Wednesday, 10 June 2015

All thing Aussie

Well it's been a ridiculous amount of time since I last wrote and I was jolted back into writing partly by all the amazing things happening in our lives at the moment and partly from a comment I got on a previous entry about thyroid problems asking for reassurance.  So firstly readers I apologise for my lack of content for the last year!  I will make it up to you this year!

I suppose the biggest piece of news is that we moved to Australia's Gold Coast, which is completely awesome!  We moved here six months ago with my children and with my parents.  It wasn't the easiest move, but we got here in the end.  We came out on holiday last year for my 40th birthday and well basically we fell in love withe place.  As much as I love New Zealand and it's incredible beauty, the Gold Coast has a lot more going on not just for the girls but also for the rest of us.

I have had to retrain to carry on as a Celebrant here.  I was a bit grumpy about it at first, feeling that I should just be granted my licence based on previous experience but once I got over myself I realised I couldn't have been more wrong.   The course was amazing with the awesome Rose Training College in Brisbane.  It was hard and the hours long but I learned so much. The law is completely different here in Oz and the responsibility seems strangely heavier here, with a lot more paperwork.  We are far more like the old registrars in England here, but mobile!  I have just booked my first wedding for an absolutely gorgeous couple, so now I am chomping at the bit to get started. You can visit my website at A Celebrant Called Kate

The girls are doing well and the homeschool scene is incredible here on the Gold Coast.  There are so many different clubs, meet ups and 'lesson's' the girls can get involved in if they want to.  This year Charli has taken up drums, ballroom dancing and gymnastics and little Rosie has taken up ballroom dancing, ballet, tap, and gymnastics. Plus she has just joined a talent agency and is dying to get out there and get her first job!
They are making some incredible friends although of course they still have days where they miss old friends from NZ!

I have finally joined a theatre and just been involved in my first production with them.  I wasn't on the stage as I failed the audition completely!  I took on the role of stage manager and I had an absolute blast.  I have made some really awesome like minded friends and now the show is over I am a bit lost without it.  Although I am now running their twitter and instagram accounts and set to do a bit of set painting next week.  Which is a completely new talent I didn't know I had!  If you are on the Gold Coast you must look them up Javeenbah Theatre.  I have a short blog on their website at the moment about being a stage manager in the theatre.

On the homeschool front we are still following an interest based learning program which has turned out to be completely perfect for the girls and myself.  This year it has resulted in the publication of a book!  Yes that's right a book!  We are very excited about it.  You remember the project that saw the invention of Charli's tooth fairy pillow?  Well at the beginning of this year Charli suggested we turn her pattern into an activity book with story, so that instead of selling her tooth fairy pillows she could sell the 'how to make the pillow idea' instead. I was skeptical at first to be honest, for a start I had never tried writing children's books and secondly as far as illustrating went I didn't think that was something we could accomplish at all.

It's wonderful having close family that believe in you though.  I think it is the key to a lot of success in life, that those closest to you have your back.  The story came easily between the two of us and it wasn't long before we had a working copy.  Charli had all sorts of images in her head for the pictures and it was then up to me to bring them to life.  I went to the Art shop (Riot Art & Craft) and asked a lovely girl there what paper and pens I needed to create my idea.  She was completely amazing telling me 'Art is something anyone can do, you need to just go for it and believe in yourself' .  I bought everything she suggested and started to bring the characters to life....then I couldn't stop!  I now have a pen/paint and pencil collection to die for and if you need to know anything about paper...well I am your girl!

With the book finished and ready to be published I approached a publisher in Sydney but after not hearing anything from them for some months, I impatiently started looking at self publishing which looked expensive. Then as we started to think about fundraising to get the project off the ground, we heard back from the publisher, our publisher in Sydney to say that they wanted to publish the book.  It's been a long time since I was that excited!!   Charlotte and I then flew to Sydney to meet up with the fantastic team of editors, promoters, publishers, designers etc and sat round eating pastries as we discussed our book! I can't tell you much about the book yet except that it's about the Tooth Fairy.  It will hopefully be on the shelves by Christmas, all being well.  We have a new website called 'by Charli & Kate' so watch this space!

It is an amazing journey publishing a book and more work than you would imagine.  They rip apart your writing, critiquing every syllable, rewrites, corrections it's been amazing.  Then came the illustrations (which they loved!) some needed redoing and new ones needed to be created.  Our finished book as I thought of it when we sent it to them, was anything but finished.  We have worked hard though and we are on the home straight now, with most of the editing and illustrations finished.  We are now awaiting the final layouts and designs (which we can't wait to see!). You definitely have to grow a thick skin and be prepared for the workload writing a book involves.  It has been so worth it and an incredible journey for Charlotte and myself.

The trip to Sydney was out of this world and Charlotte and I made the most of it.  We stayed in a nice hotel in the centre of Sydney and did as many things as we could possible fit in the three days we were there!  We happened to be visiting during 'Vivid' which if you ever get to go to you absolutely must.  It is a festival of lights basically, but it blows your head off with it's creativity. The light, the sounds, the experience is like nothing I had been to before.  We went to the Opera house of course, which Charli loved and she took me to the Gallery of Contemporary Art for which I am apparently "missing a gene" to appreciate according to my 9 year old daughter!  I just failed to see the art in a lot of what I saw but to Charli it was a dream come true, so it was worth it!

We met up with an old friend and tried Chai Latte for the first time, to which I now freely admit I have an addiction! We walked for miles and we took ferry boat journey's across the Sydney waterways.  We ate out at posh restaurants on Darling harbour and stuffed ourselves silly at Max Brenner's chocolate heaven.  Did we have a good time?  We had the best time, one that I will remember forever.  What a journey homeschooling is taken us on, you never know what amazing adventure is around the next corner.  My children never stop surprising me with what they can achieve and their hopes and dreams for the future.  It's funny it no longer matters to me what other peoples opinion of our lives are because I am finally in a place where I know with complete certainty that this is the right choice for my family. We love living with my folks and I know the feeling is mutual.  It helps of course that we all get along!  Life has never been this good and everyday I thank anyone who is listening for my amazing life and my even more amazing family.

And yes I'm still single.....

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