10 year update

Old Apr 16th 2013, 11:05 am
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Default 10 year update

I've posted updates before so I will summarise the first few years. I've changed a few salient details to protect identity.

Came here about 12 years ago on a WHV - influenced by 2 main factors: i) voluntary redundancy ii) a sense of burn-out bourne of a manic decade which saw me leave one sort of life and then end up in another in Europe. A decade which I am still recovering from!

Loved the WH year, flush with cash, jackerooing, backpacking. Options beckoned.

At the time, London, and the SE was very expensive and my wife to be and I realised that Sydney or Melbourne would suit. Well Melbourne, as it turned out.

We came, by accident, literally, to a little village in Melbourne's SE - an hour from the CBD, give or take. We bought a little house on just over an acre of land in a beautiful tree-lined avenue which descends into a valley. It's not a big house even by UK standards but location, location, location - we are surrounded by huge houses on acreage - some are quite grand.The countryside around is every evocative of parts of the UK. I work in the city - I've had a few jobs over the years (some fair, one awful, others better) and now work for a multi-national which takes me to other states and soon, to Asia-Pacific.

We've had 3 kids, all born here, which as you can imagine, has taken up if not all our time, most of our time. They've been lucky in that they can speak a second language (thanks to the efforts of my wife) and we take them overseas every 2 years to maintain this.

There is a lot of debate about how the other person in the relationship goes when they are dragged to the other side of the world: my wife has done really well. She is a fantastic mother and is well liked and respected in the community but she's very modest about it. When she lived in London she was even a little shy but motherhood has really brought out the best in her.
When we arrived, she said that I would get us out of any trouble we might find ourselves in, now I say she can handle anything herself just as well. As we started out here it's very hard to make comparisons with the UK, it also made it a lot easier as we had no baggage...literally -in fact we started out here living out of a suitcase, pretty much, on a pissy old mattress in a rental..with an old 4x4 truck.

I am a vol firefighter and also do a bit of emergency work in another field.
Keeps me busy. I'm also involved in other stuff a bit more artistic to balance it out a bit which is less strenuous.

10 years is enough time to form an opinion on a place. (+/-)

+ Melbourne is a great city to live in but choose wisely. A big house in a new estate might look enticing but it may not be viable or have any longevity - especially once the honeymoon period (or years) have passed. We've had people who chose the estate turn up on our doorstep wishing they had chosen differently.

+We like the combination of city and country living. I like the restaurants and bars in Melbourne, and there are little groups for all interests. The sporting facilities are, if I may say it, world class. I hate the Grand Prix but love the Open. I still can't decide whether I prefer Melbourne Storm or the Rebels (probably Rebels) and I've discovered, that, now St Kilda are out of final contention that AFL is not that great. I've enrolled my boy in tennis as I don't want him to follow any football code outside Union ...and I've been told you can't just compete with the Islanders in the local club...

I love the outback, and country and have some connections/experience with farming but longterm I don't like to be too far from the city. I've also realised that it's all very well enjoying the country but there is also a lot of poverty and lack of opportunity for many. Some experiences:

+ Skiing, wine trips, Alpine District (Bogong High Plains), Wilson's Prom beaches, further afield in Gippsland. (Some great places out that way!) Country properties, beachhousing/sailing on Philip Island.

-I have never liked suburbia and I think this as a main criticism of Australia is perfectly valid. I'm talking about the souless type, not the established places you can find which rival those found in London. That said, for every negative I find in Australia you can identify a UK equivalent. The next point is not so much negative just my general 'broad brush' thought on Australia as a whole:

I feel that Australia is a very compartmentalised country - there are people doing very well and living in a fashion that could be the envy of anyone but I also think there is a huge population of people under the radar forgotten and struggling. Looking at the UK I can identify the same issues but overall I think the UK, being smaller and less homogenous has more variety so you can see change as you roll through a county from city to town and then on to village. Sure you can level criticism and cite London vs the rest of the South East, North vs South, etc but in Australia it sometimes seems like city vs country, inner city vs suburb (etc) and the cultures can be stark. (Of course there are people doing well in both.

I also think that a great many of Australians have a lifestyle which would be envied by their counterparts anywhere else in the world, it's just that this lifestyle is not appeciated by all British migrants who probably have little experience of it before they migrate. I take on board the criticism many people make of Australians and their culture but I can also state that it depends on the Australian, and the migrant, of course.

-We've seen an increase in the cost of living, not helped by the fact we have relied on one income - this is in part offset by a small mortgage and the fact we don't buy new cars or are obsessed with spending. When someone said to us "I'm pretty sure you are the sort of people not obsessed with money" I wondered whether to take it as a compliment or not! All in all, we do well. Infact, we've just been able to make a bit of an investment...which leads me on to...

The future..we have no plans to move.This is our home, (and one day I will get around to paint the bits that need it...) What has cemented our future is the fact that that we can live here quite happily but we also have options later on. It's my plan we can get the squids into a good school (I'm saying nothing more on this one) and later on, we want to send them overseas to round them off nicely. Then it's up to them which people and place they are drawn to, and we can all travel to see each other, as it suits. It might be that we spend time here, and the rest of the time there.

Homesickness...the past...I reflect on the fact I have spent almost half my adult life in Australia and all the experiences that came before prepared me for it: I'm as portable now and adaptable as I was then. I see the best times and places from the UK as just that, part of the tapestry, but I am guilty as any when some are seen through rose-tints. People reflect on specific things they miss, but I find that I can find them all here, and when I wake up to a winter's morning with mist in the valley and a fire that needs stoking, I wonder if there is much to miss from the UK after all. I don't miss the recent spate of very cold winters - Melbourne's is just right!

Cheers

B
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

Good one, Badge.

I can remember when you first arrived here for good - before you got married.

Glad it's all worked out well. Doesn't time fly?
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

Great update. You made it really personal which is nice.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 9:58 am
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Default Re: 10 year update

Enjoyed reading that. Good to see your enjoying life.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

Thanks for a very balanced update which I enjoyed reading.

Originally Posted by BadgeIsBack View Post
I feel that Australia is a very compartmentalised country - there are people doing very well and living in a fashion that could be the envy of anyone but I also think there is a huge population of people under the radar forgotten and struggling.
I have to agree with your point about the difference between people who are living well and those who are struggling - it's something you see a lot on the Sunshine Coast.

It sounds like life is good for you and your family - long may that continue.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

Originally Posted by BadgeIsBack View Post
I've posted updates before so I will summarise the first few years. I've changed a few salient details to protect identity.


Cheers

B
Badge, you sound like a wonderful person with a lovely family. I think your post should be a sticky, so that future BE members can enjoy it too! Thanks so much for posting it
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Old Apr 21st 2013, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

smashin update. i enjoyed that read
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Old Apr 21st 2013, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

Thanks for such a balanced and interesting update.
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Old Apr 24th 2013, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

I agree entirely with your sentiments. And thanks for helping look after me when I first arrived here.

BB
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Old Apr 26th 2013, 7:17 am
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Default Re: 10 year update

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
I agree entirely with your sentiments. And thanks for helping look after me when I first arrived here.

BB
You're welcome mate. In any case - you were always going to do well.
The missus reckons you're a gun, actually. !
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Old May 9th 2013, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: 10 year update

wow, 10 years?

and 3 kids?

many congratulations on both!!

sue xxx
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Old May 9th 2013, 3:04 pm
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Well done matey
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Old Jul 21st 2013, 3:16 am
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Default Re: 10 year update

How was your weekend?

Just a funny old update...

Best weekend I've had in ages, (for a multitude of reasons - many not worth sharing with) a real Eureka moment even - in fact in review, it was yet another weekend of many in the last few years...

The kids are starting to grow up: we're increasingly out and about getting in to more and more stuff as a family, as (and individuals too). Our calendar has been chockers all winter - at a time of the year when perhaps it is all too easy to stay in.

We have some great friends, great conversation, some who are the most beautiful and amazing people, sharing of all sorts of things, and we're in absolute tip-top health.

Life does not get much better surely?

Cheers
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Old Jul 21st 2013, 8:31 am
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Smile Re: 10 year update

Originally Posted by BadgeIsBack View Post
How was your weekend?

Just a funny old update...

Best weekend I've had in ages, (for a multitude of reasons - many not worth sharing with) a real Eureka moment even - in fact in review, it was yet another weekend of many in the last few years...

The kids are starting to grow up: we're increasingly out and about getting in to more and more stuff as a family, as (and individuals too). Our calendar has been chockers all winter - at a time of the year when perhaps it is all too easy to stay in.

We have some great friends, great conversation, some who are the most beautiful and amazing people, sharing of all sorts of things, and we're in absolute tip-top health.

Life does not get much better surely?

Cheers
Us too mate! AND we both live in Melbourne. Must be a coincidence.

BB
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Old Sep 6th 2013, 7:19 am
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Default Re: 10 year update

Very enjoyable read. I visited Melbourne recently for the first time and figured it was defnitely a place I could live!
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