On the move

June 14, 2011

I may have to type fast before I loose my seat! Once again our life is currently getting packed into boxes! But unlike the previous 4 times, it  is not to move 10km, this time we are heading back to Brisbane.

It has been a hectic few months, the Brisbane job has been on the cards for a few months and involved phone interviews etc. Then we hit a stumbling block in that before they could make a formal offer Clint needed to have a medical, of course he was unable to find a place to do that here. Luckily the new company (BMA) said they would wait and thus while Clint was back in Australia for Ironman he was able to do it. Although with his dodgy hearing it took another couple of weeks and a visit to an ENT guy back here before we got the written offer. Finally after months of knowing we were able to tell and shock all our friends here who thought they would all be first to leave! And hopefully excite all our friends and family back home whom we have missed!

It’s a big move for Clint after 17 years with Thiess- they have been so good to him but he is ready for a change and new challenges. He is really excited about the new job which involves remediation after mining (or something like that- on the plus side I no longer have to visit rubbish tips- I mean Renewable Energy And Waste Management Facilities). It also means spending some time up North, which is where most of his family is based so that is also great… booking his room in now Linda 🙂


I should put some photos up from the last month and if I have time I will but for now…

Sunday was Lachie’s (and my) birthday. Although recovering from jet lag (either that or feeling my age), the kids went to school and I had a lovely lunch with a dozen fabulous ladies whom I will miss very much! In the afternoon Lachie had a party at our pool with the compound kids. Nice and easy with pizzas ordered and Clint made a football cake- he excelled himself again getting the 3D football shape! Having watched all the kids grow up together for 3 years they are like cousins and we will miss our compound family, although my liver wont!! We spent the previous week in London (hence the jet lag) with Fi and Steve, It was fantastic- so fun to take the kids to all the places they have learnt about at school and seen in their home readers. They both had a ball, and got lots of time with Fi and Steve who kindly vacated their bedroom for al of us while they slept in the lounge. We will miss all the travel we have been able to do whilst we have been living here.

The packers will spend the next 3 days packing, we then plan to ‘camp’ in our villa (air con and bathrooms- my kind of camping) for a week or so before moving into a self-contained apartment for the last few days while we get power and water clearances and collect deposits etc. The lovely Marie is moving to a friend of ours, which is great as I know she will be well looked after. We will miss her too- not just all the things she does! the kids have 2 and a half weeks of school left, they are still unsure about the move. They want to go back to Australia but will miss here and were not happy when I said we will probably not be visiting! At school they are currently getting ready to move up to the next grade which doesn’t help as they are both not happy about having to go back into grades they have already finished but that life!

We fly out on the 1st (by then I am going to be in serious need of detox from farewell drinks) and will spend a couple of nights in Singapore before arriving in Brisbane. We will stay with Mum and Dad till our stuff arrives then not sure where we will be. The tenants have a lease until January so unless we can manage to negotiate them out early (we are trying) we will rent somewhere for 5 months before we move back into our house. The kids will have time off school as they have just done a whole year, until our stuff arrives mid August, by them I will (in theory) have chosen a school and off they will go!

Easter and beyond!

May 12, 2011

I have just realized Charlotte’s birthday was the last post, so will now have to test my memory as to what we have been up to recently!

The school held its first annual spring ball on Good Friday, raising money for Cancer reasearch. It was a great night and fun to get all dressed up and go dancing. Being only a week out from Ironman Clint was not drinking and thus did well to stay awake till the early hours of the morning!

Spring Ball

The morning after the ball we took the kids on a much promised trip to Ferrari World. It was a fun day out but to be honest not something I would go back to, nice to tick it off the list though. The kids enjoyed themselves although Charlotte was a little short for some of the rides. Ferrari World

Lachs loved all the race cars

Kids amusing themselves while I lined up for tickets!

La's favorite thing- having balloon butterfly wings made for her 🙂

3D glasses for a 4D ride

Cheeky driver

They may have the world's fastest roller-coaster but this has got to be the world's slowest ride!!

Lachs on the starting grid

Lachs driving round the track

Drivers ed training- probably more intense than they give you to go on the actual roads here


Lachie driving like a local- turning from the wrong lane causing an accident

Easter was a bit of a non event here. Of course the Easter bunny paid a visit but after a quick egg hunt it was off to school and Clint also flew out to Australia that morning. The Easter bunny cleverly decided to bring the kids only big eggs which stops me eating one every time I open the fridge!

La still half asleep, Lachs already on the hunt


Clint flew back to Australia for 2 weeks to race the Ironman in Port Macquarie with a group of mates from his old tri club. he had a great race and despite the crazy winds on the bike managed to cut 20mins off his personal best time coming in at 10hrs 48mins. It was very weird to watch him on-line rather than be there, I got up at midnight for the start of the swim and dozed off during part of the bike. Checked on him as the kids got ready for school and then they put it on for me at the gym so I could keep up with his progress. Times it perfectly to be home watching the live stream as he crossed the finishing line… the only question now is where will the next race be!

Each term the school holds an open morning where you can go in and see the school in action. It’s nice to be able to wander through the classrooms and see them in action. the technology and the way it is used at the school constantly amazes me.

Waiting for the day to start

Lachie- writing on whiteboards playing a literacy game against the interactive board.

La- swimming lesson

Hmm my daughter and friends amusing themselves totally ignoring the swimming teacher.

And again distracting others

my busy little man

apparently it is still Spring, however I beg to differ, yesterday when I went to pick Charlotte up from school the car temperature was reading 50 degrees. The kids are in the pool every afternoon which tires them out quite nicely. We took advantage of the weather and headed with all our neighbors to a beach bbq at one of the local hotels.

Kailey and La

The 'big' compound kids

the 3 ratbag five year olds, who cause more trouble then the other 13 kids put together

Claire and Charlotte

Reminds me of a scene from Lord of the Flies. Ethan (10) leading the soon to be 7 years olds

Tanya, Sue, Haley and I

The boys amusing themselves

Lachie has loved playing rugby union this year and was devastated to find out that not only was the season was nearly over, but that Clint would miss the last training session and the end of year gathering due to his trip to Oz. Lachs has grown so much playing this season and it has been great watching his skills develop. he didn’t win the award but was one of the 4 nominated for most improved. He is already looking forward to the next season.

Under 7's

Clint arrived home in the early hours of mother’s day. The kids were both very excited to see him, it has been a long time since he has traveled for that long without us! although I think half of Charlotte’s excitement came from knowing Mama and Papa had sent presents back with him. It was also the day of Charlotte’s school play, so after a lovely morning of brunch at the Shangri-La hotel with lots of other Aussie/American and Kiwi Mums I met Clint at school for FS2 performance of Goldilocks and the 3 bears. It was very cute- quite an effort to have 125 five years olds performing at the one time.

My little star

Mid performance

Claire and Charlotte

Fingers crossed there will be a new post soon with lots of exciting news!!

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

March 16, 2011

The second annual Abu Dhabi International Triathlon was held last weekend, the event has more than doubled in size since last year and the number of professional Ironman/triathletes that flew in to race was really quite extraordinary. There were team events, a sprint distance, short course and long (3km swim, 200km cycle, 20km run) course which was the one Clint did.

With La being sick all week, Lachs having a birthday party at the other end of the island and the course not really set up for spectators, the kids and I only went out to watch the end of Clint’s race. Thank goodness we were only there for the last 2 hours, it was over 40 degrees and although their had been lots of wind on the bike leg it was still and HOT by the time they started the run. It was so hot the medic tents were overflowing and there were a lot that did not finish.

Unlike Ironman where you can get disqualified for running down the chute with non-racers, this tri didn’t have the same rule so Lachie waited in eager anticipation for Clint to hit the final stretch, so they could finish the race together. Lachie was so excited to cross the line with Clint… and get daddy’s hard-earned medal!

Pulling Dad across the line

Clint was really happy with his time he finished in 8 hours and 40 mins, coming 4th in his age group and beating some of the professionals times.

Proudly wearing Dad's medal (and an ice-cream grin)

unfortunately this all came back up on the trip home... but that's another post!!

Charlotte’s hospital stay

March 14, 2011

Not happy about the IV

For close to a month Lala has been struggling with a persistent cough. She had visited a Doctor every couple of weeks and we were originally told it is just the sand in the air irritating her throat, a reasonable diagnosis as the sand storms have been persistent and the cough was not at all deep. Last Sunday however, she was sent home from school with a slight fever and proceeded to go downhill over the course of the day and her cough seemed to get deeper and more ‘chestier’ (is that even a word?). So Monday morning I took her off to the Doctor again, this time they decided something wasn’t right and within an hour Charlotte had had x-rays and blood tests and the results were pneumonia!

Clint was working in Dubai so they allowed me to take her home to pack her bag as long as she was back within the hour to be admitted to hospital. She was in the girls children’s ward- I am sure the only difference between the girls and the boys wards are the colour stripes painted on the wall! The children’s ward here is very unlike the Mater or RBH, the only thing differentiating her room from an adults room were 6 pictures printed from a computer of dolls and baby bottles! But she was lucky to have her own room, which was great when you consider the majority of patients speak different languages and the locals live by completely different body clocks, and have no regard for visiting hours which officially finished at 8pm but the room opposite us still had visitors (adults and kids) up to midnight.

She was only in for 3 days and the IV drip, although she fought it, made a huge difference. Clint hooked our media link up to the tv as all the kid stations were in Arabic, so she filled her days with reading, drawing and watching television, and like me, slowly going crazy with being confined in a small room. The food was actually pretty good, not that La’s ate much the first few days but the adult meals were good. I stayed in with her and just ducked home each morning and night for a shower while Clint sat with her. Lachs also came up each afternoon to see her.

She was discharged late Wednesday afternoon (that was a process in itself) and was welcomed home with a lovely bright sign on the door that Lachs had made and a bag of cards from her classmates as well as a lovely stuffed toy from her teacher, who had emailed daily to find out how she was.

She had a fairly quite weekend, although I did allow her to go to a neighbours birthday party (she was devastated about missing the other one later the same day) and she came out for a couple of hours to see Clint finish his race on the Saturday. She was back to school and ballet yesterday and this afternoon went home to a friend’s house after school. As of this morning she is also off the medication, so she is all better and I have caught up on all the lost sleep!

Keeping busy

Jan/Feb 2011

February 12, 2011

Goodness me, half way through February already! The days and weeks seem to just fly by at the moment. It is a lovely time of the year here at present as the temperature hovers around the 30 degrees most days- perfect, but not a good sign for how hot Summer will get seeing this is meant to be winter!

Last month Clint did a triathlon (olympic distance) at Yas Island, the first to be held there. They swam (1.5k) in the marina, rode (40 k) the formula 1 track and ran (10 k) on the drag strip. It was one of the first times the kids have actually seen him race from start to finish as it was all in the one spot and a fantastic set up for spectators. Waves left every 20 mins so there were lots of people to cheer on and with the bike leg on the track, it was 7 laps so every few minutes someone went past that the kids knew. The only down side was that the waves were random so the first person to cross the line wasn’t actually the winner.

Well done Daddy!

Lachie is still loving Rugby and has improved out of sight. They train Thursday nights and then play most Saturdays, we have been lucky as only the even number teams (Lachie is under 7’s so odd) travel the long distances to places like Sharjah and Bahrain. We have managed to score either home games or in Dubai (still and hour and a half away). He was very proud to be awarded player of the match 2 weeks ago after their game against the Dubai Exiles. Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Charlotte and I have ‘girls night’ Thursday nights while the boys are at training, but we go to all his games to cheer him on.

new party dress from Aunty Fi

My little Princess

Having ridden her bike twice since last April (due to hot weather and lazy parents), Clint has taken Charlotte out on her bike the last few weekends and now she has her training wheels off! We are very proud of her.

Go La's

Daddy not far behind... just incase

Last week Lachie had both year 1/2 sports day and year 2 olympics at school. Sports day for his age is non-competitive with all the kids having a go at all the activities. He had a lot of fun.

future golf star

rapid fire- a fast moving team sport game that all the kids love

The year 2 fruit olympics was the culmination of their “fighting fit” topic. The 5 classes competed against each other in a range of different games. Lachie’s class was the eventual winner.

A very happy winner

slow and steady...

Need to work on that skipping!

Tangled mid-race

My boy

Introducing Dr Charlotte Theil

Dr Theil

Last week, as the culmination of their topic, Charlotte’s year level got to dress as what they would like to be when they grow up.  Apparently she is going to be a Doctor- one that specialises in fixing everything.

The little ones from our compound. Noah (fs 1 were dressed as book characters), Claire, Ben and Charlotte

Princess Hannah, Charlotte, teacher Lucy and nurse Miriam- Charlotte and her friends

Dr Charlotte and vet Shoni (one of Charlotte's best friends)

Charlotte and her other best friend Lexi

Charlotte and her wonderful teacher Miss Morton

I am currently trying to work out our travel plans for the year. We were meant to be going to Egypt next month, obviously that has now been put on hold! We are hoping to head to Cyprus for the April holidays, Clint will be back in Oz  for 2 weeks in May  (the kids and I wont be joining him) and we will all be back in October as Clint’s brother is getting married. Still trying to work out what to do for the long hot Summer vacation- the kids have 10 weeks off school. I may take them back to Oz for a bit and we are also hoping to get over to London- hurry up and move house Fi!

In the meantime it’s valentine’s day (a dry night here as it is the prophets birthday the next day) soon, here’s an idea…

Who needs roses?

School Photos

December 11, 2010

Here are my little angels. La’s looking the way she does at the end of most days!

Year 2

Fs2 (second year of school)


October 31, 2010


Pretty pink witch

After the originally planned party got postponed due to the death of the leader of RAK and the Emirates being in mourning, the children were not happy. However they were thrilled to be invited to join friends to trick or treat in their compound. After a busy day at school followed by parent teacher interviews and ballet for Charlotte they were very excited to get into their costumes for Halloween.


The kids ready to go


This time Lachie makes the group photo


On the look out for pumpkins (so they knew they could go to that house)


A very tired witch and pirate!


What an evening!

Happy Halloween!