Sorry about the lack of posts lately. After 9 years of blogging I have apparently outdone my free space allowance so I cannot put photos up until I upgrade which I will do shortly. In the interim….here is what has been happening.

For the last month and a half or so I have been deep in the midst of a couple of huge mountains of paperwork which have kept me running around like a blue arsed fly. The first one was for what’s called an NVL2 Security Clearance with the Australian Govt. It is a security clearance that allows me to work inside certain govt installations and I need this as a precursor for my next job.I cannot say too much about that but it is a fantastic opportunity IF it all comes off. I say IF as there are many several important steps needed to get there and I am only halfway. Due to the nature of the screening for the NVL2 , I have had to collate many documents and then get them certified and have statements witnessed etc etc. Most of the standard docs I had in my possession but there were many others needed that meant I had to approach old employers and landlords etc for statements, friends for character witnesses etc. This is now firmly in the hands of the powers that be in Canberra so now I sit and wait and pray it all goes OK which i think it should as I have no skeletons in the closet.

The second one is for Leakhana’s partner visa which will allow her to live in Australia. No immediate plans to go back yet but rather this is just a preparation for a what if scenario in the future. Would you believe me if I told you it cost AUD$7000 ? It used to be under $4000 and then Kevin Rudd upped it. Again…many of the same documents as the NVL2 above but then also a huge amount of supporting evidence on the veracity of our ongoing relationship.Luckily we have kept many of the invitations and cards and records of our time together plus we have thousands of photos etc etc but it has all taken time. I have finally finished completing and compiling and the submission is near 300 pages and an inch thick. Apparently it can take up to 18 months for final approval but it will be good to get it lodged because once it is in, even if the govt decided to change the rules…..we will already be in the system. We really should have done it years ago !

Both submissions are massively important for our family and the next 5 years + and will be real milestones once BOTH are hopefully achieved. With the exception of one Khmer company, everyone I have had to ask for assistance has been extremely helpful and I am very grateful to everyone that took part ; Paul for his patient witnessing, printing and stat decs, John Mc for stat dec, Chris The Gov for witnessing, JohnW for witnessing, RobJ for references, Felgerkarb for references, Raz for his excellent and FREE visa advice ( whiskey is coming mate ) , our landlord Nary for a reference, my kid’s schools and ANZRoyal Bank for supporting letters, Mobitel for phone records and so on and so on. Biggest shout out to my Father and mother for having our back on both.

Other than that..well….it has been 4 months not working so when I have not been tearing my hair out with the above  I am out at Waratah every other day almost where I find great solace in gardening and watching things grow . Just put in 20 little papaya trees which should yield some nice fruit relatively quickly. Good thing about papaya is I am told you get two crops off it and then it dies so you can pull it out and start again. We have NO space left for large permanent trees so the papaya suits us well. I also transplanted some cassava that was left over on the block behind us from their last crop. Not sure we will get many yams from it but it looks nice ! So now we have ; Coconuts, Mango, Bananas, Cassava, Papaya, Sugar Cane, Pineapples, Sapote, chilli , lemongrass, Basil and Khmer lemons growing . Not bad.

Mum is now in possession of her male puppy which as yet is unnamed . Leakhana’s brother Danay wanted to name it Bo Bo and I told him that in the West that is a clowns name and I would take it back if he called it that. Paula( Leakhana’s sister) took a male pup and has called it Hero which i think is an awesome name. I was intially a bit concerned about giving her a pup as the males will turn out to be HUGE like their dad and if you do not train a GSD you can have issues plus she lives in a townhouse with a small garden . However she brought it over last night and the pup is looking amazing. Ears are almost up fully and it was beautifully clean and soft and coming on the call etc and it has a great character. Paula tells me Tra loves the little guy and is forever washing and cleaning it etc and it actually gets the run of two houses as they back onto their parent-in-laws house and they have removed a sections of the wall. Very happy now they have a German Shepherd. Paul took the beautiful little female that we loved so much and had planned to give it to his brother in law out in the village however his family have fallen in love and I think they are going to keep her for themselves which is a great move. Chris took a female and has named her Lyla and I am told she is coming along fine. So god forbid we ever get together with all the dogs. It will be a German Shepherd love fest !!

Kids are well and looking forward to Xmas of course.Leakhana put lots of decorations up around the house and garden and they are now counting the days.

So ho ho ho to you and yours and I will work on the photo issue.

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