Monday, December 04, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Back to Australia- hard to believe.

Landed in Sydney at 6am tired and excited all at once. First we had to go through customs, which should have been a doddle, but at the last minute we were stopped and a large customs woman was summoned and we wondered what we had done wrong!!! After Helga arrived she asked us if we knew that carrying handcuffs was a police offence? We started to explain that they were children's ones that we had bought in Scotland, but Helga did not want to know, we offered to surrender them, however Helga declared that would not be necessary this time!!!

We queued up for the transit bus to the domestic terminal and then finally caught the plane home. Kids slept all the way and the hosties gave them snacks for the car trip home. The children both slept in the taxi. We arrived home and had no key for the house and so spent some time breaking into our own house (again!). This was mainly done by JSR and AJR, while MLR slept on the trampoline under my red jacket. Millie dog was mad with excitement and it took her a long time to settle down.

Our parcels that we had sent home from Scotland had arrived, so AJR and JSR went off for provisions and parcels, MLR continued to sleep, while I got serious about putting together some of the titles of this blog, to ensure that I would not forget (as if). Again no photo's, but JSR did video some of this, so there will be some pictures, eventually.

There you have it, the whole trip from woa to go.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stage 3 Water Restrictions

Well it had to happen and a month ago they were predicting stage three water restrictions in January, so I for one am glad that we are moving to stage 3 earlier. If you check out what we are allowed to do with water in the stage 2 restrictions the restrictions are generous, we can water 3 or 4 times a week using hoses and also use sprinkler systems for upto three hours once a week, even numbered houses on Saturdays and odd numbered houses on Sundays. This is pretty generous when compared with watering on the south side of Sydney for instance, they are only allowed to water twice a week.

For the full range of the new restrictions see the link above. I still think this is generous, considering how low the dams are.

It is of course raining in Newcastle tonight.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Garden at 122

We had a beautiful sunset last night

reminded me a little of the Scottish sunsets we saw not so long ago.

I took a walk in our garden this morning and here are the photo's

a calistemon

two of my carpet roses

Monday, November 13, 2006

MLR's Learning Journey

MLR had both of us come to see her learning journey and we are sharing her journey with you. This is her postcard that we sent from Rome!

Here is the shark Project

Where class news is put up
art on the board.

Here is MLR's diarama of the sea
Here is MLR's friend A

Here is MLR demonstrating the movie the teacher made of the class trip to the Canberra National Zoo and Acquarium. Our neice used to work here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Borders Canberra now open

We all made it to Borders today with our 20% discount voucher and the thrill of exploring a new bookstore - this one does have a coffee shop, although I wish it had someone other than Gloria Jeans. I am realiably informed (thank you) that GJ is Australian, but their coffee is mediocre, trying to emulate the star bucks (which is terrible) style coffee is just not necessary. How about a good Austro/Italian coffee maker, preferably from Melbourne where good coffee is on every corner. Here is a selection of what we purchased today, something for everyone.

We came away with a $10 discount on our next purchase, so we will definitely be going again. The children decided, based on the book we bought today, about Kids growing things to eat and then cooking them, to "work" on the garden, with kitchen sissors!!! Of course Millie helped too. She is great at digging, which will be useful for planting, except that they are growing things in pot plants!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Paris to Singapore

Paris is raining on this Sunday morning. We drag all our suitcases down the tiny lift and onto the footpath. It takes three trips. Eventually we are down and we hail a cab. We drive with plenty of time to Charles De Gaul airport. I decided long ago that I did not want to deal with Heathrow airport, not with luggage and bags and kids!!!! Next time we go this way we are thinking of going through Amsterdam and then onto Humberside Airport near Hull. This will enable us to head north more easily, enable us to spend time with our friends S&J, as well as avoid Heathrow. Also a great excuse to explore other parts of Europe - particularly interested in cruising down the Rhine and also cruising into St Petersburg.

We get to the Singapore gate, but it has not opened yet. After a while it opened and we went through. We are very good at queueing now. Then we tried to get our VAT/GST back by standing in another queue and putting in our papers- in Canberra it was easy they processed it on the spot and put the money into our credit card, in Paris we had to fill in the forms have them stamped by customs and then posted them off (not sure where too now). We still have not seen that money!!

I wanted to find the guy that lives in the airport, he has lost his identity papers and his country of origin refuses to take him back, however we did not see him. His name is Merhan Karimi Nasseri.

We looked for coffee next and had to walk miles through terminals and past the duty free. Into our departure lounge, where I heard one woman tell another that she thought "the coffee was through here" and then into the next departure lounge where we found the "coffee shop" - it was really an excuse for a coffee shop and was slightly worse than the coffee shop at the international train station in Ashford.

Andrew was called over the loud speaker and we went to the information counter, where we found that the Singapore people had processed the wrong part of his ticket and had to stick it back on and take another part. The plane was delayed by at least half an hour, then we were able to get on.

The flight to Singapore is 12 hours. We knew how to operate all the machinery in the chair in front of us and we watched and played our way to Singapore with even less sleep than we got on our way from Singapore to Rome. MLR had a blister on her ankle which she took to the toilet and popped. She told me this when she got back. By the time we landed it had come up again.

Last bit of soccer, I promise. Soon after we took off the Soccer World Cup Grand Final started, and despite the technology live TV was not available. When we landed in Singapore, the captain announced that Italy had won and the plane were sad and happy at the same time. In the row behind us there was a group of Australian students returning from a six month exchange in Paris and they spoke a wonderful mixture of English and French.

We arrived at our hotel around 10am and we were given one of our rooms straight away, even though we were not due a room until 2pm. I think the sight of two sleeping children in the lobby helped them to make up their minds.

Late that afternoon, after we had all had some sleep, I took MLR to the Dr in the hotel to get the blister checked. He was most unconcerned and said that she had probably been bitten by some bug. Don't you just love Dr's.

Monday, November 06, 2006