Sep 30, 2006

Bruce on the barbeque

Well, I, the Sheila, have done a Bruce and gone solo on the barbeque front after expert tuition from Gary last weekend. I managed to sneak in just one small beer during the cooking process. There is a little fine tuning to be done but on the whole it was a success, for example, if I set the gas lower I could manage two beers instead of one. By the time we get any northern hemisphere visitors I should be barbequeing like a native.

I have found out who sent the vegetarian barbeque cookbook. Thank you very much Josie. Neil had honey and ginger marinated tofu whilst I suck with the more traditional lamb and chicken skewers from Zone Fresh down the road. Very tasty.

We checked out the Northey Street Organic Markets today. We arrived just as they were clearing up at 10am so went for pancakes and a coffee instead. They had a group jamming next to the cooking area. There was a bloke with a tin whistle who was just randomly doing his own thing regardless of what was actually supposed to be happening musically. It is possible he was completely deaf, but really that is no excuse.

No bloody respect


On Friday - yesterday - amongst other things, like getting up at the crack of Dawn to give N a lift into work for her first early, wandering around in a fatigue-induced stupor, falling asleep in front of Parky whilst interviewing Patrick Stewart, making baked beans on toast, eating Cheerios with Squeaky, doing the washing, to name but a few.... I took my charming daughter to the library for Friday story telling. She made a little friend of around her own age whose name was Owen or Lachlan or Bruce or something, but that is by the by. I also borrowed a book - my first book borrowing in Australia. "Fishy Wishes" it is called and it is by Tom Holt. It's a very odd book, but that is also by the by.

What is decidedly not by the by, and which shows a marked lack of respect for literature, freedom of speech probably, and I'm sure some of my ancestors, though I don't know which, would be turning in the their graves, is the fact that this morning Eloise - potentially accidentally, though that might just be a clever ruse, poured coffee all over it.

To add insult to injury we caught her later on attempting to tear a page from it.

Some serious inculcation is in order.

Sep 29, 2006

Let loose

I worked my first shift today on the bone marrow transplant side of the unit. It was not nearly half as scarey as I imagined it would be. I am in a very supernumery state as you need to complete competencies in all areas like dressings and blood taking before going solo. Certain things are similar to what I am used to but others are very different like double checking normal saline, IV drugs and blood.

This is my first full-time week since Christmas 2004, when I was heavily pregnant, and I feel absolutely exhausted. I think I may have to retire to bed soon with my book. An early here starts at 07:00 so the alarm clock went off at 05:30, which was a bit of a shock. I am going to have to get used to it quickly as I have to work through all these competencies as quickly as possible which will mean lots of homework.

Sep 28, 2006

British Expeditionary Force


I decided to go solo on an expedition today (today, believe it or not, was Thursday). It sort of happened by accident; I decided to drive up around Coottha to check out dog walking prospects but by the time we got there Squeaky was asleep in the back of the car so I didn't want to stop.

I decided therefore to go up to McAfees Lookout which I had attempted to visit yesterday afternoon but been caught out by rain and warnings over the radio of an impending thunder- and hail-storm and therefore decided to abort. Today though I went for it... then went for it a bit more and ended up after stopping off at Jolly's Lookout and following the now-awake sproggy around for half an hour having lunch at a little cafe at Mount Nebo.

There I had a look at the map and thought "I/we fancy a look at Lake Wivenhoe" and we carried on out into the D'Aguilar Mountains, stopping off at Wivenhoe lookout (picture above) where Nicole's frustration at Brizzy Pooter Training was compounded via text message.

Onward we went over the mountains and onto the plains on the other side where the trees thinned out somewhat and there were various vistas of empty roads vanishing off into the thinly populated wide blue yonder.



Then a txt from N saying she was on her way home! Early! So back again back again jigetty jig save only a pitstop at a lookout point we'd missed previously, which had decking bridges protuberating (if that's word (it isn't)) over trees to give a pretty fantastic view. And back by 4.30. An hour's drive I reckon.

Nicole did the cooking tonight. She insisted. She said she misses cooking. It was very nice. I can honestly say I bought the ingredients and that's the hard part isn't it?

Oh I did some washing too. I feel relatively saintly.

Sep 27, 2006

Mathematical genius

Well, I had my drug calculation and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation tests today. But as you lot don't live in Brisbane I'm sure you don't give a damn that I can work out how much antibiotic to give you and what to do if you are unconcious, pulseless and not breathing... allegedly. This means I am in nursing business and after my computer training will be let loose upon the residents of Queensland, in a supernumery status for the first fortnight.

Three days of working full-time and I am shattered already. I am going to be a wreck by the weekend. I am liking the "dinner being on the table when you get home from work" thing mind you.

Sep 26, 2006

New Job

I started my new job in earnest today in style, by staying up reading a Tom Clancy book til 3.30 in the morning last night and waking at 7 this morning feeling like I hadn't really gone to sleep. Why oh why in Tom Clancy books does it take 700 pages for anything to happen only for the action to start at bedtime?

On the ticklist today:
  • Baby washing
  • Bed linen washing (after minor milk spill and general sandyness)
  • Washing up with infantile assistance
  • Vic Reeves Club Singer singalongs of Dandy Warhol classics
  • Story Telling at Library
  • Bread and Mile Shopping including Dive Bombing by Magpie - we know no fear
  • Eloise exhaustion and subsequent post-toast remedial action (aka nap)
  • More Tom Clancy - three shakes of a lamb's tail from the end now
  • Jolly games in garden with plastic tuk-tuk thingy
  • Visit to Stafford Shopping Centre, round Wooly's with list for tonight's culinary extravaganza, including shameless inane public banter with babe - and purchase of replacement copy of Where The Wild Things Are, the signal pinnacle of mankinds literary achievement
  • Meeting with lovely wife at Lanham Park - including witnessing of her humiliation at hands or should that be beak of magpie - she knows heap big fear
  • Cycle home from Lanham Park while Nicole drives - mysteriously, no avian interference
  • Culinary extravaganza of couscous with various vegetables - they are called courgettes, dammit
  • Babe to bed.
I can't believe I'm not being paid for this.... oh, of course, I am....

Ooooh! Get her.

Nicole insisted I take this amusing snap of a best man (or grrrooom?) who is accessorised simply divinely. Also I have posted other photos of the weekend here.

Sep 25, 2006

My first day at work

I attended the orientation day today. You know, the usual manual handling, confidentiality, etc... As induction days go it wasn't too bad. I have another two days of nursing related orientation when I have to take the dreaded drug calculation test where the pass rate is 100%. Could be deported some time later this week then I guess.

The first of many I imagine

I would have carried Gary over the threshold but he is more muscular than our days in Sheffield! Julie and Gary are our first ever visitors to Brisbane. The other thing that has changed since our university days is that we are all complete light weights on the alcohol front. We drank a lot less than two bottles of wine and all felt a little rough around the edges on Saturday morning.

We drove to New Farm to check out the childrens' play area and look at the rose garden and as luck would have it found a market. The egg and bacon toasted sandwiches followed by Bakewell tarts sorted out the hangovers a treat. Eloise pulled a two year old called Joshua. She loved the play area and loved going down the slide on her belly.

After Eloise's nap we drove to Mount Coot-tha for afternoon tea and cakes before visiting the botanical gardens. There were several wedding receptions taking place. Neil has taken an excellent photo of a best man clutching a silver handbag which I will have to remind him to publish.

In the evening we cooked up an excellent barbeque Australian style. The main difference being that you cook over gas not charcoal which severely limits the amount of beers you can drink consume whilst waiting for the barbeque to come to the correct temperaure.

On Sunday Julie and I were ready to leave the house by 08:30 to hit the city markets. Luckily Gary decided to join us at the last minute as the Valley market was pants and he remembered where the Eagle Street market was when they lived here years ago. We returned to Neil with a offering of pain au chocolat.

We made a superb picnic and drove out to Bribie Island and basically loafed about on the beach. Gary built some fine sand castles. Our picnic was very healthy but Eloise single handedly ate an entire box of bread crisps and nothing nutritious. Eloise made friends with a dog who is even mnttier than Matilda on the beach.

We had our first Thai take-away in the evening from Stafford as we were too exhausted to think about cooking. I have just eaten the leftovers from mine now as I was feeling peckish.

We escorted Julie and Gary off Queensland soil this evening. We will see them again when we collect the dogs from quarantine.

Fantastic flowers

I opened the door on Thursday afternoon expecting to see the man from Telstra (sounds romantic but he was here to install the broadband) and was met by a hug bunch of lillies. I thought they were from Neil... no, from the pilates girls, so thank you very much. They were in a coffee jug until I got them a vase. They are now perfuming our bedroom.

On Friday another bunch of flowers arrived. I thought these ones must be from Neil... they were from James and Jane and very unexpected. Then about an hour later another bunch arrived and these ones were from Neil and Eloise. I have never had so many flowers in my life. A girl could get used to this!

We had a lovely bitrthday lunch out in a restaurant in Wilston which may become a favourite as the vegetarian selection was better than most.

I received a cook book in the post today about vegetarian barbeques. Unfortunately it was anonimous so I have no idea who to thank but it is lovely and will be well used.

Sep 21, 2006

Tamborine Mountain

On Wednesday we decided to have another holiday day after the domestics of the previous two days (I took Eloise to the library on Tuesday, while Nicole went to work, and we sat down with some Aussie mums and kids for a story telling).

It took about an hour and half to get there down the Pacific Motorway through some lovely countryside and was our first view of real rainforest.

Nicole was the day's excellent navigator and first stop was a lookout point. We drove up to the end of a road and there was Queensland stretching out below us into the distance.

We spent a little while there and filled up on water and snacks then backtracked to Eagle Heights where there was a little row of caf├ęs and restaurants. Nicole chose us the dodgiest one where the "gourmet" food consisted of flourescent pumpkin soup, reheated pie and limp chips washed down with milkshake.

A kookaburra bird sat down for a while next to us, then as Eloise was putting a chip into her mouth leapt into the air, swooped it across and snatched it from her very lips! How we gaped at the cheek of the thing.

After we'd got over that we went for a walk down into a valley to Curtis Falls and marvelled at the enormous fig and gum trees. The track took us eventually to the Falls themselves, see the picture above. It was a very pleasant scene and quite surprising to see so much water given the drought situation in QLD just now.

Eloise was charming everyone we walked past, and was in fine form, so we decided as there seemed to be water about to go on a more adventurous hike down to Witches Falls, which was a 4 kilometre round trip.

The falls themselves this time were rather disappointing but the lookout platform which was situated right next to them seemed suspended over a cliff which disappeared into the forest below which was quite exciting. Eloise was very uncertain about walking on the platform as the gaps between the plank flooring revealed quite a drop beneath.

The lack of falling being done by water here though was made up for by the atmosphere in the forested dells on the way; there was a profusion of palms and gum trees and some truly majestic fig trees which dwarfed us, with buttressed roots spreading the bases of the trees to phenomenal dimensions.

The climb up again was tough and Eloise was only happy when Nicole was carrying her in the rucksack (honest). We were very tired by the time we got back to the car and set off home again... but still decided to stop back at Eagle Heights and have an ice cream, which perked up Spud's spirits no end and prevented her from sleeping a wink all the way home.

See more pictures here.

Sep 19, 2006

One for sorrow, two for joy...

...that is unless you are being attacked by the little buggers! Who ever wrote that quaint old children's nursery rhyme had not meet magpies risiding near Langham Park. It is perilous. I was merrily cycling into work (for the first time on my new bike) when this magpie swoops straight for my head. I am certainly going to take out additional medical insurance as I don't think Medicare covers injury by magpie. Can you get a whiplash injury from a magpie?

Sep 18, 2006

Le Grange

We had a day just knocking about Grange today. We have signed up with the local doctor and dentist. Saving the vets for another day.

I made my first big purchase today... a bicycle. How come when Neil works and I'm at home plus child he gets the car? I must say that it is a rather splendid bike and I'm looking forward to taking the Brisbane hills on. It's okay, I have loads of inhalers at the ready. So this afternoon we went out for a little bike ride up and down the river in the spring sunshine.

Sep 17, 2006

Ipswich, Queensland

For something to do today we drove to Ipswich, which is about a half hour drive south-west of Brisbane.

All there is to say really is that there isn't much there.

The mystery car-starting shennanigans suffered by Nicole - the source of much frustration - were solved today with the realisation that the clutch must be fully depressed when engaging the ignition. Oh, the relief.

On the way back from Ipswich we took the scenic route and drove up to Lake Manchester which was very scenic. The roads gave way to gravel tracks after a while and lead up into the mountains through dense forest. If there's a difference - well two differences - between the countryside here and back in good old Suffolk, it's the forestation which is dense and widespread, and the mountainousnessness.

Sep 16, 2006

A Bit of Bush

Yesterday we decided to have a holiday day and actually get out of Brisbane so we go in the car and headed out North on the Bruce Highway.

First stop was he Glass House Mountains. Was gagging for a pee by the time we located and arrived at the Glass House Mountains Lookout, and was greeted by the following toilet facilities:



A cupful later we took in the views.


They were apparently named by Captain Cook, and there are Aboriginal traditions and legends surrounding them, here is more information about them than you can shake a stick at.

Coonowrin was an ancient prince who ran scared of a storm leaving his mother to die, strangely the most ignominious character has the most impressive craggy peak named after him.

We walked down into the rainforest on a short circular walk which needless to say took much longer than it might have done since Eloise needed to negotiate all he steps personally.

After the Glass House Mtns we drove across to the Sunshine Coast... through the rain... and stopped off at a little beach at Caloundra where we played on the swings and slides and saw our first little beach.

We then drive up the coast a little bit to King's Beach where we ate Fish and Chips and were molested by the obligatory tourist-savvy seagulls. Suitably gorged we drove up to a spit at Warana and walked down to the beach there which was quite beautiful. Eloise had her first taste of surprise surf on the shoes which she wasn't really all that happy about, but she definitely enjoyed the sand, and being a plane fan was agog when a parascender came in to land right over our heads on he cliff above.

So we sat on the beach and thought well, compare this to Felixstowe or Aldeburgh, with the sun shining, the surf breaking over perfect white sand... and we live an hours drive away.

All that lot took most of the day, so then back home where after a walk to the Matilda (yess really) garage to pick up some milk we were in bed as usual by about 8 o'clock, totally knackered.

Pathetic.

Today, woke up at five again, but Eloise slept right through in her cot-tent-thing for the second or third night. It has rained pretty much all day though we went ou and bought some toys for the munchkin and did some grocery shopping at Wooly's.

Sep 14, 2006

Bills, Thrills and Bellyache

Catching up on previous post, as was somewhat tired when wrote it.

Eloise threw up constantly the other day whenever anything hit her guts, and to be honest we had been feeling a little delicate also. We are putting it down to fatigue and jet lag. All better now and any illness over and done with.

Over the last few days we have been getting our bearings, and getting ourselves properly landed. The Australians are very big on ID and in order to secure any sort of services you have to build up points of ID. You generally seem to need 100 points to satisfy acceptance criteria, and different documents count for different number of points with different organisations. So we were able to get bank accounts with passports and an energex bill at one bank, but another required extra ID. It's all a bit confusing. However we now have bank accounts, electricity, phone, broadband, and mobiles. We ended up getting the phones from Telstra - Optus wouldn't give us service on a $19-a-month contract even though we demonstrated bank balances in excess of $7k. Bizarre - and annoying, as it took 4 visits to get to that stage. Grrr.

We also haven't got QLD drivers licenses as there was an unexpected written test to complete at which Nicole scored a "deferred success" as she understandably didn't know how close to a bus stop you are permitted to park. Oh well.

I have been doing most of the driving thus far as Nicole, for unknown reasons, is unable to get the car to engage its engine. The immobiliser seems to have keyed itself to my DNA in some strange way; I don't perform any out-of-the-ordinary actions, but the car starts for me but not for Nicole. So I have been driving and she has had her nose buried in a map as we have scooted around into Brisbane CBD (Central Business District) where all the hi-rises are to go and see DIMIA and get our visas endorsed onto our passports, Telstra to get our telecoms together, and surf the foodcourts and coffee shops. Nicole has dropped in on the hospital and visited the ward she will be working on. Things look good.

Also as we have been waking up very early in the morning we took the car out to Mount Coutha and looked out over the city to Moreton Bay on the Coral Sea: here is Eloise casting her eye over the meandering Brisbane River.

This spot is only to 20 minute drive from the house, and there are many likely looking dog walking spots dotted around in the neighbourhood of this rather nice location which is in an area of National Park. After having a coffee and enjoying the view, Eloise made friends with a local dog and then we went and walked up to Slaughter Falls, which James and Jane will be delighed to learn was, in view of the current level 4 (?) drought more like the Slaughter Trickle; in Nicole's words "I've seen more impressive bathroom taps." Oh well.

As you can see from this photo the weather has improved somewhat and we actually got down to T-shirts again. What's quite strange is that you're walking around in this forest which doesn't to be honest look all the exotic, then from above echoes out the cry of what sounds like a pterodactyl and overhead flies some sor of parrot-like thing then from out of the undergrowth wanders an obviously tame bush turkey and you think "well the dogs are going to love this!" - in the worst possible way. Then the bush turkeys start fighting, you learn they aren't flightless after all, and things don't seem quite so bad.

We have had visits from Cate's Mum and from her sister and children. They all seem very nice. It's good to know that there's support there if we really need it - not that we will.

I'm going to stop now, the keyboard on this computer is doing my head in. When the new broadband gets connected, will be able to hook up the laptop then it will be Skype-tastic. Hurrah.

Sep 10, 2006

Our First Couple of Oz Days

We landed at six am or so yesterday - was it yesterday?

Eloise slept a couple of hours at the start of the flight, caving in completely in Nicole's arms just before take off. So we figured out the entertainment system, or rather Nicole did, and rather than sleep which we thought would probably be a good idea, we got cracking with the Da Vinci Code. An hour later dinner was served and Sproggy woke up. And wouldn't go back to sleep. For the next four hours.

So I was completely cream crackered when we finally landed in Brisbane just after sunrise to azure skies and the prospect of a long walk to passport control, and didn't really appreciate the significance of the moment.

I was having palpitations expecting that baggage would be lost or visas would be invalid or we would be charged duty on any of the goods we were bringing but happily none of the above came to pass.

Helen from Affinity Nursing met us at the airport just as we ordered coffee, she's a very nice lady and she walked Eloise around whilst we supped our skinny flat lattecinnos or whatever they were. Then we set off on some kind of mystery tour of Brisbane which really went a bit over my head. I do remember there were some fig trees, and a river, and we saw Nicole's hospital-to-be.

We arrived at the house ( "home") at around 8.30, though I can't be sure of that, and it's actually really great. I couldn't be more different to a British house. Riccardo and Cate - well Cate - had warned us that it might be difficult to get in through the front gate due to DIY design decisions that had apparently been taken, but it was no trouble and I can totally see the logic behind the mechanism, thankfully. There's a drive on the right-hand side which goes under an extended eave of the roof, where the car sits. Behind that is the BARBIE with a table and some chairs.

Back at the front is some kind of raised decking which goes up three levels from a little mulched native garden to the front door, which, thank goodness, opened.

Inside the house is cool and spacious. There is a little lobby which opens out onto a large front room with windows all round and a dining table and sofas with the kitchen off to one side, part of the same room, but partitioned off at chest height from a hallway which leads down to the back of the house with bedrooms, bathrooms etc off either side.

Down some steps is another lounge area with a TV in it and some french windows out to the BARBIE area again, with a utility room out back and a door to the back garden which is fairly unassuming but contains a monster shed.

So we explored a while, brought the bags in etc, and pushed E around in a plastic toy tuk tuk which she loved. Said hello to Alice from next door. Put on the kettle for a brew.

Kettle doesn't work. Hmm. OK, thought I, time to get some practice on my potential grandmaster cooking skills by boiling some water. In a pan. So switch on the cooker, find a pan... ten minutes later - perhaps you have better skills than me finding things in other people's kitchens - water is going.

I must be the only person who can set of a fire alarm boiling water.

Anyway by the time we'd had a look around etc, got used to things, Nicole and Sproggy were knacked so she decided to have a nap. I thought I would be adventurous and take a walk and get some sun cream etc. So I got changed and off I went.

Well for some reason they don't have foot paths here, which is a bit odd. So I hiked up the side of the road and looked and listened at and to all the strange things - all these short houses with big roofs, exotic birds (no, not that kind), gum trees, flowers, garden ornaments, people walking dogs...

After a while I found that they only put footpaths on non-residential streets, as I came to a main road and started up it. I decided consulting the map that I would go for Stafford City Shopping Centre.

Well it wasn't too far and was quite easy to find. I dropped into an Optus shop on the way to see what we need to arrange broadband after current connection is disconnected this week. Then I went to Wooly's.

I must have been dressed oddly or looked scared, confused, or ma-ma-mmmm-muhmuhmuh-mad or something because a couple of kids came up to me and said Hello mister do you need some help?

No thanks boys I said, they giggled and said You've got a bug on you and sure enough when I turned around there was this bloody great thing about two inches long sat on my back looking like it meant business. I employed an Optus brochure to get rid of the bleeder.

I walked home via a different route and half way back realised I probably should have kept my socks on with these trainers as my heel was seriously chafing and starting to quite hurt. By the time I got home I was limping a bit but never mind eh.

Then to bed for a couple of hours because I no longer knew which way was up.

About four o'clock we woke up and decided to take a walk up by the creek. Lots of people out and about jogging or walking with babies or walking dogs; some off-lead. When quizzed they said it was OK because heir dog was well-behaved, the writing's on the wall then I thought as some kind of ibis-crane-thingy landed nearby and the ducks quacked in the depleted creek.

We got back about five o'clock after having got a little lost, but got to know the area a little better. The sun was setting already, so much for long summer nights but then hang on it's winter here or spring at least!

Cate's mum had left us some nice vegeable lasagne so we tucked into that for supper, then bathed the babe and put her to bed.

Not long after attempting to watch the three channels of Australian TV we found on the bizarrely organised TV we went to bed too.

Then sproggy woke up - good grief - and bugger it we thought she can sleep in with us.

Thus endeth the first day.

The second day is much shorter. Sleep through the night is fitful for obvious reasons. Eloise fidgets like a widget. We have breakfast around 6.30am. This consists of toast and the beverage of our choice. Projectile vomiting from the babe ensues shortly.

Day consists of zombie-like wanderings, cuddling baby, watching TV - there was an election here yesterday so lots of politics on - and lots of sleeping. We haven't left he house. It has been quite chilly and has rained a fair bit.

Eloise feeling better now, but she'll sleep with us again tonight.

Here endeth the second day. Goodnight.

Sep 8, 2006

Singapore

Just checking in from the departure lounge at Singapore - we have had a very nice swim in the three hours we have spent here and Eloise has made friends with a little Japanese boy on the thoroughfare- you can't accuse her of being shy!

We got to Heathrow in good time, thanks to Riccardo for the lift, after yet more emotional farewells with Mum and Dad and Shirley.

Now that we're on our way we feel very positive and are just waiting to get to sunny (hopefully) Brisbane.

Eloise was very excited when we got on the plane but finally got to sleep around midnight and slept through til seven in the morning in her basinette then transferred to Nicole's lap.

Some clever bugger decided to change the meal options which caused untold confusion but that's probably computers for you...

Go to go, we're boarding now for the final leg of the journey - au revoir (or Olive Oyl if that's your preference).

Sep 6, 2006

Dogs Gone

The last few days have been a helter-skelter of goodbyes and see-you-laters. We have been to Gamlingay and fare-thee-welled to Anne and Mick, Matt Sam and Maisie, and Chris. Locally we have auf-wiedersehened Mike and Emma and Sebastian. We saw Nisha, Kalpen, Jigisha and Rochen (bad spelling alert - sorry...) for the last time for a while though maybe we'll see them before too long.

We have put off saying goodbye to James and Jane, though they fed us very nicely and we had a walk down the Chelmsford-Maldon canal with them. Dad and Shirley have had some good E-time and Eloise by now has said goodbye in her own way to Marks and Spencer...

It's all been very exhausting and emotionally intense, probably more so for Nicole than for me, but there's no doubt that it's tough and at times we've wondered about what the hell we're doing considering what we're putting everyone through.



Last night reality dawned in a big way as Tiny and Matilda had their last meal in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the Falkland Islands - long may it prosper - and had their last walk with Sarah and Mindy this morning. We returned home to find the Airsupply van waiting to take them away and we wiped away an almost-tear as it pulled away taking the poor innocent ignorant mutts away to the new life they never asked for and probably never would have wanted. They'd better bloody well like it there for all the effort and dosh it's taking to get them there though!

So no more hunting under the table for leftovers, lounging on the sofa, cleaning up after the baby, chasing rabbits, etc etc for the next month or so for them as they have to serve out their 30 days in Sydney.

They fly tonight, God help them. There had better be no hiccups or else we're in trouble!

Sep 1, 2006

Neil cooks, Eloise cleans.

I have been pipped to the post (no pun intended) by Neil. His dinner last night was very tasty. Young Miss Gavin seems to be developing a sweet tooth and probably would have finished the pavlova single handedly if we had allowed her. I think Neil will need to branch out into puddings in the not too distant future.

Eloise seems to enjoy dusting, sweeping and sorting out the washing. I don't quite understand where she gets this from as she certainly isn't copying these behaviours from Neil and me. I think it must be a genetic throwback from my mum.

Two's Company

I have added Nicole onto the list of contributors. Maybe she will deign to participate in writing some entries here, though when I showed her how she "respectfully declined" to take me up on the offer at that particular moment in time.

Tickets are paid for now. The dogs go on September 6th, we follow the next day. Timing is everything. The dogs just found a hedgehog in Mum's back garden. Chaos and barking ensued; there goes the neighbourhood!

I cooked supper from a recipe earlier on - Brocolli and Cashew Nut sauce. Overall verdict was "not bad." Need to work on quantity estimation, particularly in reference to rice. Perhaps judging by eye isn't such a good strategy given my level of experience...