Friday, October 11, 2013

Show me the boy at 7 and I'll show you the man.

Tomorrow marks the 7th year since Gabriel was born asleep, so effectively what would have been his 7th birthday and i think this quotation goes in some way to explain the hole that will always exist where he should be. We never got to know the boy and so we'll never know the man he could have been. My good friend held her son for a few hours before he passed away and in the past i was probably jealous of her....at least she got to look into his eyes and felt his warm flesh, but now 7 years on i realise its all shit and actually there's no sliding scale of losing a baby.

I do know a lot of what he would have been, well if he were anything like his parents and sisters i do. He would have been everything i could have hoped for and if he'd been half the man his dad is he'd have been someone worth knowing. If he had half his biggest sister's lust for life, he'd have filled his life with joy, if he'd had half the compassion of his wee sister he'd have made somoene the best of friends and if he'd had half the glint in the eyes of his youngest sister he would have had a life full of fun & adventure. And to be honest if he'd grown to have the resilience of his mum he'd have faced life full force.

I guess all i can hope for is that my 3 girls and Craig & i come out of the loss as undamaged as possible, but i'll be honest i don't ever think it'll be something that's not a huge, defining part of me. I've spoken to people who have had major traumas, sex abuse, murder etc in their lives and a lot of the time they talk of not letting the trauma define them and maybe i have. Who knows? Its not something i actually want to get over or forget. We had a son.

Over the years people have given such pearls of wisdom "oh i know how you feel, i lost my dog recently", "what did you do with it?", "probably best, you wouldn't want a vegetable',"best not to talk about it, you're just upsetting other people", "sorry i wasn't at the funeral, i couldn't face it", "sorry i couldn't make the funeral, i was worried it'd upset me too much", "sorry i've not phoned in a year, but it was just too upsetting". And actually the list goes on and on.

I'm not sure when a child is still born at 39 weeks plus 6 days, people actually comprehend what happens. It's no different to giving birth to your little "pink" or "blue" bundle. They don't sedate you. You labour. You bleed. You rip.You tear.You scream. Your milk comes in.

The only difference is you're handed a wee bundle with blue lips.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Adventures at 41- Leopards, spots & glass houses!!

So Saturday this week just gone marked our year anniversary in Australia and everyone asks "do you love it?", "are you staying?", "are you settled?" etc, etc. And truly the answer is I don't actually know, but I'm giving it a go!!

There are many things i do like, and a growing list of things that i love!! I love the weather and i love living near the ocean! I love that the girls play out nearly every day and that they're experiencing sports and competitive sports and that they'll play them here until they're 60 plus if they want to. I love how tight Craig & i have got since we got here and as before how we function so well under the cosh! I love that the girls will have the chance to work and to travel and that that's considered normal and almost compulsory in Perth. I love that young people can study pt, hold down a job and still have fun with their friends. I love that Lily could get a pt job at 14 and start learning to manage her own money. I love that we don't have to cut grass cause we don't own a lawnmower anymore!! I love that i know i have been nothing, but myself for most of the time i have been here. I love that I've gotten over the phase of trying to fit in. And i love that maybe i  am a square in a round hole. I love that i now have a "proper job" and am functioning as an adult in the adult world. I love that i am no longer beating myself up that I've no interest in going to pump every day. I love that my good friends here range from an opera singer to a lady who dresses as Peppa Pig at the weekend!! I love that when a friend wants to go to Bingay they think of me! I love that we have an aupair. I love our new hood. I love our landlord for letting me hang all my photos. I love that our next winter holiday will be Bali. I love that Facebook lets me see my friends and their kids daily, so i feel part of their lives. I love that we'll be able to celebrate my mum's 70th here altogether. I love that every weekend we're out together having fun. I love that Lily & i play netball together. I love how Lily has embraced the move and shown herself to be an outstanding girl, socially, academically and in her sports. I love that Craig is back playing football. And i love that my "love" list is getting longer as time passes.

I've posted a quote that I've loved for a long time which i think fits with this time for self-reflection. As one very adamant person i've encountered advised me to be more cognisant, i would definitely say this applies to them and to me at 41!


There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.” 
― Tennessee Williams


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Business in a bag!!!!!

So here's the thing. If you choose to run a business from home in the vein of direct selling eg Avon, Tupperware etc, whilst people tell you it's because they love the products etc, etc the bones of it is, you do it because you need the cash!!! I find it extraordinary that people don't see that & try to support people as a consequence.

In my experience its mostly mums, trying to juggle raising children and running a home & managing on the limited household budget that are attracted to this option, as a flexible way to make some cash and work around family commitments. 

Many of you know I ran small business from home selling beautiful stationery,cards, gifts etc. in Scotland it was a great success and here it's not. In Scotland people loved the product & most importantly I think, supported me. Me as an individual that is. And here, well, very few do!! Which has led me to question my whole way of being and who I am how, how people see me and tbh it's a head melt. 

On this journey in Australia of trying to make friends at 41, the lack of support I think is just compounding my feeling of isolation. I sound like I'm looking for cuddles or messages of support or whatever, but I'm very nearly at the point of just asking people "so do you just not like me"? " I'm sending you texts, emails etc etc gently trying to suggest you might like to help me"! And I'm getting walls of stoney silence. 

In writing this I'm figuring people might think "you know what I don't hardly know you, so why should I?" and to that i say, tell me that and I'll not bother you again. 

I guess some people might think, "your man works in oil & gas so why should I give you my money", well again if that's how you feel tell me & i'll delete you from my phone & Facebook, cause you obviously don't know me!!

If you can't be arsed then tell me and at least I'd know you were acknowledging my efforts. 

If you're not interested then tell me that and I can save my breath, but it's the total lack of giving a shit that infuriates me. I spend a lot of my time with my kids telling them "this adult is speaking to you, please have the manners to answer", I genuinely didn't think I would have to teach adults the same.

So in the context of moving to Perth & meeting kindred spirits it's a bloody slog. If it wasn't for one Scouser, a Canadian and a fellow scot I genuinely think I'd be on the next flight home. After Sundays incident with the "lady" who tried to put one over us I'm really questioning this whole adventure. Whilst. I might be analysing it all too closely, I can't see I have any choice. There is a total lack of warmth, empathy, or cooperation here. It's every man for himself and you know what, that's not how I'm going to live my life or who I'm choosing to hang out with or have my girls be near!

 From this point on if you don't make an effort with me or show some honestly then I'm culling you from my life. I have quite simply had enough of the silence and always being the one to make an effort! 

If you feel guilty reading this, then you probably are. Make a decision to be my friend or not, just don't do anything just to be "nice". I want friends not acquaintances.

Turns out this blog wasn't about my business but about friends!! AGAIN!!! 




Friday, August 23, 2013

6 wines in!!! ** this should have been published a week ago**

So here I am on a flight from Melbourne to Perth and as the title suggests I'm 6 wines in. I've not blogged for an age and it's time I did so, it's good for my soul. Facebook today told me of the passing of an old friends' uncle and as I was thinking of this I tuned into Quantas radio and lo and behold it's a trip into Scottish music from my youth. Halcyon days I think the literary would say, Del Amitri, Orange Juice, the Bluebells, Aztec Camera, Primal Scream, Marillion, Wet Wet Wet, Deacon Blue, Teenage Fanclub

 My thoughts of late have been very much grounded in my own narrative of the past, of mistakes I've made, friendships come and gone and of regrets in how easily I have allowed special people and moments slip from me. So a little bit pished and a whole lot maudlin, I am raising a glass of Aussie red to the people of my youth who held my hair whilst I spewed, tolerated my pretentious meandering and  ultimately have reconnected in the past few years and probably unbeknownst been a huge support in this at times lonely and isolated journey in the land of Aus, your words of support have and do mean a lot.

So here's to my friends spread far and wide from that wee speck on the west coast and a raised glass in your times of darkness, remembering times full of laughter and fun x

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Girls & best friends!!

My middle daughter came home from Kindy this week & announced that Lucy wasn't her best friend anymore & boys can't be best friends!!

I duly launched into my tried & tested 'best friends' explanation. 

'No one person can or should be your best friend. You cannot & will not love every bit of a person nor will you share likes, hobbies, opinions with everyone. You will however meet through your life many people who will feature highly in your list of friends you love. It's better to have 10 best friends or more if you can. You're lucky you have 2 sisters & a lovely mummy so you already have 3 best friends'!! Her wee head cocked & looked up at me 'ok mummy, but you don't count!!'

Anyway got me to thinking and here in no particular order are the single sentence descriptions of my best friends. Wonder if you'll pick yourself out

• Cooky & fruity,loves films/music/clothes, inspiring
• Raucous, talented, sexy, my red wine confidant
• funny wee wummin, who can never do anything right in my eyes, but god help her keeps trying!!
• Strong, kind, yummy, motivating, my wee sister in another life
• Friend for life, through the highs & lows
• Wee running Kylie
• Funny, amazing, dungaree wearing, chisel wielding, Doris day loving, ambulance driver!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Glasgow Mummy
Scotland in the Sun

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Over the last few weeks I've met a few folks who refer to "my home" as "Engerland". You need to bear in mind my other half is from the lower part of mainland Britain, so i should be tolerant of the wind ups, but in truth its not folks winding me up tongue in cheek, its people genuinely not knowing that scottish people do not feel english!! And are in the main wildly passionate about the difference. 


 So that brings me round to how my poor aussie friends must feel meeting all these Brits comparing Australia & Australians to Brits and seldom in a positive light! The confusing thing about Australia is the similarities dupe you into thinking the culture, morals, values etc are the same. 

I've realised that my Aussie friends are right to talk about the whinging poms. Someone i was talking to recently was whining on about Perth and to be quite honest i felt like telling them to "shut up". And that's when i realised I've been just as bad!! It's seldom i wake up and think "ya beauty, its sunny, I'm 5 mins from the ocean and life is easier", but i should!

So having been in Perth for 10 months & heading for the year mark, there are certain things I've made peace with. 

Perth for me i don't think will ever be home, i think home will always be a wee postage stamp of green in the Clyde estuary. But as i see the next phase starting, with a new job, an aupair etc i think Perth could be the making of me & us. I feel happy here in the main and i feel we can as a family really start to make things happen.






Monday, July 15, 2013

Major milestones!!!

So this last 2 weeks I've been quiet on the blogging front but mega busy on the "getting my shit together front!!"

In summary

Got a job!!!! YAY!!

Dropped half stone!! YAY!!!

Ran 15 minutes without stopping!!! YAY!!

Got an Aupair!! YAY!!

Had some great fun with some new friends YAY!!!

Starting saying YAY!! BOOO!!


I'll post soon with details & maybe a yarn or too!!



Saturday, June 29, 2013

Smitten Saturday-Friends
Glasgow Mummy


Its been a while since i've blogged and to be honest I've been going through another "not sure' phase!! I hanker after something that isn't quite here yet & perhaps I'm being a bit sentimental & at times unrealistic. The top and the bottom of it is i miss my friends terribly. I couldn't care less if i ever have a can of Irn Bru, square slice sausage, tattie scone again, but i do wonder if i I've sacrificed friendships i'll never have again for the sake of this adventure!

We left in such a rush, and i was so adamant i didn't want a leaving party i don't think i got the chance to say goodbye properly. I was naive in thinking i would hear from people frequently, and i have to say I'm just as guilty, but its difficult to phone people to tell them you're a bit unhappy or equally you love it here. In my experience both conversations are met with a bit of difficulty. Ive told people I'm loving it here and they've gotten a bit shitty with me...as if I'm saying Scotland is crap!! Equally you want to vent a wee bit about the rubbish bits and I've been met with a level of "well just come back"!! so the result is I've not been Facetiming etc as much as maybe i should, hence the blog. Its the easy way out almost.

So back to the point i think i will always struggle to have friends like in Scotland, I've come to the conclusion I'm scottish to the core and that means i need funny, sarcastic, intelligent, slightly unhinged, borderline alcoholic friends!! I've met some amazing people here and some absolutley self-centred arseholes too.

So this Smitten Saturday i would like to say to all my friends back in the UK i miss you all


The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Glasgow Mummy
Touching Wood, Headless Chickens, Meeting myself coming back the way

This week has been mental! There is actually no other way to describe it, hence my writing my Smitten Saturday post on a Wednesday!! Expect Wednesday Wobbles some time on Sunday!

So in this journey to this point in time I've been a bit down, a bit unsure of my future here in Oz and just generally not myself. Its not in my nature to be inert, I'm definitely better with a project, a list, etc etc. So finally i decided to sign back up to Phoenix Trading. Literally the minute i did that i got a call to confirm a second interview in Sydney for a brilliant job here in WA.

So last week i re-entered the adult world, without children attached to my leg, wearing a suit, high heels, lippy, earrings, perfume....the works!! The interview went well, but possibly the highlight was i managed a wee vino with my mum, lunch with my brother, 6 wines and 3 movies on the plane (post interview)!!

Me & Mum on Balcony near Darling Harbour
Big bed, bath, wine YES!! Missing the kids NO!!

Meeting my bro for lunch



On Friday I hooked up with my friend Brenda from school. We haven't seen each other for 20 years and she reconfirmed to me that some of the funniest people i will ever know were brought up on that crazy wee island! It really was from One Island to Another, but it was as if no time had passed at all, there's so much to be said for people who knew you in those formative years.

Beautiful Flowers From Brenda T
On my return i got a call from another agency for a great job here in Perth, near the house and that's where i was on Tuesday. I got to the next stage with that and have spent most of tonight doing psychometric tests.

So why, touching wood, headless chickens, etc etc? Well I am feeling brilliant. Even if I don't get these jobs, its been great to realise i do have skills that are utilisable (after the shelf stacking rebuttal), I'm really positive about my wee cards business, i truly think there's mileage in it and I'm enjoying being busy, busy and juggling and being a wee bit stressed, it suits me!

So my smitten Saturday is that i'm in love with being in demand!! The chaos and the running about is brilliant and whilst I'm like that every day for the rest of the family I'm getting a buzz from doing stuff for me.

So please cross everything for me, touch some wood, say a little prayer whatever it may be and if you see me looking like a headless chicken point me in the right direction or buy me a wine x

Friday, June 14, 2013

A day out in Rockingham

So I've got 2 voucher books, Kidzabuzz and the Entertainment Book. We've been feeling a bit fed up of late that our finances aren't allowing us to see as much of WA as we'd like, so when we can we're playing 'voucher lottery'!! I find something we want to do and then try and build a day round it using our voucher books!

So far it's been great ( see cuddly farm).

This week we went to Rockingham. There was a voucher for $10 to visit a local conservation project, The Rockingham Regional Environmental Centre. We're all suckers for an exhibition and throw in an animal or 2 and we're there.



TBH it was a bit run down & not a huge amount to see, but it had a really cool wee park, which my 3 loved and we'll go back in the summer to see a movie ( they have a fab outdoor cinema area).

It had this interesting sign IN the play park which had Craig and I running around clapping our hands and shouting, just in case!


Whilst it wasn't a terribly plush or 'put together' place, you know what, GO! For $10 and to support the volunteers I thought it was good. Plus no tearoom or gift shop, so no asking for stuff.

From there we went to the seafront in Rockingham and had a picnic. Craig fancied a coffee, so i googled MuzzBuzz and found one less than a mile away (buy one grand latte get one free). The whole of the front has loads of parks. The only downsides were if you looked to the right, the view is awful (grain silos i think), and there were loads of bikies roaring along the front! I'm a bit if a scaredy cat when it comes to biker gangs etc. But overall I felt really safe with the girls and at this point Rockingham seemed really nice.

Our next stop was the park at ferry terminal for Penguin Island. The girl in the shop was dead helpful & we were talking about going to come back in late spring to spend a day over there! There was a gift shop so we had 20mins of 'no you do NOT NEED a kangaroo for $40'!! Up until this point i was thoroughly enjoying our day and feeling very much relaxed and enjoying the chilled "vibe".

Now, 15 some years selling methadone in the west coast of Scotland has made aware of certain "social nuances" and probably top 10 on the list is "you don't put sharps bins in public toilets unless people regularly shoot up there"!! Well, that was it, "shoes on kids", "watch where you're walking", "get back in the car"!! It's a fact of Australian life that within 2 days, your children will become feral and resist at all opportunity the request to wear shoes!! Intravenous needles and barefooted toddlers don't go!! Sorry Penguin Island left a bit of a bad taste!

So as a final treat and to use our vouchers off we trotted to Baskin & Robbins in the centre of Rockingham. The centre is lovely, quite touristy, but having just come from "the needle experience" i was thankful for "touristy". Our eldest about wet herself when i told her she could have any sundae she wanted (she didn't know i had a BOGOF voucher snaffled up my sleeve). BOGOF sundaes were consumed (with 5 spoons) and all in all we had a terrific day out!

Since telling people we went to Rockingham for the day many locals have snickered!! I'm beginning to wonder if its the British equivalent of going to Sellafield. But upon reflection to have done what we did for $10+$4.20+$10=$24.20, i think it was brilliant and im sure if i ask my 3 "do you want to go to the park with the deadly snakes?" they'll say "YES"!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Part 2 Photos of My Belly

Supporting mums losing weight – Wobbles Wednesday

I am linking up with Naked Mum, to let you know what I am doing about my wobbles.  I have been meaning to link up with this #WobblesWednesday for weeks  ( sorry Kate not worked out how to link and in a rush at the mo)!

So stood on the scales as per my Myfitnesspal weigh-in day and I've stayed the same, which is quite annoying. Having said that I lost my wallet yesterday and my very rational response to that was to eat 2 bags of crisps and 8 chocolate digestives AND I missed my run! Annoyed with myself but moving on to today and a fresh start!

Just tried on THE denim skirt barometer and pleased with the progress. That's 30 days and only 4kg in weight but happy to see bellies decreasing and muffin slimming down




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

THE Plan!!!!

So here we are 15000 km from Scotland & the plan we made before we got here is about as useful as a sungle sheet of loo roll in a Calcutta Curry House Loo.

Before we came we assumed/ planned/ thought the following:

1. We'd be loaded
2. We'd be able to save a fortune
3. We'd be as fit as butcher's dogs within 6 months
4. With my personality & qualifications I'd be turning down jobs daily
5. See 4. And add I'd be picking & choosing hours & money!!
6. We'd be able to see Australia & Asia see 1.
7. We'd see my family here loads see 1
8. We wouldn't watch as much tv as in Scotland see 1

9. Craig wouldn't do as many hours
10. We'd generally be an amazing family prospering in the sun

The reality is it's very expensive. But we're also starting to see a bit of WA, doing some running (it's free), I'm finally getting interviews, so I think we're turning a corner and I think we are starting to prosper

Monday, June 10, 2013

Self censorship


When I started writing this blog it was with the firm belief that over the course of it I'd excorcise some demons and clean some emotional slates clean. But I think I've made one fatal mistake, I've let people know its me writing and subsequently i cant share too much.......folks would recognise themselves.

So, I find myself at a bit of a blogging impasse. Do I continue to be open in my writing ie write as topics come to mind and say what I think I need to say or do I remain emotionally constipated? Should I restart my blog anonymously?

As a couple we've both over the years kept a close counsel, on my part because I'm trying to protect those around me. In my darkest days after losing Gabriel I'm not sure I know anyone who could have 'got' it barring Claire & Nic, so sharing doesn't come easy!! Well sharing tit bits & humour comes easy but salving the soul, not so much.

So what am I self censoring you might ask? Well a lot. Those of you who follow me on Facebook will have seen me ranting today & that was me holding back.  And there is the problem. I didn't start blogging to take photos of my food & recipe share. So whilst I am quietly working my way to 100 new recipes, I found it really boring to write about, so god bless those who read it, but I'm not going to do again. 

My passion in my life has been in the people I meet, the foibles of humans, their geeky passions and I think that's what I thrive on and it's certainly what makes me laugh. But it's with a heavy heart that I say this adventure is really an uphill struggle, full of some really negative moments. Today was a dark day for me. 

So, whilst I muse over what to do, I will try & blog about Oz and finding our way here, but not the insane behaviours I have been faced with.

Any and all advice welcome, but I'm erring on anonymous. 


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Glasgow Mummy
The People I Seem to Attract


I seem to "attract" people, strange people, funny people, i seem to have more "experiences" than most and for that i'm thankful. This week i'm smitten by the love of an old man.

This week has been interesting and it's made me laugh and cry in equal measure. Here are 2 things that happened to me this week that have shown me how life can be both negative and positive depending on how you face it and deal with it!! ( i really hope my written story telling can do these justice)!

So, on Wednesday morning i found myself wearing my spin gear with 2 littlest in tow outside my class 45 mins early!! Whilst i felt very smug, i simultaneously felt like a bit of a eedgit! So i decided to take advantage of the beautiful morning it was and have a coffee in a pavement cafe in Scarborough.

So armed with our Barbi dolls we sat, i hoped quietly in the corner to allow fellow diners to enjoy their coffees etc. The girls were being reasonably good, well for a 2 & a 3 year old trying to learn to share their dollies. I was sitting daydreaming a bit, basking in the glory of my total organisation at being up and at it at this time , when this ample bosomed older lady (70 plus) wearing matching golf gear and visor stopped dead and stood momentarily and stared at me!! 

"look at that spoiled little brat, making all that noise and not even a tear in her eye. Shes just bloody well at it. Ungrateful spoiled brats out in cafes. Children nowadays are spoiled rotten". 

Mmmm i though OK, just pacify her (8 cafe dwellers were staring)! 

" oh well she is only 2", said I, " she's only learning".

"it's the parent ye know" said the old weeble. "are you their Nana?". Well i swear to god, my youngest is  whiner and to some extent the old bat was right, but NANA!! 

So that was Wednesday, and showed me what happens when you grow old into a self righteous, opinionated and altogether not very nice badly dressed old bat! 

On Friday afternoon after school i met an old man who was the polar opposite, Ray, who will forever and a day be known as a Ray of Sunshine.

The girls & I were out for walk/scooter round a lake near here. Lily & Iz had charged ahead and I could see Lily talking away to an old man on one of the cross trainers. As i approached i could see he was probably in his 80's and he gave me a beam of a smile, told me what wonderful girls i had and we began to chat. 

I could detect a bit of an accent and it turned out he'd come out to Perth in 1951 following his national service (he'd served with the marines). He told me about how he'd met his wife, who was a dancer and how she'd performed in the west end of London and at the end of Brighton Pier. They both loved to dance, went line dancing, jive, any and everything. 

It was getting late by this point and the girls were getting cold, hungry and restless. After a further brief chat and the start of our goodbyes, Ray leant into me and whispered 

"I buried my wife this morning, I's just trying to keep busy", in the softest of welsh voices. 

I can tell you it took all my strength to not start blubbing there and then. I gave him a wee cuddle and squeezed his hand and we said our goodbyes.

I'm left wondering how one person can go into their day and berate and abuse a 2 year old and another has the heart and strength to bury their wife of 51 years and yet remain steadfast, courteous and charming. I shall look for Ray now when I visit the lake, I might even let him take me for a twirl.







Monday, June 3, 2013

Cooking Up Century Recipe #1

So at last I've sat down to share a recipe and guess what i forgot to take a photo!! Never mind, the spinach in it makes it a bit green!!!

So here goes

Chicken, Spinach & Potato Curry

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons korma pasta ( i use Pataks)
1 large potatoes (i use 3 to stretch to feeding 5 of us)
0.5 cups chicken stock ( i make mine with an Oxo cube)
1 Can coconut milk ( I use light)
250g packet of frozen spinach
500g chicken breast ( I use skinless, boneless thighs to save money)


1 Heat oil in heavy based pan/frying pan.
2 Add onion & cook until transparent
3 Add curry paste & potato & cook for 5 mins until potato brown
4 Add stock & coconut milk
5 Bring to the boil
6 Add chicken & spinach
7 Simmer for 45 mins with lid on, the longer the better.
8 Serve with rice!!

Review

Who ate it?
Everyone ate this curry

Easy? 
Very, once its on the go just check it every wee while! (after stage 6 transfer to slow cooker for 4-6 hours)

Cook again?
We eat this curry probably once a fortnight

Cost effective?
Yes if you use thighs as i do

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Glasgow Mummy
Taking photos of my Belly'!

So a few weeks ago I was determined to get back in control of my eating & exercising! 

I cleared out my wardrobe and took some photos of myself wearing clothes that fitted me before my Australian adventure began!

Ive logged in every day to myfitnesspal for 20 days, been out running/walking 3 times a week and been spinning twice a week!! I haven't lost a pound! 

Talk about feeling the need to eat a bag of donuts!!? Well i didn't ( i ate 2 single donuts, not bags) i felt really annoyed with myself and yesterday i tried on one of the skirts from my "Wobbles in the Wardrobe About Weight"!! 

This was a last resort, i actually think my mindset was "i'm crap at this, i'll be fat forever, excercise and healthy (ish) eating don't work for me, i'll just wear spanx forever and after this get MacDonalds breakfast"!!

Well, ta dah!!!!!!


This is me trying on my Billabong skirt that i love 20 days ago! But, as you can see a long top wont hide the muffin!! ( I can't even think you can call it a muffin, it's more like a "large Vienna loaf unsliced").



Same skirt, knickers, tee-shirt!!! It would seem I am toning up. Delighted but would still like to see a few pounds falling off the scales!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cooking Up A Century.


Before i gave birth to this blog i have been quietly plugging away at a culinary challenge! Inspired my friend Katy, who managed to cook up one new recipe every week last year i decided to try and beat that with 100 recipes this year!! And to be fair I've doing brilliantly, sometimes doing 4 a week!! Spot the woman with too much time on her hands and a weight problem!!

Anyways its May now and I've started blogging so in time honour blogger style i need to start taking photos of my food!! Only problem is i need to revisit most things to take a bloody photo of it to prove I'm on track to hit 100!!

My plan if it's of use, is to give you the recipe, tell you if it was easy, expensive to make, any short cuts i saw and most importantly if the 3 brats and himself enjoyed it! Nothing worse than cooking up a storm to be faced with 

"eeeeewww what's that??

"eeeeewww its green/yellow/red/got eyes/ got a tail/ etc etc"

"why cant we get normal food?"

"this is sooooooo unfair"

Hope you get the picture! And more so join in or let me know how the recipes were for you!

The first recipe will be Spinach, Chicken & Potato Curry, but I'll need to make first! Should be with you on Friday night x


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Glasgow Mummy
Saturday Technology

The last few weeks, the weeks running up to my writing this blog have been tough. Australia & Perth are beautiful, but it would seem that at 6 months in, the holiday was over & I was struggling. Craig is good at work, youngest 2 still think they're in Scotland, Australia in Scotland. Our eldest is starting to find her way after our decision to change schools, which leaves me.

When you read about people who come here & then return to the UK the majority do so because mum hasn't settled. And I get that. Its difficult to start again and part of that is reconciling the leaving behind. I left Scotland in a tizz and probably didn't get a chance to say my goodbyes properly. You land here and it soon becomes apparent that unless we go back to Scotland, the chances of us seeing most of our friends and family again are very unlikely.

Skype & Facetime have been great for keeping for me & Lily to get a natter with friends and granny, and Skype has really been very useful in my having interviews with recruitment agencies over in Sydney. YES I'm looking for a job!!
Even Granny has bought an IPad



Which brings me onto my next new advance, LinkedIn. I've been on it for years, but to be honest really haven't done anything with it. Turns out in Australia it's used prolifically by companies and recruiters, so I've been steadily adding new contacts and getting the word out there that I'm "available". Two absolutely lovely things have happened from LinkedIn, a former business associate and a customer have written recommendations for me, and i tell you it really has motivated me and touched me, their words were so kind and its really lovely to read the positive things they had to say.

Now according to my other half I'm addicted to Facebook! And to be honest he might be right, but i love it!! I love that when i started writing my blog, friends from years ago have commented and engaged in it! Its surprised me who is reading it, friends, close friends don't seem to be and some people I've never met are reading it which is amazing. I love that through Facebook i know wee Millie is learning to ride her bike, that Gillian has got a cockerpoo pup (?), that the Eaglesham fair is this Saturday (me & Lily are gutted to be missing it). I guess over time i might not look at facebook quite so much but at the mo its a bit of a lifeline to our old life.

And finally the best, best thing I've taken to using is MyFitnessPal app!! OMG talk about a wake up call, its like my slimming world sheets, but on my phone! Now you all know I've got 3 stone to lose and so far so good! I think I've dropped 4lbs since starting to use it, but the biggest value has been in stopping me gorging and making me exercise to counteract the bad days, and to build exercise back into my daily routine! I've found a spin class which is brilliant and I'm back sweating my way through an hour of purgatory!





After looking at my "performance" on Sunday (before i had my tea), i went for a run/fast walk! It didn't counteract all the damage of a very carb loaded Sunday picnic, but i did pull it back a bit!! Also highlighted quite clearly that weekends are my problem! I don't exercise at all over the weekend and i think this is where my problem lies! I kinda revert back to a terrible sedentary lifestyle, so all thanks to MyFitnessPal i feel I'm on my way. The other brilliant thin is I'm hooking up with my 'mummy" friends back in Scotland and we're messaging each other encouragement and reminders when we've not logged our diaries!


























Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

Sorry for being a bit quiet this week, but we've been hit with flu & gastro type thing & just haven't had the time to blog!! Strangely I've been missing blogging so that's a good sign , was fearful i'd be running out of things to say!!!

Anyways, on Sunday we went to the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm! The 2 little misses were very excited, eldest not quite so sure. If you're 10 & somewhere has the name "cuddly" in the title apparently its sounds "rubbish"!! 

A while back i bought a Kidsabuzz voucher book and this had one free child admission with every adult!! So me & other half split up the kids and pretended to be 2 single parent families!!! Total cost $26, total saving $26!!


It was absolutely brilliant!!  We all loved it. 

It's seldom we go anywhere that we all enjoy it. The 2 littlest loved the free tractor train ride, the free bouncy castle, the free food to feed the animals with! The eldest loved that she could wander round,pick up & cuddle the rabbits & guinea pigs (we miss BoB our Scottish rabbit). She also was very impressed to find out you could be a volunteer and help the staff clean, feed etc!! We didn't find out the details of this, but guess give them a call!

So, what did mum like?

I loved that its not been "Disneyfied"! There's no gift shop, no extortionate cafe (bring a picnic), almost everything is free (pony rides $5), the girls got to feed lambs which was soooo cute.The other thing i loved is that the crazy health & safety thing we have in the UK hasn't reached WA yet!! The kids got to pick up and pet the animals, they got very dirty in the fields and playing in the dust! I loved that a day out for 5 of us cost the price of the petrol to get there and $26. Would i pay $50 or so for a family ticket. Now I've been yes i would because i didn't have to put my hand in my pocket again.

Loved it. Go and try it, but pack a picnic, wear old clothes & wellies and be prepared to be pestered fo a guinea pig/rabbit the whole way home.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Smitten Saturday - Coventry village

So I'm sitting trying to think what I've been loving this last week and it's actually pretty unglamorous and a little bit too 'housewifey' for my liking, but its Coventry Village in Morley.

For those who haven't been its advertised as a "global eating" experience, with international supermarkets and restaurants.

I've been 3 times in the last 3 weeks and I have to say I think it's more cosmopolitan that most of Perth in terms of both the clientele and the shops. I haven't managed round the whole place yet as the 2 wee ones love the big "free" soft play in the middle of the markets and I love the coffee from the nearby coffee shop. I've been in each time and consistently the coffee is the best I've had since I've been here ( and I am a self confessed coffee wanker)! It has a lot to do with the staff, who're really friendly and obliging (on my visit today, the lovely french girl asked me if id like my "usual", LOVED THAT!!) 

Now as much as I'd like to recommend the cafe to you I'm not sure of its name as i think its in the middle of being re branded! It might be called Kaldi? Or Fiori, but i think it sells Fiori coffee? Anyways, if you're there it's on the left hand side near the back if you're at the soft play. It has an amazing array of eclectic chairs and tables which add to its "coolness' in my opinion! 

As anyone living in Perth knows its extortionate and any pennies saved are worthwhile. I think I'm saving shopping here, even with the drive. My benchmarks are chicken and bananas! $7.99 and $1.99 a kilo respectively! 

The other 2 stand out shops for me were the "Spice Wagon" which is a wee cave full of every spice imaginable, the smells are amazing and if like me you like curries, baking etc the lovely South African (?) owner has everything, and you can just buy a little so it's always fresh!! Bought saffron today for paella!! Loved it, girls loved it too!

And, the last one is the "Ye Old Lolly Shoppe". The girls love the rides outside and the amazing range of sweeties inside.

I don't think Coventry Village 
is glamorous, far from it, but it is fun. A lady I talked to told me not to come on a Saturday morning cause the families on Saturdays can be 'feral'. Guess when I'm planning my next visit?  

For any scots reading this its a kinda hybrid of Parkhead Forge and the Barras. It's not a tourist destination, but i do think its better value than the supermarkets and a bit more real than the western suburbs. 

See you there next week!!!











Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Australian Culture

Since being here I've mastered BQQing and spider hunting/assassination!! So after 7 months my total knowledge of Australian culture is appalling! Before getting here I was smug that I knew who Bert Newton is ( I'm a fan from a trip to Sydney in 2000)!!!

So here are the 'famous' Australians I know:

Kylie, Jason, Rolf Harris, Thorpedo,Shane Warne, John Torode (think he's famous in UK & not here), Danni, Craig MacLachlan!!

Pretty poor!

I can't name any famous Australian inventions or inventors (did the guy who found treatment for Heliobacter Pylori come from Oz?)

Poor!!

I've seen the following Australian films:
The mystery at hanging rock (not even sure that's the real name),Priscilla, Muriel's Wedding, Drift and genuinely that's it!!!

Australian novels I've read? The Slap, that's it!!

So here's the list of what I'm going to do, learn, read to understand Australia more !!


  1. Learn the rules of AFL & pick a team!!
  2. Start reading my way through the Top 50 Australian books
  3. Learn what a bloody bilby is!!
  4. Tone my thighs so I can wear a skirt without chaffing
  5. Stop inviting people to my house and start arranging to meet up at random locations 3 hours drive away, to eat a sausage in a bun with 1 beer (I'm driving) and move the contents of my house with me so I can be comfortable at said park!! Cool box, chairs, blankets! I'm going to blog about both this & 'Sausage Sizzles' at a later date!!
  6. Watch 1 Australian film every month ( any recommendations much appreciated).
  7. Learn to be safe at the beach! I need to get wee ones into Surfies & I'm contemplating doing the training to be a helper at Surf Club


Other than this list, does anyone have any other suggestions?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wobbles in the wardrobe about weight!

So, in my last post i naively said i would post  a picture of my "apron"!! But Jesus Christ i actually can't!! It would seem that i seldom look at myself side on, and consequently i have been quite deluded and delusional!!!!

On a positive note i did go through my wardrobe and it was a real eye opener in more than one way!! 

I will (since Craig doesn't read this) admit i have gone off the deep end at him because i have "nothing to wear"! I have also gone "mental" at him when he comments "you don't need any more clothes"!! I also,after writing my last post went on line and put several tops, dresses and trousers in my shopping bags at M&S, New Look & River Island.( I deleted after wardobegate)! So in fact it would appear i have a retail problem!
First item tried on!

Anyway here goes!! Here is a very scientific and shameful breakdown of my wardrobe!!!

Too Small
  • 17 pairs of trousers
  • 9 pairs of shorts
  • 13 dresses
  • 2 skirts
  • 5 shirts
  • 20 tops
  • 4 jumpers


Mmm too small???



What i'm left with 
Bin

  • 1 pair shorts
  • 5 tops
Gave away

  • 1 jumper
So, that's bad right?? You'd think i would have nothing left to wear? Wrong!!

I'm left with
  • 8 pairs of trousers
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 13 dresses
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 shirts
  • 16 tops
  • 14 jumpers

I feel really quite disgusted with myself.WTF have i been doing?? Don't get me started on shoes!!! And when was the last fecking time i wore a dress!!!!

Anyway,since this is about moving forward and getting my s**t together, expect the following!!

  1. Future posts about apron reduction ( i need to thing of some alliteration)
  2. Yippee moments when i fit into the 16 unworn items in the "too small" pile!!!
  3. No blogs about clothes buying ( although i did see a fabulous waistcoat yesterday)
  4. Before and after photos, but only when there is a 'before' not a just 'now'!!



Friday, May 10, 2013

Weight, Wardrobe & Wobbles OR Wobbles in the Wardobe about Weight!!

Pre Oz I was wearing size 12 skinny jeans, when I say pre Oz I mean pre Craig arriving here! Size 12 proper 12's, River Island 12's, Zara 12's (yippee) and since planning the 'getting to Oz phase', 'being without Craig' phase and going through '6 month holiday' phase I find myself wearing elasticated waists (take me to Switzerland and give me a wee pill) and size 16 Next jeans! I'm so annoyed with myself!

Having had 2 C sections I've got an 'apron' that bounces like a second set of boobs when I run, it needs 'scooped' into my control pants and the weight of it can on occasion pull my knickers down! It's not a pretty sight!
I'm not expecting to be Elle McPherson, but I would love to be able to get in or out of a seat without having to pull my knickers and/or jeans up, whilst simultaneously tucking my bellies in & stopping my t shirt riding up my back and/or my boobs spilling out the top of my top, whilst trying to wipe my brow of the sweat all this effort takes and remaining a lighter shade of scarlet!

I do give myself a break in terms of babies, life etc but to be honest I spent my 20s fat and most of my 30s pregnant. I would like to say that my forties were the years I stopped abusing my body and started treating myself with respect and care.

So tonight I'm going to do 2 things to get these wobbles under control!

1. If I'm brave enough I'm going to post a photo of my 'apron' ( im hoping the fear of what it looks like might spur me on) to my blog.

2 I'm going to sort out my wardrobe! I'm going to section it into fits, too small, not worn in the whole time I've been in Oz, dump & give away!

I don't think these photos do my 'wardobe' justice. There is a whole section of dresses (how many have you have seen me in a dress?).
Trousers & Tops!!
Jumpers

You know when you read those articles and you're a pear, an apple, a square etc etc, well im a dodecahedron with no arse and skinny pins. The minute i put on a kg i grow another chin and a belly. 5kg in weight can mean a 2 whole dress sizes for me.

I didn't necessarily set out to write about weight & image but in my daily dreamings, being skinny figures a lot. I know it's sad and I'm more than that etc etc, but when my size 12 skinny jeans fit me i feel better than when i'm hauling my size 16 joggers over my bellies, FACT.




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Making friends at 41 Part 2 Adventures in Balcatta

It's not easy to meet like minded people, full stop!! So following on from hanging out at the school gate and the park i decided to try and meet like minded woman at the alternate venues!! WTF have you been doing, you might ask??

Well 23 years ago i liked, well loved playing netball and its huge here!! You cannot comprehend how big a sport it is until you witness it!! It's on the TV, primetime!

So I hooked up with a lovely lady through Facebook who runs a 'fun league". At first it was fun, i met some really nice woman, we had a laugh at me being rubbish at adhering to the rules and my general lack of fitness. Nicki hooked me up with teams missing a player on a weekly basis and this really suited me as i was getting to meet a lot of people and generally having fun. That is until i met Cow-face, lets for arguments sake call her Melissa Cow-face!!

Let me describe Melissa Cow-face to you!! Face like a well skelped arse, long straggly blond hair, 5 chins, an arse you could park 6 bikes in and the personality of a schizophrenic hobbit!! You getting the picture? Well at some point people had told Melissa Cow-face 2 things!!

1.      you're beautiful and,
2.      you're good at netball!

Now i will concede pre 3 she was maybe "cute" but i can safely say she's never been beautiful and 2. we were all good at netball when we were fit and 50kg, wake up Princess, we're all post 30 and a wee bit slower and fatter!!!

So i first had the pleasure of meeting cow-face when i was asked to be her GoalKeeper for a game! Soon after she was growling at me i was letting too many in!! So I kindly and succinctly told her

 "to get the fuck out of my fucking face and stop the fucking ball getting the fuck as far back as fucking me, and if her and the fucking rest of her team were doing their fucking jobs right the ball wouldn't be getting the fuck anywhere near me, AND if she was getting the fucking ball in the fucking net then we wouldn't be fucking losing anyway you cheeky fucking cow, AND any fucking road, if you didn't have me you'd only have 6 players and be getting even more fucked than you fucking are now!!!"

Well in my Malcolm Tucker daydream thats what i said, i didn't,  i actually said "sorry Cowface Melissa".

I managed to avoid her for a few weeks, got to enjoy my Tuesdays at netball and then i had the pleasure of playing against Cow-face and OMG if she was a total cow to play with, defending against her was worst, well actually no it wasn't it was pure unadulterated fun!!!

I took great pleasure in double foot jumping and then "accidentally" landing on her feet, backing into her by "mistake", slapping the ball out her way and 'oops was that your face  I just slapped when i followed that ball through!! On reading this back it sounds like assault, lol. When she wasn't standing next to me i.e she was moving her big fat arse up the court i talked to her team mate!! She spent time telling me what a total cow Cow-face was, but how she HAD to play netball with her cause they were workmates and she HAD to!! OMG you poor girl i said, i hadn't thought about Cow-face outside of netball, imagine the poor sods who work with her the morning after her losing , the poor sod who lives with her, the poor children she will spawn so i did what i thought this pathetic ugly, egotistical, fanatical, crazy fucking fuckity fuck fucker would enjoy the most, i let her score goals and get one over on me, so that for one minute karma might spare the poor people in her life!!

But here's what i learnt!! It's better to be Malcolm Tucker than one ugly fucker!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reflection

So in starting to write this blog I hoped to clear my head of the things that rattle around in there and since moving to australia can become a bit compulsive. Since having more time on my hands, due to lack of money, friends, social life, I've been a wee bit too self indulged, or have I ?

I'm a strong person, that much I'm sure, I'm a big personality, that I'm sure of too. I rub some people up the wrong way, but fortunately those I do that to I generally I find dull. I don't handle dull well. I like geeks, weirdos, obsessives, all those labels that some people avoid I like. At least they're interesting !

So as always I've gone off track!

Australia's been good for helping me reflect and here's the conclusion I've come to. Being strong doesn't mean not showing your vulnerability, it doesn't mean not being honest about how you are, and it doesn't mean asking for help when you need it.

Now, before you all panic that's not how I'm feeling now, it's how I know I've dealt with life before now. My parents divorce, my dad shacking up with a girl I went to school with, losing Gabriel, the subsequent miscarriage, getting pregnant again, moving to Australia. I've just sucked it all up and expected everyone round me to get on with it too.

I can't say this is the first day of my not being an emotional cripple, but maybe the first day of my putting it all out there, all that's in my head, the good, the bad & the ugly