Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Outdoor Film Festival

Last night we went to outdoor film festival on the University grounds. What a beautiful setting amongst the trees. Perfect evening for it: 22 degrees and no wind. Jamie went there straight from work around 6, so he could reserve some seats at the front. Matthew, our 16 year old Dutch baby sitter who lives around the corner, came and joined us for a pizza. He put the boys to bed which apparently all went very well. So I arrived around 6.45. It's so lovely. Everyone is having a picnic on the grass, some wine or beer. Really relaxed. At 8 o'clock you move to your chair (you're also allowed just to lie on the grass and watch it. Some romantic souls were doing that). It was a Chinese re-make of "blood simple" a film from the famous Coen Brothers, called A woman a gun and a noodle shop. It was very off beat and we wondered if this film would appeal to Chinese people at all. Beautifully shot, scenery, costumes. A bit of slapstick humour, cruel and  entertaining. We've got more tickets and there's plenty more interesting films to come. Most of them are foreign, from Russia or the Czech republic, France, Italy etc. Also got tickets for a band called Cat Power who will play in January at the Quarry Amphitheatre which is just 5 minutes from here. So all good!
Soon we're flying to the Netherlands for Christmas and New Year in England. It'll be cold but am looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Big City

All these fantastic bands are coming to Perth! Not used to this at all as Aberdeen was always ignored. Glasgow was the place to be for bands..
Now U2 (can't go as we're flying that weekend) is coming, Bon Jovi (didn't get a chance to get tickets) are here soon. Sting and the symphonic orchestra are here in January, but I will only just be back from Europe and don't think Jamie will appreciate it if I disappear straight away, jet lagged and all.. Ben Folds, Indigo Girls, Kings of Leon just to mention a few... open air film festival has started as well... hopefully we get to see a couple of films. It's just so expensive. The U2 tickets we could get were $300 (per ticket!) and then add up a babysitter...there's just so much to do here...

Monday, 6 December 2010


Just got back from my new doctor and she's lovely.  Boys had the 1st of their 3 Hep B vaccinations and they were sooo brave. I was a bit worried after the swine flu jab disaster last year. Jamie got his second speeding ticket of his life. His first one was in Australia in 2005 when we were on holiday here and this last one is from when my parents were here. Only 10 k over the limit and $150 lighter... boohoo.
It's warming up again.. 25 today but will be around 30 in the weekend. That's good as we're going to Adventure World ( Woodside organises a family fun day). It looks like a massive park with water slides and much more. Went to the gym again this morning, tonight out for dinner with Urmila and Tamar, Thursday a coffee morning (that sounds soo "expat") at Noor's house. Only met her a few times. Will be nice as I will hopefully meet some new people. Thursday night out with the mums from Willem's kindy and that's how the days fly by now...

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Party, party party

A lovely weekend full of parties. It started with an "away day" for Jamie with work, then a party at ours. It was really relaxed as I managed to get the house and the food ready before everyone arrived so I got to enjoy it too. About 25 people turned up, mingled very well on our balcony. It was fun! The boys were brilliant and just went to bed at 7, didn't wake us up till 8 (we agreed, I put breakfast out for them already). Then Willem and Frank were invited for a birthday party from one of Willem's classmates. It's a pity I now finally get to know the mums a little (and some of them are really nice) and then Willem will change school.. but hopefully the new school will have some nice mums too! In the afternoon we all went down to the Swan river. Jamie and Johannes were going to sail the Catamaran and Tamar and the kids just enjoyed chatting and playing at the riverside. The wind was quite gusty and the boat capsized once and it took quite a bit of effort to get it back up!
Today, Sunday, the whole day was about Sinterklaas. He arrived around 9.30 at the jetty in Claremont (on the river) on a flash cruiser boat. Then there was a very well organised party by the Dutch School. In the afternoon Sinterklaas dropped off two bags of presents at our house too! The boys got a waterslide, some super soakers and surfboards. I got a hat, a book and a new sheet. Jamie got some shorts, a rash vest and a bottle of port. It was a lovely weekend. Curious for some photos? Follow the link:

Party, party party

A lovely weekend full of parties. It started with an "away day" for Jamie with work, then a party at ours. It was really relaxed as I managed to get the house and the food ready before everyone arrived so I got to enjoy it too. About 25 people turned up, mingled very well on our balcony. It was fun! The boys were brilliant and just went to bed at 7, didn't wake us up till 8 (we agreed, I put breakfast out for them already). Then Willem and Frank were invited for a birthday party from one of Willem's classmates. It's a pity I now finally get to know the mums a little (and some of them are really nice) and then Willem will change school.. but hopefully the new school will have some nice mums too! In the afternoon we all went down to the Swan river. Jamie and Johannes were going to sail the Catamaran and Tamar and the kids just enjoyed chatting and playing at the riverside. The wind was quite gusty and the boat capsized once and it took quite a bit of effort to get it back up!
Today, Sunday, the whole day was about Sinterklaas. He arrived around 9.30 at the jetty in Claremont (on the river) on a flash cruiser boat. Then there was a very well organised party by the Dutch School. In the afternoon Sinterklaas dropped off two bags of presents at our house too! The boys got a waterslide, some super soakers and surfboards. I got a hat, a book and a new sheet. Jamie got some shorts, a rash vest and a bottle of port. It was a lovely weekend. Curious for some photos? Follow the link:

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Hello all
It's been hot here and it is very cold back in Europe. Sinterklaas arrives here on Sunday by boat on the river. This Friday we're hosting a party, 25 people are coming. We had a successful weekend camping with friends on the coast. Time flies by. Only 3 and half weeks and we're flying home. Jut got some good news from a friend in Aberdeen who is having her second baby. And some not so good news of a friend in the US who is pregnant with complications and it makes me realise (again) how different life is for everyone and how I miss being close to people that I care about.

camping trip photos

Sunday, 14 November 2010

camp spot


What a lovely weekend! We drove to Dwellingup yesterday, a small town about an hour and a half south east of Perth. There's an old railway line and the town has a really nice feel to it, on the edge of the Jarrah woods. Nearby is Lanes Poole Reserve, a Jarrah forest with the Murray River going through it. It's organised really well with various camping possibilities: for groups and for individuals. We found a lovely secluded spot near the river. It really felt like you were on your own. We put up the tent with help from the boys and just had a really relaxing time pottering about near the river or the creek. The boys are fantastic to take out on trips now as they help out, don't moan and find something fun to do where ever they are! They also went to sleep right away in their new sleeping bags and slept all night till 6.30! Next time we go here again we'll try canoeing!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


It's warm here. 30 + degrees. A lot of beach and today a couple of hours in this lovely outdoor swimming pool. Yesterday I managed to get my first dent in the car by reversing into a friend at the car park after picking up the boys from the Dutch playgroup. It was a joined effort: she reversed into me as well! Result: badly dented bumper and a side panel that probably needs replacing. Will get a quote soon but will get a second one from a panel beater as it would be good if we could get round the insurance      (no claim bonus will stay unaffected then). Bit of a bummer... wasn't a happy girl yesterday. Shame cause I'd had a good morning doing body attack with Evelien, one of the other mums from the Dutch school. Very good instructors and joined the gym immediately as you can just buy a 20x card...This afternoon I'm going to Tamar for a swim in her pool with the boys and her girls (it's 36 degrees today) and will meet Jamie at 5 on the beach. Willem is suddenly not afraid of the waves anymore. He loves them now and spends all of his time on the beach in the water. What a change! This weekend we have a birthday dinner party on Sat night and a 1st birthday kids party on Sunday. Last weekend we spend most of our time on the beach and had a halloween BBQ in the park with some friends. Willem and Frank think it's very strange you celebrate halloween during the day. A lot of trick or treaters came round as well, all still in day light. It's dark here around 7pm, so not that late but later than in Europe in winter. Told them a lot of things happen during the day here.. told them Sinterklaas has a "present afternoon" rather than evening. At least then they have the chance to play with their toys. Veggie garden is doing ok.. you can see some small beans growing! Hope all is well far away!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Stanley

This life is just like a holiday...Am very happy with my new friend Katja. From the moment I met her I knew we were going to get along well, but it's even better. Met twice on the beach this week, once at her house and last night we went to this really lovely little wine bar, The Stanley. I cycled down there and so did Katja and her friend Elleke. Only fairly recently, has Perth allowed licenses to open small bars, so there are not that many of them around. The last 2 times I've been out I've been to "The Suite" and "Kitch", both small tapas places and very popular. You just have to look hard for these little, cute bars. Most bars are enormous. It closed at 12 and we were still enjoying ourselves so much we went to the Llama bar in Subiaco and danced the night away! It was great and although I was a bit worried about cycling home (I have to cycle up a hill past Bold Park, a big piece of bushland, dark..) but it all went fine and just loved it all! Felt real Dutch, cycling home on my red high heels!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Parakeet Bay

One of the many beautiful beaches on the island

Bobtail Skink on Rottnest

Toke and Wim

My parents left 2 days ago. We had a brilliant 3 weeks and it was fun to show them where we live now and what life is like over here.
We also explored a lot more of WA. We went inland to York, in the Wheat belt. It's an old farming town and was the last stop before the goldfields and has still lots of old buildings. We also visited Mundaring Weir, where the water pipe line starts which still runs to the gold fields, 600 km east.
The last weekend we went to Rottnest, an island just off the coast (we can see it from our balcony). Willem de Vlamingh was the first to set foot on the island and thought it was full of rats but they are quokkas, really cute marsupials. No cars are allowed on the island so everyone travels by foot or bike. It has 63 idyllic white sand beaches. It's also full of Dugites, very poisonous snakes. My mum nearly cycled over one. It raised it's head but my mum raised her feet too! so no harm done.. pfew!
We also went to Fremantle a few times, visited the prison and a shipwreck museum which had the story and remnants of the Dutch ship Batavia. Toke and Wim enjoyed the weather, all the new plants and animals but mostly spending time with Willem and Frank.
The house is empty now and the boys were really sad. Luckily there's a lot of things to look forward to and Christmas is not too far away. Hopefully we get to book some flights today!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Toke en Wim

My parents, Toke and Wim arrived safely (already) a week ago. It's great to have them here. This weekend we went south, to Dunsborough. We saw beautiful beaches, wild flowers and amazing coastal scenery, including humpback whales and blue whales migrating just off the coast in Geographe Bay. More photos to follow!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

5 years old now...

The Cake

Jamie and I spent hours last night creating this Blue Ringed Octopus cake. Willem is fascinated by these creatures and was very impressed.

Willem's Party

12 friends came to the park to play and eat some cake.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


I have a very sore throat.. Don't know if I can organise all these games and races at the party now.. boohoo :(

Red Back

Yesterday I killed my first Red Back spider. Brrr. It was hiding in the garage. I showed the boys and then  swatted it with the stick of a fishing net. Will post a picture soon. The boys were very impressed and drew lots of red back spiders that afternoon, then stamping on the picture and shouting:"we need to go to hospital!"
Last night I was supposed to go out to the cinema with Katja and Simone and we did go, but never got to see a film. The cinema looks promising, one of those art house theatres. But we had 45 minutes to kill before the film so we went to this Tapas Bar called Kitch. It was so nice there, we never left. You sit outside in a garden with a huge frangipani tree. They are pretty (we have one in our garden). I felt really young and trendy in there and we just had a really nice chat.
This morning we went to the beach, even though it was windy. We meet Blair and some of his friends there. Jamie really enjoyed the big waves! The afternoon we just potted around the house and this evening Jamie and I spent hours making this giant Blue Ringed Octopus Cake for Willem's birthday party tomorrow. We will have his party in a park not far from here. The cake is a surprise. He is fascinated by these dangerous creatures and we hope he will be happy to get a Blue ringed octopus cake. Last year he wanted a Bat cake..12 children and their parents are coming. We have lots of sausages to sizzle!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I realised I never wrote about Powderfinger. Last week Friday night we went out to the city to see this iconic Aussie Rock band. Sue and Gareth got us tickets and we met them there. Powderfinger never made it outside Australia and I'd never heard of them (just fancied a night out and I always like going to see bands). I'd found a babysitter, Matthew, a Dutch 16 year old boy who lives round the corner. The boys met him the week before and really like him. It was such a great night out! The concert was in the Supreme Court Gardens, in the city near the river. The band was really good, easy music (sing along songs) and the crowd just loved them. What a noise they made. Good atmosphere and the best bit I found was that the band enjoyed it so much too. The drummer laughing and just giving it away. Cute singer too!
Hopefully I get to go out again on Friday. Katja, Simone and I talked about going to the cinema....


On Monday we went to Marloes' house. It was 29 degrees and the boys played nicely with Julian and Kieran. They have a swimming pool and had a great time. Yesterday we had such a fantastic day! We met Katja and her girls on the beach (at City Beach). When it was the middle of the day and you should be out of the sun we came to our house and I baked pink pancakes (with beetroot blended through the mixture) and they tasted great and the kids thought they were fab! It was just a try out after Katja inspired me with her spinach pancakes and this works too! I made some purple playdough and the 4 children played for ages with it. Then Simone called, another mum from the Dutch playgroup. She suggested meeting at the playground at Floreat Beach (also not very far from here at all) to drink some wine as she had something to celebrate. Katja and I thought it was a great idea, so we all headed there and stayed till 5.30, all six children playing nicely together. So relaxing! I could get used to this!!!
But I will start filling in the forms for the teaching registration.... it would be good to work as well..
Today I am looking after Cleo, Katja's oldest daughter. It's cloudy and we had a bit of drizzle earlier. The plan is to meet Tamar today. Carmen is off school (holidays). Willem is counting down till his birthday. His party is on Sunday in the park. 12 children are coming! And Tuesday night my parents get here! Yippie!!!!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Group photo!


We finally have a working phone line. Phone is charging up now so from tomorrow you can reach us. Please don't hesitate calling us, we will call you back as we call for free (we call through the modem, a bit like skype).  Just remember the time difference!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Mt Lesueur

We also visited Lesueur National Park, famous for it's wild flowers.

Beautiful beaches

We spent time of beautiful white beaches. This one is at Sandy Cape near Jurien Bay. You can also camp there (good to know for next time!)

First camping trip in WA

We went camping this weekend as Jamie had the Monday off. Katja (my friend I met at the Dutch school) and her family joined us. It was a last minute desicion and it was great as it reminds me a bit of Oman, going with a group. Of course it's different now we have children but not less fun and it was really nice to drink a glass of wine outside the tent when the kids were in bed. Katja and Ian (he's South African) have 2 girls, just a little bit younger than Willem and Frank. We camped in Leeman, a fishing village 310 km north of Perth. The campsite was busy as it is the school holidays as well but we got an ok spot at the edge of the park. We visited the Pinnacles desert, which is a really weird and beuatiful landscape of limestone pinnacles sticking up out of the yellow desert.

Monday, 20 September 2010

To make you jealous

View from the trampoline...

They're everywhere!

These Portugese millipedes are all over the place! In the house and we saw millions of them in Bold Park! When you touch them they roll up, cute!

Penguin Island

This Sunday we went to Penguin Island, a small island off the coast of Rockingham, a town about 50 km south of Perth. We didn't see any wild penguins as they are all out at sea catching fish for their young who are well hidden in the bushes. We did see some rescued ones during a feed by the rangers. They are tiny! Apparently you can see the penguins in December or January when they loose their feathers and can't swim. We will definitely go back then. Anyhow, it is a lovely, relaxing island with lots of birds like these terns. Lots of shrieking seagulls who foolishly build their nests (with eggs and chicks) right beside the boardwalk. We also saw pelicans and king skinks. Beautiful blue sea. Unfortunately Willem has developed a real fear of the big waves and when we had to walk across a narrow beach with big waves he got a panic attack. Screaming, crying.. dead scared. Poor boy. At the other side of the island the sea was calm and then he runs in and out happily...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

It's working!

Since we moved to Perth we started this new "dinner regime". The idea is that the boys have to eat something from each pan but they choose how much (well, one pea is not allowed, it has to be a spoonful). When they finish their plate they get to choose something from the "treat-tin". It's worked out so well! Maybe because everything was new to them, I don't know, but they've been eating everything I've cooked for them.  Today it was red snapper with roasted vegetables and they both ate pumpkin, courgette, onion, pepper, potatoes and carrots and the fish of course. But this week we've had chilli con carne (it was a bit hot for them but they still ate it all with lots of water) and cous cous with cardamon seeds and salmon with sesame seeds and soya sauce. They've been eating stir fry vegetables etc etc. Brilliant. And today they wanted green pancakes again and now they even know what makes it green as I asked Willem to add the 2 big handfuls of spinach!

The swimming lessons went well. They both jumped in the pool (without me) and loved it! We heard today that next weekend is a long weekend so we are looking for a place to stay and go a bit further a field... Can't wait!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

My first night out!

Wednesday night I went out with a bunch of women to a very trendy tapas bar. Roelien was in town. She lives in Kuala Lumpur now but used to live here and she came to visit. Marloes came along as well and two other girls I hadn't met yet. It was very nice, good food but small portions and the service was friendly but very slow. Still we had a nice time. Some loud Aussie guy bought us another bottle of wine (for the Dutch ladies) and he said it was one from his own winery (yeah, yeah).

What else have we done... We walked through Bold Park,  a big piece of bush land just opposite our house. The boys walked for 5k and we saw millions of millipedes. It's very pretty with great views of the city as it is on a hill. Willem went to Kindy. He's really enjoying it there. On one afternoon we walked (3k) around Lake Monger, it's near the city but still pretty. Three playgrounds around it to keep the boys going and plenty wild life. We heard the cute sound of the banjo frogs and loads of water birds.

It's getting warmer now and yesterday I put sun cream on the boys for the first time. Spring is coming. We spent a few hours in Kings Park, still the boys' favourite. Also Matthew came to get to know the boys. He's 16, lives around the corner and he's Dutch. He will baby sit for us next week when we go to a concert of Powderfinger in the city, in the Supreme Court Gardens. Sue and Gareth got us tickets for this iconic Aussie rock band. The boys liked him and didn't want him to go so that's good.

This morning the boys have their first swimming lesson. I am not going in the pool with them so hopefully they enjoy it and progress faster. Then we are going to see my friend Urmila, she has just moved house. Jamie is going out for drinks tonight with work and tomorrow he's going to a pub in Fremantle with Gareth (lucky Jamie, Fremantle is soooo nice!)

The veggie garden is growing slowly. Nothing has died so far! Tomatoes, a chilli plant, lettuce and herbs....

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Frog fest and more

Yesterday evening we went to a frog fest in a wild life centre around a lake (our cousin Jim would've loved it). There was a sausage sizzle, we all had torches to look for wildlife and the rangers showed us a bobtail skink and a huge marron. They also told us about the 12 species of frog that live in the Perth area. Fascinating! There's a turtle frog. It looks like a wee turtle, lays eggs not spawn, walks (can't hop) and makes the sound of a frog. We learnt about the motorbike frog, that makes the sound of a motorbike, the Pobblebonk or banjo frog which makes the sound of a banjo! We heard them as well walking around the lake in the dark! Fab! we only saw one frog, a motorbike frog but it was still worthwhile.

This morning we went for a cycle ride. Willem was determined to cycle himself and did very well! We cycled up to Floreat Beach (which it not very far at all) and the left willem's bike and put him (like Frank) in the bike seat and cycled on to Scarborough. It was fun.

In the afternoon Blair came with his family. I knew Blair in Oman, he was a friend of one of my best friends (Ed)  and we haven't been in touch at all the past 10 years. But as it always seems to go in expat life.. that doesn't matter. He and his wife Jacqui and their 2 boys (4,5 and 3 years old, so very similar to Willem and Frank) came over for a play date and it was really nice to see him again so they stayed for a pizza as well.

Tomorrow we have a birthday Party, My friend Tamar's little girl turns 3.

We also have a labour government now, Julia Gillard is our prime minister. The just managed to get the support of the greens and the independents to form a government (after a very split election between Tony Abbott (lib/national party (rightwing)  and her labour party.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

money money money

Money, money, money
It's not funny... we've (temporarily) run out! Gosh it's sooooo expensive here!
It's Jamie's Birthday and he got soaking wet cycling back in a big storm today!
This weekend it was Fathers Day and we went to John Forrest National Park. Big granite rocks, wild gorgeous smelling fresias and more wild flowers. The boys saw their first kangaroos and walked            (hm... ran) a good 4 kilometres. On Saturday we invited Marloes and family over and they brought bubbles as a house warming gift and stayed for dinner, very nice.
We also planted some seeds for the vegetable garden: lettuce, tomatoes, chilli, spring onion, rocket, herbs, beans.. easy stuff as it is quite difficult here in this climate. Hope it works out. Yesterday a friend of a friend, Lesley, came round. I met her at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and she also lives in City Beach. She's really nice and she helped me with tips for doctors, babysitters, dentists and places to go etc. Today I had a look at some gym memberships in the area and we looked at some swimming lesson programmes. Hopefully the boys can start next term. Still need to unpack some boxes but don't really feel like it at the moment. Also cleaning this big house is going to take up a lot of my time.. boohoo!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Last Sunday we went down towards the coast to see the runners in "City to Surf". A big sporting event. Marathons, family walks and a 12k run from as the title says: city to surf. I'd love to take part next year. Around 50.000 people join in these various events. Quite a few people overdid it though and collapsed in the heat. Lots of medics around to give extra oxygen. It was a hot day. On Tuesday we had lunch at Katja's house and she baked green pancakes for her girls and the boys. She just added a big handful of fresh spinach to the mixture. The boys thought it was great! On Tuesday Jamie got very wet as it rained all day. Unfortunately the man who was supposed to fix the air conditioner couldn't make it anymore so we were quite cold that day. He came yesterday and now we've got heating and a lovely warm lounge. Guess we won't be needing it soon but then at least we can make it cooler in the house as well...Yesterday Jamie joined Willem at Kindy for a father's day sausage sizzle. He took 2 hours off work and so did 80% of the other fathers. Really nice, it's part of the culture here, I guess..
We unpacked most of the boxes and it's starting to look good.
Today we went to Bold Park. It's a huge piece of bush land just around the corner of our house. You can do walks and a little drive away was this great playground. This afternoon Tamar is coming with her girls for a play date.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Getting there...

Bedroom nearly done... we have this great walk in ward robe which means more space in my old wardrobe. The bedroom is huge (the ensuite as well). Filled a box with hats/scarves and gloves.. guess we won't be needing those for a while. Playroom nearly finished as well. Biggest room of the house, upstairs with great views. Lots of windows so nice and bright and a door to a big balcony. I still have these old lundia bookshelves. They belonged to my dad when he was a student and they are so practical and all our books and the toys for the boys have a space now.  Boys' bedrooms work in progress. They look rather empty now the toys are all upstairs (the boys sleep downstairs) Dining room also not finished. Still need to sort out all the cd's. Spare room.. not at all finished.. Garage... haven't even been there yet, Kitchen/lounge area sort of organised. It just needs pictures up and maybe another rug. The house is so much bigger than we're used to.. we have to be careful not to buy loads more to clutter it up. But we do need some nice garden furniture. Today we bought a TV and a hoover. It was so warm today, 23 degrees and Jamie took the boys to City Beach. I am glad I joined them a bit later. It was so lovely to be outside (and not unpacking boxes and sorting things). The beach is safe(ish) for children as there are 2 groynes to keep the waves down a little bit. Willem likes this beach better as it is wider so he's not too worried about the frisbee ending up in the sea. Still quite a few boxes of "bits and bops" to sort out. And now I wish  did sort out more in Aberdeen...but it's easier to throw out stuff now I haven't seen it for 3 months... Tomorrow is the City to Surf, a 12k run from the city centre to the beach (where we live). About 50.000 people take part. I thought about entering but am glad I didn't as I've got so much to do now! We will just be spectators this time. Willem wants to join next year! Will take some photos soon. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Long, long day...
After dropping Willem off at Kindy, Frank and I drove straight to our new house. The movers were already there and had unwrapped a lot of things already. I showed them round the house so they knew where to put the boxes. The guys were very nice and worked hard. They also put some of the furniture together which is great (they didn't do that in Oman). We have some damage, a couple of glasses, a bowl, minor things but also the leather sofas. For some reason the bubble wrap has stuck to them. We can still sit on them but it doesn't look good so we will have to claim those. I am not sad about it. They're not new and I am not attached to them.. quite happy to replace really! My big urns from Oman are still in one piece (much more important) and also my chest and big frame... Have been unpacking boxes as fast as I could so the guys could take the empty boxes away.. long day.. am very tired now. Frank was brilliant.. just played by him self all day! At 2.30 Jamie came home so I could pick up Willem. He hadn't been in the house since we first saw it and he said it is even better than he remembered it. That makes me feel good.. When I saw the house on my own I already thought: "this is it" and I am glad Jamie feels the same. It is so light and airy. Jamie said" I've always wanted to have a bedroom with windows on two sides and now we have one with three sides!" and with sea views south.., the island of Rottnest.. a great room to wake up in. It's huge, with a walk in wardrobe and big (a rather romantic, ugly looking) en suite bathroom. I promise to take photos when all the furniture has a space. We are used to a kitchen with lots of storage space so this kitchen  is a bit of a puzzle but I am sure we get there... Now time for a beer and a real weird reality show on the telly: "the farmer wants a wife"... very Ozzie!

Monday, 23 August 2010


Yesterday Frank and I visited the Art Gallery. Lots of Aboriginal art, old and new and some fantastic modern art. Also a special corner for the little ones where Frank created a piece of abstract art with vinyl shapes on a huge magnetic white board. This morning I picked up the keys for our house and went to have another look now it's all empty and ours! It's nice and bright inside and I still think it's going to be a great place to live. But when you see an empty house with no furniture you also see all the marks and cracks and other things. It's obviously a house that has been lived in (not freshly painted). In a way that is good as I am sure Willem and Frank will leave their own marks. I noticed very ugly tiles in the ensuite bath room! Pink roses on relief! And gold along the mirror.. Ah well, in Oman I also got used to my bright yellow curtains and green bath room suite! It doesn't matter. It still smells a bit of curry (an Indian family lived in the house) so I think I will need to buy some air freshner..The estate agent said it was ok if we wanted to put pictures up, we just needed to call him so the handy man can come and do it. The lemon tree has huge lemons. I will have to borrow books from the library about growing vegetables in WA. Tomorrow at 9.30 the sea freight will be delivered. Will be a busy time!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

dinner party

This morning we bought a huge fridge and a washing machine. We went to the park and in the evening we were invited for dinner at one of Jamie's colleagues Audrey. They also live in City Beach, not far from where we will be living. When we arrived we were amazed. Audrey and her family live in one of those huge mansions we were talking about earlier! Enormous door, steps with very big vases alongside it, a sculpture in the front garden, pillars and inside just as amazing. So grand! Swimming pool of course in the garden and a real fire place in an outdoor room! But very friendly people. So hopefully our neighbours who live in similar houses will be nice too! There were also other colleagues: Scott, Jamie's boss and his family, Giulia and her husband Geoff and a few more. Fantastic food (way too much of course) and a very enjoyable evening. Audrey's teenage children entertained the younger ones so it was relaxing for all of us. Tomorrow we're invited for lunch at Neil and Nicky's. We know them from Oman and haven't seen them for years. Looking forward to seeing them again.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

house, school and car updates

On Wednesday I spent the day with Tamar. We went to Fremantle to one of those indoor playcentres. Frank loved it. I received a phone call from Georgi, our fantastic relocation agent to say the lease contract had come through and if Jamie could come in and sign it. Luckily he was free so now we have a house. We get the key on the 24th!!! I went to the house to measure up the space for the fridge. The tenants who live there now were in the middle of moving out and it looked a real mess...but she said the cleaners were planned for 2 days and the carpet cleaners the day after. We have to sign a "condition report" before we move in so we will need to take a close look otherwise we end up paying for things we didn't do. The contract is full of things like: if you fail to do this and that the cost is for you. We have two "watering" days, Tuesday and Saturday. Water is expensive here. On Thursday I took the contract to City Beach Primary school to show "proof of address". I worried we might not get a place without that proof. The really friendly receptionist took a copy but said the letters had already gone out. She couldn't say yes or no but she could smile.. so yippie.. the boys have a place in February! Now we can walk to school as it's around the corner. We also met up with Urmila and baby Lukas in Freshwater Bay, a place near the river in Peppermint Grove (one of the most expensive areas of Perth) and it was so lovely there! Nice playground, beach, coffee shop etc. A warm day anyway so we stayed till 3 pm! This morning we went to Scarboro Toyota and picked up our  car. I found a note under the windscreen of our blue hired car. It said they damaged the door. AARGH, how annoying but at least they left a note with name and phone number and at least it isn't our new car! Jamie took the car back and gave the note to the car hire company to deal with it. The sea freight is still planned for delivery on the 25th so hopefully we don't need to hire furniture and we can move straight in. We need to leave Mount Bayswater apartments on the 26th. Busy busy now.. sorting out car insurance, looking for fridges, phone connection, internet, washing machines etc. and all the other things that come with moving.. but exciting though!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Making new friends...

Yesterday I met up with one of the Dutch mums, Katja, from the playgroup. We had a lovely lunch and chatted for a couple of hours near Swanbourne beach on the playground. Frank and Katja's daughters played nicely and Katja and I got on really well. She's a lawyer and married a South African.  Today we met up again after the Dutch School, together with two other parents of the Dutch Playgroup, Irold (a house dad, 2 boys) and Simone (2 girls). We did a similar thing, had lunch at a beach playground but this time at Floreat beach. It has a great kiosk with fantastic fruit juices and good sandwiches. We left a good couple of hours later when it started to rain. I feel really good about this as I am already starting to make new friends of my own...They are all 37/38 years old (like me) with similar aged kids and talking in Dutch is always easy. It's good for Willem and Frank too, to have Dutch friends to keep the language up to date.. Katja and Simone only arrived a couple of months ago and are also fairly new to Perth.

I also ran up Jacob's ladder 4 times last night (after Jamie got home from work), 242 steps up to Kings Park. It's a real Australian thing to do.. You run up in a traffic jam of people, all running up and down.
This morning, when the boys were in school, I ran up again but went into Kings Park and ran a really nice 2 and half km loop along to edge of the Park with great views of the river and Nedlands Yacht club. The way back was through the bush and there are already quite a few wildflowers in bloom. Very pretty.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Dinosaurs and more

Today we took one of the many free buses (Blue Cat. You also have a red, green and yellow cat, they go in circles round the city centre, very handy) to the Western Australian Museum. A museum with lots to discover. Their temporary exhibition is all about Pompeii but we just went to the long term exhibitions. It is free, they just ask for a $2 donation. We first went to the Discovery Centre. The boys could explore (hands on) dinosaur fossils, meteorites, stuffed animals but also live animals like tree frogs and bearded dragons. Interactive displays, puzzles and lots of drawers to open. A great place to spend time. Frank really enjoyed the magnifying glasses and the plastic dinosaurs to play with and Willem liked opening the drawers and asked lots of questions about all the animals. Then we went to an exhibition called WA land and dinosaurs. It tells the story of of Western Australia from the prehistoric times of dinosaurs to indigenous beginnings to today. The boys were impressed by the full size model of the Carnataurus dinosaur (they were a bit scared when it roared!) The Diamonds to Dinosaurs exhibition was very impressive. It takes a journey through 12 billion years of history, beginning at the origins of the universe. It shows rocks from Mars and the Moon, meteorites, diamonds and lots of geological artefacts. The exhibition also showcases the evolution of life on earth. It features enormous dinosaur skeleton casts!! There's also a mammal gallery with loads of animals from Australia but also a giant bison! The butterfly display was impressive too. There is a bird display too but we didn't get round to that.. too much.

The museum square is really nice. There's the library and art gallery too and lots of benches (and grass) to sit and public artworks. We walked back through the city to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we walked up "Jacobs Ladder", 242 steps up to Kings Park. Lots of people run up and down it numerous times. (fancy doing that myself) You see loads of people running, cycling here. It's a real sporty nation. You don't see many fat people here either. Huge contrast to Scotland. Will post some photos soon!
Now time to cook dinner and Jamie is home later tonight, yippie!!!

Friday, 13 August 2010


Yesterday it rained quite heavily most of the day. In the morning we went to a story time session in a library (it's in the community centre where the boys go to the Dutch Playgroup). They also had their hair cut and it's quite short now. I hardly recognise them (it was really long). Willem really reminds me of my brother now, when he was little. In the afternoon we went to a leisure centre. Tamar had said it had  a good pool for little ones and gosh, it did! A huge toddler pool, the water is 80 cm high so they could stand everywhere, with lots of slides. Also a real big fast one and Willem loved going down it. He wasn't allowed to use his arm bands so a real break through for him and he was practising his swimming the whole time! Also for Frank there were a couple of smaller slides. Unfortunately we stayed a bit too long and I was caught in rush hour on the way home... pfffffffffff, I will definitely avoid it next time!

Today we went to the Aquarium, which is 20 minutes north of Perth in a place called Hillary's. Frank loved the tunnel. You walk underneath these giant turtles, sting rays and huge sharks! Willem was fascinated by the "danger zone", an area full of dangerous creatures like sea snakes and the blue ringed octopus. The boys wanted a glitter stick from the souvenir shop and it has kept them quiet for the rest of the afternoon. They follow these 3 little fish going up and down this stick, through the glitter. There are 3 colours: pink, green and blue. So they were immediately named "The King, Chick Hicks and Lightning Mc Queen from the movie Cars and they like finding out who reaches the top first.

It was showery today but we still managed to squeeze in  a walk in to Kings park. Now they're in bed and I am going to open a bottle of Pure Blonde beer. Can't wait for Jamie to come home tomorrow night!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


A little drizzle today. Not enough to stay inside though. But they say more rain is to come. Yesterday the boys went to the Dutch Playgroup again and I went for a run along the river. Main goal was to register us with the health insurance but I'd forgotten the visa papers so it was a waste of a trip and will have to go again. In the afternoon we went to Kings Park where we met Marloes and her two boys. I'd never met Marloes before but we have mutual friends as she also worked in London and Aberdeen. We chatted for 3 hours and the 4 boys had a good time together chasing the big black crows around the park. Today Willem is at Kindy again and Frank and I went to see Tamar, which was lovely as well. Frank played nicely with Thirza, Tamar's other daughter who is 2 and a half now. It's great to know people here already, otherwise  I would've felt very lost now Jamie's not here. He has had a couple of very wet and cold days out there in Queensland but seems to be enjoying the trip!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

our new house

Atfter dropping Willem off at Kindy, Frank and I went to City Beach Primary school to enrol both boys for Pre-Primary and Kindy for next school year (which is in February here). The school is round the corner of our house so I drove past to take this quick picture...

Fountains and the old government house behind..

Swan Bells

Sunday Stroll

Jamie left early this morning to fly to Queensland for his field trip and Willem, Frank and I decided to explore a bit more of the city. I first thought of visiting the Western Australian Museum but it was such a fine day again it seemed a waste to spend it inside. We walked along St. George's Terrace, a broad avenue running parallel with the majestic Swan River. Perth's oldest buildings are along this road and also the high modern office buildings. I had read about life size kangaroo sculptures just outside the council house, so that was our goal. They were amazing. Big bronze kangaroos, very realistic and in positions like they would behave in the wild. A nice contrast with the backdrop of the city. They are made in 1997 by the Smith Sculptors, a husband and wife originally from Ireland who now live in Perth. They make lots of public art works.  The boys enjoy the many fountains in Perth and we looked at modern buildings and older ones. Willem and Frank found it very difficult and couldn't really see the difference. There are lots of parks and gardens in the city centre with fantastic trees and plants and sooo many birds. The boys had a little snack on a bench and there were some nice Malaysian women who wanted to have their picture taken with the two blond cute boys (their words). Willem and Frank found it rather strange. We then walked towards the river, to the Swan Bells Bell Tower. It's an ultra modern tower but it houses very old bells, including the twelve bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields, which have existed from before the 14th century. From one of London's most famous churches in Trafalgar Square, these bells have rung out to celebrate many historic events like England's victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, the homecoming of Captain James Cook after his voyage of discovery in 1771 and the World War II victory at El Alamein. The bells were given to Western Australia in 1988. With a lift you can go high up in this building from where you have a good view of the river and the city. And you can see and hear the bells ringing. We walked back along the river, passing the  Willem de Vlamingh Memorial Statue, also made by the Smith Sculptors. It commemorates the epic voyage of Willem the Vlamingh and his fleet who mapped the west coast of Australia in 1697. It includes a giant sundial with 2 clock faces showing Perth Time and Amsterdam Time. Willem was more impressed by seeing his name in big letters on the monument. Along the river and in many parks you find exercise machines like rowing and step machines. Fun!
This was all we did. Guess I have to do more smaller excursions with two little boys but so far I find Perth an interesting city. There's lots to discover.
In the afternoon the boys had a quick swim in the pool by the hotel. It was cold, even in their wetsuits. I will try and post some photos soon!

A bit of history for the interested..

Captain James Stirling founded Perth as part of the Swan River Colony in 1829. The British Government agreed to found the colony as the first free settlement in Australia and the first settlers arrived in Western Australia in June 1829. John Septimus Roe, naval officer, surveyor and explorer laid out the city of perth

Although the territory was claimed on behalf of Britain, explorers from nations including Holland and France had been visiting the Western Australian coastline since the early 1600s. Willem de Vlamingh ventured up the Swan River in 1697. He believed they were the first Europeans to do so and named the river "Swan River" as he saw numerous black swans swimming around. Willem de Vlamingh called the land he discovered New Holland.

Western Australia had been populated by indigenous people for approximately 50.000 years. Relations between the new British settlers and the Noongar people were at first amicable but the settlers adopted traditional hunting grounds as farmland and blocked access routes, tensions arose between the parties. Many Noongar people were sent away from their land and faced great hardship. For the settlers there were also problems: illnesses and isolation and they struggled to farm the difficult land.

Transport of convicts to the Swan River began in 1850 to help solve the problem of labour shortage that was restricting the growth of the colonyThe convict period, which lasted to 1868, saw approximately 10.000 male convicts arrive in WA. As a result some of Perth's most significant buildings, including the government House, were constructed during this period. In 1856 Queen Victoria proclaimed Perth a City.

In 1890 Perth underwent great structural changes due to the influx of population following the discovery of gold. The prosperity brought about the construction of many fine buildings. Today, nickel, iron and gas resources are fuelling a new expansion drawing skilled migrants from around the world.

Many buildings have dissapeared in the 20th redevelopment but those that remain are a reminder of different times. The old Court house built in 1836 is the oldest still standing.

Saturday, 7 August 2010,+City+Beach+WA+6015&sll=51.452694,3.563826&sspn=0.007742,0.017788&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=15+Windarra+Dr,+City+Beach+Western+Australia+6015&ll=-31.939198,115.764656&spn=0.021086,0.035577&t=h&z=15

My favourite Zoo animal: the Wombat

Frank on the beach on the river

City views along river Swan in Nedlands

Toyota Landcruiser Prado


We bought a car today.. We have never spent so much money in a day in our lives but we hope it will be worth it! We know we want to make some exciting trips around Western Australia and from experience we know it's always better in your own car than a hired one. Driving on beaches, on the rough roads in the deserts etc. Also it can seat up to 8 people so plenty space for visitors! It's a Toyota Landcruiser Prado, white, diesel.... I had a test drive and loved driving it! We haven't got it yet, but before the end of the month we will be driving it! Boys will really have to climb into it!
In the afternoon we went to a birthday party from Ffi and Leo, the children of our friends Sue and Gareth who we met in Oman. It was lovely, in a park along the river in East Fremantle. BBQ, playground and the boys enjoyed going round and round in circles on their scooter and balance bike. Also met some really nice people who actually live in Floreat and City Beach, which will be close to our house.

Jamie is going on a fieldtrip to Queensland tomorrow (on a very early flight) He is going to South Stradbroke Island and Canavon Gorge. It will be good for him as he will get to know his colleagues in a different way and also it will be fun. Although he says it will be hard work, getting up early in the morning. I don't think it will be harder than looking after the boys for a week on my own!!

Friday, 6 August 2010

The Swan River

Today it was 18 degrees and sunny. We went to pay the deposit for the house and spent the afternoon in Nedlands, a beautiful, green suburb on the riverside. There was a playground and nice little beaches with white sand and lots of shells. Lots of green grass and Nedlands Yacht Club. It was lovely with a nice view of the city sky line. And by coincidence my friend Tamar was there as well with her daughters, husband and sister. They've bought a Catamaran which is parked at the Club there.

My brother has put an option on the blog for you to fill in your email address so you will be notified when there's news. Also to write comments you need to log in with your google account. If you don't have one you can scroll down the pull down menu and choose another profile. This just stops strangers writing random comments.

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Willem, Frank and I went to the Zoo today. By bus across the river. It's a nice Zoo, not too big and with lots of native animals. I really liked the Wombats. Willem and Frank thought the kangaroos were cute and we had fun in the nocturnal section watching the disastrous cane toads, tree frogs and ghost bats. The plants and trees are beautiful and like everywhere else in Perth there are lots of green areas for picnics etc.

Quite a few people have tried to write comments on our blog. I think the easiest would be to choose the google profile and just make one up. Hopefully that works.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


We've got the house in City Beach! We can move in around 23rd of August. Next week I'll go back to measure up the fridge space etc so we can buy one of those and a washing machine etc. I will try and take some photos then as well. The sea freight is expected to be cleared on the 26th of August (although customs here can take a wee bit longer) and hopefully we don't have to rent furniture for long.
So, it seems to go all pretty smoothly so far! Still sunny today, only a bit cooler (20 degrees) but warm enough to go outside in a t-shirt .. or am I too adjusted to the Scottish climate?

Monday, 2 August 2010


Willem said he had a long but good day at Kindy today. I dropped him off with no problem and according to Mrs. White he joined in and played with the other children. Willem didn't say much apart from that he mad a gingerbread man out of playdough and played outside. He couldn't remember any of the names of the children. He said it was too long. It is a full day and he is only used to 2+ hours. Frank and I went to the Toyota garage to look for a car. Pfew, expensive... but it looks like you can bargain a bit.
I quite fancy a Landcruiser Prado, 8 seater and they had a turbo diesel, manual with bull bar...
Then we went to the park and to the supermarket. Easy day, warm again...
And Georgi phoned to say that our offer for the house is favourable and being considered!!

Sunday, 1 August 2010


This morning the boys woke us up at 7 am (just like yesterday and the day before, definitely back on the right time zone). We went to our friend Tamar who just had her 3rd little baby girl. Arjen and Urmila, our other friends from Aberdeen were there as well so that was really nice. It was a warm day, 22 degrees and we went to Swanbourne beach. Lovely, with a playground and a nice restaurant called The Naked Fig. Huge waves. Willem was scared at first but after playing a bit of frisbee on the beach he got used to the sound and he even ran in a while later! Frank loves the waves and runs in and out. He got caught by a couple as well. I even put my feet in the Ocean and to my surprise it was warmer than the one in Wales in the summer! Our dinner at Sue and Gareth's was cancelled as 2 of their children were not well.
Tomorrow Willem will start Kindi. The first time a whole day, from 9-3!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

The beach, near Swanbourne, Perth


Perth's sky line

view of CBD

View of the City from Kings Park


It's fantastic to be so close to my friend Tamar again!

Kings Park

A fabulous dinosaur adventure playground in this huge park in the city..the boys love it!


This is Australia... green, beach, sea, playgrounds, sunny!

Scarborough Beach

Small discovery

Yesterday I had one of those moments. I was on the phone with Georgi, our relocation agent to sort the last couple of things out for the application and in the meantime the boys were going mad. They really needed to get out so that's what we did. We just walked to something that looks like a little park opposite the apartments. You cross a busy road and then we were so surprised! Suddenly so green, a huge pond and soooo many birds! Ducks, a black swan, moorhens, coots, herons and many more. They were not scared at all, in fact they followed us which caused great hilarity with the boys. We crossed a little bridge and there was a big waterfall with so many beautiful, different trees around it with parakeets in them. We will definitely go there more often. Great to have something like that to explore just in the middle of a big city!

In the evening we had drinks at the Dutch club but it was a little bit disappointing as it was full of old people. Someone explained it was set up for Dutch people who came over by boat in the 60's and obviously the they are still going!

Today we went into the city centre to buy some presents for my friend and her baby. It's great to wonder round in such a big city with musicians everywhere.
Then Willem and Frank wanted to show Jamie Kings Park and the dinosaur footprints. The rest of the afternoon we spent in Scarborough, north of the city on the coast. Lovely place, a bit more commercial and built up than other parts of the coast but just a beautiful beach with dunes and a park with a playground, cafe's etc. It was warm and Jamie and Frank went for a paddle! Willem was scared of the waves. It's so weird.. they call this winter but we were in shorts and t-shirts in the ocean!

Friday, 30 July 2010

decision made for now...

We are going to put in an application for a house in City Beach. It's 12 km away from CBD (central business district, jamie's work) so it should be a good cycle. The bus stop and primary school are right around the corner. Big house with double garage with storage and a carport. You live upstairs and from the balconies you can see the ocean and Rottnest Island! It's breezy, which is chilly now but welcome in the summer. 4 bedrooms and a study, dining area etc, 2 bathrooms, and a small lawn area and a vegetable patch! Big drawback is the lack of "life" around the house. It's a residential area (with very, very posh houses around) and so we would always have to drive to shops/restaurants etc. Guess Perth is more of a city you have to drive than Aberdeen.

Also enrolled Willem in a Kindergarten at Wembley Downs Primary, a suburb north of City Beach. He will start on Monday and Wednesday, 2 full days. His teacher is called Mrs White and she seems lovely. The whole school was friendly, open with great activities for the children. Haven't enrolled Frank for Kindergarten and Willem for Pre-primary yet as they advised me to wait until we have a house (even though the closing date was today). City Beach Primary is full (has waiting lists) so maybe they both will have to attend Wembley Downs anyway but it seems a great wee school.

Putting in an application doesn't mean you will get the house. We also offered less than they asked (as it is above our budget, but the present tenants pay less so we might as well try as well..)
Unfortunately there are no photos of the house on the website yet, otherwise I could send you a link.

So nearly the weekend. Tonight there are drinks at the Dutch Club Neerlandica. Tomorrow we will go to my friend Tamar who just had a baby girl called Esther and on Sunday we are going for an early dinner at Gareth and Sue's. So all good (apart from the rain this afternoon.. luckily it was sunny this morning and we had a run round in Kings Park again. the boys really like this playground with dinosaur footprints and sculptures you can climb)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Decisions, decisions...

Guess we are quite spoilt... was just thinking of all the choices we have. I mean, having choice is already fantastic, right? Do we want Ocean views or a swimming pool? Do we want space or do we want to be close to the shops and restaurants. Hopefully I will view one more property today and then it's decision time... Will try and post some photos soon!

Met up with my friend Urmila and her gorgeous baby Lukas in Cottesloe. A bit breezy on the coast, but the ocean looked beautiful. Then back home to see some more houses. Jamie liked the one in City Beach as well. We drove around the neighbourhood a bit and gosh, the houses there! Huge mansions with roman pillars and archways. Multi millionaires I'd say. Biggest drawback of the house would be the lack of shops and restaurants around. We saw another nice house in Mosman Park, a suburb north of Fremantle, between the river and the sea, but it's a bit too far from Jamie's work. And now another one has come on the market today which I will have a look at in Wembley. We will keep you posted.

Today I am going to try and find a space for Willem and Frank in Kindergarten and a space for Willem to start pre primary in February. Difficult if you don't know where you live....but closing date is today...

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


We have been looking at more houses yesterday and some of them were more promising. There was only one in our price range which was looking good but it's in the area that I least like, Wembley. It''s between the City and the Beach and hasn't really got the nice feel other suburbs have and also it's in the catchment area of a huge Primary school (over 500 pupils). It's supposed to be a good one but gosh, so big! The other one was in City Beach with Ocean views! But more expensive.. Jamie hasn't seen it yet...
The one is Cottesloe (prestigious neighbourhood) was nice but only 1 bathroom and extremely high doorhandles. But it had a pool. Decisions, decisions....
But my first impression of the city itself? Fabulous! So much space and so green! Beautiful river, lots of parks and very easy to find your way. The beach looks fantastic too. And the weather so far has been fine. Showery but around a 20 degrees and mostly sunny! If this is winter, bring it on!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Poor Willem

I think Willem is struggling a little bit with the change. He was so excited about going to Australia and it might still be the jetlag, but this is the 3rd night now he does not want to go to sleep and cries. He coughs as well and is hot and cold but during the day he is fine. He woke up dreaming one time as well, his little heart beating like crazy! In the end he fell asleep last night around 10.30 and woke up at 8.30. Frank is coping well, I think. He still asks:" are we now in Australia? is this Australia?" etc. He slept through again last night. Kind of expected this so I am not worried. Just feel a bit sorry for them, especially as being dragged round the city looking for houses isn't much fun....

School and Kings Park

Today I drove the boys to their Dutch nursery class in Mount Claremont. A small group with a nice young teacher called Anneke. They only rent the room in a community centre so she has to carry in the toys. Today the talked about fruit. The boys were happy for me to leave so I could concentrate on grocery shopping. Beautiful fruit and vegetables, big and green. It's all very expensive though, but we knew that already. Still 20 degrees and showery today but only saw 2 showers so mostly a warm sun. Sat outside waiting for the boys and met some of the other parents. All seemed really nice. Juf Anneke told me they were fine but a bit wild. Guess Willem wasn't impressed with the toys (duplo, a jigsaw, colouring and some building blocks). He needs a bit more challenge. And they're not used to being in one group together. Luckily she did some nice activities with them so it wasn't all bad...Told juf Anneke to bring something with numbers for next time! The boys are still a bit jet lagged. Last night Frank slept through for the 1st time but Willem was still up between 10.30 and midnight (that's already better than between 10 and 3 am!). No naps during the day so I hope they're back to normal tonight. This afternoon we drove to Kings Park, a huge park and bushland in the centre of Perth, right behind our apartments. Playgrounds, stunning views of the city and lots of beautiful plants and trees. We saw Banksias, Gumtrees, a  green Parakeet and a Kookaburra! Tomorrow afternoon Georgi, the relocation agent is going to drive me round to view some more properties but there is just not much on the market and lots of people looking for a house...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

We're here!!!

A long but easy flight! The boys were very happy with their new suitcases and Frank cried when he had leave his one behind at Schiphol. Luckily the girl who checked us in understood his frustration and let him help press the button. The boys slept well on the plane which on the 1st part had really good entertainment (didn't get to see any of it as the boys were asleep most of the time but not at the same time) They ran riot at Singapore Airport but I just let them without getting frustrated. Next flight was on a budget airline called Jetstar which unfortunately didn't have any television but luckily I had bought giant lollies which kept them occupied for 6 hours. Jamie picked us up. I tried to detect a smell (like I did in Oman, smelled the Oleander then..) but here a talking car parking meter welcomed us. It was dark byt we saw palm trees and the first impression was very American with subways Everywhere. The apartments are locationwise very handy but otherewise nothing special but it does the job. The boys slept well (till 11.30!) and are happy with their airfreight toys which already arrived. we spent the afternoon driving round the western suburds and we visited my friend Tamar. A pleasant 19 degrees, lots of green and parks and playgrounds everywhere. The sea and beach at Cottelsoe looked beautiful, not to mention the sunset. So far all good. Just looks like finding a house might be difficult as the market is tense.. lots of people want the same thing.. On Monday a girl called Georgia is going to show me round sone properties....Wish us luck!!!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Tomorrow I will join Jamie in Oz. Jamie started work on July 5th. He seems to enjoy it although his boss was on holiday the first two weeks. He works together with an old friend from Oman so that's nice of course. Jamie has been staying in a hotel and the air freight arrived even before he did so he has his bike and cycles everywhere. Temperature has been fine, 18 degrees sometimes but when it rains it's extremely heavy rain. He has been meeting up with our old friends from Oman and Aberdeen and that certainly makes it easier! When we arrive we will go to the Mount Bayswater apartments in the city centre of Perth and we can stay there till the 20th of August and hopefully we will have found a nice house by then. Not looking forward to the flight and the good bye part of this adventure but I am very much looking forward to being there! My weeks here in Vlissingen have been wonderful. Gorgeous summer weather, lovely friends and the best parents you can have. I am sure going to miss it all!

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Netherlands

We are now in sunny Zeeland after a lovely weekend in a very hot Worcestershire. We had a time with Jamie's family with a BBQ, a parade at the Upton Jazz festival, a waterslide in the garden, homemade fish and chips and a village event at Feckenham. It is always sad to say goodbye but we know it's not forever. Here in Vlissingen the sun is shining and there's a welcoming sea breeze. Holland won 2-0 and life is good.