18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Old Aug 3rd 2007, 12:20 pm
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Default 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Right this is a very long one - so I've done it in two parts:

This was supposed to be our year update – but time flies!

As a brief background
We arrived in Feb 2006, firstly stayed at Chelsea Caravan Park for 5 weeks whilst searching for a rental – then in a rental in Aspendale Gardens. Only stayed there for 6 months as we had the neighbours from hell. Adam had a job lined up before we left the UK – pre-press/graphics. It wasn’t the sort of job he ultimately wanted and the pay was low, but took some stress away. However, he got sacked after 6 weeks as it was discovered (thanks to a work ‘mate’) that he was looking for other jobs. Luckily, both these two initial obstacles had a silver lining: we found the perfect house in The Basin to buy and Adam was offered two jobs the day after he was fired – both on more money!

We have been living in The Basin for 11 months now and love it. We are on the outer edge next to a reserve, so it's quiet and beautiful. I love the fact that it feels like a village and you get to know people really quickly – especially with young children. We even have a really nice proper pub in the village - so it's always nice to pop in for a pint of Old Speckled Hen! We have a milk bar, newsagent, greengrocers, bakery, butcher, off licence, two excellent cafes, fish & chip shop, couple of restaurants and a wine bar. We even have a theatre and an annual music festival (a music club is being formed too).

The Basin has a fantastic community feel and it’s small enough that you bump into friends all the time – more often than not the girls will see friends at the parks/pool etc. The people I’ve met (mostly Mums) have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. I’ve got a great support network – when my car wouldn’t start, I had six Mums call that morning to offer to drive me around and/or pick the girls up. They will always step in to offer babysitting or help.

There is a very nice preschool in the village where my youngest goes. My oldest is in prep year at The Basin Primary School and she loves it. It is fairly small, 20 in her class, and has quite a wide curriculum and huge grounds. One thing that surprised me, was how many primary schools there are in the area – plenty to choose from (a couple of Catholic ones as well).

We have some great neighbours too – they look after our house when we’re away and take in our post. One chap lets us use his swimming pool even when he’s not there (and he works in a chocolate factory – the girls adore him!).

I love the location - only 5 mins to Boronia for lots of shops - plus train link to city (45 mins). Dandenong Ranges less than 5 mins! Lysterfield Lake (and lake beach) just 20 mins. Bay beaches are 45 mins. Excellent park facilities and open spaces for kids and a brilliant leisure centre in Boronia - I've joined in a vain hope of losing lots of weight! The pools are great for the kids - even have two outdoor ones open in the summer. There are also plenty of indoor play centres for children too. Boronia has a small cinema.

Ferntree Gully is only 10 mins away and also has plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes. Knox City Mall is only 15 mins drive away and is great. There is also a cinema, bowling and restaurant complex there.

To be continued......

Last edited by The Crow; Aug 3rd 2007 at 12:57 pm.
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Originally Posted by The Crow View Post
Right this is a very long one - so I've done it in two parts:

This was supposed to be our year update – but time flies!

As a brief background
We arrived in Feb 2006, firstly stayed at Chelsea Caravan Park for 5 weeks whilst searching for a rental – then in a rental in Aspendale Gardens. Only stayed there for 6 months as we had the neighbours from hell. Adam had a job lined up before we left the UK – pre-press/graphics. It wasn’t the sort of job he ultimately wanted and the pay was low, but took some stress away. However, he got sacked after 6 weeks as it was discovered (thanks to a work ‘mate’) that he was looking for other jobs. Luckily, both these two initial obstacles had a silver lining: we found the perfect house in The Basin to buy and Adam was offered two jobs the day after he was fired – both on more money!

We have been living in The Basin for 11 months now and love it. We are on the outer edge next to a reserve, so it's quiet and beautiful. I love the fact that it feels like a village and you get to know people really quickly – especially with young children. We even have a really nice proper pub in the village - so it's always nice to pop in for a pint of Old Speckled Hen! We have a milk bar, newsagent, greengrocers, bakery, butcher, off licence, two excellent cafes, fish & chip shop, couple of restaurants and a wine bar. We even have a theatre and an annual music festival (a music club is being formed too).

The Basin has a fantastic community feel and it’s small enough that you bump into friends all the time – more often than not the girls will see friends at the parks/pool etc. The people I’ve met (mostly Mums) have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. I’ve got a great support network – when my car wouldn’t start, I had six Mums call that morning to offer to drive me around and/or pick the girls up. They will always step in to offer babysitting or help.

There is a very nice preschool in the village where my youngest goes. My oldest is in prep year at The Basin Primary School and she loves it. It is fairly small, 20 in her class, and has quite a wide curriculum and huge grounds. One thing that surprised me, was how many primary schools there are in the area – plenty to choose from (a couple of Catholic ones as well).

We have some great neighbours too – they look after our house when we’re away and take in our post. Once chap lets us use his swimming pool even when he’s not there (and he works in a chocolate factory – the girls adore him!).

I love the location - only 5 mins to Boronia for lots of shops - plus train link to city (45 mins). Dandenong Ranges less than 5 mins! Lysterfield Lake (and lake beach) just 20 mins. Bay beaches are 45 mins. Excellent park facilities and open spaces for kids and a brilliant leisure centre in Boronia - I've joined in a vain hope of losing lots of weight! The pools are great for the kids - even have two outdoor ones open in the summer. There are also plenty of indoor play centres for children too. Boronia has a small cinema.

Ferntree Gully is only 10 mins away and also has plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes. Knox City Mall is only 15 mins drive away and is great. There is also a cinema, bowling and restaurant complex there.

To be continued......
Nice to hear things are working out for you guys
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

So, what do I think of my part of Australia?

We have settled very easily and nothing has really been too much of a trial for us – I think, in some respects, we’ve been lucky. My day-to-day life is much easier here as I don’t have to work, I don’t have to drive in traffic, I go to the gym 4 times a week, I have a great group of friends to call on. I feel a bit jammy really. I do miss my family and friends of course (more so than I thought), so it HAD to be good to work for me.

For me, it is great to have so much to explore. Life in Bristol was good, but predictable – this has been a fantastic new lease of life and surroundings for me. So much to explore – I’ve only brushed the edges of Melbourne city. I love the fact I can visit Springvale or Box Hill and be in a mini-Asia. I found myself in a wonderful Italian-run café in Malvern a few weeks ago and I was transported to Italy, as I was surrounded by glamorous aged Italian ladies in their furs – 80% of the customers were speaking Italian. Neither happens much in Bristol.

It’s also been quite liberating for me – I don’t stress when I have to go and do things with my gym gear on – much more relaxed and less conscious of my appearance. I am quite a solitary soul and don’t really need having people around me (apart from immediate family) but I’ve had to do this and I’ve been surprised how pleasant it is to have all these supportive new friends! I’m also getting used to how open they are and, again, that’s good for me and has been quite therapeutic!

Work
Adam’s trade has really been in demand, which is great for him and certainly different to his experience in Bristol. He’s really enjoying his job and is on day shift, so gets to spend more time with the girls and I get his support/babysitting everyday!! His basic is the equivalent to his basic + overtime in the UK (and it was a lot of overtime!), so that’s great too.

House
We have managed to buy a beautiful house in a stunning location, 4 bed, 3 bath on 1000-sqm. We have the opportunity to add another bedroom upstairs once the girls are older. We also have half the mortgage we had in the UK which enables me to stay at home (or in the gym!).

Finances
We can manage on Adam’s salary fine and we would have a reasonable surplus if we didn’t spend it on God knows what! We have less than in the UK – but I had a well paid part-time job then. Just means holidays are simpler and we have to justify luxuries. I sell the girls clothes on Ebay to finance their next wardrobe! $900 gross over the last month!

Schooling
Have been very impressed with Amelia’s primary school – lovely environment and she’s so happy there. I have just received her first report and it is excellent which I’m especially pleased with as she’s the youngest in her class.

Melbourne CBD
Love it. Vibrant, cosmopolitan, lots of cultural events, exhibitions etc.
I would like to be closer to it, but can’t have everything. The girls love the city too and we go in to many festivals and events.

Friends
The Mums I mix with are generally quite ‘mumsy’. Thy do crafts and they bake – unlike me. They will have the odd night out, but weren’t over keen on my boozy night at the pub. Luckily a couple are and I have a couple of Expat friends who definitely are! Saying that, we did have a fab night out at PINK in St Kilda to watch Drag Grease a few months ago!!
I could do with some more childless/single friends for a different angle and some intelligent wit (I’m not being mean, but I used to work with a number of hilarious computer geeks and I miss their humour).

Adam
He loves it! He likes his job, he has made some friends and plays cricket in the summer and soccer in winter. The cricket club is like one big (slightly feral!) family – but a great atmosphere.

Shopping
Agree with quality of clothes and choice too of kids clothes (but it’s not the end of the world). I make up for that with UK Ebay shopping, Mini Boden and the Euro boutiques in Malvern Road.
Do not have a problem with food shopping at all – very fresh and plenty of choice. Have to get used to fruit/veg being seasonal. Only thing I miss is big pots of fat free fromage frais and crème fraiche.

Weather
The summer was wonderful and I love the fact that after a couple of horribly hot 40oC day, a cool change comes in – you open the front door and a blast of 24oC rushes in!! Great. It was hotter than I expected so will get a small overground pool this summer (water regs allowing!). Autumn was very mild, but this winter has been cold and wet (the rain we do need of course!). You do acclimatise quickly and I now need a fleece when it drops to 21oC! I said to Adam today, that living in such lovely countryside, even the rainy days are beautiful. We see the rain clouds hanging over the Dandenongs and bright white Cockatoos contrast against the steely grey clouds – stunning!!

Crime/annoyances
Very little in our area apart from a few boy racers. We did have some kids booming out music and hooning their cars around in the reserve a couple of months ago. I called the police and they were booted out 10 mins later. We sometimes get kids on their monkey bikes I the reserve – soon get chased out by dog walkers. Boronia/Bayswater has some problems with drug/alcohol dependants apparently and there have been a few assaults closer to Burwood Highway over the last year. So, it’s not a crime free paradise of course.

DOWNSIDES?
Parents of course – or more importantly – Grandparents. This is the one thing I find hard – not having grandparents to hand for the children – I need to find some surrogate ones! For example, getting Amelia’s school report – I would have loved for her to get a big hug and a ‘well done’ from Nanny etc. I expect I know what they’re missing more than they do though.
Not much else I don’t like – hooning annoys me, but rarely affects us directly. And the toilet paper’s crap (good descriptive choice!).

OTHER’S DOWNSIDES (MBTUK)
Shopping choice – not a problem for me
Driving – no worse than Bristol
Not belonging – I belong to me, not to a place
Culture – having worked for the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership – we would have killed for Melbourne’s arts & cultural programmes (so I’m happy).
I miss castles (but how often did I visit them in the UK), and Melbourne has some wonderful architecture.

THE FUTURE
No surprise that we have no thoughts of returning home! We are looking at establishing a business (for me with Adam’s help) from our huge garage. I would like a project (after being work-free for nearly 2 years) and some extra money for travelling and luxuries. Watch this space!
We plan to buy all the camping bits and pieces and make the most of this summer to investigate more of Victoria.

IN CONCLUSION
I believe we’ve been very lucky. Adam has a good job, we have a great house and the area is just perfect for us as well as being beautiful. The girls are settled and happy. I have some great friends and lots to do and even more to explore.
Will we be here forever? Who knows – certainly for a long time.

-----------------------------

Good luck to everyone embarking on their adventure!

Last edited by The Crow; Aug 3rd 2007 at 1:10 pm.
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Originally Posted by The Crow View Post
So, what do I think of my part of Australia?

We have settled very easily and nothing has really been too much of a trial for us – I think, in some respects, we’ve been lucky. My day-to-day life is much easier here as I don’t have to work, I don’t have to drive in traffic, I go to the gym 4 times a week, I have a great group of friends to call on. I feel a bit jammy really. I do miss my family and friends of course (more so than I thought), so it HAD to be good to work for me.

For me, it is great to have so much to explore. Life in Bristol was good, but predictable – this has been a fantastic new lease of life and surroundings for me. So much to explore – I’ve only brushed the edges of Melbourne city. I love the fact I can visit Springvale or Box Hill and be in a mini-Asia. I found myself in a wonderful Italian-run café in Malvern a few weeks ago and I was transported to Italy, as I was surrounded by glamorous aged Italian ladies in their furs – 80% of the customers were speaking Italian. Neither happens much in Bristol.

It’s also been quite liberating for me – I don’t stress when I have to go and do things with my gym gear on – much more relaxed and less conscious of my appearance. I am quite a solitary soul and don’t really need having people around me (apart from immediate family) but I’ve had to do this and I’ve been surprised how pleasant it is to have all these supportive new friends! I’m also getting used to how open they are and, again, that’s good for me and has been quite therapeutic!

Work
Adam’s trade has really been in demand, which is great for him and certainly different to his experience in Bristol. He’s really enjoying his job and is on day shift, so gets to spend more time with the girls and I get his support/babysitting everyday!! His basic is the equivalent to his basic + overtime in the UK (and it was a lot of overtime!), so that’s great too.

House
We have managed to buy a beautiful house in a stunning location, 4 bed, 3 bath on 1000-sqm. We have the opportunity to add another bedroom upstairs once the girls are older. We also have half the mortgage we had in the UK which enables me to stay at home (or in the gym!).

Finances
We can manage on Adam’s salary fine and we would have a reasonable surplus if we didn’t spend it on God knows what! We have less than in the UK – but I had a well paid part-time job then. Just means holidays are simpler and we have to justify luxuries. I sell the girls clothes on Ebay to finance their next wardrobe! $900 gross over the last month!

Schooling
Have been very impressed with Amelia’s primary school – lovely environment and she’s so happy there. I have just received her first report and it is excellent which I’m especially pleased with as she’s the youngest in her class.

Melbourne CBD
Love it. Vibrant, cosmopolitan, lots of cultural events, exhibitions etc.
I would like to be closer to it, but can’t have everything. The girls love the city too and we go in to many festivals and events.

Friends
The Mums I mix with are generally quite ‘mumsy’. Thy do crafts and they bake – unlike me. They will have the odd night out, but weren’t over keen on my boozy night at the pub. Luckily a couple are and I have a couple of Expat friends who definitely are! Saying that, we did have a fab night out at PINK in St Kilda to watch Drag Grease a few months ago!!
I could do with some more childless/single friends for a different angle and some intelligent wit (I’m not being mean, but I used to work with a number of hilarious computer geeks and I miss their humour).

Adam
He loves it! He likes his job, he has made some friends and plays cricket in the summer and soccer in winter. The cricket club is like one big (slightly feral!) family – but a great atmosphere.

Shopping
Agree with quality of clothes and choice too of kids clothes (but it’s not the end of the world). I make up for that with UK Ebay shopping, Mini Boden and the Euro boutiques in Malvern Road.
Do not have a problem with food shopping at all – very fresh and plenty of choice. Have to get used to fruit/veg being seasonal. Only thing I miss is big pots of fat free fromage frais and crème fraiche.

Weather
The summer was wonderful and I love the fact that after a couple of horribly hot 40oC day, a cool change comes in – you open the front door and a blast of 24oC rushes in!! Great. It was hotter than I expected so will get a small overground pool this summer (water regs allowing!). Autumn was very mild, but this winter has been cold and wet (the rain we do need of course!). You do acclimatise quickly and I now need a fleece when it drops to 21oC! I said to Adam today, that living in such lovely countryside, even the rainy days are beautiful. We see the rain clouds hanging over and in the Dandenongs and bright white Cockatoos contrast against the steely grey clouds – stunning!!

Crime/annoyances
Very little in our area – apart from the few boy racers. We did have some kids booming out music and hooning their cars around in the reserve a couple of months ago. I called the police and they were booted out 10 mins later. We sometimes get kids on their monkey bikes I the reserve – soon get chased out by dog walkers. Boronia/Bayswater has some problems with drug/alcohol dependants apparently and there have been a few assaults closer to Burwood Highway over the last year. So, it’s not a crime free paradise of course.

DOWNSIDES?
Parents of course – or more importantly – Grandparents. This is the one thing I find hard – not having grandparents to hand for the children – I need to find some surrogate ones! For example, getting Amelia’s school report – I would have loved for her to get a big hug and a ‘well done’ from Nanny etc. I expect I know what they’re missing more than they do though.
Not much else I don’t like – hooning annoys me, but rarely affects us directly. And the toilet paper’s crap (good descriptive choice!).

OTHER’S DOWNSIDES (MBUK)
Shopping choice – not a problem
Driving – no worse than Bristol
Not belonging – I belong to me, not to a place
Culture – having worked for the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership – we would have killed for Melbourne’s arts & cultural programmes (so I’m happy).
I miss castles (but how often did I visit them in the UK), and Melbourne has some wonderful architecture.

THE FUTURE
No surprise that we have no thoughts of returning home! We are looking at establishing a business (for me with Adam’s help) from our huge garage. I would like a project (after being work-free for nearly 2 years) and some extra money for travelling and luxuries. Watch this space!
We plan to buy all the camping bits and pieces and make the most of this summer to investigate more of Victoria.

IN CONCLUSION
I believe we’ve been very lucky. Adam has a good job, we have a great house and the area is just perfect for us as well as being beautiful. The girls are settled and happy. I have some great friends and lots to do and even more to explore.
Will we be here forever? Who knows – certainly for a long time.

-----------------------------

Good luck to everyone embarking on their adventure!
Triffic !
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Originally Posted by The Crow View Post
Right this is a very long one - so I've done it in two parts:

This was supposed to be our year update – but time flies!

As a brief background
We arrived in Feb 2006, firstly stayed at Chelsea Caravan Park for 5 weeks whilst searching for a rental – then in a rental in Aspendale Gardens. Only stayed there for 6 months as we had the neighbours from hell. Adam had a job lined up before we left the UK – pre-press/graphics. It wasn’t the sort of job he ultimately wanted and the pay was low, but took some stress away. However, he got sacked after 6 weeks as it was discovered (thanks to a work ‘mate’) that he was looking for other jobs. Luckily, both these two initial obstacles had a silver lining: we found the perfect house in The Basin to buy and Adam was offered two jobs the day after he was fired – both on more money!

We have been living in The Basin for 11 months now and love it. We are on the outer edge next to a reserve, so it's quiet and beautiful. I love the fact that it feels like a village and you get to know people really quickly – especially with young children. We even have a really nice proper pub in the village - so it's always nice to pop in for a pint of Old Speckled Hen! We have a milk bar, newsagent, greengrocers, bakery, butcher, off licence, two excellent cafes, fish & chip shop, couple of restaurants and a wine bar. We even have a theatre and an annual music festival (a music club is being formed too).

The Basin has a fantastic community feel and it’s small enough that you bump into friends all the time – more often than not the girls will see friends at the parks/pool etc. The people I’ve met (mostly Mums) have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. I’ve got a great support network – when my car wouldn’t start, I had six Mums call that morning to offer to drive me around and/or pick the girls up. They will always step in to offer babysitting or help.

There is a very nice preschool in the village where my youngest goes. My oldest is in prep year at The Basin Primary School and she loves it. It is fairly small, 20 in her class, and has quite a wide curriculum and huge grounds. One thing that surprised me, was how many primary schools there are in the area – plenty to choose from (a couple of Catholic ones as well).

We have some great neighbours too – they look after our house when we’re away and take in our post. One chap lets us use his swimming pool even when he’s not there (and he works in a chocolate factory – the girls adore him!).

I love the location - only 5 mins to Boronia for lots of shops - plus train link to city (45 mins). Dandenong Ranges less than 5 mins! Lysterfield Lake (and lake beach) just 20 mins. Bay beaches are 45 mins. Excellent park facilities and open spaces for kids and a brilliant leisure centre in Boronia - I've joined in a vain hope of losing lots of weight! The pools are great for the kids - even have two outdoor ones open in the summer. There are also plenty of indoor play centres for children too. Boronia has a small cinema.

Ferntree Gully is only 10 mins away and also has plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes. Knox City Mall is only 15 mins drive away and is great. There is also a cinema, bowling and restaurant complex there.

To be continued......
what a fab post, I am from Bristol but left 7 years ago (OH job in London) .I love Bristol and would love to know how Melbourne compares !!. We were going to go to Sydney or Melbourne but found we just did not like Sydney.
Now looking at Melbourne, we have to small children just starting school, really worried about going out cold without looking first!! any advice would be great!! Thanks.
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Great update.......keep lovin it The Crows
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Great post. Hoping to move to Melbourne area ourselves next year and it is good to hear such a positive story. Really glad things are going so well for you.
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Fantastic post I really hope once we make the move I can write an update just like yours, carry on enjoying your life in Melbourne
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Lovely update, all the best for the next 18 months!

Debbie
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Old Aug 3rd 2007, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Thanks for all your nice comments and wishes!

Estherg - I will get back to you soon!
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Old Aug 4th 2007, 1:30 am
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Fantastic for you guys...that area of the World always seems beautiful to me when I'm passing through it

I can relate to a lot of the sentiments....hope you keep enjoying it
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Old Aug 4th 2007, 2:26 am
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Fantastic update .....continue to enjoy this wonderful State we are lucky enough to live in
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Old Aug 4th 2007, 8:14 am
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

Originally Posted by The Crow View Post
So, what do I think of my part of Australia?

We have settled very easily and nothing has really been too much of a trial for us – I think, in some respects, we’ve been lucky. My day-to-day life is much easier here as I don’t have to work, I don’t have to drive in traffic, I go to the gym 4 times a week, I have a great group of friends to call on. I feel a bit jammy really. I do miss my family and friends of course (more so than I thought), so it HAD to be good to work for me.

For me, it is great to have so much to explore. Life in Bristol was good, but predictable – this has been a fantastic new lease of life and surroundings for me. So much to explore – I’ve only brushed the edges of Melbourne city. I love the fact I can visit Springvale or Box Hill and be in a mini-Asia. I found myself in a wonderful Italian-run café in Malvern a few weeks ago and I was transported to Italy, as I was surrounded by glamorous aged Italian ladies in their furs – 80% of the customers were speaking Italian. Neither happens much in Bristol.

It’s also been quite liberating for me – I don’t stress when I have to go and do things with my gym gear on – much more relaxed and less conscious of my appearance. I am quite a solitary soul and don’t really need having people around me (apart from immediate family) but I’ve had to do this and I’ve been surprised how pleasant it is to have all these supportive new friends! I’m also getting used to how open they are and, again, that’s good for me and has been quite therapeutic!

Work
Adam’s trade has really been in demand, which is great for him and certainly different to his experience in Bristol. He’s really enjoying his job and is on day shift, so gets to spend more time with the girls and I get his support/babysitting everyday!! His basic is the equivalent to his basic + overtime in the UK (and it was a lot of overtime!), so that’s great too.

House
We have managed to buy a beautiful house in a stunning location, 4 bed, 3 bath on 1000-sqm. We have the opportunity to add another bedroom upstairs once the girls are older. We also have half the mortgage we had in the UK which enables me to stay at home (or in the gym!).

Finances
We can manage on Adam’s salary fine and we would have a reasonable surplus if we didn’t spend it on God knows what! We have less than in the UK – but I had a well paid part-time job then. Just means holidays are simpler and we have to justify luxuries. I sell the girls clothes on Ebay to finance their next wardrobe! $900 gross over the last month!

Schooling
Have been very impressed with Amelia’s primary school – lovely environment and she’s so happy there. I have just received her first report and it is excellent which I’m especially pleased with as she’s the youngest in her class.

Melbourne CBD
Love it. Vibrant, cosmopolitan, lots of cultural events, exhibitions etc.
I would like to be closer to it, but can’t have everything. The girls love the city too and we go in to many festivals and events.

Friends
The Mums I mix with are generally quite ‘mumsy’. Thy do crafts and they bake – unlike me. They will have the odd night out, but weren’t over keen on my boozy night at the pub. Luckily a couple are and I have a couple of Expat friends who definitely are! Saying that, we did have a fab night out at PINK in St Kilda to watch Drag Grease a few months ago!!
I could do with some more childless/single friends for a different angle and some intelligent wit (I’m not being mean, but I used to work with a number of hilarious computer geeks and I miss their humour).

Adam
He loves it! He likes his job, he has made some friends and plays cricket in the summer and soccer in winter. The cricket club is like one big (slightly feral!) family – but a great atmosphere.

Shopping
Agree with quality of clothes and choice too of kids clothes (but it’s not the end of the world). I make up for that with UK Ebay shopping, Mini Boden and the Euro boutiques in Malvern Road.
Do not have a problem with food shopping at all – very fresh and plenty of choice. Have to get used to fruit/veg being seasonal. Only thing I miss is big pots of fat free fromage frais and crème fraiche.

Weather
The summer was wonderful and I love the fact that after a couple of horribly hot 40oC day, a cool change comes in – you open the front door and a blast of 24oC rushes in!! Great. It was hotter than I expected so will get a small overground pool this summer (water regs allowing!). Autumn was very mild, but this winter has been cold and wet (the rain we do need of course!). You do acclimatise quickly and I now need a fleece when it drops to 21oC! I said to Adam today, that living in such lovely countryside, even the rainy days are beautiful. We see the rain clouds hanging over the Dandenongs and bright white Cockatoos contrast against the steely grey clouds – stunning!!

Crime/annoyances
Very little in our area apart from a few boy racers. We did have some kids booming out music and hooning their cars around in the reserve a couple of months ago. I called the police and they were booted out 10 mins later. We sometimes get kids on their monkey bikes I the reserve – soon get chased out by dog walkers. Boronia/Bayswater has some problems with drug/alcohol dependants apparently and there have been a few assaults closer to Burwood Highway over the last year. So, it’s not a crime free paradise of course.

DOWNSIDES?
Parents of course – or more importantly – Grandparents. This is the one thing I find hard – not having grandparents to hand for the children – I need to find some surrogate ones! For example, getting Amelia’s school report – I would have loved for her to get a big hug and a ‘well done’ from Nanny etc. I expect I know what they’re missing more than they do though.
Not much else I don’t like – hooning annoys me, but rarely affects us directly. And the toilet paper’s crap (good descriptive choice!).

OTHER’S DOWNSIDES (MBTUK)
Shopping choice – not a problem for me
Driving – no worse than Bristol
Not belonging – I belong to me, not to a place
Culture – having worked for the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership – we would have killed for Melbourne’s arts & cultural programmes (so I’m happy).
I miss castles (but how often did I visit them in the UK), and Melbourne has some wonderful architecture.

THE FUTURE
No surprise that we have no thoughts of returning home! We are looking at establishing a business (for me with Adam’s help) from our huge garage. I would like a project (after being work-free for nearly 2 years) and some extra money for travelling and luxuries. Watch this space!
We plan to buy all the camping bits and pieces and make the most of this summer to investigate more of Victoria.

IN CONCLUSION
I believe we’ve been very lucky. Adam has a good job, we have a great house and the area is just perfect for us as well as being beautiful. The girls are settled and happy. I have some great friends and lots to do and even more to explore.
Will we be here forever? Who knows – certainly for a long time.

-----------------------------

Good luck to everyone embarking on their adventure!
Very good nice to see some remarks with exactly what we are thinking!!!We have been her 3 weeks and my wife totally knows what you mean by the mums being mumsy!! We are both still up for a laugh and enjoy going out and having it!!and every one with kids we have met seem ready for there graves!! I am from sydney and my wife is engish we have just moved here from surrey after living there for the past 12 years.We are located in port melbourne and would likenglisheet up with any one that would like to.We are both in our early thirties and have a boy of 16 months if you would like to catch up for a drink let us know.
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Old Aug 4th 2007, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

[QUOTE=The Crow;5143157]So, what do I think of my part of Australia?
HI GUYS! That was SUCH a helpful bit of info. Dont know why but cameover really emotional and had a bit of a blub! My husband has been in contact with Adam in the past about the pre press trade as he will be looking for work around your area beginning feb,and was really happy to hear the wages were good. To be honest we have been REALLY panicking recently, hearing about the exchange rate creeping down and down, and properties going up and up...which now looks like the type of life we thought we could have had 12 months ago is way out of our reach now.does this sound right?George is 3 so we will be looking at pre schools (do you have an idea how much these cost?)and expats have been posting food prices saying oz is approx 11% higher for your average weekly food shop?

It was a breath of fresh air to read your post, and helped calm (a few) of my nerves now we are getting closer....just waiting for the fianl YES! or NO! for the visa. Meds sent 12th july so hoping we will hear in the next month. The flights have gone up £150 pp in the last 3 weeks as peak time when we come out and we may risk booking themto secure the price.
Sorry to waffle on! ADAM!! if you hear of any job openings end jan, please give us a shout! (and by the way,you said the other mums were a bit mumsy and not too keen on your boozy nights???well, keep a date in your diary when we arrive and you will have another mum without mum mentality to hit the town with!!!!Lots of love, Tracey, Justin and George.xx
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Old Aug 4th 2007, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: 18 MONTHS IN MELBOURNE!

[QUOTE=The howellers;5147661]
Originally Posted by The Crow View Post
So, what do I think of my part of Australia?
HI GUYS! That was SUCH a helpful bit of info. Dont know why but cameover really emotional and had a bit of a blub! My husband has been in contact with Adam in the past about the pre press trade as he will be looking for work around your area beginning feb,and was really happy to hear the wages were good. To be honest we have been REALLY panicking recently, hearing about the exchange rate creeping down and down, and properties going up and up...which now looks like the type of life we thought we could have had 12 months ago is way out of our reach now.does this sound right?George is 3 so we will be looking at pre schools (do you have an idea how much these cost?)and expats have been posting food prices saying oz is approx 11% higher for your average weekly food shop?

It was a breath of fresh air to read your post, and helped calm (a few) of my nerves now we are getting closer....just waiting for the fianl YES! or NO! for the visa. Meds sent 12th july so hoping we will hear in the next month. The flights have gone up £150 pp in the last 3 weeks as peak time when we come out and we may risk booking themto secure the price.
Sorry to waffle on! ADAM!! if you hear of any job openings end jan, please give us a shout! (and by the way,you said the other mums were a bit mumsy and not too keen on your boozy nights???well, keep a date in your diary when we arrive and you will have another mum without mum mentality to hit the town with!!!!Lots of love, Tracey, Justin and George.xx
Sorry was going to say, still love a night out and so not a mumsy. Already living in smallville and so know what you mean! so if we get to Melbourne count me in for a beer!
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