Monday, 28 February 2011

Perth is hot - official!

I know the saying that it is only mad dogs and Englishmen that go out in the midday sun.

I have not been out getting burnt - but I do love the weather here in Perth.

Day after day I get this view out of my window...look no clouds!
I understand that this year has been hot even for Perth:

We have had 23 consecutive days 30+ degrees and still going (breaking record set in 1988)

We have had 60 days this summer of 30+ beating the record of 56 days set last year.

We have had 15 nights in a row where the temperature has not dropped below 20 degrees.

I can't understand why people go home because they miss the rain...after running in 34 degrees I have created my own shower!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Turning Green

A lady commented to me on Friday that I looked as if I was 'turning green'.
I am committed to turning off the lights around the house and walk places where possible rather than take the car. (Maybe I'm just tight)

I try not to turn on the A/C but worry this is actually costing me more in electricity to keep on washing the shirts I soak with sweat and need changing after one hour!

I was hoping that the title would fool you following the pile of literature I dumped in peoples letter box earlier this week....but it was made by a nurse:

I took Josh to hospital to have his cast removed. Underneath the cast was still the dressing following the operation (which had been left there for 4 weeks). The nurse peeled this off and wiped away the crusty blood stains. She cut off the long thread that was still protruding from my sons arm where they had stitched him up.

Josh felt faint and the nurse had to put his feet up, put a wet cloth on his forehead and get him a drink. (Apparently 3 other boys suffered the same treatment that morning)

I tried to stand and be brave.

I have to confess that I moved across the room toward a sink I spotted and I thought I was about to see my breakfast for the second time. I pretended I was looking round the room in a relaxed way but was really trying to find the nearest door that I could bolt out of.

My legs started to wobble and I thought I would have to lie down and rest my feet up on a trolley.

I will spare you the rest of the details...I am glad now that I never took up nursing as I had considered when I was younger.

How do I stop myself reacting in this way?

When was the last time you felt on the edge?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Talking Rubbish

Josh has now had the cast removed from where he broke his right elbow....but he has been told he must wear a sling for a further 2 weeks and he is not allowed to play sport or ride his bike.

In 4 weeks time we must return to the hospital to hopefully be discharged. (For the caring types his albow is stiff but he is gradually getting some of the movement back in it.)

This means that I am still doing his junk mail round twice a week. Maybe I am looking for some sympathy..I thought I would give you an insight into the job.

At home I need to bundle the leaflets, magazines, brouchures and flyers together before cycling round the houses posting them.
  • This week I have 10 pieces of literaure per hosue.

  • I will pick up and sort over 2500 pieces of junk mail

  • When I stacked all the piles to to be delivered on top of ecah other - it was as almost as tall as me.

  • I weighed the junk mail this week and it came to 77kgs (that is more than I weigh!)

Sad to confess that I am a man who likes the facts and figures....I am sure some of you like me find that 'the game' makes more sense when you know the score!

When I have done it all, I wonder if anyone will actually read it?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Victory in Perth - for the Wildcats

Today along with 5 others (in my group, not in total!) I braved a visit to 'The Jungle' :nick name for the home stadium where the Perth Wildcats play. (For those of you, who with your children have watched High School Musical - I did not believe there really was team called Wild Cats either)

In my attempt to discover Perth through the eyes of the local man this is the 5 sporting event I have attended - fully entered into with shouting, clapping, standing and cheering - since I arrived 8 months ago.

Today there was one difference - this battle we won!

Despite being the national basketball champions for the previous season, Perth Wildcats have been defeated by the Adelaide 36ers twice so far this season but today we stuffed them 82-62!!!!

It is great at least to taste and smell victory in Perth

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Its curtains!

The weather can be consistently hot here and so houses are designed with this in mind. We have blinds in every room of the house and I am instructed by locals that when it is really hot you shut the windows and doors, close the blinds and put the A/C on.

In addition to the blinds many of the windows have 'dress curtains' ...fabric hung either side to make the place look nice but the curtains don't actually work!

At night Nicky likes fresh air when we sleep and so always has the windows open. This can lead to a pleasant breeze or full on gale which has blown the blinds around letting in the light and making a noise like a flock of crows are in the room all night!

This week, after 7 months we discovered the curtains actually work in the bedroom. We now can have the window open and it be quiet and dark! We have had the best nights sleep since we got here! How did it take us so long to work that one out?!?

What have you discovered recently that you should have been aware of for some time?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I just want to get off the bus!

Isaac is doing much, much better at school and I was invited in to his assembly today to see him presented with a certificate.

Rather than drive him to school I decided to join him on his daily bus journey (not that I am a great bus fan!)
It was nice to chat with my boy - but the bus was behind schedule - and we were late for school!

When there it gave me huge respect for how well Isaac has done: everything is so unfamiliar:
I asked the receptionist where to go for the Assembly - and she looked at me as if to say - 'the hall stupid'
When I got to the hall there was no-one else there - I stood on my own.

I clapped like a seal and beamed as Isaac was awarded his certificate.

I spoke to another parent whose child had also been rewarded - and she wished me a nice day as she got into her car to go home whilst I headed back to the bus stop for my return journey.

I brought a ticket - then felt a twit as I realised my last ticket was still valid (apparently tickets last 2 hours so you can ride again within that time - rather than just pay for a single journey)
When nearing the house I pressed the bell for the bus to stop only for the driver to shout out...(in front of all the other passengers) - 'this is a limited stop service', as he kept on driving (I think he picked up speed -but I may be imagining that bit!).

I got home gagging for a cup of tea and realising that things here are still very new to me.

My son Isaac is my hero!
By the way his certificates reads:
'This certificate is awarded to Isaac Cornford for setting an exceptionally high standard in all his work so far this year and for having the attitude to match.'

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Listening to my wife...

Since arriving in Perth just over 7 months ago my wife Nicky has been trying to be approved to teach in a primary school as she has done for years in the UK.

The paperwork has dragged on but she has been able to secure a job as a school receptionist for one term only. This has been great - she is bringing in money, she is not spending, she is busy and being stretched!

The staff at Winthrop Baptist College are friendly and supportive and appreciate Nicky and what she brings to the team.

In the first week on the job they had a new phone system installed and asked Nicky to record the answerphone her best Queens English.

I have to admit that I have phoned the school out of hours just to listen to my wife's voice (I dare you to have a listen 08 9314 7722)

I guess she would appreciate me listening more when she is around!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

How much do you weigh? What are you worth?

I recently took my children to visit Perth Mint: built to accommodate the gold rush in Western Australia. (Just to bore you the 26 largest recorded gold nuggets have all been found in the Australian out back!)

Whilst there I stood on an adapted set of scales that provided your weight in value according to the price of gold...I was around the $2.5million mark (the guy in front was more valuable tipping in at just under $4million!)

I guess as we approach Valentines Day it is easy to feel valued according to the cards we receive, the flowers we are given or the meals we are taken out for.
At times like this I love the story of Jesus getting baptised. He had not yet done any ministry for God but His Father could not help but yell out from heaven :'This is my son in whom I am well pleased'.

I delight in knowing that I am loved by God not for what I do but because of what Jesus did for me on the cross!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Perth Burns

There have been some devastatingand shocking images in the news about the bush fires that have destroyed over 60 homes on the outskirts of Perth this weekend.

People have been evacuated to safety but at the same time have lost everything: homes, possessions, cars as well as the irreplaceable photos and family heirlooms.

This on the back of floods and a cyclone in the East of Australia, can make you realise how fragile life is and though we make plans for the future no-one knows for certain what will happen.

The Bible teaches that for Christians when we die and stand before God our life's work will be tested by God's fire and that which survives will be rewarded by God.

I so want to live everyday getting ready for that day!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Who do you listen to?

Yesterday I (well truthfully Lois) discovered another beach near Perth - C. Y O'Conner Beach: fascinating because it has a statue built in the sea.

Charles Yelverton O'Conner was an eccentric but brilliant man who years ago was Engineer in Chief of Western Australia. His clear vision and dedicated hard work resulted in projects like Fremantle Harbour being built and the Goldfields water scheme which carried water over 330 miles to where the gold rush was happening.

Yet he was mocked and teased by his generation to the extent that he rode his horse into the sea where he took his own life (leaving a wife and 7 children)

Have you ever been tempted to give up because of what others say?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Healing takes longer

Today I had another hospital visit with Josh following his broken arm (technically elbow) at Newday.

With the hottest month ahead (it was 38 degrees today and our A/C has been broken a week) we had previously been told that the caste would come off today and so we planned a family trip to the the beach tomorrow.
Following another 3 x-rays it has been decided that the cast needs to stay on for another 2 weeks: the only compensation is that we managed to get a bright blue cover for it.

I will be taking Josh back to hospital in another 2 weeks - the same morning I am taking Lois to the orthodontist!

Amazing that the break which happened in a split second during a football game will take weeks to recover.
I guess it often takes longer to heal than it does to hurt.
I know as a parent and husband the importance of words because the damage done by these can last a very long time.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The upside down life

Whilst out running round Bibra Lake yesterday I spotted my first tortoise since arriving in Australia.

Tragically it was a fairly young animal that had been trying to cross the road and had been flipped onto its back after being clipped by a passing car. I have never seen the legs of a tortoise frantically move so fast and yet the animal was going nowhere. The situation got worse as I saw 5 or 6 large black crows surround and approach the stranded creature from every side and start to peck at and eat him alive.

To my shame I did not intervene, (in my defence neither did anyone else).

However I have been thinking lots about the scenario since.

Sometimes it feels that circumstances in life come along and knock everything upside down. Whilst desperately using all your energy kicking out trying to improve things you are attacked from every side.

I do not know happened to the tortoise (I will look tomorrow when out running) and though I do not like to admit it must recognise that not everything in life has a happy ending.