Ok, so the last thing you knew, we were off to get my folks from the airport.
We did indeed get them, they were knackered but happy to be here. My Dad had broken his foot a couple of weeks before they left Scotland so that put something of a crimp in their ‘farewell tour’ plans but it did mean that they were whisked through passport control and baggage reclaim at top speed!
They were safely installed in the new room (curtains finished at 1am – an hour before their plane landed!) and slept off the effects of the flight while Alexander and Ruby bounced around outside their door just DESPERATE to wake them up and have fun with them.
The next few weeks were the same kind of whirlwind for them as it had been for us 18 months ago. They had to sort stuff out with banks, medicare, ambulance insurance etc, all while trying to get used to the fact that this was their home now! Speaking of home, they had been told that they could buy a property as soon as they arrived, this was not the case. A recent change in rules meant that they could only build their own property or buy one that had never been lived in before. This was something of a blow for them as it meant that they had far fewer to choose from.
We loved having them here. After over a year of being all by ourselves here it was very nice to have them around! Dad got the cast off his foot after a couple of weeks and that made things easier for them to get around. Then they bought a little car the same as mine and that made getting about even easier!
When I went to work, Mum and Dad picked Alexander and Ruby up from school. Michael and I finally got to go out together – without the kids having to come with us! I came home from work every day to clean, dry, ironed clothes, clean bathrooms, delicious dinners and children with homework completed – ah, fabulous!
At the same time as all this though, we did have our usual dramas. Larry lost ANOTHER tooth. This time it broke off at the gumline and I was worried that it would get infected. I googled ‘broken teeth in dogs’ which is just as stupid as googling any sort of human ailment because immediately I was confronted with stories of dogs who had chipped teeth and two weeks later quietly died of massive organ failure. I took the Golden Boy to see our lovely-but-ever-so-slightly-inappropriate vet who gave Larry anti-biotics and gave me a lesson on how dog’s teeth work (they regrow dentin over the broken bit to shield any exposed nerves – clever huh?!) and reassured me that although I did the right thing in getting him ABs, a broken tooth is not unusual and not the end of the world for animals who are built to chew stuff for a living. I should just keep an eye on it and remind EVERYONE not to play tug-of-war with him!
Ruby was also having a bad time of it. While the dermatitis around her mouth was clearing up beautifully, she was so miserable at school. I had been into the school to speak to them, I had given Ruby strategies on how she could feel more part of it all, we had tried to boost her confidence at home but she was really struggling and it was just awful to see.
We finally decided that we should look at moving schools again. It really wasn’t what we wanted to do. I wanted them to be settled after all the upheaval of the previous year but it just wasn’t happening and so we had to take action.
I visited a few school in the town and decided that one of them fit the bill really well. The assistant head gave me a tour and while it was not a new, sparkly building, he said hello to all the kids we passed and knew them by name – that says more to me about a school than a new computer lab! I told their current school that we’d be moving them at the end of term and they weren’t even bothered. I suppose we were just a drop in the ocean but I would have thought that it would be in their interest as an organisation to ensure that all their students feel some sort of belonging. Ah well, it just reminded us why we were moving.
We were a bit nervous about telling the kids. Ruby would be delighted but Alexander was quite happy were he was and if there is a dramatic fuss to be made we can usually count on him to deliver! Fortunately, right next to the new school is a brand new swimming pool and students get intensive lessons in the winter terms. They also have tennis and basket ball courts and a great athletics program. We had our leverage!!
We drove the kids up to the new school one evening and broke the news. They were both totally fine with it – even Alexander! He never ceases to amaze me, that boy! Just when I think I have him figured out …
We rounded out the month with another trip to the vet! Just after he had finished the ABs from his broken tooth incident he started worrying his paw. He licked and licked and licked it. We could see a wee cut and cleaned it with slightly salty water but still he wouldn’t leave it alone. I took him back to the vet and we discovered that he had a grass seed stuck in his paw. This is really common apparently but only one in ten can be removed without any kind of surgery as the seed gets under the skin and then tracks up and germinates! Ergh!!! Thankfully, our lovely Golden Boy was that one in ten because the vet gave his paw a good pinch and out popped the seed! Thank goodness! Larry got a few liver treats (which he thinks is the reason we go there – the prodding and jabbing is just a necessary evil) and another course of ABs and I got a reminder to check his coat, ears, nose and paws for seeds every night.
So that was November, or what I can remember of it!