Saturday, 27 October 2007

Half Term Fun

Half term is well and truly over for us and the kids are back to school. We were all glad of the break though and especially enjoyed the last day of term which was United Nations Day.

UN Day is a big deal at the kids school as there are between 35-45 nationalities represented in the school at any given time. This year saw a bit of controversy with the Scottish, Irish and Welsh branching off into a little group of their own. Last year I tried to manage a minefield of disagreement amongst parents on the Irish Question and other such regional battles. It amazes me that the adults are able to get so het up about this type of thing and they forget the day is meant to be about the kids celebrating the fact the school is a "uniting" of nations...ah well, some things are clearly lost on some parents!

I ended up being the co-ordinator for the English kids again despite a genuine get out of jail card with the pregnancy from hell - but then that got trumped by my friend's dad suddenly passing away and prompting her unexpected return to England. Poor love, it has to be every expat's worse nightmare to have that happen and so the least I could do was take over organising UN Day for her.

There were 124 English kids and in the absence of a National Costume (chav outfits do not count!) we opted for T-Shirts with the St George's Cross. The kids had a great day and they all looked great in the parade. Here's a pic of some of the kids and then Aimee and Ollie....

Once UN Day was over and done with we headed off to Bintan for a little holiday. Poor Leigh was feeling knackered after an especially stressful few weeks at work so it was great for him to have a break. The hotel looked spectacular on the website, was great when we got there but to be honest, lacked any real personality. It was also very quiet which didn't help but it wasn't school and it wasn't work so we can't complain.

Leigh and I have decided that even after only 18 months in Asia we just don't get that initial "WOW" feeling anymore on holiday out here as everywhere you go its stunning beaches, great scenary etc etc. When we're back in England we'll be beating ourselves but I suppose its a good thing that we are still able to realise the vista should be taking our breath away, even if it isn't! God, we sound like spoilt brats - I promise we're not and haven't morphed into hideous expats quite yet!!!!

The kids enjoyed the break despite the lack of other children to play with. They especially liked the garden and outside jacuzzi that came with our accomodation. I love this picture of them in the "bubbly pool" with Leigh - doesn't he look like a giant with those long legs hanging over the side?

That's it now though, definitely seems like no more opportunities to enjoy short breaks Asia style for quite a few months as my belly grown larger every day and my Doc puts a ban on travelling outside of Singapore. We do have an exciting Christmas and New Year to look forward to though as Jon and Tracey are coming to visit from England and Leigh has booked off the whole of the holidays from work.

In the meantime, we return to school and work for Leigh and the Kids and I get into some serious glueing and sticking for the Infant Nativity play - apparently, if I'm very good, I might be allowed near a sewing machine. See, would a spoilt expat brat put up with that????

Monday, 8 October 2007

"Useless Blogger Finally Updates"

Its official - I am the worse Blogger around!! After a worried phone call from Lisa in England 'cause the Blog was "stuck" on 14 August and a little nudge from Nat (aka Marmite Breath) I've been kicked and shamed into action to get back to blogging.

I could bore you all with my excuses as to why I haven't been doing blog updates but you are probably all sick of hearing me moan about this pregnancy and its associated troubles already so I won't bother with that. Since we got back from England on 20 August its been pretty glum around here as we've battled with homesickness (me), work issues (Leigh), the move into big school (Ollie) and the increased levels of homework at year 5 (Aimee).

Some welcome relief came in the form of Maz (Leigh's sister) when she visited for a couple of weeks with her little boy, Laurie. Was great to have her visit us and experience Asia from a different perspective to her days globe trekking pre-children. I persuaded her to take a trip to Sea Gypsy which she really enjoyed, as did the little man himself.

Life is slowly settling down to normality again, though I'd be lying if I didn't say my hormone surges make me a little tearful for England at times still. The kids have now settled back into school and the routine of school events, parent meetings and such like continues. United Nations Day is fast approaching and with the usual parent "discussions" as to what the British kids will wear in lieu of a National Costume. It is shameful that we haven't got one really, especially in a school with kids from 35 different countries, all of whom seem to have beautiful, elaborate national costumes. Anyway, pictures will follow after the event on Friday.

Ollie has some big news to share though - he has not only moved into Big School but also onto the "Big Boy" bike - i.e. no stabilisers/training wheels (depending on which continent you are reading this on!) He was fantastic. I held his seat for maybe 5 seconds whilst he steadied himself and then, he was off. Now he thinks he can do tricks and become the Evil Knievel of Singapore. Here's what his face looked like after a couple of days with that mindset....

And a little clip of him riding...

Aimee had an exciting weekend as she was asked to sing with her school choir for the Singaporean President at a big event to celebrate the end of Charity Week here in Singapore. (And no, unfortunately no-one here says it like it Smashy and Nicey so my "Charrr-it-yyy" comments have fallen on very deaf ears and confused faces - another lost in translation moment). Anyway, back to Aimee. She was so proud of herself, especially when she was put at the centre of the first row, holding up a candle - "he'll definitely be looking at me mum!!". Bless her heart. Was Leigh's birthday this weekend so we couldn't go and watch her as we'd already invited half the street over for a BBQ but Aimee forgave us when I bribed her with the chance to stay up late and watch Cheetah Girls 2.

What else is new??? Ummm, we've booked a holiday for half term as we never managed to get away in the summer what with all my vomiting and being in hospital. We're off to a nearby Indonesian island called Bintan where they have golf, a kids club and a spa so all members of the family are happy! Our plans to go to the Maldives were crushed by my Docs due to lack of nearby decent medical facilities. Oh well, save that up for next year maybe. Well, better go as I have to collect the kids from school. I promise I'll get better at blogging again but for now here's some pics of life since August....

PS Its a girl in case you haven't heard by now!