Saturday, 30 June 2007

Some pics of the new pool

The new pool with Kaitlin playing in the sheet of water

Al and Kaitlin fixing the sheet of water

Kaitlin still playing in the sheet of water

The old verandah roof ready to come down

Taking down the old verandah roof to replace with a bigger roof, new facias and gutters before Al went into hospital

Some photos of Kaitlin at softball

Waiting to bat

Playing 2nd base

Finally, a chance to bat

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Update June 07

Finally, some time to sit down and update the blog. We have been sitting here watching State of Origin II - for those who aren’t Australian, this series is the biggest each year between Queensland and New South Wales. It is rugby league (the 13 man rugby) and each year they play 3 games. Most QLD and NSW supporters are really passionate about this series. They started playing in 1980 and since then there is only 5 points difference (in Qld’s favour) in total points scored. We won the series last year for the first time in I don’t know how many years - and tonight we won the second game - after having won the first game 3 weeks ago - so the series is ours !!!

Anyway, enough about that. The news from our side of the world is as follows :
Kaitlin got sick about 3 weeks ago - acute tonsillitis, temp and a dreadful cough. Unfortunately, this was about 10 days before her exams so that didn’t help with her studying - plus it wasn’t all that fun writing exams while coughing your lungs out !!! So, am not sure what to expect with her results but at least I know she gave it her best shot. She leaves on the school sports tour on Tuesday. They are going to Sydney, Canberra and 3 days skiing at Perisher Blue. They get home the following Friday and then she leaves for 12 days on Outward Bound. She went on an OB course last year and thoroughly enjoyed herself. They drop 16-18 teenagers with 2 instructors into the middle of the bush. They are taught how to navigate their way from one place to another, they have to organise their shelter each night, work out what food they need, where to dig their toilet, cook their good after setting up camp etc - it truly is an amazing experience for the kids who go.

After K got sick, because we are a caring and sharing family, she passed it onto me. So I had the cough and landed up losing my voice 10 days ago (and it is still gone - very peaceful at home but oh, so frustrating !!!!) - I haven’t managed to get rid of the cough which continues to annoy me (and the rest of the family and the people I work with no doubt !!!) And, because I love Al so much, I passed it onto him this week !!!!! He is now having a turn with the anti-biotics - I just hope that he managed to get to the dr soon enough and that it doesn’t take hold in his chest. The cold snap over here doesn’t help either - neither of us are working at our second jobs this week - going in and out of the cold certainly doesn’t help - hopefully we will be fighting fit and back at work with no problems next week. My folks gave us electric blankets for us for our birthdays and they have certainly been put to good use. We have even been using the heating on our reverse cycle air con - probably more in the past two weeks than we used it for the whole of last winter. The temps are down to about 13-14 in the mornings - a lot chillier than what we were used to in Durban !!!

This afternoon my folks had their citizenship ceremony - who would have believed that they have been here nearly 2 ½ years already - the time has gone to quickly. My Mom is looking forward to her sister coming to visit later this year - she gets here a couple of days after we get back from Spain and will be here for both my Mom and Dad’s 70th birthdays. My mother-in-law, Rhona, will also be here for Christmas - she is coming over for Danny’s 50th birthday and Roy and Kathy and children will be coming over from Perth as well - so we will be having a huge Christmas shindig no doubt.

Hopefully we will be able to have our outside renovations finished by then !!!!! The pavers have now been completed - last weekend we cleaned them with a high pressure gun and next weekend we will sealing them and then that is that (for the pavers at least !!!). We are still waiting for the tiler to get his saw fixed so that he can come and finish the tiling on the pub - we managed to get a great piece of wood for the top of the pub - Al just needs to work out how to attach it to the pub that he and Dad built. Then we need to get into the garden - with us paving a bigger area than what was previously paved, we have had to move the water feature and all the plants. Then it will be into the back garden where we have to lift the level of the grass and take some gardens out and put more grass down. We put in 4 water tanks to help with the drought - the water was great as it allowed us to use the pressure gun last week otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to clean them which would have been sad as I wouldn’t have liked to seal them without having been able to clean them.

I can’t remember if I told you that Al has had his frame removed - I’m sure I did as it was just after Easter that it was taken off. We went to the dr for his 6 week check up last week and he is really happy with the results. The dr is confident that his knee will be able to last until he can have a knee replacement at 55 (gee that sounds like he would be old and it isn’t that far away !!!!)

We haven’t really done anything else with our plans for Spain - we have our tickets (well we don’t actually have them in our grubby little paws yet but they are booked) and we have booked 3 weeks of our accommodation. We just need to sort out accommodation in Madrid and Barcelona and how we are going to get between the two cities. We will arrange to hire a car once we have finished in Madrid and Barcelona and will then be driving our way around. We are relying on Kaitlin’s Spanish to get us around - hope she doesn’t let us down !!!!! I am sure that she will do a great job - and at least we won’t go hungry as her Spanish teacher has said she will make sure she knows how to order food if nothing else ! We have lots of day trips and sight seeing that we want to do - just hope we can fit it all in - otherwise we may have to go back again another time !!!!!!

We managed to see some of the games from the French Open - not as much as I would have liked due to us living half way around the world from everyone else which means that the time difference makes it a little difficult to watch everything - I guess if we weren’t working we would have been able to watch more of the games but that is the price we have to pay if we want to do the renovations and keep on travelling!!!!

With a bit of luck, some extra time and good behaviour from blogger, I will try to upload some photos of the new pavers and the road we travelled to get the outside into the shape that it is in - the garden still isn’t done but at least you will be able to see what the pavers look like.

While it is not past my bedtime - I can hear my (toasty) bed calling me so will be closing this off so that I can save it and hopefully upload it onto blogger in the next day or two.

Take care Everyone, go safely and look after yourselves.