the not daily show

July 18, 2013

clearly my intention to write everyday has not been quite on the ‘achievable’ list.  but seriously, yesterday?  we did squat all, and my brain did squat all; no erudite or witty or intriguing or just plain “jane went to the park”, type stuff coming out of my head yesterday.

we stayed home the entire day, hiding in air-conditioned expensiveness, indoors.  the kids decided to turn our ensuite bathtub into a pool and spent nearly two hours in it playing, quite nicely too.  (the bath is nearly big enough to be called a pool.)

i had a mild headache most of the day and brain collapse.  woke up this morning to my period.  seems in gearing up to expel all the blood and gore my body needs a day of prep, so it gives me a headache to slow me down.  it’s a trend i’ve been noticing.  very happy to have blood-gushing first day, today, instead of tomorrow when i have to get to an airport, bugger around for hours, get on a plane and stay there for 7 hours, bugger around again collecting luggage and endure taxi ride to friends’ house before i can take a nice cleansing shower.  i sometimes think instead of having my tubes tied i should have had my uterus removed.  i loathe menstruation.  i’m quite sure if men did it, there would have been a stop to such foolishness decades ago!

elated about our up coming travels however!  will tell you now am not taking laptop and will not blog from mobile phone.  please forgive me for not writing daily previously and making it over two weeks until the next entry.  i will, no doubt, keep posting to facebook; see you there.  happy travels to everyone!

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trip to the dentist

July 17, 2013

the most exciting thing we did today was go to the dentist.  (finally the family’s health insurance, thru paul’s employment came thru.)  tally really liked it!  the dentist has a small kids playroom next to the waiting room so tally felt like he was just going to a play centre.  then they have tv’s mounted on the ceiling above each chair so he just watched angelina ballerina (his favourite show!  until another came on and then that was his favourite) the entire time.  his teeth were all ok so just a short clean and out he hopped.

percy did like it too.  she rode the small car thing in the waiting room, tho she’s much too big for it and got to pick a temporary tattoo out of a goodie box at the end.  in between she needed a filling!  i’m aghast!  i’m pretty militant about cleaning the kids teeth but obviously this slipped past me.  hope it’s the last filling for a while.  she’s on to her third wobbly tooth now.  the second one was the front lower one right next to the first one that fell out a couple of months ago.  this second one was a little bit of a worry because the adult tooth is growing in behind, more ‘inside’ her mouth because the baby one is still occupying the spot it’s supposed to come up into.  the dentist previously advised that if it doesn’t come out soon enough and the adult tooth doesn’t start to move into the right spot something may have to be done.  thankfully the baby tooth fell out about a week after that and the dentist today said the adult one is doing fine, leave it be.

all up the kids behaved wonderfully and thought the whole expedition quite fun.  hopefully there won’t be any irrational fears of “going to the dentist” sprout up later in life.  i’ve never understood being afraid of dentist visits, but then i’ve never had anything particularly painful done inside my mouth.  actually, remembering now, i did have a filling about the same age as percy.  we were living in blairgowrie which would make me 6 or 7 years old. …in victoria back in the 80s a free dental van came around to all public schools.  i was told that i needed a filling, did i want an anaesthetic?  “what’s a filling?  what’s an anaesthetic?  who are these people?  what are you asking me?” was what my brain was doing, my face was doing “duuuuh?” and my mouth said “ok, no.”  i find it hard to believe that a filling didn’t require parental consent, but maybe this was the no-free-choice 80s and who needs consent to stick things in kids mouths?  so while i remember that is was painful, i don’t remember the pain.  i’ve not grown wisdom teeth, meaning i’ve skipped the joys of having them removed, and otherwise my mouth and teeth have been pretty healthy and uneventful.  no dumb-ass fear of dentists for me, and i trust not for percy and tally either.

spent a nice portion of the day watching percy and tally and the neighbours kids run down the water slide in their backyard.  it was very nice of daniel and emma to come knocking on our back door asking for perc and tal to come out to play.  seems some of the neighbours are talking about putting up fences tho.  i kinda like having the open back yards now.  much more room to play!  and it would mean the kids would have to walk around to the front doors- what a hassle!

woke up early this morning because paul was off to the airport early, again.  this is the third overnite work trip since we arrived!  this time it’s three days in dallas, texas.  i asked him to rein in the funny; we all know texans have no sense of humour and lots of guns.  he’ll get shot for a wise-arse remark!

i’m thinking the upper management here is expecting us to stay- permanently.  paul was asked in the office the other day if he had applied for his permanent residency yet?  when he told me we joked that if they want to keep him as an employee they have to send us back to oz, or paul’s mum will hunt him down and drag his dead ass back!

there are some very strong reasons i don’t want to stay in toronto.  these include: i really do miss all my girlfriends and their families.  i’m pretty happy with my own company, in fact i know i’m a lot happier being by myself than most other people.  i think it’s in the blumkaitis blood.  the weather sucks- we came here because we knew we’d enjoy a break from sydney summer heat.  it’s bloody 36 degrees today!  of course come winter we’ll probably start moaning about it being TOO cold.  the square box thinking is the third reason.  i’m not appreciating the way canadians stick to the rules.  now, doesn’t that sound like a healthy ocker disregard for authority?  i was horrified the other day to watch tally tie himself in knots because he couldn’t get the attention of a “deck supervisor” (what those 17 year old “life guards” on power trips are called that play enforcer with the pool rules) to ask if he could go in the pool.  what happened to the dare-devil that would fly in with a triple twist in the pike position and flick the bird at anyone telling him not to?  i know i’m harping on about the pool thing; it is the easiest demonstration of the canadian habit of narrow thinking.  i don’t want my children growing up to be afraid of questioning and thinking outside the box.  bend, weave, explore, squint, swear, don’t check, don’t look back, create, be fearless, live with knowing your heart might be broken but lay it out there anyways.  from my experience there seems to be more opportunity to be brave and individual in australia.  i love it and i miss it.

on the side for staying i’m getting a definite impression that there may not be a job for paul to return to in syd.  i can’t say with any certainty because i’m not in the office and when paul is home we don’t get to talk about his work much.  some yes, but between doing things with the kids, taking care of life, getting up early and going to bed early there’s not a lot of down time to spend together.  what time there is we talk about other things or funny things from our days, not where is home going to be and how are we going to be paying the bills in 18 months time.  we will.  later.  so, it’s important one of us has a decent-paying job.  and with each passing day it’s less and less likely to be me.  second draw is getting away from our total cunt neighbours in oyster bay.  should we stay, we’d sell our oyster bay house.  third, yet bigger draw, is the proximity to the other parts of the world i’m keen to travel in- mostly europe and south america.

anyways, it’s all just speculation and fantasy.

saturation

July 12, 2013

once again, i’m ‘fessing up to failures in my being a fantastic parent.

i’d like to pose this question… name one person in your life that you would happily spend every single waking moment with?  no, i can’t either.  if being fantastic includes happily spending every waking second of your day in the company of your child/ren, and every sleeping second poised to leap into action at their need, i am decidedly not fantastic.

(i’d happily spend around half of every day with paul.  for example; he knows when i’m removing things from my body, whether it be shit, snot, hair, toe nail gunk or anything else- THE BATHROOM IS OFF LIMITS!  percy and tally haven’t grasped this yet.)

time for the usual disclaimer… i love them, i adore them, i would do anything for them,  yadda yadda yadda.  right, now that is off my/our chest/s.  back to reality.

being a stay at home mum, particularly when you’ve no natural penchant for it, is demanding.  add in not even bothering to look for work, not studying, no house to renovate and my favourite (nearly only) hobby being reading, something that can’t enjoyably be done with two kids a maximum of ten metres and/or the next meal away, and i’ve reached saturation point.

no, i’m not bothering to look for work because there is zippo chance of anyone giving me meaningful employment when i’m only available between school hours on tuesdays, thursdays and every other friday.  i did start looking at courses in town planning today.  not being familiar with planning in canada, and not working in the field at all for the past two years a diploma or something like that seems a good idea.  i should probably bone up on the aussie system, i think it’s changed considerably since i did anything meaningful in it.

i’d write more.  actual stories, even a novel, or short pieces to submit to magazines but i can’t write with the constant interruptions.  others can maybe, i can’t.  writing could be done during school hours, only two days a week.  we’ll see come sept.  i’m also intending to hunt down the toronto chapter or guild of bookbinders.

paul is due home in 20 minutes, the babysitter about 40 minutes after that, and then for three hours i can tip some goo out of the saturation bucket.  funnily enough, or stupidly enough, that goo is made of love, care, concern, hope and a fair amount of guilt.  i’m not a fantastic parent but i still think no-one can be a better mother to percy and tally than me.

culture shock

July 11, 2013

i’ve been reading about culture shock lately.  seems there is a generally accepted pattern about how it runs, including four stages running from ‘honeymoon’ to ‘negotiation’, then ‘adjustment’ and finally ‘mastery.’

i think i’m (just like wikipedia says) in the negotiation stage.  the honeymoon has worn off and the differences are still pissing me off, so not to adjustment yet.  not that it’s that big a deal and i believe we’d be hard pressed to find two cultures more similar than australian and canadian.  still, significant “getting on with the business of living” things are substantially different enough to peeve me.

the one highlighted today was paying our rent.  our lease started on the 1st of the month and we pay the rent monthly.  as is custom in canada we handed over 16 cheques dated the first of every month for the life of our lease.  cheques!!  just so antiquated.

now, i would expect if you are leasing out a house you expect/need/want the rent money when it’s due.  fair enough.  we’ve calculated for that and will ensure there is enough money in the account so the rent cheque clears on the first of every month.  but what if your landlord doesn’t cash the cheque until the 8th?  it was a near thing this month.  the money doesn’t stay sitting around in that account, we have better uses for it.  and what’s to stop the cheques not being cashed on their dates, but stored up for months?  what happens in six or twelve months time when suddenly the bank tries to clear tens of thousands of dollars of cheques out of our account.  do we cop the flak for dealing in bad cheques?  given our rotten run on credit and money here i am sure it would go the worse for us.

i’m also still peeved about other aspects of canadian life- the swimming pool fiasco, the credit card application, the online shopping unavailability, the four way stop signs, the lack of swearing…  okay, i probably should be happy not peeved that people here just don’t swear.  means i’m seriously the odd one out tho.  no, i’m not “proud” of swearing, i just don’t see it as such a terrible evil.  sometimes only powerful and offending words get the message out and my brain cleared.  it’s nice to say ‘that’s fucked” and have it understood as that, without going on for minute after minute explaining what is less than optimal and how i feel about it.  “fucked” communicates so much, so quickly.

the mastery stage of culture shock apparently settles in around the 12 month mark.  given that i have no language barrier and we did have quite good assistance early on from paul’s work i reckon it won’t take that long.  i will be master of my canadian dominion!

travel planning

July 10, 2013

so i know the name of this blog is ‘travelstogether’, and obviously travelling about the world is important to me.  plotting our uk trip was doing my head in a bit tho.  thankfully paul and i sat down tonite and thrashed out the overall itinerary.  head back to normal now.  will book a bit of accommodation tomorrow and we’re pretty set.

i’m so excited!  never been to scotland before.  we will famous for the first, proven, irrefutable sighting of nessie!  previous trip to london was great because we were able to overlap with our lovely friends S&C and their daughter.  it was still a challenge as new parents lugging way too much stuff as were on our way home from kiev.  so very keen to show perc and tal about with minimal luggage this time.  paul is away for work for three days shortly before we fly out, so it’s my job to pack light.  something i have been practising!

we don’t have enough time this trip.  but in my opinion we need years to get around the uk as much as i want.  hint, hint!

sunday 7th july

July 7, 2013

spent five hours at wonderland today.  lots of goes on various smaller rollercoasters with tally, paul got a few of the bigger rides with percy, plus he got “papa’s pick” which means a ride that neither of the children are big enough to go on.  so he picks “THE LEVIATHAN”  boom boom boom!!  biggest roller coaster out of the 20 plus that are there.  and by all accounts the best one he’s ever been on!  it’s quite a land mark; you can see it from kilometres around.

it was also warm enough today to try out the water rides part of the park.  this is so much fun.  lots of slides, a big wave pool, splash pads, log, raft, boat and blow-up rides.  i’m sure we’ll get a few more summer day visits in.

my feet are sore and my legs need elevating!  i’m counting on the kids sleeping well tonite, i’m sure i will!

family circle

July 7, 2013

i understand now why as a kid in australia i ate so many grilled cheese sandwiches and downed so many pancakes while no other kid did.  because those two things are common, standard fare in canada.  the fast food chain of tim hortons (twice as many timmy places as macdonalds in canada) is built on grilled cheese sandwiches (and donuts and coffee- over 60% of coffees sold in canada are done so in a timmys.)   while we all know about canucks obsession with pancakes and maple syrup.

i’m still not sure what aussie kids are raised on.  maybe vegemite sandwiches and watermelon?

since my parents spent all their teenage years in canada a grilled cheese (no need to say ‘sandwich’, everyone knows what you mean) and pancakes is what they knew, and subsequently what they fed their children.  i’m now starting to revert.  i’ve enjoyed more grilled cheese in the past four months than i would have in the past four years at home.  and we are certainly hitting the pancake stand plenty.  percy is nuts for them and tally licks his maple syrup straight from the plate!

percy wrangled another backwards day today; pancakes for dinner, pasta for breakfast.  nothing like home-made pancakes with genuine maple syrup and fresh strawberries just before bed!

too quick to praise

July 3, 2013

the car window is fixed but i’m pretty sure they broke some of the electrics doing it.  dammit!

the repair guy told me it must have happened when the window was smashed.  after waiting for over two hours and percy and tally getting to the end of their tether i obviously wasn’t concentrating well because what he told now didn’t work, did work after the window got smashed.  and worked right up until i left it with the repairers.  seems odd to me that it doesn’t work now.

i have been given the telephone number of a volvo place that i need to telephone to make an appointment to have their real-deal volvo computer “talk” to our car computer to fix it.  what’s the bet it’s not that simple, and costs a lot too?

bloody cars!  see, this is why i like to live in a city (amongst other reasons) with good public transport (maybe singapore?) and not own a car.  after all the shit cars put you thru it would probably be cheaper to fork out for the expensive housing.

i’ll call tomorrow…

the personal touch

July 3, 2013

on sunday nite while our car was parked in a hotel parking lot (on grade, no security) the driver’s side, side window was smashed in.  fuckers.  fuckers that didn’t actually seem to want to break into the car for the purposes of taking anything.  odd.  there was about 20 dollars in coins lieing in plain sight on the console.  not touched.  nothing stolen at all.

did ruin our monday long weekend tho.  we decided since we couldn’t secure the car and it may rain we should just head home.  which we duly did.

today i visited two car repair places to get quotes for the replacement of the window.  luckily the weather has held and while it’s been a bit windy driving about, it has been dry.

the two quotes came in within $20 of each other.  i’m going with the more expensive one.  because of the personal touch.  the people with the more expensive quote looked after my kids- changed the waiting room teev to a cartoon channel, gave them crackers and water and chocolates and said tomorrow, when we return for the work to be done, they’ll drive us to the nearby shopping mall so we can at least walk about a bit and maybe find something for the kids to do for a couple hours, and then come pick us up again.  the other guys?  nada.

that’s worth $20 to me.  hopefully most businesses actually think about what their customers need, not just the purchase they are making.  yeah, i’m buying a new window and the labour to put it in; i’m also getting help to change what would be a tiresome, boring trip and wait for two kids, into a little bit of a new experience and possibly a tiny adventure.  take a lesson guys- the personal touch counts.