Saturday, 21 July 2012

Liver damage

Clare the chemist
I am back! York was AMAZING! Collected my fridge for my insulin. Turns out I was the only one with a personal fridge, my first thought was alcohol!!! Met up with my friend Sarah at the briefing on the first night, was also sat next to a guy called Shane. Briefing ended, the 3 of us went straight for the pub! Nice to find like minded people. We were joined by a few others, Nick, Elliot, David and Colleen. Was a great night.

The next day we were in the laboratories form 9-12.30, with a short coffee break, the 2-5.30, again with a coffee break (the OU revolves around coffee). Then back for tutorials 7.15-9pm ish. It was amazing spending time in a lab. We went in quite reserved doubting everything, and ended the week barely having to ask the tutors for any assistance. The tutors were fab, really helpful, as were the demonstrators. The food was good, which is unusual, just often there wasn't enough of it. This was the timetable for every day except wednesday when we had the night off....

What residential schools are all about
We did a pub crawl around York. We had a schedule of 6 pubs and a time to be in each. Myself, Elliot, nick, david, Shane, Tom, Marcin, DD and Kate went in about half an hour later. We met everyone else in the first pub, but they left on schedule, we decided to skip pub number 2 and go straight to 3. Everyone eventually joined us, and again most people went straight to pub number 4 but we decided to have a few more in pub number 3. During this time we gained some tutors Robert and Grahame. We started to make our way to pub number 4, when David realised we were near a cocktail bar, The Evil Eye, so we decided to go in there. It was like a shop at the front, but you walk behind the counter and it is a bar with hundreds of cocktail outlets of spirits packed on the wall behind the bar. I had a woowoo, and it was mighty good. We stood outside for a bit, then went up to the toilets(unisex of course) to discover some of our group on a very comfy four poster bed. Time was getting on by now, so we thought we best try and make it to the final pub, the cellars. We got there about 20 mins before last orders. So we managed a couple in there before getting a taxi back to the university. If the night had ended there, that would have been classed as a super night.

We kept drinking when we got back. About 8 of us had been doing this most nights after the pub, and I was quite regularly doing beer runs to the supermarket on campus every lunch time to keep us going after the pub closed. Wednesday night though will be known as pizza night, due to pizza being ordered about 2am...

Working hard...
Thursday was a very hard day..... We got through it in the end, nearly all the way to the final step in our synthesis of farnesol. I got as far as ethyl farnesoate, and am quite please with myself. Had tutorial again on Thursday night to prepare for our presentations the next morning. We weren't going to go to the pub, but realised we didn't quite have enough alcohol to see us through the whole evening, so we went. It was nice and peaceful, only about 10 of us in total which was nice and chilled. We went back at last orders, collected alcohol from my room, and went to warm Stella hill.

It was hard to say goodbye to everyone the next morning. OU residential schools have always been a complete eye opener about chemistry, laboratories, other students, alcohol, student life. It is like being a full time student for a week, and the work is so intense, but so enjoyable. I have met some great people over the 3 I have done, and not too many is sad that this is the last year the OU is running them. I have got a lot out of them. I only pray I pass this one, as there is no way of retaking it....

On the America root, not much has happened. I have some emails to go through, but have not looked at the yet, as I have only been home a day!

Should mention before I come across a selfish cow, that I really missed paul and the boys soooooooo much. It was lovely that they all came and picked me up from the train station yesterday. I am trying to get back into the jist of having 3 kids to look after, and a house, and I am also trying to sort out for holiday on Tuesday night. This is when things get fun. This is one of the things before America to get out of the way done.... Next up is France....

Friday, 13 July 2012

Time out

I am off to York tomorrow for a weeks fun, I meant I am going on an OU residential. Lots of fun in the lab, making insect pheromones, keeping lab books, and trying to look intelligent.

Last residential I went on I met a Really nice girl called Sarah, and she is going tomorrow too! Looking forward to seeing her,and catching up over a few drinks Travels a bit of a pain, but should take no more than 4 hours each way. I have plenty of reading on my iPad, so that will keep me amused.

Paul will have fun with the boys, despite the fact that Oliver and Sebastian both have colds. I have made them loads of food today, I am all cooked out!!! They are going to eat like kings, or like normal.....

Oliver had a disco tonight, which he seemed to really enjoy, although I get the feeling him and his friend Harry might have spent most of the night chasing some year r girls!!! It is his friend from preschool, saphina, and her "crew"( his words, not mine). On the way back he was talking about discos in year 2, and I gently had to remind him that he would not be here. I explained to him that we could send her messages on the computer, or he could write her letters. He decided he wants to write her letters, which I thought was very sweet. He got a bit upset when he realised he would not see his friends, but I managed to explain to him about making new friends, and the things that will be different. He will be ok when we get there, but it is hard trying to make a 6 year old understand these things. It might get harder, but I am hoping, and I think, that Oliver will just swing into a new way of life, but doing the same things in a different place.

The chemists still do not have the boys hep b jabs in stock. They are not even sure they can get them. The lady i spoke to on the phone had tried to get some for someone else, and the suppliers are all out of stock till Thursday. They are going to call us (paul) tomorrow morning and let us know if them have them, or when they think they will have them.....this is turning out to be a bit of a pain. Told another group of friends about our move this week. Just sort of dropped it into conversation. They were a bit shocked I think. A few more people now know. It is so hard cos I see these people everyday for about 20 minutes in total, so never get a really good chance to talk to them. I hope to see some of them over the summer.

I went to see my friend Vicki and her 5 day old baby Robert. He is scrummy. Had lots of cuddles!!! As I say yummy. We are currently sat waiting for a kebab. I am starving.....

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The day of the jabs.....

Today was the day the boys were supposed to get their hepatitis B vaccination. 

Phone rings at 8.05am (no one ever calls our house that early....)

Me: Hello

Unknown: Can I speak to the parent of Oliver and Isaac Gosling please?

Me: Speaking

Unknown: This is Westcourt Medical Centre, I am calling about the vaccinations your boys are supposed to be having today.  I have just received a message from the nurse to say that the vaccinations have not been ordered, so we won't be able to vaccinate them today.
Westcourt Medical Centre, named and shamed!
Me:  Ok, so when can I get them done?

Doctors receptionist:  The nurse is putting in a prescription to the doctor, which will be ready this afternoon.  You will need to pop in and pick it up, then take it to the chemist and collect it in a few days time.  I can rearrange the appointment for monday afternoon, is 3.30 and 3.40 ok?

Me: its going to have to be really.....  Oliver also has an appointment to see the doctor at 9.20am, can I rearrange this for tomorrow afternoon please?

Doctors receptionist:  No problem

This is the abridged version, and I am not afraid to name and shame my medical centre for their sheer incompetence (at times....).  The doctors are fab, but its everything else they do (or don't do) is rubbish

So neither of the boys were late this morning, and Paul has to take them for their jabs next week while I am away.  My morning did improve after that. Emailed the CLARITY lady regarding Olivers testing, giving details of our 'Look and See' trip. We had Laura and Daniel round to play this afternoon, which Isaac really enjoyed, and I ALWAYS love a good gossip with Laura, I will miss her loads....

Paul got confirmation of our first cars when we move.  We are getting an X5 and a 1 series convertible. 

I got lucky going to the doctors this afternoon.  It didn't rain (hurrah), got a parking space in the lay by, so didn't have to park on the road.  Walked in to the doctors, there was no one waiting (a rareity), got the boys prescription and also got my fit to fly letter regarding my diabetes, for no cost (its supposed to be £15).  Then went to my chemist, again, parked out front, no one waiting and still no rain.....Felt quite happy after that!

Got home to an email from the CLARITY testing people, to say they had made an appointment for Oliver for the 30th JULY!!!  Quickly emailed them back to query it, yep they got the wrong date on the email.  It is actually Thursday 30th August at 3pm.  That is going to be a fun day....

All in, the day has been good.  Feel a bit for Paul having to take the boys on his own, but he is a big boy, I am sure he can handle it.

I have my neighbour Angela, and possibly her sister Natalie coming over for a few drinks tonight, which I am looking forward to.  Mojito anyone?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Insider knowledge

I know I only posted last night, but this is how it seems to be going:  days where nothing happens, then I get loads of info at once!

I sent all the forms for Olivers school today.  They have already processed his application!  I now need to get Mr Ancell to fill in a Teacher Recommendation form, then send this along with his birth certificate.  They also asked if Oliver spoke German (no!), so he does not need to be in the German for native speakers program.  Paul then received an email from the Clarity testing people wanting to check out when we are in South Carolina, so they can arrange the test.  Have looked at their website, and it doesn't seem to be an academic test, more a test to see if his abilities match those of a 1st grader.  I have no worries about this, he read a whole page of Harry Potter tonight....

Paul had a good chat with a collegue today, who went out on the ex-pat scheme a couple of weeks ago.  So he has given some good guidance on where to live, the look and see (kids may get bored, thank god for iPods) pushy real estate agents  (stick to what WE want, not what they want us to have).  He also gave Paul his address, looks very nice!  He commented on how HOT it is, after all our rain, I am really looking forward to that.  He has a large communal pool, tennis courts, baseball field, basketball courts and a clubhouse with a gym.  But they are currently living in an apartment complex while they wait for their container to arrive/house to be ready.  Apartment pictures look nice, lots of good facilities.  The container picture looks scary though, how much of our lives are we going to be packing up???  When do we do that?  Do we live with little furniture in our house???  Another unknown....

He also warned that the HR department in Oxford need to be pushed, as they are really busy.  We also need to be prepared to pay deposits for utilities (up to $1000!!!) on our Look and See, which we knew about.  We will also have no credit rating when we go out there, apparently it is like being 16 again!  It is also going to cost us about $1000 at the embassy when we go for our visa's, and he advised to not take the kids, as it can be a LONG wait.  Will have to see about that one when we get our appointment.

They also discussed cars, typical men!  Paul's grade will enable him to get a X5 for nothing, as an ex-pat we also get a second car.  We keep the cars for 14000 miles, thats about 6000 more than Paul has his here.  When you collect your first car, you have to place the order for the second one straight away.  Paul wants to get a 6 series convertible for himself, but we are not to tell them that I will be driving the X5.

Pauls collegues child was due to start school in the UK this September, but given that they don't start till the September after they are 5 in the states, is starting next year.  He did give some details on which kindergarten she is going to, so going to look that up in a minute.

That was enlightening reading, and certainly brightened my day

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Is it July already?


I know it has been a while since I posted last, sorry!  We haven't even been mega busy, but will update anyway.

Oliver getting used to basketballs....

We had Oliver's sports day last Friday (29th June).  It was good.  My mum made it down ultra early, I think her Mazda has wings.  Unfortunatly the inlaws (Keith and Chris) got stuck in traffic around Chichester, as we had forgotten that the Festival of Speed was on.  They did manage to make it to see Olivers last race though, which was good.  Oh, and Isaac got 3rd in the toddler race, so proud of my big boys! We had lunch with Oliver, when he went into class, we took a drive down to Littlehampton riverfront and had some lunch.  All the relatives stuck around till Oliver came home from school.  Oli got his birthday present from the inlaws, more Lego (feels like its coming out of our ears....)

Isaac with his 3rd sticker
We had a nice lazy family weekend last weekend.  At the beginning of the week we got full confirmation of our Look and See trip.  Business travel here we come!!!!  We need to sort our ESTA's (Visa Waiver programme, as our Visas will not be ready, in fact we will pick up the pack to take to the embassy while we are out there)  but there is time for us to do that between France and America.  All the paperwork for our visas has finally reached the visa attorney in the states, so they are currently compilling the pack ready for us.  Lets hope there are no problems.

I had my meeting with Mr Ancell on thursday.  Apparently Oliver had stood up in class and told everyone he was going to move to America.  His teaching assistant, Mrs Merrett had corrected him thinking he meant for a holiday, so they got a bit of a shock!!!  I am able to take Olivers work books from this year with me, and Mr Ancell even emailed me  a copy of Oliver's report, despite the fact I still don't have it in my hands yet.  Was nice to get a look at it, he is doing very well.  Mr Ancell thinks I will have a few forms to fill in, but is going to contact the office, then let me know. 

I also took both the big boys for haircuts last week, Isaac on Wednesday, Oli on Thursday. You can check out Isaac's before and after photos in this blog!

Isaac after his sports day
Friday (6th July) was Isaac's sports day, again my mum flew down and got here in just over an hour.  It was starting to rain as we arrived, and continued to spit all the way through.  The staff were brilliant though, and got the kids through it very quickly.  It is always so lovely to see the kids at preschool, they are so well behaved and so cute!  Paul had to pop to work in the afternoon to pick up a Rolls Royce.  My mum stayed on Friday night, which was nice for the boys, they love having nanny here.  We need to make the most of it while we can.

We were both hungover on saturday, so we did very little.  Paul spent the morning cleaning the inside and the wheels of the Rolls, as he was doing a favour for our next door neighbours dad, Steve.  His daughter got married on Saturday, and Paul used the Rolls to chauffeur them from their house to the venue, as they had been let down at the last minute by the company they were using.  I think everyone was very pleased with the car.  We were invited to the evening, but lack of babysitters and hangovers meant we stayed home.  Oli was allowed to sit up and watch Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, whle I went to Tesco.  I know who got the better deal.....  Saying that I did finally buy the suitcases.  £70 for 2 big suitcases is a bargain, and they will do our many airplane journeys well.  Oliver had a party this morning, then we watched the F1, great race.  And watched Murray lose at the tennis.  Never mind, Federer is pretty much THE best player of all time.  As soon as they put that roof on, I knew Murray was a gonner....  At least he won a set.  He will definatly improve over time, and I would not be surprised to see him in another final very soon.  So another lazy Weekend....

This week coming up is going to be a bit mental.  My friend Vicky is having her C-section tomorrow, good luck hunni, can't wait to meet your little bundle.  My money is on a girl...  I have to spend the rest of the week making sure the house is tidied and the kitchen is stocked, as I am off on an OU residential school on saturday.  6 days in the chemistry labs of York University making insect pheromones.  Got my computer marked assignment back already, got 50%, so quite pleased with that.  Bit nervous about it all, I am not great at chemistry, so can only hope I meet people who are, lol!!!

Will try and update before I go.

Much Love x