Monday, 29 October 2012

running into a reversing car

Last Thursday Willem and Frank were both running ahead of me on the footpath on the way to school and ran straight into a reversing car, actually denting it! Willem lost both his front teeth (wobbly milk ones.. pfew). Frank hurt his leg but after a thorough check at the Children's hospital there was nothing wrong with them..
Just a massive scare.

Great speech

Australia voted against gay marriage. Our Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave her party a conscience vote instead of choosing for equal rights for everyone as the Labour Party she is representing should.  Australia is incredibly backwards sometimes. There was a senator, Cory Benardi, who said "legalising same-sex marriage could lead to demands to legalise bestiality and polygamy". It makes me ashamed to be part of this country (even though I love living here). But last week something happened in politics that made me like JUlia Gillard again. Listen to this.. Pretty good, hey!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

City to Surf

Finally I did it! The City to Surf. A huge event where you run 12k from the city to the beach. A great run for us as we actually run home. I tried training for it but didn't manage enough. Still finished the run without walking ( and it's quite hilly) only a bit slower than I wanted at 1.20 min.

Willem ran the 4k with Jamie in roughly 23 minutes and Frank walked with Corinne and her daughter Annika. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it very much!

Art work with the Dutch Kindy

I really enjoy working with the 3/4 year old Dutch kids. I have 4 groups now. Work all day Monday, Tuesday morning and Friday morning. We've done some great projects. I also have started voluntary work with Meerilinga, a charity "promoting positive childhoods". I try and include this little boy with developmental delay in the group sessions of this playgroup. It's really nice work (officially called an special education assistant). Especially as I get to work with some really nice people. The playgroup works a lot like we used to work in Scotland.

I also had one day of relief teaching at an Australian school! Its was at Bold Park community school, a Reggio Emila school. Really good fun as well. Hope they'll call more often. Problem is of course that a lot of days I am not available..

 We're going on a bear hunt

 Songs about sheep
 Musical instruments
 Self portraits

Holiday in Europe

The end of June I flew with the boys to the Netherlands. The flight was easy. I had a 4 hour stopover in Singapore between 9pm and 1 am and assumed it would be difficult with the boys at that time but they were brilliant. Fantastic travellers..
Toke and Wim collected us from Schiphol in the morning and it was soo good to be back! It had been a whole year! The 2 weeks were quickly filled with lots of lovely social events. A wedding, a weekend to Amsterdam, trip to Amersfoort and lots of nights out with friends.
The boys had the BEST time with opa and oma

After 2 weeks Jamie arrived and we had a weekend away in Aberdeen. It was great to be back and meet up with all our friends. Aberdeen hadn't changed at all and I could imagine us living back in Scotland again.

 The weather wasn't the best but it could've been a lot worse as well. We still managed to get out and about. Oranje Zon was frequently visited.

 The boys love the fair!

And a night out with Ozzie friends Evelien and Lilith!

 We also managed to squeeze in 4 days in England to see Jamie's family. Always good to see them and Willem and Frank had a great time with their cousins.

4 weeks fly past... Why is Perth so far away!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Matt Corby, Evelien is leaving and Art Gallery

Last week: A young Aussie singer/songwriter. Biggest influence, I would guess, is Jeff Buckley. His concerts are sold out all over the country. I managed to get 2 tickets of Gumtree and went with Katja to the Astor Theatre, the lovely Art Deco one. It was different this time and they removed the seats at the front so you could stand close to the stage. Always prefer that anyway, then seated concerts.
He was really good. Didn't know many of his songs (only "Brother"). Really enjoyed the concert. He has a great emotional voice.
Evelien has left Perth. I organised a wee farewell for her in a stylish tapas bar with her close friends. It was a lovely night. Luckily Eef lives in Middelburg so I will see her again!

This Friday was the opening of Picasso to Warhol at the art gallery. It's an exhibition of 14 masters and all the artworks come from New York. It's great as I've never been to NY and I know a lot of people from WA never have as well as they've never even made it to Europe. So it's a great opportunity for them to see these masterworks. I went with 4 girlfriends to the sold out opening night. There was a bar, a great band (Tippan Orange, from Melbourne) and it was great to be at the gallery at night.

 Beauty from Picasso: a green still life

Also loved all the works from Calder. There were also artists I didn't know like Louise Bourgeois and Brancusi.

What else... hm.. Willem won a golden medal with running at school!
He had his assembly about inventions. Frank received a certificate because he's kind and helpful. We've had a big storm with wind gusts of 100km per hour.
And 3 nights sleep and we're flying back to Europe! Yippie!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

And then it was June..

Gosh, time flies! Haven't written for ages! Will write a quick update and will post some photos. What's happened. Well, Willem started AFL footy on Sunday mornings. A sort of funny style rugby. He really enjoys it as his friend Lucas also plays (as half his class). It's nice because we can just walk down to the oval at City Beach and half the school is there. Frank tried two classes but didn't like it. He gives up quite easily if things don't go his own way so when he lost with dodgeball he was unhappy.
We've had a couple of dinners with friends here at our house which is always nice.
I celebrated my 40th Birthday in a nice wee wine bar. Had a couple of nights out. Reading club is still going strong. I am still running.
We had a great walk in the Perth hills. We climbed mount Vincent and mount Cuthbert. Boys walked around 8km. Very good! The weather has been absolutely gorgeous (up to today.. it's raining now and it will most of this week and next). Just 25+ degrees and sunny days. We even could sun bathe on the beach and had a bbq there with friends in autumn/nearly winter!
Last week I went to see Missy Higgins with Corinne and that was brilliant. What a woman!
Also we went camping with Katja and her family in the woods.
This week I took Frank to the dentist (at school) as he had a cavity. He was very brave! I felt pretty bad about it, though. Less sweets and better brushing from now on!
Tomorrow I'm going out for dinner with Urmila and Tamar (Aberdeen friends) and on Friday I'm out to a lovely Tapas bar to say goodbye to Evelien. She's moving back to The Netherlands, but she's in Middelburg so am sure I'll see her again.
At work things are going well. Really enjoying the project "we're going on a bear hunt" and this week we're making binoculars out of toilet roll and are really going on a (teddy) bear hunt. Kids are so excited. Great!
Soon I fly back "home" with the boys. Can't wait!

Here are some photos, not in order!

 With Inge and Katja at The Cabin for my 40th.

 With Corinne and Tamar..

 BBQ on beach late november. So lovely, the weather!

 Willem's AFL training

 On top of Mt Vincent
 On the way up
 Camping near Collie River

 Frank's first writing!
 We're going on a bear hunt, walking through mud.

 MISSY HIGGINS! She's a star!

 So is Frank. Brave boy facing the dentist without an anaesthetic!

We're going on a bear hunt: Oh no, a snow storm!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Willem reads more and more

He's especially interested in reading non fiction and he also really likes Zac Power, about a spy.
He's doing really well, although this video is really short and doesn't do him justice. Still, thought it was nice.. Nothing wrong with his comprehension!

Bush Fire

I totally forgot to blog about our bush fire. Just before we went away for my birthday holiday trip Bold Park was on fire. You could see the smoke very well from our veranda and even better from our upstairs balcony. Lots of helicopters whizzing round dropping water, fire engines, sirens etc. I went over to the neighbours to ask if they thought it was serious. They didn't seem to be too worried but poor Willem was. he was sooo scared. He straight away got changed into long trousers and a long sleeve top in case we had to leave the house. I switched on the laptop to find information and the bush fire update said we needed to close all doors and windows and stay alert. Frank put his cuddly toys by the door to take with him, and also a huge wooden dinosaur skeleton he was given for his birthday and he hadn't finished painting! It reminded me of when our chimney was on fire when I was nine. I had put all my cuddly toys in a bin bag, put my boots on and was ready for evacuation! Luckily soon after the smoke became less and the alert said there was no threat anymore. It's quite frightening though, if a fire is so close to your home.

Avon Valley NP

This weekend was all about my lovely friend Katja. She turned 39 but more importantly she passed her Australian Law degree! Doing your degree twice is fantastic but doing it with two small children at home is  just amazing! It called for a celebration and we went to Juanita's a quirky little tapas place in Subiaco. It's very small and in the back of an art shop. The boys and us all stayed over at Katja's house for convenience (and sharing the baby sitter). The next morning Katja said: "Shall we go camping?" I needed to get my head round it for 5 minutes but then I thought, well, why not! So we quickly went home to get all our gear and we headed off to the Avon Valley National Park, about an hours drive from Perth. There's nothing to do there and we were hoping to be able to make a fire because it's definitely getting cooler now. When we arrived the fire ban was still in place. That was disappointing but we had plenty warm clothes and it wasn't that bad, really.. around 12 degrees. We found a great spot on Bald Hill, a hill of granite (hence bald) and lots of granite rocks to climb on. The kids had a ball, they were busy building dens and doing some dinosaur role play. Katja and I read our books in the sunshine on the rocks with a lovely view and we all had an early night (compared to the night before.. it was very welcome actually :)
The next day we found ourselves above the cloud and that doesn't happen very often here in WA!
On the way home we had lunch in the Feral Brewery in the Swan Valley where they brew the best white beer. A good end to a lovely weekend!

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Big 40!

I am 40 now. It feels weird because I feel the same. Not that I thought I'd feel differently suddenly but it does make me realise that growing old doesn't change you. Guess my grandparents in their 80's must have still felt the same person inside too, that they always were. Never really thought about it like that. Of course I might experience health issues at some point,  become less fit, I get a few more wrinkles but from the inside I still feel the same as when I was 16 (or so).
I clearly remember my 21st Birthday (not my 20th, haha). We were in America and my Uncle Zweitze had booked a table in a Mexican restaurant. Becoming 21 is a BIG thing in The States. It was a fun evening. I've always had a good party on my birthday, always love the attention. My 30th I celebrated in The Al Bustan Hotel in Muscat, Oman. Once (or maybe still) one of the best business hotels of the world. Jamie and I stayed the night there on on the day nearly all my friends came for a yummy brunch. It was lovely day.
This time I wanted something special again and that's why we drove all the way up north to Exmouth where we booked a "whale shark experience".
Basically you go out on a boat. Have a snorkel on Ningaloo Reef while the spotter planes find the whale shark and then they take you to them. You get your snorkel and fins on and jump in the ocean and then these big fish swim towards you. The biggest fish on earth (although the Ningaloo whale sharks aren't the biggest, they are around 6-8 meters) . It was just awesome.
Willem and Frank were brave too!

This is me checking if Willem can see the whale shark too.
We were lucky as we could jump in with the fish more than once. First time two even circled round us. It was an amazing experience. The crew knew it was my birthday and baked a cake too. Lovely!

The rest of the trip was good as well. Willem and Frank enjoyed snorkelling and we saw emus on the beach, dolphins at Monkey Mia, Dugongs swimming around and we had a lovely but hot couple of days in Kalbarri National Park with it's red stone cliffs.

The boys are great little campers. Willem spent most of the time working in his year 1 homework book!
Frank enjoyed drawing and writing in his school diary. A couple of times there was a swimming pool on the camp site too which made them very happy. Willem can now do a scary back flip into the water.

Now I need to start thinking about having a party. Not sure if I want it big or small. My dear friend Katja also has her birthday this week and another friend Marjolijn also turned 40. Maybe we'll do something together.

In June/July we'll be coming to Europe so hopefully will get to celebrate again!