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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Saturday, 28 February 2009


Hi all. Last night after Lisa and the children left, dad felt chilly. By 6.45pm he was shaking and had a temp of 38.3. Since those symptoms mean straight to ER at the hospital, that's what we did. Dad was very dehyrated so two litres of saline, blood tests, antibiotics and an Xray later (10.30pm) I could take him home, with more antibiotics. His temp was still up last night but was normal this morning. We called to see Nana on our way home because she had arranged to call in to visit after Saltworks last night and I knew she'd be worried. Dad had seemed much improved yesterday and we enjoyed a visit from Lisa and the family and Auntie Denise at lunch time. Hopefully now things will improve. He still has diarrhoea, but maybe the improved medicine we got on Thursday will work better if he isn't so dehydrated. Early night tonight I think.


I thought that it was about time to update the blog. Well I'm a helper with the tiny's team at calisthenics. Schools going well and in about a term and a half we'll get to go in the new school.

Happy Birthday Jared!

Have a fantastic day today!
Enjoy bowling - I hope you win.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

My dad is a pirate, what's yours?

Scars, tattooes -- our Dad is turning into a pirate! Perhaps we can get 'im a parrot for his birthday? Argh.

I've heard lots of anecdotal evidence that ground apricot kernels (in the appropriate amount) is good for healing/avoiding cancer growth. One of our friends in Melbourne has gone into remission (I almost said recession -- that's the financial climate over here!) from lymphoma. He had chemo, then super health diet (nothing processed, all fresh) including apricot kernels and mananuka honey. Actually, I'm on the mananuka in tea for a cold at the moment.

Us, we've been quiet because the only access to the Sillyweb we have is from work or on the phone -- so silly Facebook statuses have been updated from phone whilst walking home or at lunch or in a boring meeting or on the bus. Although I must confess I think it was a taste of how parents must feel when their child comes home with e.g. cybernetic implants (or a mobile phone, or a hologram for a friend) to hear that my Mum is reading about me on Facebook.

Well, it's a bit quieter at work today, so here goes. The move went well, because we were more organised and prepared this time than ever before in history. The weekend before we packed almost everything into boxes and put them into Colleen's room -- she'd already moved out. The following Saturday Chris, Andrew (Chris's girlfriend's brother) and I picked up a small van, while Dee and Tina (C's girlfriend) cleaned the new apartment.

The three men loaded the van, drove to the new place, and unloaded. It was regular as clockwork -- complete with roles: I unloaded from van to door (to keep an eye on the van); Andrew from door into elevator (he hates lifts); and Chris unloaded from elevator at the top. Two van loads and we were done by about 3pm! In fact, the only two hiccups were waiting an hour for a van (some mixup in their system) and a bookcase which was slightly too big for the elevator ... and had to be walked up (in shifts) 10 flights of stairs!!

The new apartment is smaller but with more usable space: We've got the desk in our room, the piano in the lounge, and are looking for a shelving unit to put in the kitchen. A few problems, mostly with our estate agents being "pants" about replacing broken stuff -- we've been there almost two weeks and they still haven't replaced the worn out mattresses, nor sent a sparky 'round to fix various lights and sockets. We suspect the last tenants were dodgy -- things have been thoroughly broken, then gingerly put back together to create the illusion of repair. The coffee table, for example, rested on four entirely broken legs, whilst the condition report listed it as "wobbly". The report now looks like a Grade 5 school essay in which the student didn't use spell-check -- it's covered with additions and corrections. I stopped short of giving them a C-minus on the front cover ...

So we're slowly but surely settling in. The boxes are all unpacked now, and today we had the phone-line connected (here comes broadband). Phone number, apparently (haven't tried it yet) is:
+44 207378 1204

The address for postcards is:
1004 Antonine Heights
City Walk

Here's a map showing the place, and where we work. Takes me probably 20-30min to walk to work:

I'll get some photos up when we finally get online.

Monday, 9 February 2009

a scary weekend

Lisa may be able to add photos of how close the fire came to their house at the weekend. A dreadful lot of fires all over Victoria, with 44 degree heat and high winds. So devastating for all who lost houses and family members. We had a visit from Val and Peter and knew nothing about it until Lisa and the children arrived on Saturday afternoon. So glad we were here for them and they were happy to have the family room (Carolynn even managed to reclaim her old room so she had some privacy and didn't need to listen to Foxie's snores. ) Trinity was Foxie's companion of choice. At 3am he was sleeping on the end of her bed.(made from the couch cushions)Adam stayed initially to water down the house but he calledLisa to collect him as the flames got closer. He asked her to return him (and Manga the dog) about 10pm so he could continue any mopping up. Their power was off for at least 24 hours. Lisa and the children had a cooler night here as we kept the air con on until 3am when the cool change finally came in.We were able to feed everybody by adding more veges as I'd started cooking roast chicken and the frozen dessert was much bigger than we'd needed for just four of us.(There's still a slice left)
Denise and Peter had invited Mum down for tea, but they needed to keep their place damped down as the fire came within a block or so. Mum returned home to watch for embers and have water ready to put any sparks out.
Still no rain but a very welcome cool change today.Hope everyone else is keeping cool and well . Edith and Landon had a much better day to travel on Sunday. Hope they had a good trip and found your place, Damien and Cheryl.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snowed under with work

Whilst we wait to find out who won the "guess the time and eye-colour" competition ... you would almost think those two had something better to do with their time ...

It is snowing in London today. The worst in 18 years, says Danielle's cabby, and more set for tomorrow. Most of the tube is down, or severely delayed - not the Victoria Line, strangely - and my office is just about empty. Which is okay for me, because I've taken my shoes and socks off and sequestered a small portable heater that was on a colleague's desk to warm my toecicles, legacy of a mis-step into an icy puddle only metres from my door.

Climate-change is brilliant! Picture it, Britain: a Winter Wonderland for six months of the year, and a humid, tropical oasis for the other six. With resulting destructive and violent storms in between, of course.

The walk this morning was fun. The city is pretty under a layer of the white stuff, but there's not much chance to look up and admire it - eyes down on the treacherous icy foot paths and snow-covered cobblestone lanes, else it's argon over titanium for a bruised and wet behind. And I don't think the few people in the office would appreciate me "dropping trou" and drying my undies on the heater the way I can with wet socks ...

It's warmer, and thicker, than when it snowed in Edinburgh. The wind is icy, but perhaps the built-up office blocks provide more cover against it. Overhead, a grey ceiling looms like an enormous doona (duvet) stuffed with snowflakes, trapping what heat comes from buildings and people and cups of cocoa and warm crumpets. Oh dear, I've made myself hungry.

Do I venture out? It's snowing again now, I can see through the windows, laying down another layer. Think I'll dry my socks first ...