Tuesday, 31 August 2010

STING


Saturday was 23 degrees so we packed a picnic and headed off to the sandy friendly beach.
Great to play bat and ball and beach soccer as a family.
I then decided to take a dip and we had fun pretending the sea was warm when really we were all freezing!

None of us had noticed the lurking creatures until it was too late. I felt a sting and then my arm slowly started to go numb.
I gazed down to see I have been hit by a jelly fish - I acted as though it was a box jelly fish - and with only minutes to live I raced back to Nicky and the safety of the towels. I took a photo of the zig zag scar left on my skin (but when I downloaded the image I struggled to see red line amongst the freckles.)

As a man I felt I had to make light of the situation. I tried to be strong and pretended I was fine. I wanted to adopt the Australian image of guys like Steve Irwin and smile despite the danger and pain. I wanted the boys to be impressed by their hero dad.

The reality was no-one took much notice of my injury as my 13 year old daughter Lois had been stung at least 3 or 4 times!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Billy - my long term friend

Yesterday Isaac and I spent the afternoon assembling 3 Billy Bookcases.(I know that Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world - but it still only takes me 20minutes to drive to IKEA!)

It was great to finally unbox the books that I packed away in The Crown Church office just over 5 months ago. I know that I will not use some of them for months to come but it is comforting to have them decorate the wall and hopefully making me look more qualified to do this job.

Isaac being the enthusiast opened up the boxes and grabbed the instructions to find out what to do. It's not just because I am a man that I told him to put the 'how to' sheet away; I worked out that I have been building Billy Bookcases since before my kids were born. It was the first book case that I brought in my first house. I have assembled them in every house and every office since.

It is good to stop for a moment in this ever changing world and remember long term friends.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A womans perspective


You have heard loads of spin from me - here is the truth from my wife, Nicky:

Moving countries is certainly full of big challenges. Despite the language being the same (well almost!) there are so many other differences that it does feel like a very different culture and I am definitely a 'foreigner' here!

Not knowing how everything works and is organised can make you feel very vulnerable and even silly at times but we are beginning to learn the ropes!
People however, have been very friendly and patient in helping out, sometimes too patient, it is not uncommon to sit in the bank for an hour as they open an account for you and chat about how you are settling in!

You do miss 'home' in so many ways, especially friends and family but modern technology is great for keeping in touch and we have been so blessed by all the people who have skyped, phoned, texted or emailed!

It is often not until we do not have things anymore that we really appreciate them, so what do I appreciate today?
a husband who is encouraging, inspiring and who keeps going no matter what
fantastic kids who have taken on the challenge of moving so well and humble me in the process
'old' friends for all their support and encouragement
'new' friends for their warmth and kindness

Are you appreciating what you have right now?!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

TED & BBQ's!


On Saturday as a family we went out on the River with a great couple called Mark & Anna.
Mark has a small boat with outboard motor and a 2-seater canoe!
He also provided the TED and BBQ!
Despite the rain we had a great time - really helped by the excellent company.
Thanks.

We had a Church BBQ & Bonfire in the evening (and another TED!)
A great time on Roly & Judy's 10 acre plot.
So good to spend time having fun together and building memories.

P.S. The news that Arsenal won 6-0 at the weekend has raced round to this side of the world!!!!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Smile...

Do you like your teeth?

If ever I have been asked what is the first (not the only!) thing I would change about myself is, I would have always answered my teeth.
I have always been keen therefore to ensure my children get the opportunity to have a nice smile!

In Australia there is no National Health Service everyone has to pay for any dental work.
Lois went to the Orthodontist today and he told us she does need braces...hopefully we will get the job done for £3,000!

I know that on her wedding day it will all be worth while... but if you are thinking of taking my daughters hand in marriage I will be looking for a contribution!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Time to unpack...


Our container arrived yesterday from the UK!

Isaac went straight for the Wii and PlayStation.
Lois loved having a desk in her room.
Josh jumped on his bike and went out for a ride.
I blistered my hand making up beds, bookcases and more beds and bookcases!

In many ways it is great having a choice of things to do and play. It is comforting to be surrounded again by familiar things.
Yet it also causes a lump to come to the throat as you are reminded so much of the home we loved but left in London.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Barclays Premier League


There have been many changes in moving my family to the other side of the world.

One major impact has been the time difference:we are 7 hours ahead of the UK.

This meant that for the 1st week when we arrived we suffered jet leg.
This means that when phoning family back home I have to wait until 10pm.

However yesterday brought the different time zone into sharp focus: it was the day the Barclay's Premier League 2010-2011 started.
Normally on Saturday around 4:45pm I would be wanting to settle in front of the TV and catch the final scores.
I might be considering who to text and rub in their teams defeat.
I would be thinking about how to defend my teams performance (on the rare occasion we lost) when challenged about it at church the next day.

It seemed strange to go to bed on Saturday night and not catch the goals on Match of the Day.

I did get up and first thing this morning and check the results on the web - maybe that is another routine I will adopt as we look to adapt to life here!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Big Squeeze!

As a church we gather together on Sunday mornings and during the week.
Wednesday night is when the 1 House group gets together.

Last night we had a great time at Nic & Edith's (despite Nic having had major back surgery last Friday!)

Edith laid on some great snacks - biscuits, home made fudge and strawberries.

We laughed together, shared with each other, prayed together and provoked one another to do outrageous things for God.

There were 22 of us crammed into their place - soon we will have to start other groups!

I do love being part of the local church!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Weather


I know that talking about the weather is a classic English thing to do - so I thought I ought to comment on what it is like in Perth.

We are in the winter and nearly every day I have to wear my sunnies when I go out the house (we even have a spare pair of shades left in the car for when we drive!).

There are clear blue skies and it can reach 24 degrees by mid day. The weather appears to help people be relaxed and friendly....(I am not trying to make you jealous - honest!)

Having said all this, despite not normally feeling the cold, I have worn jumpers here most days and I never used to wear them at all in the UK. It is cold in the house. We have a 4 bed place but only 1 heater that is screwed to the lounge floor (the house is not even double glazed).
When working on my laptop inside I need a jumper on and at night on my bed a duvet and fleecy blanket. To warm up I sometimes find an excuse to go for a drive as it is hot behind the glass in the car.

They tell me it gets too hot in the summer, tht I will need to stay indoors with the air con on - I can't wait!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A big Kid at heart

Even though it is winter and the Australians think us mad .... my kids are already venturing into the unheated swimming pool (Josh had a plunge in there today at 7:30am just to wake himself up!)

As the old saying goes 'if you can't beat them - join them'...

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Petrol


Cars love it and we can't seem to do without it! (Especially my 2.7l automatic!)

Filling up the car has always been a weekly routine but there is another twist to the story in Perth - the price changes everyday...

Every garage changes their price every night at midnight.
Some supermarkets on your shopping receipt give you 4c off a litre
Other supermarkets pass on a discount via a loyalty card.
I even have an app for my iPhone entitled 'cheap fuel'
To make it even more interesting not all garages have the unleaded pump the same colour!

Basically you become an investigator, keeping a sharp eye out for cheap fuel (so far I have seen it vary by about 20c a litre) and when you spot a low price you go in for the kill (OK you may queue 20 minutes to fill the tank).

Afterwards there is the quiet satisfaction of having got a bargain. (Even if I did drive out of my way to the garage and I try not to work out how much fuel I got through whilst waiting.)

At least I feel like a local as I arrive at house group on a Wednesday night and can boast of the price I achieved - until the car runs dry and I play the game again next week!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Leaflets again!

I know that old habits die hard.... I have to confess that I have already been out putting leaflets round doors.

When I was a teenager I did an early morning paper round for 5 years.
When we started The Crown Church we hand delivered 300,000 leaflets in the first 3 years.
Here I am in Perth walking the streets.

Lois & Isaac have signed up for a a paper round to earn some money: They do 220 papers on a Tuesday evening and 405 papers on a Friday night. This time I am the keen (or you can say - soft) Dad trying to help my kids out as they start in the world of work

P.S. We don't have church leaflets yet.... but when we do!!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Almost lost at sea

Today we were unable to have our Sunday morning meeting as the scouts were using the hall so as a family we decided to take a picnic to the beach before people come round for a prayer meeting this evening.

Isaac the only one of us with his swimmers, was in the sea and Josh was kicking our new Aussie Rules football for Isaac to retrieve.
Josh obviously a better kicker than he thought sent it beyond Isaac who did not want to swim after it.

The tide was going out and taking our ball with it.

We thought the ball was a goner until Josh jumped into the sea fully clothed and swam after it. (I know it is not the most sensible action - we could have just brought another ball - but I do remember doing a similar thing when I was Josh's age)

I thought you might like to see the hero: respect to you my son!