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Where should we be? No man's land?

Where should we be? No man's land?

Old Aug 11th 2007, 10:44 pm
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Post Where should we be? No man's land?

Never let it be said I am hasty. It will be three years in October that we arrived in Oz - that being me, my male partner of now 18 years and our two sunny and beautiful kids ages now 10 and 11 whom we adopted in the UK over four years ago. We were trail blazers.

My partner grew up in NSW but as soon as he was able, left for the UK where he felt he had a greater affinity. He never wanted to return Australia. My life was quite different. Born and bread in the UK and while I had much to be thankful for I felt like a little Englander.

In the 1990’s and again in 2001 we made three trips in total to Australia. I loved the outdoor life and my S.0. had a couple of good friends from way back. These were a couple in Melbourne who we stayed with and a couple in NSW. We talked about moving out to Oz for years. I got a visa in 1995.

In 2005 it was “Make your mind up time”. My visa would expire and I would never be granted a new one at my age. We decided to go for it. I sold my business but luckily could not sell our London home. That is still there.

The first year here was tough. The in-laws never took to the idea of us being around. Our bright and sunny boys were ignored and we were questioned why we should take on other peoples problems by adopting. I felt I had come into a time warp.

It was a shame our boys never had a good experience of cousins, aunt or grandmother. The latter died at the end of year one which caused a total rift between Robert (My S.O) his sister and her children. They live less than a twenty minute walk away. Sad. Yet no contact was better than the grief we had for 12 months.

I was not going to be deterred from doing my best to settle and so we bought a house - nice place, the Ozzie dream, pool, views, boat etc. Thinks were getting better but we found ongoing problems with schooling.

On a work level I had a couple of knocks. I was turned down for a post. one of which I was told it was because of my “domestic situation”. That resulted in an “anti discrimination” law case that dragged on and on. It has just been settled out of court. I now have a place of work where I am happy.

We are an outgoing bunch. I have found it hard to get more than superficially close to people. We went from a month in the IK of seeing people daily or twice daily to seeing no one other than work mates since we returned. Most people w know did not even realise we had been away. OK it's only three years but how long does it take before people notice you have been gone for over a month.

I have been the one saying “give it time”, so I surprised myself in the second week in the UK by saying "OK - we will come back but let's plan it properly". No date set yet. I am sad that it has not worked. Our Two good mates are still in Melbourne but sadly two other friends in NSW who have themselves and whom we hoped we would get close to backed off extra quick when we first arrived. It's strange but I have found that some friends who were on side before we had the boys backed off afterwards.

I had envisaged a beer of two with neighbours in our new life down under with children enjoying the pool. Well we have the second part OK. We have made two good mates who happen like us to be a gay couple. They tell us that our sense of isolation - or is it loneliness -is because of the suburb we are in: a true blue bible belt. They think that it would be very different if we were in the CBD. But would it? Why would it be? What about the children - cooped up in a high rise? If we are gong to make that sort of a move we may as well head back to our flat in central London - at lease we had a roof garden and lots of parks nearby ---- and a lovely school with supportive staff.

Dilemma two was that as we began looking at Secondary Schools while we were in London

One deputy head told us that they were pleased the now had their own
policeman in the school to stop knives being brought in. The same teacher, when asked about social mix told us that it was very balance: 50 per cent from Africa, 25 percent from the Indian Sub continent and 25 percent British = by which he was including UK born children from former colonies. Our little blondies stood out like shags on a rock.

OK we could move to the London burbs but would that be “out of the frying pan into the fire?” Is the idea of community and feeling it is important a bit of a myth. Should we be simply accepting that it is what it is and that some people are destined to be more isolated than others?

I don’t like the idea of failing – if failing it is. I am aware that the - door laid back lifestyle I was so longing for will not be available in Marylebone! But it has not been a reality in Sydney either. Last month we decided to give it two years and move back when the oldest was 13 but I am wondering why wait?

Any thoughts or reflections anyone may have would be good.
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Old Aug 11th 2007, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by Ian12
I don’t like the idea of failing – if failing it is. I am aware that the - door laid back lifestyle I was so longing for will not be available in Marylebone! But it has not been a reality in Sydney either. Last month we decided to give it two years and move back when the oldest was 13 but I am wondering why wait?
A question on practicalities. Do you & your children have Australian citizenship?
And did your partner get British citizenship when he lived in the UK?
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Old Aug 11th 2007, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by JAJ
A question on practicalities. Do you & your children have Australian citizenship?
And did your partner get British citizenship when he lived in the UK?
Yes - we now all have British & Australian Nationalities
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Old Aug 12th 2007, 1:27 am
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

I reckon, you are going to come up against small minded bigots who have an issue with your "domestic situation" wherever you are in the world, it's just the degrees that vary. Some people can't help being prats I guess

Australia is well known for its racist and homophobic attitude towards anyone who is not the ocker Aussie archetype. They particularly loathe the Vietnamese and are very verbal about the fact where we live.

You have to suss out where you and your family are going to be more accepted; here or London? Personally, I would say London. Not much shocks in London really does it?!!! So, the education your sons will receive is obviously of paramount importance. The multi racial school you talked about, what are its STATS like? Check out here for a look; http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/cg...=218&PageNo=16
Put the area you wish you investigate in, and voila, you'll get statistics and Ofsted reports. Maybe you should think about that school for your boys (as long as the results are ok) as children from other cultures, who have probably encountered their own fair share of bigotry in their short lives, are more than likely going to be more accepting of your boys "domestic situation" (for want of a better description) than 'white' children in an affluent Stepford Wives kind of suburb.

Hope you get it all sorted soon and you decide where you want to be. Oh, and another thing, I reckon it's easier to move kids when they're younger than when they're older, they tend to adapt a lot easier. Just a thought.

All the best
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Old Aug 12th 2007, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by TraceyW
I reckon, you are going to come up against small minded bigots who have an issue with your "domestic situation" wherever you are in the world, it's just the degrees that vary. Some people can't help being prats I guess

Australia is well known for its racist and homophobic attitude towards anyone who is not the ocker Aussie archetype. They particularly loathe the Vietnamese and are very verbal about the fact where we live.

You have to suss out where you and your family are going to be more accepted; here or London? Personally, I would say London. Not much shocks in London really does it?!!! So, the education your sons will receive is obviously of paramount importance. The multi racial school you talked about, what are its STATS like? Check out here for a look; http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/cg...=218&PageNo=16
Put the area you wish you investigate in, and voila, you'll get statistics and Ofsted reports. Maybe you should think about that school for your boys (as long as the results are ok) as children from other cultures, who have probably encountered their own fair share of bigotry in their short lives, are more than likely going to be more accepting of your boys "domestic situation" (for want of a better description) than 'white' children in an affluent Stepford Wives kind of suburb.

Hope you get it all sorted soon and you decide where you want to be. Oh, and another thing, I reckon it's easier to move kids when they're younger than when they're older, they tend to adapt a lot easier. Just a thought.

All the best
Thanks Tracey

I have checked out the ofsted for that particular school and all of the secondary schools within a 7 mile radius of where we would be living - all seem to come up with similar results - "improving, room for improvement, poor" appreciate the input and I think you are right - London it has to be.
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Old Aug 12th 2007, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Hi Ian12
I don't really have much advise but just to say what a loving, nurturing and open life you are giving your two children, more than any education authority could ever give!!! You guys are brilliant.

Please don't take too much into account with OFSTED, I once ran a very successful kindergarten for 14 years back in the uk under the Reggio Emilia philosophy. We had 24 children per day, no advertising whatsoever was necessary, it was my parents who gave word of mouth!!! also could see the totally hands on environment for their child/children and not "the departments stores" environments!!! at the end of the day they were paying for their childcare!! Thank god for my parents wanting something more for their children, communication skills, playing outside, climbing, building camps, yes these children ages 3-4 years old climbing on trees, building camps no cotton wool here!!!!
............Well what iam trying to say is if you can visit the education environment except what your gut instinct is saying.

Government with OFSTED are making too much needless and focusing on too much paperwork,:curse: we had no OFSTED when attending school and that didnt stop me and many others from doing very well at school, also learning is life long!!! Iam 44 and love learning more now than then!!, we are still having children now leave school who cannot read, spell or even understand the easiest of mathematics!!!?? Even with all these OFSTED reports

Yes children are opting out of school due to the pressure but likewise so are the teachers!!

All schools have problems its whether they deal with them or not, I literally pulled my youngest out of Education due to bullying where they stuck their heads in the sand!!! I even contacted all authority departments, being in the education world!! myself and knowing who to call upon!! but still nothing was done, so for me OFSTED means nothing, just more paperwork.

So Ian read the reports but take them lightly, i know many schools who put on a great "show" for OFSTED got a fantastic report! others schools didnt get high marks!!, but they had no show to put on....just a good environment with contented children wanting to learn with appreciated parents and no high ratio of staff turnover!!!

All the best wishes for you, your partner and your two children

oh yes what a shame about your EX friends .............their loss!!

take care be safe
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Old Aug 12th 2007, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

I have a friend (for over twenty three years now ) who trotted around the world looking for a place that he and his partner could call home. Sweden, Holland, USA, Canada (briefly) and a short sojourn to Sydney, he has yet to settle anywhere as well and as easily as he did in London. We had a natter the other night as he is thinking of coming home from Holland. Relationship with the OH has tanked, sadly, and he is needing to be where he "doesn't have to try too hard". I think that is the key. If you pick any major urban centre in the UK, who would care if you are a gay couple with kids? My friend summed it up when he said to me that he wants to be where he can call a friend to tell him/her that he's hit rock bottom and needs help or that life is just wonderful and he'd like to share his good fortune. I want to be where I go to sleep at night knowing that I actually belong. Home.

<cue Simply Red music >
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Old Aug 12th 2007, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by dingbat
I want to be where I go to sleep at night knowing that I actually belong. Home.

<cue Simply Red music >
c'est la vie!
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Old Aug 12th 2007, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by dingbat
I have a friend (for over twenty three years now ) who trotted around the world looking for a place that he and his partner could call home. Sweden, Holland, USA, Canada (briefly) and a short sojourn to Sydney, he has yet to settle anywhere as well and as easily as he did in London. We had a natter the other night as he is thinking of coming home from Holland. Relationship with the OH has tanked, sadly, and he is needing to be where he "doesn't have to try too hard". I think that is the key. If you pick any major urban centre in the UK, who would care if you are a gay couple with kids? My friend summed it up when he said to me that he wants to be where he can call a friend to tell him/her that he's hit rock bottom and needs help or that life is just wonderful and he'd like to share his good fortune. I want to be where I go to sleep at night knowing that I actually belong. Home.

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Old Aug 12th 2007, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by Ian12
Thanks Tracey

I have checked out the ofsted for that particular school and all of the secondary schools within a 7 mile radius of where we would be living - all seem to come up with similar results - "improving, room for improvement, poor" appreciate the input and I think you are right - London it has to be.
I wouldn't base the choice of school entirely on OFSTED reports and SAT results. Visit the schools, get a feel for them, the staff, the pupils.

Our sons did very well in an 'average' school with a very high proportion of immigrants who had English as a second language.

Of course my input may have had something to do with that as well
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Old Aug 13th 2007, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by Ian12
Never let it be said I am hasty. It will be three years in October that we arrived in Oz - that being me, my male partner of now 18 years and our two sunny and beautiful kids ages now 10 and 11 whom we adopted in the UK over four years ago. We were trail blazers.

My partner grew up in NSW but as soon as he was able, left for the UK where he felt he had a greater affinity. He never wanted to return Australia. My life was quite different. Born and bread in the UK and while I had much to be thankful for I felt like a little Englander.

In the 1990’s and again in 2001 we made three trips in total to Australia. I loved the outdoor life and my S.0. had a couple of good friends from way back. These were a couple in Melbourne who we stayed with and a couple in NSW. We talked about moving out to Oz for years. I got a visa in 1995.

In 2005 it was “Make your mind up time”. My visa would expire and I would never be granted a new one at my age. We decided to go for it. I sold my business but luckily could not sell our London home. That is still there.

The first year here was tough. The in-laws never took to the idea of us being around. Our bright and sunny boys were ignored and we were questioned why we should take on other peoples problems by adopting. I felt I had come into a time warp.

It was a shame our boys never had a good experience of cousins, aunt or grandmother. The latter died at the end of year one which caused a total rift between Robert (My S.O) his sister and her children. They live less than a twenty minute walk away. Sad. Yet no contact was better than the grief we had for 12 months.

I was not going to be deterred from doing my best to settle and so we bought a house - nice place, the Ozzie dream, pool, views, boat etc. Thinks were getting better but we found ongoing problems with schooling.

On a work level I had a couple of knocks. I was turned down for a post. one of which I was told it was because of my “domestic situation”. That resulted in an “anti discrimination” law case that dragged on and on. It has just been settled out of court. I now have a place of work where I am happy.

We are an outgoing bunch. I have found it hard to get more than superficially close to people. We went from a month in the IK of seeing people daily or twice daily to seeing no one other than work mates since we returned. Most people w know did not even realise we had been away. OK it's only three years but how long does it take before people notice you have been gone for over a month.

I have been the one saying “give it time”, so I surprised myself in the second week in the UK by saying "OK - we will come back but let's plan it properly". No date set yet. I am sad that it has not worked. Our Two good mates are still in Melbourne but sadly two other friends in NSW who have themselves and whom we hoped we would get close to backed off extra quick when we first arrived. It's strange but I have found that some friends who were on side before we had the boys backed off afterwards.

I had envisaged a beer of two with neighbours in our new life down under with children enjoying the pool. Well we have the second part OK. We have made two good mates who happen like us to be a gay couple. They tell us that our sense of isolation - or is it loneliness -is because of the suburb we are in: a true blue bible belt. They think that it would be very different if we were in the CBD. But would it? Why would it be? What about the children - cooped up in a high rise? If we are gong to make that sort of a move we may as well head back to our flat in central London - at lease we had a roof garden and lots of parks nearby ---- and a lovely school with supportive staff.

Dilemma two was that as we began looking at Secondary Schools while we were in London

One deputy head told us that they were pleased the now had their own
policeman in the school to stop knives being brought in. The same teacher, when asked about social mix told us that it was very balance: 50 per cent from Africa, 25 percent from the Indian Sub continent and 25 percent British = by which he was including UK born children from former colonies. Our little blondies stood out like shags on a rock.

OK we could move to the London burbs but would that be “out of the frying pan into the fire?” Is the idea of community and feeling it is important a bit of a myth. Should we be simply accepting that it is what it is and that some people are destined to be more isolated than others?

I don’t like the idea of failing – if failing it is. I am aware that the - door laid back lifestyle I was so longing for will not be available in Marylebone! But it has not been a reality in Sydney either. Last month we decided to give it two years and move back when the oldest was 13 but I am wondering why wait?

Any thoughts or reflections anyone may have would be good.
Parents in London are buying stab vests for their kids to wear to school, atleast you don't have to worry about that in OZ.
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Old Aug 13th 2007, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by TraceyW
I reckon, you are going to come up against small minded bigots who have an issue with your "domestic situation" wherever you are in the world, it's just the degrees that vary. Some people can't help being prats I guess

Australia is well known for its racist and homophobic attitude towards anyone who is not the ocker Aussie archetype. They particularly loathe the Vietnamese and are very verbal about the fact where we live.

You have to suss out where you and your family are going to be more accepted; here or London? Personally, I would say London. Not much shocks in London really does it?!!! So, the education your sons will receive is obviously of paramount importance. The multi racial school you talked about, what are its STATS like? Check out here for a look; http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/cg...=218&PageNo=16
Put the area you wish you investigate in, and voila, you'll get statistics and Ofsted reports. Maybe you should think about that school for your boys (as long as the results are ok) as children from other cultures, who have probably encountered their own fair share of bigotry in their short lives, are more than likely going to be more accepting of your boys "domestic situation" (for want of a better description) than 'white' children in an affluent Stepford Wives kind of suburb.

Hope you get it all sorted soon and you decide where you want to be. Oh, and another thing, I reckon it's easier to move kids when they're younger than when they're older, they tend to adapt a lot easier. Just a thought.

All the best
Racism is'nt any worse in OZ then the UK, you say Aussies loath the Vietnamese l think both groups get on much better together then white Brits and Pakistanies in the Uk do.
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Old Aug 13th 2007, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by ozlord
Parents in London are buying stab vests for their kids to wear to school, atleast you don't have to worry about that in OZ.
of course you don't no crime at all in oz

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...20/1770153.htm

http://forums.vogue.com.au/showthread.php?t=46900

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2237703.ece

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...pes-per-capita
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Old Aug 13th 2007, 1:07 am
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by ozlord
Parents in London are buying stab vests for their kids to wear to school, atleast you don't have to worry about that in OZ.
More anti London propoganda!

Nope, things like that never happen in Australia...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...18/1767459.htm

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...4-1702,00.html

Even scarier!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6556895.stm
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Old Aug 13th 2007, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Where should we be? No man's land?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
of course you don't no crime at all in oz
Great minds! We were simul posting!
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