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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?

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New year

Best wishes for a wonderful 2014, to all of my family.May all of your hopes and dreams come true.
I am going dancing tonight. Carolynn is having friends here.What plans does everyone else have?
Thursday the Bendigo ones are meeting for tea at JoJoes.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

I won something!

I won something!

A week or so ago I saw a competition on The Livingroom (I think it was -- we weren't actually watching, just surfing for something to watch). Typical "25 words or less" with a website under tenplay -- or maybe I just went to the site looking for a way to win an Xbox One? Whatever the case, I entered (with a barely witty appeal to the competition sponsors, Temple & Webster) ... and a few days later I got a call telling me I'd won!

Not a small prize, either: a $20,000 living room makeover, complete with our own personal interior designer figuring it all out for us, and delivery and "bump in". We don't even need to be here! Once I'd gotten over the feeling that it must be a joke or a mistake, I was excited: what with the house and everything, we were planning on a pretty austere Christmas (no presents for each other, but of course we have some stuff for Jules). But winning this competition is OUR Christmas present!

On Friday morning I met Jess, our designer (see her style on Pinterest). She toured the house, measured stuff and helped me pick some "styles" from a bunch of magazines. Really just a fact-finding mission for her -- she'll go away and select some things from the suppliers to Temple & Webster and get back to us with options. Since we do most of our "living" throughout the whole house, there's a good chance at least (I'm flying blind here really) that her suggestions will run all the way from our little kitchen to the outside balcony where the dining table is. We might even get some bedroom stuff, towels, and possibly garden supplies! Who knows. I'll yay/nay stuff when she comes back to me, then I expect there will be a bit of back and forth until we're set on the "look", if not the individual items. So freakin' excited!

(Dee's taking a passive role, which was a surprise to me (perhaps doing our place in Cockatoo was stress enough?).  She just wants to come in one day and have a new living space, which I totally understand. It will be a surprise! Luckily I'm reasonably confident that I can pick stuff that she will like -- and, more importantly, veto those that she would hate! And of course I'll try to take some "before" and "after" photos -- they're the best part of any reno show, aren't they?)

In other good news, our house sale is now unconditional -- the buyers have been approved their finance, and the building inspection was clean. We're going to ask if they want to move up the settlement date (it's February at the moment) but I'll be taking a (frequent-flyer points) flight down to Melbourne (and a visit to the 'go if I can squeeze it in ;-)) to get the last of our stuff. (Yep, part of the sale deal included the furniture, so we don't have too much to move. Perfect, as we were just going to sell it on gumtree anyway!)

I really feel like our karmic investments are finally paying off.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Happy Birthday Carolynn

Happy birthday cousin Carolynn! Sorry it's late, lemme put the clock back ...

Monday, 16 December 2013

Work, swords, costumes, and general fun times.

It's my final week of work - I'm taking two weeks off over Christmas/New Years, and rather looking forward to them. Last week I was averaging 10 hours a day trying to hit a deadline for a job. It's not fun. On the plus side, though, I made the deadline ;)

On top of that Shihan contacted me to say he'd decided to come to Bendigo for a training session rather than doing one in Melbourne. That caused a mad rush to find an available hall, since my usual dojo was pre-booked. Thanks to Cheryl's quick thinking and Lisa's useful contacts I was able to organise the EUC Hall. I've since discovered my estimated 8-12 students has ballooned out to more like 20. The Melbourne guys disorganisation led to Shihan deciding to come to Bendigo in the first place, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find out only today that there's about 8 coming up. Anyway, the logistics are sorted I think and it's a huge win for the Bendigo club - hopefully if we look after him Shihan will consider coming here for gradings in the future too :)

Speaking of the dojo, we had our end of year BBQ Sunday. Cheryl did a Herculean effort organising stuff for that -and- did the actual barbecuing while I waltzed around teasing the teenagers and generally not being very productive. She is a saint. I was sorry to see Daria wasn't feeling well, and Lisa took her and Trin home. Lucky for Jared and Carolynn Nanny couldn't resist the temptation of a free hamburger and took us up on our offer to join us for lunch so she could shuttle them home afterwards ;)

We've been organising our costumes for Lisa's birthday party too. We're being a bit secretive about who we'll all be going as - all I can tell you is I've done my best to grow a beard in the last month for my costume. Oh and we're very thankful Edith is nearby and knows how to sew :)

After that Christmas day is going to be relaxing by comparison, even with two very excited little kiddies ;)

That'll do from me. Oscar's got a Kindy concert on Tuesday during which he'll apparently sing "lots of songs" and Nanna, Granddad, Nanny and Nanny's Nana are all coming to watch, but I might let Cheryl post about that after it's happened.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

School, Moving and China!!

So I know its been ages since my last post but I've been busy. I have finished uni and decided that this isn't the course for me, so I've applied at TAFE her in Bendigo to do a cert 4 in professional writing and editing that I find out in a week or so if I'm in, and I hope I am pretty confident with it. I get my uni results next week so I'll see how I went with that. Other than that I've moved from where I was and I'm now at Nanny's and still collecting stuff from mum's because I was there for a couple of weeks before I moved, and after thinking that Brady and I were friends I learnt that he wants nothing to do with me really but oh well friendships can fall in a heap.

I've been to China so I'll do a short post about it and put it up in full on my travel blog. So China was great fun I got to bond with a few of the girls (all younger than me) and fall out with them over little things, like knocking on the door and running away lots of times and invasion of privacy. We climbed the Great Wall and visited all the places the emperor and his family lived and visited. We spent 7 days for 3 hours dancing although I didn't do all the hours because I managed to get sick and injure myself :/ I have lots of photos that I will put up on facebook at some stage too. We had lots of eastern food and the occasional western food, like KFC, McDonalds and chips and tomato sauce. The photo is from the second day at the Ming Tombs :)

Christmas is coming ....too fast

Today I bought myself a new Janome sewing machine. The old one couldn't be repaired. It was fine one day and giving me no go messages the next. I bought a Janome 6030 so still computerized. Hope it goes for 20 years. Made me tidy up the sewing table so that's a bonus. It was one up (so dearer) than the one I thought I'd get.

Also went to check out toys. Visited Big W, Target and Toyworld. Yoiks!!! Think I know what I want to get Lily and Oscar if they're still there when I get back. Damien seemed to think they'd prefer toys Nanny had chosen over money. Got some things to wrap for Trin and Daria but I think they'd rather the money and I'm sure Jared would too.

I'm lending the trailer to a friend next month (or February) so I put the current rego sticker on (was 2010). Took some hunting to find where to put it. Then discovered the paint was peeling from the numberplate so I scrubbed that, spray painted the white and today made a rough job of redoing the black. Looks much better. The trailer really needs a coat of paint. Not sure if that will happen.

Dancing is winding down. No Tuesday's now. Castlemaine tomorrow will be the last until March. A few Christmas dances coming up. We went to Maryborough on Saturday and I was pleasantly surprised to find I could do all except one. (provided I had Clive to dance with).

Glenn do you want to keep the Big o Box of cables? I thought Carolynn could check if they are out of date  and if I could take them to the recycle yard. I found a suitcase full of floppy drives etc that I'm tossing.

I have three Christmas trees this year. Lisa's light up purple one in the lounge, a small one I quickly decorated to take to Spinners and a small fibre optic one the girls decorated(so well I had to loosen the tinsel so you could see the fibre optics.)

Started the Christmas lunches last Friday with the Gadabouts, Monday Probus, Wednesday Day Club, Friday Mad Hatters. Nana also went to the War Widows today, but didn't come to the Gadabouts. Thursday I'm going to Nana's to help get ready for Christmas. I changed her smoke detector batteries on Monday so one job done.

Carolynn has settled in well here although we're hardly ever both here at the same time. She and Lisa cleaned the old room last Sunday and the carpet cleaner is coming Thursday. That will finish her with them once she gets her bond back.

Looking forward to Oscar's kinder concert next Tuesday. That week will be for getting ready for Lisa's party.

Love to all. Waiting for more news.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Happy Birthday Dee!

We've been quiet on the Bandwagon (and other places) for some time now. Mostly we've felt squeezed, I think - moving, work, the house in Cockatoo...

Happy to say we have one of those mostly sorted out now - we have accepted an offer on Baker Street! ("Mostly" because it's contingent on their finance and a building inspection - we SHOULD be fine but will know on the 19th.) Less than we wanted, but it is just a liability for us, an ongoing source of  expenses and stress. So it's a massive relief!

We had a long lunch and the afternoon together yesterday,  and today (Dee's actual birthday) we are... scrubbing the outdoor furniture, eaves and pavers?!? Don't tell ME I don't know how to show a girl a good time!

(Disclosure: Dee is scrubbing. I'm playing cars with Jules. # DadLife)

Otherwise things are okay. My work at Palantir is always busy, but especially so at the moment because my pilot finishes in January. Dee is submitting a proposal for funding her own project which would see a 12 month extension to her contract, so we have our fingers crossed on that one too.

Jules is totally settled into day care, and his vocabulary is steadily increasing - a speech therapist claimed he was not as developed as he should be but I think that's bollocks: he's a shy boy, so didn't really want to talk to her. He does still love his dummy so we're trying to encourage taking it out to speak.

I think I've said it before but we all really love living in Sydney. This area is so nice, Dee's work colleagues are great, we can cycle into the city, there are beaches and parks and markets and cafes.

Christmas is coming up mighty fast. We are staying up here this year, so will have to get on a Hangout on Christmas day. The Melrose family are visiting (from Scotland) on Tuesday so that will be fun; Dee's mum and brother are joining us for Christmas.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Signing in from Shaft St

So it's been about 6 weeks since I've posted, that's better than 6 months LOL  So, I've officially finished work until February when we start back. It's sort of a relief, I've got those 3 days a week back to sort out this house, but I also won't have the extra $$ coming in. It's not too bad, we can survive, I've just enjoyed watching my account balance rise, if slowly. The car is going into the mechanice tomorrow and I hope it's not going to cost too much. My ignition has been playing up, by that I mean it won't lock without jiggling the key madly. I was thinking about when it started and I remember when we parked at the club for Trinity's cali break-up I was sure that I locked the car, but when we got back my door was unlocked. Nothing was missing so I didn't think too much about it. What can I say, I have children and it's not uncommon for me to find the car unlocked, usually it's one of their doors though. So I suspect someone has tried to steal my car and stuffed my ignition, b@$t&s. I'm also still having trouble with the alternator, or that is my suspicion anyway. Will ask the mechanic tomorrow and hope that 1. it doesn't cost me too much and 2. I get the car back in time to pick Trinity up from school.

I spent last Saturday at home cleaning out the shed, or attempting to make more room for my own stuff. There was still a lot of stuff belonging to Adam's family. I've bagged up clothes for Cheryl's mum or sister to take to the Phillipines, thrown out heaps of old schoolwork, and found a heap of books. I was going to keep the books, or donate them to playgroup, but since it's likely we'll see Rick in just a couple of weeks I'm considering giving him the option of delivering them. Under the books was a photo of Adam from primary school, I'm keeping that. I made room for 2 of Carolynn's tubs so that means there is a little more room in the laundry, but I have a long way to go to make this house less cluttered.

Jared has finished up at school, including 2 weeks of orientation and Bendigo Senior. He's made some new friends. Hopefully he'll help me out around the house for the summer holidays, but I won't hold my breath. He's warned me it's time to get him to work shortly so I'll cut this short...

Monday, 2 December 2013

Rugby is the national sport

I know, I know.. I said I was going to update the bandwagon weeks ago.. sorry! I've been overwhelmed with work lately and haven't found the time nor inspiration to write a post.

I've been able to recuperate somewhat this weekend - B & I joined one of our mates to see Wales play Australia at the rugby! :-)

Millenium Stadium is in the middle of Cardiff, so match days always cause a big stir in the city. Around the stadium becomes super-busy as 70,000 people try to get in and find their seats before kickoff. All the bars in town fill up, especially those showing the match on TV. To avoid these crowds we decided to have a drink in the pub near the university. Unfortunately we weren't the only ones to have that thought! Properly hydrated, we wandered past Winter Wonderland and into the throng, stopping to buy a match day scarf as we headed to the gates.

Our seats were on level six, so we had a great overview of the game. I felt like a tiny island in a silent sea during the Australian national anthem (and yes, I sang!) and was completely immersed by the Welsh national anthem - so many voices! I still don't really understand the rules of rugby but it was a good game and I think I know more about the game now than I did before.

It was really good fun. It's just a shame that the weekend is over so soon!