Thursday, 24 September 2015

Leaving Australia... one year on

A year has passed. That's 365 days without Melbourne in our lives. Without our friends, the babies, the coffee, the football.

I couldn't let this milestone pass without a blog post. Another chance to capture my thoughts because I know I will enjoy looking back on them in the future.

We've had a wonderful first year back in the UK, filled with family and friends, quality television and convenient eating. Our lives are no longer punctuated by long distance facetime calls, and Sienna's grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins are firm features in her life. 

The move was hard, Sienna was tough, and the winter was long, but it was without doubt the right decision. But that doesn't stop me getting nostalgic for the things we left behind.

We miss our friends, and I pretend in my head that the children have not grown up and nothing has changed. I pine for Melbourne the most when new babies are born to our old friends. Andy and Stacey - little Harriet was the first and oh how I longed to be there with my camera!

We miss the delicious and healthy take away options that were on our doorstep in Port Melbourne - Hunky Dory, Thomas Dux, The Greek place, Foxes Den and of course Crust (ok that's not healthy). I have no idea if Bay Street still looks the same and if these places still exist.

I miss the convenience of walking everywhere with Sienna - the park, the beach, all of her little classes. Don't even mention Monica from Albert Park storytime. My heart pines for this woman! Please come and train up the UK librarians to be even half as good as you. Carla please send videos... lots of them! (Special request from Sienna for Wheels on the Bus or Open, Shut Them)

In leaving Australia I left behind my colleagues and my job of ten years. It was a second home and a second family, one which gave us so much opportunity and supported us through good times and bad. Flying the nest to go it alone in my own business venture has not been easy, but so far it is paying happiness dividends for our family. Sienna has taught us to measure success in smiles, not dollars. Daily life with a toddler can at times rival the stress of a city commute however!

You could argue that Tom left behind even more with his job. His 'dream' job. Boy did we pick our time to leave, right before the Doggies make the finals. Tom and I have an agreement that if they make the Grand Final he will hop on a plane. I'm not sure Qantas take smiles as payment so lets hope their exponential improvement levels off a bit...

We, of course, miss our friends, but have been so fortunate to see so many of them in the year since our return to the UK. Richard, Matt, Lucy & Claribel, Lucy & Martha, Seb.. thanks to all of you for fitting us into your busy travel schedules. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone...

Whilst Melbourne will always have a place in our hearts, our return to the UK has taught us that fitting back in really works. Our friends have welcomed us back into the fold as if we never left, and we have made plenty of wonderful family memories in the last 12 months.

We look forward to visitng Melbourne again and showing Sienna the place she was born. We can't wait to visit old friends - Sam & Lou we hope *that* house is built before our first trip over! For now however, I've stopped coverting pounds into dollars, I've lost my Aussie-twanged 'no', and we are falling in love with another place called home, all over again.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

SIENNA52: Week 1 - Rolling Around

It's time for a new photography project. Together with my dear friend and photography inspriation Christie Nelson, I will be making a photo collage each week for a year, titled 'Sienna52'. After a lot photographs of Sienna standing in fields of flowers, this project is about capturing the 'every day' and making some memories of the things she loves because, as we all know, they change so quickly!
I will post my images in an album here on Facebook.

Christie's project followers her son Fred and I think you'd thoroughly enjoy her photography if you'd like to check it out. 

To kick off, here is week 1, titled 'Rolling Around'. Sienna and Tom have a ritual every night before bathtime.. she climbs up stairs and excitedly runs to our bedroom and awaits his arrival to pull her up onto the bed for a fest of rolling around, tickles and giggles! 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Beach Hut Week 2015

This week we've had a fantastic three days on the beach at Sandbanks. Sienna is now old enough not to eat the sand, but young enough to be entertained all day by it! With grandparents to dote and lots of photographic opportunities to be had, everyone was a happy camper..

I had trouble narrowing down the photos, so here's quite a few...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mastering the stairs...

It's not come easily, but after a few Tumble Tots classes Sienna (at 19 months) can now get up and down the stairs on her own!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Exploring the woodland...

We are having fun exploring our local area, including the Woodland at Claremont House..

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Sienna at 18 months....

As predictable as it sounds, I'm not sure where the last 18 months has gone... Sienna is 1 1/2 years old already and the time is flying by. She is becoming more fun and interactive every day - here is a glimpse of Sienna at 18 months...

- She is is now walking, spinning, almost running and climbing the stairs. She still has not crawled!
- She loves to try and jump by bending her knees and shouting 'djum!'
- Her comprehension is vast, she understands so much, but her language is yet to catch up. She seems to favour words beginning with 'b' and can say 'ball', 'bubbles' and 'blueberries' (three of her favourite things).
- Her favourite time of the week is her ballet lesson, where she smiles and giggles for the full 30 minutes
- She can throw a mean tantrum!
- She enjoys the swings and slides, the beach and playing in the garden.
- Her favourite foods are pasta, avocado, babybel cheese, pizza and blueberries! If it needs to be delivered by a spoon, she isn't interested...

Here are some photos of Sienna exploring the garden today:

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Hunting for Easter Bunnies

Three of Sienna's cousins came to stay last weekend, and with Easter just around the corner we wasted no time hunting down some chocolate bunnies at Wisley. Emily celebrated her 12th birthday whilst they were with us - happy birthday Emily!

Here are some photos of our adventures...


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Walking in the garden with Grandad...

Finally some sunshine! It hit 12 degrees at the weekend and the Brits were out in shorts and t-shirts... blimey!!! We are still in coats but are still enjoying getting out in the garden...

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sienna & Duck [at Wisley]

At last Sienna has dropped down to one nap so morning outings are an option (actually a necessity!). Today despite the dreary weather we went to Wisley for a walk through the butterfly house (third visit so far!) and a look at the ducks.

It was a hit with a nearly-but-not-quite-walking Sienna!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Baking with Lynne

I'm rather behind on sharing photos here.. there is all of Christmas to catch up with! Whilst I buy some time to sort it all out.. here are some photos of Sienna and my good friend Lynne baking a cake together!