Everyday Life in Woollahra

by Petra Bucheli

Weekly Schedule

We do not spend all the time in Australia with excursions. There is also a more or less normal daily life. Konrad works during the week and sometimes also at the weekend.

At home in Switzerland Konrad has a day off on Wednesday, but here we still have more time together. Shortly after Konrad left the house to walk to the office around the corner, the kids wake up. We can start into the morning unhurried as we are not bound to school time.

In the mean time we developed a weekly schedule. Twice a week we go to the Holdsworth playgroup. Holdsworth is a community centre for young to old and mentally disabled people. The playgroup works different than in Switzerland. The biggest difference is that the mam, granny or nanny stays and look after the kids. There is a fence around and no child can just walk away.

There is a main topic each quarter with weekly subtopics. Since the last holidays this are the colours. On some days there is an additional programme, like dancing, gymnastics or singing nursery rhymes. Each family pays a small fee. Also last time I often visited the playgroup. As Erica, a employee of the centre, said my name as I registered on the first visit there. She said there were not that many families visiting the plagroup regularly at that time and as Swiss we were exots, so she could remember. The children like the place and enjoy to go there.

Twice the week we visit the library, once the one of Waverley and once the one of Paddington. We live quite exactly in the middle. They both have a state financed programme with children activities. We visit the one for the age category of Kiara and Jann. In the Waverley Library they tell a short story, then there is a short movie and at the end they can tinker something. In Paddington they tell mainly stories and at the end they can also tinker. Each week there is a different topic. The the older two like the programmes and like to go there. Here they hear more English than in the playgroup.

Once a week we do an excursion. Then we go often to the aquarium, the small Wild Life Zoo, the big Taronga Zoo, the beach or into a museum.

If we stay nearby we normally have lunch together with Konrad and his workmates. Then we buy food at Queen Street. The kids mostly want chips or spaghetti. Jann also tried tuna sushi or sandwich. We adults enjoy chicken in all variations with salad from "Chicken Charly", fish n' chips or Thai food.

In the afternoon I sometimes go into the Centennial Park which is about ten minutes away, go to buy something or we play at home. It is autumn and the days got short, the sun sets at about 17 hours and it gets dark fast. Then it is time to cook and enjoy the dinner. After we bring the kids like at home at 19 hours to bed and enjoy the calm rest of the evening without screaming kids.