For various reasons (read: the cost of a barrel of oil), my husband’s role within the company he works for changed and it no longer made sense for us to live in Kazakhstan.  Our conversation about this occurred half-an-hour after the girls and I returned to KZ after spending four weeks in the UK, and it went something like this:

Husband: So, you’re back in Kazakhstan.  (But said with Love and Happiness.  I promise.)

Me:  Mmm hmm.

Husband:  When do you think you would want to move back to Scotland?

Me (thinking, “What? We’re here for another year.”): How soon could you get me there?

Husband:  How about in two weeks?

Me:  (Nothing.  I said nothing.  And I may have looked a teensy bit like a fish out of water. )

Husband:  I’ll take that as a yes.

And, so, having returned to Kazakhstan at the end of February after having been in the UK for four weeks, not two weeks later I was back in Scotland in our new home.  (Rented.  Not the one we are *cough* going to build one day.)  Talk about a scramble and thank goodness for the ASPC.  We have found a lovely little home in a lovely village with a great school and really, really nice people.    And the first baking we did was for my husband’s birthday.  The girls were over the moon.

2015.03.31 - cake 9

2015.03.31 - cake 72015.03.31 - cake 6

2015.03.31 - cake 8 2015.03.31 - cake 5

2015.03.31 - cake 4

2015.03.31 - cake 1

2 hugging

It’s not often that Freya’s hugging of Daracha turns into giggles, but it is so nice when it does.

Christmas came and more Magformers were acquired.  (Thank you, eBay!)

5 magformer tree 1 magformers

But, of course, it was the bubble wrap that was the biggest hit.

7 Christmas

With the new tea-set coming a close second.  (And someone kept pretending to be the tiger who came to tea.  There was a lot of extra peeing in the week following Christmas.)

8 Christmas 3 tea 4 tea

Planking, Painting, and the After Math

2014.11.02 - planking attempt 2014.11.03 - painting 2014.11.16 - Painting 4

Two somebodies turned three, and I learned that normal food colouring looks pretty in batter, but not very pretty when cooked.  (Ya.  I know.  There’s a lot of pink on that cake.  The girls requested a pink daisy-cake and since it was their birthday and all that…  *sigh*)

2014.11.04 - birthday cake 01 2014.11.04 - birthday cake 2014.11.04 - birthday cake 02

Birthday pizza and a quiet, family dinner.  (Recognise the birthday hat?)

2014.11.04 - birthday dinner 2014.11.04 - birthday dinner 2

“Look what I made!”  (Even adults like Magformers.)

2014.11.07 - look what I made!


All dolled up for the nursery Christmas party, where Dad played Santa and Mom was snowperson.

2014.11.15 - party dresses

More painting.  And finishing off in the sink, because why not?

2014.11.16 - Painting 2014.11.16 - Painting 3 2014.11.16 - Painting 1

2014.10.28 - tea on counter

Tea party on the counter.


2014.10.18 - face paint

So, I thought to myself, “why not let them paint their own faces with the face paints?” Then realised it was face grease paint. Oh well.  The smiles were worth it.

2014.10.18 - face paint 1 2014.10.18 - face paint 2

2014.10.25 - reading

Reading time with Dad.


2014.10.25 - painting

Paint. I promise that that is paint.


These last two are more fun if you use your own caption.

2014.10.27 - star jumps 22014.10.27 - star jumps


2015.05.06 - grey hair

Dear friends and family in Canada: a sneak preview to lessen the shock when next we meet.

2015.05.04 - sad pig

It looks like this little guy wants to play outside.

We have returned to Aberdeenshire, and for good this time.  The oil industry is laying off thousands of workers world wide and my husband happened to be one of them.  Not all bad, though: someone in the same company he was working for knows that he is ace at what he does and so snapped him up immediately. This new job is still in Kazakhstan, but it is rotational and hubby will be working where the girls and I can’t go.

Cue much rejoicing.

It’s not that living in Atyrau was awful.  It wasn’t.

I see you staring at me.  Okay, parts of it are awful. Like the 40C summers (but every building does have air conditioning and its quite nice in the evenings once mosquito season is over) and the -30C days in winter (but every building is heated and we can take a taxi from anywhere to anywhere and these taxis are very warm, too).  It’s just that Atyrau was not home.  And it’s just that it’s hard to find out-of-the-apartment entertainment for kids: no grassy parks; no indoor play areas with those awesome climbing mazes for kids; no possible way for me, on the 16th floor, to tell my children to go outside and play while I cook dinner; no aquarium/horse rescue centre/farm/petting zoo/you get the idea. This leads to screamy mom come afternoons and more TV time than I think is good for girls.   Yes, I was making new friends whom I really like, but I am actually rather tired of having to make new friends.

So now that we’re back and have been for almost two months.  I’m happily settled with my old friends. Old, comfy friends where being with them is as nice as sitting in front of an open fire while wearing one’s favourite slippers and comfy pjs, drinking the nicest hot chocolate cup of tea glass of wine had in a while.

am making new friends in this new town of ours.  Every one I meet, though, is…very friendly.  I can’t describe it any other way and it’s a wee bit unexpected. Nice, but unexpected.

Here’s a picture of my kids voluntarily cuddling under their blanket and not fighting.

2015.01.09 - Freya and Daracha cuddling


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