The girls and I are due to move over around the fifth or sixth of June.   Saying this, we have just begun the visa process.  And by “just begun”, I mean that husband is collating documents to send to the company he works for so that the company can begin the visa process.  Rather, that is what is happening as I understand it.  Quite often, what comes out of my husband’s mouth and what I actually hear are two different things.  Neither one of us understands why this happens.  We just accept it.

FAQs 1 and 2:

You: Oh my goodness.  Why Kazakhstan?  Where is Kazakhstan?

Me: Kazakhstan is here.  Yep.  Right next to big, ol’, friendly, you-stay-in-your-yard-and-I’ll-stay-in-mine Russia.  Russia is, as you know, focusing on the Ukraine, so I’m sure we’ll be fine.  To ensure this, I have dictated that, Aunt Ann, you are not allowed to visit.  As to the why…That is where husband is currently working and he makes a lot more money than I.  That’s not the whole reason, of course, but it’s a part of it.  It also has to do with reducing the stress levels in my life.  That’s right: in this marriage, it’s all about me.

FAQ 3:

You: Where will you live?

Me: We will live in a contractors’ compound in Atyrau which consists of three apartment buildings sort of joined together (I think).  We’ll be living in a three bedroom apartment on the 15th (16th?) floor.  Yes, there is an elevator.  Yes, it works all the time.  Yes, there is a play area out back for kids.  It has — thank god — two swings.

FAQ 4:

You: What will you do over there?

Me:  Hopefully not go stir crazy from being a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  I will possibly also learn to play bridge.  I already drink gin, so I’m half-way there?  Seriously, though.  My husband tells me that part of the deal is that a cleaner comes into our apartment every day and cleans it as if it we were living in a hotel.  So I won’t be cleaning house.  And they do our laundry.  So, I won’t be doing laundry.  If we were to hire a nanny for the girls (which, I have been told, a lot of families do), I would most definitely have to learn to play bridge.  Or maybe tennis.   I do have the opportunity to work for one of the oil companies; however, I am going to wait until the girls have settled and then I’ll stick my head over the parapet to see what’s out there.

FAQ 5:

You: Flights?  Time difference?

Me:  Atyrau connects with Istanbul, Moscow, and Amsterdam.  It is four hours ahead of the UK and, so, nine hours ahead of Ontario.

FAQs 6, 7 and 8:

You: How long will you live over there and how often will you return to the UK?  What is happening with your house?

Me: We expect to be there for two years and will return in time for the girls to begin school.  Goodness only knows how often we will return to the UK during that time, if at all.  Apart from a friend’s wedding in Somerset at the end of August, we might not be back until, well, we’re back.  As for the house?  God only knows.  The plan is to hold off on building for another fucking year whilst finding a project manager we can trust (Is this possible?) and have that person build the house so that it is ready for our return.  Of course, I thought that we would have a house built five years ago, so don’t y’all go holding your breath.




Daracha.  Our Daracha.

  • Favourite breakfast food:  oatmeal (cold with milk and a little cinnamon, but cinnamon only because she gets to shake the cinnamon bottle, otherwise there would be no cinnamon)
  • Favourite snack: oatcakes, sometimes with butter and sometimes without butter (will choose oatcakes over cake every time)
  • Favourite vegetable: potatoes
  • Favourite music: bagpipes.


This morning, we spent forty minutes watching people on YouTube play the bagpipes…at Daracha’s request.  This is not the first time, nor was it the latest time.

This afternoon whilst visiting friends, I mentioned that Daracha loves listening to the bagpipes.  Friend told Daracha she would put on a song that played (a short burst of) bagpipes for Daracha to listen to.  Daracha glued herself to the friend (who then could not find the cd), saying, “Bagpipes!  Bagpipes!  Baaaagpipes!” over and over and over again.  Friend found a tape, instead.  Well-meaning friend played the song, which — horror — had someone daring to sing while the bagpipes were playing.  Mommy made promises that after dinner tonight we would watch more bagpipes on YouTube.  Mommy assumed two-year-old would perhaps not remember promise.

After tonight’s dinner: “Bagpipes.  Bagpipes!  No, Mommy: marching bagpipes!”  Thirty minutes of bagpipe videos — with much dancing and bum wiggling by two little girls — later and I was able to convince Daracha that it was, perhaps, time to push the big silver button, wait for the blue screen to appear and close the lid.

Thank god I love the pipes and drums.  Thank god, Freya enjoys them, too.  Their current favourite?  Andre Rieu’s Scottish tribute:



2014.01.24 - F & D

2014.02.01 - baking 5 2014.02.01 - baking 1 2014.02.01 - baking 4 2014.02.01 - baking 2 2014.02.01 - baking 3

2014.01.24 - painting 3 2014.01.24 - painting 1

2014.01.24 - picnic 3  2014.01.24 - picnic 2  2014.01.24 - picnic 1

A conversation I had with my two two-year olds this morning in which I was trying to get them to say fork while the french toast was cooking and we were setting the table:

Me: Okay, now the plates are on the table, what else do we need?

Daracha: Daddy’s plate!

Me:  Daddy has already eaten breakfast and is at work.  Daddy does not need a plate.

Daracha:  Daddy’s plate!

Me:  Okay, we can set a plate for Daddy:

Daracha: [looks stern and shakes her head]

Me: Okay, Daddy does not need a plate.

Me: What do we need next?

F & D: [confused look with head-tilt]

Me: When we put food in our mouths, what do we use?

Freya: Forks!

Me: That’s right!  Now, we have the plates on the table and the french toast is cooking.  What else do we need?

F & D (at the same time):  MAPLE SYRUP!!

Me: You know what?  You’re right.





2014.01.05 - cooking

2014.01.05 - sweater

2014.01.03 - tin 4 2014.01.03 - tin 3 2014.01.03 - tin 2

2014.01.03 - bathroom

2014.01.19 - flowers 2 2014.01.19 - flowers#2014.01.17 - f & d 42014.01.17 - f & d 32014.01.17 - f & d 22014.01.17 - f & d

Two weeks ago, while browsing *cough* Pintrest, I came across:

let them be little 2

and a flip switched.

Let them be little.  I can do that, I thought to myself..

It’s nice how a simple phrase repeated to myself when I’m about to blow my top acts as a release valve, allowing me to step back and enjoy whatever it is that was doing my head in not a moment before.

2014.02.12 - let them be little


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