the rambles of a family of five in Australia


the end of winter

E at Dee Why, soaking up the sun

It’s just over a month since we touched down back in the UK. It feels like many months.
We had a wonderful time in Australia with our family and friends – it was a refreshing break from daily life that felt like a gift from God. Despite the fabulous time we had, we were looking forward to coming back to the UK and getting back into the swing of things.

E took awhile to find his rhythm after our trip. He spent the first two weeks sleeping for up to 5 hours during the day plus 12 hours at night – the jetlag was a big factor for him, despite his fabulous behaviour on our flight home and record-breaking 14 hours of sleep during our plane trip.

E climbing in the Koorong Cafe playground

He is now going very well – sleeping 2-3 hours during the day and 12ish at night, and motoring around at full speed during his waking hours. The longer days and slightly less intense weather have meant that he is out and about outside much more – digging in the garden (i.e. putting rocks down the drain or getting covered in mud); opening the side gate to step into the haven that is Nanny and Sidney’s kitchen; riding his little red car down the road and hitting every puddle on the way; or walking down to our regular Thursday coffee morning yelling “Good morning dogs/birds/buffalo/deer” at whatever wildlife crosses our path.

E in the middle of ‘helping’ Cousin I at Dee Why

We three have all had constant colds/chest infections/ear infections/ conjunctivitis (ergh) since arriving home – this weekend is the first one where we’ve all been healthy at the same time and happy to be so! We are hoping that once we hit the 12 month mark we will then have reasonable immunity to the ferocious English germs. We aren’t always thrilled by the rigmarole involved in getting to see our NHS doctor, but are learning not to take great healthcare for granted – and to be pathetically grateful if a) we can get an appointment within 2 days of calling and b) we are given a prescription for heavenly antibiotics – which are doled out here as though they are the elixir of life itself…

It is just over 8 weeks until our baby is due and we are nearly prepared. Setting up the nursery with E has been a real joy and he has been very interested in everything we’ve bought/set up/ washed and put away in drawers. He talks about the baby’s room and, when asked what the baby will do on arrival his answer was ‘Sleep. Cry. Drink juice. Eat biscuits.’ So at least we will know where the crumbs originate from! Our friend Z has offered to take E when we go to the hospital and judging by the trial run when he ran into her house, gave her a joyful hug, waved H out the door and enjoyed himself thoroughly for her 3 hour absence, God is preparing his little heart for the real thing. We are so thankful that Z is less than 100 yards away and good with E – it is really reassuring to know that E will be in capable and loving hands.

E ‘sharing’ Miss H’s scuttlebug during a park reunion

R has begun a vege patch in the middle of the back garden’s flower bed and we are hoping to have something left to eat from the ravages of the rabbits. Chicken wire is being explored as a protective measure. His long legs are eating up the miles around the estate as he walks at least once a day on the weekends. H and E usually get about halfway before either someone’s legs get tired, or there is a request to be carried. E is getting better but sometimes it is easy to forget how little he is and we are always reminding ourselves to make allowances.

The weather is gradually getting warmer although we are expecting a colder snap for the first week of spring. Today was odd – leaving for church it was 8C and glorious sunshine (the best and warmest we’d had since leaving Aus) but by the time we left church one and a half hours later it was teeming with rain and 6C. On reaching home (a 10 minute journey) it was 4C and the ‘Icy Road Conditions’ warning light was flashing on the dashboard. At 4.30pm the rain had stopped and it was about 6-7C so we all went for a walk. It was the best walk we’d had for months and we’re looking forward to many more as the weather improves and we learn to take a baby and a toddler out at the same time. We think it might take us only 90 minutes from the time we think of leaving to when we actually get out the door!!

E with Nan-Nan; Grandma, Natty, Lolly and Pappa.