Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Much Ado About Broxbourne

I am writing this week’s blog as Wayne Brock and Quinn have been submerged in study, homework, core work and preparing to teach boys through their exams.

So we have decided to not travel as the SATs and Core work that the boys are doing are quite important for their future and Wayne has had to take students through study etc and the school has been particularly challenging this term. We are up to our eyebrows in Shakespeare and Blood Brothers with a dash of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at the moment so we thought we would give you all an insight of the Symes's domestic life.

I have been doing some contract work as an Exam Invigilator and worked with Wayne for a day last week. It was an eye opening experience for me and while I worry about him and the violence at work, I got to see the genuine affection his students feel for him and how they try so very hard to do the right thing by him. I was so touched that when a student went mad at a fellow pupil who tried to assault Wayne while I was there and told the boy.. that Wayne is someone's dad and how dare he think he had the right to hit him. It warms my heart that this young man can still be so decent and kind to people after some of the challenges he has faced in his life and I thanked him for his kindness; the smile he gave me will stay with me forever. I have secured a position at a local primary school about 5 minutes from home working with a child with autism. This is a job I know and love and as it is 27.5 hours a week I leave with the boys of a morning and will actually arrive home a little before they do which will be great for all of us. I went for four job interviews on the Friday in four hours really wanting only one of the jobs... and you guessed it ... I got the other three positions. I chose this school as it had a really lovely feel about and the head teacher has a great attitude towards children and with the other positions they paid more but I wouldn't be home till way after the boys and life is too short not to enjoy it.

We have settled well into a routine and have adapted to life here now but still like to compare the differences between Australia and the U.K. Its the little things that really tickle our funny bones, e.g., when we go shopping try and see how many accents and different languages we can hear; when we are in the car we play spot the car/lorry from the EU, Wayne is the best at this, I think this is because when we first arrived he nearly had a heart attack the first time he looked into a fast moving truck and the driver was not there (steering wheel is on the other side). We still love the fact that people are interested in our story and are keen to show us kindness and ask lots of questions about Australia. We have had to use our Australian accents to get out of a ticket from police when they discovered we didn't have car insurance (we did have some but unfortunately the insurance company had insured a car m51lfl and we are n51lfl) we were told that we looked far too innocent to be guilty of anything and they let us go ... phew and the problem has now been fixed.

The food is the same but also different... lol this sounds weird I know but it's things like mince is still mince but has a much stronger flavour along with chicken and sausages are full of things like apple or sage which is very nice but not what we have in oz. We are very pleased that Tesco's now stock vegemite and although we miss promite we still have the black gold. The boys have been grieving for Cottee's green cordial, as the cordial here is all diet. You can't seem to buy one that is not sweetened artificially. Of course the cost of food is astounding. Take away is available, but not as readily as in Australia or New Zealand. We have two McDonalds, but they are both about a 15 minute drive so we don't frequent it as much as the boys would like.

Brock and Quinn are forming friendships and starting to go out with friends and girlfriends, which is great to see and are looking forward to their birthdays. Suddenly, both their mobile phones are playing up and they think they may need new ones very soon.... I just smile the smile of a mama at this point.....Brock had asked for a party with 20 of his best friends and Quinn has to check what girlfriend Kayce would like to do .... So we will have to let you know the outcome.

We are more reliant on the internet than ever as it is our main form of communication with family and friends and it is great to feel part of things like new babies and the general day to day things in peoples lives. We are very excited to be having friends come over later this month, and in July, as although we are getting out and about we have not had the opportunity to really form friendships (as in a trivia team, karaoke buddies and that sort of thing). The staff at Wayne’s work have been great and taken us out, which has been a lot of fun, but we know that friendships will come with time. We made a conscious decision when we moved here to create a home for the boys that was not only safe and secure, but welcoming to their friends. We have really been concentrating on that, we are proud of our little family here.

Wayne and I have just celebrated our 6 month anniversary as man and wife and while it has gone quickly we look back and think 'WOW'! There have been some stresses we didn't expect but both feel that we can get through anything with faith, trust, and a lot of humour. I would not want to be on this adventure with anyone else by my side.

We are hoping to do some travelling this coming week as half term begins on Friday 23/05/2008 and will hopefully have some exciting news for you in regards to Wayne's position at Hailey Hall

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