The Mullins new life journey

Ho Ho Ho….

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Where am I now?!!!!

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!

Liebe Grüsse……

Dear Friends,

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!

Liebe Grüsse
Renate, Julia & Emma

We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Loads of LOVE from Julia, Emma & Renate

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…)
Renate

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…..

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