like a phoenix..

I have been awake since 5.30, and up since 6.15, full of energy and surprising Mr T who’s already up for work.  This early awakening has been happening for a month or so now and I have to admit, I quite like it.  Extra time to sit and drink coffee and read or surf or wonder at the world outside my window before it wakes up.

The energy I feel on waking and throughout the day is complemented by sudden surges of fiery bodily heat that has me casting of clothes in all directions.  I appear to be arising like a Phoenix from the flames.

It is amazing to me to have all this energy, I am immensely grateful for it, especially at this particular time when I am packing and organising and having to be ‘on to it’.  I try to remember not to regret all the years spent living in the grey mire.  After all, I couldn’t fully appreciate how I am now with out experiencing the opposite.

In addition to all this unexpected menopausal energy is the fact that I am no longer able to drink alcohol the way that I used to – and that is so weird. I have gone from easily drinking the best part of a bottle of wine at a party with little or no ill effects to cautiously drinking one glass of wine because two will not only give me the start of nausea but also give me the hangover of the century.  Why does no-one tell you these things may happen?

What is even weirder for me is that if this alcohol intolerance thing had happened a year or so ago I would have been devastated – no more social crutch, boo hoo, throw my toys out of the cot time.  Now however, I feel quite calm about it and that is so odd – almost like I am on some kind of hormonal valium.

In my down time I am stitching and enjoying it so much.  Around 5pm, after dog dinner time, I seek my spot on the sofa, gather the fur babies around me, cue up what ever I am binge watching (at the moment it is The West Wing and The Great British Bake Off), adjust the Anglepoise and happily stitch away.  I have finished one piece  –




and working on another..


and trying to organise supplies of embroidery cottons, fabric and yarn etc so that I have enough to keep me going after everything is packed.  Then doing the classic of realising that I have packed something that I am actually going to need and then not being able to find which box I’ve put it in, grrr.

This morning I have dogs to walk and a fridge to clean before a prospective buyer visits this afternoon so I am off and running – hope you all have a happy, energetic day too.

Touch down..

So we got here then..

We had arrived at Heathrow at 1pm with all our luggage as we had to vacate our hotel at twelve and where else can you go with all those heavy bags?   Unfortunately our plane did not leave until ten that night and we could not check in for another four hours BUT would we like to leave in an hours time on a plane doing the same route?  And if we did want to we could have three empty seats for ourselves? Oh yes..

You would think that having an hour to get from check in desk to boarding would be plenty of time wouldn’t you?  You obviously have not gone through Heathrow airport security for quite a while then..

I thought I was going to have a heart attack by the time I had finished running to the gateway, and the boarding staff must have as well by the look on their faces.  I had nearly fallen arse over tit over my own flight bag on the way as well as swearing quite horribly at a poor innocent fellow traveller (utter bastard who wouldn’t get out of the way), and here they were looking all calm and unsweaty and willing me to be calm so they wouldn’t have to call the ambulance to haul my twitching carcass away and upset the other passengers.

We had plenty of space on that leg of the journey, which is such a huge bonus on a long flight (12 hours) and then another twelve hour wait in Singapore airport which is actually quite a cool place to wait as waiting places go – I particularly enjoyed the butterfly house, and all the people watching.

Then on to Brisbane, once again heaps of room as there were several rows of seats empty.  On landing we were in smelling distance of home, the Brisbane security staff were lovely and although the coffee cost us ten british pounds for two, it was lovely!

The last leg was on a smaller plane and more cramped but it was also the shortest at four hours.  As the plane came in to land at Wellington Airport the young woman next to me turned as said “Welcome home”, and I had to turn away as the huge lump in my throat threatened to choke me.

It’s good to be home..

Landing in New Zealand..34 hours after leaving UK
Landing in New Zealand.  34 hours after leaving UK










Hay-on-Wye leaving doobedoobedoo..

Karen the Cake, me and Jo, at Kilvert's, Hay-on-Wye, the start of the evening.
Karen the Cake, me and Jo, at Kilvert’s, Hay-on-Wye, the start of the evening.

A few nights earlier my friends had given me the necklace I am wearing and we spent some time amusing ourselves by giving each bead a friends name according to what shape we thought they represented.  Now when I look at it I think of them all..

My darling friend Simon, later in the evening at Tomatitoes Tapas Bar
Giant farewell cupcake with edible butterflys made by Karen, scoffed instantly (not all by me)
Giant farewell cupcake with edible butterflies made by Karen, scoffed instantly (not all by me)


Drink may have been taken
Drink may have been taken – Simon, Jo, Me, Jenny, Mr T, Nicky


Just a few shots because I forgot my camera and had to rely on Chrissy to send me these.

It was a wonderful night and it is making me sad just looking at the photos knowing I will not see these lovely people for some time. They are always welcome to visit us on this side of the world 🙂





Nothing to see here; Just a cat dressed as a shark, riding a robotic vacuum cleaner

Nothing to see here > Just a cat dressed as a shark, riding a robotic vacuum cleaner.

I added the above link to avoid starting off this post with yet another apology for not blogging for so long.  In fact I am really only posting this because –

a) I do love you all and want to share the joy of the above video and

b) I need to do the vacuuming and clean the bathroom and writing my blog is preferable.

Also it strikes me that as we are now within the allotted time in which anxiety rules i.e. under six weeks before we re-home ourselves to New Zealand, I will increasingly need to watch more videos along the same lines.  

Interspersed with worrying that we don’t have enough shipping boxes to pack all my millions of doileys/old material/yarn/other pretty much useless junk (as Mr T probably thinks), whilst getting rid of all actual useless junk.  Worrying whether all will go well with Toasties vaccinations and exporting and whether she will miss us much during the two weeks (including quarantine) that we will be separated.  Keeping the house fairly grot free for prospective tenants viewing as well as making nice for said tenants to move into and us to get our bond back.

There are many other shady worries circling like sharks which I am trying desperately to not focus on..

Yikes!!  This has not helped writing it all down.

I will away to fettle my house and use some of my anxious energy..

Looking back – 2010 Bumper Post

The trouble is the longer you leave it the more the words in your head build up until it all becomes overwhelming and it’s a lot easier not to bother – a lot.

So biting the bullet and getting it started again is a good thing.

First off – I hope everybody had a great holiday period.  We had a interesting time of it, with both of us having a really nasty flu which took ages to disappear.  Lots of people we know have had it too – in fact our neighbours have both suffered badly and have had to cancel their two month long holiday in India because they were so sick.

Yule afternoon I spent with my good friend Emanation and her family.  Emanation and I swapped pressies and I received my first proper crochet how-to book from her, as well as a really cool crocheted flower motif wall hanging.  We ate lovely food and drank lovely drink and she dosed me with some head blowing herbal concoction to try to alleviate my flu.  It didn’t work totally but was an experience for sure.  It was amazing to have found someone here who celebrates the solstice and to know that she and her husband Smithy are bringing up their son to celebrate it as well.

Thinking back on it, I should never have gone around to Emanation’s that day as I really was feeling rough and risked them catching it as well.  But fortunately they are made from hardier stock and remained well.

Emanation and me - Yule 2010


Smithy and I and Puss

Thanks to said flu I really did not mind that Mr T worked late Christmas eve and I was home alone.  Just felt like curling up on sofa and blobbing in the warm.  We were both well enough to make it to the Baskerville Arms on Christmas Day to have our (already paid for) feast.    Although not well enough to walk all the way there and back as was the plan.

I got some lovely presents on the day – I have the best friends.  One of them, Louise,  had surprised me with a gift bag of goodies from her shop which contained six or seven little wrapped presents that I had great fun opening – lip balm,  candle holders, colourful machine embroidery threads, cool stuff like that.

Me and Presents - Terrys Chocolate Orange, fingerless gloves, crochet book and one of my most fave pressies - A HEAD TORCH!!
Later in the day after Christmas lunch - full up with good cheer and the flu
Mr T - Christmas day

New Years Eve found us in Swansea celebrating at our favorite Queens Hotel with our besties Jules and Kath.  I love being back in Swansea for a visit – it is sooo different from being in Hay.  Having lived there for about four years on and off I am fully aware of some of the down sides of the place but.. I have a huge soft spot for the city where Mr T was born, I love people watching and listening to the accents.  And of course walking the spectacular beach, which we did horribly hungover on New Years day.

It was very, very good being with Jules and Kath, just great people and great fun.  A huge blessing..  And Jules makes a mighty fine New Years day fry up.

The Gang - New Years Eve 2010


I made no New Years resolutions, I just the hope that I will be able to handle this year better than last.

2010 was a doozey in some ways – some of the negatives

  • Most probably making the decision to return to the UK bought about a return of the Black Slug Depression, perhaps not the brightest idea for a person who apparently does not deal well with stress.
  • Leaving my Mum and all my friends.
  • The collapse of our plans to rehome our lovely Polly, two weeks before we were due to leave the country.  Then having to leave her in a safe but unfortunately temporary home.
  • The stress of moving to another country, finding a place to live, jobs, furnishing said house, finding an affordable car, feeling alien and not wanting to open my antipodean gob while out shopping to stop the millionth person from asking  where I come from (because then I would have to kill them)
  • Relationship problems in the first couple of months of being in this country – really needed that.
  • Failure to cope with pub job, getting another really quite enjoyable job that I could cope with and then having it taken away.
  • All of this whilst the depression ran rampant and did it’s best to sabotage any good at all

BUT  I have survived and our marriage has survived and at this particular point I am extremely thankful for all the amazing, wonderful, simply fucking beautiful things that have happened as well.  All of those negative things have turned out ok.  We have coped with all the problems that moving to a different country brings and some of the stuff we needed to set up life here just dropped into our lives as if by magic.  I have to say that a lot of our good fortune has had to do with people – good hearted, friendly, helpful people – some of whom were pretty much strangers but they made starting  our lives here so much easier than it could have been.

Next post – the positives


Well, we moved out of our house last week, so it has been a bit of a mad time.. hence no posts for a while.  In fact the last three weeks have been somewhat traumatic, for me in particular.  Things started to go pear shaped when we got a phone call from Phillipa,( my birth Mother), who nominated herself last year, when we first decided to return to the U.K,. to take over as carer for our dog Polly.   Phillipa’s bull terrier, who normally gets on well with our girl, had attacked Polly, and Phillipa no longer felt that she would be able to offer Polly a safe home.  Right..

So we had two weeks to find a suitable home for our much loved hound, as finding the four and a half thousand dollars needed to take her with us would be most unlikely.

I then decided to fall apart.. and spent hours each morning crying and days trying to cope with the return of the huge fatigue which come with my particular brand of depression… Queue necessity of taking anti depressants, which normally don’t work well for me but which in this case lifted most of the tiredness and extreme sadness and enabled me to cope with packing, selling, cleaning and the style of socialising which goes along with moving country.

We have been staying with two lots of lovely friends since we left our house, who have been very kind and hospitable.  Our ‘going away’ party is tomorrow night – it is going to be sad, not my most favourite kind of party for sure.  Then next Tuesday we will drive down to my Mum’s house to spend the last week with her..


I don’t sound very happy or excited.  I am hoping that will come when we finally leave the country and all this ‘saying goodbye’ stuff is over.  Really, actually, all is well, or as well as can be expected under the circumstances.  Some of my amazing friends have stepped up to give a home to Polly, and I am sure she will be well looked after.  We have enough savings to last quite awhile when we get where we are going.. and there are lovely friends to see again after two years away – and lots of new friends to meet.  To be honest, I have a A4 piece of paper covered both sides with stuff I love about being in the U.K. – so mainly it is the depression talking,  and I also know that it will be defeated eventually – as it has been before  😉

Our Samhain altar

The Great Emptying Begins..

Well – there we are then.  The man has just been to pick up our giant telly and give us some money – goodbye telly, I will miss you..  Tomorrow someone will come by to take possession of the sofa.

The plan, which has been in the making since November last year is gradually happening.  I think I must have been in denial about it all – just the packing, moving,  saying goodbye to stuff and people and places, is all stressful and up till last week when our possessions started to find their way to new homes, I had been quite apathetic about it all.

Now however I am starting to get a bit of energy and I can feel the excitement beginning to build.  It helps that we now have a plan for the first couple of weeks when we get to the U.K.  We have a week in a apartment on the marina where we can get over our jet lag,  buy a car and set about finding somewhere to live and work.  Then, the following week we head to Hay on Wye for five nights in a cottage, where we can relax.  Maybe look for a house, although I have been in touch with a Hay estate agent and apparently because we are unknowns, from out of the country, they would require 6 months rent in advance!  That is just not going to happen.  So we would need to find a private landlord/lady.

My friend Alison from Agnes Coy has set me up with an introduction to a lovely lady called Louise, who owns a really yummy shop in Hay on Wye.  We have been in touch and I am visiting her for a cuppa when I get there.  Isn’t that cool!!

So that is about that.. I am not prepared to go further into the future than that – there be dragons.  Except to say wherever we go I hope I can find a friendly craft group/ stitch and bitch to join up with..