Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year to you! As you may have guessed we went back to Perth, but we have just gotten back to the UK. Its been a hard, difficult, often frustrating and exhausting few months where very little has gone right and its continuing now that we are back.

I have every finger, toe etc crossed that that things change soon.

Love. good health and happiness to you. I'll be back soon when I can catch my breath and work out how to deal with a myriad of issues which are weighing me down (no more than anybody else has I know, but I am weary and a little worn out around the edges right now, so I cant see things as clearly as I need to or work out what to do next)

Love and Hugs for 2014 xxxx

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Thank You

Some people are lovely people and some people are angels on earth. You know who you are, thank you so so much xxx

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Urgent Urgent Urgent

I need to re home my beloved older cat from Friday. I wont go into details now, but its not her fault in any way shape or form.

She is nearly 14, spayed, microchipped, no health issues that I am aware of, ( can still clear a 6 foot fence with ease) a good mouser, is sweet and gentle and climbs on your lap and pads you if you are crying....

I have tried every re homing place that I can think of but I am having no luck at all. I am also quite happy to contribute to her keep.

She is a really pretty tortoiseshell and white.

Please pass this message on to other cat lovers, I can travel to deliver her to a good kind loving home.

Urgent Urgent Urgent.....

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ebay - time to find another way of selling me thinks!

Have you seen the latest news from ebay? From the 4th of September, not only do you have to pay final value fees on the amount that an item sells for (I can understand that) but you will then have to pay a final value fee on the POSTAGE amount!

So for example an item sells for 10 pounds and the postage is 4.20, the final value fee is calculated on 14.20 = 1.42. Then of course if you are paid through paypal, you will pay a further amount on this 14.20 that the buyer sends to your account (I think its 3.2% from memory).......which I think works out to about another 43 pence (maths was never my strong point) so now on a sale price of 10 pounds, 1.83 pence of that will go in 'fees'.

I hate to think how many people who sell items for low amounts but have high deliver costs are going to fair, its not going to be worth selling on there now........I have often sold items at 0.99 pence just to de clutter, but with the buyer paying all the post costs. Now it wont be worth the financial or hassle values.

Maybe the charity shops will benefit when people see that its hardly worth their time and effort listing items.

Anybody want to join me in setting up a company called Fairbay???

Friday, 26 July 2013

Rationalisation Needed

Ok........I can't work this one out, can you rationalise it for me and explain it back to me?

There is a job that I have applied for. I believe that I meet all the criteria, have the required experience, qualifications etc. So I sent my application, crossed my fingers and toes and waited, hoping for a response of some sort, either positive or negative.

A month went past and the job was still showing as current on the job site, but there was no closing date, so I didn't know when it was going to close. I checked the companies website to see if there was any more information on there and found that it gave the name of the HR Manager. I ummed and aaahed for a couple more days, then decided to call and ask to speak to him, just wanting to know when the vacancy close date was. I called, spoke to a really lovely lady to explained that he was in a meeting (she sounded genuine) and suggested that I drop him an email. So I did, explaining that I had applied for the vacancy and could he let me know when the closing date was. I waited a week, no reply, but the job was still on line. so I mailed again. Still no reply.

So, I just sighed and tried to forget all about it, but it was niggling me.

Then out of the blue, for no reason that I can see (and there probably is some computer related linky type thingy in the background that I don't understand at work here), The HR manager suddenly popped up on my 'could be a new contact' bit on Linkedin. I was puzzled, but as I said its probably a computer thingy. I presume.....?

Anyway, after almost another week had gone past and the job is still on line, still not showing a closing date and by now I am getting the hump a little, so I hit the button that sends a message to people not currently on your contacts list on Linkedin and thought 'sod it, I've got nothing to lose......and to my surprise he added me to his list of contacts the next day! I felt quietly hopeful that he might link me to the job ad and my application. He could view my CV and see the forums that I participate in, which all adds to my credibility to be able to carry out my chosen career path.

But I can't tell if he has viewed anything and the job was taken down off the on line website on Wednesday, but I haven't heard anything, not a dickey bird.

Now am I expecting too much, did I do wrong emailing him directly to ask a question? Why did he add me to his list of contacts, its clear from my profile that I do what I say I do, have xvz qualifications...

Maybe I am being too impatient,  too hyper sensitive, too forward........I don't know any more........any comments, thoughts, suggestions???

I can only think that they have already filled the vacancy as I am starting to realise that when a job goes off line it means the role has been filled and not that they are getting ready to interview.

Damn, blast and botheration. I think I would have liked that role.

Monday, 22 July 2013

I'm a Nanna again......

Ethan Thomas, weighing 9lbs 6oz decided to make a very speedy entry into this world after keeping us waiting for what seems like forever  :-) He decided to arrive so swiftly that DIL went from 4 cms dilated to baby delivered within 5 minutes, no time for any pain relief at all!

Mother, Father and Baby are all doing well and they should be back home later today.

I SO wish I was there.........but thank heavens for the technology that is Skype.

He is the same weight as Lewis was, but is 7 cms shorter, however he looks like Charlie from my first views of the sleeping little one.

I SO SO want a cuddle !

It may be a Royal Double...

Daughter in Law off to Hospital for Monday's check up, but I think the Bump may be on the move himself.......

Edited later.

Well the hospital have given her a room, although apparently nobody as yet has given her a check up...so as she said to me this morning, "I'm not leaving until he's out" ! so with luck, she will be right :-)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

No Baby Yet

The bump has decided that he doesn't like getting ready to be evicted and has ascended upwards again so another wasted journey to the hospital. Next visit is booked for Friday.....

The baby sitter that they had booked (and have now had to pay for twice) isn't going to be available after Sunday as she starts a new job then. Son and DIL are desperately trying to find another one to be on standby and I am feeling as guilty as hell being here, when I am needed there.......

On another totally unrelated note, does anybody know what has happened to Hardup Hester's Blog, it seems to have dissapeared? Does anybody know if she is OK?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Frustrated Son and Daughter in Law

The bump was booked in to be induced on Tuesday (don't know why, just seems to be the way they do it out in Perth I think) Daughter in Law and Son dutifully turned up at hosp at required book in time, to be told go home again, we are full. Not very happy as they had had to arrange an over night baby sitter for my littlies (who, obviously they still had to pay) So they came home, a bit flat and upset and had to go back to the hosp today for an appointment and they are now re booked in for next Tuesday, assuming that the bump hangs on that long. His due arrival date actually is next Tuesday, so this week would have been a week early.

I am a little confused by all this, why does the hospital want to induce mothers anyway when there are no apparent issues with the health of the baby or the mother? Is it so they can allocate staff, or can try and arrange to not have mothers on the ward on the weekends or something? I'm not sure it sits well with me to some degree, I sort of feel like an induction is somehow messing around with nature. I know its really helpful as far as the planning ahead for babysitters and time off work, but somehow, well it just doesn't seem quite, well, normal if you know what I mean.

Is it just me? Am I out of touch with these things?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Almost Daughter

Almost Daughter gave birth to Lucas Steven at 9.47 weighing 8 1/2 lbs. As almost daughter is a mere size 6 (naturally sized) I can understand why they wanted to do a C section ! Mother, Baby, Husband and 3 and half year old big sister are all doing well !! Lovely news !!

Wobblies, and Snoring Dogs

I'm having a real wobble today. I'm not fit to be let loose in the world so I am hiding at home, cuddled on the sofa with a snoring dog, listening to music which matches my mood and weeping buckets and being a snivelling mess.

First the good news, the really good news. Himself has had most of his tests back and nothing dreadfully awful is showing up. I cant tell you how relieved I am. However his liver is showing fatty lumps and the doctor says that he has Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, (as opposed to an excess of booze which causes Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) which basically means that the shite builders breakfasts, the pies, the sausage rolls and all sorts of other crap STOP NOW. Even though I have been banging on about these for years (I have never been a pastry person, it just wouldn't occur to me to go into a shop and buy a pie or sausage roll to east as a 'snack' Now chocolate that's a different story.........:-).........I'll probably find out at some point that I have got Non Alcoholic Chocolate Fatty Liver Disease :-) and at which point Himself will take great delight in getting his own back.....but I digress......

If he can really get his act together now (and believe me he is trying) apparently the NAFLD can be near enough reversed with a proper diet which in turn should help to sort his diabetes out. His levels this past week have been relatively good and the doc is now holding off the insulin injections pending him losing some weight and changing his diet drastically. When we are together he's not so bad as I tend to 'control' what he eats - makes me sound like some sort of bully I guess, but I eat (I think) more sensibly than he does under his own steam. So fingers crossed we will get there and I will have many many more years of the daft old sod under my feet.

The next bit of news is that we are seriously thinking of going back out to Perth as soon as we can raise the money. The problem is still proving  to be me getting another job as I am the visa holder. Himself is at the point of 'Lets just go, Life's too short, We have had a reprieve etc ' and what will be will be. We can still stay in the 'cowshed' at his brothers place, but there is no paid work for me to go to as yet, either with his brother, or with anybody else.

And that's where I am having my wobble. Big big wobble today.

Yes we could get tickets and go. The Bump is due next week and to be there more or less straight after would be wonderful, I know how much they are missing us and we are missing them. But, and to me today, this is SUCH a BIG BUT.....I am scared stiff to go without any secure finances in place.

My head is full of what ifs'

What if I don't find work straight away - I have been trying for 4 months and nothing so far. We would be going out with little money, so could only last a short time without work and again its me that the Visa is dependant on, Himself can be a bus driver, brain surgeon or fisherman if he chooses, he has no restrictions on his working activities.

What if we have to come back? How can we afford it ? What do we come back to? We are both getting older and getting work is getting older. Having said that the dear Department of Pensions sent me a letter the other day informing me that I cannot retire until I am 67........thanks, that really cheered me up I can tell you

What would we come back to? If we go this time we would have to give our home up.

What about my dog, the one that's snuggled up next to me snoring? He has had all the required jabs to come out with us to meet Oz quarantine requirements, but I cant afford to take him right now.

My head is full of so many questions and obstacles (some I guess I am putting in the way, or I am being realistic, I am not sure which) So many Fors and Againsts. Plus a rising fear of panic which I am trying hard to sit on.

So I am sitting here with a snoring dog, who is totally oblivious to the fact that I feel like I am going mad, and cant decide what to do for the best because for the past three days I have thought my self round and round and round in circles until I have reached the point where I can't think straight at all. I think I will go and have a shower, I seem to do most of my 'better' thinking under the water spray.

I am missing my littlies terribly and they ask us more or less everytime we speak when are we going back to their house.......

On another note, I am sitting here waiting for a telephone call. My Almost Daughter is in hospital today having a planned C section for her second baby (First beautiful daughter was an emergency C Section). She didn't to know what it is, so today will be a lovely surprise for her and her hubby. I wish them all so much love. And then next week (also a planned arrival unless he arrives under his own steam) Grandson number 3 will arrive. And they STILL wont tell me what his name is to be............that really winds me up !! :-)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Many Nights

There is no where that feels so alone as the solitude off a dark silent 3.00am when the rest of the world must surely be asleep except for my crowded fuddled brain which is trying to fight off and file away a million and one thoughts that refuse to bed down for the night.

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Hubby has an endoscopy booked for next Friday (camera down inside) The doc wants to look at his pancreas. His Blood Sugar levels have been up and down again the past few days, but they have been lower than late which is good. His eye site has also improved. We both went for eye tests last Saturday and I have to collect my new specs today. However the optician checked his eyes but refused to prescribe him new glasses as his BS levels were not stable and he hadn't started the Insulin injections, telling him that until he had got the levels more stable and the insulin doses had been settled, his eye site would vary daily, something which has been born out this week.

He knows that he has to really get to grips with this now and is also very aware of what the docs may be looking for at the endoscopy. Whilst working away he finds it incredibly difficult to cater for himself and invariably like most builders lives on rubbish food during the day. I just keep re iterating how much healthier he was when we were out in Oz and were working together. We would take breakfast in with us, cereals, fruit and mid morning snack was home made bread toast, lunch was always a big salad with some pasta or rice, fruit or yogurt. Afternoon snack was fruit, yogurt or a couple of crackers and then tea was something like chicken, salad and a jacket potato. I'm not saying it was just because we were in Oz, but the fact that we were together and I could help him control and balance what he was eating.

Mind you the sunshine, swimming each day, chasing two grandsons and less job stress I think helped a great deal. When we came home he went straight back to doing what he has always done here and lost the good habits he had been building up. I just hope that its not too late to reverse them again.

I am still trying to get another job back out in Perth, but this week cant really focus on things clearly, just want Himself to be OK. The job I started here lasted two days and then the ceiling fell in, literally, buts that whole other story for another day. Suffice to say, if you are insured by LV, then I wish you the best of luck with any insurance claim you try and make with them.

I have never made a house or contents insurance claim in my life and estimate that the amount I have paid over the years must come to about 15000 pounds. I seriously think now I would have been better putting the money in an ISA and using it if I ever needed it for a house problem, my current experience is that insurance is no help what so ever when you are at the time when you need the help the most.

Rant over, off to clean out the rest of the shed which didn't get done before Xmas, go and get my new glasses and WEAR them whilst driving and then get my back side down to sunny Kent.

Have a lovely weekend! Thanks Jan and Sarah, your comments mean a lot xxxxxx

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Brothers and Himself

Two weeks ago hubby lost one of his brothers, another one had died just before we went out to Oz. One had cancer and the other one Rick had a massive heart attack and died on his own, alone in his new council flat that he had just decorated and was so proud of. When we were out in Perth we talked often on Skype and he proudly took me 'on a tour' round his new flat showing me his decorating and was chuffed to bits when he bought a new saucepan set. 64 years old and pleased because he had new saucepans  - sort of puts things into perspective doesn't it?

We went up to Scotland a month ago and spent a lot of time with Rick and we had a lot of laughs, for my part it was great to sit and listen to the stories from when they were young. We left Rick laughing when we left, but that was the last time we were to see him, a week later he had gone.

And then, the family fighting started. I won't go into details but it involved a step daughter that he brought up, children (now in their 30's and 40's  that he didn't bring up) his sister, two nieces, one nephew and a post mortem that was scheduled, which after a week keeping us waiting, did not take place (still don't know why). Oh, an almost punch up at the crematorium after Rick's closest friend had been spreading mis information which got back to the people that he had lied about. Oh and one dented car when hubbies nephew backed into a fire escape in his haste to go and collect his daughter who had been rushed to hospital the night before. It wasn't a very good day and to be truthful I was glad on this one occasion to leave Scotland to come home.

Now I am sitting here tonight worried sick. Hubby hasn't been particularly good the past couple of weeks and when he had his last diabetic check a few weeks ago, the doc told him that he was going to have to go on to insulin injections today. Well he went and after telling the doc that his appetite has decreased considerably the past few weeks, he has actually put on weight, This is not a good sign apparently (as he is working away again, I wasn't as aware as I should be at how little he has been eating, and it had only really come to light over this bank holiday weekend....)

The doc has scheduled him to see a diabetic specialist and to have a scan of his pancreas (which hurts) and to have a camera down to see what.s going on inside him as soon as possible. So, as I said I am worried sick tonight.

Himself, who is equally as worried but putting on his 'of course I'll be fine' face, decided to drive back down to Kent to work tomorrow........

I love this man with all my heart, but I am so worried tonight. And he is on his own..

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Woolwich Today

Himself was in the army. His Sister's son was in the army and is still out in harms way as a security officer. His brother was in the army. His other sister, her husband and two sons were in the army, one of them being very seriously wounded in Afghanistan and is lucky to be alive even though he is now partly paralysed and brain injured. My married family are all proud to have served their county - one of them on the 'wrong side' according to the rest of his Irish family from whom he has been divorced since he took the Queen's shilling.

My heart bleeds tonight for this poor young man who was slain on our streets. I don't know the why or the wherefore of what his attackers wanted to prove but I do know the heart ache of losing loved ones and the many hours we sat with my nephew in Intensive Care when he was flown back to the UK after we had twice been told he had died in the attack that ended his army life.

Who ever you love, give them an extra hug tonight. Life really is too short not to let them know you care xxxx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Perth Employment Agency Update

The woman that I have been emailing, phoning and calling for over a week regarding the job her agency are advertising, finally replied to my email on Friday and apologised for the lack of contact as she had been away all week. OK, can live with that.

She asked me when I would be available for a telephone call. I replied straight away and said I could be available at any time to suit her (I don't mind having a conversation at any time as long as we have one !) But  I asked could she drop me an email just to let me know roughly when it was likely to be, so that I could make sure I was by the phone (there is nothing like lack of prior warning when you are woken in the middle of the night and need to have a sensible conversation to sell you capabilities when you have just woken with an unexpected jump)

Its now Tuesday afternoon here (and 9.30 at night in Perth) and somehow I'm starting to think I am back to where I was nearly two weeks ago.

Am I asking too much for professional service, from a large professional employment agency, for a professional position? I'm starting to think its me...

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Still Here

Well, I am still here. In the UK that is. Some things have changed a little in the past few weeks. Himself managed to get a job back with his old boss, but this means that he is now working in Kent again and living in a caravan. Its great to get him away from day time television but it means that by the time he gets paid at the end of the month we will have paid out about £1400 in caravan fees and petrol expenses. He can claim back some of the petrol expenses but wont get this until the end of May. He cannot claim back any of the caravan fees sadly. And he is grumpy with a capital G right now. Its looking increasingly as though he is going  to have to go onto insulin for his diabetes as we still cant get his blood sugar levels down to where they should be. And he hates being on his own.....

I have still been job hunting myself, both here and in Perth. I do have a job offer here which is good, but I don't start for another month and I will also be working away from home mostly, which is not so good :-( but beggars cant be choosers right now, so I have to just get on with it. Just means I will be up North, Son no 2 will be at home in the Midlands and Himself will be down South.....

I have two jobs that I have applied for in Perth, both of which I am suitably qualified for, have current knowledge etc but do you think I can get to speak to the consultant at the agency who's dealing with the vacancy? Can I heck as like ! I have applied on line, I have emailed as well, have called her office twice and her mobile once. She appears to never return calls or emails. I was starting to think that it is just me, but having spoken to other people who have applied for work in Oz, it seems that what I am experiencing is normal, consultants there appear to be so half soaked and unprofessional compared to the guys back here that I have been dealing with over the past few weeks who were so on the ball it was wonderful and I am full of praise for them.

The house is still full of packed boxes. I have only unpacked the ones which contained vital stuff like interview and work clothes and kitchen stuff, all the others I have left packed or have re packed. Not just because I am hoping above hope that a job in Perth comes off, but because a move from the Little Terraced House may happen any way - long story which I wont go into just yet. Its frustrating and a little depressing keep moving round boxes of 'stuff' so my task whilst I am at home for some of the next few weeks is going to be to de clutter even more than I already had - I know I still have way too much stuff lurking about.

Charlie had his first appointment at Perth Childrens Hospital. They are pleased with his progress since his last op in Birmingham and have roughly scheduled his next op for late this year, early next year. I am so desperate to be out there before then to help my son and daughter in law as much as we can when 'Bruce' (my nickname for Bump no 3) puts in an appearance and to be there for my two beautiful littlies who I am missing sooooooo much. Even though I am SO grateful for skpye, I come off it in tears most times.

So, onwards and upwards !

Elaine, sending you a big, but gentle hug. If there is anything, anything I can do to help, drop me an email xxx

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


We have been back in the UK now for 5 weeks and it almost  feels like we have never been away. I am still trying as hard as I can to get back out to Perth - I still have my visa, but its a job that I need to support us. My Sister in Law wants us to go back out and work with them again, but to be truthful its probably going to be the last option as the stress caused by their constant fighting, arguing and shouting is almost unbearable. Plus the complete lack of any privacy whilst living in the 'shed'. So I'm trying my hardest to get another job but it is certainly proving difficult.

Back here at The Little Terraced House, we are surrounded by most or our belongings packed in storage boxes. Every thing should have been shipped out to Perth last week, but for now its on hold. So I am at the stage of unpacking essentials such as warm clothes (I don't think I have been warm since we arrived back here) and cooking items, baking trays etc. I want to get the pressure cooker back out, but I know its in box 13 which is under boxes 14, 15, 16 and 17 and behind boxes 24, 25, 26, 27 and three mirrors, and to be truthful its too much effort right now. I located the slow cooker so that will have to do.

Himself has not been at all well since we arrived back. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 12 months ago and we had it fairly well under control until recently. Now we can't seem to get his blood sugar count down to anything near sensible regardless of what we do or what he eats. His blood pressure is also sky high and he is having mood swings which have to be seen to be believed. He does know that he is having  them which is one good thing. (Imagine a room full of women with PMT) - well he is like all of them at the same time !!!!!! :-)

I have an interview for a job here tomorrow, so fingers crossed that it comes off as we need finances of some sort whilst we sort out what the heck we do next.

Charlie will be seeing his new medical consultant at the end of this month, so we may know if and when his next op will be. I though I would put some of the details of HLHS on here so you can see the challenges this little man of mine has faced.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome - which means the left side of the heart does not develop or is under developed 

STAGE 1 – Norwood
This surgery is preferably performed in the first week of life. A repair is made to allow the right ventricle to pump blood to both the lungs and the body. Because blood flow must be forceful for the immature lungs, the surgeon creates a tube from a branch of the aorta to the pulmonary artery known as the modified Blalock-Taussing shunt. The baby will still appear blue (cyanotic) after this surgery. Charlie had his done at 1 day old, we hadn't even been able to cuddle him at this stage. 6 hour surgery.
STAGE 2 – bi-directional Glenn or Hemi-Fontan
This surgery is preferrably performed at about 6 months of life when the blood starts to flow more easily and the ventricular force is not needed. The surgeon creates a direct connection between the superior vena cava and the pulmonary artery thus diverting half of the blood flow without the assistance of ventricular force. This reduces the work on the right ventricle by allowing it to only pump blood to the body and allowing all blood from the upper body to the lungs.
Charlie had this done at about 8 months old and had to have a third open heart op as the aortic arch kept collapsing. It turned out that his vocal cord nerve was wrapped around it and in doing the repair Charlie lost his voice for nearly two months and the surgeons did not know if he would get it back. He did get his voice back eventually, but it is so distressing watching a baby silently crying in pain....
STAGE 3 – Fontan
This surgery is preferably performed between 18 – 48 months. The surgeon connects the inferior vena cava to the pulmonary artery. This will allow the remaining blood coming back from the body to go directly to the lungs. The final result will be no mixing of blood in the heart with more oxygen rich blood going to the body. This will significantly improve the child’s health and growth.
This is the next op that Charlie will have - date as yet unknown.
Heart Transplant – May be required.
HLHS requires a life time of follow up care. Most HLHS patients will require heart medications for life. They are at a high risk of heart valve infection (endocarditis) and require antibiotics before dental work and most surgeries. At this time, life expectancy is relatively unknown. 70% of infants who survive heart transplant or the Fontan will survive to the age of 5. Whether he will eventually need a transplant we don't know as yet. All the surgeries carried out for HLHS are palliative care, there is no cure for HLHS, but the series of three ops are hoped to get HLHS children to teenager hood where by if they do need a transplant they would be of a physical size to accept an adults heart if a matching one was available. (it is very rare for a child's heart to be available for fairly obvious reasons)
Birmingham Children's Hospital where Charlie has had his previous 3 majors and 4 minor ops, are wonderful and we know that their survival rate is growing year on year with the ops that they carry out, which does give us hope for the future.
What is so wonderful (in some ways) is that if you saw my little monster, you wouldn't immediately know that he has a life threatening illness which could kill him in a second. He is growing quite well, although Lewis at a year younger is about to over take him in height and weight, and he zips about like most 3 year olds, but get breathless quickly and goes blue, so he has to have plenty of quiet times to give him breathing space - not easy when your 3 year old head says 'I want to go and do xxxx' !!  
This five weeks is the longest I have been apart from my little monsters and I am missing them so much that it hurts. Talking to them on skype is just not the same as a hot sweaty hug, and hearing Charlie saying, 'Nana you get in your car and come to my house now!' breaks my heart.

This photo was taken last year at Brighton and is one of my favourites. Lewis (Mr hollow legs) had just swiped Charlie's muffin out of his hand and you can see Charlie looking at him as if to say 'Oi give it me back!!'

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Frugal Queen

I read with great interest Frugal Queens post tonight. She is one of my hero's and I applaud how hard she has worked to get to where she is now - no mean feat and plenty of self sacrifice, but with an unending purpose, a huge goal in front of her that she WILL achieve.

We know too here at the Little Terraced House how much life has changed in the past two years. Much of it I'm not ready to talk about here yet, some of it is too painful and still real and biting everyday, but one thing I do know for sure, we are not yet totally beaten, I'm still fighting and trying to get some semblance of our lives back. The latest setback with Perth and the littlies being the other side of the world, is still to be resolved, but I haven't give up and like Froogs I will keep going.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Baby Bump

Today my darling daughter in law had her 20 weeks scan. As Charlie, No 1 Grandson has Hyper Plastic Left Heart Syndrome (left side of the heart did not grow), Lewis, No 2 Grandson and Bump No 3 have had detailed heart scans at 20 weeks gestation. Lewis's heart was fine, no problems with that little live wire at all, I am pleased to say.

Bump no 3 had their heart scan today and I am pleased to say no problems found at all, great news.

Oh, and its another boy !

More cuddles for Nana - if I can only get a job back in Perth.

A job which I would have really really really loved (combining my love for my work and gardening) went before I could apply and I am so sad, it would  have been the best job in the world (Sarah, I know you will know what I mean.......) They have at least said they will keep me on file for the future.

All I can do is keep trying....

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Week of Highs and Lows

We arrived back late on Monday night and two hours into an exhausted sleep I had a phone call from a Perth company that I had sent a CV to for a position that was advertised. A Skype interview was arranged for the following afternoon which lasted nearly an hour and a half. A second Skype interview was then arranged for 12 hours later with a panel of 4 senior managers and directors - this also seemed to go OK and lasted well over an hour. I then received an email from the HR department (this is a major international company) to say that their may be a further round of interviews before the decision was made, but that she would be in touch with me early this week to give me feedback on how the interviews had gone. I have to say I was quietly hopeful but refused to get my hopes up.

I hadn't heard anything by this morning, so I dropped a courtesy email through to the HR dept but hadn't heard anything back by close of office hours.

Then, half an hour ago when checking a job search site that I use and discovered what I think is the same job, now being offered by an agency, and only posted 20 MINUTES prior to my logging on to the site !!

I feel gutted, just a simple email saying thanks but no thanks would have been polite and professional, but to apparently have re listed the same job now with an agency - well, that's not nice.

I was already feeling pretty low, but right this minute I feel, well crap.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

One Week Later

Last weekend was hard. We spent most of it with my son, daughter in law and Charlie and Lewis. We had moved to a hotel for the weekend and for the first time since we had been in Perth, the family came to us, it just hadn't been practical for them to visit us when we were living in the 'shed'.

Charlie wanted to stay with us and wanted to know where his T bed was (he has Thomas the Tank Engine bedlinen on his bed back in the UK) he was most indignant that Nana hadn't got his bed there at 'Nana's Hotel House'. It was so hard to spend time with them all knowing that soon we would be getting on the flight back to the UK......

Sunday we just chilled out over at my son's house. He had suggested that we go to the beach for the afternoon, but the temperature was nudging 40 degrees again, so we gave it a miss and just spent time together, talking, drinking tea and playing with the littlies - hands, knees and whoops-a-daisy was the order of the day with Lewis booming Tra La La Laaaaaaaaaaaaaa at the top of his voice at the end of each round of moves. He had us all in stitches as he bounced up and down the long hall way shouting his head off.

Sadly the day went far too fast and the goodbyes came at tea time. We hugged long and hard and Charlie got really upset again as he wanted to go with Nana and Grandad to 'Nana's Hotel House' and we had to leave him crying in his dads arms shouting 'Nana Come back!

I drove around the corner out of sight and sat and broke my heart crying, Hubby was teary eyed too but he was trying to be strong for both of us. We were both pretty quiet on our way back to Perth to drop off the car and get back to the hotel. The packing was finished off and we tried to get a couple of hours sleep before we had to get the taxi to the airport at 3.00 am.

Almost 24 hours later we were back in the UK. And my heart hurts.

Thursday, 31 January 2013


Flights are booked, we go back to the UK on Monday morning. My heart is breaking, I drove home from my son's house in tears last night having left Charlie and Lewis both screaming, "Want to go with Nana!" as we pulled off the drive way.

It had been a fraught emotional evening, Dear Daughter in Law is dreadfully homesick and is getting more and more withdrawn, Dear Son had had a really bad day at work, hates his job, is trying to study for an exam which he has to take in the next 3 weeks, is sick of travelling each day, is pissed off that we are going home and the littlies are picking up on the tensions all round, hence why they wanted to come with Nana and Grandad last night.

I spoke to both of them this morning, Son is still as angry and pissed off as he was last night and is already wound up anticipating another rough day at work. Daughter in Law is tearful and quiet, the littlies are creating havoc in the back ground.

I feel like a traitor but unless something wonderful happens on the job front today or tomorrow, we will be on that dammed flight and my heart will be breaking all the way.

Monday, 28 January 2013


For the first couple of weeks after moving in here to our bedsit in the cow shed, we were constantly hearing motorbikes revving up late at night. We weren't too bothered by this, we are right next to a busy highway which never sleeps, so we just thought that it was traffic on the move.

But three weeks into our move here we spent the day at Kings Park, which is the most beautiful botanical park in Perth which over looks the Swan River and hidden away in the displays near to the 'wet' areas, I found a sign telling us about Perth's Motorbike Frogs (I am being serious, this isn't an early April Fools Day Joke', so when we got home I googled them and found..

Motorbike Frog
Litoria moorei is a frog well known in Southwest Australia, its notoriety deriving from the call suggestive of a motorbike revving up through its gears which gives it it's common name, the Motorbike Frog. Wikipedia

Now we know what we are listening to we look out for Harley as he become known, but have yet see him.

The past couple of nights he has been joined by Suzuki and Triumph  -  and the evenings are getting noisier !

Sunday, 27 January 2013

City of Lights

Yesterday was Australia Day and we spent the evening watching the beautiful fire works display over Perth City.

I love fireworks at the best of times and it was great to be able to step out of how were feeling for a short while and watch the brilliant colours crash over the dark sky. The banks of the River Swan were teaming with good humoured folks enjoying their day, there were picnics and kiddies playing everywhere and even as the evening fell, people were walking, cycling and just sitting waiting for the explosion of colours.

I don't think any body could have been disappointed with the display, Perth City Council certainly put on a good show. Getting out of the City afterwards was another matter.......   :-) but I wont go into that....

Today has been another day of ups and downs. Hubby has had enough and wants to go home now, this minute..I want to wait until next weekend to see if there are any replies to any of the job vacancies that I have applied for and we are not agreeing on anything today. Its one of those days when you get up grumpy (him) and nothing, not anything is right with the world. Everything I say is wrong and I understand, really I do, but I am going through my own personal headaches right now and I cant deal with everything that he is feeling, its all too much to handle at one time. So right now he is sitting in bed watching a DVD and I am job hunting back home on the computer. Peace is restored, but it has been a fraught day and I am tired of thinking right now, tired of trying to work out what is the best thing for us to do.

I really don't know what to do and I keep hoping a bolt from the blue will hit me and point me in the right direction.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

No Progress..

Its looking very likely that in the next two weeks we will be returning to the UK. Things are getting worse here  - Jim is about to have his wife charged with fraud and embezzlement and we are getting caught up in the hatred from both sides. I am having difficulty in finding a job that will take over my visa and I am being left with few alternatives. My heart feels like lead and tears are never far away. I have no home or job here and the same back in the UK. What we thought would turn out to be a new start for us is turning badly sour and I don't know which way to turn next.

Onwards and upwards I guess.....

Thursday, 17 January 2013


The decision has been made to close the company as it is trading insolvently.

Tonight all the lads (10 of them) will be told they are out of work. 4 of them were expecting to be sent to Malaysia the week after next, to work on a 'big project' which hasn't materialised (Jim stringing them along, hoping that one of his dreams without substance, would come true)

Today is a very difficult day and I can't wait to go home to bed.

Have applied for 5 jobs this week, but not heard anything yet - too early.

Have fingers, legs and anything else that I can cross, crossed.

Oh and one last piece of news, insects out here, all types, sizes and species, seem to think all their birthday lunches have come at once. I have bites everywhere, some of them are now sandwich plate sized.

They are hot, itchy and driving me mad and I am living on antihistamine's.

I so hope things start to get better.............xx

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What to do ???

The past few weeks have flown past. There has been a lot to get to grips with - new shops, new living accommodation, new places to visit, new ways of life. Oh and the temperature !!! over Xmas, where we are in the Perth Suburbs, the temp reached 43 degrees !!!! Boy is that hot, especially for a large, bald Scotsman, who loves the cold and the rain at the best of times! He looked like a large boiled beetroot for several days as his body struggled to acclimatise - and getting very little sleep at night due to high temperatures too and little air cooling where we are living (large concrete block ex stable where the walls retain the heat) did not make for good tempers for several days.

Now things have gotten slightly worse. The company we both came out to work for, is going bust and has maybe only a couple of weeks left before they go bankrupt. Hubby has already been laid off and not been paid for 8 days that he worked, me I am still here, but have no idea if I will get paid this week either.

This affects out ability to stay in Australia in several major ways. I am the main Visa holder, which means that I have to stay employed for us to stay here. I can move to another company, IF they are prepared to take over my visa sponsorship.Hubby can work for who ever he likes, doing what he he might choose to do, me I have to find a job WITHIN the field that my visa is issued for (Quality and Environmental Management) So far I have applied for 3 positions and heard nothing back as yet.

Further complications are, the company we are working for is my husband's brothers and they are fast falling out. We are also living in his ex stable block so if we fall out, we also have no where to live. The whole situation is becoming untenable and we believe that my brother in law is seriously mentally ill - so does the rest of his family, wife, sons etc. Oh and my sister in law has just been charged with fraudulently altering company documentation........its getting worse by the day to be truthful.

So, at this point I don't know what is going to happen. I am trying to keep positive, but its hard. I am coming into work to see a man who quite honestly is the WORST business man I have EVER come across, who has made MILLIONS and I do mean  MILLIONS, but has squandered it all away, who is refusing to deal with anything, but is talking openly to me about starting a new business in February, whilst not dealing with any of the current problems and is seemingly oblivious to the fact that he is penniless. The only way that this company has made any money has been through the hard hard work of his previous management team, but Jim thinks he did it all on his own and there is no body cleverer than him.

So, we are at a real predicament point. I think if I get paid this week, we will be lucky. There don't seem to be that many jobs advertised for my skills, if we walk out etc we have no where to live....but if we stay, we may not have any money either.

We, my son, daughter in law and hubby had a long long heart to heart last night and have decided that we give it a couple of weeks job hunting here and may have to move in with them if necessary (which really I know none of us wants, as they don't have a big house) and then we may have to make the decision to go back to the UK. To no jobs and no home.

I feel dammed if I do and dammed if I don't, this morning.

Oh, and Jim is up most nights, talking to God and telling him what he is doing wrong as he (Jim) knows better than God how things should be run..............

Sunday, 6 January 2013

November the 10th 2012

What a beautiful birthday ! We went into Perth City Centre as arranged with my son and found the coffee bar that he had suggested that we meet at. Hubby ordered the teas and we sat and watched the world go by for a while, then just after my Son had phoned us to say where they were, my son and daughter in law came around the corner with the double pushchair, the two littlies asleep in the sushine.

Us grown ups hugged and hugged and talked non stop for about ten minutes and then Charlie woke up. He blinked himself awake and stared at me for what seemed ages, then he finally smiled a huge smile of recognition, was released from his pushchair straps and climbed straight on to my lap, his head buried in my neck. 'I want to go nana's house' was all he said as he snuggled there. We hugged and rocked, me and this little man, while we all talked, waiting for Lewis to wake too (he HATES being woken, so its always advisable to leave him to wake up by him self if possible :-)

A few minutes later, he woke - loudly as always ! He didnt need any time to recognise us...'DWANDWAD!!!!' (he can't say Grandad) he shouted - he only has two volumes, loud and louder that little man! Then he was released from the pushchair, also climbed on my lap jostling for space with Charlie, and sat, totally ignoring me, playing with his Grandad lol

We went for a lovely birthday lunch in Northbridge and sat catching up on the events, both side of the Indian Ocean for the previous three weeks. Son and Daughter in Law are staying in a holiday let for the first three months while they look for a longer term let and they had settled in well. They like us, had already been to Perth several times to visit relatives, so it wasn't as if they had arrived somewhere they didn't already know a little bit about. My son had started his new job and was enjoying it, which was good and we were due to start work two days later, on the Monday.

David my son bought me flowers and a gift voucher and I had a lovely card from him and Sonia and a separate one form Charlie and Lewis.

'To Nana, all our love on your first birthday in Oz,' it said, 'Love from Charlie, Lewis and ?'


I looked up from the card to two smiling people.....

Grand baby number three is due in July...............now we will have our hands full !!!!!!!