And just like that, we’re officially three quarters of the way through our first year living in Australia. What now.
It was definitely an action packed month, as I think most people’s Decembers probably were. Without further ado, here’s the good, bad and [sign up for the] ugly of our 8th month as expats.
Moar visitors ¦¦ The visitor train continues! This month we had a visit from one of our Bedford friends, who just so happens to be Australian. She was visiting her family for Christmas and kindly made space in her schedule for us to take her to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant. It was so good to catch up with her and hear news from Bedford and our church there.
My niece’s first birthday party ¦¦ We were so happy to be able to celebrate the first birthday of our niece, who also happens to be our goddaughter. I pinched Sam‘s idea of making the birthday cakes of our godchildren (so far we just have the one so we’re getting off quite lightly I think) and ended up getting a bit carried away on Pinterest. The results were…
A monkey cake, as requested by her 3 year old brother, because her favourite toy is a cuddly monkey:
Some banana biscuits, because all monkeys need bananas (and hiding in the background you can see some gluten free sausage rolls with animal picks in them courtesy of Daiso, and Cheezels, because apparently they are every child’s crack):
The Great Devourer:
And a general jungly/wild animals theme with masks, straws, and jungle juice. It was great fun and I was glad to be able to help out.
An Aussie Christmas ¦¦ Including al fresco carols where everyone isn’t totally freezing but can enjoy being outside for an extended period, bringing a picnic, etc. Such things are unimaginable in the UK.
Getting to know the country ¦¦ S is a big fan of hikes and me… generally not so much. I love them only under certain circumstances so poor S has his work cut out in persuading me to go. However, we hiked to the cascades in the Garigal National Park and it was a lot of fun. Shame it was so hot and I ended up with a total tomato face, but it was worth it.
A surprise trip to Tassie ¦¦ We had such a good time! More on that here.
My cousin left ¦¦ I have so enjoyed having my lovely cousin in Sydney and being able to see her on a semi-regular basis without too much planning or expense. Well now she’s gone and left and I’m bereft! Saying goodbye is the worst. Here we are looking like weirdos at the airport because #related (sorry, Emma!)
Visa medicals ¦¦ This potentially doesn’t belong in this category because the appointment went smoothly, however the fact remains we had to take 4 hours out of our day and pay an obscene amount of money to be stuck with needles, palpated, and questioned about some fairly personal things. Hopefully we have a positive outcome… I guess we’ll find out in 9-15 months.
Sidenote: I have notoriously tricky veins. Everyone else strolled out with one small plaster – me, not so much.
Hot Christmas is weird ¦¦ Yes it’s a novelty, yes it feels like the best summer holiday ever, but no it does not feel like Christmas. There’s just no getting away from that. We had a great time getting away with family, and then to Tassie, but it just feels like a nice bonus summer holiday. To be honest, I’m fine with that. Christmas can easily get All Too Much if you ask me and a chance to break the mould and start over is probably a good thing.
The heat ¦¦ The heat has really hit with a few days on the trot of temperatures over 35°C. Over in the far west of the city it got up to 42°C or something ridiculous. Remind me never to move to the west. We managed, but were very grateful for the air conditioning in our flat and car, and the ability to escape to a shopping mall when even our ac struggled to keep the flat reasonable. I like warm weather, but over 35°C just begins to get inconvenient.
In case you’re new around here, I’m sharing The Ugly side of things via email so I can be more honest on things that I’d rather not splash up here for all to see.
So if you want to know The Ugly, just put your email address in the box and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll get mail from me a few days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.
As you may be able to tell I’m a teeny bit late on these updates, so expect to see Month 9 rather soon!
See previous months’ updates here