Saturday, May 11, 2013

Year by year I am getting softer. The first year we were here I didn't wear a coat all winter - it never got that cold. Now, however, five years in, it is 20 degrees and I am wearing two jumpers. Go figure.

Another weekend, another child's birthday party. Today a two-year-old, the last of four siblings. I think I'm going to ask Sprout to only make friends with only children as families with four kids gets expensive, especially at Christmas.

Monday, May 06, 2013

things that only happen in Australia - an occasional series

TA hit a kangaroo in the car last week on the way to Hogwarts. Luckily, he did a defensive driving course with the Army Reserves back in the day that taught him how best to hit a roo (there's precious little hope of avoiding them, unfortunately) and the car and driver survived. The roo died at the scene, I'm afraid.

We are now looking for a new radiator, front grille and headlight mount. (And, again, we got off lightly.)

So, in case you need to know, here's how to hit a kangaroo: get it midair and on the way up. Speed up, if necessary, as slowing down will not help you if the kangaroo is on the ground when the impact hits.

You will not be surprised to learn that, despite now having a license in two countries, I still refuse to drive.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

putting the class into classmate

Small boy had a play date today with a friend from Hogwarts. Now, our house is a perfectly respectable size...if you are English. It has three bedrooms, a bathroom, a loo, a laundry area, living room, dining room/kitchen and a front and back garden. By Australian standards it is tiny. And we are clearly poor (it doesn't help that we left what furniture we have in London - everything here is hand-me-downs or bought from Vinnies [think Oxfam]).

So, we drove to the foot of the local mountain range and found the right place (set in five acres of, essentially, parkland). It was massive. More of a community centre than a house. Small boy's friend has a fully furnished playroom that's bigger than our living room with a full-size wooden horse and a piano).

Small boy had a whale of a time, but his parents came home crushed. I hope he won't always be the poor pikey kid in the class. Hesitantly, I suggested that friend have a sleepover at our house soon. When do children get a dose of class consciousness? Are we being perverse sending him to a school full of more privileged kids or does our commitment to education say good things about us? 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

So, where were we?

I got a full time job just as TA lost his. TA went back to school (again) and did a degree in illustration, fast-tracked, in a year. He also published two core rule books for his RPG system, FateStorm. Sprout is now a small boy, and attends Hogwarts, the nearly local school of magic. The school fees are 1/3 of my take-home pay, but I refuse to attempt to get a better job or do anything other than sulk.

I have become a regular in the op-shops.

I met a man on a diet website looking for instructions on how to make bacon (him, not me - I recommended HFW's MEAT book, sadly, I'm not inventing this) and nearly had an affair, which certainly wasn't part of the game plan. However, despite everything, TA and I remain married and more or less together.

I continue to teeter on the very outer edge of what might loosely be termed sanity.

I have work friends, but not a social life beyond TA and small boy's social circles. I continue to be cripplingly homesick.

The Christmas before last, we took small boy to the Isle for a traditional English celebration. Two weeks after we got back, my father had a very severe stroke and has been left struggling for words. We will be going back in a few weeks for a three-week visit. Every visit now (and there aren't many, clearly) might well be the last.

Testing, testing

*Clears throat*

It's still here and Freeman in Preston is still around and...

Why did I ever leave this place behind? So much and nothing at all has happened in the interim. I dunno, I might come back here. Dust. Tidy up. Open a few windows. I've been writing in other places, but this was my first home. Hmmm. It might be time to reconnect with the past. There's a lot of catching up to do.