9 year update!

Old Oct 10th 2018, 1:01 pm
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Cool 9 year update!

It's been a while since I was on BEP, so I guess an update is called for.

Last time you heard from me, I was working as a key account manager at my friend's air conditioning company. That was a great job, and kept us going for a couple of years... until I was made redundant (with no payout). A few months later, the company slid into liquidation, and my friend moved to Sydney with his family to become someone else's employee.

Since then I have retrained as a residential property manager, and I'm currently seeking work in that field.

Meanwhile, Mrs Stampede got herself a part time teaching job at a local Indigenous school, where she teaches a variety of subjects, including the Kaurna language (which she knew absolutely nothing about until two years ago). She has picked it up pretty well! She's been at the school for about two years now, and will probably be renewed for a third.

The pups are growing up fast, and enjoying their new school.

In September we visited the UK for 10 days to celebrate my brother in law's wedding. It was the first time I'd been back to the Old Country in 9 years!

Photos to follow.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: 9 year update!

We booked a VW Passat with Europcar, but when we arrived it wasn't available so they upgraded us to a Volvo S90 D4 free of charge!





My brother in law lives in Lichfield, and we stayed with him. I used to work in Lichfield when we lived in the UK, and it's absolutely my favourite English cathedral city.


















More photos of Lichfield.

Last edited by Vash the Stampede; Oct 10th 2018 at 5:45 pm.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:28 pm
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If you visit Lichfield, you must see the cathedral!





















Yes, that's our pups; Johanna (9) and Thomas (8 next month).

More photos of Lichfield Cathedral.

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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:30 pm
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Another hot spot is the Samuel Johnson Museum. Johnson wrote the first English dictionary!














​​​​​​​More photos of the Samuel Johnson Museum.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:36 pm
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We saw Warwick Castle!











More photos of Warwick Castle.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:42 pm
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We spent an afternoon in Ironbridge!



















More photos of Ironbridge.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:54 pm
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We had a great time at my brother in law's wedding!



The little girl in the middle here is the pups' cousin.













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Old Oct 10th 2018, 5:59 pm
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Bonus photos of the pups.




















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Old Oct 10th 2018, 6:34 pm
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Some reflections on the UK...

Roads & traffic.
No change here. The British road system still consists of multiple traffic jams connected by a random assortment of increasingly incomprehensible roundabouts, some of which are linked by motorways where the only rule seems to be 'don't indicate; just assume everyone else knows where you're going.' Parking is non-existent, driveways are a luxury, and garages are only for people with six figure incomes.

TV.
British TV has gone down the drain. It used to be great, but now almost every channel simply clones every show on every other channel, so there's not much to watch. A typical evening of British TV looks like this:

* News ('A highly anticipated white paper from the Home Office has confirmed that everything is bad. Overseas, badness is on the decline, and for the most part it's pretty OK. The President of Burundi has been quoted as saying "At least it's not as bad here as it is in Britain".')

* Weather ('The weather is bad.')

* Soap opera ('If you thought your relationship was bad, check out these dysfunctional morons.')

* Reality show ('Here are some completely unlikeable people doing things badly. Enjoy.')

* Documentary ('Was Richard III really bad?')

* Something intelligent at last ('Tonight in Time Team, we discover that everything was also bad in the Middle Ages.')

* Late night news: ('Everything continues to be bad. Here's a man who says Brexit is bad. Here's another man, who says the EU is bad. Overseas, everything has become much better.')

* Weather: ('The weather is still bad, and getting worse. Leaves on the line in Fordwich have resulted in the closure of the entire British rail system, including the Underground and HS1.')

* Late night movie: ('Tonight's film contains adult content of bad people doing very bad things to (a) each other, (b) small animals, (c) inoffensive plants, and for some reason (d) Gerard Butler. Discretion is advised. Recommended viewing age: 9 years.')

Internet.
Fibre is everywhere, and that's a really good thing. (Our house in Adelaide has fibre to the curb, and we get 50/25, which is amazing). Free wifi is widely available; so much so that I didn't even bother to get a British sim card, because most of the time I had access to the internet.

Food.
Eating at home is still cheaper than it is in Australia; eating out is still more expensive. I can personally recommend the following venues:

* Plough & Harrow (Aldridge)
* Simply Delicious (Aldridge)
* The Barn at Lichfield (Lichfield)
* Chapters Cafe (Lichfield)

I do not recommend the Tudor at Lichfield (overpriced, dreadful service, dull and poorly presented food of a very mediocre standard).

Real estate.
Houses are still overpriced (same as Australia) and buying is still cheaper than renting (the opposite of Australia).

Cars.
Still cheaper than Australia, with the added bonus of easy access to European marques. Drool!

Petrol.
I nearly fainted at the prices!

Weather.
Perfect and gorgeous, just as I remember it. British sun wakes you in the morning with a kiss on the cheek, gently caresses your skin throughout the day, and winks goodnight at dusk. Australian sun drags you out of bed in the morning, skins you alive, rolls you in salt for the rest of the day, and hurls your shattered carcass into a brick wall at 5pm with a callous 'SEE YA TOMORROW, WANKER!'
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 6:38 pm
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With Mrs Stampede's parents becoming older and more frail, a long term return to the UK seems inevitable. We don't have a time frame, but we're looking at options and possibilities.

Lichfield is affordable for us, and Mrs Stampede's brother is there, so it's the obvious choice. We'll see what the next year brings.

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Old Oct 10th 2018, 11:53 pm
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Wonderful photos.
Thanks for the update. I like reading the comparisons.
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Old Oct 11th 2018, 3:48 am
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Great photos Vash
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Old Oct 11th 2018, 5:35 am
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Great feedback Vash. Glad to hear all is well
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Old Oct 11th 2018, 7:08 am
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Thanks everyone.

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Old Oct 11th 2018, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: 9 year update!

Originally Posted by Vash the Stampede View Post
Thanks everyone.


Good onya Vash
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