Sunday, 25 February 2007

25th February - Veggie Day!

We have all had a lazy start to the day...........! After lunch, we intend going off to King's Park. Nils took some photos of a Praying Mantis this morning, which was just outside the house!

24th February - A day at the beach!

Gratulerer med dagen! (Olav in Norway)

Went to the beach at Cottesloe, and had fish and chips for lunch. Oskar dipped his toes in the Indian Ocean! It was all fun until his swimming pants got wet, but then it got a bit too cold for him! Oskar was definitely the coolest looking baby at the beach! Derek and Drew went fishing, whilst Nils and Elise went for a dip in the water. Elise dived down and fished up some nice shells. Lynn looked after Oskar and our possessions, and took some interesting pictures of a seagull.

23rd February - a day in Freo!

We decided to go back to Freo today, to do some shopping. We both like the place, so it wasn't too hard getting ready to head off to the railway station. Suprisingly, it was a lovely cool walk and very pleasant. Oskar seems content too. He generally likes the travel on the trains and was fine on the trip into Perth. However, by the time we were half way to Freo, everyone on the train were aware, he was ready for his lunch! So, first thing we did on arrival, was have lunch! After that, he settled down for a bit and we headed for the indoor market, which is only open from Friday-Sunday each week. Nils bought 3 hats (2 are birthday gifts and 1 for himself) Oskar liked charming the lady that owned the stall! We didn't stay looking long, as it was busy, so went off to catch the CAT (free bus) to take us to the opposite side of Freo. Nils wanted to buy another birthday present from the Arts Museum;-) Oskar was really cranky on the CAT. An elderly Japanese couple managed to amuse him for a little of the journey, but was clear that all he wanted was MILK! So, we had to stop and have coffee and cake, so that I has the opportunity to feed Oskar! Nils then madce his purchase in the shop and we then went to catch the CAT again, so that we could connect with the train back to Perth.
We didn't go straight back to Kelmscott, as we were meeting up with everyone in Gosnells. Drew had his brown stripe taekwondo accreditation, and Nils was acting as cameraman! We thought that Oskar would be frightened by the chanting as the students were put through their paces, but no. He loved it and joined in making his own noises too. Drew passed and was awarded his new belt. Now he has to train for just one more month before doing his black belt!

22nd February - in Nils' words....

We talked about going to Kings Park, then reduced the ambition level to go to the local supermarket at Stargate and eventually ended up doing nothing! We were tired after the trip yesterday, and would not want to walk another hot day with Oskar in the pram, and the struggle keeping him amused on the train back afterwards. It was too hot for him yesterday, and he was a bit grumpy most of today. He did not want any food, and especially not any jar dinners from Heinz! He even refused to eat an apple and peach fruit puree, because it looked like a jar dinner! Oskar got some cred points back in the evening, when he enjoyed Lynn's pancake lasagne!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

21st February - a day in Guildford!

Happy Birthday Dad! (Ron in UK)

Went to Guilford, an old town that has not developed much since 1890. We had lunch in the churchyard/park, which was nice and shady. We then went on the heritage walk around the town. The architecture was interesting, however the weather was too hot. There were not many shops, which were mostly second hand shops. On arrival back in Perth, we went to Harbour Town, a retail outlet to buy some clothes for Oskar from Pumpkin Patch!

20th February - in Nils' words...

Planning day... Lynn went to Carousel (shopping centre) and got two blouses that were too large exchanged. After lunch, we did some planning of what to use the rest of the holiday for. We have decided to rent a car for our last week, to be able to get around to other places than we could reach by train. This was also Shrove Tuesday “pancake day” in Australia (and UK), so Nils made another batch of pancakes.

19th February - Kings Park

Took the train to Perth, had lunch in Forrest Place (the central square of Perth) and went to the tourist office to get information about train travel within Western Australia. Train rides should be quite Oskar friendly, as long as they are not too long. Our selection of holiday packages seems to be limited to Bunbury, to have a train ride of 2 hours or less. A holiday package is turning out to be cheaper than buying 1st class tickets, and you still get 1st class train tickets! After that, we went to Kings Park, had a walk around the scenic park and took some pictures. There were gigantic pine trees, which produce the pine nuts that the local parrot like kookaburras like well. We took a picture of an interesting spiky tree that reminds me of how you feel when you have got all the “spikes out”. There were several war memorials, and we had a look around Aspects, which is an exclusive crafts shop and bookstore. We had a drink outside, and Oskar got fed before we started walking back. Nils took the opportunity of taking pictures of a cheeky Aussie Magpie that was sat on a seat next to him, at the table! We walked back into town down the avenue lined with lemon scented gumtrees on our way back to Perth station. In the evening, both Lynn and Nils were tired, but Oskar was in top form – he had been sleeping half the day whilst we had pushed him around in his pushchair!

18th February - in Nils' words.....

Another quiet day... We had BBQ for dinner. The free time gave us the opportunity to discuss what we wanted to do with the remainder of our holiday.

17th February - in Nils' words...

We got up early, to go to Perth Zoo. We got an all day family rider ticket, which covers most transport in the city area, and took the train to the city centre. From there, we took the free CAT buses to the jetty by the bell tower, and took the ferry across Swan River. It had (surprisingly) started chucking it down with rain, so we took refuge in the Bellhouse cafe, and waited for the rain showers to ease off. We had to wait about an hour, so bought some coffee and cakes to make the time pass! Oskar tasted the apple tart, which he really loved! The weather eventually improved, and we continued to the zoo. We saw many nice animals in the zoo, amongst others Cheetah, Lions, Tigers, Elephants, Rhinos (and Lynn told her story where she had to climb a tree to escape a rhino in South Africa), several primates. Lynn found the orangutans really cute, especially the baby orangutan. We also went on the Australian bushwalk, however we did not have time to look at the animals, because we were trying to catch up with Lisa and her kids, and Oskar was a bit cranky. We came back home at 1900, and had takeaway pizza for dinner to make it simple.

15th/16th February

We had a quiet day. Nils, Lynn and Oskar went out shopping and Nils took Oscar for a ride in his pushchair. Lynn made Country Veiled Lass, which tasted delicious :-) (Apple pudding)

Lynn went to Perth to get some tourist brochures, and Nils went to the local internet cafe to catch up what had happened the 14 days we had been in Australia. Lynn made her delicious Guinness burgers, which everybody appreciated!

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

February 14th

Lynn, Nils, Lisa and Oskar went to Carousel (a big shopping centre) to buy some clothes for Lynn. It was tricky finding summer clothes when all the new autumn stuff had already hit the stores, but nothing is impossible and a few bargains were found:-) Jackie, Lisa's friend came down for a chat and suggested we visit Caversham Wildlife Park and Whitman park. In the evening, Nils made pancakes for dinner, which was really popular and likely to be repeated in the next week or so!

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

13th February - Happy Birthday Drew!

Happy Birthday Drew! Lynn and Lisa used most of the day preparing for his birthday. In the afternoon we went to an Italian restaurant to have a nice dinner, and Drew unwrapped his presents there. He got some nice presents, amongst other an Organiser/PDA.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

1st February - Ready? Steady, Go!

Total chaos was around us as I tried to get everything packed for the trip. It is stressful getting everything done, so that it complied with airline and airport guidelines! In the end, we got two large holdalls packed, two pieces of hand luggage, a buggy and Oskar's carry back-pack! We left around 2pm for the 90 minute drive to the airport. It was hard to believe it was the beginning of February, as the sun was shining and the temperature suprisingly Spring like.

On arrival at Torp, Oskar was on top form - loving all that was new around him and enjoying the atmosphere of the surroundings. I and probably Nils, was apprehensive as flying with Oskar was to be a step into the unknown. The new customs procedures were in place and Nils had to try Oskar's drink, much to Oskar's disgust! The 90 minute flight to Amsterdam was very uneventful. Oskar was as good as gold and even enjoyed the in-flight sandwich! Before we knew it, we landed at Schipol. Only 3 more flights to Australia.........!

By the time we boarded for the second flight, Oskar was tired. It was 9pm. The flight to Manchester was only 1 hour, but that was long enough. We were really glad that we were staying at the hotel near to Terminal 2, so that within a short space of time after arriving, we were in our hotel room for the night.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

10th February - in Nils' words...

Everybody went to Fremantle. Derek, Elise and Drew went to a swimming pool, whereas Nils, Lynn, Lisa and Oskar first got a cup of coffee and a biscuit, and then went to Fremantle Markets to buy some presents. After that we went around looking in Fremantle, and eventually had another cup of tea and a small bite. After that, we took the bus back to meet the others. In the bus we mounted the rain cover in the pram, and waved at Oskar so that he could see us through the rain cover. He started crying, because he interpreted the waving like we were going away – like “bye bye”. This is the first time we clearly have realised that he understands a sysmbolic sign, even though he understands his own name by now. In the evening, all of us went to Cicerellos to have Fish and Chips. Near the waterside restaurant, a huge pelican was wandering around, much to the amusement of the passing public. Of course, we had left the camera in the car! Thank goodness for mobile phones with cameras-LOL!

9th February - in Nils' words....

A quiet day. It is very hot. We stayed at home, did some washing and looked after Oskar. In the evening, we were invited to Lisa and Dereks friends Pim and Myra to have a couple of drinks and some finger food. They lived in a wood paneled house with a quite large natural garden with lots of gum trees and other plants. Lynn was impressed by their kitchen with a 6 ring cooker! Oskar got his own playmat and borrowed some toys of them, so he was happy. Pim is originally Dutch, and Myra, Scottish, but they moved to Australia 20 years ago, and have got 2 daughters Stella and Abbey.

8th February - in Nils' words...

Last night was very hot. Went to Perth. When waiting for the train, we discovered that we were 30c short. A woman in her late 50s approached us, and asked if we had any problems? We told her that we were short of change, and she gave us the 30c. She was very nice and chatty and told us that she went to an equestrian centre to learn how to drive trotters. This was her dream come true, after she had had a weight operation and had lost 48 kg. She said she might even start riding again. She had ancestors in Denmark and Norway. She sat beside us in the train, and told that she had seen most of Australia, but had only been abroad to Malaysia once. She gave some good hints about places to see in WA, like Margaret River and Denmark. First, we had a look around Subiaco, and then had dinner in the city centre. Lynn bought a new top in Target. On the way back, we went to Woolworths to buy some groceries. Lisa came to pick us up. Elise had been to the girlscouts. They had had a water day with water bombs and wet sponges, so she was completely wet through! Lynn made dinner, and served chicken in tyme in the evening. Oskar did settle in his cot this evening, and slept through most of the night in it.

7th February - in Nils' words....

Elise is 10. Happy Birthday, Elise! Oskar was better today, and we got our first night with decent sleep after arriving. Finally it seems like both Oskar and we have got over the jet lag! Lisas friends Myra and Jackie also saw Oskar, and said he was georgous. Jackie had a good hand with children, and managed to get Oskar to sleep. We had to put him in his new pram, since he is not very fond of sleeping in his travel cot. Elise came back from the school in the afternoon, and started opening some of her cards. Drew was delayed due to problems with the trains, and came some hours later. Elise then opened all her nice birthday presents. In the evening we went down to Sizzlers to have dinner. The dinner was nice, and Oskar got a high chair and some bread crumbs to chew on, so he was happy. As desert he even got to taste icecream, which he seems to like much better than vegetables for some reason???! When we came back, we tasted Elises birthday cake.

6th February - in Nils' words.....

Oskar slept with us half the night. He has got a cold, and also got his second tooth! We were out to buy him a pushchair with a hood, and got one cheaply at Baby on a Budget (135 AUD). It was hot outside, and Oskar was poorly, so we went home after this. In the evening, Lynn started baking a birthday cake for Elise. Oskar tested his new toothbrush, and was chewing it for 20 minutes, so his teeth must have been really clean after this!

5th February - in Nils' words.........

We and Oskar are still jet lagged. Oskar thinks it still is day during night, and wakes up to play and is noisy during night, which stresses Lynn because she does not want everybody to wake up because of him, since all are going to work or school early. Oskar was a bit bunged up, and woke up several times because of it. Lynn and Lisa went out to the supermarket to buy more essentials we needed later this day. The woman at the till in the supermarket said “Is he not georgeous! He looks just like a little porcelain doll!”

4th February - in Nils' words.....

First day in Australia. Drew had baked a nice chocolate cake for Oskars 7th month anniversary, to celebrate his new cousin, and our arrival. Oskar was put on the table, and put both hands in to the cake to grab a big piece! We put Oskar in the travel cot, and he slept for some hours, and then woke up and thought it was daytime. Nils tried to bounce him for a while whilst Lynn was singing Old mac Donald, Twinkle Twinkle, Wiggely Woo and Incy Wincy Spider for him to try to make him tired. Oskar enjoyed the activity, and did finally go to sleep again, but was rather unsettled and jet-lagged, and woke up several times during the night.

3rd february - in Nils' words........

03/02/2007 We landed in Dubai at 0700. The weather was a bit hazy, and it was chilly outside - only 20 degrees C. The Emirates provided their own pushchairs at the terminal building, which was quite handy. Our own pushchair was checked in all the way to Perth. Dubai is supposed to be shopping heaven, according to Lynn, and the taxfree shop was good. However we were tired and not really interested in shopping. The first challenge was to find a toilet. The first we found had no toilet paper, and Lynn was desperate, so I had to watch Oskar whilst Lynn ran around the building trying to find one that worked. Another challenge was the type of toilet. The first I found was only a hole in the ground, however after looking some more, I found one normal one that worked. The terminal building was crammed with people that seemed to have been waiting for a long time. Most Europeans were pacing up and down, but the Africans took it more relaxed, and had got some blankets and were sleeping on the floor. At lunch time we searched for a restaurant, and did not find any. We spotted a Mac Donalds sign, and thoght that we might as well go there. It appeared that all restaurants were in the same area, so we did not have to go to Mac Donalds. We got seated ouside a Lebanese restaurant and Lynn bought some food from a French pastisserie. After that, we walked around in the Terminal building and Lynn managed to get seated in a not too crowded area and discretely feed Oskar. Then we went to the gate and waited for the departure. We landed 0330. Unfortunately the plane was 4 hours delayed, apparently because of a sandstorm the previous day. When waiting for the plane, a little 2 year girl, Ashley spotted Oskar, and approached him. Their parents were on the same flight as us to Australia. Ashley was really fond of Oskar, and even hugged him! There must be something about Oskar that girls fall for, because both little girls and women seem to fall for him. Even a couple of stewardesses from the Emirates in the terminal building stopped and wanted to talk to him. We eventually got on the plane, and Oskar must have thought “Oh-no – not another plane! When will they stop torturing me!” Oskar was even less happy during this flight, which lasted 10 hours. Lynn and I were exhausted as well. Going through immigration was a hassle as well. Lynn had not filled in the immigration cards properly (did not see the white boxes we were supposed to tick due to poor lighting on the plane), so we had to re-fill in them. After that, we had to go through the quarentine, since we had reported that we came from a rural area. You are not allowed to bring in any food or wood materials, and we asked about Oskars favourite wooden toy, but that was OK to bring in. Eventually we got through immigration, and in to the arrivals hall, where Lisa, Derek, Drew and Elise were waiting for us, and all were really glad and emotional when we met. The weather was warm and humid. We went to bed as soon as we got back to Lisa and Dereks house. Since we all were exhausted, we all slept well until 1400.

2nd February - in Nils' words........

We had a good breakfast in the Radisson SAS hotel in Manchester, and went back to the hotel room. Uncle George, Ron and Irene came and visited us at 1100. We checked out of the hotel at 1200, and went to a fish and chips restaurant in terminal building 2 to have lunch. Nils discussed renovation projects to fix up the house with George. He and Ron will come over in Easter and this summer to fix up the floor upstairs and install new door and windows. It was very useful to have Anne's pushchair in the airport terminal, so that he could get easy transport and some sleep. After that, we went back to the hotel reception to pick up the baggage, and sat down to chat and take some pictures. They left at 1600, and we went to check in for the flight to Dubai. The checking was hellish, because we had to wait for a long time, so Oskar got tired and hungry before we reached the checkin desk. At the desk it turned out that one of our hand baggage weighed too much (it weighed 10 kg, but the limit on this flight was 7 kg) so we had to rearrange the baggage whilst Oskar was crying, and other people were waiting. To complicate things, the baggage was locked, and only Lynn knew where the keys were, so we were quite stressed when we finally had got the baggage checked in. After that, we went to have a cup of cappuchino and a bite, to wind down. We got on the plane around 2000, which was after Oskars bedtime, so he was not happy about going on another plane. The trip to Dubai took 6 hours. Oskar was ok during this trip, at least not any worse than the other children that were travelling. One woman had a boy that was really upset all the way, and she finally collapsed on the plane from stress, lack of sleep and fatigue. Luckily, we were only less than 30 minutes from Dubai , so the lady was just about able to get herself together before landing. We later found out that she hadn't slept for 2 nights as she had done a night shift as a nurse prior to the flight!

Where does the time go?

We are here and alive in Australia - LOL! Don't know where the time has gone and this has been the first opportunity to get my mittens on the PC in over a week!!! Thankfully, Nils has been keeping a little diary of events, so I'll be cheeky and copy and paste his words over here!