Saturday, April 26, 2014

But what about the kids?!

So...yanno...big changes around these parts.

Even though Hubby and I have been chatting about potential changes for a while now (gotta talk about something else other than homeschooling, I guess), I think our announcement that we were moving to Canberra shocked a few people.

And the bit that shocked everyone was that I would be working full-time. Kinda shocked me too - it was a big decision, for sure. Because although lately I've been working 3-4 (or 5 or 6) days a week, mostly they weren't full days and we juggled homeschool around that. But working full-time? How would that work?

Well, we are not too stressed about it. The kids are getting older and I can see light at the end of the educational tunnel. I know we can continue to keep working away at academics in much the same way we are now and know they will be OK for tertiary studies in some form if that's what they'd like to pursue. I know we can find them some "social" outlets so they can talk to people their own age or who have similar interests who they aren't related to.


Alternatively, if we can find them some kind of school or school situation that works for them and they are happy with it, then we'll give that a go. But I'm not prepared to shove them in any educational institution just to make "other people" happy.

And that's what's bugging me - everyone's opinion on what I should do with the kids. The assumption they WILL go back to school.



Yeah, well, we will look through a broader lens than just kids go to school. Our kids will have an education that works for them. Having now been a part of the school system as a parent and a teacher and part of the homeschool community (note that it's NOT a system!), I know which one worked for my kids. School may yet work, but I don't feel the need to enrol just anywhere. We can think outside the educational square and we (all of us - me, hubby and the kids) will find a way that works for them. If it's distance education or open uni or school or senior school or technical college or a mix of all of the above, that's what we will do.

So, don't think I've forgotten the kid's education and don't assume what we will do with it.



OK. Rant over. As you were :-)



Monday, April 21, 2014

Ingi Cooks - Espanol!

While I was in Sydney, training up to be a travel consultant, I stayed in hotel. As hotels go, it was OK - nice rooms, and baths in the bathrooms. Thank you Rydges, but I will NOT be purchasing a Dream bed or the pillows - in the words of Goldilocks, too soft! I nearly drowned in a sea of down and feather!

My insomnia begs to differ!

The restaurant was, however, fantastic. It went with a Spanish theme - and on Wednesday nights, they got our the hugest paella pan (apparently called a paellera) I had ever seen and whipped up enough paella, with chorizo, chicken, mussels and prawns to feed the hungry masses in North Sydney on a Wednesday night. I ate there 3 Wednesdays in a row!



And the churros with chocolate and caramel dipping sauce were seriously TO DIE FOR!


It's a little difficult cooking in a motel room, when all you've got to work with is a kettle and a big warning saying "no food preparation". But when I come home, there's nothing I like better than washing, ironing, oh and cooking!!!

The fam is pretty excited about the cooking thing too, because pizza and reheated oven food (think fish and chips) is getting pretty tired.

So last weekend, I googled and found a good paella recipe (I added in mussels) and voila!


Video Boy declared it his best meal in about 4 weeks!

Then yesterday, along with the slow-roasted lamb for Easter Sunday lunch, I decided to go the chocolate and churros. My "dough" definitely was runnier than it was supposed to be and there was no cutting with scissors required, but they still turned out fluffy and light and NOM:

I cheated a bit and purchased the chocolate sauce, because
 I didn't want to juggle boiling hot oil and melted chocolate on the same stovetop

OK, so not the most elegant looking churros, but they were yummy and let me tell you, there were none left. Video Boy even wants to learn how to make them!

So despite my homeless situation, I'm still managing to pump out some yummy food, inspired by the Spanish! And put on about 10 kilos in the process, but apparently you can't have everything.

What's your latest "hero" dish?
Any other international cuisines I should be trying out?


Friday, April 18, 2014

Days like these...

Happy Easter! It is an ABSOLUTE STUNNER of a Good Friday here!


Where is here? Well, I am "home" for the weekend on the South Coast, having failed to secure rental housing in our nation's capital as of yet. It has been a bit bloody depressing, if I'm completely honest, schlepping through houses, deciding that they will suffice or that I really like them, only to have landlords go with "someone" else (who probably doesn't own a dog or earn their income from commission). Sigh.

So, we have a new plan of attack - look at as many houses as possible, decide which ones will suffice and then put in tenancy applications for all of them and hope one sticks.

Because, although I'm loving the fact that someone makes up my bed with clean sheets every day and cleans my bathroom, the novelty of having no fixed address is wearing thin, not to mention motels are an expensive way to pay rent.

Also, room service and takeaway food is not sustainable for my waistline indefinitely.

Oh and I suppose I miss my family too :-)

So it's good to be home this weekend and not have to work for FOUR WHOLE DAYS! It's not so good to vacuum and do washing, but I am even enjoying cooking again.

My new job is fun, though! Lots of new "systems" and procedures to learn and my head is a bit explode-y, but I really enjoying chatting to clients about their holiday plans around the world. So far I have done bookings for:

  • a belated honeymoon in Thailand, staying in pool access room in Phuket
Not my actual clients...























  • A cruise on the Diamond Princess to New Zealand in a mini-suite:
  • hotels and car hire for a trip to England (the Lakes district and London), Paris and Penang on the way home
  • return flights to the Gold Coast to visit the grandkids
  • a flight home from Oslo, stopping over for a spot of shopping in Dubai and hopefully a tour of Norway to see the fjords
  • a trip to Hawaii, including a cruise around the Hawaiian islands on Norwegian Cruise Line


How cool is that?! I've gotten excellent feedback from my supervisor, and provided I don't forget anything massive or stuff up quotes I will be happy!

And so a long weekend of rental applications, sorting and packing, hanging with my family and maybe some yummy food and drink awaits me.

Have you ever been homeless?
The worst house you ever lived in?
What are your Easter plans?


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Ch, ch, ch, changes!

So.....things have been a bit quiet here on the blog of late. This could be because nothing of note has been happening of late. You know, kids have been working away on their maths texts books, practising their Japanese while I juggle organising the next bit of maths and Japanese to work on with my library, visitor centre and ranger work. Oh, and domestic duties. Yep. That could be it.

Or....I could have been a tad busy dealing with some iddy biddy changes in Defying Gravity land. Like moving interstate and quitting all those old jobs and starting a brand new job. Yep! That could be it!!!

SURPRISE!

For a while, we (hubby and I) have been pondering moving to our nation's capital (that would be Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory for my vast overseas readership). We like it there - it has heaps of things to do, great universities, lots of educational resources and is just a bigger, better resourced place to live than our current tiny, regional, coastal town. So finally, after a few years of contemplating this, we decided to make it happen. So we began applying for jobs here. Guess who got the first one, huh? Go on, guess! Me!

For those of you who enjoyed our New Zealand and Asia cruises, it will come as no surprise to you that I love cruising. I spend my days researching the next big cruise. So when Cruiseabout in Canberra advertised, I thought "why not?" (let's just ignore those guilty feelings about 'abandoning' my children for a minute).

So I applied and although they (being Flight Centre, the company who owns Cruiseabout) had filled the job, they offered me a position as an International Travel Consultant in Escape Travel (their family holiday brand). I contemplated it for a weekend, discussed it with the kids and the hubby and finally said YES! (eep!). So, for the last three weeks, I've been ensconced in a hotel in Sydney learning how to do my job and I start tomorrow!

I actually am quite excited by the prospect of it now - there will be lots of travel discounts (the airfares for staff are amazing), there are lots of incentives (if I do well in my first 3 months, they take us to New Zealand) and rewards (end of financial year ball in Sydney in July is already booked). We are expected to work hard, but they give you lots of training (another week in Brisbane in June) and support. I reckon I'll do alright :-)

While I currently sit typing this in a motel room, we have found a suitable rental property nearby and hopefully will start the process of moving our stuff in this week. We will keep our coastal house as a holiday rental (once it gets a bit of TLC - it's fit for us to live in, but I wouldn't expect people to fork out money for it in its current state!). That way we can visit "home" on the weekends (and my mum, who lives nearby). Video Boy for one, is looking forward to having a bedroom that doesn't have rodents and termites in it! And we also get cable internet - what's not to love about that?

And the burning question - WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS???  Well, initially, we will continue to "homeschool". They have been totally brilliant doing their schoolwork when I've been working casually and during the last few weeks (I'm going to share with you soon their fabulous Shakespeare efforts). But, apart from needing to shore up our financial future, we also need to make sure the kids needs are met. Wombat Girl is kind of driving us nuts with her insatiable cognitive demands and Video Boy has matured so much! So, no rush, but the ACT senior school system is pretty impressive - and I think if we do our research properly, we can find them something suitable. Maybe not - we can always do distance ed, but it might be worth a try. I will certainly let you know how things progress.

Hubby's coming too, but just for now, I'll respect his privacy and not share ALL our plans :-)

What does this mean for the blog? Well, I think I'll keep blogging - you want to know how all this journey turns out, don't you?? Besides, you get to see a whole new part of Australia (I'm sure we'll get to do fun stuff on the weekends!), see how the kids get on and best of all, I'll get to show you more hairy legs and sweaty bras on my future travels (of which I hope will be lots!). Part homeschool blog, part gifted education blog, part mommy-blog, part travel blog. Who needs a niche, right???

Whaddya think? 
Surprised?


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