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Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Old Dec 26th 2007, 10:45 pm
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Default Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Been a while since posting, infact feel I owe this to you guys because if it wasnt for B.XPATS I wouldnt know half as much or even probably be where I am today. Just to remind you, myself and my 13 year old daughter came out to Melbourne in August on our own and the first 2 months have been an absolute whirlwind and only now, am I just about hovering back down to the ground. But all is well and touch wood - going more than planned.

Our last week in UK was a mare! Made the very big mistake of doing two 10 hour nightshifts 2 days before I left. It meant I was knackered and lost most of the day to sleep. People were calling round to my house to say goodbye and the phone never stopped. One neighbour wanted to buy my cooker and kept pestering me when could she have it? Another neighbour wanted my bedroom carpet - when could she have it? The OTHER neighbour wanted my downstairs carpet......when could she have it??? The shipping people - Sevenseas arrived bang on time at 9.00am on the Friday morning as I was still taping up the boxes - 17 in all! Poor Chloe had to write on both sides of each box all our details becuase I was in a flap, having not finished the insurance or inventory paperwork and the man was waiting to take the boxes. By 9.45, our boxes were off down to Kent to await carriage by ship to the Promised Land.

Our house had been full of carefully sculptured piles of 'Staying' '/ Mums' / 'Bin' / 'Suitcase No1' / 'Carry on bag' etc etc for many weeks and when I eventually cleared some space to weigh the cases, I was about 10KG over so I had to pack and repack about three times and drop some really useful stuff to the 'Staying' piles. Chloe's Dad, Colin came down in the afternoon to help move the rest of my stuff to Mums - and OMG there was loads still to move - things Id forgotten to take down off walls, in the back of cupboards, lighshades shelves etc! Initially, everything I'd stored in Mum's loft was neatly packed, boxed, numbered and with a full inventory; by Saturday morning we were running out of time rapidly before we had to leave at 12noon for the airport, things were literally being chucked into the boot, driven to Mums and then chucked into the loft. I made a quick final look round the house - not having time to really reflect and say goodbye to my home of 8 years - but I did shed a tear - stress I believe it was at the time???

Gary & Vicky (from British Expats and now in Tassie) met us at Preston and we said a rushed and tearful goodbye to Colin & Mum and set off down to Heathrow. Got there in bags of time, went straight to check-in, NOBODY said anything or cared about the extra 5kg's we had, OR weighed our carry on bags (dratt! could have put tonnes more in there). Eventually, we said goodbye to Gary & Vicky and went through to the departure lounge. NOBODY asked me to remove my laptop from my carry on bag like it said in all the literature, NOBODY asked to see our clear plastic bags with only 10 x 100ml bottles in and NOBODY spotted or asked me to remove the cigarette lighter which I had in my jacket pocket with me all the way from London to Melbourne. Thats Heathrow for you; sitting ducks.

The flight left on time at 21.30 and I have to say Singapore airlines are fantastic. Half an hour into the air - full on 5 course meal and drinks and for the next 12 hours to Singapore, it felt like we were being fed every 4 hours. Neither of us slept one wink, wide awake we were watching the video screen and the little dot which signified whereabouts in the world you were flying over - it seemed to move 1/10 of a mm every 2 hours. But eventually we arrived in Singapore for a very welcome 3 hour stopover. Changhi airport is a fabulous place with everything you could wish for on hand. First place I found was the Smoking room and I joined in eagerly with lots of little Aisian people puffing away in silence. 3 hours went really quick and before long, we were back on the plane - which for some reason felt smaller and less comfy this time round. The next 7 hours (and two 5 course meals later) was the longest period of time I have ever spent waiting for. The dot on the screen approaching the shores of Western Australia, I swear, never moved for 3 hours. Eventually, after much time, we were over land and how excited were we to see the occiasional light glimmering down below which signified life downunder? At last we were approaching Melbourne and I was becoming increasingly agitated (with tiredness and jetlag probably) - OMG what have I done? This is not just a holiday! This is REAL! Panic!!

In the arivals hall at 6.30am, there was no red carpet, no fan-fare 'Welcome to Australia', just a bunch of tired people and a few G'days from the airport staff. Had ALL my bags searched this time - they took everything out.
OMG was it hard word with three giant suitcases - each the size of a small sofas (95kg in total), two carry on bags plus two, tired, jetlagged bodies. Caught the Skybus into the city which would drop us off at Southern Cross Station. Then it occurred to me, that after that I had NO idea what to do or how to go about doing it next. Arriving at the station and manouvering our bags off the bus (after nearly pulling arms out of sockets), we monged about in a daze looking at screens showing stanged placed names and numbers of trains and I really had no idea what to do next - Id only researched this far! So we decided to ring the hotel to see if we could dump our bags there while we waied for the 2pm check-in (I thought I might die before 2pm the way I felt). The manager said 'Yeah, no worries' so we decided to sod getting a train and headed for the taxi rank. Well with 5 bags, two tired bodies and a look of bewilderment on our faces stood outside Southern Cross station, lots of Taxis looked at us and drove by. One did stop, looked at our bags, opened his empty boot, grunted, shook his head and said 'No, sorry not with that lot'. OMG! the day was worsening; it took all my might not to start bawling and crying for me Mum. By now, it was 8.30am, and 10 minutes later, a nice Aisian chap in a Yellow cab stopped and helped ram our cases into the back seat and boot of his cab and drove us to Toorak to our hotel. I kept looking at Chloe all the way to check she wasnt nodding off....and she was! The manager at The Toorak Manor was really nice and was going to let us store our suitcases in the hall until we could check in later at 2pm. He checked the screen and announced we could have the rooms now as they were ready!!! OMG I nearly bent down and kissed his furry feet! Bless that man! Opening the door of that room felt like walking into a Penthouse suite (even though it wasnt) and better still, was liberating myself of clothes and taking a shower in what felt like the warm waters of a Venetian Spa (even though it wasnt). I had THE longest shower - feeling guilty about the notice on the wall saying Australia was in Stage 3 water restrictions. After we had showered, we felt even lousier and would have given ANYTHING to climb into the crisp, cotton sheets of our fourposter bed, but NO; I was determined to keep us up as long as possible to beat the jetlag curse. So we went out for a walk down Toorak Road all the way to The Alfred (where I would be working soon) - which I couldnt wait to find. We grabbed something to eat there in the fantastic restaurant and on the way back, the ground was begining to circle around us and there was adverts for beds everywhere we looked. We headed back to the hotel and by 3.30pm, Chloe was comatose. Infact she slept for 14hours solid (amazing!!) I managed to stay awake till 7.30pm, but by then the room had begun to warp anyway.

More to come soon - its all good!!!!!!
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Old Dec 26th 2007, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. Keep them coming!
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Old Dec 27th 2007, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Great post can't wait to hear the rest
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Old Dec 27th 2007, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Great post!
When is the next installment??
J x
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Old Dec 27th 2007, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Thanks for this great post, well done. I am going to Perth with my two teenagers in Feb/March and its good to hear your experiences, keep the posts coming
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Old Dec 27th 2007, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Are you sure you are not writing a book!
Great post & can't wait for the next part
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Old Dec 28th 2007, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Good read - its nice to get detail - will look out for part 2
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Old Dec 28th 2007, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Great read you cant stop there wheres part two

wishing you and your daughter a fab 2008 in your new lives downunder
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Old Dec 29th 2007, 10:06 pm
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Best of luck to you & yours
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Old Dec 29th 2007, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Enjoyed reading your post, keep us updated and good luck for the future
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Old Dec 30th 2007, 12:38 am
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Great post, please keep it coming and good luck with the life at OZ.. MJ
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Old Dec 30th 2007, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

I really enjoyed reading it, it wasnt boring at all, cant wait for the next read.
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Old Dec 30th 2007, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Great post, you make it sound so 'real'

I felt my eyes well up
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Old Dec 30th 2007, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

Originally Posted by marvinc View Post
Great post, you make it sound so 'real'

I felt my eyes well up
But where is the next instalment???????
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Old Dec 30th 2007, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: Life is Sweet 3 Months on....................

great to read you are a brave and determined woman good luck to you and your brave daughter.
looking forward to part two.
happy new year

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