Melbourne thoughts....

Old Jan 31st 2007, 7:08 am
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Default Melbourne thoughts....

2 years ago, I was stuck alone in a house in Cheshire with virtually no furniture, no TV and no work as my job in the UK was seasonal. Cas had left for Australia about 3 weeks previously on a 457 to start a job and I stayed behind to sell our house at a time when it looked an impossibility (2 buyers had already backed out). It took another month for me to get to Australia with the house sold, all UK ends tied up and 2 bags full of stuff (Cas had already taken 2 bags before). It was probably the most depressing 7 weeks of my life, the weather in the UK was abysmal that winter and I spent most of my time posting on BE (I racked up nearly 10000 posts as Fireeater and was posting over 70 a day ) and drinking vodka. I arrived in Melbourne on the 1st of March 2005, leaving the UK at a daytime high of 0C and meeting a 37C day here in Aus. The jetlag and temperature change wiped me out for about a week, but there was no rush to do anything so I recovered and very soon began to consider my new country as home. In fact, my first bout of homesickness came when on a validation trip to change our visa from 457 to PR. Going to Auckland to do this, I felt homesick for Melbourne.

Like a number of people who go to Aus, I had never been before. I didn't know what to expect and wasn't sure what I was going to do. In the UK I was a circus performer, which is not the most highly desirable job. However, I came to Melbourne with an open mind and soon met people and found friends/acquaintances. Job hunting was always going to be a problem but I got a lucky break when my hobby turned good. Since I was a kid I have been playing chess, and there is a network of chess classes extracurricula in schools around Melbourne. The company needed more coaches and I applied and got a job. Tomorrow, I am starting my own franchise of this business in Melbourne. How this will pan out I don't know, but like everything else in this adventure, I reckon it's worth the risk.

I suppose because of the kind of work I do, it somehow doesn't quite feel real. It feels like one big holiday. And having friends/family regularly over from the UK has prevented me from taking anything for granted here. Had some friends here over New Year and they commented on how wierd the mynah's were, and how different the magpies are, let alone how amazing the parrots are. Smelling the eucalypts after a downpour is still wonderful, and then being told off for thinking that 25C was quite cool. Saying that, I'm fully settled here in Melbourne. I can happily go to the coast, trek in the nearby hills, peolpe-watch from a cafe, spend time at open-air festivals, go to watch sports, sit in pubs etc. With work I've travelled across Victoria, all over Melbourne, to Brisbane, Alice Springs, Canberra with Sydney likely the next place.

All in all, it has been an adventure come good. Were my eyes open coming to Australia? I'd have to say no. I was certainly more in the being 'pushed from the UK camp' than being 'pulled to Australia camp'. But since being here the specs have gradually rosed. I'm not saying it's perfect, but for me Melbourne feels like a home where the UK certainly wasn't. And when I left nearly 2 years ago, that was what I was looking for, a place to call home. I have tried to be as outgoing as possible and have found the majority of Australian's to be friendly in return. A far cry from the Cheshire village where we never really accepted into the community.

Good luck to all you adventurers,

Carl
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 9:53 am
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Carl , what a fab post, just shows you , you make assumptions about people and they turn out to be all wrong, for some reason , i thought you and cas had had things easy (sorry), i thought your were an accountant or something (sorry), but working a circus WHAL, that kinda blew me away.

I think your story is truly inspirational and i hope your new franchise adventure goes fantastically

(70 per day, ffs,lol)
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Excellent post Carl, good luck with your franchise hope its a massive success!

jackie
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

What a great post Carl, hope you enjoyed your little visit to Canberra

Im still looking forward seeing you fire eating when we finally move to Melbourne, good luck with the franchise, one day Melbourne, next the whole of oz
Mandy
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

OMG, gotta agree that I had NO idea you were a fire eater in a previous life. You MUST do me a demo when I get there. Amazing.

Great post Carl, hope your trip was good too.

Gill
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Great post thanks.

Joex
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Hya Carl
Thanks for your post - really helpful, I too am planning to move to Melbourne.
My husband is very envious of you as he plays chess from the minute he gets up to long after he should be in bed and you have his dream job!!!!!

Best of luck in your new franchise, hope life in Melbourne continues to be great for you

Louise
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Great post Carl.
I'm lapping up any info I can about Melbourne at the moment.
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Old Jan 31st 2007, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Originally Posted by geordie mandy View Post
Im still looking forward seeing you fire eating when we finally move to Melbourne,
Mandy
Yep - that's one social event sorted already
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Old Feb 1st 2007, 9:28 am
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

As long as there isn't a fire ban, I'm happy to give the odd performance

In Melbourne I actually did a few street shows on the South Bank before getting into the chess coaching. My heart wasn't really in it anymore....I suppose a new start meant exactly that. Anyway, I'm getting a bit old for those sorts of shenanigans....

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Old Feb 1st 2007, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Originally Posted by Louiselondon View Post
Hya Carl
Thanks for your post - really helpful, I too am planning to move to Melbourne.
My husband is very envious of you as he plays chess from the minute he gets up to long after he should be in bed and you have his dream job!!!!!

Best of luck in your new franchise, hope life in Melbourne continues to be great for you

Louise
Thanks Louise. If you're husband needs some work, then get in touch. We still need some chess coaches
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Old Feb 1st 2007, 9:37 am
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Originally Posted by Margaret3 View Post
Carl , what a fab post, just shows you , you make assumptions about people and they turn out to be all wrong, for some reason , i thought you and cas had had things easy (sorry), i thought your were an accountant or something (sorry), but working a circus WHAL, that kinda blew me away.

I think your story is truly inspirational and i hope your new franchise adventure goes fantastically

(70 per day, ffs,lol)
Thanks Margaret and no worries about the assumptions....I don't go round bragging that I'm a chess nerd

Hopefully some people who read this will find it inspirational and will have the belief that things can come together with a positive outlook and a genuine desire to embrace a new culture. Like I said originally Melbourne is not perfect, but my belief is that people need to take control and responsibility of their lives as much as possible and not go round blaming others or circumstances for their problems. At the very least in this case, people wouldn't wallow in self pity but would make decisions and try to do things to improve their lot. Saying that, I wallowed plenty while I was stuck alone in England.....if it wasn't for this site and some great people (especially Bordy and Willmore) I'm not sure what I'd have done?
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Old Feb 1st 2007, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Hi, thanks for that - a good read and glad you're loving it here in Melbourne - I'm liking it more and more each day!

We've also come from Cheshire - whereabouts were you, we were in Crewe and I don't miss it at all.
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Old Feb 1st 2007, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
Hi, thanks for that - a good read and glad you're loving it here in Melbourne - I'm liking it more and more each day!

We've also come from Cheshire - whereabouts were you, we were in Crewe and I don't miss it at all.
I'm a southerner originally, but for the last 3 years in UK I was living in Mow Cop. My wife's folks live in Haslington. I never really got used to that area and to an extent moving to Cheshire was the final straw of wanting to get out of England. I'd been living in Coventry for 12 years before that
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Old Feb 1st 2007, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Melbourne thoughts....

Originally Posted by Shakmaty View Post
As long as there isn't a fire ban, I'm happy to give the odd performance

In Melbourne I actually did a few street shows on the South Bank before getting into the chess coaching. My heart wasn't really in it anymore....I suppose a new start meant exactly that. Anyway, I'm getting a bit old for those sorts of shenanigans....



carl, you are now my wee girls hero and she wants to know if you teach her to juggle when she comes over ..............awwe bless

(she also likes playing chess, i can see you two getting along)

Last edited by Margaret3; Feb 1st 2007 at 7:20 pm.
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