Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Do you think you’d make a good president?

Would I be a good president or prime minister or Queen is the blog of the day from wordpress.

Probably not would be my answer, I change my mind too much! Or is that what prime ministers and politicians do?

Seriously, I am so far removed from politics that I would be completely useless as it.
Queen, well that's another thing altogether. If you consider being Queen just as a ruler who can make up any rules she likes then maybe. I'd do all sorts of things that are good for humanity. Do I sound like a beauty queen contestant?

Really though, there is no way I could cope with all the pomp and ceremony around being a queen or a royal. Nor could I deal with all the intrusion from the media. And for that matter I wouldn't want to be famous either.

I guess the conclusion here is that I am pretty happy with the life that I have. :-)

Monday, 27 June 2011

When was the last time you changed your mind?

When was the last time you changed your mind?

This is the post of the day from (21 June 2011)

I change my mind all the time. I am pretty sure it is for me also a form of procrastination and definitely a trait of my perfectionism. but that's another post.

The most recent thing is in relation to my business. I am changing direction slightly or rather expanding, but the specifics of the change of mind are all in relation to the website and business structure.

Do I merge the two businesses or keep them separate? Do I have a new business name of leverage off the current name. Do I have one website or two separate sites? Or maybe three. A header company and then two for the two business streams.

Still not made my mind up. I thought I had but I haven't. That is what I am supposed to be working on now instead of stockpiling posts because I am so bad at posting if I don't stockpile them and write while I'm on a roll, I might not post again for 3 months - or more....

Sunday, 26 June 2011


My kids have been performing 'magic' tricks with a deck of cards recently. It's been quite hilarious to watch them trying to pull the wool over our eyes with their 'magic'.

I was sat this morning having my cup of tea and the cards were on the table beside me. It took me back to when I was a child and was taught to play patience by my dad with a deck of cards.

I wondered if Tamzin was old enough to learn. We sat down together and I showed her how to play. Initially she was saying I don't get it, I don't understand and she started to get a bit frustrated. I asked her just to sit and watch for a while and she would pick it up.

She did. I really enjoyed this time with her. I enjoyed being able to show her something from my past and something that didn't involve a computer or Wii or DS.

Most of all though, I enjoyed watching her show her little sister how to play. The two of them side by side on a Sunday morning playing patience was beautiful.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Get on with it

My run was hard today. Mentally and physically.

When I was rudely awakened this morning, I had no idea where I was (not that I am usually anywhere else other than my bed) what day it was or why there was a loud alarm type noise in my bedroom.

However I quickly remembered that it meant it was time to get up for my run class.

From that point until we were stretching afterwards, the negativity in my mind was relentless. For those of you who have children, imagine that your child is at you non stop, whingeing about everything. Well that child was in my head for an hour.

  • I can’t do this
  • It’s too hard
  • I’ll never make it up that hill
  • I wonder if I can switch to another class
  • Why am I doing this?
  • I’m not a runner
  • What, another hill
  • ...and you want me to do it twice
  • Only half way there
  • Still 10 minutes to go

The point here is that we all have days like this.

During the run I didn’t realise that the positive in me was winning this little internal battle, but it did win.

I finished the run and I will be there again next week to do it all over again!

Friday, 24 June 2011


Our trip to Cairns was very welcome. Although Jon had just started a new job, we needed the break.

This trip was booked in December, between Christmas and New Year actually and we managed to fly the 5 of us to Cairns and stay for a week in a 4 star hotel for $16.

We used a voucher for the flights and our Trendwest membership for the accommodation.

The voucher had so many restrictions on it that we never thought we would be able to use it but, for 2 days in December Qantas had a sale and it worked out perfectly for us.

We booked the trip to come after Callum's scholarship and selective high school exams, we didn't know at the time that Jon would be just starting a new job.

Cairns is beautiful.

It was not like I had expected though. The landscape is unbelievable. I knew that Rainforest was up there but I expected it to be a long drive. I never expected Rainforest to meet the beach.

The waterfalls were amazing, even though it hadn't rained for 7 weeks.

There weather was perfect shorts and T-shirt weather.

The water was 23 degrees.

Jon didn't take a work Blackberry.

I didn't have to get up at stupid o'clock.

We could both have a beer at the Tavern next door and not have one of us driving.

We ate fantastic tasting bananas for a reasonable price. ($14.99 in Sydney at the moment.)

We snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef.

We didn't get stung.

We didn't cook.

We could all have to eat whatever we wanted every night.

Not much washing up.

I didn't do any laundry.

We rode the cable car up the mountain.

We came down again on a train.

We had the most amazing fudge from Kuranda markets.

The Sydney airport shuttle bus didn't make us wait.

The ash cloud didn't affect our trip.

The 5 of us had a ball.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tough times (warning long post - sorry)

I don't think I'm a negative person at least I try not to be - so when things get tough, I look for the positive or just keep myself to myself. This goes part of the way to explaining my absence and to why I stayed away from various forums.

I don't go looking for the sympathy vote.

However now that things have settled I feel I can talk/write about them.

When Jon left his job it was without a doubt the right thing to do. He needed to and our family needed it too.

The time off gave us time to reflect as a family and work out what was important. However, the job market at that time was very slow and while we had to some savings to keep us going for a while, after 3 months, we really needed him to earn an income probably by finding a job.

We found that not only was the job market slow, but that the level of salaries had fallen and they were not matching the position.

During this time, we had a pool built (we had already financially committed to this) and if anyone has done it, you will know that it comes with many stresses. I am so thankful that Jon was home to deal with all of this. For 4 months we had people in our back yard on an almost daily basis.

To add to my worries, I got a facebook message from my sister saying hey, how are you, we should talk soon. Ok, fine. Then when I didn't immediately, a text saying, are you up, can I call you? Now starting to think something is up, surely she couldn't be pregnant again.

I called her, a bit of chit chat and then I heard her take a deep breath and I knew something bad was coming, she said she had something to tell me, Dad was sick and was in hospital, he'd had a stroke. At that point, it felt like my world had fallen apart. My dad, although he has diabetes is fit and strong and young, he is only 57.

All kinds of thoughts were going through my head, firstly I recalled that his dad, my grandad, had died at 58. Then the thoughts of do I need to go back to the UK to see him, should I go back. How can I explain to my children why I'm crying without scaring them.

I never expected my dad to get sick or to really need me (not that he did) I was always concerned for my mum. She is on her own, dad has remarried. I started to question whether living overseas away from my family was the right thing to do. Was I being selfish by choosing to live such a fantastic life here? (As an aside, I realise that that thought was pretty offensive to my family, who says my life is better than theirs.)

I hung up from my sister and told Jon what had happened. He went straight away to call my Dad's wife. More bad news. Not in terms of Dad's health thankfully, but it was Dads news and private to him so I won't share it here.

So, what next?

I kept in touch with my sister and within a few days Dad was fine. He went from bad to fine so quickly. It was almost like it never happened. He made a full recovery. I am so thankful for that.

When he came home from the hospital, I called him (obviously) to see how he was. We talked about what could have caused it and what he needs to do now to stay healthy. I suggested that maybe it was stress that brought it on. I got the usual, I don't suffer from stress but maybe the news about Gran and Jeff has been playing on my mind.

More bombshells, I had no idea what he was talking about.

I knew my Gran had Alzheimer's but that it was being managed. We had even laughed in the past (rightly or wrongly, I don't know) about some of her forgetfulness. He told me that she was getting worse quickly and that he didn't know how long she would be able to stay in her own home. He'd been discussing it with his brother and sister and the careworkers.

Gran's not so young anymore but she has always been very fit and very healthy and most importantly since being on her own for 30 years, very independent . Being forgetful was upsetting her greatly and the thought of going into a home was just awful for her.

So that was Gran, what about Jeff (dad's brother, my uncle). Dad said, "Oh, don't you know? I'm sorry Love, he's dying. He has less than 12 months to live."

Jeff has Asbestosis.

While I am obviously very upset at that news I immediately thought of my dad and whether he could have it. I asked where Jeff had got it from and yes, it from a time when he and my dad had worked together. Grandad had also worked there (small town) and he died from lung cancer.

I asked dad was he ok? ie could he have it, is he going to get tested? They had already tested him and he was fine.

Sadly, that wasn't the end. Dad had to have 4 weeks off work. Two weeks into that, Gran had a stroke, well lots actually, within a 48 hour period.

All the while, I am asking, whoever, what have I done to deserve all this bad news. I'm a good person. Why is this happening?

Much more questioning about where I should live. Lectures from my dad saying don't you dare come back, I didn't raise you to look after me. Is Jon going to get a job? Are we going to lose the house? Can I pay for my kids music and dance tuition?

I came to the realisation, that in terms of the UK, I can't change anything. It's happened. All I can do is honour my family by living the most healthy and fulfilling life that I can.

The position today. Gran is not well in terms of her mental state. She could not go home and has now moved to a residential care home.

Dad is back a work and seemingly all good.

Jeff is having treatment and the doctors think they may be able to give him 24 months.

Jon has a job.

We still have a home filled with love and gorgeous children. x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I've got my desk back

Yesterday I moved Jon's things out of my desk and reclaimed it. I could suggest that the lack of desk is why I've not been posting but that would be a total lie.

Things have moved on for us now. In the last month or so, Jon started work at a company that is less than a 5 minute drive from home.

The money situation is going to be very difficult for us as this role comes with a huge reduction in salary but that is the decision we have made to give us the quality of life we are looking for.

If we need to sell the house and move in the future so be it. In the meantime, we will try and make cuts to our living costs and increase my earnings.

Cutting costs is going to be really difficult for me as we don't have an extravagant lifestyle, except for the activities that our children do. I don't want to have to stop them. We have cut back to the point that they only do what the absolutely love now, unfortunately those are where the highest costs are.

Jon is now able to come home for lunch a couple of times a week. Leave for work at the same time he used to but arrive early. He is home most evenings before 5.30pm and on a couple of days, he picks Miss T up from dancing on his way home which means I don't have to take all the kids out again - and I could be preparing dinner.

We are also very lucky to have just had a week in Cairns, I know, new job and lower income but a holiday in Cairns. I'll leave the explanation for a later post.