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-   -   What a difference a year makes.... (https://britishexpats.com/forum/update-forum-107/what-difference-year-makes-807282/)

rasen78 Aug 27th 2013 7:49 am

What a difference a year makes....
 
I was going to do this tomorrow, but I will be busy running backwards and forwards so it's a day early. Enjoy

Wow, 12 months already. How did we get here?? Well, I am sure you are all dying to find out more of the ROMFT and Rasen story!

We arrived in Adelaide on 28 August 2012. Our first few days where spent doing practical things like sorting bank accounts/cards, going to the doctor’s for treatment for both L and I :rolleyes: registering with Medicare and finding 2nd hand cars for the both of us. We were quite prepared for the cost of 2nd hand cars here so it wasn’t too much of a shock and we both think we actually got quite good deals with both cars. The Beast (Holden Commodore wagon) has proven to be a real work horse, moving furniture, rubbish and all manner of things and has also done a bit of unplanned off-roading.

We also spent a few days doing some touristy things, as ROMFT would be starting work the following week, so we had a trip to Monarto Zoo and a couple of other things too. Once ROMFT started work, me and the kids were left to our own devices and visited lots of beaches, parks and generally got to know the area. One of our favourite places to visit was Warrawong Sanctuary; a free reserve up in the Hills where we had a fantastic close encounter with a koala! Unfortunately, this has now closed due to new bush fire regs. Weekends were spent checking out places to settle. We had pretty much decided on the suburb we wanted and so we were concentrating our search on that area. We viewed a couple of rentals one of which was dire, but then saw a house that looked interesting. The kids and I went to the open and really liked it so arranged another viewing for ROMFT to see it. We agreed it was a good house for us, being in a good location for school etc and in the suburb we wanted so submitted our application which was successful.

Once we secured the rental, we then viewed a couple of local schools. The first one we saw was ok, but there was a huge emphasis on iPads and iMacs and the after-school activities was quite poor. The second one we saw was better, with a fairly extensive after school-programme, OSHC and Vacation Care and generally ‘felt’ better, so that was the one we chose.

We had decided, as we had arrived only a 3 or 4 weeks before the end of term, that we would wait until the start of the final term before starting the kids in school, so in effect they had 3 months off schooling.

We moved into the new rental in September and had a couple of weeks before school started so we really explored the local area, getting to know the play areas, reserves, facilities etc. We enrolled them with the local Scout Group and S got signed up with a local football team too. We also got them both into swimming lessons.

Once the kids started at school, I was able to concentrate on looking for a job. I applied for a fair few and registered with some agencies too (all of which proved to be less than useful :rolleyes) and had a few interviews.
Before we knew it, Christmas was upon us. We had decided to have a really lazy day and this would be the first year I hadn’t cooked a proper Christmas roast dinner, but we just decided to have a cold buffet day, so we just chilled all day. It was great.

Our weekends had fallen into a bit of a routine. Saturday mornings for me were spent shopping while S and ROMFT were at football practice and then Sundays were generally spent at one of the lovely beaches here practising our body boarding and snorkelling. The kids’ confidence in the water has improved no end and they absolutely love the beach. We always finish a day at the beach with a bag of hot chips from the local café :cool:

In the New Year, I started job hunting again. I ended up, toward the end of January, getting 2 interviews. One was for a service/repair company who needed a Service Co-ordinator, and a local Retirement Village who needed a Receptionist/Clerical Officer for maternity cover. I got offered both jobs, but went with the Reception job as it is 5 mins away and school hours. The other job was full time, about 40 mins away and the hours would have been a bit of a pain although the pay would have been quite a bit more. So I started work at the beginning of February. I also took on the role of Secretary for the Scout Group Committee which brings its own challenges!!

Life kind of ticked along quite nicely, until my 40th birthday in May. My actual birthday wasn’t particularly special but then ROMFT got told he was going to be made redundant :( Then I had a phone call from the UK to say that my mum had been rushed into hospital and had emergency surgery to remove a tumour from her upper colon. The initial prognosis seemed to be quite good with the initial reports being that the tumour was thought to be benign. Mum then had scans on her body and it transpired that she has cancer on the liver. She has been having chemo since July and is due to complete it in September followed by another operation so :fingerscrossed: it all works.

ROMFT eventually got a job with a sister company and is quite settled in his new role so that took a big weight off our shoulders.

So, with ROMFT back in a permanent role, we started to look for a house to buy. Over the months, we had viewed rather a lot :rolleyes: We loves a good open day we does :laugh: We have seen many that were ok, but very few that really felt great. There was one in particular we really liked, but it was the wrong time for us, so wasn’t meant to be.

I had a weekend in Brisbane (thanks Polly, Soapy, Alfresco and others ;-)) and whilst I was away, ROMFT and the kids went to an open house. When I came back, ROMFT was quite full of this house he had seen. So, we went to another opening and the minute I walked in, it felt ‘right’. We had a second viewing to check on a few things and then put in an offer. We were walking around Ikea when ROMFT got the call and secured the deal :ok:
So, contracts exchanged, finance approved, settlement 29 August, a year and a day after we arrived :thumbsup: It needs a bit of work and I have long term plans for some work including a new kitchen ;-), but L has requested the first big change be a pool :rolleyes:

So, we have been here a year, and you’ve had the practical side of things, but what do I actually think of the place?

I’m a Hills girl. Fell in love with them when I first saw them on our recce trip last year. Driving through them I am always struck by the ever changing landscape, never quite knowing what view will be around the next corner or over the next brow of a hill. I like visiting the city, but I know I could never live down on the Flat or near the beach.

Adelaide itself is a lovely city. Nice to walk around, nothing is too far, and if you don’t fancy walking, you can just hop on a tram to get to the other side. Lots of places to visit, with various free activities, including the Museum of SA which is a nice way to spend a few hours. I am looking forward to when the children are older and we can make them most of the various festivals that happen throughout the year, not least the Fringe. I haven’t had the chance to go on a proper wine tour yet, but be assured it’s on my list of things to do :wink:

The people are mostly friendly, drivers are pretty much as they are in other parts of the world. Some good, some not so and some downright rude :lol:

We’ve been impressed with the efficiency of the Govt Agencies:yikes: Our experiences with Centrelink, Medicare, the ATO have, on the whole been very good. Payments are prompt, enquiries dealt with quickly etc. No issues there. Some customer service issues with other things such as broadband , but nothing too different to what we would get in the UK.

In short we came without any expectations. We knew our lives would carry on pretty much the same as before (except with ROMFT being at home). We didn’t come to Aus for a new start or a different life. We came because we could, for the adventure and to try it out. We are enjoying our lives here, but we were enjoying our lives in the UK too. Life is pretty much what you make of it. Yes some things could be better, but they could also be a whole lot worse.

The main thing I miss, and I think ROMFT does too to some extent, are our friends. We had made some really lovely friends in the last few years in the UK and it takes time to make those kinds of friendships again, but we’re working on it.

So there you have it. The last 12 months in a rather large nutshell. Our plans for the next year are to settle into the house, get decorating and making it ours. Hopefully we’ll get a holiday somewhere and we will start to explore more of our surroundings. ROMFTs mum is visiting next month for 2 weeks so we’ll be doing some stuff then too. I will be looking for a permanent position (unless I get offered one where I am), but ultimately, when we win the lotto, we’ll be moving to some acreage so I can start up my hobby farm :rofl:

old.sparkles Aug 27th 2013 8:27 am

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
Great update Rasen :)

We'll have to sort out a wine tour soon :D

Kapri Aug 27th 2013 9:21 am

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
Great update :thumbup:
Hope your second year is plain sailing and that your mum makes a full recovery x

Alfresco Aug 27th 2013 9:30 am

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
Wow! I can't believe it's a year already!!! Fab stuff. :thumbsup:

p.s. I'll win the lotto before you. ;)

Have a glass of :drinkwine:

Sue Aug 27th 2013 4:48 pm

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
Thanks for the update, so nice to see how you are doing.

carolinephillips Aug 27th 2013 11:03 pm

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
Happy Aussieversary, and hope life in your new house is wonderful.:goodpost:

Pollyana Aug 28th 2013 10:53 am

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
:goodpost:

Congrats to you all on the first year - and especially to you and ROMFT for managing to live under the same roof for such a long time, must have been weird at first!!!

Twas great to catch up with you the other weekend, hope to do it again sometime! :fingerscrossed: that your mum goes on ok, that's such a difficult situation, but you are handling it far better than I would :o

In the meantime - having achieved so much in the first year....what will you do in the next 12 months...?!!:thumbsup:

sonlymewalter Sep 2nd 2013 4:28 am

Re: What a difference a year makes....
 
can't believe its been a year already :eek:

sorry to hear about your mum and :fingerscrossed: she's now on the mend and lots of happy years ahead in your new house:thumbsup:


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