Monday, May 23, 2016

New Blog

I am now blogging at http://www.ablissfullife.com.au

www.ablissfullife.com.au
www.ablissfullife.com.au 
Hope to see you there

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Where we're at

I think we finally have ourselves sorted. We are settled in our new house, it's almost as we want it, just a few things on our lists to make our lives more comfortable and economical on the inside, and an overhaul of the garden to make it more usable, water wise, and productive, but we're definitely getting there. Our new life is starting to unfold, and our direction is becoming clearer.

I have stated a new business doing AromaTouch and was planning to study natural medicine, starting with massage, but that situation has changed. Firstly the college i was going to study at closed the local campus, and secondly, despite seeming to enjoy kindy, BB has decided that he still wants to home school, as per our plan in the UK.

I was a bit taken a back by the homeschool idea at first. Though I did mourn the loss of our homeschooling dream when we first started to settle in to our new location, I really thought that the (slightly) more relaxed education system and starting at 1 1/2 years older than he would in the UK would make it all OK. The kindy he is at is amazing. Lots of lovely outdoor space, only 17 kids, very play based. Its a community run kindergarten and all the parents are very involved. He has some good friends there and enjoys playing with them, and loves the toy library that allows him to borrow two new toys each week. He's very certain he doesn't want to go to school after though. I think they are quite explicit about the skills they are learning for school. He particularly hates doing Brain Gym (he is right - the whole thing has been refuted as a neuromyth), and as far as I can see it's just a way to train kids to sit down and shut up. I participated and so did his Dad, it's as boring as hell, and develops nothing but tolerance for boredom and sitting still. He also dislikes waiting around for other kids to get with the program, sitting down with his legs crossed, and rest time, (when they are rewarded for doing nothing and being quiet). In addition to this he has started to question the teacher already. She is lovely and I have a great deal of respect for her personally, but she has got a few train facts wrong and apparently (according to BB) insists she is right when he knows better, which to BB means she doesn't really know anything!

Homeschooling is one of those things that's a bit like having a baby as a single mum, by your self, on purpose. Although it seems like a crazy radical idea at first, once you start looking into it you can't actually imagine doing anything else. As a parent you know your child better than anyone. You can offer one to one tuition, go at the child's own pace, help them to explore their own interests, follow their lead and continue to nurture that innate curiosity and quest for mastery and understanding that they are born with. You don't have to be tied to school hours, they don't have to waste hours waiting for others to be ready to learn, going over stuff they already know, doing stuff that doesn't interest them which puts them off learning, or risk missing that vital lesson in week two of term 3 in year 4, which will never be repeated because that's not how the curriculum or the lesson plans or schemes of work are organised. You don't have to be subjected to demoralising tests. You don't have to be restricted to school holidays, learning can remain as a fun, self directed process of inquiry, you can do it anywhere, any time, in a multitude of ways. The world is your classroom, and the whole broad range of all the people of all ages, religions, and abilities in our society help you to develop social skills, not just a class of 30 other 4/5 year olds.

At first I thought that I couldn't possibly homeschool (several people asked me if I was going to do it and I thought it a crazy idea). I finally woke up to the fact that I could. Having been a teacher for 20+ years, many other people have trusted me to educate their child, shouldn't I trust myself? I have a masters of education. I have strong ideas about how we should be teaching (read as "facilitating learning"), which are very different from what is happening in our education system. Our education system has reduced and deconstructed knowledge down so much that it is meaningless to most of our kids and taught totally out of any real context. I always used to spout that learning should be purposeful, locally contextualised and of real meaning and value to the learner... that it should be inquiry based, self directed, exciting and fun.  I also wanted it it be real, and constantly went on about how we should teach based on real life problems, and apply the content of the curriculum at the time that the knowledge it offered was required, and if the need for that information never arose we should seriously question why we are teaching it in the first place... i think many of my colleagues were sick of hearing it.

I can do it. I honestly think it will be better for BB than school, and I think it will stimulate me enough intellectually and professionally to keep me sane. So that is our plan.  We'll be able to visit our family whenever we want or need without missing school too, which is great.



We have connected with our local homeschooling group and so far have been on two trips, to the fire station and the weather station, and BB is starting home schoolers soccer next week. There is heaps going on and some great people to meet so I am confident we can create a good social network. We are also making some lovely friends who are choosing a variety of schooling options, that we can socialise with at other times. We are creating A (new) Blissful Life ;o)

It also means we have to find a new plan for generating an income, which has yet to be defined - but where there is a will there is a way, right? I can still do some AromaTouch, I may still find time to study if I just do one unit at a time. Maybe we can do something online like we did before.

BB is calling it Train Schooling (because he loves trains and that's the main thing he wants to learn about, along with dinosaurs, space, beaches, playgrounds, making videos and cooking). I think trains could be a great way to teach many things, we can look at railways around the world, the people that built them, the things they transport... train carriages lend themselves very well to maths, think about the multiplication addition division etc you can do with x number of trains with y number of wheels, z number of windows... then there's the passengers and the multitudes of things that go with them, where they come from, where they are going, the jobs they do, they do, their families... there's stations, cargo, load management, design, aerodynamics, fuel economy, speed, time, networks, maps... There are books about trains to develop reading and writing, and he's already made his first film about trains, see Train School 1.  I think you could actually teach the whole "curriculum" through Train School if you wanted to.





I have also decided where we are headed with the blog. I do love writing a blog. Its a great outlet. It has also helped me to make money in the past and perhaps it could again. I have thought about getting a new URL for this blog, about canning it completely, starting something completely different. What I have decided though is that I like what it does. I like having a place to store my recipes, to share craft ideas, i have enjoyed reviewing educational toys and products, making myself accountable for what i am eating, networking with other SMCs. I have some ideas about what we can do on a blog in the future, and doubts about sharing BB's story with our local peers. So I have registered a new URL www.ablissfullife.com.au which will document our life in terms of home schooling. We will share recipes and resources, and over time I may migrate a few of my recipes and craft ideas over. It will be place based, focusing on our learning in our environment, which will be mostly Albany, but may also include the rest of the world. We'll explore playgrounds. beaches and other local spaces, plus things in the UK, South Australia, NT and anywhere else we are fortunate to visit.

Our personal story of donors etc will stay here... Hopefully this will mean I am not afraid to say who and where we really are on the new blog, and can still have this space to share with my fellow SMCs about the reality of the path we have chosen.

Hopefully we can continue to create and live our Blissful Life - we really are very lucky to be us.




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

One reason to carry on blogging

Its been ages since I blogged. In fact my blog has been offline for a few months. A few reasons. The main one being that I am not sure where it is headed. I have been wondering if it's right to have all this out there now that BB is getting older. Perhaps I need to edit a bit, hide a few posts, start a new blog, get a .com.au web address, have a different focus, write a diary... I'm not really sure. I have missed the blog though. I think we still need a blog in some form. I still want to share our story, compose my thoughts, have a reason to write and create.

I am less worried about BB's story of origin being out there since a conversation the other day. I had thought that perhaps we wouldn't mention it when we moved here. We could just say that his dad lives in England and that's it, but it never works out that way. People always ask questions; will he join you? are you divorced? is it amicable?  etc etc. As people get to know you they want to know. So we always end up telling the story.

The other day we were chatting to a kindy mum and as she asked those questions about my apparently absent husband, I told her that I have a child by myself on purpose. It turns out she has a friend who did the same. It's no longer an unusual thing to do. Naturally the question turned to wether I had a known or anonymous donor, so I began telling the tale. BB took over the story telling and said 
"Mummy didn't have a man so she had a baby with my Dad. My Dad has a man, his partner is a man so that's why they couldn't have babies together." And then he added "but a man can have babies if he has a womb!" 
The mum looked confused by that last part so I then had to explain that he was referring to when a man is transgender, female to male, and keeps his womb. The mum was a bit surprised by his understanding of it all I think, and just said (non-judgementally) how the world has changed since our parents' generation. 

Then yesterday I listened to an interview on Radio National which infuriated me slightly. It is and interview with the author of The 21st Century Guide to the Birds and the Bees.  The interviewer does seem to be someone who always tries to provoke and irritate the people he interviews, so I perhaps shouldn't assume he has prejudices about this particular topic, but he did give the author a hard time. He questions whether kids can understand the truth, when clearly, as my son demonstrates above, they can. But some adults need an education. I haven't seen the book other than the image on Amazon and I do have my own issues with it. The "I'm extra special" part of the title irks me. This is not special, and you can not expect the audience to embrace diversity and equality whilst you are using language which highlights the differences and gives "special" values to some.  Also, the image on the front cover of a Mum and Dad with a son and a daughter, seems like a strange choice. Why not just have loads of kids, of all shapes and sizes and colours and creeds? Its about the origins of the kids right, not having a mum and a dad and a sibling...  But anyway... It's good that a book like this has been written, the author didn't deserve the treatment she was subjected to by the interviewer, and is definitely a step in the right direction.

I have also been getting on my high horse a bit recently about children's literature. Do you remember when we started seeing gay people on TV. They were shows about Gays. Gayness was the issue, the subject, the whole damn script. It was part of the journey of acceptance though. It got it out there. But now we have moved on. Now we can have characters in mainstream shows that just happen to be gay, getting on with their daily lives. We don't have to have shows that are about gayness any more, because we accept that this is just a normal part of life. I'd love to see kids books moving in this direction. We have a couple of books that address the issue of family diversity; And Tango Makes Three, and The Family Book and both are great. They are also part of our human journey of acceptance and understanding, but now can we please have a few children books where having two mums, or two dads, or a single mum by choice, or a transgender parent is not the main issue, but they are just characters in the story. Kids can cope with this. They are for more accepting than grown ups. I have only seen one book so far,  My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words , where this kind of family diversity is portrayed (in the illustrations as per the one below) as just a normal part of everyday life.


Image from My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words

Also in the time that the blog has been down two people have contacted me, saying they have a friend that is considering taking a similar path to single motherhood and they tried to point them to my blog but couldn't find it. I do want to share the journey. I do want to help normalise this diversity. I do want to encourage potential mums to take the leap and do this. It is the most amazing thing I have ever done, no regrets, other than that it took me so long to dive in and do it.

So anyway, that's just one reason to continue this blog. I have more, but that's for another time





Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bought a house!

My mind has been everywhere since the last post. It has been much harder than I anticipated. I think if I had been on my own I would have gone home, but BB wanted to stay. I miss people, I have a rosy picture of life in the UK based on our last few month there. Our living conditions here have been unstable. Having paid rent on the house we are in currently for 5 weeks prior to our arrival I thought I had secured us a place to live for a while, but as soon as we arrived I was told we needed to buy by the end of November or they would sell to someone else. The pressure of that was huge. I wasn't even convinced that we were going to stay here, had uncomfortable feeling about the local school, didn't know which suburb we wanted to live in if we did stay, and the house is beautiful but old, and will require a labour of love, a handy man and some deep pockets to maintain it. I did my best to persuade them to rent it to us for longer, but they wanted rid of the place as soon as possible, so in the end they put it on the market.

It sold in 4 days, which surprised everyone including the agent selling it, though it is a great space to live. So we were to be homeless by January.

This was unsettling too. I didn't know wether I should just give in and leave, go on the road trip and then go home, or persist in the face of adversity. I was a sad Mummy for a while but BB was great. He does miss my Mum too, but every time I asked if he wanted to go back to the UK he was very sure he didn't want to. He likes it here, he likes the beach, his friend Grace, the play group, swimming lessons... When I tried to persuade him by saying how nice it would be to see the folks at home his response was just that we can Skype them and then we can visit them when we can't remember what its like in England!

The school thing was really getting to me too. I'm not sure why but I just had a bad feeling about this school BB was enrolled in right from the start. On paper it's great. But all the parents i met were talking about the family day for kindy orientation, sausage sizzles, family bbq's etc. Ours was a talk  from the principal with no kids allowed. That can't be right surely, not being able to attend your own kindy orientation! I began to look for alternatives. Finally I called a Community Kindergarten which is very popular and has just 20 spaces which I knew were filled, just in case... It turned out that someone has moved and everyone on the waiting list is happy with their alternative plans, so by a stroke of luck we were in. That was great. I started to feel better. Also being a Community Kindy we were not tied to a suburb, we still have a year to work out where we are going to live before we have to be settled for school.

I continued to be up and down for a while. I started to look for a new place for us to live, but nothing that was for sale seemed to grab me. Sure there were places that were OK, and when we looked at places that were more than I can afford there were places I liked. But finding a place I could afford, that was a house we'd like to live in, in a suburb that I thought we could stay for the long haul, seemed impossible. I looked at sold prices and could see it was possible, but nothing was around right now.

I considered all options, including building from scratch and some severe renovation projects. I got to know my suburbs, and my school catchments. I met someone who's husband is a glazier and so has good knowledge of places that you might not want to live. We looked at so many houses. We didn't find anything we liked but we did at least narrow it down to two suburbs, which are next to each other, one of which is home to the kindy BB is going to. We looked at every option within our price range in these two suburbs but there was nothing. So I decided we should give up on finding a place to buy, and start looking for a place to rent instead.

Renting is something I was avoiding as it will erode my capitol for buying. But here the costs of selling are around AUD$40,000, so it would be an expensive mistake to buy the wrong house, and for that amount of money we could rent for some years before we were worse off. Also, with the uncertainty about whether or not we will stay, renting was a good temporary option.

So renting it was.

At the same time, in my uncertainty, I turned to the Dharma. I started listening to some old podcasts of wisdom that have been on my phone for a while. Up until this point my only feedback on my feelings was from my fiends here, who really have no understanding at all of what it is like to move halfway across the planet. They live here, with their family all close by. They mocked my mind changing, told me that I think I too much and that I should just do it. They had no time for my sadness and uncertainty. But when I listened to a talk that included the line in it "without darkness nothing is born" it made me realise that darkness in such a period of change is inevitable, and that it was OK for me to feel sad, and to acknowledge that sense of loss that I am feeling, and to know that this moment too shall pass and that this choice was mine, carefully considered, and that it will be ok.

Another thing I have learned from moving around so much, is that viewing a place where you are living as temporary is not helpful. I did this in Kalgoorlie. The whole time I was there I viewed it as a temporary place. This impacted on the way I lived there. So much so that when I moved to Alice I made the conscious decision to commit to the place as my home. It made so much difference to my experience there, I threw myself in, became a part of the community, I still love that place today more than anywhere else I have lived, and I accept that at least part of the reason for that is my attitude and approach toward it. I wanted to do the same here. I don't want to be here thinking we might leave soon. I want to BE here. I want to find a place for us to live and to build our life here.

And so I set up appointments to view three rental places...

...and then on Wednesday we happened to drive by a house for sale.

A house I hadn't seen before, with an agent I had never heard of. And it was everything we wanted, with ocean views and solar panels and a rainwater system, and a huge yard, in a perfect location, in one of the two suburbs on our short list, and just about within our reach financially.

Within 36 hours I'd made an offer, done some negotiating, agreed a price and it will be ours - on 11th December

And so far it feels good.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I'm back

Hello blog, it's good to be back.

Finally we have our own space and internet connection once again. 

And I have so much to write about.

Perhaps I should explain too that this post has been in the making for a few days, and my mind has changed a few times since i started writing it, which you will probably notice. But its all a process. A process I have missed by not writing. Most of it is me deciding what we'll do next, with a little bit of background on what has happened since I last wrote. I may do a few more posts on that. Theres's been some big stuff. BB's birthday for example, the embryos and a very special person has died, but for now...

...About a week after my last blog post we moved out of our house. We got to the point where it was hard to get any further with the packing without going, so we moved into a spare room at my parents place. All our stuff was collected by the removalists on the 20th July. It was all very carefully engineered as we were due to arrive at our new place on 5th October and the shipping company said it would take 10-12 weeks to get here, so it left 11 weeks before us - perfect I thought. It still hasn't left the UK - but that's a whole other story.

We had a fabulous summer in the UK. I was winding down all my work commitments and so had more time enjoy life instead of slogging away all hours and still going backwards.  The weather was good. We went lots of places and visited lots of people. It was summer. It was great. By the time we got to it being time to leave I was wondering if we were doing the right thing. 

The sale of our house dragged on and on and on. I'm not sure why. We went from the buyers wanting to move in mid July to it still not being completed a week before we were due to leave. In that time the AU$ had started to go down and my house had gone up so it was worth more than the value I had agreed to sell it at. I began to panic. When I was in Australia last time my Dad got really sick but I couldn't afford to move back. UK house prices had gone up and combing that with the low value of the dollar I just couldn't afford to go back. It was a situation I wanted to avoid happening again, which you may remember I was hoping to do by getting an investment mortgage on the UK house and then renting it, but I couldn't get a mortgage. 

Anyway - a week before we left I mentioned this to my Dad. Interest rates on savings are low in the UK at the moment. I decided to offer him a better rate than he could get in the bank and see if he would loan me the cash. And he agreed! Awesome. I felt so much better then. Our house is great, we have made it perfect for us. It's small and has neighbours attached by a very thin wall, but that is life in the UK. At the very least it is a place for us to go to if we need to, and close to my parents. And if we do decide to go back to live, at least we're still in the property market.  At the moment the rent gives us a little income each month and when we buy a new place the rent will cover my payments to my dad.

So 2015 is now the year I sold my house twice but kept it.

And then we left.

Leaving was hard. Leaving my Mum was the worst part for both BB and I. I could never imagine that I would live away from my Mum. When I came to Australia last time it was just for a visit which unexpectedly turned into 10 years and citizenship. Leaving with the intent to establish a life overseas was so much harder. In fact I am amazed that I was able to do it. 

The journey was not so bad. BB quite likes planes it turns out and the in flight entertainment kept him amused. We arrived at my friends place on the Sunshine Coast and it was so good to see her. We headed to the beach on our second day and BB was so happy. As I sat and watched him I really felt like I had made the right choice and was really pleased that I'd had the guts to do it. The feeling was like we had set ourselves free.



BB did have some mild culture shock though. I hadn't really factored this in to my plan. Naively I had thought a week in the sub tropics, followed by a week in the desert and then down to the south west would be a great plan. I think we could have done it but a few things made me decide to try and take it a bit easier. Firstly we were loving where we were. It was one of two places on my short list for where we would live initially, perhaps we should stay and check it out a bit more. Then there was BB adjusting to a whole new county. He was just getting into the groove on about day 4. It seemed crazy to move him again on day 7. I was in the shower on the Wednesday morning thinking that I don't really want to leave yet, and then the first thing BB said when I got out was that he wanted to stay. Then half an hour later an old friend called and asked if we would house and horse sit for them the next week. It seemed like the universe was aligning to make us stay... and so we did. For an extra week. 

This means the Alice Springs trip will have to wait for another time. Probably a good thing as I would have likely wanted to stay there too! The extra week was good too for helping us decide. I love the sunshine coast, I love my friends there very much, but already in September and October we had days where it was too hot to enjoy the outdoors during the day. For those people who get up to surf at 4 am its great, and for holidays its brilliant. But I don't enjoy hot and humid when you actually need to get stuff done. I would retreat to the air con and get lazy. Its also very busy, and there was a lot of driving from place to place for different services, rather than it all being in your home town, which is something I have loved about all the regional towns in Australia I have lived in.

We arrived in WA and it felt great. I loved the 4 hour drive from the airport down to Albany. As I looked out of the windows I felt as though we were in the right place. The bush had that familiar homely feel. BB and his friend G were getting on so well in the back seat. It was awesome to see another old friend again. We went to the beach and the town, checked out some cafes. Getting things done here is so much easier than on the Sunshine Coast too. 

We spent a week with our friends and then moved into our house (which belongs to them, we are renting with a view to buy). I fell a bit flat on those first days here. We have had company everyday since July. It has been fun. Now its just us. What are we doing? Our loved ones are so far away.  I wanted to go home. BB on the other hand was fine. He is loving being close to his friend G. Loving checking out a new place. We've joined a play group, been to gymnastics, signed up for swimming lessons, been to some new parks. He is really missing my Mum, but when I ask if he wants to go home to England is answer is not yet. "not until we can't remember when we came here, and we want to remember what England is like again"

I have debated on and off for the last couple of weeks whether we should just go home. Then I remember why we left. One of the main reasons is because I don't want BB in the outcomes and assessment obsessed UK education system at such a young age. And though I'd love to home school, the reality is that we couldn't afford to eat if I did. And I know we haven't given it long enough. When I came last time it wasn't until I lived and worked here that I discovered that Australia is a better place to live and work and that the UK is a better place to visit. I know that I have a rosy picture of the UK in my mind as I wasn't working so much and we were doing lots of visiting and going lots of places and it was summer...  Truth is, England is a great place to visit, and a great place to live if you are well off. The UK government is anti single mums, and the situation for us gets worse and worse. I feel like I have exhausted all possible ways we could survive without BB going to full time school and to before and after school care and me getting a teaching job in the system that I hate.  

So I think now that we have got this far we should perhaps give it a go and stay here for two years. Our UK house is rented out on a two year lease. Two years is how much longer we have here before BB would start his formal education, so by staying we could buy him two more years of childhood. It is a great place to be a kid. I can afford to spend some time sorting myself out so that I can change to another career perhaps. Its nice having an old friend nearby. The space we have to live in is amazing, a cute little house on a nice block with great views over the town. We are walking distance from most things we need too, and the school has a great reputation and all new facilities. But I do wish my mum would pop in on her way home from the supermarket.

Two years isn't long. We can visit the UK in that time too. Two years is long enough for us to really assess if we want to be here. If we go back now I don't think we will have really tested it out properly for me to be able to make a certain judgement and I will always wonder.

...

So I thought I had it all sorted - that two year thing. But then I was A & E (just something in my eye which resulted in a slightly torn cornea - all good now) when a lady younger than my mum came in while I was there, and she had just fallen and broken her hip... what if that were my mum? I really don't want to be so far from my family, but they live in the wrong side of the planet! But does that mean we should go home? And if we stay for two years won't that just make it harder to go home?

Some things are disappointing me too. The education system is not as good as it was. They too are moving away from play based learning to formal teaching in the early years. At the school BB is signed up for we were told they don't do a transition into the year 1 class anymore as the pre primary work and teaching approach is no different from year 1. The orientation for the kindy which he will start in Feb doesn't actual allow the kids to attend. At an event at the weekend someone from a childcare centre was giving us a speil about how they have changed their name as they are not just care any more and we shouldn't undervalue them. They follow the curriculum and deliver educational outcomes to all children however young they are to make them "school ready"...

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

I think I have now come to the conclusion that I don't have to decide right now. I have been thinking that as a responsible parent I should find a place for us to stay long term, and my concern is that this doesn't feel long term.  I thought that knowing where we are going to be long term would matter, but I don't think it does.  I thought it would be an important thing for BB but actually he is thriving, and he's far happier with uncertainty of it all than me.  And I do really want him to know his Australia home too.  If we are not going to stay forever maybe getting to know more about that is bigger priority right now.

So I am starting to think that perhaps we should go back to that original plan of a big Australian road trip. We are going to his Aussie grandparents place for xmas anyway. Perhaps we should carry on from there, visit our friends in Victoria and Alice so that BB gets to see all the important people and places. We would spend a bit of money, but until we buy a new house and get a loan we do have the rental income from the UK house which will cover some of our expenses at least.

The more I think about it the more I think its a great idea.

So what's stopping me from doing that? Just driving over to SA at the start of December and then onto VIC in the new year and then on up to NT?

1. Stuff. Ever since I packed up my house in the UK the first time when I came to Australia in 1999, I have held the philosophy that you don't own stuff, stuff owns you. I guess I am quite minimalist compared to many folk but still, I have lots of stuff. And in the process of setting up in our rental home here I have got more. A bed, a couch, a fridge, a washing machine... But its just stuff. And getting it has actually been good in a way. It was when I bought the washing machine that I first got the feeling I was committing too much too soon here, so it served as an indicator of that. It's a new one, having bought a second hand one that didn't work I went out and got a good one. Ah well - I sold my machine in the UK, and I have shipped a washing machine to the UK before...and we do have other stuff to send if we go. And we can put it in storage here while we work out what we're doing. Its not the end of the world and I won't let stuff stop me. But I won't buy more stuff either.

2. Money. We will be eating into our savings which we should use to buy a house. Though we could get a cheaper house. Or just go back to our old house once the tenancy agreement is up. It feels wrong though, to just spend money travelling around when you are a responsible parent.

3. Being a responsible parent. I think this is the biggest one. Should I not be providing a stable home for my child? I just left the UK when he should have started school there and now I am considering going on a road trip when he should be starting kindy here. Is that an issue. Is my belief that experiences and family and friends and no formal education whatsoever when you are 4 valid, or am I totally bonkers. Am I really providing diverse, rich and authentic early learning experiences for my child as I like to believe, or am I deluded? How is my indecision impacting upon him?

4. Friends My friends here have been amazing. I don't think they could have done anything more to make us feel welcome, provide us with a home, look after us, entertain us. J is an old friend of mine and it is so fabulous to be around such a long standing friend that you have a history with. And she is so much fun. BB really loves her kids, her partner has been awesome to us too. So have their parents. They kept their house for us so that we could rent it and possibly buy it. It is an amazing house.  I did pay half rent from the time they moved out until the time we moved in, and we are paying our way now, and they have had the advantage of moving slowly (lots of there stuff in the shed still), but I feel bad that they could be selling it or renting it long term instead of having indecisive me occupying the premises.  Although the time since it has been our house has not been a particularly good time of year to put your house on the market, we are now coming into the best time of year sell in the next couple of months. I have suggested they try and sell their house while we are living here, that way of someone makes an offer they can sell, or I can make an offer if it makes me feel jealous (probably what I need to give me a nudge). If we leave we will miss them heaps.

So anyway - thats where I'm at! Indecisive as always. Navigating our way through life as it happens is fun though.

I'll do a photo post later...

Updated a few hours later... they are going to put it on the market. We are both sad. BB actually cried. Maybe this is a sign. I hope it doesn't sell and that we get to rent if for longer while i decide.