I know, I know it has been a long, long time between blogs but let's see how we go go here! Some events this week have finally spurred me on to write a blog.
So let's start here with this gorgeous girl!
She was doted on by her big brother from the moment he first met her!
....and we discovered her love of nurturing any creature she could when she was a very young lady!
She has continued to shine her way through life with the sheer beauty of her soul and is rightfully adored by all who meet her!
....and this week my beautiful daughter graduated from university (with two sets of letters after her name!) and still her beauty shines through. You have to agree, Ash is simply stunning in every way!
Ash has chosen a career that will take full advantage of her caring nature and I just know she will excel at it. She has graduated with honours as a primary school teacher and has deserved to do so after all her hard work. Ash will be teaching a grade 6 class next year and those kids should be busting to go back to school if they have any sense! I am sure that the gorgeous Miss Turner will be a teacher they will never forget.
Ashy Dooks I am so, so proud of you and love you (arms wide open) this much!!!
Now for a quick update of the past three months! We have been busy, busy, busy! Work has been very testing with some very difficult weeks at the beginning of the school year, but as we draw to the end of Term 1 it is all way more settled. I now have three students and my class, myself and two teaching assistants....yes the boys ARE that much of a handful. We have been learning to play the recorder and doing lots of art in class. We discovered the joys of a Meccano set...an absolute godsend! The difficult start to the year has not made me regret our decision made over the Summer break to stay here a little longer than our original plans for the end of this year. We have committed ourselves to at least the end of this school year and maybe the end of next year. To extend our stay I have had to take another full year's leave from my job in Australia so it will make no difference there.
Late September saw us facing a really sad time as a family when Richard's Dad passed away. He will be sadly missed to say the least.
Richard has finally managed to get a job he can get his teeth into. He is working in a private GP practice near Harley Street! He will be working three days a week from the beginning of next year. They are 11 hour days, but it gives him more freedom to make choices on the other two days of the week.
At home...well things are progressing really well. Bruce survived! We have a neighbour who is a retired mechanic and he decided Bruce was not going to get the better of him! Only a few hundred pounds later and Bruce is purring along again! We even took him on a roadtrip to the Lakes district in October and he did not miss a beat! The Lakes District was fabulous, but perhaps the highlight of the trip was the giant disco ball in Blackpool! I fell in love with it and couldn't stop the camera from clicking.
It really was fabulous! We also visited the highest waterfall in Wales (can't remember its name...I do need to look that up!), which was gorgeous!
And went for some lovely walks in the woods where I found this shape in a stump!
The beginning of October, when our beautiful Harry had his birthday in Australia, saw me trying to cope with my first round of home sickness! I just wanted to be there with my little man. I miss him enormously and miss watching him grow and develop.
The days here are getting colder and colder. We have had one day off school due to snowfall and have coped with many below zero nights and worse still days! I am now leaving for work at 7:30am in the dark and by 4:00 in the afternoon it is dark again, so I also come home in the dark. A great thing about the approaching winter has been the return of our friend the fox! I have seen him in the back garden a few times now and with his return the rats no longer appear! Yay!
The end of November saw the arrival of Sam to spend about two and a half months on this side of the world. (Couldn't disappoint you Sam! - and yes your arrival has been a highlight for us!) He is being spooked by how much like his Dad he is - I say he is a lucky guy! I managed to click this photo of the two of them on the tube on Saturday. Sam proudly came to watch his Dad play hockey and they sat on the bag and chatted on the way home. I think it is a great photo and it was lovely to watch them together!
I have only two more days of school before my term break! I have to say I am really looking forward to it. It has been a long hard term for me. I may not have been blogging, but it hasn't been all work. I have been painting and drawing and have done a bit of knitting. After a bit of a slump in mood in late September and early October I am getting it together again. And I do have a few days in Paris to look forward to!