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Old Sep 21st 2016, 2:15 pm   #1
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Default 6 months back from Oz

Thought I would do an update as although only 6 months backfrom West Australia, a lot has happened.

I had work to come back to and the reason we made an incrediblyhasty return – we went from making the decision to getting on a plane in 4 dayswas because I landed some work back in the UK.

So, we landed in March landing with only a suitcase each anda few boxes of personal items making there way by ship as we had soldeverything to pay for the move. I flew on the Saturday, landing Sunday andstarting work Tuesday and my wife and the little fury one landed on the Friday.We had booked a little cottage on AirBnB for the first couple of weeks and thenfound an apartment in Windsor, which was a lovely place and Windsor is a greattown, but very unsuitable for us. It was on the 3rd floor and thelittle fella is used to having a dog door and going out for a pee 2-3 times inthe night, so instead we had to carry him down the stairs several times a night– no lift!. It was also incredibly expensive.

My new job was initially ok, but then I realised there was alot of shady things going on. It was a small private company with connectionsto elements I didn’t want to make! Lots of very bad practice with things likestaff allowed to be drunk while operating heavy machinery. One of the finalstraws came when I discovered we had hired an illegal worker with my name usedas the employer. So, we parted company.

Fortunately, I had already given notice to our landlord thatwe would be exercising the 6 month break clause we had in the contract, on thedown side it meant I was under some severe pressure once I wasn’t working tofind a new job – no job and we couldn’t get a new lease and with only a fewweeks to go before the end of our lease it looked like being homeless was aserious possibility. Then, all of a sudden, the jobs I had being applying for,all started to ask me to interview.

Well, to cut a long story short, I accepted an offer with abig geological company as a senior geologist – with excellent terms and thingsand then had to explain to my sun loving wife that we were going to be movingto a different area – Scotland!!!

So, last week we packed up and loaded all our belongingsinto a rented truck and made the journeynorth. It was funny, as we were saying to ourselves that we didn’t have a lotof stuff, after all we landed with nothing! Then, carting everything down threestories I quickly realised just how much we have accumulated in 6 months thanksto friends and family. We filled a Luton van! Have to say, after spending Thursdayand Friday morning carting everything down, including 2 sofas that weigh morethan a tank each, on my own, wasn’t fun. Then, after packing the van from 5amon Friday, driving all the way to Scotland, then unpacking the van till 9pm andthen Saturday unpacking boxes and putting things together, I was ready for anice break by starting work!

We have moved to a fantastic little village / hamlet nearthe town of Strathaven which is south of Glasgow. The town is wonderful andjust how a really nice market town should be – lots of little independentshops. Our village itself doesn’t have anything other than a community hall,but that does bits and pieces and even doubles as a cinema once a month. It isonly half an hour walk from the village to town either along the country roador over the fields and past a magical waterfall and on the road route there isa tiny brewery that gives a good excuse to make the trip a bit longer than halfan hour J

My wife has fallen in love with the place, the cottage andthe area. I adore being back in peace and quiet and work isn’t far away. I havestarted my new job and it is a joy to be back with a professional company thatknow what they are doing.

Oz now feels like a funny distant dream, we were discussingit the other day and we both couldn’t believe how much we have forgotten aboutit already. It is like it didn’t really happen for 8 years.

So, life is good, we think we have found somewhere we canlive and has the benefit of not costing a kidney in rent each month and offersus the lifestyle we want. There isn’t a day that I miss Oz or anything aboutit, though my wife misses walks on thebeach, so we are going to the beach this weekend.
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Old Sep 21st 2016, 3:23 pm   #2
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Wonderful update! Such a stressful experience with the first job but it sounds like the everything is working out beautifully with the new job and location. Scotland is beautiful!

Thanks for updating!
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Old Sep 21st 2016, 6:48 pm   #3
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Congratulations on making it through the last 6 months, sounds like quite the ride! Well done for having the balls to walk away from a dodgy job/employer and for having the nerve to make the move to an unknown area - you're in the middle of some lovely countryside there, with a quite a remote feel to it, despite that it's not that far form Glasgow. Scotland is lovely and I'd go back in a heartbeat, if my non-EU husband could ever get a visa *sigh*.
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Old Sep 22nd 2016, 7:01 pm   #4
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

And remember Strathaven is pronounced "Strayven" ! Welcome to Scotia.
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Old Sep 23rd 2016, 10:15 am   #5
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

WOW! What a 6 months you have had, and am so glad it is now working out for you. We weren't far behind you, returning at the end of May after 8+ years in Auckland and it hasn't been plain sailing either...not sure I like my job but am currently the main bread winner and we are stuck in a city no where near the beach, and I so miss the beach (although not NZ).
Good luck in Scotland. Funnily enough I have just applied for 2 jobs in Scotland, one in Glasgow and the other in Dundee... so will see what happens.
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Old Sep 23rd 2016, 10:33 am   #6
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Good to hear you've finally found a decent job and a good place to live. The last year's been a huge roller coaster for you so many congrats on getting off the other end!
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Old Sep 23rd 2016, 9:25 pm   #7
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Congrats on the new job.
I've never been to Scotland, my husband says we need to visit.
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Old Sep 24th 2016, 8:21 am   #8
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Thanks everyone.

It has been a roller coaster but overall a good one.

For those who have never visited Scotland, you really must. It is an incredible place with amazing countryside and a wonderful warm people.

As for living and working, Glasgow is nothing like I imagined it would be. I thought it might be a bit grim - lots of old tower blocks of social housing. In reality it is a stunning city of magnificent old buildings, a bit gothic but really nice with a good mix of modern city buildings. It is also one of the greenest cities in the world.

We are not city people, so chose not to live in the city, but, if we were, then Glasgow would be a great choice. There are lots of options though to live if working in Glasgow. Everything from small villages to market towns such as Strathaven to small towns like Stirling or pretty beach side places along the west coast such as Troon or even Edinburgh if you don't mind a commute. Though Edinburgh is a lot more expensive for housing. It is nice where we are that I can be in Glasgow easily and in Edinburgh in under an hour and the coast in 40 minutes. The highlands are not far - I can be on a skiing are in under 2 hours.
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Old Sep 26th 2016, 8:48 am   #9
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Edinburgh is a bit too "English" for my liking !
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Old Oct 27th 2016, 12:47 pm   #10
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Slightly off the topic but still related to Glasgow - Very Stormy (or anyone else) do you have any recommendations of areas commutable to Glasgow University? Have an interview there in 10 days time but don't know the area at all. Prefer 30mins if possible, happy to use the train. Thanks
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Old Oct 28th 2016, 9:47 am   #11
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

I would choose the area around the University in the West of the city. Saves that commute ! The districts on the River Kelvin. Nice parkland with good facilities for everything.
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Old Oct 31st 2016, 4:54 am   #12
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkleydiva View Post
Slightly off the topic but still related to Glasgow - Very Stormy (or anyone else) do you have any recommendations of areas commutable to Glasgow University? Have an interview there in 10 days time but don't know the area at all. Prefer 30mins if possible, happy to use the train. Thanks
It is hard as that opens up a big area and it depends on what you want. We are not city people and like more country living. Which if you fancy, have a look at Strathaven, Lanark and surrounding villages.
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Old Nov 1st 2016, 11:41 am   #13
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Thanks Scot47 & verystormy for the information. I would prefer more rural as really struggling in Manchester just now - it is just so busy compared to NZ and I did live just north of Auckland so not out in the sticks. It's not as though I'm living in the city centre just now but suburbia is so vast and so busy. Glasgow would be a really good move job wise but am just not sure about being in a big city again...Time to think but will have to be fast as have another job offer but is at the other end of the country!
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Old Mar 13th 2017, 3:18 pm   #14
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Wow, time flies. We have been back from Oz a year now. Onlyseems like yesterday.

Well, it has been a very good year. We have settled intolife in our little Scottish village and love it. The village has a greatcommunity feel and everyone stops to say hello and its very diverse, but we allget along – one neighbour is a shepherd and another a top opera singer. But allfriends.

Hogmanay (New Year) was amazing. We don’t have a shop or apub, but we do have a village hall that does a lot of events for the villageand Hogmanay was fantastic. We had a live band playing traditional music andthe entire village danced the night away to the Gay Gordon and things. We alltook our own booze and the hall put on nibbles and supplied party poppers andjust an amazing time. Not sure what time we waked home, but the birds werestarting to sing!

The hall also does a monthly cinema and a quiz and otherparties through the year – Burns was the full traditional super with a piper.

Work is good and I am away a lot, mainly in the Highlands –writing this from the Cairngorms which is great as I get an allowance from workand use it to hire a holiday cottage and my wife and dog tag along and have afree holiday.

We have got through the first winter, which was actually notbad at all. We had heavy snow in early November, then just some small laysspread through winter and most of the time it has only been odd rainy days andgenerally mild. In fact only had the central heating on high once!

The dog has fallen for Scotland / UK big time, he loves thathe can run around in fields and woods so much – couldn’t in Oz due to thethreat of snakes.

I cant see me ever going back to Oz even for holiday, notsurprising as before we went I had no big desire to visit it and even had aglance at what is involved in relinquishing citizenship, but you have to pay!So, won’t bother.

So, overall very happy.
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Old Mar 13th 2017, 7:39 pm   #15
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Default Re: 6 months back from Oz

Lovely to read your update. Glad things have worked out well for you.
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