27 January 2011

stage five complete

Fourteen little assignments later and I have successfully finished the online "Aupair in the UK" course I had to do with the Smart Aupairs programme. None of it was very difficult. I suppose it would be more useful for people from more different cultures or who haven't done a lot of childcare work. I did find some of the research informative though like this brilliant and fun website which is a great place to search for activities and things to do with children all over the UK.
Mostly, however, the completion of this course brings a breath of relief being able to tick another major step off my list. Now I shall continue my wait for a family match and hopefully land a job before I go.

23 January 2011

walking at the wet lake

I got up early for a walk around the lake with my Viana recently. It was a lovely day. Not sun shiny but neither hot nor cold. The scene was a bit different after all the rain we've had lately.

The cygnets are teenagers now.

Don't walk there!! Stay on the path. The lake was covered with green plant stuff in areas. We went around Fairyland and only once we got to the other end did we see the no-go ribbon. Obviously had overflowed here. It was just a bit mucky as we stepped across.

The lake is sure full now. Complete opposite of what it was when I returned from the USA in 2008. See this post. It's nice to see it full of life again.

17 January 2011

thinking pains

Honestly, I overthink things too often. I can end up getting lost in what usually becomes a downward spiral. These days I'm trying not to think too much and I'm learning to stop and get away when I feel myself losing it. It was a challenge one night last week. But somewhere in there, in the awareness of not being trusting of God and feeling disappointed with Him, I had an interesting thought: But if God is in essence good, loving and compassionate as the Bible says--among so much more--and that is simply who He is, then maybe it's not God who's let me down but my image of God, my limited understanding that is far from perfect.

Maybe I'm disappointed with God because He's not matching up to what I imagined. I mean, I even feel guilt and fear at times for not feeling the way I think I should as a follower of Christ. It's as if I had all my basic ideas of God and His character and the way life with Him is and now it's not adding up to what I've been experiencing. Maybe through these series of "disappointments" and human misunderstandings my ideas have been warped. Or maybe I'm actually a bit of a spoilt brat and getting all hung up coz things aren't going my way. Or maybe it's simply a part of growing up--from innocent childlike thinking to adult reasoning where life is sketched in shades of grey.

Surely God, being God, means that our tiny minds are incapable of the full comprehension of who He is. We have a very limited understanding. Our view of Him is also tainted by our human experiences and often warped by our misconceptions. Then how do we determine who God really is? Is it possible to separate my negative human experiences from my conclusions about God?

11 January 2011

icecream on pasta

Yes it's wierd but there is a reasonable explaination. You see, it's my sister-in-law's fault. :P She came across some chocolate pasta and bought it for me for Christmas. Yes, you read it right. CHOCOLATE pasta! The directions said to cook it for 5-7mins, drain it well and add icecream. So I did.

However, I wasn't as impressed as I was imagining I would be. It taste like plain pasta with a bit of a chocolate flavour. Understandable really. When it comes to cooking the remainder of the pasta I think I'll try it with a creamy marshmallow sauce with stirred through berries.

10 January 2011

stage four complete

They're gonna let me in!
I got my UK visa today that will let me live and work there for 2yrs starting this March. I thought I might actually feel a little overwhelmed when I got my visa as it would make it more real, but actually I feel relieved. I guess there was always that thought that there was the possibility of being denied the visa and my plans were riding on this little A6 sticker. But I have it. The visa is stuck in my passport (glad to have that back too) and I'm all legalised for my adventure. Now to find a job...

04 January 2011

day trip gift

My friend, Heather, gave me a voucher for Christmas. It said, "Overseas adventures are fun but since I can't go with you I want to have our own little adventure before you go." Or something along those lines. So on Sunday afternoon we drove off on our mini adventure.

First we visited the St Kilda Markets. It was quite a lovely day for it and it was nice to stroll along looking at things. I wasn't too impressed though. It was just some stalls alongside the road and didn't seem to have much of a market feel. I did find a little something to treasure though. It was a cheap but interesting ring. The bead is black with slight sparkles in it which makes me think of the night sky.

After the markets we went for a short drive and found somewhere to buy milkshakes. Caramel ones. Then we had a nap. He he. We must be getting old for a daytrip to include this. We went and ordered some chips and hamburger and took them to the main event.
In the city gardens we laid out our picnic rug and set ourselves up and waited for the dark to come. That's when they start showing the movie at the Moonlight Cinema.

Here the screen is just starting to blow up in front of the waiting crowd.

Still waiting. It took two hours from gate opening to get dark enough. My bum was quite sore during the movie. We didn't hire the bean bag loungers.

With city lights in the background, we watched Eat Pray Love. I found it quite an interesting movie with lots of one liners to get you thinking. Interesting concepts. I'll have to watch it again some time to remember all the quotes. One I found at the St Kilda markets will be a good one for me to remember: Worry is a waste of imagination.
Thanks Heather for a lovely gift. It was great to spend this time with you and do something I haven't done before. Memories to treasure. ^^

01 January 2011

gellert christmas day

New Year's Eve, with my whole family in town, we gathered at my parents for a family Christmas. We planned a traditional dinner and it turned out to be a 36 degree day. Thankfully we didn't have to cook much in mum's kitchen but the little we did was hot work. I love hanging out with my family and this Christmas I enjoyed it even more as I'm preparing to live overseas for a couple of years.

We had an overabundant spread of ham, roast chicken and roast lamb with an assortment of veggies. Yum and very filling. We all sat around the big table. It's an extra long table my li'l bro whacked together years ago for a dinner party and has been living in mum and dad's rumpusroom ever since. It fits the 16 of us just nicely. After the mega meal we decided to break for the sharing of presents.
Apart from simply being surrounded by my family, my favourite part of Christmas is this time. It's fun with kids too coz they bring such excitement to it. And it was also Zachary's first Christmas. So he got the traditional Auntie Kelly-made quilt. We stretched it out a long time opening one present at a time. Whoever unwrapped a present selected another to hand to someone else. There were some fun and well thought of presents. Some of my treasures are my lovely knitpro circular needles, chocolate pasta to cook and eat with icecream, a little book by Lonely Planet called British Language & Culture which is both fascinating and insightful and the four dvds of X-men.

Since the weather had finally dropped in temperature we headed outside for a play. The cousins had fun being up late and playing together in the cool. It was about 9pm by this stage. We decided to stay out for dessert.

Mum made the traditional plum pudding and the rest of us brought chocolate mousse, trifle, apple crumble and icecream. Unfortunately the mosquitos decided to feast too. We headed back inside straight after dessert.

We sat around talking and whatever else for a while until my sister and family left to take kids home to bed. Then the other kids were put to bed as well. Eventually Esther, Matt and I amused ourselves with CarDcarsonne and Kylie flicked on the fireworks as we saw the new year roll in. This was followed shortly by setting off to find our beds.
New Year's Day we all headed back to Mum and Dad's to eat leftovers and hang out. We pottered around, ended up indulging in a dessert lunch and then five of us had a good game of Matt's new Carcassone expansion pack. It was just one of those relaxing, typical fun times. The type I'll miss in the next couple of years. A fantastic couple of days spent with family. Loved it!