Home for Summer

January 25, 2018 at 12:28 pm (Australia)

I’m writing this while watching Annie with Banyu.  We have two days off due to snow!  It doesn’t snow much here so everybody is in chaos mode.  All the local school have been closed for today and tomorrow, and we have followed suit.  Perfect time for me to pdate my blog.  🙂

IMG_6339For the second year in a row I ventured back home to Australia for Christmas and a slice of summer in the middle of the Chinese winter.  I loved catching up with people, lazing about in the sun and simply being home.  It was busy as usual… off the plane and straight to a school catch up in Cheltenham Park.  This time around I was pretty good at not overdoing it with catch ups.  It was really good to have time for me and family.

Unfortunately, the first night home ended up being quite dramatic.  We had a family incident that really threw me and ended up with a visit to the hospital.  Everything has worked out now but it was definitely a reminder at how quickly health issues can happen and the cost of living overseas.  As a result, mum and I spent a lot of time together over the weeks I was home which was perfect.

IMG_6358Christmas was a family affair.  Dad’s for Christmas Eve and both breakfast and an early dinner at mum’s.  Santa came and mum did a traditional turkey with all the trimmings, including Yorkshire Puddings!  It was lovely having all four Sleeth’s together for Christmas dinner as well as my sister in law Sharne and my niece Mya.  It wouldn’t really be a Sleeth Christmas without a ring-in so James’ flatmate Gregor rounded off the meal.

A highlight was Bob’s presents of random costumes to the boys.  Suddenly we had a Gnome, an Indian, Elvis and Superman in our midst!  Welcome to Christmas at the Sleeths!


The biggest highlight though was Michael and Erin’s wedding.  It was a beautiful day for the perfect wedding and I am pleased as punch to have welcomed Erin to the family.  Us girls are slowly multiplying, FOUR lady Sleeths!  Yahoo!  The night was perfect and I really enjoyed spending time with Paula, Charlie and finally meeting James’ girlfriend Pip.

Of course, the best bit of heading home is my gorgeous niece Mya.  She is picture perfect and so cute.  I love that she knows who I am and I can never tire from her smile.  Next time I’m home they’ll be another Sleeth to meet, which just means I need to get home more often!



P.s  More photos?


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Winter in Melbourne

August 24, 2017 at 6:05 pm (Australia) (, , , )

This year I decided to swap my summer holidays for some winter home time.  I hadn’t been home for eight Melbourne winters!  It was quite a challenge packing as I wasn’t exactly sure how cold it was going to get.  It’s funny how easily you can become out of touch with your own home city.IMG_5073

I kept a pretty low profile back home and in fact, most of the time when I rang they were surprised I was even home.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to see everybody and I didn’t get in touch with everybody.  It’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s just that I needed time for myself too.

The trip began with two musicals one night after the other!  I saw the Book of Mormons with Erica on Wednesday and then Aladdin with mum and Annie on Thursday.  I loved both of them, but the Book of Mormons really made me laugh.  The choreography, the story line and the songs were just fabulous.  To top it off, I know the man playing the General as he is married to a friend of mine.  It really was a wonderful evening.

I was lucky enough to be able to play four games of hockey while I was home.  God I miss it!  I was a bit rusty but slowly I could feel the old ‘Top Sleeth” coming out and I absolutely loved having a run round with Lis and Sue.  The club was brilliant with allowing me to play and be a part of the action while I was home, I just wish I could also be around for finals!

IMG_5091I headed down to Hobart for a couple of days to escape Melbourne and catch up with family.  My brother James was on placement there and I stayed with my Uncle Charlie and his partner Paula.  It was guilt free movie watching, reading, sleeping with no need to catch up with anybody.  🙂  Paula and I went and visited the Mawson’s Hut replica on mum’s suggestion and of course we ate at Franks!  I also got to see my Aunty Jane after many years.

IMG_5160The main reason for coming home was to attend Kate’s wedding.  As a special bonus, I was also able to attend her hens day which was heaps of fun.  We started with brunch in South Yarra, went on a winery tour and finished up with drinks, dinner and some dancing.  I think we sent her off in style!

The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful.  Kate looked stunning and both her and Chris radiated with happiness.  I’ve missed so many events living overseas so it was really special for me to be a part of the celebration.  Congratulations Kate and Chris!  I hope you have a lifetime of happiness together.

IMG_5059I don’t think many people can say that babysitting was one of their summer holiday highlights, but it was seriously one of mine!  I got three whole days with Mya, which was just brilliant.  She is such a bubbly little personality and her smile and laughter is infectious.  I’m already missing our Monday babysitting date.

It’s truly getting harder and harder to leave Australia.  I love that I can pick up many of my friendships so quickly and I am lucky that I am so easily welcomed back into old friendship groups.  And then I remember all of the wonderful amazing people in my life and how they are scattered all over the world.  It might be hard to leave Australia, but it’s also hard that I haven’t been back to Germany in a year and even harder knowing that it will take me another before I finally do get back.

I left Australia with a heavy heart but also one excited for another year in my current home country.  China was certainly a whirlwind first year but there is a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to.  There are many people here who fill my heart with joy and bring excitement and adventure to my life.  Leaving here will be hard, where to go next even harder.


P.s  More photos?

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Home for Christmas

January 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm (Australia)

I loved being home for Christmas.  Clean air, the beach, amazing friends and family… the trip had it all.  It was fantastic to catch up with so many people and I promise to catch the others when I am home in July.

Some Highlights of the Trip:

1.  Spending Christmas in Hobart with my uncle, his partner Paula and Paula’s son Daniel

I loved being away for a few days and being able to relax and enjoy Christmas without feeling like I needed to see somebody.  Hobart is still one of my favourite Australian cities and Paula was an AMAZING hostess.

2.  New Years with my girls and catching up with old friends

I spent News Years in Gippsland with no mobile coverage but lots of old friends.  I really img_3317enjoyed having time to chat with them and rekindle old friendships.  In particular I had a really good chance to get to know Kate’s fiancee Chris.  I then got to start 2017 with my first ever Parkrun thanks to Chris and Bec who were also staying at the farm.

3.  Running along the beach

Need I say more?  Clean air and motivation.  You don’t realise you miss something until it’s gone… that’s me and the beach!

img_33444.  My beautiful niece Mya

She is just the most adorable little angel with a contagious smile that just melts my heart.  I feel very lucky that I was able to celebrate her first birthday and get to be a part of her life, even from a far.  She’ll probably be walking and talking by the time I get home next!


Thank you to everyone who made this trip so amazing.  See you all in July.  xoxo

P.s  More photos?

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Congratulations Mr and Mrs Sleeth!

December 20, 2016 at 3:28 pm (Australia, China)


Mum, my uncle and his partner Paula

Since my last post I have flown to Australia, been back to China and now I am back in Melbourne for the Christmas holidays.  It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The most expensive weekend of my life was also happily one of the best.  I feel extremely lucky that I was able to attend my brother Bob’s wedding.  Living overseas, does not make it easy to attend these events and I am eternally grateful to my school for allowing the visit to happen.  I flew out Friday morning just after 12am arriving in Melbourne around 2pm on the Friday.  Two full days, two dinners with my besties and a wedding later, I was back on the plane Monday morning.


James, my youngest brother

I think I can truly say, that everybody at the wedding had a blast.  Bob and Sharne had thought of everything, right down to the personalised bottles of Sriracha and the ‘travellers’ for getting between the ceremony and the reception.  They looked so happy and the actual ceremony was personal and had both of their wonderful, infectious personalities written all over it.  My surprise reading inspired from Winnie the Pooh went well and it was lovely getting to catch up with so many of their friends and family.

Mrs Sleeth, thank you for making my brother so happy and for being a wonderful mother to my gorgeous niece Mya.  I am so excited you have joined our family and can’t wait to share many more amazing Sleeth family memories.


Congratulations Mr and Mrs Sleeth!


A visit from Santa at the school Christmas party

Back to China and report writing!  It was a busy time and I am not exactly sure how I managed to get through it.  Perhaps it was the knowledge of being home again so soon?  Perhaps it was coming back to a class that had obviously missed me while I was away?  Perhaps it was the Christmas cheer that many of you have worked with me will remember?  Christmas carols are fantastic report writing help and my various Christmas outfits were a big hit with students, parents and teachers alike.

I did pull myself together to go on the last Suzhou hash of the year.  The 10km route ended up being closer to 15km and I had very sore legs the next day.  The run around Jinji Lake was absolutely beautiful and I met some wonderful people.  Looks like I am hooked!  I’ve also got organised with some running events.  I have a 7km race the weekend I get back, Suzhou half marathon in March and Tough Mudder in May!

For the moment I am happy to be back in Melbourne.  I’m lucky to have such a beautiful city as my home town.


P.s  More photos here and here?

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