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Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Old Jan 26th 2008, 3:23 am
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Default Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Hello All

Well we’ve now been here six months and I told myself that I would do an update after that period of time – so here goes – sorry for it being so long but I do enjoy reading people’s updates and of course you've got the choice as to whether you read it all or not!

Who we are! We were on the December 2006 thread of applications having just made it on to that thread as posted our application on 29 December! That period of our lives seems like such a long time ago! We are a family of four – myself, OH Patrick and two children – Louie aged 13 and Ellie aged 8.

Leaving the UK! We moved out of our house in the UK two weeks before leaving and used our friends' house as they were on holiday and I can tell you we were so grateful for that – gave us our space to go back to every night after the rounds of saying goodbye! The hardest goodbye was to my OH’s parents as they are much older than mine and we are very close. We seemed to have been saying goodbyes for such a long time as unfortunately for me I had to say goodbye to my mum at the back end of May as she was in the UK from Spain where she lives. Plus of course it was school holidays when we left so had to say goodbye to some friends before they went on away. Didn’t find the goodbyes as hard as I thought – not sure why – I’m not usually a hard faced person!!

At the Airport - A funny thing happened to us – we got chatting to the family behind us at check in – they were returning from a 5 week trip through Europe – turns out they live 20 minutes from where we were hoping to settle. We just clicked and exchanged details and have kept in touch with them and they have become good friends of us – we are going camping with them at Easter! Made us feel so much better in the departure lounge!

First Week! We arrived in Sydney on 3 August 2007 – OH’s birthday. Travelled with Singapore Airlines who I would recommend thoroughly. On arrival we travelled straight to the Central Coast and were lucky enough to be able to stay with OH’s cousins in Phegan’s Bay which gave us a base to use to look at properties and schools etc. Opened a bank account with Westpac and cannot fault them at all – they were and have continued to be extremely helpful to us; we also found out our Tax File Numbers – had these already as OH and I are ping pong poms having lived and worked here in 1989 to 1990 (long time ago now!), applied for ABN number and borrowed a car from another cousin! Registered with a couple of estate agents and started to look at houses – as much as it was nice to being staying with family - we wanted our own space as soon as we could.

Houses – We were originally planning on renting a house and came across one that was available to rent and buy so we ended up buying it which was a bit scary but I think we’ve done the right thing!! It’s on a place called St Hubert’s Island which is a beautiful place to live – the kids love it – it’s very safe for them to ride around and they have made friends here. My son has taken up fishing - something which I never thought that he would do – he’s done it once in the UK on the Thames – there’s something slightly different about fishing here though!! The house is lovely but is stuck in 1975 so you can imagine what the decor looks like but it’s clean and tidy and has loads of space and a pool and three garages and a workshop out the back and we love it! We are gradually turning it in to our home!

Schools - We enrolled both children in school – younger one settled in so well and was asked back to somebody’s house for tea on the first Friday of her first week. Older one did not settle as well – and after only two days at his school we realised it was not for him - I’m not going to go in why as different schools appeal to different children for different reasons and you hear good and bad about every school - it just wasn’t for him so went back to the drawing board and he started at another school two weeks later and he loves it. Both of the children are thriving – been strange for them as when we left the UK they would have just been going in to years 9 and 4 but over here found themselves in years 2 and 7 – I think this has helped them as they have found the work okay to cope with and they have settled in so well. My son’s school draws boys from all over the coast and I must admit that there are days when I find myself driving up and down the coast to get him here and there! Don’t mind though – I still admire the scenery – we live in such a beautiful part of the world!!

Ellie has joined Nippers on a Sunday at MacMasters Beach and we have made some friends up there which has been great – it has been good to see the way that she has thrived here and how much fun they all have. Louie has been missing playing soccer because we of course arrived in the wrong season for this sport but he’s going to sign on next week with a local soccer team and he is looking forward to that. They both got great reports back from school and Louie even got an award at presentation night – not bad for only being at the school a few weeks.

Shipping – We used a company called BTR and I couldn't fault them one bit! We shipped most of our house out here but of course it didn’t arrive until well after we had moved in to the house. We had good fun going out buying things such as dinner service, cutlery, glasses, microwave etc and three double airbeds for us to sleep on and four deckchairs and a tv and that was the extent of the house until our container arrived!! We moved in to the house on 5 September and the container arrived on 9 October so for four weeks that was the extent of the luxury in the house!! I can tell you that it was like Christmas the day our stuff arrived! Was so nice to sleep in a proper bed and sit on a proper sofa and not have to eat our dinner off our laps!!

Work – Pat couldn’t work straight away as his tools had not yet arrived –he’s a Carpenter so I went out to work . I’m a HR Manager and I initially took a three month contract as a HR Project Manager which was an hour’s trip on the train – work was good and I wasn’t getting home too late and of course had a house hubby then! Pat started work fitting wardrobes but to be honest the money was awful and we ended up taking the view that he was actually better off at home until something better came along. The registration process for him to obtain his Carpenter’s licence is a bit of a farce really but I’ll not bore you with that on this thread but if anybody wants to ask about then be glad to give more info. Anyway to cut a long story short – he is now working for a lovely building company and his work is fairly local and he's enjoying it. My contract was only for three months so ended on 19 December and I’ve been off since then as decided to have the summer off with the kids which was lovely – need to start work again soon so have been applying for roles. Just have to share with you though – had FIVE interviews for a role recently and was so close to the getting the job but pipped at the post – but to cap it all was told by a TEXT message!!


Overall View – I’ve just looked back on this and I’ve gone on for ages!! Sorry!! It has been such an adventure so far and overall I’d say that we are very happy here – there are times when both OH and myself miss something – not sure what but we do and don’t get me wrong there have been tears along the way and some days I’ve cried and not known why I’ve cried! You need to keep talking to each other about how you are feeling because there are a thousand and one emotions that you go through. You must come with an open mind – this is not the UK in the sun and of course there are going to be different ways to do things and some of them you aren’t going to like but you’ve chosen to come to a new country and you’ve got to adapt your life and embrace the place. I have found the people here and especially where we live on the central coast have been lovely – so helpful. Come prepared to learn new things and be prepared to speak to loads of people – you’ve got to work hard to build a network again. The internet has helped immensely with keeping in touch with friends and family and somedays when I see them on the webcam I think of them as just around the corner!

Going to end now as I’ve gone on and on – plus it's Australia Day and we are now going out to celebrate! I hope you have found some of this helpful and if you want to know anything more then just ask!! BE was extremely useful to us when were going through our application and has continued to help us out! I must admit I don’t go on here as much as I used to but it’s like a best friend – always there when you need it!!

Tracy
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Old Jan 26th 2008, 6:36 am
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Default Re: Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Just finished reading your story and feel really emotional about it. We go through such a tangle of being in love with the place and also finding days when its just so difficult. Little things such as the names of everyday routine procedures suddenly plunge me into panic.

I've just had the car sorted out and kept talking about MOTs not Pink Slips and now I have to get a green slip and I feel all lost today. But then I go out onto the deck at the top of the mountain, look over at Box Head and can see the sea stretching beyond that. Then it all feels so good that I could never leave. Our view in Northampton was the terraced house opposite - not even a window box i our street!!!!!!!

My 13 year old is no longer happy at her school so a little late in the day we are making a list of where to ring next week. Any info on schools in Gosford? She had been to one outside Hornsby originally when we came out March 2007, but was tired out travelling at 7.10am and not getting home til 5pm. Next she went to the local, but seems not to have any homework. Being in contact with mates back in UK they are streets ahead, whereas she has stood still.

It makes me really happy reading how you are gradually evening out the difficulties and settling into the life you had dreamed about. It is so much better here for the kids in every way and that makes me smile.
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Old Jan 26th 2008, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Hello

I don't often reply to these update posts but felt I really wanted to when I read yours.

What a super post, thank you so much for taking the time to write it. It's so nice to read such a positive and informative update - it's really made me look forward even more to when our time comes. You give really good advice and it's obvious that you are the types of people that make the most of every opportunity and make your own happiness - very inspiring!!

Lots of luck for the next 6 months and beyond.

All the best

Alex
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Old Jan 26th 2008, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Thanks Alex - I was worried it was too long and would bore people!!

Good luck with your move and hope it brings all that you wish for.

Tracy
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Old Jan 27th 2008, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Nearly 6 Months on The Central Coast

Great post and great read,all the very best in your new life
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