Nov 05 2013

Tim’s 2nd Birthday

Category: Personal,Pictures,Tim's PhotosChrisM @ 1:33 am

Once again I’m attempting to tidy up the blog a little by stripping out the flurry of recent tweets, and joining the text, photos, maps etc into on post instead.
This post takes pictures from Tim’s 2nd birthday, a couple of weeks ago…

Tim In Keruen

Tim In Keruen

Location Of Keruen

Location Of Keruen

(Originally taken from a check-in with

Zonked Out Tim Couldn't Fight The Urge To Nap

Zonked Out Tim Couldn’t Fight The Urge To Nap

Sep 21 2013

SeeSaw Shiny River Tower

Category: Kazakhstan,Pictures,Tim's PhotosChrisM @ 8:21 pm

These are just a few pictures taken this week, rather than have the blog’s front page content spread out, I thought I’d remove the original tweets and combine them into one post.

First we have “Top of the world” (as in from White Heat – Made it, Ma! Top of the world!)

Tim On A SeeSaw

Tim On A SeeSaw

Then an advert I noticed in our hallway downastairs – please tell me such blue sparkly suits aren’t standard/required court attire!? If not, I’m wondering who advised him that it’d work to convince people to hire him?

A Lawyer At Ease

A Lawyer At Ease

Today we went for a walk down by the river – I was relieved to discover that Daddy being the stone catcher didn’t mean I was required to take a dip in the Ishim, rather just collect more pebbles to throw in!

Scuba Gear And Hazmat Suit  Would Have Been Necessary

Scuba Gear And Hazmat Suit Would Have Been Necessary

Just a bit further on, there is a Möbius strip sculpture with Astana Tower in the background.

Astana Tower (Next To Ramstore With Guns & Roses Next To That)

Astana Tower (Next To Ramstore With Guns & Roses Next To That)

Jun 29 2013

Straining To Get There!

Category: Personal,Tim's PhotosChrisM @ 9:13 pm

With almost half of 2013 now passed, my mind is already on our trip to Britain. Although we will need to save up the money for the plane tickets, and hope Irina is allowed to take her holiday at the right time, after six months in Astana, it definitely helps to have a target in mind.
So, what am I (and in some cases, we) looking forward to in the UK? First and foremost, seeing family, especially Nick’s new son! Although it is great to see some of them on Skype sometimes, it isn’t the same as sitting down and just catching up on everyone’s lives in a non-rushed way. Next up, I’m hoping to see a few friends (those that haven’t emigrated to Australia at least). Last year I managed to get down to London and Cardiff, and saw people I’d not seen in years (after the Sydney and Brisbane trip in October, I wanted to make the effort and not just take the path of least resistance and see the same friends as normal), but that obviously meant I missed out on seeing a large group of friends we’d normally meet.
Thirdly, events… quite a broad label, I realize, but ever since we moved to Astana, I’ve been hoping to get to some English or Welsh events, be they sporting, comedy or music-based. Each visit home has seen this plan fall to the wayside, with either no time, money or a combination of both meaning I’ve missed out on some cracking stand up, sometimes just the next town across, in Pontardawe. It would be great if I manage to get tickets to Wimbledon this time and go again.

Shatush, Astana, Kazakhstan

Tim IS Actually Smiling Here 🙂

Why the apparently random photo of Tim (taken today)? Tim has decided he wants to try wearing big boy pants, instead of nappies, again. This is really encouraging, especially as he is also practicing and experimenting a lot with different basic sounds. So, where is the random connection between Tim and wanting to go to more British events? Well, as you may guess, we’ve had an accident with Tim not making it to the potty or toilet in time (though to be fair, he went to the balcony beforehand, so tidying up didn’t involve scrubbing the carpet. Still none the wiser? Well, some seventeen years ago, a friend had got some tickets to Wimbledon, and we went down to London, leaving just after dawn from Cheltenham. We had planned ahead and bought some food, and a lot of drink, as it was forecast to be a hot day. We found somewhere to park, joined the queue, and began munching and slurping our way through the supplies. At some point, the queue had a concrete barrier either side of it, presumably to try and cut down on queue jumpers, which made leaving the queue for comfort breaks a bit of an issue. After drinking two large bottles of Coke, eventually nature was starting to call really loudly. The line of people waiting to see Henman win, or try and get a centre court seat was ever so slowly shuffling forward, and the closest toilet was quite a walk away. As the minutes dragged past, I eventually realized I was not going to be able to “hold it in” until we got through the entrance to Wimbledon. I was left with the prospect of possibly losing my friend, my place in the queue and having therefore wasted a lot of time, or finding some method of relieving the pressure with dozens of people around me in the queue, and hundreds of people walking about inside Wimbledon’s grounds, who I could see through the metal fencing. Asking a few new-found friends to form a human (visual) shield around me, I gave in to the inevitable, and after what felt like an eternity, I was able to wait a little longer to finally see the players grunting around the courts! Whilst not entertaining as some reports from tennis games in London, the fact that no one else seemed to notice, and that I still got to finally see a few games, I was really happy.
Anyway, returning to things I’ll be looking forward to in Britain, should we make it across this Christmas, technology and food are probably the last ones. Obviously it is possible to get a lot of things over here in Astana (both food and IT supplies have improved in the last seven years), sometimes food just doesn’t seem to be considered worth testing in this market, and the technology available is either over-priced, under-specced or listed as in stock, but not actually in the shop’s storeroom. I try to keep a limit (because of both luggage weight and our budget restrictions) on the purchases in Wales, but a Bacon Double Cheeseburger or latest generation peripheral for our PC is sometimes hard to avoid!

Apr 24 2013

Tim and Anna check out the new setup (a mostly new…

Category: Anna's Photos,Tim's Photos,TweetsChrisM @ 6:16 pm

Tim and Anna check out the new setup (a mostly new PC for my birthday). TV in use as 4th monitor for films etc.

Tim And Anna At The New PC

Sep 19 2012

10 Months On…

Category: Personal,Tim's Photos,Tim's VideosChrisM @ 2:43 am

And Tim has his first haircut!
I had previously offered to trim some of his hair with my clippers, as (like his father) he gets very hot in the summer months, and it was starting to get a little messy in places. However, Irina was a little nervous about this, and wanted his first haircutting experience to be from a professional. Understandable. Anyway, Ira heard of a lady who worked in the Khan Shatyr shopping centre who specialized in cutting small children’s hair, so we popped over to check her out. She has a big toy car for them to sit in, a DVD player with cartoons to distract and, probably most importantly, a lot of patience.
Tim was OK for the first couple of minutes (Anna’s hair dresser said many small children get freaked out and think they are being attacked, so she didn’t cut very small kids’ hair), but then really didn’t like it. We didn’t ask for anything too brutal in terms of length, just a tidy up and enough taken away to keep him cool in bed. Anyway, see the following pictures and video for the result…

(I’ll upload and embed the videos tomorrow, I need some sleep!)

Sep 08 2012

Anna,Tim&Irina @ other pla…

Category: Anna's Photos,Tim's Photos,TweetsChrisM @ 7:02 pm

Anna,Tim&Irina @ other playground near home.Astana Almaty flight booked 4 Australia trip. USB3 card still problem.

Panorama With Anna, Irina And Tim Near Our Flat At A Playground

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Aug 23 2012

Tim acquires a taste for climb…

Category: Tim's Photos,TweetsChrisM @ 7:02 pm

Tim acquires a taste for climbing…

Tim, With Some Help From Ira, Climbing A Frame

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Aug 22 2012

Last minute decision (no1 fanc…

Category: Anna's Photos,Eating Out,Pictures,Tim's Photos,TweetsChrisM @ 7:30 pm

Last minute decision (no1 fancied cooking) 2try out tre kanor again, not been4years, since Walton&Assel were still here

Tre Kanor Outdoor Seating Panorama

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Jul 28 2012

Babushka is back from Borovoe,…

Category: Tim's Photos,TweetsChrisM @ 7:50 pm

Babushka is back from Borovoe, Captain Tim is happy with her return!

Baba Jenya And Tim - Smiles Ahoy!

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Jul 11 2012

Sky Bar – Asia Park

Category: Eating Out,Personal,Tim's PhotosChrisM @ 9:50 pm

This evening we popped over to the Asia Park shopping centre. Primarily because one of Irina’s friends has her birthday this week, and Dana had kindly passed on a voucher she bought at Chocolife for the Bomb Cosmetics boutique. Whilst Irina decided on the gift (I’ll not yet post details on the off chance that Balzhan ever actually practices her English by reading this site!), Tim, Anna and I took a little stroll up and down, during which time Anna wanted an explanation as to why she couldn’t eat the apple on a plastic tree, and Tim eventually conceded that not having Mummy directly in front of him did not mean a constant scream was required. Eventually a gift (and something for our flat, a nice smelling citrus candle that caught my eye) was selected, and we proceeded upstairs with the idea of grabbing a quick and easy tea from the fast food area. Every other time we have visited this mall in the past, and selected the naughty but nice treat of no cooking or clearing up, we have gone with pizza. Today, however, was a break from the routine, as we decided to finally check out the prices of the Sky Bar. Although not cheap, given the view and the relatively upmarket (for a shopping centre) feel, we decided to try it out.
Quite a few items of food and drink from their menu were not available, but I decided to try their beef schnitzel. Well worth the gamble, definitely the second best schnitzel I’ve had in Astana. Given that I can not remember which restaurant served the best ever (I’ve tried all the likely suspects, all of them disappointed), I think the Sky Bar will be getting a few return visits in the months to come! Irina had sushi (she thought it was an average result in terms of taste, but definitely small portions considering the price), and Anna had the (beef!) carbonara. As it was an adult-sized portion, Ira and I helped her to finish it off in the end. Do our sacrifices know no end? 😉

Oh that reminds me, for friends and family who have an interest, I don’t think I’ve yet mentioned on the blog the reason that all four of us have mostly been in the flat since last Thursday, rather than the normal rushing around to playgroup, Chubary etc. – it turns out that Anna and Tim have both got bacterial tonsillitis (at least that is the closest translation we could fine, and it apparently is different to viral tonsillitis?). So we have been trying to keep their temperatures down, dealing with short sleeps/naps, and generally not doing a great deal instead.

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