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?)


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 

  • 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!!

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


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

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Smitten Saturday : My First Born

So what am I loving just now? Its not what, it's who and I'm reluctant to share in case I jinx it!!

Its my eldest girl. She's been a pretty challenging wee girl since we arrived in Oz, but to be fair she was in the months leading up to this move. I'm riddled with guilt, that we've done the wrong thing for her and her future. She loved her life in Scotland, she had great friends, a great school and at 9 she'd more or less mapped her wee life out. She was secure, confident and really happy!! Then we moved to Australia.

It could well be that her demeanour and behaviour would have been the same in Scotland, it's hard to say, it may have been her hormones, but her and I have been at each other's throats for nearly a year now and it really had started to take its toll on me and her and her daddy! And then this last week, someone somewhere has flicked a switch and my funny, kind, quirky and generally amazing 10 year old daughter has emerged. I'm not sure where she's been or how long it will last, but I've had the most amazing time with her over the school holidays, we've laughed and laughed. Had lovely cuddles, "big" chats about her "future" (she's a pretty determined wee bugger) and generally enjoyed each others company.

I know it might not last, but whilst it does I'm loving it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Melon for breakfast, 6 pack by tea-time!!!

So, before living in Oz my 'plan' was I'd get this lardy arse into gear, shape up, get fit, redefine my 'style' (find one) and generally find my 'mojo' after years of studying, working, striving, being a mum, being everything to everyone, but not sure I was truly being myself!!

It'll be easy I thought, a land where it's sunny, plenty beautiful fresh food, who after-all wants a fry up when it's 41C?? It's true the good old fry-up doesn't appeal in the heat, but I tell you what, paying $6 for a small punnet of strawberries or $30 a kilo for grapes sure puts a dent in your budget! (£4 and £20 respectively).

What no one warned me of was the danger of being on permanent holiday! Sitting out in the balmy evenings is something I'm used to saving for my 2 week holiday in the sun. Months of it, a wee glass of something, a wee bowl of crisps/peanuts/olives (delete as appropriate) on a nightly basis have taken their toll. Throw into that melting pot it's too bloody hot to wear shoes, never-mind exercise, then you may like me find yourself celebrating 6 months in paradise with an extra 14 kg (2 stone in old money).

I'm really disappointed in myself! I'd been doing so well, slowly chipping away at my weight before Perth, spinning 3-4 nights a week and generally being sensible. Sensible, I've discovered doesn't suit me terribly well, so I'm back to where I was over 10 years ago and doing the couch to 10k programme. Although after 4 babies and 10 years I've downgraded to 5k. I'm 1 week in and so far so good on the running , food and alcohol are still a problem, but i'll sort that out in the coming months!