24 April 2011

snow in spring??

You'd think that with a quick glance at part of the back yard here. It seriously looks like a bit of powder snow or iced ground. But no. It's spring and we have this wierd tree that blossoms fluff.

Each bit of fluff has a seed or spore but there are soooo many of them and they just get everywhere. The windows and doors have been left open on warm days but none of them have flyscreens so the fluff has been filling the house. It's a pain to clean up too. It's difficult to get it all and floats around at the slightest breeze. Whispy stuff it is. Kinda fun to walk across a frosty looking yard though.

23 April 2011

a stroll along the shore

With some reshuffling of hours I ended up with Good Friday off. So I slept in til 8:30am and then got up and washed myself and bunch of my dirty clothes. S wanted to come brush her teeth at my sink and so we did a whole getting dressed and ready routine with some very cooperative-inspiring reward stickers (thanks Vi ^^). They went out and I finished getting myself ready and then set off on my stroll along the shore. It was a brilliant day and so refreshing to just be out without any need to rush.

I happily walked along toward Herne Bay. I wasn't sure how long it would take but I left at 11am and forgot to look when I arrived. Ha ha. Oh well. My guess is a bit over an hour. These guys passed me a few times on their unicycles. They were each like on mountain bike wheel. I haven't seen big ones like this before. On the bumpy ground bit before getting to the path they'd ride and fall off or stop to let another catch up. Hence the passing each other a few times.
I made it to Herne Bay. This is looking back to my town that's hiding in the haze. There were lots of people out today soaking in the sun.

I continued on until I got to a place I thought looked good for lunch and at a mediterranean pizza which was on an open french stick. Quite yummy. ^^

I strolled on to the clock tower and then went right a block or two and roamed what shops were open for a while. I headed along the streets toward home until I left the shopping district and then I was getting quite hot. I ended up catching the bus back home.

18 April 2011

sunny sunday

I went to church in Seasalter today. It's like the next little town along from Whitstable...if it's separate at all. It was a bit different. Well, it's Palm Sunday so it was different for them as well. They were friendly and the service seemed fairly relaxed with people sitting in chairs or on the floor or standing around. I'm not quite sure how a normal service functions but the website described it as pretty real/normal and relaxed. And I did feel like that which was nice. As it was a beautiful sunny day again in this area of the world, I decided to just head off in the direction of Whitstable. I managed to find my way to the shore and walked along right into town. There's the Whitstable shoreline. The pebbly edge and fences are apparently to slow the waves as it's prone to flooding every ten years or so. There were lots of people out sunsoaking and quite a few of the beach huts I passed were open and occupied with people hanging out at the shore. I ended up walking through town and roaming some shops before heading up to the Tankerton shore which has a nice grassy area.
I decided I needed my own icecream. ;) It was actually quite delicious too. The first time my boss came home with the shopping I poked through the bags and found a tub. I said, "Hey, you even got me some icecream!" He he. Today I just had a triple chocolate cone and then went and lay down on the grass in the sunshine and read the magazine I'd bought.

It was a very pleasant, relaxing afternoon until I eventually waddled home. Too much walking in new shoes is a bit sore on the feet but I'm determined to wear them in so they are comfy like the ones I left behind. I shall put them on again soon to head out. A couple I was introduced to at church, as they live in my street, invited me for tea tonight.

10 April 2011

shopping in canterbury

This morning I bused to Canterbury for a shopping day. Helping to look after twin babies requires more clean tops. It was a lovely sunny day though the wind was cold. I also needed to get some jackets or long sleeve lightweight cardigans because, like Ballarat, you generally need to dress in layers here. It's about a 40min bus trip and it was nice to see some new scenery on the way. Most fascinating part of the trip there was the tower photographed below. See the bus coming through? That's just like the one I came in on and I swear it squeezed through the first opening with about 10cm to spare on each side. I'm really quite impressed with bus drivers here. The streets are squishy enough without taking a huge bus along them.

The shopping hub is right at the main bus station in Canterbury which was very convenient for me. I was soon off the bus and into the stores. It's a bit unusual shopping in pounds. Everything seems cheap but I don't think it actually is. I did manage to buy just about everything off the sale racks though. Great sales too. A lot was 50-70% off. I also saw this fascinating fun activity taking place. I've never seen this before. I think it would be more fun to be in one of those balls that actually moves along the ground though. These guys were basically spinning in the water.

Shopping was quite successful and I got into the groove of exploring and searching for what I wanted. I wasn't sure what type of stores were around or where to go for things so I just roamed. After starting at about 11am, by 4:30pm I finally decided on an upstairs cafe that turned out to be a cute little spot. I got a window box seat overlooking one of the shopping streets and ate a yummy piece of treacle tart and drank a delicious hot chocolate with hazelnut syrup in it. Mmm.

I looked through a few more shops and then scooted my aching feet back to the bus station and bused home again. It was quite a nice day out and Canterbury seems like a good place to visit. Next time I go I'll have to do the tourist stuff like the Canterbury cathedral and The Canterbury Tales. And find the cinema too I think.

06 April 2011

through the rectangle window

I looked through my bedroom window the morning after I arrived and what did I see...?
A most delightful backyard just waiting for me! That being said I haven't actually got out there yet but isn't is a fabulous one? Pity this is a rental place where we're living until the house they've bought finally gets the renovations finished. (They haven't started yet.) Should get to enjoy this for six months at least I reckon. Oh, S helped pick the flowers for me. They were waiting in my room when I arrived.

04 April 2011

new job started

My first day of my new job as a Mother's Help in England went reasonably well today. Lots to learn and need some good settling in yet but at least it's not all foreign to me. I did a 7am-7pm shift today. This week is going to be a little crazy as the dad had to go to the USA for the week with work. Today was the busiest for the week though. S, 2.5 year old girl, is a little shy at first but she talks quite well and sounds so cute with her British accent. All in all she's reasonably pleasant and well behaved. I haven't been here long though either. She's quite a girly girl too liking pink and doing mothering things and having tea parties. She also likes trucks and made a train today that we all rode to France on to go to the beach. I and T, twin 5 month old boys, are quite cute and don't seem to have a strict routine. Or it's a complicated one. They are different enough that I can tell them apart but they do look a lot the same. They have different personalities too. T seems to be a bit more serious and I a bit more playful. It's certainly busy with two babies to care for. I don't think I'll ever have to be trying to think of what to do to 'look busy'. The parents seem quite friendly. I went into town with them all on Saturday and the dad was feeding me loads of information about this place. It was good to hear. They are both quite easy to talk to and are thoughtful and explain things knowing I am new. They are very accomodating too asking if there is anything I needed/wanted before I arrived and saying they'll look into getting a tv in my room (without me asking for it). I also went for a huge walk around town by myself on Sunday so I could go into stores and roam about as I pleased and do a bit of shopping. (I was missing a hairstraightener already with my wild fringe.) I was really delighted in my adventure. There were lots of antique stores and opshops that had some great stuff in them and other retail stores that are quite unique. I found one store that has clothes I really like the style of in wonderful fabrics. I must go and buy something at some point. It seems to be quite an arty, ecclectic yet fancy little town. Apparently it's a bit of tourist destination. Next time I go walking I'll try take camera with me. I think I'll do well here.

03 April 2011

drama travel

What a drama it was to get here to the UK! Flying from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur was fine. I arrived at about 3.30am and found a chair to snooze in. Then found some internet access and then had some breakfast before roaming the shops. Eventually I could go find my 10am flight. Here's where the drama began. Take off was rough--like driving over a series of speed bumps. Quite unusual. Once in the air passengers began to quiery and complain about the aircraft. Right where I was sitting it was particularly noisy and the floor was viabrating more than it should. The staff got one of the pilots to come and look and listen. After a lengthy discussion and moving passengers away from the area they announced they were turning back to KL with mechanical difficulties. The girl they moved me next to was a nervous flyer already apparently so with this drama she was in a panic. So they moved the three of us in the row to first class right in the nose of the plane. It was quite nice but I only had about an hour there before we landed again. Once on the ground we unloaded and were going to catch another plane in 1.5hrs. As the time approached it was pushed forward a bit. Then cancelled. They were putting us up for the night in a hotel. So far I wasn't too worried. Just trusting the airline staff to ensure our safety and doing what they could to get us to London. They were very nice and accomodating staff too. But I was a little nervous in the process of getting to the hotel. I wasn't really sure what was happening or what we needed to do. Mostly I just followed the crowd and making sure I could see someone who I'd seen on my flight. We had to go through immigration (a bit of a pain but now I have an extra stamp in my passport) and collect our luggage. This all took quite a bit of time with a whole aircraft load at once. They did make special queues for us though. We made it out to the buses and squeezed on and drove 1hr to our hotel--Palace of the Golden Horses.
I must admit it was a much nicer hotel than I'd expected. I even got my own room. We had a buffet dinner as well. All on the airline of course. I chatted with a number of people from my flight. There seemed to be a lot of English and Irish people heading home. I headed up early to my room and had a bath. It was nice to relax and it was nice to feel clean again. I didn't pack for Malaysian weather so I was sweating a bit. I was feeling pretty tired so I decided to sleep for a few hours. Our pick up was at 2:30am for a 5am flight. By 2am I was ready to head down. I grabbed my bags and headed for my room door and noticed a notice had been shoved underneath. Flight change again. New pick up time was 6:30am for a 9:30am flight. Your kidding. I went back to bed again. I got up at 5am and realised breakfast was down in the buffet place so I went and filled up on crossaints. Then back to the airport. This time we got on; everyone eager to get on our way. We sat there unmoving for 1.5hrs. Part of the reason were some missing passengers I think. Eventually we got in the air and on our way. Finally. Though it was April and we were excited about seeing a new list of movies on board, the ground staff hadn't changed the tape. It was ok for me. A bit disappointed at a few movies I was planning on watching that I now couldn't. Nevermind. I still watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1, Inception, 17 Again and some of Where the Wild Things Are. I watched The King's Speech as well on my first flight. Plus some sitcom episodes. Mostly I didn't sleep on the flight to London and tried to stay awake for their daytime. Once I landed in Heathrow Airport and waited through immigration I was driven 1.5hrs to my new home. I had dinner with the mother and shortly after went to bed exhausted at 9:30pm. What a journey! I was very glad to finally make it.