Category Archives: UK

Details from our time in the UK

Updates on life and other news!

We are finally back online so, with a bit of luck, we should be able to put posts up more often! (We can but hope!?)

We are all moved into our new house – having said that, our stuff arrives from New Zealand next week and, according to the official documents, there are 72 items coming! Quite where we are going to put all this stuff has yet to be seen (and what we are going to do with Isabel whilst it all gets delivered is another bridge we have yet to cross!) but I’m sure we’ll get through it all eventually – if it all goes quiet for a while, you’ll know it’s because we are drowning amidst a sea of boxes and packing materials!

Isabel gets bigger by the minute and can now say “fish” and “cheese” – she does occasionally use them in context as well, although she did say “cheese” a lot this morning but seemed very pleased when I gave her a piece with her breakfast – perhaps it was a request after all??! She also had to have new shoes yesterday – Mummy felt very guilty to discover that she was wearing 3 and 1/2 G shoes when her feet were measuring 5 and 1/2 F!! In Mummy’s defence, her feet have grown 2 sizes in 2 weeks but that didn’t alleviate the guilt!

The other news, for those who don’t already know, is that the Winchurst clan is set to expand with the arrival of Baby Winch 2 around the end of the year/beginning of next – we apologise for the vagueness but we aren’t entirely sure of the due date and, as we discovered yesterday, this Health Authority doesn’t believe in offering dating scans so we have to wait until the 20 wk scan to find out for sure! With a bit of luck, the midwife will be able to have a squidge of my middle and give me a vague indication of what she thinks – but ti could be a while before we can confirm with any certainty!

Anyway, we will look to keep you posted (no pun intended) of the progress of the expansion of my waistline and the ever increasing size of Isabel!

Our hotel stay is finally over …

Hurrah! Our house purchase went through (at last!) last Thursday and we were finally able to move out of the hotel we’d been staying in for the last six weeks or so. Not that the hotel was bad, it’s just with three of us living in a room the size of … well, the size of a small room, we became a little stir crazy.

We were also able to get all our stuff out of storage on the same day the house completed so were able to go to sleep in our lovely king-size bed with our familiar duvet that Kate could tuck right up to her ears and still keep her feet warm!!

We’ve still got the small matter of about four hundred thousand boxes to unpack (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit!) but it’s great to have our own space again, and for Isabel to be in her own room. (Special thanks to Auntie Catherine for the pink angel lights she bought for Isabel’s room to add that extra je ne sais quoi!)

We are still here!!

Many apologies to those who think we have fallen off the face of the earth – we are still here and yes, we are still living in a hotel which isn’t anywhere near as glamorous as it sounds!

Sadly there isn’t a lot to report – just doing our best to adjust to being in Southampton and getting to grips with the fact that we live here now and that we aren’t just on our holidays!

Once we get settled in a place of own (soon hopefully!) we have plenty of pics to upload and so will bore you to death with those!

Unitl then, at least you know we are alive and well and always glad to hear from people!

Smiles, chocolate and a fight with a cat

We’re currently enjoying the last week of our time before I start work, and the build up to the Easter weekend. We’ve been staying at the Hotel Winchurst in Devon as the rates are very good, and there are no early morning wake up calls (except for those provided by our beautiful daughter who frequently sits in her cot in the morning chatting away merrily to herself, whilst Mummy and Daddy lie as still as possible in the vain hope she won’t realise we’re awake too, so we can squeeze out a few extra moments in bed!)

We’ve got a few photos that we’ll put up into a gallery when we get a chance (including lunch out with Uncle Clive and Auntie Avril, who have recently added to the number of Winchursts living in Holsworthy, and our trip to the Prickly Ball Farm (a hedgehog rescue centre) where Isabel was more interested in the other children, the toys and the poo than she was in animals that were there (still, Mummy enjoyed the animals enough for both of them!)). So for the time being you’ll have to make do with the photos below which, in case you haven’t looked at them yet, are of … yes, you’ve guessed it … Isabel.


This is a close up picture taken, presumably, by Grandma Pam (given it was on her camera!). It shows the beautiful Miss Winchurst posing for the camera!

Mmmmm KitKat!

You give her a KitKat, then turn your back for thirty seconds and look what happens! We’re guessing she liked it! It took us (or should I say it took Kate?!) the best part of half an hour to clean up the mess, and we were finding nearly eaten bits of KitKat wafer for days!!

You should have seen the other guy!

Isabel is a very inquisitive child and loves the fact there are five animals in the Winchurst house (not including the goldfish … or Daddy). Unfortunately, not all these creatures are quite as taken with Isabel as she is with them. A certain bruiser by the name of Charles (ginger pussy cat) decided that he had had enough the other day and (just as Mummy had warned her he would) decided to indicate to Miss Winchurst that he wasn’t happy with her proximity. The result: a cut on the nose, a LOT of tears, and the first of what I’m sure will be many plasters over the years to come!

Good news – at least for the Bank Manager!

Just wanted to post a quick note to let you all know that, following my interview last Thursday afternoon, I had a phone call on Friday evening to tell me that I was successful and they will be offering me the job.


Earning again. The bank manager will be pleased!

Everything is still to be finalised, and agreed in writing, but I have agreed everything verbally with them and I start on Monday 10th April. (It is just by coincidence that I have since realised that, thanks to Easter, my first two weeks back at work will be four day weeks!) They have kindly agreed to put us up (probably in a hotel initially) for the first month, which will give us a chance to find somewhere to move whilst our house in NZ sells, after which we’ll look for somewhere to buy.

For all you Stalkers…………

…….an update on how things are going in not so sunny Britain!!

Having spent most of our 1st week in the “Frozen North” (which it quite literally was but that was fine with us….nice to get back to the cooler climate!) we headed south at the weekend to Dan’s parents’ house in Devon.

We arrived on the Saturday night (after a much shorter 6hr drive than the 8 1/2hr one at Xmas!) just in time for Mothering Sunday the following day – this was celebrated with a Winchurst family lunch (including Dan’s Uncle Clive and Aunty Avril) at the local pub.

On Monday we went to Liskeard (via Bodmin Moor) for a bit of nosey round and then on Tuesday we ventured to Port Isaac – for those of you who watched “Doc Martin” when it was on, Port Isaac is the real name for the fictional Portwenn and so we were able to see a lot of the places we were familiar with from the show.

Wednesday we packed up the car and headed towards Eastleigh in time for Dan’s interview on the Thursday – we stayed in the “New Forest Lodge Hotel” which was actually in Landford, 9 miles out of Salisbury on the A36 (in case you were wondering!).

Thursday was D-Day (or should that be I-Day?) and whilst Dan was busy, Isabel and I wandered round Eastleigh, looking in shop windows and investigating the house prices (just for future reference!). Dan thinks the interview went well, so it’s just a case of waiting to hear back from them.

We are now back in Devon for the next few days – we’ll have a better idea of where the wind will take us next week once we have a decision on the job front.

Isabel has continued to be snuffly and, therefore, pretty grumpy at times and she definitely seems to be going off being in the car-seat for any length of time – I’m doing my best to entertain her (and let’s face it, I am pretty funny!?) but sometimes it just isn’t enough and the only thing that will placate her is the chance to get out and run round like a loon until she gets grumpy again and falls asleep!

The eagle has landed

Following approximately 42 hours of travelling, we finally arrive in the Lake District, where we will be staying for the next few days.

Unfortunately, as mentioned in the previous post, Isabel’s sniffles developed into a full blown cold, meaning she is very bunged up and feeling somewhat sorry for herself. This meant the 13 1/2 hour flight from Singapore to London was very, very long and tiring. It was also not helped by the fact that the woman sitting in the seat in front of Isabel had her seat back as far as it would go for virtually the entire leg. This meant that even with her short legs, Isabel couldn’t straighten them so settled instead for kicking the back of the seat causing the woman to look round and frown on a regular basis.

Not having flown with Singapore airlines before we were expecting great things but I, for one, was rather disappointed. I had heard great things about the quality of the customer service but apart from the hot towels (which I have to admit were rather refreshing) and the amenity kit including a toothbrush and toothpaste, I wasn’t particularly impressed. And I have to say although the seats weren’t too bad as far as comfort was concerned, the lack of space between your seat and the one in front was a real pain. When the guy sitting in front of me reclined his seat back (which he did approximately six nanoseconds after the fasten seat belt signs had been switched off) there were only about eight inches between my chest and the back of his seat. This meant it was very difficult to see the screen on the entertainment system, and it’s a good job I didn’t want to use my laptop as there is no way I could have angled the screen to see it.

Still, we landed, at last, at just after 5 o’clock in the morning, and happily made our way off the plane. The Munchkin rucksack, which we’d checked in at the gate, was taken by mistake to the main baggage carousel rather than being left as you get off the plane. A very helpful Heathrow baggage person, though, went and collected it for us and brought it to where we were standing. He then took the car seat up to the baggage area for us, to save us having to carry it ourselves. All this meant that, although we had to wait 10 minutes or so to get the rucksack, it did mean we were then able to head straight to the baggage reclaim, pick up our stuff and head straight through customs and immigration in no time.

The temperature when we left Wellington had been around 18-20 degrees, and as previously noted, was 30 degrees in Singapore. When we landed at Heathrow it was …. 2 degrees!! However, we were both glad to get back to the cold, especially as the plane felt it was about 50 degrees at times (which didn’t help Munchkin’s mood, as she gets quite irritable when she’s too hot).

We left Heathrow and picked up our hire car (good job we hired an estate with all the baggage we had!) and made the journey up to the Lake District, which is where we are at the moment. The journey was extremely straight forward, with the roadworks on the way fairly limited, and proving fairly feeble at slowing us down!

It wasn’t long, and it started raining. Oh well – two degrees, grey and raining. Welcome back to the UK, Winchursts!!!

Christmas and New Year

Some of you might be thinking that we Winchursts had fallen off the face of the earth – not so I’m afraid, we have merely been in the UK for the past 3 and a half weeks and were keeping it secret from various bits of the family!

We arrived on 21st December at Heathrow feeling fresher than usual as we had managed to upgrade to Business class – lie flat beds do wonders for your jetlag (unless of course your name is Isabel…..)!
We picked up our hire car and headed up to the Lake District to spend Christmas with the Radcliffe clan – needless to say, everyone was VERY pleased to see us……..I think the fact we had a small person in tow helped! We had a great time – the only problems were that Isabel’s body clock went out of the window for the 1st few days so sleep was limited and we also discovered that she has an issue with beards……..not great news for my poor Dad – she did let him pick her up eventually!

On 30th December, we packed up the car and headed to Devon for New Year with the Winchursts. This was particularly exciting as H and Neil had no idea we were coming – and were well and truly surprised when we walked in the door! We had a lovely time taking day trips out and Isabel particularly enjoyed meeting Auntie H’s horse and the sheep and water voles at her work.

We left Devon on 8th January and began making our way to London via Cardiff, Bristol and Fairford arriving in London on 11th January – many thanks to everyone who put us up (or should that be “put up with us”?), fed and watered us……..we really appreciated it!

There are HUNDREDS of photos to go up – with a bit of luck, we’ll get round to posting a new gallery in the next day or so!