Monday, January 14, 2019



I was involved in a very minor car accident today. I backed out of my parking spot at the shops at the same time as someone behind me - not directly behind or we would have seen each other - we crunched together when we both curved out of our spot. Each car ended up with a broken light cover and a dent. I’ve let my insurance know and booked in for repair tomorrow. No one was hurt and the other guy was very nice so it’s merely an annoyance. Neither of us really knew what to do! We got each other’s drivers licence details but I didn’t think to get his car make/model etc that my insurance asked for.

I saw my doctor and got another script for Duromine, just the lowest dose of 15mg. I need to kick start weight loss again after the depredations of Christmas and holidays. I’ll also restart my gym membership, which I put on hold as I wasn’t making time to go. My weight this morning was 76.6kg, about 5kg up from a few months ago. A slow increase was turning into a fast increase. So easy to get used to slipping back into bad habits. My doctor asked why maintenance had turned into a regain, I suggested it was partly eating from boredom. I finished my course six months ago and I’ve felt a bit directionless since then. So she asked what I was going to do to turn that around. I hope to get a job of course, but I might need to put more thought into other strategies until then. I really liked my doctor’s attitude; willing to give me the Duromine as a short term help but also wanting to help long term. The series of young female doctors at this practice (they only stay for six months as part of their training) have been consistently enthusiastic and lovely - haven't been doing it long enough to get jaded and grumpy!


My weight this morning was 76.1kg so I lost half a kg of holiday water weight since yesterday. I restarted Duromine today and feel good. Able to eat less, a bit more energy. Actually a tiny bit hyper, I'm sure that will pass.

Diamond Beach

We just got home from a week at Diamond Beach, about four hours north of Sydney and 15 mins drive from the coastal town of Forster.

We stayed in a cabin a couple of hundred metres from the beach. We didn't have much of a view due to a rise in the ground and some windswept bushes, but we could hear the waves pounding constantly. The weather was perfect, high 20s every day. We were careful to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day and used lots of sunscreen, but Jasmine still got a bit burned on a couple of days.

We strolled up and down the beach and did a couple of costal walks in the morning or evening - still very hot! This was a very steep climb up a hill then up a tower to get this view back towards Forster. My legs were fit enough for it, but it was very humid and I found it hard to get enough oxygen. Mosquitos in abundance. While Jas and I walked back down at a leisurely pace, Tim and Aiden sprinted down then back up and down again! So we all ended up equally hot and sweaty (except Jas).

We saw lots of crabs on the beach (and a huge dead stinky turtle) and pelicans and dolphins in the estuary (here you see a dolphin fin behind a pelican). Forster lies between the ocean and a series of lakes.

The pool was nice, though not as nice as ours. We've been there a couple of times before and it was always great for little kids as it's pretty shallow. Jasmine is doing a handstand.

Tim brought the kite I gave him for Christmas. The first try on the beach was hilarious, it would instantly nosedive. I had a go and got very wet running through a wave trying to get it flying. Not enough wind I think. A couple of days later it flew well on the bit of ground between our cabin and the beach.
A big feature of the holiday was eating out for every lunch and dinner. For dinner we always went somewhere elegant in Forster, and usually for lunch as well or else a nice pub closer by. The food was nearly all tasty, but I missed my own cooking by the end. All laden with fat, salt, sugar and carbs. I'd feel bloated and sleepy after meals and my weight is up a couple of kgs.

I enjoy holidays but I love being home again, especially my own bed!

Saturday, January 5, 2019



We visited Poppa yesterday, my mother's father. He turned 100 last year, and still looks after himself in his own home. His son does live across the road but he still does most things for himself. Amazing! We didn't see him at Christmas so a few cousins and I arranged afternoon tea. It was nice to see them too. I wish I'd tried for a better shot of Poppa.

As well as Poppa and my husband, it was four women and eight children so it was a bit of a mother's group! This is some of them (mine are the older ones):

Of the other husbands, one was working and dropped in briefly, the others were at the cricket (separately) which wouldn't have been very nice as it went from scorching hot in the morning to a big storm in the afternoon.

I do wish my cousins wouldn't give all their boys almost the same name: Jake, Jaxon and Jordie. And one who wasn't there called her new baby Jack. How on earth am I supposed to remember which is whose, especially when I only see them once or twice a year!

Every time I go out there the landscape is so different. It used to be country, a few houses amongst paddocks. Poppa and his son each had a five-acre block (a normal suburban block here is usually 1/4 acre). But Sydney keeps growing and now it is a rabbit warren of houses everywhere. Poppa sold most of his block a few years ago and now so has my uncle - each has been subdivided into little lots with hardly any backyard. I wouldn't want to live there, it's really crowded.

On the way back, Tim worked out that as I am currently 48, I will turn 49 this year and therefore next year... 50. I am turning 50 next year. My goodness.

We've been spending a lot of time in the pool. Lovely. And we've finally had some passionfruit from the rampant vine over the shed, it is covered in fruit but they all stayed green for months. The cockatoos were eating them anyway and it looked like none would be left to ripen for us. But we had two each today.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas everyone!

We spent the days leading up to Christmas cleaning the house, shopping and cooking, ready for Christmas for 20. We all got involved in icing the gingerbread, here is a selection.

We were very happy that both the window and the shade sail for the pool were finished in time for Christmas. Depending on the time of day, the sail can shade anything from a thin sliver to most of  the seating area and up to a quarter of the pool. It has definitely helped ward against sunburn already, we are swimming every day with temps in the 30s. Yesterday the air was 36 and the water was 34! Almost like a bath. We were thinking of getting an image printed on the sail - a phoenix flying overhead - but it was delaying things too much so we decided to just get the plain canvas.

On Christmas morning it was up early for presents. We usually host Christmas lunch but this year we switched to dinner (evening) so we had a relaxed morning examining our presents and having an indulgent breakfast.

The afternoon was chaotic as family came and went at different times - to swim, to share presents, going home again to finish their dinner contribution then come back. It wasn't so much fun, Tim and I would have liked to be in the pool (in between tending to the turkey) but had to take turns waiting in the house to let people in. Actually when I did have a swim it wasn't much fun either due to the little girls, but more on that later. Then there was a lot of waiting around for 20 people to be ready at the same time to open presents together. Like herding cats.

Finally we all sat down to dinner together and that was lovely. As usual everyone contributed... more or less. The two unreliable branches of the family didn't bring what they said they would (of course) which was kind of funny after the mini texting war over what they wanted to bring, especially over the trifle! Only two of us provided dessert instead of four, and they didn't seem to bring much else instead. But there was plenty of food anyway, just my turkey and roast vegetables would be enough for a normal dinner and there were lots of other contributions. The turkey was tender and delicious, the secret is lots of butter! Here you see it half carved.
We played some board games in the evening. The little kids were all very tired and cranky and over-sugared by that point so were eventually taken home to bed.

On Boxing Day we cleaned up the mess from the day before (Tim's aunt had done some washing up, but basically we do it all and are also left to somehow fit all the rubbish and recycling in our bins, it takes weeks to catch up with stinky food waste stored in the freezer - oo another little gripe while I'm here one person took leftover prawns home at my suggestion BUT shelled them here and left the shells and heads in our bin! All the bulky stinky bit for us, gee thanks) then everyone came back for lunch to celebrating Tim's father's birthday. We cooked some BBQ and had leftovers from Christmas, and I made another dessert and bought a cake. Then more board games and swimming in the afternoon. The little kids were all still really overtired, one threw up (too much junk food?) and were generally out of sorts.

Oh my goodness, a word on the little girls. Emma is 5 and Eliza is 4. Emma doesn't have firm control over her emotions and there are frequent tears and tantrums. Eliza thinks she can get away with anything as long as she has a big cheeky grin on her face. Together.... well. Apart from making a huge mess and the dizzying changes from best friends to hated enemies, this holiday period they found the box of Christmas Crackers and sat down and opened every one, and then much worse when somehow unobserved they pulled all the almost-ripe peaches off our dwarf tree (and put them in one mother's bag, clearly intending to take them home) which has wasted half of them as I don't think they will ripen - the whole year's carefully watered crop! So annoying! In the pool they need constant attention of course, they both have swimming lessons but they are only little. They constantly swim out too deep then have to grab on to someone, and if that someone is not strong (Jasmine or Aiden) or a good swimmer (me) then we all nearly drown. Jasmine is a good swimmer but can't do much while trying to hold up a child in each arm. And the parents do nothing, usually tending to the younger child in their arms (we have 3 two-year-olds). I usually avoid disciplining other people's children, but if they are in my house or pool I guess I'll have to start. I was really pissed off about the peaches and did tell them not to do that again.

I was exhausted by the end of Boxing Day and I was really wishing people would leave. Some hung around to well after I wanted to be eating dinner (leftovers) and collapsing. They might have been hoping for an invitation to stay but I needed down time! Finally got them out. I spent most of the following day napping, completely worn out from days of cooking and cleaning and general chaos. I feel like I didn't enjoy it all as much as in previous years. Maybe I'm getting too old to host two days in a row. And the family gets bigger and bigger.

The few days since then it has been really hot, we stay inside as much as possible. I had to do some grocery shopping Friday morning and went at 9am, it was already scorching. Quiet days reading and computer games all morning, board games together in the afternoon (we got five new ones this Christmas!)then a swim. Even with the shade sail we don't risk swimming in the middle of the day, although lying in the hammock in the shade is nice. Family are coming over this afternoon for a swim and then the usual Sunday afternoon Dungeons and Dragons and dinner, it won't be all 20 though! Probably 8-10, I never know for sure.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2018



I had a job interview yesterday for a Saturday-only position in a library in the city. It’s not ideal but I need some experience for my resume. It’s a long commute, not the duties I prefer, only one long day a week, and I’ll see my husband even less than I do now. But it’s definitely work I am qualified for - customer service. The interview seemed to go well, I was able to answer all the questions and I nailed the role play of showing a pretend customer how to borrow an e-book (they offered me time to prepare for that which I declined, I use that app all the time at home to borrow from my own library!). The library itself was lovely, only two years old. Actually I didn’t get to see much of it, I was taken straight to the interview room and when that was over I was put in a staff lift that deposited me outside!

Exciting today, the window is being installed in our back room to give a view of the swimming pool. It will get more light into the room too, but mainly I wanted to be able to see out.

We had a very late night on Monday. My niece had her dance concert and it was 45 mins drive away and went until 10.30. So late for the little ones! And for me, with my job interview the next morning. Emma is only five, in the youngest group who don’t do that much, but the oldest dancers were 16-18 and the concert overall was excellent. Worth seeing even if my niece wasn’t in it!

On the weekend we went to another niece’s 2nd birthday party, then to an Acrogym Christmas party at Flip Out - an indoor trampoline warehouse thing. Neither was air conditioned (Flip Out had fans that everyone crowded in front of) so it was a long stinking hot day that I didn’t really enjoy at all. I don’t deal with heat well. Also even the little bit of junk food I ate (two mini doughnuts) made me feel worse. I wanted to be home in the air con or the pool!

Only two weeks until Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Winding down


Jasmine and I have been down for a few days with a horrible stomach bug. As usual, we probably caught it from one of the family kids who was here on Sunday and apparently up all the night before vomiting... 'but he's fine now, really, I wouldn't bring him if he wasn't.' Sigh. On the Tuesday Tim had to stay home and look after us both. Nearly recovered now, although Jas is home from school for her third day and she also isn't going tomorrow as there's an excursion that would get her back too late for another commitment. Nearly a whole week of school missed! But all exams are over and there is only a couple of weeks left of the school year so everything is winding down anyway.

There are a few end-of-year and Christmas parties the next two weeks. For the kids, not me. Aiden has his 'graduation' party tonight for the end of Primary School.

I've done almost all my Christmas shopping, quite a lot online this year, now I need to start thinking about the food - which is pretty much the same every year even though we're doing dinner (evening) this time instead of lunch. We host so I do the turkey and roast veges and a dessert and everyone brings something. The last two years there has been a war over who gets to bring the trifle. I don't even like trifle so I couldn't care less. I told them they can all bring trifle if they want. I'll just have the Toblerone cheesecake that I make! My husband's mother was English, so they all seem to like trifle and ham and mince pies and all that stuff.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Excellence again


The state final of Acrogym was on Saturday, and Jasmine and her partner Rebekah came 4th! Excellent result. Jasmine and Elise were 7th last year so that is a great improvement. Level one last year, level two this year, we're expecting her to definitely go up to three with that result. Nearly on the podium! The air conditioning in the gym was broken and it was 33C outside so it was a long hot afternoon, worse down on the floor for the acrobats in their long-sleeve leotards. I think quite a few of the kids were struggling due to that. Jasmine's partner made a few mistakes. Still a great result.

Today Aiden's school had its Excellence Awards, he won in Mathematics for his class as he did last year but also received a special science award (only two for the school) with a lovely medallion from the nearby nuclear science research facility. My father-in-law used to work there, and is not allowed to talk about it. We're so proud of Aiden! Only a few more weeks of Primary School. Jasmine is also getting excellent results in her school work.

My weight is currently 74.5kg. I've started the CSIRO low carb diet, but fruit is so gorgeous this time of year I'm not being as low carb as I'm supposed to.

I'm getting to the gym two or three times a week, not too bad but I should go more. On the other hand, it's keeping me out of the garden as morning gym class time is the best time to be out working in the garden - it gets too hot later - and the gym doesn't have lunchtime classes. The garden is suffering from a bit of neglect, everything is growing crazily and needs attention.

I haven't heard anything from that TAFE library job but I have an interview in a week for a position at a public library on Saturdays, which mostly suits me ok as Tim is home with the kids. Of course it would interfere with various things, but I need to get some experience on paper so I can get a proper job. It's in the city in a well-to-do area near the harbour, pictures on the library on the internet look lovely. Travel would be over an hour each way, but at least it is near a train station. Only one day a week advertised, but you never know what it could become.