Well, I know I have been very remiss in not updating our blog for so long! Not a lot terribly exciting has happened, life has just been plodding along and we have continued to settle in. I did get a new job… and sinusitis and chilblains. Both were a new experience for me. The chilblains were in early February and I first noticed my toes were swollen. There didn’t seem to be anything else wrong with them so I ignored it. After a few days I noticed they were quite red, and the skin was shiny and dry. After perhaps a week I googled ‘red swollen toes’ (or something similar) and the link to the NHS page on chilblains was one of the first results. Its symptoms exactly matched what I had experienced, except I’d not had any itching.
That changed rather soon. I think it was either that night or the next night I noticed mild irritability in my toes (chilblains itch when you take them into warmer temperatures, so at night under the blankets they warmed up and got itchy). Within two nights they were so itchy they were waking me up in the middle of the night. Fortunately I still had the eurax I brought over from Australia and that fixed the problem pronto. For the next three nights I euraxed my toes before bed and had no problems. I am used to having cold toes and fingers, so walking around home bare-foot without the heaters on (the flat is warm enough that we have only rarely needed the heaters) my toes didn’t feel any colder than they might on a cool evening in Townsville. I learnt my lesson though so have kept socks, tights or ugg boots on at all times to keep my toes warm and the chilblains disappeared soon enough.
The sinusitis was miserable, I had a terrible cold for a few days which morphed into a two or three week bout of sinusitis, complete with aching teeth.The NHS website came to my rescue again when I googled something along the lines of ‘sore teeth with a cold’ and one of the first results was the NHS page on sinus infections! Again the symptoms matched my symptoms pretty much perfectly… who needs doctors hey?? It said although sinusitis could last for several weeks I should go to the doctor if my symptoms didn’t begin improving after 7 days. Fortunately once into the second week the symptoms were easing and once into the third week they were virtually gone. You would not believe how fast I went through a box of tissues! I have another cold now and am really hoping it doesn’t turn into another bout of sinusitis!
At the beginning of my cold we spent a weekend in Bedford, just north of London. Originally the plan was to use a voucher we bought for a birds of prey experience at a falconry, however they had to cancel the booking due to the bad weather we had the week prior. As our hotel booking was not refundable we decided to go anyway. Bedford was nice but I wasn’t in much of a mood to explore the town much, but we had a look through their markets and enjoyed dinner at the restaurant attached to our hotel.
We are currently in the middle of a month of outreach events at church, and on a wider scale, in the UK, called ‘A Passion for Life’. It is a national event with churches all over the country participating. We had David Cook from the Sydney Missionary Bible College speak at a dinner event and church service for us, and I believe he spoke at several other APFL events around London. I heard him speak at my very first AFES NTE and it was wonderful to chat to him a bit more when he sat at our table for dessert at the dinner event, and then again after church, and especially good to hear another Australian accent! At the dinner event he spoke on ‘Why does God allow suffering’ and on Sunday about ‘Is there life after death’. We also held a women’s afternoon tea on International Women’s Day where a lady who works for TEAR in women’s programs came and spoke on what Jesus thinks about women. We also had a clothes swap and a stall raising funds for a women’s charity (which I don’t remember the name of!). I took lamingtons for a bit of Australian flavour as it was International Women’s Day – there were none left by the end! (Although I will admit I ate a few of them!)
We are also both delighted by the improving weather. Days are getting longer – it is now still broad daylight when I leave work (instead of being dark at 3:30), and the sun doesn’t set until close to 6:30. Temperatures are rising and I now normally only go out with two layers instead of three, and often wear short sleeved shirts underneath. Indeed the temperature has even hit 19 degrees once or twice in the last two weeks (!) although the maximums normally hover at around 13 – 15 degrees and minimums aren’t getting much below 8 or 9 degrees. We have been to some local parks when the weather is nice and taken some bird seed to feed the ducks!
Both Andre and I finish our contracts shortly – Andre in 2 weeks and me in 3. After that Andre’s parents come to stay with us for the weekend before they leave on a tour of continental Europe, and we will head off on a campervan road trip around Scotland (or as much of it as we can see in 2 weeks!) with Christine who will be on swatvac. We will then head over to Turkey in time for Anzac Day and a (self-planned) tour around the western half of the country. I am particularly excited about going to Anzac Cove for the Anzac Day dawn service, seeing Ephesus and a hot air balloon ride over the bizarre landscape of Cappadocia!