It's been a while ...

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Old Apr 6th 2015, 6:45 am
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Smile It's been a while ...

Well hello everyone. I visited this forum on one of my very infrequent sticky-beaks and realised that it had just passed 10 years since I joined here, so I thought I'd make my first post in, ermm, five years? Having had a quick mooch around the various discussions I can see that very little has changed in my absence - same old faces talking the same old shite. lol.

We're still based in South Coast NSW. We have a house in Shoalhaven Heads, but have rented it out and moved in with my parents, just down the road in Berry, because they can't look after themselves any more and it was either that or the old masonic care home. My parents are in their mid-80s and my mum's bed-ridden now, but we get plenty of help from the various nursing services. Current project is trying to get her to surrender her driving licence and flog her car which is quietly depreciating in value in the garage - but she won't have it. She's been driving since she was 9 years old when her dad used to get her to drive the five tonne coal trucks into the yard back in Bolton - and she wants to hang on to some vestige of that. My dad's never driven (he's epileptic) but we're trying to convince him to get a mobility scooter.

My missus' continues to run a web design business, as she has since the day we arrived here, in 2006 - she and her business have supported us through some very 'thin' episodes here. I've tried a few things, including running my own computer repair business, but I currently work in Sydney for a non-profit organisation as an IT dude. I work in the office twice a week and three days from home, so the commute's do-able. I recently got a VW Golf TSi Blue Motion with all the trimmings on a novated lease and driving it is a joy. Not to mention my old car was a Kluger which did about 450km on a 70 litre tank and the Golf does just under 900km on a 50 litre tank! Lease is great - never have to worry about any bill surprises or fuel, it's all covered in the reasonable monthly payment.

My son was four years old when we moved here and he's now 13 and at a very good local school. He's bright and got a scholarship and is in the top sets for all his subjects. He also recently got his third-dan black belt in junior kick-boxing - so don't **** with him. He's quite a good looking dude and attracts plenty of attention from the girls but seems fairly oblivious to it. He's a very well adjusted young bloke with great manners and great attitude. I feel he's had a much more laid-back upbringing here than he'd have had in the UK. His two cousins back in the UK are about the same age as him and it's been very interesting comparing the three of them over the last decade.

In mid-June we'll be travelling to the UK for a month for our very first visit back. I can honestly state that I've never felt any homesickness and nor has my wife or son. Anyway, it should be an interesting trip. We'll be staying with my wife's parents near Cambridge for part of the time and then travelling back to the west country to stay with old friends. So many people wanted to catch up with us that we decided to pick a couple of main bases for the month and have people travel to us rather than the other way around - or otherwise we'd have been on the road for the duration. We'll be meeting loads of old mates for a day at Alton Towers and then spending some time in Cornwall and the Cotswolds.

So that's us. Looking back on our adventures there is no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing in moving here. Australia is the sort of place where you can still make your own luck if you want it badly enough. Yes it's awash in more rules and regulations than most other civilised country I've encountered but the standard of living is also extremely high and the kind of lifestyle I've grown to accept as normal here would make many of my old friends in the UK eyes water. We surf, we snorkel, we swim in the ocean, we go for walks in national parks the size whole countries, we travel cheaply, we eat extremely well, we got out and eat often. Many of the things that the previous generation of expats had to miss out on are now available to us thanks to globalisation and the Internet. We've been streaming UK TV practically since we got here (though god knows it's a lot easier these days) and with Internet radio on the iPhone I now listen to Radio 6 on my commute. You can even get Marmite and bags of Minstrels in the 'British' section of Coles. In all these years since we emigrated the only thing I suddenly had a pang for was a baked potato with all the trimmings from the National Trust cafe at Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall.

At this stage in our lives we have no intention of going anywhere. My wife said quite matter of factly that she wouldn't be bothered if she never stepped foot in the UK again, but she also knows her parents are getting on too. I'm happy here and my son identifies as Aussie, which would be interesting during the Ashes if he gave a shit about the cricket. There's no right or wrong when it comes to emigration and god knows it's not for everyone, but it was right for us.

My hobby is photography and I shall leave you with a photo I took a couple of mornings ago in Jervis Bay, just down the road from where we live. Peace.

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Old Apr 6th 2015, 10:01 am
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Default Re: It's been a while ...

Think you were before my time Hutch but great update and outstanding photo
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 11:02 am
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Default Re: It's been a while ...

Good to hear from you Hutch! Make sure you drop in again sometime
Great update and I love the photo
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: It's been a while ...

Lovely to have an update, Hutch, and to see that your family are all well and happy. I occasionally check out your Photography site so knew you were still in the Shoalhaven area. Your photos are just fantastic.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 1:17 pm
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Nice to see you Hutch, glad all is going well.

Great photo!
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 9:48 pm
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I always used to look forward to your pictures. That one is a cracker. Please keep on posting them.....
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: It's been a while ...

Hutch....me old mucker!

Glad to see that things are well with you.....is it really 5 years?
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Old Apr 8th 2015, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: It's been a while ...

It's good to hear a success story on the migration front. I know lots of families suffer from homesickness at some time. We are based back in the UK now after building in WA and using our house as a holiday home on tourist visas. Not for us, probably the wrong end of life as retired people with most of our family back this end. friends visited this week from WA and are on their way back after 7 years. The pull of family in the UK is too strong.
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Old Apr 8th 2015, 11:41 pm
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Great uodate Hutch - good to hear you haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
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Old Apr 8th 2015, 11:51 pm
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Lovely photo.
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Old Apr 9th 2015, 12:49 pm
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Excellent to hear from you Hutch. Glad it's all going good still although the thought that your son is 13 is a bit strange My kids grow up, other people's aren't supposed to.
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Old Apr 12th 2015, 3:54 am
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Nice to see an old face reappear. Glad all is well with you.
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Old Apr 17th 2015, 9:49 pm
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Nice photo. Stunning beaches at Jervis Bay. The name escapes me but is that the beach just south of Vincentia?
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Old Apr 20th 2015, 9:39 am
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Default Re: It's been a while ...

5 years?? Time flies

Good to have the update Hutch. Sorry to hear about your Mum.

We arrived in Australia 2 years ago and have no regrets. I get occasional days of homesickness, or rather "people" sickness but they are infrequent and pass quickly.
On the whole I agree that you can make your own luck here.
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Old Apr 26th 2015, 6:21 am
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Forgot to swing by and see if there were any replies. Thanks all.
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