Well, who would have believed that it would be this time of the year again so quickly…technically, of course, no quicker than any other year but obviously as I’m getting older (& seemingly busier!!) time does appear to be speeding past at a slightly increased rate…

On my return from Oz – I stepped into the “speed zone”…work was full-on and my job description, which now does not include “pool ornament” was increasing in dot points and pages on daily basis…added to that, we had, rather I had, to find a new house as the owner of our “mansion” wanted to let the renovators stay in the house while they did the work…and from the reports from neighbours, Ron & Jean, are obviously having a damned good time there with their kids & wives & everyone…

Anyway I did eventually find a place – only around the corner – then that fell through due to the owner & the agent arguing about how much rent we had to pay and many months bond we had to give…

Renting

The usual practice here with renting is…you find an agent – they find a house/apartment etc, the agent writes a contract that both parties sign…then you pay 1 month rent to the agent & never see them again, one month bond & one month rent in advance to the owner & have him/her to deal with if anything goes wrong etc in the house.

The landlord, Rishi, at the “Villa” was great – very easy going & accommodating…the landlord, Sita, at the “big house/office” was a nightmare…dropping in unannounced, sitting in our office using our computers & internet, complaining about every little tiny thing…our new landlord, Herold, is a nice man but very very paranoid about security & a bit slack at getting things organised to be fixed etc…Yes – Murphy’s Law at work again…move into a newly built house, that was used occasionally for weekends & holidays, and a week after we move in all the essential things stopped working properly – the hot water system broke, the two air cons upstairs had a fit & died & the pool filter wouldn’t work…we had no rubbish collection for nearly 3 weeks but that’s sorted now…now just waiting for the air cons to be fixed – and before Mum gets here for Xmas!!!

The new place is MUCH smaller than the Villa but quite nicely located next to the Legends Hotel grounds. Problem was in moving to a smaller place, the animals had to get used to being in each other’s space a bit more…and now – hmmm it’s happened again…we have another 4 legged creature in the family…

A couple of weeks ago some Aussie friends of ours, Judy & Dave, found 3 little puppies in a sack thrown in the bushes & of course, Judy couldn’t leave them there to die so brought them back to their place…Already having 2 dogs & 3 cats, she asked if I could “foster” one…the runt with the broken tail…which I agreed to – and brought her home…and now Daisy Dog has joined the family with Holly Dog, Ivy Cat & Cifa Cat. She is only about 10 weeks now & gets along very well with all of them – Cifa is making an extra special effort to be friends & even glutton Holly will leave some of h Save & Exit er biscuits for the puppy to eat. Daisy is pretty quiet and only seems to “growl” when she’s playing with the cats…Of course, now I really must stop increasing the menagerie but it’s so hard when you see so many abandoned puppies & kittens – thrown in bushes, buried in boxes, left on the side of the road to fend for themselves…it really is heartbreaking!

Apart from the house-moving trauma & increasing pet numbers – life has been just all about work really…

Work

We have really settled into the new office, which is in an old homestead on the Sugar Estate in Labourdonnais. The walls are nearly 2 foot thick and made of the volcanic rock from around the island. We also now have proper desks to work at and office chairs (instead of wooden planks for desks & kitchen chairs)…and we even have 3 new staff…

We had Senthil (expat from India) join us at the start of Nov & two mid twentys Mauritian girls started beginning of Dec. Everyone has fitted in very well – their English is very good and their sense of humour is very quickly adapting to the good humoured stirring that goes on. We are looking at recruiting another 2 employees by mid Jan & another 3 by mid next year….so we now have to look at getting another office “house” close to the present one.

My job has been very challenging…I have had to learn about Mauritian tax, about employment rules & regs, some basic accounting  & bookkeeping and all of it involves lots & lots & lots of paperwork!!! It has been quite stimulating to learn new things – although my frustration levels (& P’s, in trying to explain) may not reflect that…but with it all – I am really looking forward to the Xmas break (we shut the office from 24 Dec to 4 Jan)…

This Xmas, we will have a crowded house, with my Mum, Son 2 (who’s 6), and another friend of mine from Karratha, Sue Leith – who is currently on a world trip…as well as the other 2 ex-karrathaites, Ron & Jean for Xmas lunch…and now we have an oven, we can cook all sorts of Xmasy things (as great as the Villa was – it only had a cook top – although I did manage to cook lasagne in the BBQ)…

So on that note…

To all my wonderful friends – who I have missed incredibly – I wish you & all your family a wonderful Xmas.

Take the time to appreciate all that you have and all that you have been lucky to have had.

Spend a moment to send out good thoughts to others as I will do for you!

Be happy & safe…

See you sometime in 2010!

Lxx