Finally an update

Old Feb 7th 2014, 12:00 am
  #106  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Great to hear your updates.

I suspect that the sad event in your teens you referred to does indeed affect you and it is very wise of you to identify that. I wonder if there are any forums, like this, which provide an outlet for discussion around these areas. I belong to other forums that have nothing to do with expats, but are fruitful sources of help and support.

I'm settling in back home really well, but I won't really feel really settled until I have my own house which should be this year. It took me five years to adjust to life in Britain so, given the changes the NZ has gone through over the last two decades, I'm guessing it will be five years before I adjust fully to life back here.

Keep us up to date on how things are going - I love to hear.
jmh is offline  
Old May 22nd 2014, 10:08 am
  #107  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
dannigirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 696
dannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Well here comes my next instalment.....

Life is trundling along here. We are still renting and still not ready to put down any firm roots as we're both unsure about what we want.

I'll start with the negatives so I can end on the positives!

Negatives - Education. This is the biggest thing for us here. We managed to pick a school which was in pretty bad shape. As mentioned I think in a previous post, the information available to parents about the school seemed fine, however just after we enrolled our daughter there was a report by the council that ranked the school the lowest it can get (literally on the brink of special measures) which was extremely upsetting. You only want the best for your child. The school has basically been left for many years without any intervention from the council despite ongoing concerns. The main issue being staff development and professional development and keeping abreast of and using modern methods of teaching. The entire school had to go on a literacy and numeracy course!!! To the tune of £20,000!!!! I was totally shocked to say the least.

The teachers that are left are good, but the whole school is in the process of huge change. There is an executive head who is amazing and was totally honest about the shortcomings, problem is she is leaving by the end of the year. The school is in a state of flux, older children's parents have been very resistant to change and they "hate" the new head teacher. Parents of younger children are concerned about the school performing and welcome the changes...so there is a bit of old versus new. The school is severely under resourced and struggling, the PTA was non-existent and there is a general apathy towards positive change. What keeps us here at the moment is that there are fellow parents in our class who feel the same as us and we want to make positive changes, and our little girl is happy and learning. But we are constantly monitoring the situation.

I don't want to make general statements about the entire education system in Wales but I think it is fair to say the entire system is pretty sh!t. There are generations of families who don't give a stuff about education and the doors that it can open. Wales can be very insular and parochial and there is really a low bar of aspiration. I want my girls girls to dream big, to travel, to expose their minds to different things but ultimately to be passionate and love the jobs they choose I.e it's not all about money but personal happiness, contentment and fulfilment too.

Just as maybe NZ can get a bit bogged down in Treaty stuff (I feel some Maori are held back by it all, but also appreciate the impact on Maori...I can see both sides). Wales is still in the good 'ole mining days, where they blame old Maggie for all their woes. Outside of Cardiff there are pockets of industry and innovation but mostly I feel there is just a huge sense of apathy. No hunger to strive for a better life for our children. Prospects outside of Cardiff are fairly grim, poverty and levels of deprivation, parochial and insular communities are in abundance.

PISA results in Wales are awful well below England and Scotland (and NZ). We feel like the forgotten cousin, but of course Education has been devolved to the Welsh Government, and after 10 years they have managed to run it into the ground basically. Ditto the health system. Yay, we might have free prescriptions, but long waiting lists, awful care in hospitals. Health staff under ever increasing stress and pressure with limited funds. The whole system seems reactive rather than proactive. Again, we seem to doing way behind England in health.

Cardiff is a compact city, fairly easy to drive around. It has a few traffic hotspots but nothing too bad (we are lucky enough not to have to commute very far though, if we did it might be a different story)..... But the sheer amount of cars is pretty hideous. Streets are just rammed with cars parked up, traffic flows but cars are everywhere. I think about 80,000 odd people commute into Cardiff every day! I'm not sure the city can expand any more, families here have 3 or 4 cars each, bus services are okay but some areas are not serviced very well, trains are limited and often run very limited services (if any) on weekends....so you are forced to drive everywhere!

Cardiff has many beautiful suburbs full of lovely architecture, big houses, there are great parks and open spaces to visit (but not enough of them) but there are lots of arterial roads that ruin any semblance of peace. I have to walk my child alongside a four lane road to school, every day feels like you are running the gauntlet.

Drivers are I swear as bad as kiwi drivers. I have seen some shocking driving here.

Okay POSITIVES -

Of course it is lovely to be near family. My husbands mother is very elderly and it is nice to spend time with her but unfortunately her interaction with our girls is limited. We have very little practical help here, it's there if we need it but not quite the same as having younger parents to help out. We miss out on that but that is on both sides of the world so can't complain really. Everyone has their own lives though, we have to book way in advance to see anyone. Not much is spontaneous and my husband's siblings are starting to have their own grandchildren which is lovely but we now realise that we are and aren't part of it. It hurts a bit, but that is just how it happens. We are obviously included in things but each family is their own little unit, as we are. It's a big family so understandable. We are stuck in between generations which is a bit weird.

People are very friendly here, fairly open and welcoming. But it is hard breaking into new circles, I have met some lovely people and school friends help to build up a social circle.

We have been to various places in Wales, it's small and very easy to drive most places although I do hate the small country lanes! We spent a week in Pembrokeshire and had great fun exploring new places, new beaches and we saw the Queen!!!! It's unfortunate that Pembrokeshire is blighted by huge, huge power pylons I presume for the oil refinery and general population, but they are very ugly and totally ruin the countryside for me.

So all in all, we are getting on fine. I don't think it will be forever. NZ and Wales are scarily similar in lots of ways so I feel quite at home here. I think we were quite worried about the prospects for our girls in NZ. On reflection I wish I had researched the Welsh education system a bit more. I know the NZ education is by no means perfect but the PISA results put Wales to shame. I don't just go on exam results, or international studies but it is hard to dispute the cold, hard facts that the welsh system is failing a lot of children. I just took it for granted that it was good. I have many well educated nieces and nephews and my husband is well educated, so I think we assumed it would be okay, but it has deteriorated over the last 10 years. We have the brain drain here too, people have to leave Wales for further education and jobs. Some return to Wales but lots don't as there just isn't the work here.

So there is my rant for today. We take it day by day but are generally happy stumbling along. I guess we feel enlightened by some of the negatives, I think emigration does that for you....puts your life under a microscope so you can combat and change some of the negatives as you stumble along.

Dannigirl
dannigirl is offline  
Old May 22nd 2014, 10:11 am
  #108  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
dannigirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 696
dannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Just read the previous update and it is quite similar - ha sorry! But this is where we are and out thought processes (and it is good to get it all out of my head).
dannigirl is offline  
Old May 22nd 2014, 8:03 pm
  #109  
---
 
bourbon-biscuit's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,994
bourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Hang in there dannigirl, sounds like it is all still early days feeling. I know what you mean about the cars - I forgot that most homes do not have driveways to tidily park their cars on in the UK and it took some adjusting!

The education situation sounds much more worrisome. It can't be all schools in Wales; is there a better alternative or is your best option sticking with this one? I feel for you, school stuff is very stressful.
bourbon-biscuit is offline  
Old May 23rd 2014, 1:30 am
  #110  
She'll be right
 
Pom_Chch's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Near the beach, NZ
Posts: 1,498
Pom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Nice update Dannigirl

May I ask - what is it that you mean in particular when you say you would worry about your children's prospects if you moved back to NZ? Do you mean education/jobs/getting in with the wrong crowd type stuff or something more?
Pom_Chch is offline  
Old May 23rd 2014, 5:49 am
  #111  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
dannigirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 696
dannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit
Hang in there dannigirl, sounds like it is all still early days feeling. I know what you mean about the cars - I forgot that most homes do not have driveways to tidily park their cars on in the UK and it took some adjusting!

The education situation sounds much more worrisome. It can't be all schools in Wales; is there a better alternative or is your best option sticking with this one? I feel for you, school stuff is very stressful.
No it's not all schools but the challenge is finding the good schools. We've already had incorrect/false information about the current school. All the good primary schools are over subscribed and strictly zoned. So we'd have to move into zone and then there is no guarantee of a place. Rock and hard place. Better for us to stick with the devil we know at the moment.
dannigirl is offline  
Old May 23rd 2014, 7:09 am
  #112  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
dannigirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 696
dannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch
Nice update Dannigirl

May I ask - what is it that you mean in particular when you say you would worry about your children's prospects if you moved back to NZ? Do you mean education/jobs/getting in with the wrong crowd type stuff or something more?
Look, it certainly was not a deciding factor in moving back to the UK from NZ..but the reality is in NZ is that it is much smaller. Smaller job market, maybe there would be restrictions if our children were very academic (not sure). I would want them to travel and experience the world. We certainly did not move back for this reason and we are certainly not jetting off to Europe every other weekend on deep and meaningful, cultural and educational trips, or having that cheap European holiday (in school holiday time!). Fine if you're retired and have money or of an age where school children are not in the picture.

There are wrong crowds both sides of the worlds, peer pressure is everywhere. I felt at the time that maybe our girls might have more opportunities to do MORE things here in the UK. What I did not count on was the crap education they are bound to receive, it is also very grim for young people here at the moment. Another report out today about how Welsh schools are behind in ICT. What's being done...another report of course!
dannigirl is offline  
Old May 23rd 2014, 7:33 am
  #113  
She'll be right
 
Pom_Chch's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Near the beach, NZ
Posts: 1,498
Pom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond reputePom_Chch has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by dannigirl
Look, it certainly was not a deciding factor in moving back to the UK from NZ..but the reality is in NZ is that it is much smaller. Smaller job market, maybe there would be restrictions if our children were very academic (not sure). I would want them to travel and experience the world. We certainly did not move back for this reason and we are certainly not jetting off to Europe every other weekend on deep and meaningful, cultural and educational trips, or having that cheap European holiday (in school holiday time!). Fine if you're retired and have money or of an age where school children are not in the picture.
Fair enough points. I have seen these issues raised before on the forum, which is why I asked. It also surprises me in some ways because people who have studied in NZ don't seem to have any problems with going abroad and getting work over in Europe, Ozzy etc. A couple of friends at work have adult kids, one of which is in Welly studying Architecture and has hopes of working in Europe. The other has just graduated with a PhD in engineering (very smart guy!) Another friend has a son who also graduated in NZ with a degree in mechanical engineering and is now doing well in Australia having worked in the UK and Middle East. Another guy has six kids but I wont bore you with what each one of those is doing (plus I can't remember!) But what I did get from the convo is that his kids are NZ educated and all seem to be doing well. As you mentioned in a previous post you would like your kids to be well educated and traveled, which seems viable in NZ
Pom_Chch is offline  
Old May 23rd 2014, 8:02 am
  #114  
---
 
bourbon-biscuit's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,994
bourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

I think things like anxieties about future prospects for the kids are the sort of thing that only becomes a 'something' when there are other significant factors causing doubts. No one moves to NZ, loves it here, has a great life but worries enough about the kids' prospects to move away again. On the other hand, if it's all looking a bit dicey then future prospects for the kids is another thing that can cause angst.

In reality I think kids can do well in either country but at the moment it is a bit easier for kids to get into and get funded at uni here - maybe that'll change in the future.
bourbon-biscuit is offline  
Old May 11th 2015, 1:18 pm
  #115  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
dannigirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 696
dannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond reputedannigirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Well about time for another instalment......we are, after much thought, deliberation, discussion and some hissy fits thrown in for good measure....on our way back to NZ.

We are at the scary, wobbly stage...detaching ourselves from everything and our life here in Cardiff, getting ready to launch ourselves back to NZ.

We have had a wonderful time here in Cardiff, you couldn't ask for nicer people. The Welsh are so warm and nurturing and we've met some great people and life long friends.

For us it has come down to our little family. We have family on both sides of the world and whilst they are always a consideration we have to do what is right for our little family.

I have continued to be homesick throughout our time here and anyone who lives with that knows how terrible it is to live with. An ache, which never quite goes away. On the flip side, I know when we move back I will have that same ache for people, but NZ is where we want to live for now. Who knows what the future holds. We are becoming proper ping-pongers, so I don't think we'll every rule out moving again.

We have been lucky enough to not be hit too hard financially, coming back has definitely paid off financially and also the exchange rate is up so we're happy with that.

We have had a pretty miserable experience with schools here, but most other things we are very happy with. Health, housing, jobs etc there have been no big problems. I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing school mums and I will miss them so much, however, the reality is if we stayed we'd have to change schools anyway.

I know what to expect now moving back, it really hit me like a ton of bricks last time and I'm sure it will again. I have my list and I'm sure I'll need it in due course.

I hope I move back a little less judgemental and not so quick off the mark to make decisions about things. Fingers crossed our journey with education is a bit better. I am not saying that one system is better than the other, there are of course pros and cons but I am looking forward to exploring the NZ education system and want my girls to experience similar things that I did growing up.

I hope I can go back and accept the limitations of New Zealand, for there are many. Whilst generally happy here, it's not the deep down, pure joy and happiness for me here. Always the outsider (which can be nice), not quite fitting in culturally, feeling vulnerable at times, continuously learning the system and lagging behind a bit. I really appreciate the UK and all it has to offer but I definitely prefer living in NZ. I just need to adapt back into NZ life....easier said than done!!!! Wish me luck!
dannigirl is offline  
Old May 11th 2015, 8:57 pm
  #116  
---
 
bourbon-biscuit's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,994
bourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond reputebourbon-biscuit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Deep breath, dannigirl: you can do it! Write yourself a list of things you know now but will forget when it gets tough (this is what I did: it helps!).

Having visited Dunedin last December I think you are moving to a very beautiful city with a real heart, nestled in the most stunning scenery. Wish you all the best over the coming months
bourbon-biscuit is offline  
Old May 11th 2015, 10:07 pm
  #117  
`
 
BEVS's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 38,611
BEVS has disabled reputation
Default Re: Finally an update

I sincerely wish you luck.

I love your openness and honesty about these moves. You echo how so many of us can be and feel deep down inside of ourselves .

Just like Bourbon, with your outlook and insight your girls could not fail to thrive anywhere in the world IMHO

Wishing you all happy contentment for this move and who knows what the future may bring. Perhaps an Oz stint or just somewhere else that fits the bill at that moment in life.
BEVS is offline  
Old May 12th 2015, 10:15 am
  #118  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Finally an update

Hi Dannigirl

Just passing through quickly. Have you done any comparisons between Dunedin and, say, somewhere like Wellington? After London, Dunedin might have seemed a bit 'small town'. Maybe you need a bit more civilisation. I've had a couple of expat clients from Dunedin who found it hard to adjust. Both moved to Auckland and got much more stimulating jobs. I suspect Auckland isn't your 'bag' but maybe one of the other cities.
jmh is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.