home alone

Dec. 16th, 2008 08:39 pm
thereyougothen: (chile)
I wish...

Well, not really.

I have seen Quirk. I don't know how much she has had to drink in the 36 hours or so she has been hiding, so I have put a bowl of water downstairs. I don't know why I bother when there are 2 lovely toilets for drinking out of down there, but hey ho.

Bill has gone off in a taxi. He'll be back, all being well, early on Monday morning. When the boys will be on Summer holidays. In fact, the boys will be on summer holidays from noon on Thursday (11.45 for Nico, actually).

And we got our bank account "products" today - for which read credit and debit cards (but there's no debit card for me yet!) and the loan to buy the car will be in the account on Thursday. So when Bill gets back on Monday, I will make him a cup of tea, and then we will head off to Automotriz Suiza and pick up our *gold* Outback. We didn't get to choose the colour - because we wanted a standard transmission, we had to take what there was, and there's only one available in Santiago, and it's gold. I am going to buy stencils and spraypaint and make it ours. This is not my original idea, I confess, I saw it on another blog where the author had bought a ubiquicar. Every third car in Santiago seems to be a Subaru Outback.

Did I mention that Bill has left in a taxi? I am feeling very sorry for myself. I was going to finish the better part of a bottle of very nice Carmenere, but Nico knocked it over, so there's less than half left. Which is good since I have to be up at 6... Only two more days of that though, hurrah! Until 16th February. 2 Months of holiday! Eek. and Yay!

So, the Nana. we decided we would try a live-in, at least until I finish the Herceptin treatments. She started yesterday. Milagros is the 19 year old daughter of my friend's live-in Nana. She's great - cleans her socks off, smiles all day, enjoys my attempts at spanish and tries out her english. She's going to be great for (and with) the boys. But I can't stand having someone living in my house. So I am going to ask my Spanish teacher who is coming tomorrow, and who already knows Milagros, to help me ask her if she would be willing to come daily instead. She would only work 5 days instead of 6 (the relocation agent looked at me like I had two heads when I said I would only ask her to work 5 days a week!) and I would pay her more, becasue she wouldn't be living in.

She's already happy becasue I've told her we only want her to stay Friday nights when Bill is away.

It's crazy. The norm for a live-in Nana is a 12 hour work day, 5 days a week, and if they are lucky, a half day on Saturday, but some Chilean families expect them to be "adentro" on Saturday night as well, so they can go "home" on Sunday morning and come back Sunday night, or MAYBE, Monday morning.

Milagros has been here two days and has worked much more than 8 hours. I told her I only wanted her to work 8 and no more, but she kept trying to do more. I sent her to her room at 8.30 because she was going to start putting another box load away.

So - I really don't want her to think that us (and it's not just me that wants the house to ourselves, I know Bill does, and I think the boys do too) wanting her to work "puerta afuera" is any reflection on her. I think she is great, and we are really lucky to have her. And I am lucky that my friend suggested she come work for us. But I want to have my house to myself. Only two days in and I know I have made a mistake asking for a live-in Nana...

Fingers crossed it all works out ok - we are currently in the mandatory two week trial period, where either of us can back out of the contract....

Quirk has come upstairs, possibly looking for company, so I'll stop whingeing and go sit on the sofa for a while.

Did I mention that I am missing Bill?
thereyougothen: (scary stuff)
this was a tough morning,  i wasn't allowed coffee. or food.

went to the hospital after dropping the boys off.  waited until they found an english speaking person to take us up to see the oncologist, then sat while he read my referral letter.  why didn't they give it to him beforehand?  i would have been happy to sit with my sock for ten minutes in the waiting room, instead of awkwardly on the other side of a desk.

anyway, he eamined me, which I should be used to by now.  weighed me. and he was the first doctor in all of this who told me to lose weight. in fact he said that while the herceptin was important, losing weight was even more so in stopping the cancer coming back. hmmm.

i admit that i have been surprised that no one ever said anything about it (well, no one expect my mum!).  but that was pretty blunt today.  he said, " it's spring, there is a lot of nice fruit in CHile that you can eat" LOL.

he took us in to see the chemo suite.  very posh comfy looking chairs. and very small, compared to what we are used to, unless there's more around the corner.  I have an appointment for 09.00 on thursday, which is exaclty 3 weeks snce my last treatment.

then we went back to the nice english speaking head nurse, who i am to contact for everything, from major illness to ingrown toenail.  we asked if we could have a pro-forma invoice so that we don't have to pay in advance, but she took us down to the finance place and they took a copy of my insurance card and said that they will get a reference number from the insurance people and will be able to bill direct.  I am VERY curious as to what it will cost.

and they never took blood or anything, so the starving was a total waste.  thanks people.  getting up at 6 is tough enough.

then we left, and Bill dropped me off at Beverly's house, where I was plied with coffee and cookies.  I was offered proper breakfast, but settled for cookies!  absolutely fascinating conversation centering around teachig reading to kids.  we were all mothers, 3 of us with 2 sons, one with a 9 month old daughter.  2 educators - one a long time teacher of reception class in the english system, the other a remedial reading (possibly not the modernly accepted term, I must ask her) teacher in US middle school.  AND - Beverly loaned me a set of Biff, Chip and Kipper books for N.  He won't get them here, and we LOVE the magic key stories, so we will read them with him.  And with TT, who wanted to sleep with 2 of them under his pillow tonight.

we have finally found fresh milk after almost two weeks of UHT. it's "ultrapasteurised", so Bill says it still doesn't taste as good as at home, but when i suggested I wouldn't bother buying it again, it suddenly was almost as good...

Bill signed (i am a non-person) a letter of intent to rent a house today,  hopefully the landlord will agree, and then we all traipse off to a notary public to sign the actual lease  (well, for Bill to sign, I just get to watch).  we might get to move in a week today!  hurrah!

and I have to get up at 6, so I have to go to bed now.  06.00 is murder.  
thereyougothen: (scary stuff)
the oncologist called today. to let me know that he's written my referral for the chilean hospital. "it's got a few hand written corrections, but if it doesn't make sense I'm sure you can sort them out" eh? WTF? his secretary can't audio type, or he changed his mind after he wrote it? or maybe just afterthoughts. I will find out since he's sending me a copy...

he also thought he'd better check that i understood just how expensive herceptin is. like £15,000 to £20,000 for the rest of my treatments. i said that Bill had asked the insurance company, and that they had said that as long as it is an infusion, it is covered 100% (imagine having to pay a co-pay of 20% of £20,000?!!) he was relieved that we had looked into that already. imagine arriving there and finding out out that we can't afford my treatments!

well, in some countries, i'd have only had 6 anyway, so i've already had 7. but i'm due 17. i'm sure the chilean doctors will be happy to give me 17, if the insurance company will pay for it.

hmmm, thank goodness for the firefox spellcheck, because i've obviously had that number of glasses of wine that causes my fingers to not do what i want...

off to bed with me. i was too tired to walk to school this afternoon. i left the house at 2.30, walked about 50 metres and realised that i wasn't going to make it.

Bill is away. i am single parenting for a few days. i think that the tiredness may get worse...
thereyougothen: (scary stuff)
went for a mammogram this morning.  they're not nice, really, but hey, this year it was only half as bad as last year....

treated myself to a shopping trip afterwards.  got myself 2 new bras in debenhams, and bought tea out of marks and sparks.

we did Bill's birthday again today, with cake and more presetns, since there was no cake on his birthday.  i had thought about taking a cake down with me, but then figured, no, his mum will have made him a cake.

well. we had cake today instead.

new school

Aug. 11th, 2008 10:36 am
thereyougothen: (me & boys)
so yesterday, I was looking at the webpage for the school the boys will be going to - Nido de Aguilas."Eagles' Nest".  I came across the PTA page - it has biographies of the committee members. Oh, I am going to be so out of my league!

But, go look at the school on google earth:  the place is huge!  I just know we'll get lost, or be constantly late, or otherwise draw attention to ourselves.

Bill's waiting to hear back on the detail of one of the job offers, but the decision is more or less made - we *think* he'll be going with the european offer.

we *think* we'll be leaving about the 20th of OCtober.

I had been saying that we were going to have two sumers this year, but I have now realised it wll be more accurate to say that we won't have winter.  I don't think calling this summer would pass the trades descritpions act.

We're supposed to be going camping down near Castle Douglas on Thursday.  it's not looking very promising.  we wanted to use the tent at least one more time before we have to seel it, but I'm not going camping in the rain again just for the sake of it.  We'd actually like to enjoy ourselves a bit.

Oh god, back to work a week today.
thereyougothen: (Bill & boys)
the first of the two expected job offers has arrived.

eek.
thereyougothen: (Default)
we're off to Bath tomorrow, towing the trailer tent and hoping for the best.

i've been meaning to post about how great a day i had at woolfest, but for some unknown reason, i've been too tired this week to do anything...

had herceptin number three today, at the *hospital* instead of home. it seems there was a date missing on one of the forms that the hospital had sent to healthcare at home, and instead of letting the hospital know, well... so i had to go back in. and it took ages, i got there at 10.00 and they didn't start the drug until 11.10, i didn't get out until 1.20. luckily the boys were taken home by some friends after football, so i didn't have to worry, but still. i could have done without it.

anywya, i haven't packed a single thing. we're supposed to be leaving after lunch tomorrow. Bill has gone back to work and will be there for god knows how long working on an observing proposal.

we're stopping at a motel halfway down, we';re not going to try anf get to Bath in one day and put the tent up in the dark. but still, wish us luck?
thereyougothen: (scary stuff)
when I woke up this morning I had to ask Bill what day it was. unfortunately it is Monday, so I had to get up, help get the boys sorted and go to work.

i was good for not very much at work. i spent ages going through a database of publications and capitalising all the titles (why didn't the person who put them in do that in the first place? possibly becasue she doesn't know about the capitalising titles convention?)

i then went to try and explain something about tables in MS Word to the boss. I kept trailing off halfway through sentences and I don't think i manged to explain anything very successfully. The boss suggested I go home. so i left about 30 minutes early.

and have had lunch and coffee and chocolate, and it hasn't helped.

I really need to go through the playroom closet and find the trousers of TT's graduation from nursery outfit so that N can wear it on Wednesday. but really, i think all i am good for is sitting on the sofa. i'm not even sure if my eyes will focus well enough to knit.

i don't know if it's still post-chemo tired, or not sleeping becasue of chilean indecision tired. or a bit of both.

whichever, i'm bloody tired today.

what day is it again?
thereyougothen: (Default)
wow. to go to ocean terminal today cost us £9.80. the cheapest it could have been was £9, but we didn't have the right money to buy the boys day tickets on the first bus we got on (and I was too truthful when the bus driver asked me if N actually needed a ticket. I said I'd have to buy singles since I didn't have enough. the guy was giving me the opportunity to pretend N was still 4, but I just couldn't do it. I doubt Bill could have either...

it takes us 2 buses each way to get to ocean terminal, I tried to phone the bus company to ask what the deal is, they say on their website and everywhere that it's "£1.10 per journey" that means we should be able to get those two buses for £1.10. they didn't answer the phone today, so I asked the bus driver and he said we had to pay on each bus. daylight bloody robbery. no wonder we usually drive, eh? and the first bus we were on broke down as well, were they trying to tell us something?

the garage phoned this morning, we are now not getting after market brake calipers on the car, we're getting new ones, but somehow they are only going to cost an extra £150 instead of £400. don't ask me. garages are a law unto themselves. oh well it's only money. heh.

anyway, we had a really nice leisurely lunch at ocean terminal (we got there about 3!) the boys played out on the terrace and Bill and I got to talk and drink beer and wine and actually enjoy ourselves. it was nice. we talked about Chile a lot. we think we're really going to go. we talked about what sort of house we want. and getting an extra bedroom so that I can have a workroom. and what i'm going to do with myself. and how nice it will be when he has 6 days off in a row once a month.

then I went bra shopping, with much success! i have one of those fancy tape measures that supposedly tells you what your bra size is, and it was actually right, or at least right for the bras I tried on in debenhams. it told me 40DD, mind! anyway, I have bought three new underwired bras in the sale. I may have to take the wires out, but I'm going to try and keep them in to start with, pseudo boob doesn't hold its shape as well as real boob, and now I remember that the nurse told/warned me that it could be molded into shape, so not to wear the same bra all the time. i've been wearing ill fitting, not very supportive ones for the last how long is it? 8 months! so, today I bought ones that make me a nice shape. i shall try and wear them and see if I can make it a little more permanent... and one of them is green!! hurrah!

my back is killing me sitting here so I'm off to bed. N was a real mummy's boy today, and I think I wrenched something pulling him onto my lap on the bus. my electric blanket awaits.
thereyougothen: (Bill & boys)
Bill emailed ESO HR in Santiago yesterday to ask what the hell is going on.  Now, whether this is just inter-agency bickering or not I don't know, but Santiago said that it was being held up by NRAO.  Now, that begins to NOT sound plausible, since NRAO have managed to get him an offer for the other job.  Unless they really want him to take the Charlottesville job and think making him wait for the CHile job offer will fix that...

We talked a little last night, and the Charlottesville job is a definite no-go.  He would be away arounf half the time - we're not going to live like that for 2 or 3 years.  That's why we all want to be in Chile together, he'll still be away a significant amoun tof time, but it will rarely be more than 8 days at a time.

He's just heard from another Brit who's just gone out on ESO terms and condiditons, and it sounds as though NRAO's might be better if you have kids in school.  Aargh.  If NRAO allow you to name your home country for home leave type benefits, then it might be fine, and it migfht also make it easier to transfer to Charlottesville a few years down the road, if that's what BIll wants to do.

But we just sit here trying to imagine what things will say, becasue we don't have the damn pieces of paper.  I suppose that since the two agencies are trying to make sure their offers are near identical, and one of the agencies has just offered him another job, the liklihood is that their second job offer will be the same grade and salary as the first - right?  So maybe we already know the salary.  But who knows about the allowances.  We know what they are with ESO, but not with NRAO.

Oh this is so tedious.

As is trying to get through on either the phone or the website to book tickets for Richard Dawkins at the book festival.

Oh and, my Regia Bamboo socks?  They are very pretty, but unfortunately there are a bit hard on the feet.  And they've been washed a few times, I don't think they are going to soften up anymore.  They are fine inside my fluffy lined rocket dogs, but not in my everyday shoes.  damn.  can't wear fluffy lined shoes in the "summer".  I use inverted commas, becasue well, you call this summer?  Anyway, the socks are so uncomfortable that I'm going to have to change them before I walk up to gt Thomas, then down to get Nico.  The car is in the shop, getting its brakes sorted so that we can tow the trailer tent with confidence!

And I still can't get through to the book fest box office.  But I really want to do something with my morning that doesn't involve being sat here at the computer, so I'm going to have to tkae a chance on them selling out, and walk away for a while.
thereyougothen: (Default)
it seems it's hard to find furnished houses in Santiago, so that means we take our own furniture. I'm glad, becasue I would rather have my own things around me anyway. so we'll rent out this house unfurnished. which is probably less hassle too.

we need to start de-cluttering about now, I guess.

Bill still hasn't had the official job offer though. maybe next week. bureaucracy, phooey!
thereyougothen: (scary stuff)
So, this morning is my second herceptin appointment. And the first time I have had to go to Ward 1 on my own. Bill has too much work to do to be able to afford this morning off as well as this afternoon.

This afternoon may be even more nerve wracking than this morning's appointment. I have to stanf up in front of all the new parents for next year's Primary 1 and talk about the Parent Council.

But first I have to get through my appointment, and out the other side in time to collect N and get up to the school. But it's very exciting. Even TT was beside himself this morning with excitement that N is going for his school visit. He gets to see the classroom, we get to meet his teachers (well, we will have already met, but this is official) and I get to tell all the new parents how wonderful the parent council is... eek.

But I'm not looking forward to going to the hospital all by myself. But we agree that it is more important for Bill to come along for N's first official school visit. I'm a big girl, I can handle it. Both things.

Whichever, it's better than working. More on that in another post.

In other news, we have to wait at least another week for the official job offer. that means at least three weeks from hearing that he's got it, to getting any other details. aargh.

Hmmm...

Jun. 5th, 2008 07:22 pm
thereyougothen: (Bill & boys)
Today I found myself holding back tears at the Singing Club show, thinking that it was probably the last one we were going to be at. And that Nico, who after complaining that he wanted to play, not sit, was sat there open mouthed, watching, will probably now never be in a Singing Club show.

See, Bill has been offered a job here, as a systems astronomer and, offhand, we can't think of any good reasons to turn it down.

He/we still have to decide if he/we really want to move to Chile for 5 years, but to be honest, who wouldn't? Wouldn't you?

We don't have any details yet, and we figure if we go it won't be before October.

But now I'm not sure just why I'm going to woolfest and the I Knit London day but there you go. (it might be to buy sock yarn, because from what i understand, sock yarn doesn't count as stash)

Sometimes I can be completely calm about the whole thing, but then I'm in a church hall full of singing 7 year olds, and well, it all becomes a bit real.
thereyougothen: (me & boys)
i have much to say about my visit with the occupational health doctor = good and this monring's heart scan which was really quite difficult. but i am too tired to be very articulate.

and i have just been in floods of tears over not being able to hear bill on skype, and Nico clowning around at the camera and TT not being all that bothered about talking to daddy. he said hello at least.

the boys are in bed, i am having some VERY STRONG DRINK (port, that was the best i could find) and will hope to speak to bill again in a while, then will go to bed.

i am truly very exhausted. very.

i can see that my dad is online on skype, but if i call them i wll just end up crying again. so i wo't.
thereyougothen: (problem knitting)
today is the eighth and final chemo treatment. wow. i never thought it would come around so fast.

fingers crossed though, i have a cold, sore throat, sneezes and streaming nose (well, the streaming nose has been a chemo feature all along). when i spoke to the nurse yesterday she seemed to agree with me that unless i had a fever it would be alright. but i have spent the last week, both before and since the cold took hold, worrying that something would happen and i wouldn't be able to have the last treatment on schedule.

Bill leaves for Chile in less than a week. i expect to be at my lowest point when he leaves and pick up a couple of days after. if my treatment is delayed, it will mean i go through my whole low point while he's away. not good.

fingers crossed all round, please?
thereyougothen: (problem knitting)
this actually frightened me quite a lot. a mild bug caught from one of my kids has knocked me down really quite spectacularly. after sailing through and all that. this was scary, and a bit of a wake up call.

thereyougothen: (Bill & boys)
all is not lost

i spent i'm not sure how many years as the uk gemini project secretary.  working many 60 hour weeks supporting a project that the UK pulled out of last month. luckily, they seem to have had second or third thoughts, and the UK is back in.

it used to be such a big part of my life. and now it's not. except that Bill still is affected by it, of course...
thereyougothen: (Default)
Happy New Year, from all 4 of us. The boys managed to stay up for the bells. It wasn't the bells, it was the fireworks that they wanted to see.

The 4 of us squeezed into the upstairs bathroom and watched out the velux window.

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