Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Lot Can Happen in 2 Months...

I've finally found the mental strength to update the blog. It's only been 1.5 months since I last posted, but it feels like a lifetime. So much has happened and it all felt as if it was happening in slow motion - like a car crash.

I guess the big "event" (for want of a better word) was kicked off by a chance remark to the doc as I left a regular check up on 12th September. "Could you have a quick look at this Doc?" I asked as I went to leave his room. I showed him a small patch of skin on my chest that had become rough and raised and which had doubled in size over the last 2 weeks. Within 2 mins he had taken a look, mentioned the C word and booked an appointment to have it removed. I was shellshocked and ended up just nodding and leaving. Boy did I suddenly feel very alone and scared. My first thought was to call my Mum and Dad but it was only 5am in the UK so I called upon my forum friends at ENZ for support until such time as I could call my parents. The ENZ forum has been such a great help throughout the whole immigration period, and continues to be a source of friendship and advice even now.

To cut a long story short, I had two patches removed after showing the Doc another area on my arm that I'd had concerns about - to be safe he removed both. Then the waiting - an awful week passed slowly and the results came back. The arm biopsy was nothing more than a derma-fibroid and the chest patch had been sun damage but no signs of cancer. WHEW!

I've always been a sun worshipper, and have olive skin that tans at the mere whiff of sunlight, but since we've been in NZ I'm a total nag to people who don't put on suncream. But the damage I'm now seeing was probably done 10-20 yrs ago.

For a while I felt very conscious about being in the sun but now I'm back to normal again and just more vigilant in the shower! That was a scary time for us both, poor Woz didn't know what to think, but we're past it and boy did it give us a kick up the arse. We are mortal!

Since that day and my last post we've also had the kitchen ripped out and most of the new one is now in place. We are waiting for the granite tops to be cut and then the sink/taps/floor can go in and the finishing can be done. Hopefully it willbe finished by mid November! I hope so as I don't have any running water in the kitchen at the moment!

The whole house is in chaos with the kitchen in the lounge and the kitchen being half built!

So what else have we been up to? Well the vineyard has been totally pruned and the canes laid. We had a lady come in to tutor us and she'll come back every stage of the way to tutor us in the skills to keep the vineyard running and get the best from the vines.

The garden has sprung to life and is keeping us very busy at the weekends (keeps me out of the shops!!). I went all flower power last month and collected up some of the garden blooms...

We've started fencing the chooks in as they have taken to roaming the garden and managed to decimate my veggie patch within 20 mins of finding it! ARGH...

The spa area is being spruced up ready for summer (bring your togs folks!) and the BBQ is being overhauled. The grass is growing at a rate of knots and so are the weeds (bring your trowels too!).

Sheffield/Waddington now have a market committee and we hope to open the Malvern Market by the end of the year! Watch this space!

Oh, and the other news is that I have got a jobette at the local gas station in Sheffield!! I work from 4pm - 7pm every weekday and I shut up shop/garage! It's very laid back and pays better than the Library!!! I'm enjoying it so far. Only in my 3rd week!

It's Nor'wester season and the gales started this week - hot, dry winds from over the Alps - I quite like them but the locals say that divorce and suicide rates rise during the Nor'wester season!

I've also managed to find a sponsor for my column, so I'll get paid now! It's a local company called Malvern Glass.

Mum and Dad arrive on 10 December - can't wait! It'll whizz by and I've got soooo much housework to do!! Hah!

Well, that's stretched my writing muscles a bit, I'd better do some proper work now!

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At 1:32 PM, Blogger Brooke&Kyle said...

Hi Helen,
I've been following your blog for some time now, since we'll be moving to NZ in December, and wanted to tell you about ours- www.crosspollinating.blogspot.com. I'm so glad you're healthy and back to the stuff of daily life. We hope to visit your beautiful farm and meet you in person at some point!
Cheers, Brooke

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Hun
Well done to both of you for finding the strength to get through this troubling time away.
Keep up the good work in the garden and we'll be comparing veggies patches in Nov/Dec when we are in the new house.

Mine's bigger than your's ner ner ne ner ner!

D x x & G x x

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloody hell! How scary for you, but thank goodness it was all fine. Beware the curse of the Ozone layer. We loved the pic of the spring flowers - not too much grows when you live on a glacial moraine.... Glad you have reigned in those egg-laying rebels, but just remember Animal Farm. Hey, and the kitchen - wow! Love, Maz and Mark xx

At 3:03 PM, Blogger jonesey said...

Hi Helen

The Jones family have finally landed on the North Shore and settling in as we noticed you had posted on our blog site. www.go-kiwi.blogspot.com

Hope all is well just settling into the RNZAF life over here and family loving it.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Helen,
Thanks for sharing your experiences! I found your blog via the http://www.emigratenz.org/forum/ site.

I see you are an admin/mod there, and I am trying to create an account there, with no luck. We are moving to NZ in 07 so desperately would like to participate on the forum...

could you please email me: osmophilia@gmail.com
thanks in advance!

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Shagen said...

All the best in your new job. Good to hear you are doing okay after the visit to the doc.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Helen, wish I had time for gardening! mines full of weeds!!!

I am going to update my blog soon but sufice to say, start saving your wages - Queenstown was Way Expensive - BUT FUN!



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