Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Flowers are a luxury that are all the more special when received as a gift. Usually for a birthday or an anniversary. Even more special when received for no particular reason!

Colours may fade after a few days but a photo can be a beautiful reminder of the love they were given with.

Now don't be a smart arse Mr B and tell me to look at this picture next time I want another bunch!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Table 22, Your order is ready...

We are having fun with Byrons Fathers Day present. The one he bought himself after we had already invested in an "I love Dad" Toblerone and a DVD of the latest James Bond: Quantum of Solace.

I could pretend to be all outraged that he fell in love with a marvel of chrome and buttons on the Saturday there was a "one-day-only-50%-off-selected-electrical-gadgets" day at the local Domayne.

I could pretend I was all outraged but secretly inside I was as excited as he was as I watched his face break out in a huge grin from ear to ear at the cash till.

I know that he has wanted one of these coffee machines for years. There was always something more urgent on the list of things to buy. But with 50% off and Fathers day and the weekend he got paid his first years bonus in his new job, how could I resist?

This weekend we passed through the local town doing a few chores. As we finished up and headed to the car the kids asked if they could have a hot chocolate at "Double Take" a local cafe. We momentarily hesitated (knowing there would be no change from a $20 note) and then said we could do just as well at home with our new machine (boring parents that we are)

When we got home we pressed buttons, opened tins of chocolate powder and filled the kitchen with the noise of the steam frother and the aroma of rich fresh coffee. The kids got into the spirit of things when they saw me draw a number "22" on a piece of card and I propped it on the table next to them.

A few more presses of buttons and exotic whizzing and grinding sounds from the kitchen and I called out...

"Table 22, Your order is ready..."

Does this mean we can finally stop justifying the money we

Sunday, September 27, 2009

1000 posts and counting!

My very first blog post was in August 2005. Byron called me to the family computer and proudly showed me the family blog he had created. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about and had never seen or read one before in my life. He kept persuading me I would love it but I wasn't convinced. Who would want to read about our boring day to day life? Like many attempts at journals in the past would I keep the momentum going for more than a couple of months?

We were in the process of getting ready to emigrate to Australia from our home in Northampton, England and I didn't know if this new blog would be way down the list of things to do during this crazy time. But here we are, 1000 posts strong! I no longer write this blog exclusively for friends and family in the UK and Ireland. I write it for us, as a creative way of displaying our photos of days out, a way to preserve the details of memories and to look back on way into the future.

I also write it for our kids, so they can look back at what they looked like when we first arrived here in Australia, for them to relive the funny moments and the sad ones too. It is still a happy photo album, filled mainly with our good days and with a very occasional glimpse into the not so good. We are a positive family and we try to turn things around and find the good in them. Sometimes we mislead people into thinking we have a perfect life and perfect kids but we just like to pretend we do to annoy our normal friends!

Along the way many people from other countries have tagged along. A year ago we started to register the numbers of visitors to the blog and it amazes us that in the last 12 months we have had over 7,000 visits from people in 38 countries! It has been like a geography lesson to the kids with them looking up the world map to find where these countries are. Today Sian spent ages making a map and dropping pictures of push pins on the countries we have had visitors from!

We love the comments, many of them from people we have never met. It is a bonus to me in particular as the main writer to know that people of all sorts of different backgrounds and countries have stopped to read what I have written. It has been an exciting journey since that first post about our family holiday in Ireland back in August 2005 and one that we are loving every minute of.

If you haven't commented before maybe I can persuade you to celebrate with us today and say "Hi" in the comments section below. Let us know what you like reading about so we can keep our blog a place you enjoy coming back to.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ice cream cup cakes.

I saw the best idea for kiddy cupcakes at our school fair last weekend. A mum had baked cake mixture inside ice cream cones and decorated them to look like an ice cream. I decided to give it a try and it worked!

I didn't invest a lot of money in them in case they were a disaster. We bought our local supermarkets own-brand ice-cream cones (Flat bottomed so they would stand up on the baking tray) and a bag of shops own-brand chocolate cake mixture. We filled the cones 3/4 full of mixture and when they came out of the oven we poured some chocolate topping and sprinkles on top. They stand well in an empty egg box and would be really easy to bring out to the park or a party.

Call me stingy but they actually cost less than 15 cents each! It would be really easy to upgrade them to a nicer home made cake mixture for a special occasion. I can see us making these a few times over the coming two week school holidays! Rathmines park anyone?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Slainte !

Did I mention that I am Irish? You hadn't guessed from my ability to use many words to descibe small stories? Or from my ability to retell a story so far removed from its original facts that even those who were there at the time don't recognise it? Or just my general inability to go without talking for more than 30 seconds at a time even when sleeping?

Being Irish I am genetically programmed to think that the greatest drink in the world is Guinness. A whole meal in a pint glass. Did you know that in the early days of the Guinness brewery they provided a bottle of Guinness for each patient in the Dublin hospitals. This was at the time of the "Guinness is good for you" advertising.

My Grandad Joe Sheeran was the proud owner of Sheerans Bar in Longford. My Dad Joe grew up in the house above the Pub and spent many evenings down in the cellar washing bottles ready to re-fill with Guinness and serve to the next nights customers (a story heard many times when we were kids!) The family pub had labels provided by Guinness with "Sheeran" on them. My Dad has often said he would give anything to get his hand on one of these old Sheeran labels now. It would be my dream to be able to get one for him, I have no idea if any still exist.

The point of this blog is this:

Today is the 25th of September 2009.

On this day in 1759 the company's founder,
Arthur Guinness,
decided to sign a 9000 year lease for a brewery at St James's Gate in Dublin.

Clever Man!


I lit a candle for you...

When I was growing up in Dublin lighting candles was the most exciting part of Mass on a Sunday. I loved putting a 10p coin in the metal box and being allowed to light the small wax candle from another one and spending ages choosing where to put it.

When I bring my kids to Mass they always ask for some coins so they can light their own candles. Most times they light them for their grandparents in Ireland and Wales. Sometimes for Nanny Ponty and the baby in heaven.

There is something very symbolic for me about these little white candles burning bright. Each one with its very own prayer attached. Whenever I have had something big happening in my life my family in Ireland light candles for me and it makes me feel loved. Whether I have been sitting exams, going for a pregnancy scan or just when life was a bit tough.

Today as I headed back to my car in the school car-park, kids safely in school, I carried on walking past the car and into the church. I pulled some coins out of my purse and I listened to the loud clunk as they went into the offering box. Someone had been there before me and a few candles were already flickering in the dark corner. I stood in the cool dark silence of the empty church and I lit candles slowly, each one for someone who needs a little bit of love.

For my parents who face health struggles that they will be strong for each other. For friends finding these economic times tough that they will have better times on the horizon. For a family friend who returned from her honeymoon to start chemo for breast cancer that it will be successful. For my niece who will start her first job as a registered nurse on Monday that she will be mentored through this new stage in her life by kind colleagues and nice patients. For my sister that she will find a way to prevent the headaches that affect her so regularly. For a family that lost their beautiful baby girl that they will stay strong for their other kids and that they will be surrounded by kind friends who will protect them. For my brothers baby due in December that he or she will arrive safe and healthy. For my friends old and new, living nearby or around the world, that their week will be a good one. And finally for my wonderful Mr B and my three happy, healthy kids, that we will all stay strong, happy and together whatever the future holds.

Right now in a small church in Australia these little candles are burning bright...

...and one of them is flickering brightly for you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Japanese Day

Today was "Japanese Day" in Gareth's class. They have been learning about Japanese culture, food and language over the last few weeks.

Today they were given the chance to dress up in a "Japanese" theme and have a fun day involving eating Sushi, doing Tai Chi, making origami animals and painting traditional Japanese letters and numbers.

He came home saying that he now likes eating seaweed but still doesn't like Avocados ?!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust storm

I'm on my way out the door to work. It's 6.30am and I cant believe what I can see outside. The air is ORANGE! We have had huge westerly winds all night and they have brought with them fine red dust which I can only imagine must be from the central part of Australia. When you see documentaries and photos of Alice Springs the ground is rich orange/red. It looks like half of Alice Springs has fallen into our garden! This morning this is the view from our front door...

This photo is completely original. I have not adjusted it in any way since taking it, no colour enhancements at all. This is what I will drive through on my way to work!

*Update* I am home from work now and it really has been the most surreal day. Some of the older patients thought it was the end of the world.

One of the night nurses kids rang her so excited, he was convinced it was the fall-out from a meteorite and wanted to know did he really have to go to school!

It's 4pm and the sky has returned to a clear pale blue but everything is covered in a fine orange dust, the cars, the Guinea Pig cage, the BBQ! I don't think I have ever had to dust my garden before!

Another couple of photos, this time from my phone:

The car journey to work...

The hospital as I arrived for my 7am shift...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eye Spy.

Sunset reflecting in her eye...

or the sparkle of mischief?

I'll let you decide!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Home truths.

We have made some changes in our house over the last week. One change is doing chores as a team after tea so that we can sit down and spend more family time together in the evenings until the kids go to bed.

The kids have all been much more affectionate, particularly with me and it seems to have had a huge impact in a really short amount of time. It has really proven to us that it is not material things that make kids secure and happy but love, affection and time.

We think we are well read and clued up parents but it took someone outside of our family to point out some home truths. I'm really glad we got the wake-up call to make these changes when we did. The whole family seems to be so much happier as a result.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chill out Sunday.

Today was a day of jobs in the house. Washing the car, hanging out wet clothes, cutting the grass, ironing school shirts for the week ahead, sausage lunch on the BBQ, cleaning the guinea pig hutch, sweeping floors.

By the time the house stuff was out of the way the day had slipped away and the sun was getting low in the sky. It was too late to go anywhere.

The kids suggested bringing the Frisbee to the reserve, an area of grass and trees next to the lake across the road from our house.

The hour that we spent there climbing trees, throwing the Frisbee, "fishing" with a stick and a plastic bottle cap was the perfect end to a busy day.

Just the five of us having fun.

Hopefully a hint of what the summer has in store...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

School Spring fair

Today was our school fundraising Spring Fair.

A great time was had by all, facepainting, coloured hair spray, toy stalls, ice-cream eating competition, (Go Sian! The two times winner of the day!) Should I be embarrased or proud?! sausage sandwiches and a fantastic performance by the school band (Go Rhiannon our cool canary coloured clarinet chick!)

$12,000 was raised on the day which will all go towards keeping our little school being the best that it can be!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Glenrock Lagoon.

Today Rhiannon's class had their school excursion to Glenrock Lagoon. They had asked for parents to volunteer to be helpers on the trip and because it was happening on a Friday (my day off work) I was able to join in.

The day was a hot one so we had to put sunscreen on head to toe and then loads of mozzie spray because we were going to be bush walking through sub-tropical rain forest (see I was listening to the ranger!)
Water was frozen in bottles overnight and camera batteries were charged up and raring to go.

The parents got to travel on the bus with the kids, they should have told us to bring ear-plugs! We arrived at Glenrock and were introduced to Gary our Aboriginal "Discovery Ranger" We started with a lecture on all the dangerous snakes and spiders we might come across.

Most snakes although very venomous are not aggressive and we were told how to stand still then throw our hat down and walk slowly and quietly backwards while the snake was distracted. It was at this point that I would gladly have stayed behind to mind the bus! Then we were told about the tiger snake who was the aggressive one that would chase us. At this point I was hanging on to the tow bar of the bus trying to stop it from leaving the car park. After a firm but fair talking to from Mrs Crossingham (Rhiannon's teacher) I joined the group in an orderly manner and promised to behave myself.

The next couple of hours were a kaleidoscope of sounds, sights, smells and information. I love new information, especially of the bizarre and unusual type. Not info you need to pass your driving test or at a job interview, but the bizarre facts that you can fascinate your friends with at a weekend BBQ or during the quiet part of Mass where you are supposed to be paying attention in a serene and quiet way.

Here are my favourite facts I learnt:

Paper bark gum trees produce a thin soft paper like sheets of bark that peel from the trunk and are perfect for... No not writing on but wiping yourself if you get caught short when out bush walking.

The leaves of the prickle tree (or itchy tree or something similar) will bring the skin up in fiery welts that burn and sting for days.

The leaves of the prickle tree should never be used for the same purpose as paper bark.

There are hundreds of different types of small berries that grow in the Australian bush. If you get bitten by a snake and eat a certain berry it works as a powerful and highly effective anti-venom. There are other similar looking berries that if eaten will kill you.

If I ever get bitten by a snake in the Australian bush I am likely not only to die an agonising death from the snake venom but also suffer excruciating pain from the poisonous berries I eat while trying in vain to save myself.

Apart from all the wonderful new knowledge I gained today the kids had a really great day. The bush walk ended on a long golden beach where they ran around and splashed and explored rock pools, finding yabbies, star fish and tiny crabs.

The bus journey home was just as loud if not louder and now I am yawning and wanting to go to bed. It is only 6pm so I think I should probably wait till the kids have finished tea and I have put them to bed first. I'm going to sleep well tonight...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where we live

We live next to the beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia's largest coastal salt water lake. It is a fabulous place to explore on the weekends. We ate fish and chips by the lake on Sunday about 10 minutes drive around the edge of the lake from where we live. We looked across the lake and tried to find where our house is.

It took the iPhone technology to locate exactly where our little Secret Bay was, I was right of course, and I took a photo of Byron pointing to prove it!

It's a good job he is silhouetted in the bright sun so you can't see his grumpy expression!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First swim.

What do you get when you throw 7 kids into a freezing swimming pool on the first sunny day in spring? Goosebumps, blue lips, laughter and a row of kids with their backs up against a warm wall thawing themselves out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

6 Minute Microwave Chocolate Cake

I am going to part with a trade secret. My recipe for a wholemeal flour Chocolate Cake that was re-named in my childhood home as

6 Minute Microwave Chocolate Cake.

This recipe has been my emergency fall back since I discovered it at the age of 12! Our family had just bought our first microwave and we were in awe at how this turntable oven could cook our food so quickly. It seemed so space age. It came with a cook book and it was in this book that I came across this amazing recipe.

Aged 12, I transcribed it in curly joined up writing using my best cartridge ink pen into a small notebook that I wanted to fill up with favourite recipes for when I got married.

Well here I am, 3 times older, married and with the little tattered notebook still in my kitchen. The words are faded and I have had to write Metric grams next to the old Imperial ounces.

And now this recipe is going to leap into the modern age of the Internet so that I will have a back up copy of it and you can share it too.


3oz - 75 grams Wholemeal Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1oz - 25 grams Cocoa
4oz - 110 grams Butter
4oz - 110 grams Sugar
2 Eggs
3 tbsp Water

Beat all ingredients together for 2 minutes with an electric beater. Put into a bowl and cook in microwave for 6 minutes at full power or in oven for 20 minutes.

4oz - 110 grams Icing Sugar
1/2 oz - 10 grams Cocoa
1 1/2 oz - 30 grams Butter
2 tbsp Milk

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and melt, stir well and pour over cake immediately.

I guarantee you that you can make, cook, ice and clean up from this cake in 20 minutes as I found myself doing this weekend.

I hopped into the passenger seat of the car with this on my lap and the only problem was that it was still so hot that I had red knees when I got to my destination!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rugby Star!

Rugby season is finished. No more early starts on a Saturday morning. No more chopping oranges up into a plastic container. No more washing muddy sports kit twice a week.

Today was the end of season presentation day. Gareth and his team mates were presented with trophies and team sports bags and praised for playing their best every week through rain, fog and sun!

It has been an action packed year and Gareth has really gained confidence. He will be signing up again as soon as the new season starts!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Made with love.

Gareth has started asking recently if he can have a cup of tea when he sees me making one.

When I was growing up it was not uncommon to put milky tea in a baby's bottle as a comfort drink. I remember reading in a baby book when I was pregnant with Sian that the tannins in tea reduce a babies ability to absorb iron. I have no idea if that is still the advice but I figure that at 6 years of age and with a huge and healthy appetite a cup of tea is hardly likely to kill him.

And so when my tea bag has turned the hot water in my cup deep rich brown I put it in Gareth's cup and it just has the strength to turn the water a vague shade of sand! Gareth loves the warmth of the cup in his hands and has a big grin on his face as he sips it. The other morning the conversation went like this...

"How do you make tea Mum?"
"Did you put a bit of love in it? "
"Because I can feel it all warm just here mum, passing my heart on it's way to my tummy"
"'I can feel the love warming me all up!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's for dinner Mum? Answered!

I need to go grocery shopping. The fridge is empty and the freezer...

...well, it's a little full of other stuff right now.

Can anyone guess why Mr B's jeans have been in the freezer for the last two weeks?!

The Answer!

You are too clever Heidi!

He sat on chewing gum at the wallabies V's All Blacks game in Sydney last month and I heard that freezing it overnight makes it easier to remove.

It just kind of slipped down the list of priorities and they stayed there a couple of weeks!
But it worked!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Operation Beautiful.

I'm about to pour my heart out to you here and you will either think I am a total lunatic or you will go out and copy me.

I came across a website called Operation Beautiful. It encourages women to leave notes in public places with positive messages on them.

The idea is that someone finds one of your messages on a mirror, on their car window, in a book etc and that it brightens their day. People take photos of the notes they leave or find to publish on the website and tell the story behind where they left or found it.

Mostly the messages are written on "Sticky notes" however I live in an immaculately tidy house with no laundry needing doing and no other more essential but boring chores to fill my time so I decided to put my own twist on the idea...

I sat down and drew a scribbled heart and wings with a pen. I scanned and printed sheets of heavy paper so that there were 8 images per sheet (each about the size of a credit card) and then painted each one with some watercolour paints to look pretty.

I carried these blanks in my wallet and when the urge took me I wrote something on one and left it behind.

I have placed them in my local Post Office, on the ward clerks desk in work, stuck in the drivers window on cars in the supermarket, in a pregnancy magazine, slipped into a birthday card I was posting, on the self-help shelf in the local library and every public toilet we have used over the last couple of weeks.

This morning I left the last of my little cards and I face a dilemma. To make more or to hang the laundry out!

I think for today I will have to do a few boring chores. I always know it is time to clean my kitchen floor when the kids feet become stuck to it! It would be lovely to have been a fly on the wall as people discovered them.

Maybe some people will have ignored theirs or put it to one side but hopefully some of the cards will have brightened someones day.

So now that I have confessed, Do you think I am certifiably mad like Mr B? Or are you about to run out and buy your own sticky pad?!
*Clarification* Do you think I am mad like Mr B thinks I am. Not like Mr B is!

P.S. If you, like me, have an immaculate house and nothing to fill your spare hours (?!) then feel free to download my black and white template and use it for yourself! If you do decide to do "Operation Beautiful"I would love to hear how you get on.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A long way from home...

Byron is away on a business course this week and we are all lonely and pining away without him. It is very rare that he is not sitting down to dinner with us in the evenings and normally he is the one who tucks the kids into bed at night while I prepare for the next day, sandwiches, uniforms etc.

So last night I calmed myself, took a deep breath and prepared myself for a normal evening. We never get anyone knocking on our front door, never, especially not when it is dark. So when the knock came on the door last night (it was only 6.30pm) I tried hard not to wet my pants as I opened it. It was a man, a smiling man but one I was sure I didn't know. He had a huge bubble wrapped shape in his arms. He addressed me by name and then asked if Byron was home. I nervously babbled incoherently about how he wasn't, that he was away, would be away for a few days. Why can't I keep my mouth shut when I am nervous? Telling a total stranger that we were alone? On a dark evening? HELLO?

He passed me the parcel. Said it was from Gareth and Lesley, friends of ours that live in Scotland. I grabbed it and slammed the door, slid to the ground and cursed myself for my inability to stay cool calm and collected. The parcel was an odd shape and heavy. Byron rang later that evening and did a video call with us using the web-cam. He asked me to open the parcel while he watched. Inside was something unique and hand made. A once off. I think the smiling man probably was the one who made it. I now feel really bad about being so rude. He was probably expecting us to open it and exclaim in wonder at it. There is no business card, No company name, No way to ring and say "Thanks"

We are now the proud owners of a proper heavy duty road sign telling us just how far it is to Aberaman, Byron and his best friend Gareth's home town!

Thank you so much Gareth and Lesley. If you still have the contact details of the man who made it I would love to pass on how delighted we are with it!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Strawberry fields forever...

This little plant isn't quite enough to fill a field but we have big hopes for it! Sian and Rhiannon chose two little potted plants at a local nursery last weekend and asked could they have them instead of pocket-money. They have been watering them every day and making sure they get plenty of sunshine. It is lovely to see them working as a team. I just wonder how long it lasts.. maybe until the strawberries actually appear and ripen.

"That's my strawberry"

"No it's MINE!"

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fathers Day: part two.

A wonderfully relaxed Fathers day was had by all yesterday. We started with the first BBQ breakfast of the Spring in the backyard. Eggs, bacon and bread rolls. Byron and Gareth side by side with their BBQ tongs while us girls put out plates and juice.

In the afternoon we went for a walk and ate fish and chips in Wangi overlooking the lake. We drank coffee and we ate Toblerone. Isn't that what Fathers Day is all about....!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fathers Day 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Jellybean Pizza

What is your favourite pizza topping?

Last night one of Sian's friends came for tea and we made homemade pizzas. I made pizza dough, squished big circles onto pizza stones, put everything and anything I could find in the pantry and fridge into the center of the kitchen table and called everyone in to start creating.

There was pizza or BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese, pineapple, ham, chillies, anchovies, sliced red onion, feta cheese. Lots of choice, or so I thought. When the kids ran into the kitchen they asked what they could put on their pizzas. I waved my hand over the assortment of toppings and said "anything!"

They looked at each other
I didn't like the grin I saw slowly spreading over Sian's face
"Really anything?"
"How about... jellybeans?"

She produced a bag of jellybeans from behind her back that her friend had brought to share. And so that is why last night we ended up with jellybean pizza, well, I let each kid put one jellybean on their pizza for a laugh.

When the pizzas came out of the oven and we sat down to eat the kids were a little less sure of their adventurous taste buds. They left that corner of their pizzas until the very end. On the count of three each of them put the cooked jellybean into their mouths and chewed! Their faces went from unsure to big grins as they realised they weren't going to be poisoned.

An unusual pizza topping for sure but probably not one we will be repeating!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fathers Day build up.

It is Fathers Day in Australia this weekend. The kids are excited. Homemade cards are coming home in school bags and being hidden in secret corners before Dad gets in from work. The Fathers day $5 stall was in school yesterday and I can't wait to see what the kids picked with their money.

This morning the school opened up at 6.30am for the teachers to set up bbq's for a sausage sizzle. At 7.30 the first of the cars pulled up with excited kids and Dads. We got there about 10 minutes later and the car park was almost full! There were tables set up where the teachers served sausages in slices of bread, fruit platters, juice, tea and coffee.

It was a fun morning and I can't believe that I am back home earlier than the time I would normally be bundling the kids into the car on the way to school! I'm off to get the house straightened up so we can have a relaxing Fathers day weekend!

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I had an early start this morning. The alarm went off at 5am. I snuck out of bed and down the dark stairs to the hallway below. On a hanger by the front door hung my work uniform, next to my shoes was my packed lunch and the car keys. I was tired and dressed in the dark with eyes mostly shut then padded my way into the kitchen for breakfast.

I have been struggling recently to manage work and housework. I'm not naturally neat and organised but I have learnt the hard way what chaos happens if I don't try. And so at 5.10am I found myself standing in the half light of morning hanging wet washing on the outside line. The world was quiet, my kids were still sleeping. By 6am I was in work, making beds, giving out pills, printing discharge paperwork and updating care plans, all before my own kids were eating their breakfast. But my washing was drying, blowing in the morning breeze and deep inside I felt smug. I was juggling and the balls were all in the air.

I cheerfully commented to one old lady about what a beautiful day it was outside. She cheerfully replied that it was.... for now. Rain was coming, heavy rain, starting in Cessnock and crossing the mountains towards us by the end of the day. Not before 3pm I prayed, stay dry till I get home, please don't make my early morning job worthless.

As I ran out of the hospital at the end of my shift the first drops of rain were falling. As the car engine started up the rain was dotting on my windscreen. By the time I was halfway home my windscreen wipers were on full. I knew my line full of dark heavy clothes would have been bone dry 30 minutes ago but the closer I got to home the wetter I knew they were getting.

I sat in a line of traffic at the roadworks and waited and waited and waited. The irritation started in the pit of my stomach and made its way to my finger tips that clenched hard on the steering wheel. I felt mad that my hard work so early this morning was for nothing. I might as well have just let the clothes sit wet in the machine. Right now the only thing I felt was pure frustration.

It was then that I heard it, the sound of the siren. I looked in my mirror and watched the flashing lights speeding along the road I had just travelled. The cars pulled in tight to the side of the road and the Ambulance sped past me in a blur of lights and siren wails. Someone somewhere ahead didn't care about the rain, or their washing, or anything else but getting help quickly.


My clothes are damp. They are hanging over the backs of the kitchen chairs. My kids are sleeping tucked up warm in their beds. My husband is home in the house with me. What more do I need?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First day of Spring

I still can't get my head around the Australian seasons.

The year is supposed to go Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Christmas is supposed to be cold and my Birthday is supposed to be warm.

And so today is the first day of Spring! Maybe it is the beginning of Autumn for you and soon the leaves will be turning golden and the evenings will grow shorter.

Here we will soon be putting away the fleece jackets and hot water bottles and buying one litre tubs of sunscreen to leave by the front door and in the boot of the car. Will it ever feel familiar? Only time will tell...