Australia!

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.59.02 amScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.58.14 amScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.57.47 amIf you’d have asked me a year ago if we’d be in Australia again in 1.5 years time – I would have shaken my head firmly and reassured you that we were going to be in New Zealand forever.  We both thought that was what we were committing to upon arrival.  We were here to stay.

Now a year on, our little boy is growing and we’ve settled in but are more flexible with where we need to be.  Mike was offered a position back in Western Australia that honestly was too good to turn down.  He’ll be flying over next month and in 4 months time Wesley and I will follow over to join him.  Just like that everything changes.

This is a conflicting decisions as we’re not too happy to be parting with family; however it does open up an opportunity for us to buy land now in New Zealand and eventually be able to set up our own little business.  I’m just in the process of submitting paperwork for another 5 year visa to stay and work within Australia, and when that’s all secured we’ll be ready to go.

I’m sure many of the readers here are shaking their heads.  How many times have we moved over the past 7 and a bit years?

We have moved from 6 locations: Banff, Melbourne, Eneabba, Coorow, Perth, Palmerston North…  I think we probably travel more than military families at this point.

Some more family is waiting in Australia for us in Adelaide and Melbourne so we shall be flying more often to see them as well, along with our network of friends which will be nice to see them more often (a few of them have had babies too) but it’s truly with heavy hearts that we made the call to leave New Zealand for now.  The only solace is that it’s not permanent.

I’ll be applying for permanent residency by this Christmas and hopefully that will make transitioning to and from a bit easier.

After we buy land, there will be developments that we will need to tend to, so you shall be seeing more of us again int the near future.  Wesley has his own little New Zealand passport and I know we’ll be back often for family visits as he continues to grow and turn into a little independent person.

Side note:  Wesley stood all on his own yesterday for nearly 30 seconds.  It was pretty incredible to watch.  We’ve also just planted a small winter crop of veggies that should hopefully be ready in a few months.

So I guess, if you’ve not had the chance to see us in New Zealand, you’ll have to come and check out Australia!

With love,

Holly, Mike & Wesley

Ps: The photo of Mike was taken during a very special time when we were camping in the South West of WA.  We were whale watching and embracing the somewhat unconfirmed news that we were very likely travelling with the beginnings of life in my belly.  I’m really hoping we can show Wesley the area…it’s magical!

Fremantle, Western Australia.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.40.29 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.37.26 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.42.49 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.42.25 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.41.36 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.38.40 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.37.49 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.41.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.36.48 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.36.24 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.38.23 PM

Fremantle has some seriously stunning architecture.  Early this morning I popped onto a train and headed West to capture some of the details.  The breeze was perfect, it made the balmy weather feel like magic.

I also took some time to watch the film “The Danish Girl” which had me literally in tears every five minutes.  It’s a beautiful film.  It’s also terribly sad.

Have you seen it?  What were your thoughts?

5.00am

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 12.58.49 PM

This morning the balcony view was stunning.  I stared at the colours until the red and pink faded into blue sky and then promptly fell asleep again.

I’ve just ordered some organic cloth diapers, and waterproof merino wool bottoms for the baby this morning.  If anyone has ever tried these types of diapers/covers before I’d love to know how you went with them.  Naturally we’re prepared for it to be a little gross and more time consuming… and will have some disposables for back up/emergency.

Now, I know some of you may or may not have just rolled your eyes (like my dad probably this this morning when I told him).  Stay with me, the basis for this choice – is the apparent long term cost savings.

This could all end up going “bottoms up” and become a terrible experience as my dad lamented this morning when we spoke.  Either way, if you’ve given it a crack let me know what it was like.

Diapers preferences aside, are there any newborn/baby items you swear by as a mum or dad?  

We’ve only just begun considering the crucial things we’ll need to have ready for a new born. I discovered a blog about eco friendly diapers here, which lead me to the merino woollen covers and eventually down the path to cloth diapers.

Seriously though, any words of wisdom would be much appreciated and welcome.

We’ve been gifted some ridiculously teeny tiny cute outfits, toys and books from our friends here in Perth, and New Zealand.  One item particularly is at first glance odd – but is in fact a small flatout koala bear that is made of sheepskin.  I may or may not have been known to cuddle with it…  I’d never heard of it before, but as an adult I see the appeal of luxuriously soft wool.  It’s irresistible to touch.

Unrelated side note: There has been some good music surfacing online the past few weeks:

And in keeping with the parent theme of this post:  If you love dad jokes – you need to check out this link.  A few of them had us cracking up.

I promise (swear on my heart) not to do this kind of post often.

x

-Holly

Perth, Western Australia

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.25.27 PMThis common bronzewing startled me so badly that I yelled out when we first met one another today.  We shared a moment.  It let me photograph it for 10 minutes at about 2 feets distance.  Which was incredible…  The colours were truly that vivid.  I also think this may be the first time I’ve seen one. Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.22.56 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.21.09 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.22.31 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.24.57 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.29 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.38 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.16 PMOne of Australia’s “most dangerous” creatures – the common magpie.  Mum/Pops bashed this centipede for a few moments before passing it to it’s loud, totally capable and incessant offspring.Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.03 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.19.34 PMThere are still a few flowers popping out despite the season technically ending in early December. 

It’s dawning on me now that we will be moving overseas in less than two weeks.  Of course I’ve been packing and all that tedious stuff, but a part of me is not fully ready to say adieu to this charming city.  I’m currently finished work, and so have taken time each day to visit with friends and get out and about to enjoy the nice things this city has to offer.

I became acutely aware of my deep love for the city only in March of this year.  We’d just spent three weeks in Japan – 4 of those days in mega city – Tokyo.  Tokyo is an amazing city, however almost immediately it hit both Mike and I that it lacked nature.  Returning to Perth, I observed a city that was lush, green and divided by an enormous river teaming with wildlife.

Some of my favourite parts of the area have featured on this blog over the past couple of years…

Kings Park – Some of you may know is my favourite place here, and it is a treasure.  Even today as I strolled about, wildflowers and native birds were on display and gave me plenty of beautiful moments to photograph.  The vibe at this park is just chilled – and I will forever be grateful for the 6 months we were in walking distance to it’s beauty and charm.

Moonlight Cinemas – Due to the non rainy summers, you can almost certainly head to this awesome outdoor cinema whenever you fancy (there are several, however we’ve only been to the location at Kings Park).  It’s such a cool way to see a film.  Mike and I went about a week ago, brought blankets and hired some bean bags and enjoyed one of the latest releases “The Big Short”.  You can pack a picnic dinner, order junk food and beer and enjoy a great film all in the warmth of a summer evening under the stars.  It was here that Mike felt the baby (boy!) kick for the first time.

The clean beaches.  By god they are nice here.  Nothing will top the beaches in Greenhead, but for a cosmopolitan city – you really can’t go wrong at any of the sandy, sun drenched spots.

Fremantle – This was the original location for the township of Perth.  It’s architecture is very distinct, and the people here are much more relaxed than in the CBD.  We go out every couple of months and always say we could live here.  There is a great market, and plenty of dining options… And if ships take your fancy, there is also a maritime museum and shipping docks to explore.

Northbridge – Apparently this place used to be pretty scummy.  Now, it’s a great hub for the arts, foodie and entertainment crowd.  At the moment Fringe Festival is on and the whole community is getting amongst the quirky entertainment that can be found here.

The proximity of the city to the Perth Hills and Swan Valley.  If you love good wine, beer, cheese, chocolate and nature…consider this an area not to be missed.

There is plenty to see and experience in this sun soaked city, and I’ll be trying to squeeze in as much as I can these last few days.  If you do get the chance to travel West – it’s worth checking out.  Perth is absolutely a great place to start.

x

Holly

My first week with Tess.

Normally when Mike is away at work – I find the time goes by particularly slowly.  This has not been the case since our dog Tess has come to stay with us in the city.

I find watching her amusing… very amusing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 11.48.55 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 11.49.25 AM

Corymbia ficifolia, a stunning red flowering gum tree.

She has had a fairly “event” filled week, though there had been periods of time where she’s probably not as stimulated as normal.

Her second day she spent with me at work.  She was very shy and lay at my feet the entire day apart from a brief moment when I found her gingerly pulling the CEO’s garbage out of a bin – piece by piece and placing it into a new pile.  She was looking for treasure.  My co-workers were surprised by how mellow she is, as they came around for a quick pat.  Whilst it does seem like she’s an old dog by the way she behaves, she is only 4.5 years old.  She was well attended to at work, and gave us all little distractions… I think there is something really nice about having a dog in the office – they can remove stress and give people a welcome bit of affection that can brighten their day.  It’s something that’s quite common in Vancouver actually, many offices have a policy that allows them to bring their dog to work, most days.  It’s awesome.

Have you ever had the chance to bring your dog to work?  How do you feel about bringing a dog into the office or work space?

She’s been asked to come in again by one of the directors – and I think at some point this week I’ll have her in for another day of petting and attention and “slothing” about.

As I write she’s pressed into my side sleeping.   No wait – she’s moving away now.  I must be annoying her.

I do have some guilt about keeping an “outside” dog inside – but at the same time she looks so cozy and happy, that I think while she might not be getting as much exercise she’s safe and somewhat content.

Back to why I originally started writing this piece.  My observation this morning…

I was just waking up from a deep sleep when I groaned and stretched.  It’s Sunday morning, so we slept in till 7.  Tess was sleeping beside me and turned to greet me.  She shook her little tail and brought her nose close to me (thankfully she never gives kisses, it’s not her style).  She loves to have her chin stroked so I gave her a few pats.  She was enjoying this immensely until she caught the reflection of another tan, black and white dog in our closet mirrors.  She stared at it intensely.  So intensely… then leaned her head back ever so slightly in horror.  She moved her neck back another inch.  She did this for about 4 minutes.  I tried not to laugh as I was waiting to see what her final reaction would end up being.  Eventually she turned her head really quickly to hide her face and pretend she couldn’t see “the other dog” and hid her face in the blankets.

It was adorable…and so amusing.

Mike also teases her on Skype when we talk at night – She just about loses her mind trying to figure out where his voice is coming from.  She looks like she’s nervous he’s about to catch her inside or sleeping on the couch (a no no) and  he’d not really be too happy she’s sleeping in bed with me!

All her freedom vanishes when “Mean Mike’s” around! ahha…

  • She loves people – total strangers especially, but some more than others.
  • She’s terrified of buses
  • Children scare her and also perplex her, mostly scare her.
  • All the local birds try to swoop and attack her
  • She grumbles to me when I grumble to her – kind of like muttering and we “talk”.
  • In the middle of the night she comes close and cuddles with me when I say it’s bed time (she’s not normally much of a cuddly dog but I think she’s changing her ways).