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LKC last won the day on April 24

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About LKC

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  1. What about somewhere in East Anglia? We lived in villages near Cambridge, Ely, Saffron Walden, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket before we moved to Sydney, and found them all nice places to live. It isn't too far to Bedfordshire, easy to get to the coast, fairly close to London, and has the airport at Stansted which is handy if you like going on overseas holidays. From what I remember of the area, the roads towards Bedfordshire aren't too bad. Lots of really lovely villages around that area, with slightly larger towns within easy reach for cinema, shopping etc.
  2. LKC

    Fun things for non-drinkers and vegans

    The same things that you'd do pretty much anywhere else, to be honest. Australia isn't just about bars, night life and barbecues, there are plenty of things to do. I drink and I'm not vegan, but I didn't hang around in bars or attend barbecues in Australia. There are plenty of beaches, national parks, and other outdoor things to do, depending on the sort of sporting or leisure activities you enjoy. There are also theatres, cinemas, coffee shops and restaurants (including vegan ones I would think, although I never looked). There are plenty of special interest clubs, groups, classes and societies to join, depending on your interests too. Just look for what interests you and do that.
  3. When we migrated, many years ago now, we had a toddler and an infant, but decided to pay for the seat for our baby. Our reasons were partly because it gave us extra baggage allowance, but more importantly it gave us extra room on the flight with a wriggly toddler! We sat slightly further back, in a row of 4, so I could sit on one side with the baby, OH could sit at the other side, and toddler had the choice of two seats (which was great for sleeping with the armrests up). We have flown Qantas, Singapore and Qatar (although we flew business with them, so I can't comment on economy), and found Singapore to be a little bit better than Qantas, particularly with the kids. The last A380 we flew on with Singapore did look a bit tired, though.
  4. LKC

    sending a dog back to the UK

    We have cats rather than dogs, but used Dogtainers. They were absolutely great, and looked after our cats perfectly from the moment they picked them up for the pre-flight stay, right through to delivery at this end. They sent updates and photos for us, which was reassuring, and they kept in touch with us until after they had been delivered by their Scotland partner. They took care of everything, and timed their flights so they'd arrive in Dubai overnight, have a stay for food, water and some exercise, and then arranged the second flight on to Glasgow for a time that arrived in time for them to clear customs and be delivered that same day. The cats were slightly crumpled and a bit smelly when they arrived, but as soon as we let them out of their crates they were back to normal, as it were!
  5. LKC


    To be honest, you'd be better off looking at where you're likely to be working. NSW is massive, it would take something like 15+ hours to drive from the north of the NSW coast to the south of the NSW coast. On that coast is Sydney, plus a number of smaller towns/cities such as Nowra, Wollongong, Newcastle and Port Macquarie, and many small townships, but honestly there isn't much in between. You'd be best off concentrating on the larger towns/townships to see what work is available, and then work out from there. There are families in all parts of Australia, so it isn't necessarily about finding family friendly areas in the state, but about finding work and then finding the areas that will suit your family around that work. Work will be more plentiful in the towns/cities, but living costs will be higher. Living costs will most likely be lower further out, but work may be hard to come by or commute times may be high.
  6. LKC

    UK or Australia? Please help!

    Where in Sutherland Shire are you? We lived in Sutherland Shire for almost nine years, so I might be able to give some advice on saving money, groups you could join to meet people etc. We loved Sutherland Shire whilst we lived there, it wasn't Sutherland Shire that pushed us away, but other things that pulled us back to the UK. Happy for you to PM me, if you'd rather not say exactly where you are on the forum.
  7. LKC

    Time for a change

    Like Marisawright says, it's about the balance on the scales. At one time Australia suited our family best, as it did yours. At a different time the UK suited us better. The scales just tip depending on what your family needs at the time. Our eldest girl must be about the same age as your son, if we'd moved back to England she'd have been due to start high school last September. As it was, we moved to Scotland where they go to high school slightly later, so she went into P7 and will start high school next week (eek!) with the friends she made in primary. Like you, the time was right for our family to make the move. It's a move forwards, not backwards, and I wish you every success with the move! We've never regretted moving to the UK for a second!
  8. LKC

    Seriously thinking of making the leap to Oz

    Have a look at the Woolworths or Coles websites and do one of your online shops, to see what it comes out at.
  9. LKC

    Seriously thinking of making the leap to Oz

    We don't have any regrets about moving to Australia at all, we had a great adventure there, and we got to live in and see a part of the world that others can only dream of. But we knew it was time to move on, so we did. We don't regret our move to Scotland either. It has been hard work, we've never lived here before, and have had to start from scratch in many respects. I'm glad we had the courage to try something new, though, rather than try to go back to what we had before. Australia changed us, and for that reason we had to move on, rather than back.
  10. LKC

    Seriously thinking of making the leap to Oz

    There were lots of reasons, to be honest. A large part of it was to do with timing. Our eldest daughter was due to start high school, and we realised that if she started high school in Australia, it would be more difficult to move back later on down the track, and that if we stayed we needed to be prepared to stay in the longer term (we were there for almost nine years as it was). The longer we were there, the less settled we felt, particularly for me. I felt like a square peg in a round hole. We found it extremely difficult to make friends. Don't get me wrong, everyone was friendly, but deeper friendships never developed at all. I've never needed lots of friends, but I have always made and kept good friends wherever else we've lived (including here in Scotland, where we'd never lived before last year), so I found the lack of friendships hard. More than anything though, we just didn't belong there and it wasn't home. We came over to the UK for a holiday, and it made us realise that we didn't want to live in Australia any more. So, we moved.
  11. LKC

    Seriously thinking of making the leap to Oz

    We've been back in the UK for almost a year, but we used to spend around $350 to $400 per week for two adults and two children, including cat meat, cleaning products, fruit and veg, meat from the butcher, fish from the fishmonger, limited processed/convenience foods. Of course people will come along and tell you that they spend no more than $25 a week, but that isn't realistic for a family in my opinion. Your budget does seem a bit low, to be honest. You will probably find that your budget for your car too small, plus you'll need to add on rego, CTP and insurance. Plus of course you'll need to add in running costs such as petrol. Our shipping was a bit over £4000 in 2009, for a full container, but of course this will depend on how much is being shipped and where from/to. People usually recommend coming with six months of wages, just in case it takes longer to get a job, and you may find that if you try and get a rental place before you have a job contract, you may have to offer to pay six months rent up front. Don't underestimate how the little things add up. Even silly things like store cupboard ingredients add up, for the first few months you spend way more than you think you will on things like that. As Marisawright points out, things like towels, bedding, pots and pans, mop and bucket etc will need to be bought too. School costs also add up because schools don't tend have generic uniforms (eg. grey skirt, white shirt, blue jumper) that you can buy cheaply from the supermarket. It used to cost me $200+ per kid per year for uniform, excluding shoes. Plus you may have to buy their books and things for school, as those things aren't always provided.
  12. This afternoon, whilst driving to our nearest town I saw an RTA. A truck which was driving on my side drove off into a verge at the other side of the road. No other vehicles involved, thankfully. By the time I had made my car safe, calmed the kids down and ran over to the accident, the driver had been pulled from the cab, was not breathing and had no pulse. I assume he had had some sort of massive heart attack/arrest. A couple of people had started CPR, and thankfully we were nearby a local AED point, so someone had gone to get the defibrillator. It took about 10-15 minutes for the paramedics/ambulance to reach us, and CPR did not stop that whole time, with people taking turns to do the chest compressions. The chap was shocked 4 times by the AED. I don't know what the outcome was, and whether he lived or died, but I am sure that his chances were improved by the fact that there were a few people who saw the accident who had had first aid training and who were able to do CPR and use an AED. Please, please, please, if you are able, consider doing/updating first aid training, and organising for an AED to be fitted in your local area so that it can be used in circumstances like these.
  13. To be honest, this is a pretty hard question to answer in some respects, and really easy to answer in others. Australia is approximately the same size as Europe, and there are huge differences in climate between the different cities and states. Families live happily in every area, but it really depends on what you specifically want. For example, we lived in Sydney, and we could have quite happily lived in Tasmania or Victoria, but Queensland, WA and the NT would not have been to our liking. Work is going to play a massive part on where you can live in terms of actually getting a job and affordability. Sydney (for example) is great for families, but if there are no jobs and you can't afford the (very expensive) rent, living there is going to be pretty miserable. If your husband has the possibility of a job in Brisbane, I'd probably explore that first, and find the suburb to fit around the job, although as far as I know Brisbane isn't beachy, but there are areas nearby which are. However, commute distances will be more. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to visit Brisbane in the time we were in Australia, so I can't advise on suburbs, but I'm sure others will be along to help soon. My OH had a job offer in Sydney, and we chose an area to live around his job/commute, and that worked pretty well for the time we lived there.
  14. LKC


    Our local one has 255 members! It is for residents of the cluster of three villages that make up the local community, so you can see how small the villages are! There is a larger shire-wide group, but even that has only about 2600 members! I like to use it to see what is going on in the community. People post events that are going on at the village halls, recommendations for things, people post any suspicious activity (e.g. unregistered vans in the area), details of crimes (most usually things such as someone tipping over one of the local 'Village in Bloom' planters on the way home from the pub on a Friday night), good deeds, information from the local councillor about new traffic signs and so on, planning stuff. It really does help with community spirit. Someone recently posted asking for help for a family (dad and two kids) who had moved into the area to get away from a domestic situation, but had no furniture. They were inundated with offers of help, from beds, toys for the kids, a sofa, garden furniture, lamps, right down to a few people who made up a hamper of food and cleaning products to get them started! I already love the area we live in, but being a member of that Facebook group, and being able to help someone in the community, made me feel like part of something.
  15. LKC


    I pretty much stopped posting at one point, and did think about deleting my account. However, I realised it's an easy way of keeping in touch with people that I might not have the time to email, phone or see in person. My friends list is pretty small, and the only couple of people that I have on my friend list that I haven't met in person are a couple of people from PIO. Everyone else is a friend in real life. The main reason why I decided to keep it was for the local groups and for information, in a similar way to Bulya. The local ones have things for sale/wanted, lost pets, local information about things going on or recommendations for services. A couple of the other groups that I'm a member of are support groups for various things, which I find helpful. I have come across some less friendly groups, but I just leave those. There is usually a better group if you look.