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.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Hopefully we will see all our things again in 12 weeks time!

last night out in Aberdeen with our friends.

A gorgeous warm and sunny evening!

217 boxes

The packers

goodbye my dear friends....

preparing for the move..

No soil or grass allowed.. so Willem jet cleans Frank's bike.

busy busy

 The last couple of days were very sunny and beautiful. Last night we had a last meal with our friends and we sat outside till midnight. Very unusual for Aberdeen and a great way to say goodbye to the Granite city. On Monday and Tuesday the removal company came and 3 men packed everything up in 217 boxes. Today, they loaded everything in a big lorry and if all goes well we will see our things back in about 12 weeks. Frank and Willem both said goodbye to their friends and teachers at nursery. They seem to cope very well with it all. Guess they are still young and flexible! We spent quite a few hours cleaning and sorting the place out. On Saturday a lady will move in with her daughter. It's good we were able to find a tenant so quickly. Tomorrow morning the 3rd and last continental breakfast buffet in Skene House where we are staying and then we'll drive down to England for a last weekend with Jamie's family. I will miss Aberdeen and Scotland a lot. Our friends, the fact you can walk everywhere, the short drive to beautiful wilderness, some of the great bars and restaurants and the music venues. Seven years is a long time and it's been an important time. We bought a house, got married, had two lovely boys...But I am also really looking forward to our new adventure. It's the right time to do it!

Friday, 18 June 2010


By our grandson Willem, who is four years old now
a certain corner in the garden has been called Australia.
Why, that is not clear. It is a spot where the rhubarb grows
and where is standing a mulberry tree which birds are fond of,
certainly when it is summer and the berries are ripe and black
and juicy and  sweet. Some flowerpots stand there,
a zinc bucket, a leaky watering-can, and an old window frame.
Sometimes you find there daddy-longlegs or some wood-lice,
but I think that part of the garden is not a bit like Australia.

From the moment  little Willem knows he is going to live
in Australia a lot of Australia has come in his life.
The bedside stories I  tell him must often be situated in Australia.
His pet is a soft, light blue kangaroo. Grandad Wim, he says,
tell me a story about Australia! And so the story has to play out
in Australia and often the story has to be about kangaroos
which are doing things and  play at leap-frog.
They are joined by grasshoppers which can jump
higher then everybody else an they just fly over the kangaroos.
It is dead easy for them. They have red wings.

From time to time a huge salt water crocodile
rises up from an orange river to devour
an innocent poor little kangaroo. That is fearful.
Willem can accept this, but he does not like bushfires.
Okay, he says, crocodiles are allowed but no bushfires, Grandad.
This said, even the teeniest of tiny fires or even a walking match-stick
are absolutely forbidden to enter the story. Even not when a dark
little rain cloud appears in the clear blue Australian sky.
Or when an elephant is coming with its useful long snout.
But with that elephant element Willem does not agree.
Elephants are certainly not residents of Australia, he explains to me.

At the end of the story I put all the kangaroos in a circle
around a  non-burning campfire. It does not even smoke
and  it is not worthy to carry the name of campfire.
The kangaroos start singing a polyphony kangaroo campfire chant
Under the light of a promising Australian moon.
After that Willem will  go to sleep quietly.
And his Dreamland will probably resemble his Australia.

Far and vague is the land
that is called Australia.
Its nights are green and its moon is blue.
Don’t think that I shall forget you. 

By Wim Hofman

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Isle of Skye, our farewell Scotland holiday

A few days left

Next week the removal company will pack all our things. Friday is Jamie's last day at work. The boys are saying goodbye to their friends and their favourite parks and we've got goodbye parties on Friday and Saturday. Saying goodbye to our lovely friends is the hardest part. And I will miss Scotland as well, the mountains, glens and lochs, the silence when you're in the middle of nowhere. It's just so beautiful here!
But we're really excited about Perth, there'll be plenty of wilderness in Australia, just different. And we'll be meeting lots of old friends again who we've said to before. So it's a double feeling. We will stay in a serviced apartment when the packers are here. Then we will drive to England to say goodbye to Jamie's family and then we'll be in the Netherlands. Jamie starts work on the 5th of July and me an the boys will join him on the 23rd of July (just to enjoy a bit of summer in Europe). Exciting, busy times!