4 years today!

Old Aug 17th 2012, 9:47 pm
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Default 4 years today!

Well, 4 years ago we finally arrived in Australia, to a clear blue sky and breaking dawn. Our cheek muscles really hurt from all the silly grinning we did. We were so excited to be here at last, even if out PR visas hadn't arrived and we'd had to get 457s at the last minute. We spent the first week in the Travelodge while we got the nitty gritty things done and gawped at the local sights, then moved out to Manly for a month in a holiday apartment.

OH enjoyed going to work on the ferry, but after purchasing a car, I didn't enjoy the commute along the Warringah road to DD's school on the North Shore, so we moved into a rental in Killara. Our furniture didn't- it was held up by French strikers, so we had 6 weeks of camping on wooden floors in a cold draughty house on a busy road and next to the railway line, which was damp and full of cockroaches the size of mice!

We discovered "mateship" in a big way- DD's school and some staff and parents lent us things until our stuff arrived. DD settled into the school well and made a lot of friends really quickly. My sister and father came out to visit, and helped us look for a home to buy- well the weather was so bad (cyclone) that they couldn't do the diving they had planned at the Great Barrier Reef and my dad couldn't do extensive walking. We found a house and moved in May. It was a renovator, but liveable, with a pool and 4 beds- the Aussie dream. We had got out PR's before Christmas and had flown to NZ to get them. I got a part time job at a pre-school, and things were looking good.

As we moved into our house, I was diagnosed with MS- not quite how I'd envisaged my new life. OH did ask if I wanted to go back to the UK, but my new life was here, so we stayed, although we didn't know what the future would bring. My health has been up and down- on Monday I am having another cataract op to fix my eyes. I'll be the bionic woman by the time I've finished. I have had to give up my job, so money is tight, especially with all the extra medical bills.

We went back to the UK for my 50th in 2010, which was nice, but confirmed for me that Australia was where I should be. DD enjoyed seeing her three close friends, but everyone had moved on, and some of them couldn't be bothered to make the attempt to see us. I had a great day in London with a friend I'd made in Aus who had ponged back to the UK. All in all 2010 was a good year.

2011 started well but went downhill after my 51st birthday when My dad had terrible hip pain, which was later discovered to be prostate cancer that had spread, but had gone undiagnosed for 8 weeks- he was told he had a torn muscle. Dad died of cancer induced dementia after a 5 month illness, so in November of last year we went back to the UK for his funeral.

2012 started quite well- DD made State times for her swimming and swam pb's in both her events. She began the IB and loved her subjects. She was training hard for IGSSA and the school swimming carnival. Then she was doing homework and jumped up, rolled her ankle and broke 2 bones in her foot- again it took two weeks to diagnose, despite having x-rays and physio. That started a whole chain of health problems for her, and after 5 months she is only just starting to get back to normal, though having said that, she is now incredibly accident prone and has slipped/fallen and generally bruised herself a lot.

OH is now the top IT guy for Australia in his firm, and is doing some work for Paul Keating. I try not to let his head swell too much. He enjoyed going to his first rugby international- even if Wales lost. He spends most weekends painting bits of the house, but is looking forward to November, when hopefully we are getting a new kitchen and someone else will be doing the DIY for a change.

Well, I've rambled on enough- going to swat up for my Aussie citizenship now.
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Old Aug 18th 2012, 11:16 am
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Nice update Caroline.I hope you get your health issues under control.It hasn't been plain sailing for you but you still mange to keep going.Well done you.
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Old Aug 18th 2012, 8:51 pm
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Lovely update! So glad it's working you for you all. Good luck on Citizenship. Can't wait for ours.

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Old Aug 19th 2012, 1:34 am
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Lovely update Caroline, it makes you appreciate what you have all the more when you have had to face a lot of challenges (health or otherwise)

I have made a promise to myself today to gather our documents for citizenship, keep putting it off.

Good luck with your eye surgery.
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Old Aug 19th 2012, 1:45 am
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Originally Posted by carolinephillips View Post
Well, 4 years ago we finally arrived in Australia, to a clear blue sky and breaking dawn. Our cheek muscles really hurt from all the silly grinning we did. We were so excited to be here at last, even if out PR visas hadn't arrived and we'd had to get 457s at the last minute. We spent the first week in the Travelodge while we got the nitty gritty things done and gawped at the local sights, then moved out to Manly for a month in a holiday apartment.

OH enjoyed going to work on the ferry, but after purchasing a car, I didn't enjoy the commute along the Warringah road to DD's school on the North Shore, so we moved into a rental in Killara. Our furniture didn't- it was held up by French strikers, so we had 6 weeks of camping on wooden floors in a cold draughty house on a busy road and next to the railway line, which was damp and full of cockroaches the size of mice!

We discovered "mateship" in a big way- DD's school and some staff and parents lent us things until our stuff arrived. DD settled into the school well and made a lot of friends really quickly. My sister and father came out to visit, and helped us look for a home to buy- well the weather was so bad (cyclone) that they couldn't do the diving they had planned at the Great Barrier Reef and my dad couldn't do extensive walking. We found a house and moved in May. It was a renovator, but liveable, with a pool and 4 beds- the Aussie dream. We had got out PR's before Christmas and had flown to NZ to get them. I got a part time job at a pre-school, and things were looking good.

As we moved into our house, I was diagnosed with MS- not quite how I'd envisaged my new life. OH did ask if I wanted to go back to the UK, but my new life was here, so we stayed, although we didn't know what the future would bring. My health has been up and down- on Monday I am having another cataract op to fix my eyes. I'll be the bionic woman by the time I've finished. I have had to give up my job, so money is tight, especially with all the extra medical bills.

We went back to the UK for my 50th in 2010, which was nice, but confirmed for me that Australia was where I should be. DD enjoyed seeing her three close friends, but everyone had moved on, and some of them couldn't be bothered to make the attempt to see us. I had a great day in London with a friend I'd made in Aus who had ponged back to the UK. All in all 2010 was a good year.

2011 started well but went downhill after my 51st birthday when My dad had terrible hip pain, which was later discovered to be prostate cancer that had spread, but had gone undiagnosed for 8 weeks- he was told he had a torn muscle. Dad died of cancer induced dementia after a 5 month illness, so in November of last year we went back to the UK for his funeral.

2012 started quite well- DD made State times for her swimming and swam pb's in both her events. She began the IB and loved her subjects. She was training hard for IGSSA and the school swimming carnival. Then she was doing homework and jumped up, rolled her ankle and broke 2 bones in her foot- again it took two weeks to diagnose, despite having x-rays and physio. That started a whole chain of health problems for her, and after 5 months she is only just starting to get back to normal, though having said that, she is now incredibly accident prone and has slipped/fallen and generally bruised herself a lot.

OH is now the top IT guy for Australia in his firm, and is doing some work for Paul Keating. I try not to let his head swell too much. He enjoyed going to his first rugby international- even if Wales lost. He spends most weekends painting bits of the house, but is looking forward to November, when hopefully we are getting a new kitchen and someone else will be doing the DIY for a change.

Well, I've rambled on enough- going to swat up for my Aussie citizenship now.
Nice update and I can mirror the mateship thing. When we got here we were lent all kind of things including a car and even given - not lent - furniture. We were astonished by the generosity of people and also at how easy it was to make friends. Good luck with the next phase!
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Old Aug 21st 2012, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Ah yes, we still have the bed we were given, and use it for guests and DD's friends that come for sleepovers. I have passed on other things to new arrivals in a similar state, and hope to help where I am able. A virtuous circle rather than a vicious one.
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Old Aug 23rd 2012, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Great update, congrats on your 4 year achievement. Ours is in 2 weeks (6th Sept). You have been thru a lot in the last 4 years but have come out the other side a stronger person. Wishing you much luck for you eye surgery, may your health continue to improve.

Best wishes, Lynn xx
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Old Aug 23rd 2012, 9:14 pm
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Fantastic update, Caroline - it's scary how quick the time flies.

Good luck with the citizenship application x
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Old Aug 24th 2012, 12:18 am
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Nice update. I'm 4 years on October 3rd. Your update got me thinking of everything I experienced when being here. Think I'll do an update when 4 years ticks over. I did one after 2 months which looks very naive now when I read it again. But the love of Sydney is still there.
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Old Oct 4th 2012, 9:28 pm
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Happy anniversary Nige- I am still trying to get my citizenship papers sorted, but so much other stuff keeps getting in the way, that they are sitting at the bottom of the pile on the coffee table!
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Old Feb 9th 2013, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Righto- further update.

Had the eye surgery and it partially worked- I can see much better than before, but still need glasses to drive, and can't now put lenses in, so spend a lot of time squinting trying to see- it left me with a big astigmatism in the left eye. Can't really complain, as I am no longer nearly blind.

Finally lodged my citizenship application, and have the test booked for 25th Feb. Ooer missus! So, I will be able to vote in September. No idea who for, as I try to avoid politics as much as I can. Gillard sends me to sleep as she drones on, and Abbot hasn't revealed his policies, just his budgie smugglers.

Booked a trip back to the UK in December once DD has done her Y12 exams- it will have been 2 years since we last went back for dad's funeral, only this time it is to belatedly celebrate MIL's 80th, OH's 50th, our silver wedding, and for DD's upcoming 18th. Big year!

Mind you, the UK in winter is not where I want to be. We will have 4 days in Tokyo on the way back however. Prepare to be cold, Caroline...brrrr!
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 5:51 pm
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Great updates Caroline
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Old Feb 15th 2013, 4:43 pm
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Gosh is it that long ago I met you at Manly?

congratulations on the citizenship
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Old Feb 16th 2013, 9:19 am
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Originally Posted by asher View Post
Gosh is it that long ago I met you at Manly?

congratulations on the citizenship
Hasn't time gone quickly! (Haven't got citizenship yet- a little test to pass first.)
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Old Feb 17th 2013, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: 4 years today!

Originally Posted by carolinephillips View Post
Hasn't time gone quickly! (Haven't got citizenship yet- a little test to pass first.)
The citizenship test is really easy don't worry about it. Sorry I thought you said you had done the test.

Good luck for the next four years
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