Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Old News - Newsletter June 2006

Gee time flies! I’ve been here almost 6 months and it’s whizzing by.

Milord and I are doing very well. We are now finally entering the “honeymoon period”. It’s taken some getting to, but he’s had a lot of baggage to work through (me too I guess!). Kinda the reverse of the usual relationship pattern, but I’m hoping this means the lovey dovey part will be so much better as it’s built on a strong foundation!

It’s winter at this end of the world, and surprisingly chilly. Although Sydney is on the same latitude as Cape Town, it is not surrounded by sea to keep the temperatures moderate so gets quite a bit colder (and hotter in summer). On the up side there are no storms to contend with! It’s been getting close to zero on the clear nights lately, although still reaching the mid teens during the day. I have had to dig out gloves and scarf for the morning bus wait. Luckily Milord hates being cold too, so our house is nice and cosy to come home to at night.

The house is a complete shambles at the moment though. The landlord has got painters in, so it is total chaos with furniture moved and drop cloths everywhere. They are repairing the ceiling where damp caused peeling, and also giving the rest of the place a lick of paint. Should be nice when it’s done, but in the meantime we can hardly bear to be home with the mess and the smell! Our smoke alarm was going crazy last night until we took the battery out, so heaven knows what we’re breathing. The cat is sulking about it too.

On top of that we are in the middle of erecting a shed in the back yard, so that looks like a bomb has hit it and there is dirt tracked everywhere. What should have taken 2 days to do looks to be taking 4 now and costing double… We miscalculated the size of the (huge) shed we ordered so preparing the foundation took ages, and Milord measured the old slabs incorrectly so we can’t actually use them and need to buy more, and we had to tear down the back fence to get at things (it’s being replaced anyway, luckily), and the garden has more of a slope than we thought so there was heaps of digging to do and now we have a mound of dirt we have to do something with, and and and… Luckily we both have a good sense of humour, and the friends who came over to help say this is the norm for a Milord project and find it funny too ;-). We all worked until dark last Saturday and Sunday, and now we have 80% of the foundation laid and the shed frame erected. Another fun weekend coming up!

I broke a tooth last week. I have had a cracked molar for years, but the dentists always reckoned it would last a bit longer.. Well, it’s been really bothering me over the last month, so I made an appointment to see someone about it. Two days later, on a Friday night, Milord and I were having a quick pub meal after work before going to a movie, and I suddenly had a chunk of tooth gone. It was unbearably uncomfortable, and I had visions of having to cope for an entire weekend when I suddenly remembered that there was a medical centre over the road. We popped in and the dentist actually had a free appointment and was able to patch me up - great luck. The temporary fix is rough and lumpy and bugs me, but I can live with it for a couple of weeks until the crown is ready. It’s costing $900 (that’s R5000 or GBP350). Oh well, had to happen some time.

What else have we been up to?

We went away for a diving weekend last month to Jervis Bay. It’s a lovely area, lots of tiny villages and white sandy beaches with a holiday town feel. We did a couple of ok dives, but I have decided that I’m not diving in winter again. My wetsuit is pretty good, but I found I was chilly on the boat, then cold under water, then very cold on the boat and then freezing underwater! I never got a chance to warm up and simply got colder and colder. Milord was laughing at me that night as I huddled shivering next to the fire in all my layers while he was overheating.

We’ve been to the Hunter Valley for a golf competition weekend again too. This time we stayed in the apartment Milord and his ex own in the golf resort. They’re trying to sell it but the market is dead. It’s very nice, bright and airy, and I spent the days curled up in the sun reading, then meeting him in the bar in the afternoon. On the Saturday night there was a function that we went along to, and we tried out some of our dance steps. I’ve managed to talk Milord into going for Jive lessons with me, and we have now been to 3. He’s picked it up very easily although he still finds things a bit frustrating. After far too much wine I started showing him a few dips and drops which got hysterically funny as he couldn’t get the hang of one lean and I found myself on the floor with him fallen on top of me. Several times! (Hey K, remember the side lean, cross body lean, full drop move? It goes very wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing!)

Hmm what else?

My boxes from the UK have finally arrived, so I now have my clothes and pictures and various bits with me. I think Milord was expecting an awful lot more to arrive, as everything simply absorbed into his house before he got home on the delivery day ;-). He’d been talking about putting my stuff into storage and I kept saying there wasn’t that much on its way! It is nice to have my things here now though, it is starting to feel like my home too. I am now inflicting all my photo albums on him a couple at a time ;-). We’ve got as far as me leaving SA in 1999…

I’ve been to my first rugby game ever! We went to Aus v England the other day and I really enjoyed it. We will be going to Aus v SA in a few weeks time, and I’ve asked my Dad to send me a SA supporter’s jersey so I’ll be a greenie in a sea of gold ;-). Should be fun.

On the subject of sport we’re all a bit sad to be out of the soccer world cup. It’s the first time Aus has qualified since 1967 or something, and we got quite excited when we made it out of our pool. Of course with the time difference all the games are on after midnight so I didn’t actually watch any (Milord did though). I was going to make the effort if we got to the semis…

Milord’s mum is very ill. She now has lung cancer in both lungs and is undergoing chemo again. They reckon they can stop it, but not cure it, so she may not be around for much longer. Milord’s very upset, and he’s flying to Brisbane every few weeks to spend time with her. It is a very hard time for all of them and I feel completely helpless.

I’m still in the same job. My contract is currently extended to the end of July, and will possibly extend longer. I just need it to go to mid September and then I can apply for the full visa, so hold thumbs! Ideally I’d like to stay on til the end of October, as I’m going travelling with my Mom for the whole of November. Can’t wait!

That’s about it. We’re very busy as usual, and next month looks to be hectic again. Never a dull moment ;-).