Hunting down random things.

I seem to spend a lot of my time hunting around for various bits and bobs that either I, or my children need or things for Guides, which I am often not looking to use for their original purpose which can make disturbing the items harder.

This weeks lists was

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A practise drum pad for Gregor, he has just started drum lessons, from the TISA music academy. He wants to get a full drum kit straight away but we want to a) protect our ears as long as we can and b) see that he really wants to learn to play the drums and will practise. This was probably the hardest item to find this week, but we eventually tracked one down in a music shop in the Baku Outlet Mall (at the bus station). Electra just fancied being in the photo.

IMG_0980A cheap keyboard, Katrine and I have started singing lessons, so I need something to be able to tap out the tune and rhythm to sing to. I don’t need anything fancy or particularly good, so I’m happy with this. It cost 70azn (£43 at today’s exchange rate), from a music shop in Sederek (row 12). Cheap and cheerful and does the job.

IMG_0981 (1)A giant bag of polyester stuffing. This is to make Liquorice a dog bed (which he is currently using curled up at my feet). Katrine made herself some curtains – well she got some ikea curtains, cut them to size and added heading tape, which I count as making curtains. Which left a large bit of material left over, just perfect for a dog bed. Here is the finished article and the dog being very happy sleeping on it.

4 mini BBQs for my Guide unit. We are going to have a fire skills meeting (we are thrown out of our regular meeting place for a week as there is a volleyball tournament), the girls will have to light their our fires in small groups with no firelighters or starter fluid. They will then toast their marshmallows to make s’mores. Plus we can use this to cook on when we camp in the summer.

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PTA Sign up Saturday

The Saturday just gone TISA’s PTA (parent teacher association) held it’s annual welcome back picnic but this time tried out something new; having the picnic earlier in the school year and combining it with a college style club fair, with all the children and adult groups having a stall to get new members to sign up.

IMG_0939 IMG_0944 The weather was cloudy, so not great for photos, but a lot cooler (still around 30degrees) so great for being outside. And the forecast rain stayed away.

The whole day was a success, there was a great turn out and all the clubs have reported an increase in members.

TISA FC has got over 200 children signed up, they need more coaches now.
IMG_0940 IMG_0942Katrine and Gregor both signed up for rugby. Katrine has signed up for singing lessons and Gregor is starting drums.


I was there representing Girl Guiding, and the Guides and the craft stall – making dream catchers, key rings and wooden spoon monsters.

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We got 44 new girls signing up and are looking at creating more units. If you want to join GirlGuiging in Baku please go to this link and follow the steps. We are the British Guides but open to girls and young women from all nationalities and are a non-religious organisation.

I feel I should include a list of all the activities that are available in and around TISA:

Provided by the school:

  • TISA Performing arts plays
  • TISA Singers
  • TISA Music academy
  • TISA Sports

Activities for adults:

  • PTA
  • Grupo Latino Baku
  • Irish Society
  • Homeless Shelter & Community Outreach Group
  • Caspian Choir
  • Roller Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Zumba
  • Adult Triathlon
  • Baku women’s supper club
  • Ulimate Frisbee
  • TISA Cook book
  • Volleyball

We are very lucky to have so much available and easily accessible.

TISA Winter Fair and gingerbread house

This weekend was the school’s winter fair. There were vendors in the old gym, games in the primary corridor and international food court, Santa’s secret shop (where the kids can shop in secret from their parents), books sale and of course Santa’s grotto.

My two decided to pass on seeing Father Christmas (first year that has happened!) but did enjoy the games and going into the shop by themselves – all items are 5azn which they pay on entry so can just browse and pick what they like. The gifts are very nicely presented in red bags all sealed so I’m not allowed to peek.

The old gym looked really nice with all the different stalls in it.

There was even a Guide table, selling all the items the girls have made over the last few weeks and some that were very kindly donated by parents. (Forgot to take a picture when Katrine was manning the stall though.)


Gregor and I didn’t stay for long but Katrine stayed for lunch – and had Indonesian food, which she said was extremely nice.

One thing we did pick up from the winter fair was a gingerbread house kit. Lots of fun was had the next day putting it together.

My first Guide meeting

Yesterday I went to my first Guide meeting. I have written before about Katrine being a lone Brownie when we were in Korea, with British Guides in Foreign Countries, and I have got her into a unit in the UK. Fortunatly, there are already units out in Azerbaijan that she/we can join, but they are a bit short on qualified Leaders. So it seemed a good time to take the plunge and get my training started. Also, the promise has recently been altered to include atheists. I sincerely believe that a promise is important and should have meaning, so I was never comfortable saying anything that I didn’t believe.

I had a choice to do my training with either Brownies or Guides, but thought it would be good to try with a new age range. Guides is for 10-14 year olds, so girls up to nearly women, I am looking forward to seeing how the dynamics of the group work.

My new unit meets in a dedicated Guide hut, there are 13 different units meeting there each week! And nearly all of them are full. There are 32 girls in my unit, it is going to take me a while to get to know all their names.

Speaking of which, all the leaders are referred to by a bird name – Falcon, Eagle… – so we had to chose a name for me. One of the girls suggested it should be a bird that migrates, as I move around the world so much. So we picked Swallow, which I am really pleased with, plus I have a swallow tattoo, which makes is extra special.

The meeting was really fun, it was mostly taken up with sorting the girls out into new patrols and other start of the new year preparations. Next week we are going to get started on some craft. I wasn’t involved in Guides as a child, so it is all new to me, but I am really looking forward to it.