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LKC

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LKC last won the day on April 24 2018

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About LKC

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  1. LKC

    Just saying hello!

    Completely agree with this. OH and I both wanted to move to Australia, but I became very unhappy there after a number of years for various reasons, and even though we moved back, our marriage didn't survive. We are now living apart pending divorce, and he sees the kids for a few hours every other weekend (his choice, not mine). I can't imagine the extra pressure that would have been added if one of us had been uncertain in the first place. I don't and can't ever know if we'd have split if we'd never gone to Australia, but it is an incredibly stressful process that is very emotionally (and financially) costly. I never would have thought I'd find myself in this position, but here I am. Thankfully we split once we were back in the UK. I shudder to think what might have happened had we split whilst we were still living there. Just make sure you're both on the same page.
  2. LKC

    Renew drivers licence in return

    Sorry, I've not been on for a couple of days! I don't exactly remember what we needed. I had a folder that I kept everything in (Aus and British passports, Aus and British driving licenses and the paper parts of the UK ones, birth certificates, marriage certificate, medical stuff, National Insurance cards) and just gave the lady what she asked for. I'd think passports and UK licenses/the paper parts if you have them.
  3. LKC

    Renew drivers licence in return

    We went into a post office and the very nice lady in there helped us out. There was a machine that took our photos and had a thing to sign that captured your signature. The licenses were back within the week. Only some post offices do this service though, so check before you go. It cost £4.50 extra, and as we did it the day after we arrived, jet-lagged and confused, we decided it was worth the extra few pounds. Here is the information https://www.postoffice.co.uk/uk-driving-licence-photocard-renewal ETA: Don't worry about getting into trouble, as above. We didn't notify them because they didn't want an overseas address, and we didn't have a UK one.
  4. LKC

    New School - Documentation Requirements

    As Quoll said, evidence of visa status, vaccination record, proof of address and passport is all that is needed. Ours started school in Aus, so we had no prior record of schooling to give, but when we moved back to the UK, although I gave them the school reports from Aus, I doubt that they were read. The teachers just helped the kids fill in the gaps as necessary. They did take note of all reports regarding my daughters ASD and anxiety problems, however, so if there is anything like that give them those.
  5. LKC

    Caught in the Middle

    I definitely spend more time outdoors here. I used to walk in Aus, but you had to get out really early, and it was almost impossible in the summer, I really used to struggle. The kids hated walking there too. Here I go out often, even when the weather isn't too good, I just put on better clothing! The only times I don't go out is if it has been snowing, or if it has been particularly wet, because we live out on a farm and the footpaths get too muddy to walk on. We were't really beach people in Aus, and whilst it was nice to have the swimming pool in the summer, it wasn't used for eight months of the year. Here, the kids go swimming every week, so they probably swim more than they did in Aus. I actually quite like the dark in the winter, but then it doesn't affect my mood. I just see it as a time for semi-hibernation and quiet reflection of what has gone and what is to come. I am careful with my vitamin D levels though, because I was deficient in that even when we lived in Australia!
  6. LKC

    Caught in the Middle

    Yes, it is awesome, and I am so happy that we moved here! I feel totally at home, have been made very welcome, and can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else! I'm looking forwards to getting out and about a bit more in this coming year, meeting new people, doing new things and enjoying the new life that we have.
  7. LKC

    Caught in the Middle

    We're in Scotland, and absolutely love it! We aren't from Scotland, but ended up here when we moved back to the UK due to OH's work. OH and I have actually separated, and have both decided to stay here because we love it so much! Best place I've ever lived! The weather doesn't stop us doing anything, we just dress appropriately and get out. We've all made so many friends here, it couldn't be more different to Australia in that regard, and I am truly thankful that we settled here before we separated, because it would have been infinitely worse if I'd had to do it without the support of my amazing friends. Moving to Scotland was the single best thing I've ever done!
  8. LKC

    suburb in The shires

    Like Marisawright says, what is affordable to you? Do you have a budget for rent in mind?
  9. That would definitely help, but it's a bit of a balancing act. You don't want to find yourself living in a soulless suburb in the back of beyond but plenty of free cash, but neither do you want to find yourself in a beachside suburb with no money to spend. We lived in Sutherland Shire, which is one of the more affordable parts of Sydney, but even that was getting pricier as we were leaving. We lived around Engadine which is a really lovely family-friendly area. It is about 20-30 minutes drive to the beaches, but the schools are good, there are plenty of things going on, shops etc. It will depend quite a bit on where work will be though. If work is in the CBD, there is a train from Engadine which takes 45-60 minutes from memory (depending on the train you get). OH used to travel to Hurstville by train every day, and the service was generally good.
  10. Honestly, it is a little bit low. Do-able, but it won't give you much wiggle room. Do you have any idea whether you will be able to work, and what your salary is likely to be? We moved back from Sydney just over a year ago, but it was insanely expensive in the last few years we were there. It would definitely be possible short-term, but long time it probably wouldn't leave much room for saving for holidays and things like that (of course bearing in mind that you're likely to want to take holidays to the UK and also explore Australia a bit).
  11. LKC

    Have you taken kids back? Dealing with emotions

    The kids finished at their Aus school on 1st September, then they started at their UK school on the 18th. We figured that they'd not really miss anything, since they were moving between two different systems, and that the break would do them some good. We took them to visit their new school and we went on lots of days out, in amongst sorting out things like bank accounts and buying cars, and it worked really well. The schools have been outstanding. I gave eldest daughters paperwork to them (about her Aspergers and anxiety) and within a month they'd arranged for an occupational therapist to visit her at school, and meetings with the learning support team from the high school, to ensure that her transition to high school was managed well. The teachers were absolutely excellent (and have been since, with the separation). Thank goodness you have permission to bring the kids back. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for people who can't get permission. I don't think for a second that my OH would have stopped me, had we split in Australia, but you can't really know for sure.
  12. LKC

    Have you taken kids back? Dealing with emotions

    We (OH, two kids aged 9 and 11 as they were, and I) moved back to the UK a little over a year ago, after 9 years in Sydney. We moved to a part of the UK that we'd not lived in before, so we had no family or friends to help with settling in. It has actually been fine. They both settled really easily and well at school, made loads of friends, and eldest has recently transitioned to high school without any problems at all. The teachers were all very supportive of helping them cover any extra bits of schoolwork they were missing, and the help for eldest (who has Asperger's) has been exceptional. Sadly, my marriage hasn't survived and OH and I are now separated, but even that has been made easier by being in the place we love. I shudder to think about what could have happened if we'd separated whilst still living in Australia. There are ups and downs, as with any move, but I absolutely wouldn't change what we did in moving back for a second. Australia seems like a very distant dream now, and although I am glad we had the experience of living there, I am so very happy to be home!
  13. LKC

    UK car insurance

    We went with Aviva, and they accepted my no claims without question. I just gave them a letter from AAMI stating policy start and end date (I'd been with them the whole time we were in Australia), policy holder full name, and how many years with no claim. I can't remember exactly how much it saved us, but we paid £633 this year (second year of policy) for two named drivers on two cars (a Volvo XC60 and a Volvo V40). We are both over 40 with no claims and no speeding fines, and live in a rural area of Scotland.
  14. LKC

    One more expat looking for advice

    There is a 'sticky' post at the top of the NSW section about Sutherland Shire which I wrote a couple of years ago. We are no longer in Australia, but if you need any general advice about Sutherland Shire, give me a shout.
  15. LKC

    How long to allow?? Help

    It took us about eight months, but that included time to finish the renovation on our house and decorate it throughout (walls, ceilings, woodwork, doors etc inside, plus outside) in preparation for selling it (which only took 19 days from first on the market to the auction), sorting a UK job for OH, organising a five bedroom house (lots of selling on local Facebook pages and tip/charity shop runs), garden makeover, all the research for our UK move (we moved back somewhere different to where we'd come from), organising four cats etc. If we'd been leaving the house to be rented, we could have cut that time in half easily. we brought a container back, but hired a storage unit in the months before we moved, so that we could progressively pack things up and store them which definitely made things easier at the latter end.
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