Monday, November 29, 2004

Monday 29th November

That was a really fun weekend.

We took Alana to her school carnival on Saturday. It was a very hot day - 35 degrees, but it was overcast all afternoon so at least we didn't have the sun beating down on us. It was a bit humid, but nothing like Jules wedding last year - now that was hot and sweaty!!

Here's a few photos of the day

When we got home we put on the evaporative cooling. This cooling system is really weird because you have to keep the doors and windows open, even though it's 35 degrees outside. Supposedly it sucks all the hot air out of the windows and keeps the cool air inside somehow.....I don't get it!!

Sunday morning Nick and I played Squash - right at this moment in time I can hardly move!! It hurts to get out of the chair, out of bed etc. It even hurts to sit on the loo!! I'd forgotten how much the muscles hurt if you haven't played for a long time.

Then we went for lunch at an Italian family restaurant called Sofias. Helsy we'll have to take you and Steve there one night. The food was pretty cheap, service pretty quick and there was alot of food to choose from. We both really enjoyed it. I had a Chicken Risotto which was just so filling, but was really nice!!

We then went back home and just hung out on the decking, reading, having a nice cold drink...just relaxing!!

Saw on the news tonight that Sydney is going to have 42 degrees that's hot!!

Lisa, I texted Sue today. Will wait to hear back from her. Unfortunately while she's in Melbourne, there's going to be a bit of rain and it's not going to be very warm - but that's Melbourne for you!!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Friday 26th November

Well I didn't have anything to write about I didn't bother.
Lovely weather...32 degrees today, 34 degrees tomorrow.
We're going to the School Xmas Carnival tomorrow. That'll be fun in the heat!! Hopefully Alana will run around and tire herself out and want to go home.
This type of weather definitely makes me want to sit out on the back verandah in the evening and drink alcohol...not sure what it is - maybe that it feels like I'm on holiday whenever the sun is out???
On Sunday Nick and I are going to play a game of squash - I'm going to be walking funny on Monday that's for sure - and then we're going up to town so that Alana can go to Santas Kingdom. Should be a bit of fun.

We're going to put the Christmas tree up at the beginning of December. Can't believe that it's come around so soon. It's hard to believe that I've been gone from the UK for 14 months already..sob sob!!

We put the evaporative cooling on last was bliss. One minute we're sitting on the couch all sweaty and hot, the next we're relaxing in a nice cool atmosphere. Hate to think how much our electricity bill is going to be next month!!

Almost time to go sit out on the back verandah and drink a glass or two of champers and watch the sun go down....maybe even have a BBQ - it's still a novelty!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wednesday 24th November

We're now getting some nice weather (and about time too!!).

Nick has now chopped down the tree in the back garden that was blocking all the light from the back of the verandah. Now we can enjoy the sunshine until it gets dark.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Tuesday 23rd November

The man is coming today to cut down the big branch that's fallen away from the tree. There's also another tree in the garden that we're considering cutting down too. We'll ask him to give us a price for getting that chopped down too.

Weather is improving this week and it's going to be 32 degrees by the end of the week....hoping it stays warm for the weekend too.

Alana has her School Fair on Saturday. Fingers crossed that the good weather holds. We bought a $20 wrist band for her so she can now go on as many rides as she wants and it's not going to cost us anything on the day....of course there'll still be lollies, food, showbags, toys etc to buy, but at least we won't be forking out for rides!!

Helsy, here are a couple of ideas while you're here.

Grape Grazing. Now this is going to be right up your street!!
River Cruise. More about this later (need to speak to Nick about something first).
Healesville Sanctuary. To check out all the australian wildlife (think you can feed the kangaroos too!!).
Great Ocean Road. This is a great drive. You can book a hotel and stay overnight somewhere.

Will keep on thinking of other things too.

Lisa, can't wait for Sue to arrive. Wish you could have come too! What I'll probably do is drive into town when I've finished work and meet her at the casino, unless of course she wants to come out and see us instead? I'm happy to do whatever's easiest for her.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Monday 22nd November

A very busy weekend just gone.
We now have a patio heater and a small coffee table to add to our new outdoor furniture stuff.

We used the patio heater on Saturday Night when Kerry & Jeff came over for a BBQ. It was great, huddled around the table. It'll probably be used next Autumn/Winter more than now, as we're coming into Summer.

It was nice to entertain again. Haven't really done it much since we've moved into the new house. And having a BBQ is so easy and quick. Just chucked a few salads on the table...and voila - dinner is served!!

Nick and I went to see the new Bridget Jones movie yesterday. It was funny, but just felt like I was watching the first one all over again. Can't believe the difference in Renee Zellwegger since she's lost the weight....wish I could do it that easily!!


Here's a couple of photos of the new setting and the patio heater!! Luvely Jubley!!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Friday 19th November

It's official - I'm getting old....I've just found the start of a varicose vein on the back of my calf.....aaaggghhh!!!!
Need to look at what I can do to get rid of it. I think you can now have injections that reduce the vein......gonna have to check that out - FAST!!!

We went to Ikea last night. It was spooky...I could have been in the one at Wembley, it was exactly the same - layout, design, even the size of it. The only difference was that it was attached to a large shopping centre, and it didn't take forever to get there like it did in the UK!! I even managed to say NO to the Dime Bars!!

Alana now has a hanging fly net over her bed. She absolutely loves it, and I think it gives her peace of mind about the spiders and bugs too (thank goodness).

Do you know that the other night I was up at 3am because she'd seen a spider in her room. Now I have no idea how she saw this spider as it was behind her toy snakes that are on top of her shelving....I couldn't see it at first. I had to actually stand on her bed to see it!!! She has some kind of inbuilt radar when it comes to spiders!

Another crappy weekend coming up weather wise!! I was really hoping that it was going to be a nice weekend as we have some friends coming over for a BBQ. And of course we've just bought our new outdoor setting, so really wanted to use that!! I just hope the rain holds off while Nick's BBQing the food!!

I've seen that it's been snowing over there. Any snow in Surrey? That's the only bit of the UK winter that I loved. It was great waking up to a white world. Alana wants to go back to the UK just for the snow!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Wednesday 17th November

It's been a very warm day today....31 degrees and it's only going down to 20 tonight, so it'll be a warm sweaty sleep for me!!

I was looking through the Next catalogue (online) and have now realised that I really miss shopping there. They just don't have the same type of shop here. Margaret and I have decided that we're going to contact Next and see if we can open up a branch over here. I know that it'd do well, especially once the english people living out here got word!!

Alana didn't sleepwalk last night. We put a lightshade on the light in the hallway and her window was open a little bit too, so we're not sure if that made a difference???

That's all for now! Need to go to bed!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tuesday 16th November

Spring is here again. Beautiful day today....well I was looking at it through the window anyway. Didn't actually get to enjoy the day at all. It's going to be 33 degrees tomorrow....won't get to enjoy that either. And of course it's going to be another crappy weekend....unless something drastic happens with the weather!!!
Where is that summer??? Why hasn't it arrived yet???

Now would you employ this responsible, mature, dedicated individual?

Nick thinks his interview went really well, but he won't find out if he's been recommended for the job for a couple of weeks yet. Not sure what happens after that, but fingers and toes are still crossed!!

We had someone come round and give us a quote for gettting the tree cut down. It's going to cost us about $240 to have the branch cut down, cut into small logs and have the leaves and small branches taken away. That's a pretty good price to us so that'll probably be done by the end of the week.
Looks like we're going to use the fireplace again!!

I'm excited....we are going to Ikea on Thursday night. It's late night shopping so the store stays open until 9pm. Nick is going to come past and pick me up after work, then drop me off back at work so I can drive the car home. Hope there's some good stuff to buy. We're looking for a bed, tables etc for the guest bedroom (thought we'd better get something nice and comfy before Helsy & Steve arrive.....I know how much Helsy likes her sleep!!).

Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday 15th November

We are now the proud owners of not one but two outdoor settings. Long story....but we originally went into BBQ's Galore and purchased a lovely 8 piece setting. Walked out the front door and saw that they they had the same design but in a 6 piece setting for 1/3 of the price. So we ended up going back inside and cancelling the 8 seat setting and buying 2 6 seat settings and still coming out $200 ahead!!

Just need a bit of sunshine now to be able to sit on the decking and enjoy it!!

The weekend was very wet. Rained on and off for most of the weekend. Hope this weekend fines up as we've got my friends Kerry & Jeff coming over for a BBQ.

Nick started to cut the branch down today but has realised that it's bigger (and heavier) than he thought it was so we now have to look into getting somebody in to cut it down. We know someone who's brother in law is a tree surgeon so we'll give them a call to come out and give us a quote.
I took a photo yesterday so I'll put it on when I get home.

We also had a fantastic hailstorm on Saturday. The decking was a sheet of white balls. Will also paste that photo!!

Not much more happened....all in all it was a very quiet weekend!!

Nick's interview is tomorrow so I'll let you know how it goes!


So here's the photos that I mentioned in my earlier post.

This is the tree leaning over the front part of the garage. You can see the rest of the tree in the background.

You probably can't see the hail all that well as the flash rebounded off the window, but you can make out the little piles next to the flowerpots!!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Friday 12th November

We are now the proud owners of a Chainsaw. I think Nick is going to get straight into cutting down the tree that has fallen over the garage.....just hope that's all he cuts down!!

Alana is starting to sleep walk we think!! A few nights now she has come out to the lounge, or into our bedroom if it's late, and she's babbling words that we can't understand. We just gently steer her back to bed and tuck her back in....then have a little laugh. I woke up and walked out to the kitchen the other morning and all the lights were on down that end of the house. When I quizzed Nick about it later, he was adament that he turned them off before he went to bed the night before. We can only think that it was Alana doing it in her sleep. Bit spooky though!!!
Then last night we were woken up by her screaming....seems that the light in the hallway was off, even though she has a night light in her bedroom. Nick was positive that it was on when he went to bed, so once again we think that she's getting up and turning the lights off (or on) in her sleep. Not sure what we can do to get her out of this habit....any ideas anyone?

Sun is shining again today....clear blue sky - 24 degrees. Tomorrow is going to be wet and 17 degrees!! I just wish it would hurry up and realise that it's nearly summer and we don't want any more least not on the weekend anyway!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thursday 11th November

Totally forgot that it was Rememberance Day today....until about 11.40am this morning....oops, a bit too late!!

So the weather had totally changed again. It's now pouring with rain, but at least it's not cold. There'll be alot of accidents on the roads tonight due to the sudden changes!!

Nick has dug all of the agapanthus out of the ground now. He finally got the hang of it and could get them out in one big lot. Each one weighs about 30-40kg!! We now need to get all of the roots out of the soil and then I can finally start putting all my pretty plants where the agapantus were.
We have these big ferns down behind the garage and it's a big waste of space. It's also overgrown with Ivy so we're going to pull it all out and cut down the big Gum Tree that's in the corner. We can then put some astro turf down for Alana and Nick is going to put a trampoline there for her. It'll be a much better use of the space too.

Not sure what to get Alana for Xmas. We did promise her a trampoline as we sold the one we had in the UK, but haven't found one that we like yet.

Work is very busy now, so this is short and sweet today!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wenesday 10th November

Some exciting news....Nick had a phone call this morning and has an interview next Tuesday for the job that he applied for ages ago with the Sherrifs Office (the one where he drives around picking up all the stuff the police have confiscated etc etc), so things are already looking up for him. I know that he really likes the sound of this job and it would really suit him too, so we all have to keep fingers, toes, ears, eyes etc crossed for him!!

Bit of a panic this morning. I saw Alana scratching her head so immediately went into check hair for lice mode (which Alana hates). Found some eggs so the electronic zapper came out (which she also hates). It's a much better way of killing any lice and eggs that are in the hair. The other option is washing her hair and detangling with lice shampoo and lice comb, and you can imagine how hard that is with her length hair. Nick did actually find and kill one lice (rather than just the eggs). Hopefully this is the only culprit in her hair but will continue to use the zapper for the next week to make sure that they don't come back any time soon!!! Horrible, horrible, horrible!!

On a brighter note, it's another glorious day today....perfect blue skies again and a top of 27 degrees....I love Melbourne!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Tuesday 9th November

Sun's out again...yippee!! I'm sure that I develop SAD if I don't get enough sun!! As usual it's going to be nice until Friday and then it's going to change and we'll have rain over the weekend. How am I going to top up my tan with that kind of forecast???

So I've been telling you about these Agapantus that line the side of the driveway and what a bugger they are to get out....well I get home last night and Nick has been at it all afternoon trying to get them out. He's sweating like a pig and is very dirty...he managed to get 4 of them out!! He knew that after my dismal attempt to get just 1 of them out that I'd lost all motivation, so he thought he'd surprise me by doing it!! Isn't he great!

Nick is now the proud owner of a chainsaw! Not sure if that's a good idea or not, as we all know what a minimalist he is!! I'm going to come home one day and he'll have chopped all the trees down!! (only joking honey!). We really wanted it so that we can chop the big branch up that's fallen away from the main part of the tree and is now sitting precariously on the end of our garage, just waiting to topple into next doors garden!!

Lisa I'm really looking forward to catching up with Sue. Bummer that it's midweek. Is she staying in town? Have you got my home number to give her? I'll email it to you anyway.

Helsy, you'd better pull your finger out and start thinking about what you really want to do while you're here so I can start arranging things. I'll put in for a couple of days off when you get here, and a couple when you come back before you leave (does that make sense??).

Monday, November 08, 2004

Monday 8th November

Not a good start to the morning....ended up with Banana Smoothie all over me. It was a combination of me putting it down on the table a little too close to Alana, and her swinging her arms wildly while playing with the Bluetac cat that I'd just made for her.
Anyway a change of clothes and a bit of a wash later, we were clean again!!

Weekend has been really miserable. Rained just about all the time. Thought I was back in the UK for a while!! I did take Alana swimming and did the supermarket shopping on Saturday morning (and got me bits done too!!!) so we were out for a while, but then we just lounged around at home for the rest of the day.
I really should have been changing the sheets, washing, cleaning, ironing etc etc., but laziness and lack of motivation kicked in and just whispered in my ear "spend the afternoon on the compooter" I did!!
Yesterday was pretty bad too. Couldn't even be bothered going to the gym...gasp!!!

We got woken up at some stupid hour of the night on Saturday. Alana had lost Sad Cashew...big drama!! The fact that she had Happy Cashew made no difference to her. I did get up and have a look for it, but couldn't find it so went back to bed.
Alana was having none of it, and kept us awake for another 1/2 hour with her yelling (literally) from her bedroom, "I wan't Sad Cashew". It was funny at first, but then it got monotonous, and then really annoying!! In the end Nick told her to go and look for it herself, which she did. She couldn't find him either, so ended up going back to bed without him....and found him the next morning sitting in her chair!!

The only highlight of the weekend was talking to Jules yesterday, and buying a bottle of Jack Daniels on Saturday!! Helsy, sorry but I had to be out the door early on Saturday so couldn't chat. I did try to log onto Skype early but the stupid thing keeps locking up the computer so I gave up in the end!! I have a feeling it's because we are on Windows ME and it's not really compatible with it!

Nick has now finished doing the Driving Job. Even on his last day (Saturday) he did nearly 12 hours....ridiculous, especially when he doesn't get paid overtime at all. So he's back to looking after the house at the moment (which he does a fabulous job of) and looking for something new!

Hope you all enjoyed the fireworks, especially the Woking ones. Really miss them over here, but we're hoping to go to the big ones on the Yarra River on New Years Eve if Alana can stay awake that long!!!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Friday 5th November

Just had a it Fireworks this weekend in the UK? I love Fireworks and it's one of the things that I miss being out here.
Australians don't celebrate Guy Fawkes (naturally) so there's no loud noises over here this weekend.

Oaks Day was great. Had a really nice time, and I even managed to stay fairly sober (that's a first!!). Here's the outfit I wore.

Alana took the photo for me. You can't really make out the dress or the top I'm wearing over it, but you can make out the hat, which is what it's really all about!!

There were some fantastic dresses and hats there, but unfortunately the weather didn't hold and and it rained later in the afternoon and was quite cold. There were all these girlies with their little bits of dress who must have been freezing cold!!

Didn't do too well in the betting at the racetrack, but we went to the Casino afterwards and I won $75 on the pokies. We'd already played the electronic roulette and I had a bit of change left over so sat at a machine for a few minutes....and bammo, there was all this noise coming out of it and I won!!!

My feet hurt!! And I'm tired!! And I've put on weight again!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Wednesday 3rd November

Oh my aching head!!! Why did I do it??? Who kept filling my glass???

I was doing really well and felt fine.....until I laid down on the couch and tried to close my eyes....bad move!!! No need to fill you in on any graphic details, but you get the idea!!!

So today I'm trying to keep as still as possible, eat as little as possible and drink copious amounts of water to rehydrate my poor body!!

We did have a great day yesterday. Went over to one of the British Expats places in Ferntree Gully (nice area of Melbourne). It was a beautiful morning, the sun had been out but as soon as we arrived at the house, these huge black clouds loomed overhead. By the time that everyone else had arrived it was pouring with rain, but as the decking was undercover, we could still use the BBQ for all our cooking.
Me and Alana both won money back from our bets that we'd placed at the TAB. When I asked her what horse she wanted to put a bet on, all she wanted was the number number 5 it was. I chose an Irish horse that was supposed to be good in the wet, and as I knew it was going to rain, thought that was a good one to choose!!
When I got the tickets, I had a look and Alana had chosen the favourite....clever girl!!

Of course Alana's horse won didn't it! Mine came second, so I got my money back and about $13 in winnings.

I have to remember when I'm at Oaks Day tomorrow to alternate my champers with a glass of water!! Really don't want to feel like this tomorrow....not a good feeling.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Monday 1st November

Well it was a really nice weekend. Weather was great, got to do exercise on both days and ate some lovely food!! Got to speak to Helsy on Skype too.

Here's us talking to each other...sorry Helsy but you know what I'm like once I've got photos....must be shown!!

We did end up going to Warrandyte too. Had a great meal at The Grand Hotel. Sat out on the balcony upstairs and did some people watching.

Then we walked across the road and wandered along the pathe next to the Yarra River.
Alana wanted to pose on this rock. All we were concerned with was her falling backwards into the river...that's what happens when you become a parent!!

Then Alana decided that she wanted to paddle in the river. Has to be said that the water was freezing, even though it was 28 degrees....better her than me though!!