Changing banks – things to remember

Jade plant

I recently changed banks – something I’d resisted for a few years but caved in and refinanced my existing mortgage and financed a new one. It’s the only reason I changed but there’s things to remember as I’ve outlined below.

The photo above is to remind me to keep calm as I create this because it’s not a breeze to change banks and non-fond memories are being served up but this could be a useful checklist for someone else – hopefully not me again.

Firstly, you find a new bank who will give you a really good deal because you’re a new customer and they marry you to their bank by offering a sweet honeymoon deal. It might cost as much as a wedding by the time you pay discharge fees from your existing mortgage and pay fees for the new one. Well, not quite – unless it’s a cheap wedding.

You ring up the old bank to see if they can match the great deal you’re being offered. You say that you’ve been a loyal customer for years and surely they can match it. You really don’t want to change, but you give them the ultimatum. Lower your fees or I’m leaving.

And you sign that discharge form while you write a list of other things you  have to do as a consequence of changing banks.

Afterall it’s not just a home loan that you’re moving, it’s a savings/offset account and a credit card and there’s lots of automatic things happening in the background you have to rearrange.

Trap number one. Remember to close all accounts at your old bank otherwise you’ll be surprised by a credit card bill that you thought you’d paid off.

It does help to have a mortgage broker because they know the ins and outs of the system. You could do it yourself but every bit of help you can get doesn’t hurt.

You go through old bank statements to find out what’s being directly debited and find a couple of things you’d forgotten about. Even after this process more things will turn up, like automatic web domain and hosting renewals, and computer virus software renewals.

Small Agave

Remember we’re keeping calm. Carry on. Deep breath.

You’ve been approved for your new mortgages and the ball is firmly on the roll.

You start making phone calls and sending emails to change over bank account details. This involves any government benefits like family tax benefit etc. It’s so joyful dealing with bureaucratic government departments to update your details when a simple phone call to a non-government organisation suffices.

One of the first things you do is organise online banking. Of course it’s completely different to what you’re used to. The terminology is different even though they both pretty much do the same thing.

Trap number two. Check your online banking and paper statments religiously the first few months. If you don’t you might realise that your automatic credit card payments are not working and you spend too much time on the phone trying to sort it out. At least they realise you’ve stuffed up and refund you late payment and interest fees – but only this once! You tell them why you ‘stuffed up’ by giving them some feedback about the terminology on their website.

You contact some people whose banking account details you used to have but don’t anymore because you owe them some money.

You sit back for a while, take some more deep breaths and hope like hell everything’s running smoothly now.


Making it to the other side

Last Sunday afternoon JJ and I headed out with our dog for a little drive to explore a creek.

I thought Monty might like another little stroll. Little stroll’s are all she can manage in her late years. And I thought JJ might like to look at the creek.

He did.

The ground was quite wet so I stepped quite gingerly around the place, but not JJ.

He’d crossed over to the other side of the creek further back and got to this spot and thought that would be a good place to get back to the side I was on.

Before the jump

But it involved a little jump. He’d found a stick that was enormously helpful in keeping his balance if needed.

Beginning of the jump

You can see his concentration.

Jump in progress. Day 211/366.

I wasn’t worried about him falling in. I was more concerned about having to get wet myself to fish him out if it came to that.

Nearly there.

But he made it and we both breathed a sigh of relief.

Phew, made it.

It wasn’t until we were about to leave that I noticed the bottom of his jeans were soaking and I asked if his shoes were wet. They were also soaking. Too late I realised that I should have got him to wear old shoes. But they’ve dried out okay so it doesn’t matter.

He had a great time having a little adventure down at the creek. There’s something magical about exploring when you’re a kid. They’re memories you keep forever.

What do you see when you think of a number?

I was on my way out to Pilates the other night and I make JJ lock the screen door behind me and I said thank you to him. He asked me why I was thanking him, and I said because you’re you. As I got into the car to drive off I realised I meant it.

He exasperates me to my absolute limits at time, but that’s one of the ‘joys’ of parenting is it not?

We have some great conversations though. I love that he helps me see things through a different light.

He asked me the other day what I see when I think of different numbers. I just see the number I realised. When he thinks of the number six he sees darkness in the middle and glowing red eyes on the outside. And that’s not a one-off, it’s just what he sees. And he sees different things for different numbers. WOW! Do other people see something else when they think of numbers?

Below are a series of images I took last weekend when he was on the trampoline. I bought this trampoline when he was about two and he’s just turned 11. I replaced the mat a few months ago and I’m really glad I did because he still uses it.

It’s not easy to put a new mat on a trampoline let me tell you. It took two adults a while and a lot of strength and grunting to get that mat on.

This photo one was his favourite.

Working it for the camera. Day 203/366.

The one  below is one of my favourites.












Bare branches. Day 188/366.

On way to work - Grote St, Adelaide. Day 200/366.

Bare. Day 139/366.

It seems I have a thing for taking photos of trees bare of their leaves in winter. Excuse me re-using one photo I particuarly love.

This is for Trish’s Wordless Wednesday as she rocks that pink wig.

What’s not to love about the ukulele?

Uke group

I can’t quite believe that it’s seven – yes seven – years since I first picked up a ukulele and learned three basic chords and therefore started to play it.

I’d always wanted to learn the guitar and that never happened but learning the uke was much more achievable. I still play it but I’m pretty much still a one-strum-wonder. I’m just not that dedicated I suppose. I’ve sat in front of YouTube clips that show differeing strumming methods but if it doesn’t click fairly quickly I lose interest just as quickly.

I have had a lot of fun with it along the way though.

I’ve had trouble staying in rhythm with my singing. Although I have to admit sometimes I just don’t have the mojo for it and other times I think I sound pretty damn good. One night I picked up the uke at about 11pm and started belting out a song. My son’s bedroom was the next room and normally he sleeps through quite a bit of noise. This time, however, he came out to the lounge with his face screwed up because of the light and a look of disgust and told me quite clearly that I was making too much noise. Suitably chastened I packed up for the evening.

I think the most fun I’ve had with it is getting together with a group of people. There’s a lot to be said for other players hiding your mistakes and introducing you to songs you otherwise might not have considered.


I’ve even performed in public. I’ve done this more than once and get a kick out of it even though my legs were shaking.

More recently I’ve started ‘jamming’ with The Surfer and a friend of his. They play the guitar and I sing, and play the odd song with the ukulele so it’s getting a bit of an airing.

I realised only recently that I haven’t got the ambition to become a great ukulele player, but I do enjoy picking it up every now and then to have a strum.

Like doing a big poo

Making a wish. Day 168/366.

After a 24 hour labour my son was pushed into the world without me uttering one swear word, just repeats of GET OUT, GET OUT during those last few minutes. He was a biggun at 9lb 6oz, or 4.25kg and I was glad he finally made it without having to be cut out. I didn’t think it funny when the doctor was stitching my third degree tears up down there when she said that I might have to have a caesarean next time due to the tearing this time. Creating another baby was the last thing on my mind at this stage.

He was lifted onto my stomach and did a big poo right then. Normally someone pooing on me would be really gross, but this didn’t worry me in the least. And someone else quickly wiped it up like they did for mine while I was pushing him out. I remember visiting a friend in hospital years ago after she had her first baby and her saying that pushing out a baby was like doing a big poo. She was right.

I tell him the story of how he pooed on me just after he was born, and he thinks it’s hilarious.

I also tell him that the first night he was home he cried nearly all night. I imitate his baby cries, WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH. And he also thinks that’s funny.

I didn’t think it was funny at the time. I just wanted to sleep. I like my sleep and it was frustrating that he was a sleep during the day and party at night baby for the first few days until his birth jet lag went away.

I was reminded of all of this by this post.

Mummyblogging – perhaps not my direction

Taking shelter from the rain. Day 173/366.

Wordless Wednesday? As if. This blog started off being about the words, and now it’s about the photos and the words.

I have marvellous ideas during the day while I’m at work about fabulous blog posts I want to write and I even quickly jot those ideas down (hallo mega amounts of draft posts). Then I get home and do the parenting thing and by the time I’ve had dinner, washed up, and told my son a million times that, yes, he does have to have a shower today, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of my computer and write of those blog posts.

I’ve been thinking lots about this mummyblogger thing as it explodes in Australia and for some reason is a ‘thing’. I think it only is a ‘thing’ because people are using their talents to earn some money. How dare they?

I look at it from the sidelines and wish that I had more time, more creativity, and more inclination to get more involved.

But I work nearly full-time and if there are any bloggers out there who work full-time, and parent full-time on your own, while making blogging work for them part-time then I’m all ears about how you do that.

I’d much rather do what I love and pay someone to do the housework and gardening but the housework and the gardening, oh, and being a fabulous mum, take up a lot of my time out of work hours. So is ‘mummyblogging’ just for those mums who don’t work full-time outside of the home? I’d like to know.

But I’m probably out of the so-called ‘mummyblogging’ zone because my son is now 11 and I write less about him than I used to. I guess I’m a bit directionless here. Am I a photoblogger now? I don’t know!

In the big scheme of things it’s okay because I’ve got my health and I’m bloody thankful for that.