Tag Archives: Australia

A Year in the Land of Plenty

Dear Mum,

Well, yesterday was the anniversary of our arrival in Perth. Happy anniversary! As we expected this first year hasn’t been a bed of roses, but things seem to have settled down now and we are back into a kind of analogue of our old life.

With Julie and Rick away we’ve been going over to their’s three evenings a week, to turn their sprinklers on so the plants don’t expire, this has also given Joshua the opportunity to swim at least three times a week. Yesterday I didn’t take his float jacket and we got him swimming round the pool using one of the noodles (long foam rubber floaty thing), he loved it. At this rate he ought to be doing unaided laps in no time at all.

Nearly forgot to say, he started his new day-care on Thursday last week. It’s run by the same people but located at his school, it’s also the before and after school care so he’ll be going there on a Friday morning and afternoon too. He really enjoyed it and was impressed that they had a bunch of Dinosaur Train toys, along with a book on Star Wars Lego, which he was very excited to show me when I arrived to pick him up on Thursday afternoon.

We have also been keeping Josh up a bit later at night, so we will have our dinner then go for a walk, or in Josh’s case a scoot on his scooter. He had been getting out of bed a few times in the early evening so we decided it was time to try moving his bedtime.

It’s been pretty hot recently. We had a 44.4° last week, apparently the hottest day since 1991. It was pretty toasty but I was at work, so didn’t really notice until I went to get in the car at home-time and felt like I was in a pressure cooker. This is another contributing factor for the extra swimming! Snuggles has been coping with these hot days by sleeping a lot, he seems to have finally integrated into the Perth Cat lifestyle, as displayed by Bob’s cat, amongst others, in that he goes outside for a bit, realises it’s too hot then comes in and lies on the floor tiles, which are a bit cooler than the rest of the house.

Deanne has had her contract extended again, her boss would appear to like to keep her on permanently, but sadly this is unlikely to happen. However she is working hard on some ideas of her own for a business, but I’ll keep them under my hat until she’s got it all organised and up and running. She is loving the three days a week working, and Joshua seems to be enjoying it too. They went to the Museum last week and have done other variously exciting things with their time together over the holidays

Joshua has been saving up his pocket money and went to spend it. He bought himself some Octonauts toys to go with his Octopod, which he was given by Pops at Christmas. He is extremely happy with his purchase, the five Vegimals (part vegetable, part animal…don’t ask me!) and has been telling everyone about it at every opportunity.

I have enjoyed my first year in the Antipodes, it’s a nice place to live and I feel like we have made the right move, although (for work) I’m still surprised at how big a drop in responsibility and remuneration I have had to take. However life is good and there have been all sorts of interesting things to investigate and discover, and we are still only just finding out about what there is to do here.

I have also got quite involved in my writers group, without which I probably wouldn’t have got round to publishing my book, talking of which, I now also have an Author Page on Amazon, check it out, I’m a published author!

I will finish this missive by listing some of the things I miss about the old country.

  1. You and ToF (obviously)
  2. Dave, Emma, Arlo and Billie
  3. Rich, Nige and Steve
  4. Being able to walk to the shops
  5. A profusion of takeaway restaurants
  6. Cheap books
  7. TV scheduling
  8. John Lewis
  9. The NHS

…and some things I like about our new country.

  1. The friends we’ve met since we arrived
  2. Joshua’s school
  3. The Zoo
  4. Being a member of the P&C committee
  5. Scitech
  6. My writers group
  7. The locality of Joshua’s Nana and Pops
  8. The Museum
  9. Finding new coffee shops and cafés
  10. Having days out without worrying about the weather
  11. The parks (especially Kings Park)

I think that’ll probably do for now, I’ll leave you with some pictures.



Parrots, on the lawn

Parrots, on the lawn


Joshua on his scooter

Joshua on his scooter


The hermit crabs at day-care

The hermit crabs at day-care

Happy Christmas

Dear Mum,
Hope you’ve had a good day, I tried Skyping Rich a few times but I suspect you’re at one of the many parties, you mentioned, with him.
We had a brilliant day ourselves. Josh came into our room at about six to report that Santa had been, so we got up and opened a bunch of presents, including the two boxes of Lego, dinosaur themed Matchbox cars and the Old Spinosaurus from Dinosaur Train, that you bought him.
He was very pleased but just a little disappointed that he hadn’t got the Octopod from the Octonauts, which he had written himself on his Xmas list. He was, therefore, rather glad when Pops turned up with some more presents, including the Octopod!
We made breakfast, fruit toast, nice bread, hash browns, poached eggs, etc. and chatted to Bob until about half eleven, then headed to Julie’s.
There were even more presents at Julie’s house, plus all the relations you could shake a stick at (don’t worry, we didn’t). There was food and drink and sun and then swimming in the pool between courses. What can I say, my first Australian Christmas!!!
I forgot to take my phone this a’vo but thought you might like a picture which sums up Joshua’s day, as it shows his Octopod, Lego, beach towel and bathers plus his new school bag, as well as the beanbag that Janice bought him, which he also loves.
It’s been a good day, but I have missed you all.
Lots of love



Dear Mum,

Well, we’ve been here over 24 hours now and it’s hot! Very hot!! I think the high today was 43.8 degrees, which is only marginally less than 60 degrees from boiling point. To be fair though we weren’t out in it much as we were at the public hospital in Fremantle most of the afternoon. Don’t worry though, ever since landing Deanne had a weird kind of numb lower leg on her right side so we thought we better get it checked out in case it was a DVT, thankfully after a number of tests, and a number of hours we were told that it wasn’t and that she would be fine and it would stop feeling odd as long as she rest it and keeps it up in the air. We were also surprised to find out that it wasn’t going to cost us anything, which is nice.

The plane trip over yesterday was long, but not as arduous as it could have been. The bus taking us from the hotel to the airport was meant to take fifteen minutes but actually took about an hour. Thankfully we had set off in enough time and arrived before the queue got too long and so had plenty of time to check in and get ourselves sorted. Once we were air-side Deanne bought a couple of bottles of drink for the flight and Josh spent his money on a new Pip and Posy book, which we read once we were on the plane.

The first leg of the journey took about 11 hours. The young ‘un mainly watched films and TV, there wasn’t a great selection for him but he enjoyed watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 again (which was the one we took him to the pictures to see a couple of weeks back). He also like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, seemingly from when I was little by the look of the quality and the characters in it.

Deanne and I also watched a bunch of films. For your flight back from Brazil I would strongly recommend the Old Guy checks out Star Trek: Into Darkness, although you should remind him that after the last Star Trek Film everything has changed in the Star Trek Universe so this is an alternate reality (Rich can probably explain that to him!).

We made up some time after a slightly late take off from the UK and had a couple of hours to spare in Singapore. If you ever land there go find the butterfly house, it was interesting, and a bit strange to have a room full of insects in a large and quite well appointed modern aviation hub.
Anyway the last leg was only about five and a half hours, none of us had slept much on the first part of the journey so on this one thankfully Joshy and Deanne got a bit and I watched the first Despicable Me cartoon movie. After that I tried to watch the second one as I wasn’t having much luck trying to sleep but the tiredness took over and I had to quit part way through and put my head down for a bit. I woke when the plane hit the dirt in Perth.

Julie and Richard met us at the airport, Bob also turned up briefly, although he only said hi and walked to the car with us, but we’re having a sort of late Xmas party tomorrow so he’s coming over for that, along with a few of the other relatives. We were all three of us a bit restless last night and Joshua woke up a couple of times, then at one in the morning we finally got up and had a bite to eat. Joshua had a Vegemite sandwich and me and Deanne both had something similar.

Today Dee went out in the Morning to grab a few things from the shops (mainly coat hangers to use on the rail Julie bought us to use in our room while we’re staying here). Oh, I forgot to say there were, of course, presents here when we arrived. The young ‘un now has some big dinosaurs from Dinosaur Train, along with some new games, a big car slide thing with some little cars to go on it and a bike (with stabilisers).

This afternoon we persuaded Joshua it would be a good idea to go swim with Nana and Poppy Richard while Dee and I went to the hospital. He eventually did so and I believe had about an hour or so of splashy fun then came in and fell asleep, almost immediately, on the sofa, so they picked him up and put him to bed. Where he stayed for about two hours.

We eventually got back at about 6:30, just in time for tea, then bathed Josh and put him to bed.

I’ll write more next time I get half an hour but until then all my love and see you when we’ve figured out a way to get Rick and Julie into the modern age and got hold of a wireless router so we can use the tablet.