Friday, 31 December 2010

My most booooring Christmas holiday ever...

Well firstly Silke got ill with flu on the last week of school.  I took her to school, watched her coughing through her school play (luckily she was a sheep!), went home, school rang just before 12:00, went back, Silke insists on have her Christmas lunch, patient mummy hangs around for an hour waiting, take her home, go back to fetch Mieke, take Mieke to Kumon, drop her off at neighbour, took Silke to GP, GP says to go to hospital, drive to hospital in an hour due to snow blizzard, paed says she's okay - get home after 8:00pm.

On Friday I leave Silke with my neighbour, take Mieke to school and present her teacher with his leaving present.  Ask a friend to pick Mieke up from school as it starts to snow heavily.  She finds a feverish Mieke sleeping under the table.

So far it doesn't sound that boring though this was just the start.  Over the weekend I also start getting ill, so all three of us end up with shivering with really high fevers.  So the next three weeks of the Christmas holiday we spend either in bed or laying about lazily reading or watching TV.  We only went out shopping for Christmas lunch and to watch Despicable Me (fabulous!).  And to travel to Maidenhead by train to do our visa medicals.  Luckily the girls seemed to enjoy their presents and its still keeping them busy.

Its the first of January and nothing much has changed - we are better but still coughing daily and lounging about.  At least we are getting plenty of rest.  Though not really as its 01:36 and I'm still awake - aaaarrrggghh!!

Happy 2011 - things can only get better...

I've had my first good luck of 2011 - I did not end up in the loo at 12:00 am.  I nearly did - at 11:55 I had the urge to go and nearly nearly missed the countdown, but luckily I made it back to the lounge in time to watch the countdown on BBC1 with Werner and Mieke.  And have a glass of Prosecco (the English are very specific about the name of these things - I dare not call it champagne, though we did have real champagne at Christmas).

So its a good start.

But let me reflect on 2010 - to be honest it was not what I call a good year, not too terrible but not good either, rather mediocre:

My worst for 2010:
1. Snow when we got back from Cape Town in January, snow in February (I don't like snow.)

2. Silke ending up in hospital with pneumonia in March and diagnosed with ashtma which still causes me huge anxiety.

3. My friend's husband dying in October.

4. My other friends' partner left her.

5. My other friend left her husband.

6. Due to the economy we cannot sell our house for what we paid for it 3 years ago.

7. Australian exchange rate went from £1,60 to 60 pence - NOT GOOD.

8. Silke started school and I miss her.

9. I'm still in limbo and I'm starting to feel... old.

10. Snow and the coldest December on record.


1. We had a great holiday in South Africa and loved spending time with friends and family (well that was actually last year but it ended this year).

2. Mieke did really well in school and is in the 'gifted and talented' group for reading and writing.

3. We had a fantastic holiday in Le Marche, Italy and another amazing one in Amsterdam and Efteling, Holland - we are so lucky.

4. Our Australian visa application starting moving again at the end of the year and we are holding thumbs for a visa soon.

5. We had some great weekends away in the UK - on a farm on the Isle of Wight, London for Werner's birthday.

6.  Werner and I had our first night away for years on our own in London at the fabulous Chancery Court Hotel - it really was amazing (thanks to my mum in law Antoinette for babysitting).  We saw Colin Firth & Helen Boham Carter, saw a movie, had dinner at the most romantic restaurant and had fun shopping - on OUR OWN!

7.  My neighbour and friend is pregnant with her second baby.

8.  Even though its sad that my girls are growing up so quickly, we are having such fun as a family and growing closer together.

9.  Even though we don't have any family close by we are blessed with a network of friends who are always there to help out if I need them.

10.  Although the economy is down in the dumps it has not really affected us in our day to day life - touch wood...

So we have a lot to be thankful for.
Thank You.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Snowed In ... Again!!!

It feels like yesterday when we were last snowed in, but it was January so a while ago.  Although it started 30th November this year so way too early.

So this is a description of my slightly dismal but pleasantly peaceful week.

Monday - freezing cold, have coffee with friend in town.  Decide to do some shopping in Guildford and not to go to Woking to collect sledge which I ordered in anticipation of snow. 

Monday night at 11:30pm Mieke wakes me quietly and asks me to come to her room.  Shock and Horror!!  When my eyes adjust to the bright light I am faced with a nightmarish scene - the whole bed and child is covered in vomit!  I try to clean it up but the smell overwhelmes me and I run downstairs to the downstairs loo where I do the same thing!!  I realize that this will not do so I stuff some sweets in my mouth and cover it with a cloth.  I go for a second attempt... I pull of bedding and put child into bath, wash her hair and body and get her into clean pajamas.  She starts again!!!  Luckily we were still in the bathroom.

I change her bed and put a bucket next to it.  I wash dirty bedding and crawl back into bed again unable to sleep.  Half an hour later she has a go at the bucket a few times.  I get up and rinse bucket with Domestos.

Seemingly five minutes later she wakes me again with the happy news that she was sick in her bed again!!  I do the unthinkable and cover it with a towel and placing a pillow on the other side of the bed for her to sleep on...

Tuesday:  Wake up and happy news (for the kids not for me) - its SNOWING.  Shit why oh why didn't I go pick up the sledge yesterday.  Mieke is weak and sleepy but is still clean.  I leave her home with strick instructions to phone 999 if she feels really bad and drive Silke to school.  The road by the school is already icy so I park and walk to school arriving about half an hour late.  Silke tells everyone her sister is sick.

Get home and doctor Mieke with sips of water, rooibos tea, slices of banana and plain rice for lunch which seems to do the trick.  Snow starts to come down really heavy so I decide at around 14:15 to set off to get Silke.  Being paranoid I pack a few packets of biscuits.  Make it up to the start of Harvey Road but cars already bumping and sliding on hill - one poor girls sat crying in her car cause as soon as she moves it starts slipping.  Leave car where it is and walk to school with Mieke in blizzard.  Collect Silke and slide back down the hill in blizzard.  Turn car around carefully and slide down hill to join a queue of cars.  Wait for 20 minutes in unmoving queue while snow comes down heavily.  We all pray to God that we don't get stuck there forever and have the emergency biscuits.  It starts moving!!!  We get home 1,5 hours after we set off.

Thank goodness I went early because other mums who went later had a 2,5 hour journey.

Wednesday:  Snowed In - School closed, Werner stays home.  Mieke better but has a high fever and weird rash. 

I take a taxi to Reception class Christmas getogether at a pub in town.  I have some Prosecco and wine and enjoyed myself so much that I ignore the heavy snowfall outside.  Eventually phone taxi.  Taxi driver grumpy and drops me off on main road so I walk the rest of the way home.  Eery but unexpectantly lovely to walk in the middle of a snowy road with only my own footsteps and snow falling all around me.  And the wine helped me forget about the cold...

Thursday:  Snowed In - School closed.  Snows keeps coming the whole day. Venture outside with the kids for the first time.  Mieke's school friend and Mum joins us.  Silke meets a friend from pre-school.  Snow is too powdery for a snow man but apparently good for skiing and sledging (wish I fetched the thing on Monday!)  Ten minutes out and my feet are numb and Silke starts crying because its so cold and even though she desperately wanted to play with her friend she just couldn't stand it anymore.  We go indoors and have some hot chocolate...

Mieke walks off with friend for a sleepover.  I miss her dreadfully the rest of that and the next day...

Friday:  Snowed In - School closed.  School Christmas Fair postponed.  Decide to go to Sainsburys and Silke (after being housebound for a while) insists on coming along.  It takes me ages to sweep thick layer of snow off my car.  I rush back to the house nearly crying of the cold and summoning Werner to help.  He clears the car and we're off.

We spend most of the day and lots of money in Sainsburys.  Buying 12 bottles of wine, welly socks and slippers for the girls and long johns for me.  Buy some food.  Go home hours later....

Saturday:  Its Capgemini Consulting's Christmas Party at Somerset House in London!!  We were a bit worried that we might not be able to go and last year we missed it as we were in Cape Town.  But no more snow so off we went.  Main roads were okay and although some trains were cancelled we managed to get there on time.  Quite beautiful to watch the snow white landscape along the way.  We had a lot of fun skating and they had mini candyfloss and sweets on tap for the kids and mulled wine for us.  The kids saw Santa and Silke chose Sylvanian family kitty mum and baby and Mieke 'How to train your dragon' dvd. 

So both a busy and peaceful week.  We enjoyed not having to rush to school and activities and to do homework and Kumon (although we don't do a lot of that) and staying in our pajamas until the afternoon.

It was great!!!  Oh and the best news of all - on Tuesday morning we got a CASE OFFICER!!