Sunday, 20 November 2011

All Packed Up

Well I have 17 days until I'm on holidays and I have already moved out of my room! It feels weird being packed up so early... normally I won't even start packing until a week before I move. The rest of the house is also pretty much all packed up too, ready for the builders and our trip to Herne Bay. Here's a couple of pictures of what my room looks like... Don't worry, it's not normally this 'messy' :p

Thursday, 17 November 2011

So Busy!

Wow the last few days have been hectic, and I have another 3 hectic days ahead of me. You may remember that I have mentioned that my client was going to get some renovations done on her house. Well FINALLY we have a date. And it's next Monday! Note that my client had been told the work would be finished in May. I started in May, and from that time we have been saying 'it will be any time now'. Now the time has come, and we got a weeks notice. While the work in being done, my client and I will be going to a place in Herne Bay that offers Holiday Bungalows, as my client won't be able to use her room. As we will be away for 2 weeks, right before I finish of with this current client and go on holidays myself, I have been going non-stop and probably won't get to rest until Monday...

They have added bitumen now, the builders will finish
the driveway off, as council have only done the bit on
council land.
Tuesday I made about 12 phonecalls to all the relevant people to let them know what's happening, and organise things. Wednesday we finished the Xmas shopping, so that we won't have to worry about that when we get back.

Today I organised myself! I've got 4 piles of things: Things I'm taking to Herne Bay, things I'm taking on my Xmas holiday, but not Herne Bay, things I'm leaving here while I'm on holiday, and things I'm still using. I also fixed my boot and spent an hour on the phone to mum. The council workers have started work on the drive way today, which is great news! I have also organised all my boarding passes/accommodation booking references which I need to go print as soon as I finish updating my blog (which obviously I have also done today, and will have done by the time you read this :P). After I come back from that I need to wrap my client's Xmas pressie, as I'm hoping to give it to her while we are away :)

Tomorrow I need to finish cleaning the kitchen and write a list of all the things we need to pack for the holiday. Saturday and Sunday will then be spent packing and moving things from my client's room, the living room, and the bathroom into my room, so they are clear for the builders to come in. Argh, I am so tired right now, I wish I could have a nap. But you know what they say, no rest for the wicked. And to be honest I'm really enjoying being so busy. It adds a bit of a challenge to my job, especially having to juggle everything and still do my regular personal care duties - I'm loving it! Though, it doesn't help that I haven't been sleeping very well at night, and when I have been asleep my client wakes me with her coughing as she has a cold, or wakes me early as she needs to go to the bathroom :(

When we get back from Herne Bay, I will have a few more hectic days. We come back on the 5th, handover is on the 6th, and I leave on the 7th. In that time I will need to unpack from our time away, repack for my holiday, finish the Xmas food shopping, and put up the Xmas decorations :S Hopefully I should be able to relax while we are in Herne Bay - I think the first thing I will for is a place that does massages, as I REALLY REALLY need one!

Change of Career?

I have been doing some more painting for my client. This time I painted her kitchen. I think I need a change of career, or at least a change in  job title! Here are the before/afters. Warning: Some of the befores are pretty gross Smile with tongue out Now I just need to finish cleaning out the cupboards and the kitchen will be like brand new!
Kitchen1aKitchen 006
Kitchen2aKitchen 007
Kitchen4aKitchen 009
Kitchen3aKitchen 008
Kitchen 001Kitchen 002
Kitchen 004Kitchen 005

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Things I Miss

Well it's hard to believe I have been here over a year - in fact it's been nearly 16 months! I thought I would write about things I miss. Obviously I miss my friends and family. I think the hardest part of working as a live-in carer is the social isolation. Living with someone as a carer is not the same as just generally living with someone. For one, you can leave when you want and two, you can generally have visitors whenever you want. It is also unlikely that you spend soo much of your day with just one person, no matter how close you are! I also miss my babies like crazy. My client at the moment is the first one I have had who doesn't have a pet cat, in fact she doesn't even like cats! And I do miss my furry companions as much as (sometimes more than) my two legged companions :p. Though I'm sure Cleo and Abby probably don't miss me as much as I miss them!

I can imagine what it will be like when I get back to Aus, I will want to have some sort of food fest. There are so many food relating things I miss. Things like Tim Tams, good steak, cheap meat, sausages that AREN'T pork. There are a few 'restaurants' that I miss too - Sizzler's, Hog's Breath Cafe, Cactus Jack's and Red Rooster to name some. What can I say, I like food, and I like the way the Aussie's do it!

I also miss the weather - when I went to France for scuba diving I LOVED the constant warmth and sunshine. But in saying that I also miss the opposite - a dark stormy night. Yes, England might rain a bit, and bet wet and miserable, they it doesn't know how to do storms! I miss those torrential downpours, where you can't even hear the tv, no matter how loud you turn it up (that's if the power doesn't go out of course!) Of course I don't want anything too extreme, like droughts and floods, but a bright, sunny, warm day followed by a dark, stormy night would be awesome!!

I miss the southern hemisphere stars. Looking up at the sky just isn't the same, and it is the main thing that tells me I'm not 'home'. Firstly you just can't see as many stars - you don't get that classic milky way look. If you do see any stars, it's only the brightest, and not a lot at that. And of course you can't see the southern cross over here. Looking up and seeing the 'plough' or 'big dipper' just isn't right. There is a reason I got the southern cross tattooed on my foot!

The main thing I miss about Australians in general is our ability of saying things like it is and not 'beating around the bush' (great saying!). For example I went with G & A to their friends house for Last Night of the Proms. One of the singers was wearing a frumpy, shapeless, grey dressed. All the oldies were sitting around saying things like 'hmm, yes, it is an interesting dress'. I was sitting there thinking (and this is what I actually said) 'it's horrible'. After I said that they all gave a kind of awkward laugh, and still couldn't admit it. Even though I knew what they were all thinking. The bad thing is that I have to be careful of what I say sometimes, cos others don't have the same ability of saying it like it is, and can sometimes be offended by my bluntness - but surely it is better to tell the truth?!

Remember Remember the 5th of November

The 5th of November is Bonfire/Guy Fawkes night in the UK, where people set of a heap oP1050265f fireworks. Being from Queensland, where it is illegal to buy/sell/set them off (or something like that)I decided I would like to set some fireworks off! Mainly because I could. The last time I set any fireworks off was on new year’s 2003/4 in Cologne. I bought a 10 shot ‘cake, which according to the box reaches a height of 30m, and lasts 28 secs. I also got an selection box of 18 mixed effect fireworks, as it was buy one get one free Smile

My plan was to light the fireworks and then take a picture of them, but two days earlier I realised that 1) It’s going to be difficult to light a fuse, and run back to the camera to press the shutter. 2) I don’t have a tripod to keep the camera steady. 3) I have limited fireworks, so will be difficult to set the shot up, and know where exactly the firework would be in the frame. The solution to problems 1 and 2 was to buy a remote controller, and tripod. As for problem 3, I think luck would play a big part in getting the ‘perfect’ shot! Unfortunately I couldn’t get the remote shutter release in time, so had thought of just have to using the self timer, and hoping for the best! (I did buy one though, ready to get some [hopefully] nice night shots when I go on holidays and for new year’s in Paris!!)

While it was still light I buried the 10 shot cake, and loosened some soil ready to ‘plant’ the others one at a time – I didn’t want to bury them all at once in case one lit another and there was a huge explosion of fireworks all going off at once! I also got my camera ready, and decided it would be better to just run for the camera after lighting the fuse and use the bulb shutter speed setting. Here are some pics from the night. They aren’t that great, but I still had fun Open-mouthed smile Although, I think the most exhilarating part was lighting the fuse and then sprinting towards the camera to get the picture. And even though I was nervous in the beginning, the good news is I didn’t burn any body parts or set anything on fire – BONUS!

fireworks 164 fireworks 166fireworks 169 fireworks 171fireworks 172fireworks 173fireworks 174fireworks 175fireworks 179fireworks 180 fireworks 181fireworks 182 fireworks 183fireworks 184 fireworks 185fireworks 186 fireworks 187fireworks 188 fireworks 189fireworks 193 fireworks 194fireworks 197 fireworks 198fireworks 202                                 
All the burnt out fireworks

fireworks 204

In hindsight I may have gotten the order of the fireworks the wrong way around. The first photo up the top is from the 10 shot cake, and I think it is the best pic. The last picture is the 'grand finale'. I thought it was a sparkler. From the photo you can see it is not sparkling. From the smell of it, it was an incense stick. Why there was an incense stick in with a bunch of fireworks I do not know!?