Once upon a time I wrote about shaving bumps and the distress they caused Mr O. I never got around to the follow up, did I? Here is Mr O shaving the Nigerian way. Which was actually the Black American way before the method wandered over to Nigeria.
Looks just like shaving cream from where you are sitting, huh? No, Mr O is actually shaving as he stands there.
How is this possible you ask? Shhhhh – there is a surprise at the end…..
Greetings of the season to all who celebrate this time of year. Christmas comes but once a year. Just as well really, as it is enough to drive people crazy! Apart from the kids and Dad not being able to agree whether or not Muslims celebrate Christmas in Nigeria (Dad says no, kids say yes), we had a fairly laid back day and went to the movies in the afternoon.
We bought the Extreme bucket of popcorn and that seemed to last at least until just after the advertisements and trailers. Parental Guidance was actually quite a funny movie and we’d recommend it for anyone wanting a family movie over the holidays. The adults appreciated the adult aspects and the kids laughed at the kids, so everyone was entertained. Billy Crystal has aged since I last saw him. I suppose we all have.
As we drove to the movies, Melbourne looked like a ghost town. You could count the cars on the road on the fingers of one hand. I don’t think I have ever seen it quite as quiet as it was yesterday.
This morning Mr O did gardening type stuff, planting all the seedlings we bought to grow capsicums, carrots, tomatoes and silver-beet. We’ll see how these grow!! While I am a farmer’s daughter and we always grew our own vegetables, that was a long, long time ago! Mr O’s apprenticeship is more about growing flowers and trees than vegetables!
For most families this is a hellish week. In fact, I could say a hellish month.
So far this month we have had:
- Year 6 Graduation
- Year 12 final sign up (pay fees, confirm subjects etc)
- Parent’s Orientation Night for High School
- Second Hand Book Day
- School Reports for Primary School (more on that later)
- Work Children’s Christmas Party
- Work Department Christmas Lunch
- Mr O Jnr 1 had a party (we provide taxi service)
- House inspection
On top of that I have been madly editing the manuscript and entered Pitch Wars! This Friday we have the break-up for the holidays at work. We are a week late returning library books and I had a fight with Telstra today, but that is a whole other article all by itself!
The school reports are a bit of a drama this year as part of the teachers’ industrial action against the Victorian Government is no reports – or at least minimal reports. The younger two got reports today, but only grades, no comments.
The work children’s Christmas party was a beautiful sunny day without scorching us!
There were those tricky lime and spoon races. Those limes are hard to find in the grass!
Some paints were acquired on the day and here is a resulting piece of artwork by Miss O 2!
Another short excerpt from Love versus Goliath, my memoir in progress. Previously published excerpts can be found under “The Book” menu or category. This part of our journey has not been discussed in detail on this website before. As always when I publish short pieces, readers’ feedback is very welcome!
DIAC = Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Edit July 10, 2012 – If you are thinking of a work visa to Qatar for yourself, please ensure you read “Qatar, here I come” for details of the reality we found.
John had found out he could get a work visa to Qatar. However, it cost a fortune. $4,000 for the visa, then there would be airfares and living expenses. But he would have a job. He would be able to support himself and the children, save for airfares for my trip to Qatar and for them all to come home. I would be responsible for keeping the home fires burning and paying the legal fees. He also wanted to be able to send me money to “show DIAC they are wrong”. He was still hurting from the claims in the decision document, as was I.
I was very worried it could be a scam, as was John. I knew John had good friends and supporters and I had to trust him to negotiate his own world, but I also knew he had been away a long time. Things change, people change. We both researched. I asked a young Nigerian journalist I knew from a human rights page on Facebook. His advice was to be very, very careful. I checked all the details on the Qatar website. As far as we could tell, it was legitimate.
Tonight our two youngest had a carol concert on the school oval. I really wanted to go and hear them sing in their classes but I am really, really tired. It has, I have realised, been a very tough two years for me. Tough for all my family, in many ways much, much tougher for them than for me: but I am running out of energy. I’ve mentioned this a few times of late. So Daddy did parental duty alone tonight and I stayed home and just “veged out”.
At the end of this week I have ten days off. Two weekends, three public holidays and three days annual leave gives ten straight days I can get up when I like, sleep when I like, get some exercise when I like. No rushing. I used to spend my life waiting (and drowning in legal paperwork), now I seem to spend it rushing. Rushing to work, rushing home, rushing to get the shopping done on the weekends, rushing to parent-teacher nights, rushing to swimming lessons: rushing, rushing, rushing. I’m still drowning in paperwork, although now it is school related paperwork! An excursion form for this child, a building levy bill for that child, a book list here, a book list there………
Yes, I did have some annual leave during the last two years: one lot was rushing to Nigeria to get married, one lot was rushing around like crazy organising schools, books and uniforms when my family arrived home. Lovely times, but not exactly relaxing on the beach with a quiet summer drink!
This time last year I wrote 11 days until Christmas. I ended that article saying:
Christmas is going to be hard for me. In past years, well, it was what it was. I was single. It was what it was. This year is different. So very, very different.
This year is also so very, very different. Very different compared to last year, when we were all apart in various different locations. This year I have a house full. We are all TOGETHER!!! I am taking the days between Christmas and New Year as annual leave days so we will have some relaxing time, all together. This year we WILL have trips to the beach. We have vouchers to Luna Park. Money might be very tight right now, but we are together and will find inexpensive ways to celebrate being a family.
I failed Motherhood 101 today. I forgot it was “Mad Hair Day” at school. I had promised the younger two they could spray their hair a variety of exciting colours. I forgot. I cried. They both looked so sad. After I left for work Daddy explained Mummy has a lot on her plate right now and so it was all OK in the end, but I still felt terrible. Mr O Jnr 1 made me the loveliest Christmas card in Art Class with the sweetest words. I got hugs when I got home from work. I might have failed Motherhood 101, but life is good.