Ho Ho Ho….
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Life is just ticking along, and somehow time is flying. Yes, we have ticked off No. 1 move for 2012 and are anticipating the ones which will follow later this year!
Why am I so “silent”…. good question but maybe explained by a natural process called “moulting”…
In biology, moulting or molting, is the manner in which an animal routinely casts off a part of its body (often but not always an outer layer or covering), either at specific times of year, or at specific points in its life cycle.
I have clearly finished a significant life cycle during the last 12 months and am in the process to moving into the NEW one. The current task, is making sure, that all the old skin is shed and that the new one is safe and strong for the anticipated adventures ahead. Very interesting time in my life and all for a GOOD reason!
What happened since the last Blog….
After a lengthy cleaning process we were eventually able to get our Bond back and “let go of” our special home in 10 Kidston Street, Ascot. Now about 2.5km further North from Brisbane City Centre, we have settled well into our “compact” new home. Two things we are really treasuring here: The flyscreens, which means no more mosquito bites, and the working air conditioning. With winter now on its way, we aren’t missing the pool that much, and if keen, then there is a pool here in our complex too. Just have to walk 2 minutes….
Yes, when it comes to “spending time in water” then we will definitely deal with withdrawal symptoms when back in the UK. Currently the girls are pretty much daily in the water: Either just for fun, improving their swimming skills, SwimClub or school PE.
The situation at home hasn’t changed hugely, other than I, at long last have understood, that John probably never really wanted to be my husband, and his wish all along of being friends has now (mostly) become reality. We generally dealing with the whole situation in a friendly manner, which is the best for everyone involved. Let’s keep it that way!!!!!! Why did it take me so looooong to understand? Good question, to which I haven’t got a full answer yet.
My aim for the girls and myself, is for the last 4 months, to enjoy Australia to the fullest. First of all on a daily basis, by really living in the now and having FUN! Further by, going shortly on a fantastic journey. The girls and I will leave Brisbane next week Wednesday (28/03) to Melbourne. There we will be staying with friends (met these Aussie’s in Brentwood) for 5 days. On from their by car to the country, via Mildura to Wentworth and onto Willow Point, a farm 70km away from the closest shopping facility (a corner shop!). Because of all the rain in Australia, are the shearers behind schedule, which means we will experience the sheep shearing at Willow Point (SOOOO lucky!!!). From there we will travel to Adelaide for one night, and from their via plane onto Alice Springs. One Day Ayers Rock (all DAY = hours!), and another day checking out the local tourist attractions. From there onto Sydney, where we have a full programme too. Most exciting will be a visit to the Royal Easter Show and a Night at Tarronga Zoo (Roar & Snore!). At all our destinations will we be catching up with friends, which will be lovely! Back in Brisbane on the 17/04; I guess we will be full of magic and rich experiences!
Then we have 3 months left till we fly on the 20/07 from Brisbane to Bangkok. There again, will we be visiting friends, and after a 4 day explore it’s back to the UK. Arrival is on the 25/07…..
At first we are kindly put up by the Mulcahy’s (Pia & family) and from there it’s probably renting somewhere for a bit. The idea is to buy another property, but honestly all that is still in the “making”?!!! Having nearly finalised our house sale in South Africa, possibly buying in the UK is next on the “To-Do-Agenda”.
Other future plans are: Starting as an “Entrepreneur” back in Brentwood. I am exploring a few ideas at the moment, so please don’t be surprised, if I contact you in some way or another, regarding “Market Research”! As it all has to fit around being a “FULLTIME” single mother, I have to be a bit creative, but I am sure, I can do it!
I hope I have filled you in, with what is going on in our life! Would love to hear/read from you, and if there are any questions, please feel free, and ask!
Wishing you a great week ahead!
yes, on Monday 365 days were over and we have started a new circle… I am enjoying the memories from then, and am hoping to add to those another lot of fun and exciting ones this year.
Having successfully sorted my Yahoo account (cleared out over 6.000 mails!), means that my photos from 2011 are still not fully in order and the “1 Year Brisbane” report is still in the making too. Other things which kept me busy over the last 4 weeks, were the kids being on holiday, sorting out a rental agreement for the next 6 months, making plans for that time etc. etc.
We have found a new home and will be moving on the 07/02. It’s only 2km further “down” the road, which means, no walking to school anymore. All three of us, will miss that! The house is a townhouse in an open complex (108 houses), which has a communal swimming pool and entertainment area. So ideal for the kids! The speed limit on its internal roads is 10km/h, so the kids can roam free and enjoy the neighbour kids. Or, they gather all at ours….. Time will show! As the house is being quite a bit smaller, and with the upcoming “big” move, have we decided to get about 50% of our STUFF packed for shipping and stored and only take what we “need”. Those things will then be probably added when it’s time to journey around the world in July.
As mentioned, I do want to show the girls a bit of Australia, and those plans are coming together as well. We (The 3 girls…;-) are going to see Melbourne, Mildura, Wentworth, Alice Springs and Sydney over Easter. Very exciting!!!! More details, when our itinerary is finalised.
Our onway-return is planned for late July. As my friends in Singapore (2 families…) are themselves in the UK at that time, are we now looking at a stopover in Bangkok. Very exciting toooooo! Touch down in London is planned for approximately the 25/07. That will then give us a few weeks to settle back in, and get ready for the school start in September.
I am hoping with all my heart to get the kids back into Ingrave Johnstone, and if that isn’t possible, then….. we will make another plan!
John’s plans on his return are job dependant and so far he hasn’t started the process in that direction. Understandable reasons!
Having had all in all a very peaceful and friendly Christmas and New Year, a fun 6 weeks holidays and the coldest summer in Brisbane for 40 years (=like a good European summer), life is pretty good! This being the last week of holidays, next week life is getting a bit more serious again. Julia is very much looking forward to it and Emma is very ambiguous about it…. I am sure they will be very excited on Monday, and again that will bring back plenty of memories for all of us!
Thank YOU very much for all the support I have received from many of you. It’s been very much appreciated!
Wishing you a fun weekend soon!
Renate, Julia & Emma
On one hand it feels a loooooong long time, and then again, it feels like yesterday that we have set foot on “Down Under”. It’s been a serious rollercoaster ride and I might as well start with the latest news.
Having had the choice to get separated in England or giving our family and with that the relationship between John and myself one last chance, I chose the latter. I must admit I have wondered a few times, if choosing for the “family” was the right thing to do. Then again, I did what I did and it’s all for a reason…. (Don’t understand that one 100% yet). Yes, John and I have decided to separate and go our own ways and with that the next news are, that the girls and I will be back in the UK by the end of July 2012!
Some of this could have been picked up via Facebook and so might not be total news for some of you, but some of you, I guess might be a bit surprised/shocked/happy….. Who knows!
Sadly this isn’t the full challenge yet, as our current landlords decided to make their way back to Australia (after 16 years in Malaysia) and with that we now have to move for 5 months to somewhere else……..
So it’s 6 weeks summer holidays starting on the 10/12, Christmas in summer, back to school on the 23/01 and then a move latest by the 09/02…..
There were many reasons for not moving back now now, the biggest so a financial one. John had signed a 2 year deal and any shortfall on that period means paying back to his current employer (partial) for having got us here. Further is it important to me, that the girls are having a real Aussie experience, and there are still so many things I want to do/show them, before we will be far away from it again.
All this has definitely not been easy, and I can assure you that I am still quite happy in my “snail house” at times, but then again it’s time to start my NEW life and get kicking! One reason for having to go through this in “solitude” is properly the fact, that right now I have very little distraction, and really need to focus on the issue: ME! Hopefully I can sort all that (I do believe!!) till I am back in the UK and then find a way to earn a living for my girls and myself.
A general insight into how 10 months Brisbane has actually been for us, will follow shortly! We are having mostly a great time, and honestly Australians are such friendly, kind and helpful people!!!!!
More soon! Indianerehrenwort…… (= Red Indian Promise….)
On Saturday 16/07 @ 07:00 John with 3 others in one team, amongst plenty of other teams, started the Kokoda challenge in the rain! 96km of rough terrain lay in front of them, and the added challenge of everything turning into mud under their feet was huge. This being a copy of the real Kokoda Challenge (have a look at Google and Papa Neuginea) it’s by no means a stroll through the woods, no there are 5000 Meters of “up and down” to master too! In John’s team there were Craig (very fit and just done 120km Cross country on the bike in 24hours recently), Greg (enjoying Dragon boat racing in his free time….), Paul and John. John, after having been so ill a couple of years ago, still not back into any fitness regime… He did do quite a bit of training as people went out on a Sunday from about March onwards, but the furthest they went was about 30km….. Paul, everybody knew was “slowcoach”; not that fit, but believing that, if taking it slow, he could make it. He managed 36km, but then had to accept that his body had enough. That left 3 of them to carry on, and that was exactly what they did. With great support by David, who saw them every (on average) 14km
with what ever they needed, food, fresh clothes, first aid and a motivational speech they made it in 25 1/2 hours. The last 7km they upped their speed just to come in before 08:30, and they DID! John, not to sure himself, if he could do it, has done sooooo well. Not only did his team have the challenge of not knowing, if they would have to slow down so much for Paul, that the whole thing could have dragged out into the maximum allowed 39hours; no they had drizzle and rain for most of the 25hours. Being welcomed into the finish by gorgeous sunshine was a lovely gesture by Mother Nature! Imaging hiking through rough, muddy and slippery terrain after 12hours on your feet by torch light….
Nat and Conan need a mention too, as they helped David during the night, and we saw John twice during the day (14:30 and 19:30) and I still believe, the girls haven’t understood the “size” of this challenge…. We had a nice sleep in a hotel…. and then saw then coming in; LOVELY experience!
More about our holiday and life in general shortly. Currently, our PC is having major treatment in a “Computer hospital”…. Hoping to have him/her back well on Tuesday!
Wishing you a lovely Sunday or whenever you read this.
Liebe Grüße from a slightly tired (two mornings up at 04:00…)
actually not that different to the “old” LIFE, but decide for yourself….
John is working away again from Monday – Friday. The girls and I got up at 06:00, shortly after I was reminded that I wanted to surprise a couple of friends with a phone call at a meeting (evening in the UK). They had to wait, till the Chocolate Brownies were in the oven, as I was doing “Homebake” for the “Tuckshop” today. (Explained below). After my helpers had licked the spoon and the bowl, the Brownies in the oven, I gave it a go, and after a couple of attempts, I was very lucky to speak to them.
Then it was finishing homework, having breakfast, getting dressed, doing hair and eventually off to school, which is about 12min walk away. School starts here at 09:00, but you are meant to be there from 08:30 onwards, to give your child the chance to read to a parent before school. I currently only volunteer for that task on a Wednesday morning at Emma’s class, but will probably add one morning at Julia’s class for the next term.
After having dropped off both girls it was off to the Tuckshop, which is a “School Cafe”. It is run as a business and offers an A4 menu of all sorts of healthy and not so healthy food. Julia being vegetarian hasn’t got a great choice… Anyway, with another Mum (I know), we have the job to assist a full-time staff (employed by the P&C), to sort the orders, count them, supplying bits to the paper bags at specific times being non perishable, cold food and eventually hot food. The kids have got two breaks, one being Morning Tea at 11:00 and another being Lunch at 13:00. The other Mum and I do this once a month and get twice about 40min breaks in between the “rush” hours. Had great conversations with the other Mum today!
Home from that, for about an hour, till it was time again to fetch my “monkeys”. After a nice play on the school playground, off to the Girl Guide Hut, where it was our turn (for the year) to clean. Reminded me of a “few” sweeping/vacuum/mopping session I had in the UK before. After a good hour of further voluntary work, I think I have done my bit for this week….. Emma was lucky that one of her best friends was just at the local Playground behind the hut playing, so she was off and looked after by the other girls mother, and Julia did the “backwards & forwards” between the two venues, helping me for a bit and then off playing.
After we finished, we went across to the playground to find 3 other Mums we know by now, and we had a good chat, before we all headed home to sort out homework, dinner, brushing teeth, stories & bed.
All in all a lovely DAY! and not that different to my life on the other side of the planet…..
It’s been a long time since I last “blogged”, but honestly I feel very guilty for being so silent. Can you believe, I had forgotten username/password…..
Those of you who know me just that bit longer/better might know, that this is what happens when I do struggle in life; I just don’t know what to share/say.
We are generally having a good time, and Brisbane and its people are very kind to us. So what is the problem? Very good question, and I am still searching for the answer myself.
All of us are on a constant roller coaster ride, which has definitely got it’s highs, but quite a few lows too. Again all of us are missing our family & friends; yes it’s not so much “England”, but it’s PEOPLE!
Emma: Mummy this weather is like in England (Winter temperatures) ~ 30 min later, Mummy don’t they have summer now in England?
or: Why don’t we go to England in the holidays (coming up shortly)? It’s a long way to go…. But Mummy we only have to jump into an airplane!
Julia: Misses all her friends, and constantly brings them up! She is trying to settle and has experienced hefty anxiety attacks mainly at drop off time at school.
John: Isn’t too convinced that the move on the job front is 100% successful, even so he general likes the work. The fact that the REAL decisions for his department are made in the US, and there is very little “say” in Australia, seems to frustrate him quite a lot.
He is training so for a real challenge, which is a long distance hike of 96 km (incl. 5.000m altitude changes) within 39hours as a team of 4 on the 16. & 17.07. Thinking of were he was health-wise 2 1/2 years ago, this is fantastic news. It does mean a lot of training, and he is putting his full effort in.
Me: Now 5 months on, we have reasonable settled, and most things have found their place. There is still a lot of tidying possible, but not “urgent”. I am slowly finding the things we like in the supermarket, after all the excitement of all these “new” things, then the adventure of trying to find those things we like, and now generally knowing what get’s eaten and what not. I am involved in the school and the Girl Guides, and in both organisations can take up a “big” role, if I wanted. I haven’t really started exploring my opportunities on the job/Yoga front yet, and need to get going there shortly. Currently I should be studying for an English test (IELTS), which is necessary for our Permanent Residency application. Without the later, we can’t buy a house here etc. etc.
Being now a mother of two school age children, I do get quite a bit of time to myself, which is great. Not to sure so, if I have managed to turn it into real quality time yet. I do miss my old life a lot and with that YOU! There are so many things which had found their way, and maybe got a bit boring, but now that just looks soooo attractive.
My main reason for making this major move, was giving us as a family a last chance, and honestly I can’t say that this is happening to a level, which is satisfactory for all. There is a similar feel in the air, which led to our separation in Chester in 2001……. This time so, we are both aware of it, and can communicate with each other?!
Otherwise am I busy in helping an old friend. John & I met Lucy & Dave (both from the UK) in South Africa while there. They were both working for the same company than John in the Mining Industry. Within in a few weeks of working here, John attended a meeting, were he met Lucy again. (12 years on!). She then, was just left by her husband, as he had decided that the marriage was over for him. There are 3 children (Boy 11, Girl 8, Girl 6) caught up in this and it’s a bit of a MESS! Being involved in a helpful capacity is probably not that “uplifting” for myself…….
Anyway the weather is gorgeous (outside), I am sitting inside at current next to a heater….. and I promise to not forget the password again, and fill you in bit by bit on what fun and experiences we have had in the last 5 months!
More soon and liebe Grüsse
Renate & Gang
sorry for the looooong silence, other than a few comments on Facebook. It’s now 6 weeks already, that we are enjoying sun, sun and more sun. I can’t say i am tired of it, but I am sweating, sweating and sweating a LOT! Life is still a bit of a make shift scenario and I am currently sitting on an IKEA step (yes they have one of those in Brisbane too) in front of a rented Coffee Table on which all our “high tech equipment” is situated. What would be do without electricity???!!! There the Air Conditioning comes into the game, and I just can’t justify to cool the whole house down, while here on my own. So I am very lightly dressed and am still sweating! John has “suffered” on weekends and does treasure the comfort of his climatised office environment.
Hopefully all goes well with our container, which has reached Brisbane on the 24/02 as planned. Now it’s shifting it to the Warehouse (expected there tomorrow) then Quarantine and Customs (hopefully Thursday & Friday this week), and then next week Tuesday (fingers, toes crossed) our rented furniture goes out the door by 09:00 that morning and our own stuff arrives shortly after that. Let’s just hope they aren’t trying to move things in and out at the same time….. We will have to think this week on where we want all our stuff, so things will be in the right place on Tuesday night..??!!
One other reason for a bit of silence was me organising Julia’s birthday party with all her class (only 25) plus a few siblings. All in all we had 30 children and Julia having been the “Winter Party girl” is now celebrating her birthday in SUMMER! We had a party in one of the local parks and the locals (flies, mosquitos etc.) joined in. It was good fun and I think it worked. Still very much looking forward to being invited to one organised by the “locals” to see, what one can do different/other etc.
Off to fetch children from school on foot (!!!), which I am enjoying and the girls are slowly getting used too. More from us soon, and shortly as well a “Mullins Saga” (Debi style) ~ a round-up of our last 6 weeks!
Hope you are well and not suffering too much with colds/flu etc. and wishing you a nice spring arrival soon.
Missing you, you and YOU and still not to sure, what this current life situation is leading to, but loads of sun does help to stay positive and upbeat!
Renate and Gang
PS: You can reach us as follows:
10 Kidston Street
(Please write Australia clearly as things do end up in Austria…)
Landline: +61 7 31611670
Mobile Renate: +61 421 821 255
Mobile John: +61 457 098 553
We are currently 9 hours ahead of the UK and 10 hours ahead of Germany! 07:00 UK = 17:00 AUS and 06:00 AUS is 20:00 UK ~ we generally up by 06:00 (not that hot!) and reasonably early in bed / very tired…. by 22:00. The kids go to bed between 19:30 and 20:00 (09:30 – 10:00 UK / 10:30 – 11:00 Germany)
Sorry all this might not help…. I have managed to phone my DAD at 02:00 and was at first surprised that he sounded a bit sleepy….
I strongly believe in the “scientific statement” that babies pick up the moods and anxieties of their mothers. Maybe we were a “live example” during this week, that this is still the case, when children are 6 and 4!
With 8 weeks of pure adrenalin, and last Monday the first day of “new normality” I must say I was hitting real lows and with me the girls. Emma: “Mummy when do we go back to our proper/real (richtiges) home?” By Wednesday I had both girls crying in the morning, when dropping them off, and honestly felt seriously like joining….
In the meantime, I have met the first German here, a really nice “Bavarian”. She being the 1. one of those, since I started my “modern gypsy” life. I have met many Germans while living abroad, but have not managed to have a Bavarian German friend. I met her at her house after the school run and left at 13:00…. A slightly longer “watering break”.
Yesterday I met the wife of John’s direct Boss, and a friend of hers, both Africaans, and we had a lovely morning too.
I will write now more regular again, and with just having received our Air Freight, i.e. Computer, toys, more clothes, Tupperware (explanation to that later!) etc. things start to become more and more normal. As far as that is possible with me…
Wishing you all (for most of you still a bit of night and a whole day to go) a great weekend!