My family are now on their way home….for me – at last, but I’m sure our family in Scotland will be sad to see them go! I’m really looking forward to seeing them in the Airport on Tuesday morning. They arrive around 1.30am, so I’ve no idea how Ella and Charlie will be…it could be a long night and an unsettled few days.
While they’ve been gone, spring has definitely arrived in Melbourne, we’ve had a few days with the temperature getting into the 30’s. Yesterday was one of those days which we spent sitting outside having a bbq and a some beers. A few of our friends came round and we had a really good time with Neil in particularly fine form.
Jill and Dave, (k’s sis and husband) have been here since last weekend and in record time managed to find a house to rent which they get the keys for on Tuesday. Their house is not far from us and Dave and I are about equi-distant from the local pub! Kirstin will be pleased to have her sister living quite close though Mhairi is also coming back from Scotland next week so it will be nice for the three sisters to be back in one country again.
I left a very excited Ella in the care of Grandma & Grandad on Monday morning – they were taking her to Eastlinks Family Park while Charlie & I headed into Edinburgh to meet my friend Jo and her little boy Wilbur for lunch.
Ella was singing on the way “We’re all going to the farm today, farm today, farm today” followed by “We’re all going to see the cows…pigs….sheep…horses today”.
She saw chickens, turkeys, rabbits and believe it or not wallabies including an albino wallaby which she was fascinated by. She climbed high up on hay bales with Grandad to see the scarecrow at the top. They moved on to feed the ponies which Ella did quite happily but after keeping her hand flat for them to eat she curled her fingers and got a nasty bite. There were many tears and she’s still walking round protectivley nursing her thumb.
There was some distraction activity in driving the tractor but then it was time for picnic lunch. They ended the day with a ride on the train which goes around the park. Ella found it most amusing that the train was being chased by black sheep.
Ella’s been telling me all about it and I know Grandma & Grandad just loved spending the day with her.
Alan’s parents arranged a family gathering last Sunday for everyone to catch up. It was lovely for Ella to see her Aunties, Uncles and cousins again and for everyone to meet Charlie for the first time. Ella enjoyed playing with Noah although it was odd seeing her following him around as the older one in charge (he’s almost 6). They were building with lego and piling up all Grandma’s cushions on the floor before diving over them – completely fearless! I was ok with it until Charlie joined in and then I left his supervision to my dad……I was sure he was going to take a tumble.
Charlie also decided it was a great time to start climbing stairs – under the watchful eye of Uncle Alex he made his way up 8 steps. Naturally it ended in tears but they’ll be the first of many as he gets more adventurous.
Fun was had by all and I certainly had 2 very tired children who were so ready for sleep by the end.
We arrived into Glasgow airport to be greeted by very excited grandparents oh, and the small matter of dull, wet typical Scottish weather! We were without luggage and our pram but nevertheless delighted to be off the aeroplane after the long journey. Our luggage arrived on Wednesday and the pram is damaged but we’re taking it all in our stride.
Ella & Charlie are having an absolute ball and are thriving on all the attention. I’m delighted to say Ella wasn’t strange in any way with her Grandma & Grandad – probably thanks to our weekly chats with them on skype.
Ella chatters away all the time and she’s keeping everyone amused. Today in the car on the way to visit her Great-Granny she said “lots of big balls mummy” as she pointed into the fields. These were in fact Hay Bales. She keeps asking “What’s going on Grandad?” much to his amusement. As I type she’s sitting on his knee watching Jungle Book – I’m not sure who is having more fun as they’re both giggling away.
Charlie has been tucked up in bed since 6:30 so no doubt we’ll be seeing him again for more milk in a few hours. He’s becoming more of a livewire by the day (as if he wasn’t before we left) and just wants to stand all the time. He’s pulling himself up on everything from the coffee table to the sofa – I think we could have an early walker on our hands soon! I expect this is going to make our return flight interesting…
It’s great being home and seeing all my friends & family but I’m missing Alan terribly and can’t wait to see him. Ella keeps asking for ‘Daddy cuddles’ which I’m sure she’ll be inundated with on our return.
Airports are quite an emotional place…Sadness in departures for families and friends parting…excitement from holiday-makers leaving for an impending adventure and joy in arrivals as children, parents and grandparents are re-united.
For me, this was the sadness in watching my family disappear into the departures area, my daughter in her pj’s holding mummy’s hand pushing the stroller with Charlie wide eyed. Although I know it is only a couple of weeks and the time will fly, I really will miss them and I’m really looking forward to seeing them come through that security door looking very tired.
It will be a roller coaster few days and weeks for Kirstin as she gets over leaving me here in Melbourne then 24 hours later seeing her Mum & Dad again, introducing Charlie to her Granny, my Mum and Dad and all our friends in Scotland, then saying good-bye again before being happy (hopefully) at seeing me in the arrivals hall in 2 weeks time.
Last week I had a business trip to visit a supplier in Shenzhen (pronounced shinzin) in China. I left on the Tuesday lunchtime and arrived in Hong Kong late on Tuesday evening. There is only a 2 hour time difference between Melbourne and HK so it isn’t too bad from a jet lag point of view.
The following morning I took the 1 hour ferry trip to Shenzhen. I was completely amazed at the size of the place. It currently has around 9 million people although the folks I was with told me it was around 13 million. Astonishingly only 20 years ago it was just a small fishing port! Anyway, I think I must have seen all of the 9 million people over the 2 days!!
I don’t think anyone lives in normal houses – it’s all high rise apartments. It was also very hot and very very humid.
It’s amazing to think that our cultures are so different and yet only a few hours apart.
The food was also an experience – I don’t think cold pickled chicken feet will be top of my culinary wish list. I had a great trip though and the people were very friendly and my hotel was better, bigger and cleaner than those in HK (and much, much cheaper). Luckily, the marketing manager from the supplier I was visiting could speak pretty good English, otherwise it would have been quite a tough trip.
I was back in HK on Thursday evening and managed some time to look around before I flew back on Friday evening.