Old Blog Post, Posted: So…5 years hey?

Here’s another post tucked away in drafts for all these years.  It was written on August 6th, 2011.  I never finished writing it, but I still don’t want to lose it.  Speaking of ‘losing’, I miss you Irene!

Being the ditz I am I forgot my blog’s 5 year anniversary….oops!

Given I have only one regular visitor (heya Irene) and a few stray lurkers (hey you lovely lurkers you!) I don’t think a mammoth retrospective post is in order, but it does kind of blow me away that 5 years have passed since I started this thing.

Originally this blog had a different name, was on Blogger and was a bit baby heavy (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  I don’t quite know what my plans were when I started out but from the get go I guess this was a diary more than anything else.

In my very first blog post, the boys were teeny tiny (and me too).  It blows me away how quickly these kiddos have gone from babies and toddlers to Primary Schoolers with opinions on anything and everything.

We’ve all changed over the past 5 years.  Hubby was managing a retail store back then and working an I.T job on the side.  5 years on he’s been working for an investment bank in London for over a year in I.T.   My accomplishments are less obvious and flashy and are mostly thanks to having this blog to verbalise (in writing) my thoughts and fears.  The move from Brisbane to London made a huge impact on my personal growth too.

I guess ultimately as a SAHM the only way to measure your success is to look at where you’ve guided your family to over the years.  I don’t think I’ve been the best mother or homemaker in the world (I like to think that if I put off cleaning those cob webs until October then I can just stick a bit of fake Halloween webs over the top and call it masterful decorating) but I think our kids are turning out okay.  I think all their horizons have been broadened with an international move and all the sights we’ve seen over the past 2 years.

Master 10 has finally been given the support in his schooling that he needed all along but Queensland schools just couldn’t provide him.  By moving here our kids education has come along in leaps and bounds and that had never been the case in the past.


An Introduction to Me

Welcome to Chaotically Rambling.  I’m Jenny a 34 year old Mum of 3 (almost) teenage boys!  Aussie expat who lived in the UK for almost a decade and currently living in Frankfurt, Germany.

This blog has existed in some shape or form since 2006.  As you can imagine it’s focus has changed a lot from year-to-year.  It began when I was a 22 year old Mum to 3 small children.  We then relocated our family of 5 from a sleepy Australian city to the United Kingdom and I loved to blog about our adventures exporing London.  As I grew up and changed I began sharing my views on the world around me and to discuss my issues with body image/weight loss.  At some point I split my blog in two and you can find my Food Blog over at chaoticallyme.com.  In 2012 and 2013 Chaotically Rambling became a journal to document my memories of childhood abuse.

I underestimated how long this journey of healing would be (lifelong) and the toll it would take on me.  I stopped blogging and spent 2013 and 2014 ‘doing real world stuff’ rather than spending 90% of my time in my own head (very useful for blogging).  I think it was an important part of my personal development, though I’m not proud of just how much money and time I spent ‘exploring’ and ‘playing’ in those years.  We joined various book clubs, spent a ridiculous amount of money exploring my theatre addiction.  I lost a lot of weight, bought all the clothes I’d always wanted to wear but had never had the money or the figure for.

I realised how empty achieving ‘the skinny’ I’d thought would fix all my problems really was.

Then the party ended when we bought an old Victorian home in East London.  We had been living it up in a nice, spacious flat in London beside a tube station and walking distance (for us) to Borough Market and other parts of Central London that we loved to explore.  Our house in East London was in a concrete jungle by comparison with no fun walking areas that didn’t involve busy smog filled roads en route.  The neighbourhood was very different and our lifestyle changed to being mostly about ‘the house’ and putting up with an area we hated for the sake of our future.  The house was over 3 stories but the rooms were all small and run down and we spent most of 2014 scooting around boxes of crap and trying to make the house somewhat liveable.

We learned a lot about home maintenance and the mysteries of what’s really behind those walls and that toilets and bathroom sinks aren’t magic!

Fast forward to 2017 and we had completed renovating our 117 year old home, had sent half our possessions back home to Australia to be stored in my Mother-in-law’s garage and the other half we loaded up into a 17 seater van and drove along with the whole family (3 kids, 2 cats and 1 hamster) to Frankfurt, Germany.  We listed our house for sale hopeful that by November 2017 we’d be packed up and moving back home to Australia.

Unfortunately for the first time in our adult lives no amount of strong will, long sleepless nights working and determination could control how 2017 would play out for our family.  Brexit fears had hit the UK and we had a series of misfortunes with buyers (chains falling through and a charming gentleman who tried to Gazunder us!).  Fate stepped in and the house didn’t end up selling until February 2018.

2017 for me was one of the hardest years yet.  It was the hardest on our marriage to date and to be honest I wasn’t sure if we’d make it through.

Germany did not end up being a fairytale stopover between my two home countries.  Some of that is on ‘Germany’ and some of that is on ‘Me’.

I’m looking forward to brushing off the cobwebs and starting to write again.  I’ve no idea if I’m still capable but I’ll give it a go!

I’ll be moving over the posts I made in 2015 when I attempted to start blogging again (and failed).  I’m trying to consolidate my blogging world so I can start over with all my thoughts in one place.



I’m absolutely awful at drawing so when I’m stuck in one spot half-listening (in this case waiting for someone to repair our refrigerator) my doodling to pass the time takes the form of gibberish words.

Here’s my doodle from about 30 minutes ago whilst I impatiently waited for the fridge to be fixed so I could a) get more food and b) sit on my butt in front of the computer and read mindless drivel on facebook without judgement from the guy working hard in the kitchen next door.  This is meaningless drivel for sure but has the advantage that from a distance it looks like you’re writing something important on that notebook in your lap.

Look at all the scones sitting pretty on the plate
Of porcupine quills, above the
Steaming dollop of raging teardrops of souls that have lost all will
To proceed on the path of eternally monotonous milling about
Within the walls of the teetering castle of forgotten dreams
Deep beneath the folds of loosening skin of the unwillingly-aged bodies
Of the young of mind but long of days
Put your hand in the air if you are apparently bright but deceptively pale
Lacking clarity but full of inane thought  

Red Coat Lovin’

This year will be my third winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the blankets of snow, dorky hats, colourful scarves and cuddly wool coats still thrill me to no end.

This year I’m feeling the Red!   Coat shopping is so not happening this year but a bit of window shopping never hurt anyone.  Join me in my drool-fest.

 Coat #1 (£99 from Marks and Spencer)

#2 (£650 from Burberry)

Coat #3 (£100 from Debenhams)

#4 (£1895.00 from Burberry)

#5 (£90 from Next)

Coat #6 (£69.99 on Ebay)

#7 (£65 from Debenhams)

#8 (£29.99 on Ebay)

#9 (£85 from Marks and Spencer)

#10 (£430 from Jaeger)


Random · The Kidlets

Venting About the Seasonal Flu Jabs

I think it’s been firmly established that I think the U.K’s NHS is all kinds of awesome.  In fact I have zero complaints about the level of care Master 7 received when his appendix ruptured and even weeks later when his bowels became obstructed.  My hubby has visited the hospital several times for 2 different conditions, one of which he had minor surgery (free of charge) and has always received excellent care.  I think the affordability of medicines especially for pensioners, children and those going through hard financial times (i.e – free!) is brilliant.  Walking into your local GP and out again without paying a cent or having to sign any forms is also very reassuring.

With that in mind, I have a complaint.  A big fat, stinking complaint NHS!

Try as I might I cannot see any possible way of my kids receiving the Seasonal Flu Vaccine this year and I’m pissed.  Now I am not asking for a free vaccine.  I completely understand that people in what the NHS deems the “at risk” group should be the only ones getting their jabs for free.  I’m willing to PAY.  I want to PAY!

Quick back track to why I’m dead set on the family getting the flu jab this year.  I am all for children building up their immune systems.  It is part of childhood after all.  Master 10 spent an entire 2 years when he began daycare (aged 2) with a snotty nose.  I am not exaggerating.  His nose was a squishy green tap of snot for 2 WHOLE YEARS.  I had him at an ear, nose and throat specialist who naturally discovered he was perfectly fine just because it had gone on for such a long time.

I am all for children building up immunity naturally.  Master 5 on our trip home to London yet again “sampled” every germ he could find (bottom of your shoe anyone?) and was up vomiting last night.  As ridiculously tired as I was (I may or may not have slept through his second bout of vomiting, bad Mummy alert!) I couldn’t help but think, “gee, we’ve just enabled our kiddo to sample a strain of something-or-rather that only international travel at a young age could allow…yay to us”.  So why then do I want to get the flu vaccine for my kids this year?

Plain and simple…it’s down to exhaustion.

We’ve lived in the U.K for 2 full cold and flu seasons and we’ve gotten the flu two years in a row.  Maybe it’s that the flu strains in this part of the world are slightly different to what our bodies have encountered in the past or  just bad luck,  but honestly we’ve never been sicker.  The first year was when the Swine Flu hype happened so they weren’t handing antivirals out willy nilly.  I was given the green light for Tamiflu but put it off until it was too late to take it (stupid!).  The second year I didn’t think it was possible but I was even sicker than the year before.

Add into the mix the numerous colds that are inevitably going to make it home with the kids every year, it was a miserable few months.

Hubby will get the flu jab through work (lucky bugger didn’t get sick with the rest of us last year) and as an adult I can just pay at a local pharmacy for them to give me the vaccine but under 18’s who aren’t in the “at risk” group are plum out of luck.

I’m not the only one with this concern.  Here’s an article from the Daily Telegraph earlier this year.  Here’s a follow up article detailing the regulations that are limiting GP’s and Pharmacists from offering the vaccine to healthy under 16’s.

I have the utmost respect for the NHS but on this particular issue I’m flabbergasted that there is no solution to my dilemma.  Even Bupa (a private health insurer)’s website states that their private GP’s do not “offer flu vaccinations to under 18 year olds as we are not licensed by the Care Quality Commission to do so.

Australia’s medicare does not live up to the U.K’s NHS in so many areas but at least back home if you didn’t qualify for the free flu vaccine you could pay $12 to your GP and have the jab done.

These vaccine’s are approved for use in children and in 2009 they placed under 5’s in the “at risk” category because of Swine Flu concerns.  Unfortunately for Master 5 he had already had the flu when they approved him for the jab but my point is that if its safe for the elderly and the sick why can’t a private doctor give my child the flu vaccine?  Especially when I’m willing to pay any reasonable amount to get it done.