Wednesday, 30 March 2016

I'm a mum again for 2 weeks

The teen is back home.

He arrived at midnight last night.

All ready his room has gone from looking like this

to this.

And then to this as he decided to change bedrooms, note the first of many take aways.

His cat was ready and waiting.

The bandwidth has been reduced to almost zero as he connected his Xbox directly to the internet box and did a load of updates.

The odds socks from the last visit have been reunited.

I made jelly and cooked a Cottage Pie, his favourite for tea.

The fridge was stocked.

Now it's almost empty. Yes we finished off the other wine box already.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'd have him back at home full time, if it meant not disrupting his A Levels, I miss the mess, the rows, the disruption, the empty fridge and not to mention my empty wallet.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Camping in the wild in Algonquin, Canada.

Getting there.

It was a 4 hour drive from Hamilton to Algonguin. It was a further 4 hour kayak to reach the island we were camping on, with 2 portages to navigate. the scenery was stunning and we started off full of energy, which soon turned into 'are we there yet?' to which the response was 'just round the next bend'



The walk to the loo

The loo

Food supplies

Washing up



There is no phone signal, internet or electricity, in fact there is no running water, you have to boil the lake water for a drink.


Sadly I didn't see a moose and thankfully I didn't see a bear, although there was evidence of both with foot prints and bear poo.
The loon bird was wonderful, it had a really eerie cry that started before sunrise, so not a lot of sleep was had. It was very graceful in the water but is rather clumsy on land.

Dragonflies and butterflies were numerous

I spent ages watching this inch worm climb up, down and around this stick.

Mosquito repellant was not enough, it was a case of cover up everywhere.

Being Bear prepared. Bear Poo found 100 metres from the tent, providing photographic proof for the question 'Does a bear shit in the woods?'

Food hoisted in the air, between two trees.

Bear repellant, your best line of defence to survive a bear attack.

Sadly not everyone removed their rubbish from the lakes, increasing the risk of attacks on humans.


The flora in Algonguin was stunning, it was hard to miss a thing, it was also hard to see everything, on the ground, in the trees, under rocks.

'Leaves of three, leave them be'
Poison Ivy

Monday, 28 March 2016

The kids have left home but I still do this......

Like many of you, I've stood in a supermarket queue, pushing the trolley gently backwards and forwards, just like a pram/pushchair and there's been no child in it just a habit I'd been unable to break. It has been a long time since I've done that, but there are many other parenting things I still do, despite the children having left home.

I often wake early in the morning and on checking the clock, panic and realise no one will be ready for school at in time and as soon as I have the thought I remember I haven't done a 'school run' since the end of 2013.

I still hide chocolate and sweets, in the veg drawer in the fridge, then I forget where I've put them.

I still look at the kids favourite foods in the supermarket, but no longer drop items in the trolley, or cry over the fact they've left home.

I find myself hunting for washing to fill up the machine and still check under the beds in the spare room, I have no idea what I expect to find.

I double check the doors in the spare room to ensure they're closed and locked before going out, despite the kids not being there to 'forget' they've opened them.

I check the front gate is closed, just in case the kids who are no longer here have forgotten to close it behind them so the dog doesn't escape.

I call out for the kids to help me move an item of furniture or come and rescue me as I attempt to turn the mattress on our bed, forgetting that they won't come running to my aid.

I still spend hours looking for the remote control in the day, or the land line or the charger for my phone.

I call the dog by the children's names, one by one.

I say 'NO' aloud when I receive a message from the youngest asking for more pocket money for school, followed by a stream of messages from him begging, till I cave in.

I stalk/check their Facebook, twitter, instagram daily to make sure I haven't missed anything.

I smile to myself when they like the comments or photo's I've left for them on social media and I can see the expression on their faces and hear the tone in their voices 'mummmmm'

Sunday, 27 March 2016

My Sunday Photo - Week 65. Communication

There's not much that excites me more than real, hand written letters through the post. Sadly not as many arrive as I send out. Four years in South Africa with a postal service that was dodgy to say the least and the recent mess up with our PO Box address in Dubai hasn't helped, but letters do get through eventually. 

Due to being back in work, I've not had the time to write as many letters as I would've liked over the past few months, so I'm spending today and tomorrow, making it a priority. I paid a visit to Hallmark cards and the local supermarket today to purchase new writing paper and several birthday cards, post cards and stamps.

I write to a variety of people, family and friends and a whole bunch of pen friends I've met on twitter and then in real life, including a trip last year to meet one in Canada. My mum and I write regularly with letters crossing over every week. I send postcards and random packages to the adult kids 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Week 12 - One Daily Positive and Project366

The week started off hot and by mid week, the rains had come back, doubling my journey time to and from work. I'm still not well with a nasty cough and congestion on my chest. I really should see a Doctor asap. The teen is here next week for the Spring holiday and I really need the time off work. Peter and I went a way for a few days to the Hajjar Mountains to a spa hotel with natural hot springs. The cat and dog were booked in for boarding. As well as missing the family, especially the kids while living in Dubai as expats, it is also doubly hard when a family member is ill and you're 3000 miles away unable to help. My Father had surgery over the weekend, I was glued to Facebook solidly waiting for my sister to update me, so I could relax once I knew all had gone well. The 21 year old was visiting from Ireland so he was able to help my mum with moving a single bed downstairs so my dad can be comfortable during the day. Hopefully I'll have quite a few more interesting photo's to use over the coming few weeks, all I've taken recently is pictures of the cat and dog and/or food.

Sunday Day 80 #onedailypositive #project366 I finally managed a 5 hour block of sleep last night, finished work today on time and had no work to do at home. For the first time this year I cooked dinner AND washed up. I also did two loads of washing and sat down to watch the Manchester Derby eating chocolate and ice cream. I took this photo to show my niece the shell I found on a night walk on the beach yesterday.
For My Sunday Photo this week I posted a picture of Earth Hour 2016, viewed from the beach towards the Burj Al Arab.

Monday Day 81 #onedailypositive #project366 suffering with a bad back and neck after an injury in 1996 which has been aggravated since I've returned to work and a perpetual cough and cold, and no more than 3 hours block sleep every night, I've taken to sleeping the odd night in the spare room so not to disturb Peter. When I woke this morning these two ran in and jumped on the bed, they weren't there for long.
I blogged today about my life in a male oriented family as the #teen is visiting next week for the holidays.

Tuesday Day 82 #onedailypositive #project366 sitting outside in shorts and t shirt in the rain in Dubai. It's beautiful. It will end soon and the relentless heat of summer will be here. I left work on time today, sat in a coffee shop to do next terms planning and chilled out watching tv and eating dinner. The Doctor at work put me on a nebulizer this afternoon after hearing me cough, fingers crossed for a good sleep tonight.

Wednesday Day 83 ‪#‎onedailypositive‬ ‪#‎project366‬ bloody cat swipes at Bob every time he walks past her. They're off boarding for the weekend. Bob got excited when I got his car blanket and Bob bag ready and the cat investigated her bat cage (cat basket) and shouted at me.
Today's blog post is what happens after your kids leave home? 

Thursday Day 84 #onedailypositive #project366 with the cat and dog deposited in boarding for the weekend in Ajman, Peter and I are on route to Khatt Springs in the mountains.
A slight cheat this week, as I'm linking up Tuesday's post, Animal Tales with this weeks #HDYGG plants and their uses in the desert.

Friday Day 85 #onedailypositive #project366 The light at the end of the tunnel. After a 5 year break I returned to work in January, teaching FS1 in an Arabic school, to say it's been hard work is an understatement. There have been tears, less than 5 hours sleep a night and ill health while trying to adjust to working again, adapting to yet another culture and way of life that differs greatly from South Africa and the U.K., coming to terms with the kids leaving home and everything else being an expat has to offer. But things are looking more positive over the past few weeks, i feel confident I'm teaching at the expected standard....feed back from 2 observations says 'good' and I'm happy with that.
Today I wrote about our disconnected family

Saturday Day 86 #onedailypositive #project366 after a lovely weekend away from it all with Peter, we returned home and I cycled to the beach where I swam and fell asleep for half an hour.