Monday, 30 May 2011


Last Saturday I sat the IELTS test, an English proficiency test. If I score a 7.5 on each four skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) I can become a registered teacher here in WA. It started at 8.15 am at the university here and about 300 people were there. Nearly all young Asian people and some African. I was the only white one. Most people were young and have to do the test to be able to study here. It started with a listening test which wasn't too difficult although I know I missed one or two questions. Reading was not easy but I found it doable. Just very dull texts about the geology on Mars and changing consumer markets.
Then writing. Two tasks, one was to describe a table about population growth in four areas of the world between 1950 and 2000 (150 words) and a second task where I needed to argue whether teachers should teach morals, manners and values or if they should just stick to the curriculum. The second task was worth more points so I concentrated on that one and wrote a good piece, I thought. Then I realised I didn't have enough words for the first task and only had 5 minutes left so I started to speculate about the table (rather than describing it). Later after my oral exam which went well, the examiner told me most people fail their writing as they miss some key points they need to pick up from the table, and certainly with the speculating I will have lost points. Also I should have given both sides of the arguments a paragraph in task 2 and I only highlighted one. I assumed they just wanted to see if I could write in English, but they actually want you to be able to read a table and write a proper essay. So it's not about English as such....Well. Just have to wait and see. Results in 2 weeks. The rest of the weekend was lovely. Beautiful weather, bit of beach, Willem had a birthday party and Katja and Elleke came for lunch on Sunday. Also on Saturday night we went to Jamie's boss' 40th birthday party in Subiaco which was nice. This week the weather is slightly unsettled, few showers but we need the rain so I am not complaining. Jamie's recovering well and even went back to work on the bike today. Tomorrow I have kindy duty and on Thursday a night out with the Dutch mums. Now I am going to have a shower (bit sweaty after Body Attack) and I have to pick up Frank from Dutch school...
Love to all

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Jamie and his bike

Yesterday Jamie got knocked off his bike by a car that just didn't see him on the roundabout. We spent all morning in hospital to have him checked over and luckily he escaped with just cuts and bruises. A real shock though and the helmet probably protected him a lot. He 's just really battered and feels stiff. He has a sore neck, hip and shoulders but it will heal in time.
The doctor signed him off work for 2 days but he insisted in going this morning so he took the bus.

Ben Folds was awesome. A great show, funny, quirky with surprises and old favourites. Especially loved the songs "Picture Window" from the new album. The lyrics are written by novelist Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity) and "Still fighting for it". It's music you can't really fit in a box, which is kind of what I like... There was a blind couple sitting beside us (including dog). They had a fantastic time too!

Monday, 23 May 2011


We're well into autumn and we had two days last week with substantial rain but this weekend and today it has been lovely again and it will be the rest of this week. It's chilly in the mornings and at night but around 22 degrees and sunny during the day. This weekend we went out with our friends from Oman, Sue and Gareth. We went to a small wine bar in North Freo called Mrs Brown and then on to Harvest, a very cosy bistro style restaurant with lovely though rather pretentious food. But we had a lovely evening. On Saturday morning we went to Cottesloe beach to meet our friends and in the afternoon Katja and Johannes came for dinner. I made nachos for the kids and a yummy Thai green fish curry for us. On Sunday I found out that Band of Horses will be the support act for Kings of Leon in november. I love Band of Horses and we just got tickets for the concert so that made me happy. We went to the beach where Frank found more beautiful shells (the house is overflowing.. he's a real hoarder!) and Willem played baseball with Jamie. In the afternoon I went for a run around lake Monger (3.3km) and Willem and Frank cycled. This morning Frank and I set of to Trigg beach, the surf beach. The conditions were perfect so I tried again to ride some waves.. I really need more practice but it's fun. Frank had fun on the beach with his friends. It's so nice to meet everyone there.. The boys have started "multi sport" after school on Mondays and love it. Today it was a bit of hockey, rugby, soccer and throwing. Tomorrow Katja and I are going out to see Ben Folds. Am really looking forward to his show. That's about it for now. Hope you're all happy and healthy, where ever you are!

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Finally some proper rain. Today it's really stormy! Planted some vegetables again the other day so it's good for them and the lawn and all other plants in the garden. Basically it's good for everyone this rain. All lakes have practically dried up and the longneck turtles and birds are desperate for water. It prevents bush fires and will provide us with drinking water...We just got soaked on our short walk to school!
Boys are doing well. Frank enjoys drawing and colouring and Willem is showing some more interest in reading. Although the computer is still his favourite. Tonight we're going out with our good friends from Oman, Sue and Gareth. They are leaving soon for Kazachstan and they are the first to go. There will be a lot more leaving at the end of this year. Biggest drawback of this life. We're going out in North Fremantle to places I've wanted to go to for a while so I am looking forward to it. Also it has been a while since Jamie and I went out together. Last Tuesday I saw a Western Australian film called "Mad Bastards" about an Aboriginal community in the Kimberleys. Beautiful place, would like to go there sometime. Music was good as well and I believe it gives an accurate picture of the problems with the Aboriginals. Quite sad but this film showed hope too. Next Tuesday Katja and I will go and see Ben Folds. Really looking forward to that!
I've been running. Twice I did 12,5 km in Bold Park and yesterday I ran to Scarborough and back on the beach. It was so beautiful, just love the ocean. Jamie started in a new team at work a couple of weeks ago. He is a lot busier but seems to enjoy it.
can't believe how fast the time goes... Mid May already.. another 6 weeks and I'll be flying to The Netherlands again for 3 weeks. That should be fun!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mt Cooke and camping

Here are the pictures of our weekend away. It's May and supposedly autumn but the temperatures are still much higher than normal. 29 degrees again today and also this weekend it was lovely so we decided to go away camping. Jamie found a nice walk up Mount Cooke, the highest top of the Darling Scarp. It's 582m so officially a mountain... It was quite tricky to find the way. You would assume it would be a popular day walk from Perth but it took us a while to find the path through the bush. But after we found it, it was a really nice walk. The boys were excited about climbing a mountain and did really well (although Frank was pretty tired on the way down). Then we went on to Dwellingup. We camped in the jarrah woods before and it is just such a lovely spot. We camped on Charlie's Flat which is more for individual cars and families and we found a good spot amongst the trees so you feel like you're on you're own in the woods. Still a huge lack of wildlife... really wonder if echidnas and possums actually exist! Through the woods flows the Murray river. It really needs some rain but it was still a great playground for the kids. We met Katja and her family on Sunday and had some wine for mother's day..

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sydney and New Zealand

Here are the photos of our holiday! Will write about it very soon. We had a lovely time. Janko and Rebecca and their kids are in town (good friends from Aberdeen) so too busy seeing them and also the weather is still way to nice to sit inside and write this blog... sorry!! Back soon, promise!

Belated updates 3

Jill and Alan came back for a week in April after visiting family on the east coast. We took them to New Norcia, an old, interesting Spanish place north of Perth. We also had a BBQ on the beach (on my birthday) and Jamie took them to the outdoor cinema.
 A drink on the veranda

 Outdoor cinema "HR manager"
 New Norcia's Spanish church

Found along the river

 A drink in the New Norcia Hotel

 BBQ on the beach
 Watching the
 Beach BBQ again

New Norcia Hotel

Sunday, 1 May 2011

belated updates 2

My birthday. 39... 1 year to go and then it's the BIG one! Had a lovely day and a great night out!
Katja has her birthday a week after me, so this was a combined party in a great small bar called "Ezra Pound" in the heart of Northbridge, near CBD perth.

belated updates

Frank's 4th birthday in the local park. A hot day, lots of friends, games and a big homemade red car cake. he had the best time!