Friday, 14 September 2012

Some holiday planning

Do you like where you live?  

I had a chat with someone this week about choosing a place to live and bring up a family. 
It was a choice between Australia and Europe.

We spoke about the wonderful outdoor opportunities and health benefits of Australia. We touched on the  culture and proximity and such diversity of Europe. We thought about the cold, damp, dreary 'get me out of here' feelings of Northern Hemisphere Winters and then the fuzzy hair, 10 cold showers a day Summers in Queensland. 

There was no conclusion....

Well, maybe there was?

The conclusion was that there is no perfect place. 

We make the best decision based on our circumstances and the opportunities that we can take at that time.  I am grateful that I was given the choice of where to live and for now I chose Australia.
I enjoy the benefits that it gives, but  I feel that my real fortune is the link that I still have 'home'.

Every now and again I feel the need to strengthen that link and head back. I have written before about not wanting to let go of my history -  HERE and HERE.

Travelling and experiencing different cultures is an education far beyond the classroom. Yes there is the disruption of moving home and I'm sure for those that are constantly on the move there are numerous challenges. However, the chance to view life through a different lens is a real opportunity. 

So where am I going with this? 
Oh yes, -  flights have been booked and we are heading back home for Christmas!

Yes, it will be cold..... yes it will be might even snow - but I CAN'T WAIT!

There are so many things on the list of things that I want to do, places and people that I want to see it's almost daunting....but very exciting. There are theatre trips planned and booked, there are visits to old haunts up and down the length of the UK from the Lake District to London.  There's Paris, Amsterdam and anywhere else we can fit in....

In anticipation of a Christmas in Wales my girl has been fishing out her Welsh books and brushing up on her vocabulary.

We are flying through the re-cap of colours and days of the week and basics of naming things around the house but the daily struggle at the moment is the pronunciation of  "CH" and "LL".

We can be in fits of giggles when I try and correct her pronunciation for "cyllell" (knife). It's so difficult to try and even attempt to put into words how to get your tongue to the top of your mouth, behind your front teeth and then as your say "L" you need to blow! See how hard it is?

The other morning just as I was getting ready for work I could hear some strange noises from her room then she marched into the bathroom, looked me in the eye and without muttering another word just came out with a very slow  "cyll - ell". She has perseverance - I'll give her that!

She has set herself a goal of learning the words to the Welsh National Anthem. Her original goal was to learn how to say 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllandisiliogogogoch' ....we're working on it!

So I am in deep planning mode now.
How to fit about 5 months of 'stuff' to do into 5 weeks?
 I can think of worse things to do with my time...

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Father's Day and a Strawberry Cake

We celebrated Father's Day in Australia on Sunday. 

It was a lovely day just relaxing at home and being together.

Neil got up silly early (it felt like the middle of the night!) to run the Bridge to Brisbane 10k. Whilst he was away Sibs and I got the breakfast table ready and about 7.30am he walked in to the smell of bacon and eggs and fresh coffee. We lazed around the kitchen, pottered about outside, flicked though some old NZ Home and Garden magazines pretending that we were choosing a holiday home.....then it was time for lunch. The first lunch outside for a while.

Father's Day lunch

Neil is a very hands on and involved Dad and Sibs reaps the benefits.
They have a gorgeous relationship....and she's a very lucky little girl.
Sunday was our chance to appreciate him.

Father's Day afternoon
 So in other news... strawberries were almost being given away at the markets on Saturday so we had a fridge full! I'll probably freeze some, but had a bit of an inspiration this afternoon and as the banana bread was in the oven I decided to try and make a strawberry cake.

125g butter creamed with half a cup caster sugar,
Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and 2 eggs.
Fold in 2 cups of s-r flour and half a cup of milk,
Add about a cup of mashed up strawberries (I probably added a cup and a half and it was a little too wet)

It's not the best cake that I've ever made, and I think another idea could be to layer the mashed/pureed strawberries in between the cake mixture? I'm sure it will disappear though!

Just before I finish - a quick update on Twmff the cat and his sprained shoulder.
He's been kept indoors for the last few weeks and eventually his limping has been improving. He's almost back to his old crazy self and he should be out and about again in a few days. 

Sibs trying to interest Twmff in her new shoes.