Sunday, 28 December 2008

Merry Christmas, by Thomas

Hi everybody, sorry I couldn't post on Christmas Day because we were too busy opening presents.
We got our new car on the 24th, and I stayed up until I saw Santa going past you on NORAD Tracks Santa.

We got the best thing we could get! A taca taca table. Which is called table football over there.

I got an inflatable whale and we both got an inflatable boat and Nico got an inflatable dolphin.

How are you doing? I hope you are fine. Bye Bye,


Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Holiday Greetings

Click to embiggen:

Crossposted just a little...

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

1 day till christmas eve!! by Thomas

Well I sure hope you are as excited as I am!yippee!It is one more day till Xmas eve!!

You remember I Told you about NORAD TRACKS SANTA?Well use it tomorrow!!(or the day after!)

we payed for the car yesterday.



Saturday, 20 December 2008

Our New Address

While our mail is being forwarded from Priestfield Road, that will only last 6 months, so,

Home is now:

Camino La Laguna 13898
Lo Barnechea
The view from the balcony at about 8.45 tonight. Nice, eh? I'm using Bill's camera, but just as a point and shoot, so these don't look as good as the real thing - the light is incredible at sunset. Absolutely golden. Wish I could capture it better.

Here is someone looking rather wistfully out...

As soon as we can get a catflap fitted she can go out, but I don't want her out when she can't get back in on her own. There are a lot of stray dogs (strays, not feral*) and they get into our garden. I want her to be able to run for the catflap and get in. Not have to rely on one of us noticing that she's needing in.

*They all seem to be first generation strays, almost all of them are an identifiable breed, I think that if they were truly feral, they'd be breeding, and wouldn't all be recognisably beagle, or german shepherd, or husky, etc.

School's Out...and It's Christmas

So, Christmas at Nido. It's not quite what we are used to...

Thomas's concert - he was playing something called a Bass Metalophone...

And there was singing, too.

Here's Nicos concert - when Santa came to Nido... They kinda go over the top a bit at that school. Just a tad.

And Nico's class party. Which I got to go to, having missed the Thanksgiving one.

And now we're on our Summer holidays. Dad is away for the first time since we arrived. And we now have a Nana - Milagros, who comes every day, Monday to Friday and looks after the house, and helps us all learn more Spanish. She's only 19, and loves kids, so we are all really happy with each other.

It's going to be 30 degrees on Christmas Day.... And no, that's not Fahrenheit!

4 days to christmas eve! By Thomas

It is 4 more days till Christmas eve here!How many more days is it over where you are?

We heard there was a earthquake yesterday but we did not hear a thing!

i also had something that is much better than a christmas party. an end of the year party! It is a party where everybody in the class goes to someone's house and you can go swimming in the pool if you want. only one person didn't go in the pool at this year's party.


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Happy Holidays! By Thomas


Are you on your holidays yet? Well I am, just about. Tomorrow's our last day of school, well, as we're on the opposite side of the world from you, everything is like the wrong way round here.

We've not got any homework this week, but here's something even worse. I got homework in the holidays!

We've got a Christmas tree now and I made an ornament at school for it.

How are you?/?Como Esta? Very good?/?Muy bien?Well,see ya!Bye!cheerio!/Adios!chao!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Big Day Tomorrow!

We'll be a little busy for the next few days/weeks... Our container is arriving tomorrow.

Amazingly that's only 6 weeks and a day after our arrival. It's going to start *looking* like home too.

We've got some more photos of playing in the pool, and other stuff which I will try to get around to posting soon.

We're still having fun!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Christmas is Coming! By Thomas

Hi there,

Christmas is coming soon. It's getting quite cold there I think, but we've got a swimming pool here so we can swim every Christmas.

There's a website that we've found out about called Norad Tracks Santa, and if you go onto that Website on the 24th, you'll be able to see Santa flying around the world.

We had our first visitor a few days ago. It was my uncle! Woo hoo!

We've got a hamster in our classroom, called Maxy, and you should have seen him today. There was a round ball that was hollow, and the hamster got put in there and he was running around the classroom in the ball.

The class clown said he should get a driving license. And another one of the class clowns said he should get a flying license because he rolled off a table and nearly flew into another one, but he landed on the ground and crashed into one of the chairs. And then somebody picked him up and he was going on his side, and the person was balancing Maxy on his finger until he fell down.

See ya! Bye!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

St Andrew's Day by Thomas

Happy St Andrew's Day.

I've got my uncle staying over (in a hotel). we got a fish from the store - it was enormous! we got a barbecue and Uncle David cooked the fish (he said it came from the swimming pool)

i swam in the swimming pool before lunch!

i had some morcilla which is chilean black pudding.

see ya

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Thanksgiving in Chile, by Thomas

ummm. happy thanksgiving! we had a half day at school today. Nico had a party in his class and my mum and dad watched a show that Nico was in, and he was a turkey in it. i didn't get to see it though!
oh - my mum and dad chose a car today. they didn't pay for it though, but they did give them a little bit of money, so nobody else would buy it. 2 days ago we got the air shipment, which had our sleeping bags in it, which i want to sleep in tonight.
the boat with our other stuff has arrived in Chile, and guess what company the hoover and microwave are made by? A company called Thomas!!!! we got a TV as well.

we've been a bit busy...

sorry for the radio silence. we're in the house and happy. we finally got our air shipment on Tuesday - 4 weeks and a day after arriving. the public sector strike had ended on friday, so to get our stuff cleared from customs and delivered by Tuesday is quite a feat. Ivonne at ESO deserves medals.

From what we understand our container arrived in the Port of San Antonio on Monday, right on schedule. and only 4 weeks after us. that's quite incredible.

Once it clears customs, it'll be arriving at our door. but we don't know how long that will take. so we're not expecting it tomorrow. thank goodness, becasue we haven't unpacked the suitcases and air shipment yet!

And given that my brother arrives on Saturday for a couple of days, we'd rather spend time with him than cleaning the kitchen cabinets. which we really need to do before we put stuff in them. really. we do need to. can you see how i'm trying to talk myself into it?

we have a few sticks of furniture - a couple of very comfortable Ikea-esque chairs from Cathy - I can vouch for their comfort levels - I have fallen asleep in one of them - twice. mattresses for the boys and an air mattress fr the growen ups.

the house is really lovely. there are some pictures of it empty up on flickr here.

more pictures of it looking lived in soon, I promise.

Today is American Thanksgving. Nico's grade (all 5 classes) did a play this morning, which Bill & I went to, but we weren't able to go to the party in the classroom afterwards, becasue we had to go and test drive a car. And a a result we have put a deposit down on a Subaru Outback. As soon as we get our bank account, we can go and pick it up.

But - today we had to sign all the papers for the bank account again, becasue something was wrong with one of them. we're not sure which, we just signed everything again. so maybe next week...

the supermarket had a turkey breast joint thing in yesterday, so we got it. so we are having some semblance of a thanksgiving dinner.

Tonight's big adventure other than that, is that Bill is getting the bus home from work. He consulted the Transantiago Website and should hopefully be on his way home now. Because the rest of the family is hungry...

Friday, 21 November 2008

moving in!

we are going to sleep in the house tonight! hooray!

but we have no internet there yet so we will have to make our own entertainment.


Monday, 17 November 2008

Home sweet Home!

We've had a busy day. The boys went to school and had Spanish Club after school, so they didn't finish until 4. So that was useful, because after dropping them off I was supposed to go and help a friend move out of her temporary house and into her flat. Well, I only had an hour, and I think I may have spent more of the hour talking than I did baby minding, which was my allotted task.

The reason I only had an hour was becasue we were (well, Bill was) signing the lease on the house at 11.00. We got picked up by Rebeca our relocation consultant at 10.30. Drove around the find a branch of the bank we needed to deposit a large amount of cash in - we had to have a deposit slip for the landlord before we could sign the lease....

Then to the Notary's office, where Bill signed each page of the 5 page lease, in quintuplicate. We also got a power of attorney in my favour while we were there, because as the spouse, I don't have much power of my own - I have to borrow Bill's!

After that, Bill went back to his software review meeting, and I walked back to the flat. A 20 minute stroll. Um, it was noon. This is Santiago. I was almost back here when I realised that I wasn't going to make it, I was too hot and tired, so I found a nice shady bench to sit on for 5 minutes and regroup. And to remind myself to ALWAYS put on sunscreen.

When I got back to the flat the Mucamas were here. They are Elena & Eliana, and are really nice women, but they seem to always be here when I get home, and this is a very small flat, so it is very difficult to keep out of their way. They look after this flat, and a couple of others on this floor, and they seem to do it in a sort of assembly line fashion - so they do the kitchen, then the disappear for a while, probably to do the kitchen in the other flats, then they do the bathrooms, go away again, you get the idea. So they can be in and out for about 2 hours. And they don't knock anymore - they just come in, shout Hola! and that's it. Aargh. I miss my privacy.

But never mind - Bill came back at 3.15 and we went to collect the boys, and then we went to the HOUSE! Our house now! But it took 2.5 hours to get it "signed over" to us. The owners' daughter Francisca was there, representing her parents, estate agents from the two agencies that had been advertising the property, us, Rebeca, our relocation person and Paola, the Nana. So the first half hour was spent with Francisca and Paola showing us how to work every thing. The hot water (there are three separate boilers, and yet another one for the radiators!), the alarm system (we will have panic buttons, eek! but the family lived there for years and never had a problem), the washing machine, the fridge (it has ice and water dispensers!) oh and probably other stuff.

Then the estate agents turned up, and we went round the house with fine tooth combs. That took the next two hours. Bill took the boys away to get drinks and snacks, but I had to stay there for the whole time.

We checked light switches, whether the laminate floor was glued down properly (not in a couple rooms) whether the sinks leaked (one did) whether the toilets flushed (there are 7, hee! Are you listening, Colleen?!)

The house is big. It was listed as a 4 bedroom, but it actually has 6. The reason that the other two weren't listed is because they are the "servicios" - a room for the Nana, or maybe for 2 Nanas, I don't know.

Um, the house is big. But we saw it and I fell in love with it. Pictures soon, of course! We have a two year lease, which *should* be renewable. The owners have moved to Mexico.

We finally got away from the house at about 7pm, which is a bit late when you haven't had any tea on a school night. We went to a restaurant in a shopping centre for a quick meal, then back here to the flat to put the boys to bed. They went down at 8.30, and have to get up at 6. oh dear.

We have now been here three weeks. I think getting a house, especially a house that I LOVE in that time scale is pretty good.

The only blot on our landscape is the non-appearance of our air shipment. It's here, in Santiago, but there is a strike in the government ministry that handles customs clearance. So we don't have it. We're going to hire some stuff so that we can move into the house - so the air mattresses and sleeping bags won't be getting used after all! Never mind. At this rate, we'll probably get the sea container before we get the air shipment!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Rainy Day, by Thomas

Hi there,

For the first time in 2 weeks, it RAINED yesterday! You see these two pictures down at the bottom? Well, those are two pictures of the cloudy skies.

And on the way out to dinner, we saw this airplane in the picture below:

My mum should have taken a picture of the inside of the undercarriage. It had special lights to see if there was anything wrong with the airplane and loads of electronic stuff.

We've nearly got our air shipment, and the boat with our furniture is supposed to be arriving in Chile in 9 days.

We don't celebrate bonfire night in Chile, I could have drawn a picture of fireworks, and scanned it for this blog if we had our printer, but it's in the air shipment.

I'll do another post around Thanksgiving. Good luck, bye, and see you there!

photo update

I've just put eleventy million photos up on Thomas & Nico's Flickr page

When I have more time I might even label them and set them to the right orientation. But not today, I believe we are going down to the swimming pool this afternoon.

As far as we know, but this being Chile, things may change, we will be getting the keys to our new house on Monday after school.Today we looked at cars. Well, we looked at the Chevy Captiva and the Subaru Tribeca. The Tribeca is, well, how can I put this? Big and showy. And not the sort of Subaru we're used to! The Captiva isn't exactly the most inspiring vehicle ever, but it's smaller, and practical in that it has 7 seats, two of which fold down. But - we're going to look at a Subaru Outback as well. Even though they are totally ubiquitous here, and only have 5 seats. We just like them. We think we're going to test drive the Captiva on Tuesday. It's a diesel. Can't have'em all.
The Subaru dealer (car dealers have pretty good English, or all 4 we spoke to today did, at least!) was telling us about the great ground clearance on the Tribeca. He said it wouldn't ground going into underground car parks.... We live in a country full of dirt roads and mountain tracks. The best example he can give to illustrate the benefits of the high ground clearance is the underground car paks. You have to laugh.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Twisty Roads and Twisted Ankles

Today, we decided to get out of Santiago and see what we could see. We decided to try for one of the ski resorts. Cue long explanation to the boys that we weren't *actually* going skiing, becasue it is spring, but just going to see it...

We headed out of town on the road to Farellones. We couldn't go very fast, becasue not only was the road very very very twisty, and practically vertical in places, it was FULL OF CYCLISTS. Hundreds of them!

Sorry - you can only barely make them out, but they are here! We were maybe 15-20 km from Santiago here.

We thought there were hardly any cars on the road - then a few minutes after we stopped here, we saw why - all the cars were stuck behind a couple of buses:

We went no further than where these photos were taken - we went off along the path here, and I was the first casualty... I slipped and twisted my ankle (luckily, it was my *good* ankle, not my bad one, so I can still walk!) and landed quite hard on my bum... Nico and I went back to the car, and Bill and Thomas went on for a bit. The next thing we knew, a group of mountain bikers raced past us, along the scree path that I had slipped on, and then we saw them literally flying down the side of the mountain. I think my jaw was probably hitting the ground...

Not long after, Thomas and Bill headed back to us, and Thomas was the second casualty - he slipped and scraped his shin quite badly. Thomas was, at least, wearing more sensible shoes for traipsing about the countryside than me...

We headed back here to the flat and ate Empanadas. Then we spent some time at the swimming pool. The boys have now been in it three times. I got in up to my knees and decided that while it was probably very good for my swollen ankle, it was way too cold to go in any further!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

School Fair

Today was Kermess at Nido. It took a a lot of talking to convince N to go to the school. He likes it fine when he's there, but the anticipation is difficult for him, so having to go on a Saturday was not a popular idea.

Kermess at Nido, at least, is like a cross between the international food evening at Preston Street, and the Summer Fair. Except it's a whole lot bigger (a whole lot). There were food stalls from lots of the countries represented in the student population (but no British one!). And bouncy castles and raffles and an entertainment stage with dancing, singing (some of which sounded like the high school's rock band).

We had to buy tickets to spend as cash - they came in denomiations of 100, 200 and 500 pesos, and you used them to buy food, pay for activities, etc. The only problem was that neither Bill nor I could get any cash out of any machines beforehand, so we could only buy $15,000. We managed to buy lunch, and milkshakes and ice cream. And for the boys to go on a couple bouncy castles and a train ride.

We ran into people we knew, which is really nice for a place we've lived in for less than 2 weeks! There are very many people here that either Bill or both of us know, that it doesn't feel totally foreign. Not to mention running into people that we've just met. Both boys saw kids from their classes (they have had a whole 2 days at school so far!).

The weather was great, of course, it always is, as far as we can tell. We also ran into the estate agent who has shown us the house we want - his wife is the Headmaster's secretary. We were talking to another astronomer, who also turned out to be a client of the estate agent at the time. Santiago might be a huge city, but it seems that our part of it will be quite small. Which is good.

After we left Nido, we went to Jumbo, the big supermercado. Bill and the boys stayed in the car while I dashed in to get something for tea. BIG MISTAKE. My credit and debit cards had failed to work in the cash machines in the morning. They also failed to work in the supermarket. I had to go and get Bill and the boys from the car, and then Bill's card failed as well. We assumed that we would have to starve, but the manager got out the old fashioned credit card machine and the carbon slip and did it that way. She then had to phone up for authorisation. Which obviously worked. Then she asked Bill for ID. Oops. Some Chilean government department has our passports while we wait for our RUTs. Still, we have photocopies. So he went back to the car to get it. Except it was in his other bag. Luckily the nice manager accepted his driver's lisence as an ID. Phew.

It wasn't just tonight's tea that was in the shooping bags - I had managed to find fresh milk! This is something of a miracle - it's the first time since we arrived that we had seen it - almost all the milk is UHT. So, it would have been heartbreaking to have had to leave that behind in the shop. Never mind the food for tea, the milk was the most important thing in the basket!

We came back to the flat and I immediately checked my online banking. For starters my credit card had disappeared from my list of accounts, which gave me a bit of a fright. So, thanks to skype I was able to phone the RBS credit card people, and make them believe that I really am in Chile and it really *is* me spending all that money. Then they very kindly put me through to someone who could deal with my RBS debit card. So, my plastic should be working again. Will find out tomorrow.

Bill then phoned up about his credit card, but the CS agent insisted that his card was fine. Hmmm. Didn't seem like that to us. We'll see if it works tomorrow.

My halifax debit card doesn't work here at all. Which is a bit annoying, since I can't phone them up, becasue I can't remember my phone banking pwd!

Other than that, we watched a bit of spanish language children's telly, had our tea - we bought potatoes for the first time today, and while expensive (out of season) they were really nice! We had cherries though, and they weren't expensive. And the asparagus? And the avocados? I won't tell you. It will make you envious. Very envious indeed.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Arriving in Santiago, by Thomas

We arrived here on Monday and I've made a lego helicopter which keeps breaking, and which I store my money in. But my mum says I'm not allowed to, but I am.

We went on the Metro on Tuesday. Our local line has BIG wheels. We went to Estacion Central, and we had yummy cinnamon rolls.

Our new school is called Nido de Aguilas which means "Eagle's Nest". We had a test and in the word game if it was to that test, I would be in the 15 year old class!

We want to get a house with a swimming pool and with a big garden to play football in. We looked at some houses, and the best one belongs to somebody from my dad's office.

Good luck back there in Edinburgh, and please comment on the blog about how you are doing!

Friday, 31 October 2008

Quirk is Here!

Quirk is here, fast asleep beside me on the sofa. Collecting her form the airport was a bit traumatic, and took far longer than it should have - we were meeting someone who spoke no english. we got her in the end, and I burst into tears. I think the guy thought there was something wrong with me.

so relieved to see her, and so happy to have my cat. N especially is thrilled, he hasn't been able to to keep his hands off her, and amazingly, she has put up with all his attention. She must have missed her people. TT is happy to see her too, and she has also allowed him to stroke her, which is very unusual.

we are a happy family.

Monday, 27 October 2008

We're here!

here we are, safe and almost sound. the trip was OK, but i wouldn't want to do it very often.

more details soon, but the battery is running out and we're using the only adaptor to power the wireless router, so it's laptop or internet at the moment...

Saturday, 25 October 2008

One More Sleep

the last few days have been a whirlwind. there are loads of pictures to post, but no time to do it now.

we're sat in an almost empty house - just the sofa, one chair and a table.

we still have telly and internet becasue we have forgotten to cancel them. Bill has gone out to sell the car. hopefully.

the weather is miserable here - blowing a gale and horizontal rain. makes us look forward to the sunshine in the Santiago forecast for Monday...

i don't think i'll have a chance to post tomorrow before we leave, so we'll see you all on the other side!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

5 Sleeps

Look who's still here.

Quirk did a runner this morning. We had barricaded the catflap, becasue we couldn't find the locking panel. Sorry, barricades are as nothing to a determined cat. She came home about 4.30 this afternoon, *just* too late to make it to Dunfermline for the day. The cat flap is now locked with the proper panel, taped shut *and* barricaded. Hah!

The boys enjoyed themselves today. The guys packing the house are all very nice, and didn't mind ots of questions. Here they are "watching telly" or so they said. Looks like they were jumping around to me. See, lots of stuff in boxes. Lots and lots. See those CD racks on the wall? The empty opnes? That's where the 4 new DVDs we bought the other day were. Until I forgot to retrieve them this monring. Yes, yes of course you can pack everything in the living room. Aargh.

Here's the boys' room. It will never be this tidy again. Unless they agree to not unpack at the new house. Chances of that?

Look!! YOu can see the surface of my desk! What are the chancs of it ever looking like this again? Less than that of the boys' room staying tidy, I think!

Oh, looks like Bill had to resort to CHOCOLATE while I was out at knitting...

Tonight was my last trip to the Borders Knitting Group. There was cake - a picture when i managed to hook my phone up here, Rachel made me a Chilean flag cake - lots of other cake, bucks fizz, and presents. I will miss that bunch. Lots. I left before I burst into tears... In a good way.

Monday, 20 October 2008

6 Sleeps

Once again a few days have gone by. We've been busy though! even Nico has been pitching in:

Here's what the house looks like now:

Today has been spent sorting out the clothes - what is going in suitcases, what's going in the air shipment, and what can go on the boat.

Oh, and a little bit of toy shopping! The boys spent some of the money we got from selling some of their old things. Lego, Transformers, and GoGo's were purchased.

And we took the car to a car wash. We're still no closer to selling it though. We *do* realise it would be easier to sell if it were actually advertised....

And Bill harvested our entire crop of apples:

we're hoping that the trees might be a little more mature when we get back and we might get a few more. Yep, that's from 2 trees. We lost a few to over exuberant children's play, and probably even more to the squirrels, but surely not all that many!

Tomorrow the removal people come back to start the full pack-up, and we take Quirk to kennels in Dunfermline. She won't be arriving in Santiago until Halloween. She'll probably be angry enough by then to behave like a witch's cat!

Friday, 17 October 2008

9 sleeps

is it really only 9 sleeps now?

today we said goodbye to Preston Street School and also to Cameron House Nursery School.

We then spent the afternoon with other friends, many of whom we've known since before Thomas was born - the parents all met at ante-natal class.

Tonight I'm going to meet Bill at the pub, becasue it was his last day at work.

Does that mean that the *really* hard work starts tomorrow? The last of the big cupboards is still to be sorted. Wish us luck!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

10 sleeps

today I had to catch the 4 remaining fish in the tank. that waspretty easy for the two dwarf gouramis and the neon, but the angel fish gaveme a run for my money. kept hiding in the plants, so i'd move the plant, and it would dart off tothe other side of the tank. but eventually I got it. It was strong - I was worried it was going to jump out of the net and had visions of chasing a flapping fish around the room, but luckily I got it into the bag with the others, wrapped it all up in bubble wrap and newspaper, and took them up to school. They've gone to live with Thomas's friend Rebecca.

The school that we will probably be sending the boys to called us today. We have to be there at 09.00 on Wednesday the 29th, to meet the admissions registrar. Then at 10.00 the boys have to sit a test. Eek! They will still be jetlagged, but hopefully it won't be too difficult! It's to see what level they are at and help place them in the right grade.

No removal people today, but I managed to pack up a lot of my stuff, so it still feels as though something was accomplished!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

11 sleeps

so today, when we asked the removal men if all houses were in a state like ours, or was ours particularly bad, they just laughed.

i still haven't decided how to take that.

TT went to Beavers for the last time. While he was there I went to the library to return all the books I could find. Which is about half the books we have out. I wonder how many will be packed accidentally? Oh well. I guess we can just pay for them.

The house is even more full of boxes now, and even though we took a full carload to the charity shop yesterday, the car is full again. I have *no* idea how that happened.

We've booked ourselves into a holiday flat for our last 4 nights - decided a hotel wouldn't be much fun, just one room between the 4 of us for 4 nights! I have a herceptin treatment next Thursday and that will be nicer in a flat than a hotel as well. It's in Marchmont, so if the weather's good to us, we can spend time in the Meadows and at the playground!

Monday, 13 October 2008

13 sleeps


the packing has started. all our books, CDs and DVDs have been packed. except for the bedside books, oh and the boys' books! just the grown-up ones are in boxes. the DVDs weren't supposed to be packed yet. we think that we might have to go and buy a few new ones to keep us going until the boat gets there...

Sunday, 12 October 2008

14 sleeps

there it is folks, two weeks to go.

we had a going away party last night, a huge bunch of friends came, and we had a great time, and most of the contents of the drinks cabinet has been used up.

both motorbikes are now sold -

the 748 went on wednesday - a guy bought it as a birthday present for his wife, which is pretty cool, I think. We drove the 750 up near Knockhill today to drop it off with its new owner. He very kindly bought the bike trailer from us as well, so that's one less thing.

Just the car to sell now.

Oh, and the small matter of a house to pack up! The boys have 5 more days at Preston Street School. Wow.

Friday, 10 October 2008

16 sleeps

ok, yesterday was my birthday and I was too busy playing with my presents to post here...

the removal company have asked to come early and start packing - did i mention that already? they are coming on monday morning - I guess to pack books and the stuff in the sideboard that only gets used at parties.

i've finished the last sewing project that needed done before leaving, so I guess they can pack up my machines as well.

today the boys and I went to Ikea - we needed something bigger for the lego, and I figured with no Ikea in Chile, maybe we'd be better getting something before we go. and i'm really rather glad we did. i thought it didn't seem like a lot of money when i paid, but i was distracted - TT and N were in the toilets, so I only had half my mind on the transaction. but the cashier was obvioulsy the same, I didn't pay for a £29 unit.

i felt guilty for a moment or two when i looked at my receipt. but not enough to get back in the car and drive out there to do anything about it...

we're having a going away party tomorrow - last time we did this we had a freezer full of food, this time we don't, so we bought some party food. we have a cupboad full of booze that we want people to drink, so I thought it best to provide some carbohydrates...

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

18 sleeps again

heh, another temporal shift. we looked at the flight *times* they were offering, but didn't bother looking at the *date*. we're leaving on Sunday 26th now.

The couple who came round yesterday want to rent our house. they are going to buy a houseful of furniture, to live here for one year. i think they are daft, but i can understand wanting this house when you have three kids (and another on the way) and like to grow food.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

18 sleeps

well, the flights are booked! (or we've said, "yes, those flights are fine, please book them", that may not be the same thing)

we are leaving Edinburgh at the very civilised hour of 5.30pm on Saturday 25th October, and arrive in Santiago at about 9.30 the next morning.

we've been making plans for our going away party on the 11th.

We had the first people round to look at the house today. They didn't realise it was going to be unfurnished, so I was going round saying "oh well, I suppose we could leave this..." but really, we can't leave much. I think they saw the garden and wanted the house, but they are only here for a year, and really, they shouldn't be buying a stack of furniture, they really shouldn't.

their kids are at our school though...

the removal company want to come and start packing up one day next week. eek.

Monday, 6 October 2008

19 sleeps

our spare time on the day we had 20 sleeps left was spent driving and then sleeping, hence no post yesterday.

We said goodbye to the house.

we disposed of some stuff that was too far gone to save.

we brought rather a lot of stuff back with us.

so today, I have caved and booked Quirk with the super expensive pet travel service. The last straw was the foreign office legalisation service. for 5 minutes there I thought we were going to be ok becasue it turns out we have 7 days rather than the 4 that DEFRA had told me. But, no, the foreign office scuppered me. Not only will they not forward the document on to the Chilean consulate for legalisation there, thy won't let you chase up a lost document until 3 weeks after you have sent it in.

so, best case scenario is that they legalise the documnet the day you send it in (ha ha). then they send it back the next day, that's 3 days, then you send it to the chilean consulate, who require 2 days.

get the picture? See why £1600 has started to sound like a reasonable amount of money?

Well, no, I agree, it's extortionate, but whatever. We're going to grit our teeth and pay it.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

21 Sleeps

an early post today, as we're away tonight. off down to say goodbye to the Dent family Homestead...

not sure how long this link will work as it's tied to our cable account: Gatecroft. i guess i can find it on the wayback machine if I need to.

Anyway, the family has had the place since I think 1840 something. so it's very sad to see it sold, but no one in the family is able to do the work that it now needs, so it's having to be sold. Someone will come along and make a fantastic family home from it. I know they will.

Friday, 3 October 2008

22 Sleeps

ah, progress! booked the removal date today - they will start on Tuesday 21st, and finish possibly ion the Thursday, or maybe the Friday. And we're leaving the next day hahahahahahahah

oh, sorry, got a little hysterical there.

at least we think we're leaving the next day but we haven't been told yet what flights, or even what airline. which means we've made no further progress on getting Quirk over there.

the removal company will tell us the name of the ship our stuff is on though, and there's a website somewhere where we will be able to track it. which will be pretty cool.

i am kidding myself that i am going to use the gym at the Caburga Inn. The swimming pool yes, but the gym? Hee!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

23 Sleeps

that's only two days more than 3 weeks.

excuse me while i go off to hyperventilate quietly in another room.

as of today we know which removal company we are using - so i'll expect a phone call tomorrow to get that all booked and organised.

we are no further forward on Quirk's travel arrangements. but since we haven't got a clue about our own travel arrangements, I don't suppose that's a problem.

the house isn't rented out yet. it's been advertised for a whole day. should I be worried?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

24 Sleeps

yeah, yeah, I know, I obviously can't be trusted to keep to an agreement, there I've gone and missed a day again...

today, can I start with OMG, IT'S OCTOBER and we're leaving THIS MONTH.

i feel that I should panic, or something. but first - if you've ever wanted to know what the inside of my house looks like, these pictures are SO NOT telling the truth. My house looks like that, but with lots of stuff lying around, lots of stuff...lotxs of stuff yhat either has to be packed up or got rid of. oh dear.

i'm trying to remember if we did anything toward moving yesterday or today - oh yes, Quirk went to the vet for her final set of vaccinations yesterday. Just a trip for her "export health check" in 3 weeks.

did I say 3 weeks? I think I did.

sorry, I can't write anymore, I have to go and faint.

Monday, 29 September 2008

26 Sleeps

oh my god. how did it get to 26? how on earth are we going to manage to do everything?

never mind. best not to think about it, eh?

the rental agent was round today - he took a lot of pictures - he said they are for their/our records as much as anything, and he won't put the ones of the playroom looking like a bomb site on their website.

he agreed that the attic study is NOT a bedroom, not in anyone's imagination!

Quirk is off to the vet for a final set of vaccinations tomorrow. I havne't heard back from the pet export agency, so I'm pretty much resigned to having to do the paperwork. I will fill out the request to DEFRA tomorrow and send it off, then phone the Chilean embassy and bed and plead for them to explain to me in very simple terms what I need to do, because I am confused.
Bill's got someone round looking at the 748 just now, and the 750 is on ebay and selling. We'll have to face up to selling the car soon.

26. oh dear.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

27 Sleeps

Today we were at our first going away party. At our friends' across the road, two families we have known since nursery days. In fact one of them we met originally at ante-natal classes, but didn't see them again until they moved in across the road. Which was one of the best things that ever happened in this neighborhood.

Off and on all day we have been tidying and packing stuff away - the rental agency is coming to take photos tomorrow.

We had some light relief though, we went to Howdenhall police station for Doors Open Day. The boys got to sit in police cars and fire engines, and even be "locked" in the cell part of a police van. oooh!

Herceptin tomorrow, so at least I'll have a couple of hours when I have no choice but to sit down and relax!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

28 Sleeps


either I can't count or we've missed a few... but actually, we've only missed one. I never posted yesterday, but yesterday wouldn't have been 31 sleeps as you might have been expecting, but 29. We've decided that leaving on the Monday just isn't going to work. We have 96 hours to sort out the paperwork for Quirk, and if we end up having to do it ourselves (because we really really can't spend £1,600, we can't afford for 48 of those hours to be wasted on a weekend.

Also, and just as important, we think we'd go nuts siting waiting over that weekend. Or Bill would be here in the house trying to paint or otherwise sort things out, and I'd be trying to entertain the boys, all the while getting more and more wound up by whether I'd accidentally put the passports on a slow boat through the Panama Canal (I assume it will go through the Panama Canal).

So, we're leaving on Saturday 25th, hopefully with Quirk on the same flights as us. 4 weeks from today.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

32 Sleeps

you know, in the absence of a proper post, becasue I've been ebaying my socks off for the last hour and I'm tired, I give you this. Where we (and hopefully Quirk, if shipping her doesn't bankrupt us) will be staying for our first 6 weeks in Santiago.

Looks alright, eh?

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

33 Sleeps

today they boys and I went shoe shopping in the morning - amazingly all three of us got new shoes. and at outlet prices too. i don't know how difficult it will be to get shoes for them in Chile, we've been told that Bill will struggle to get trousers and shoes, so I decided that since both boys have very wide feet and high insteps, i would get them some shoes to keep us going for a while at least. if we are lucky these will do us until Christmas, and we will hopefully being going up to the US then. but we might have no trouble at all with shoes. who knows?

you know, we hardly know anything about this place we're going to live in for the next 5 years. and actually, I'm kinda enjoying the fact...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

34 Sleeps

what did we accomplish today toward moving? I'm not sure there was anything. oh, yes, we freecycled my old breastpump and all its bottles and attachments. but even so, it wasn't very big. the recipients very kindly gave us a tin of low caffeine but still proper espresso coffee. that was lovely. we shall try it when the current packet runs out.

was there anything else?

i had my last parent council meeting at preston street. i was very sad, and i burst into tears when they gave me a very (very) big bunch of flowers. there is a photo, i will upload tomorrow.

we have had an unbelievably expensive quote from an agency for shipping Quirk to Santiago. so maybe we'll be doing it all ourselves after all. unless anyone I know wants to go into the pet export business??

Monday, 22 September 2008

35 Sleeps

after a positive visit to the oncologist today, I'm feeling much more positive. i have to get him the address of where to send my referral. and soon...

i phoned a pet export agency today - we've decided that the paperwork is too much like hard work, so we are going to pay someone to do the angst.

Quirk will go into kennels when we start packing up the house, and will follow us out about two days after us. the more I think about it, the happier I am about that. I don't think I would have enjoyed sitting on a plane knowing that my probably miserable cat was within 20 feet of me. it will still worry me, but it might not feel quite so awful...

lots to do. oh yes.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

36 sleeps

we have realised that we don't have a lot of time to go and see all those places we've always said we should go to sometime. today it was the turn of the scottish mining museum. it was really worth the visit, we enjoyed it, although there were bits that N found scary. and believe me, when an ex-miner is telling you that, "as you went along you just let the roof fall in behind you" you can get a pretty good picture of the claustrophobia...

Last night Bill and I went out, we tried the "Oriental Fusion" restaurant in the Omni centre, which we've been meaning to for ages... It was ok, service wasn't great, but the food was pretty good, we had some sashimi and sushi to start, then some tempura and some grilled mussels - they were really garlicky, really good, but there were far too many of them, and they were also brought out at the same time as the sushi, so they got cold. they weren't so good cold.

then we went to the conan doyle, and I can't remember what it was called when I first moved here, was it something about picardy place?

then we went for a walk, and laughed at the drunks, and the hen and stag parties...

and today I am tired.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

37 Sleeps

we've been birthday shopping today. *that* will maybe be a more interesting process in Chile. buying for the father-in-law, which is hard at the best of times. But the boys have got him a map of Chile, which he can use to follow us round.

we took another huge box to the charity shop. we have to go to different ones each time, or they will probably show us the door. i decided i couldn't face ebaying all the fabric, so I have kept some, and a whole bunch went to the charity shop. I hope people still buy fabric from them. Also a huge bunch of patterns, some of which were vintage. but i'm never going to use them, so they might as well go.

we drove very gently over all the speed bumps...

not quite 38 sleeps

well, I managed that quite well, didn't I? the second day of my supposed posting every day for 39 days, and what happened?

oh well. it was a busy day yesterday. i walked more than i have walked in ages. i was really rather sore by the end of the day, but i'm sure it will have done wonders for my heart function, and with that test coming up on tuesday it needs all the boost it can get.

i had the final of three removal companies round yesterday - this one does pets as well as belongings, so it would be great if they are chosen. i also remembered that we have 4 bicycles, which i had forgotten to mention previously.

in the afternoon N and I went to the nursery school for the leavers' visit, and also the story sack launch. our author this year was Simon Puttock
who I liked a lot. we like his books too. of this year's story sacks, the ones I like best are the Simon Puttock one and the Eco-schools one. must find the pictures.

then in the evening, I listed all the magazines I haven't yet been able to part with on a sewing list... if I get no bites there, I'll have to try elsewhere. might try the destashing comm on ravelry.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

39 Sleeps

if i can count, and I believe that I can - it's 39 sleeps until we leave for santiago, all being well. hopefully there will be no drama worthy of a john buchan novel in the meantime, but I'm going to try and post here every day for those 39, because i might want to look back on these days and laugh, someday...

I thought I'd set up a new blog for the purpose, maybe even convince the family to take part?