the ground under trees, pecking for worms as if they are pigeons.  A few weeks ago there was the most amazing bird on my washing line – it looked like a little parrot with it's bright reds, blues and greens, that I thought it couldn’t possibly be wild.  I popped over to my neighbours to see if she knew of anyone who might have lost their pet bird and to my slight embarrassment – she came out to have a look, chuckled to herself and told me it was just wildlife!!! (I found out is was a lovebird and where I come from lovebirds sit in cages not on your washing line).  The other day I saw what looked like a turkey waddling around the garden!  I haven't dared ask anyone if it is as I'm sure they'll just laugh at me - but seriously, I think I've seen it all now!!

So all in all I can happily report that we're settling in really well and have made some fabulous new friends.  Sometimes it feels like we've been here forever even though its just been a few months.  If I could change anything, I wish I could have my family a tiny bit closer!!


  1. Hi Robs, love your stories! keep them coming!

  2. Hi Robs, You are keeping me well entertained with your blog, we are sitting at our annual Trade Show and Mrs Diamonds blog to pass the time is Awesome. Have chuckled out loud and had a few strange stares but keep it coming!!! xxxx T lots of love to our South African English Aussies!!

  3. hehee, thanks! Glad it was useful to pass the time. How is the trade show going?? Love to the kids xxx


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