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LKC last won the day on February 19

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  1. Thanks for this @suesmalls. It's interesting to note that you sent the two cats in one carrier with that particular pet transport company. We decided to go with an oft mentioned company after some glowing reviews on here, but we've not been impressed so far. It took multiple attempts via email and phone to even get quotes, which they did for both Glasgow and Edinburgh (which involves an extra flight from LHR), we sent the quote acceptance back for Glasgow route (since it is only 10 minutes more drive from our new home, and two flights must be less stressful for them than three) only to have them email and say they'd arrange our pet transport via Edinburgh. We asked if we could send two cats in a bigger carrier when we initially spoke to them, and were told that they wouldn't do that and that the airlines won't allow it in case they hurt each other on the flight. When we initially contacted them back in March we were told they'd only need a couple of weeks to organise things, but we're getting closer and closer to our departure and still don't have things organised. I'm finding the whole process somewhat frustrating, not to mention stressful. We fly on the 4th of September and were hoping that the cats would fly on the 5th so time is getting on.
  2. Thank you! That puts my mind at rest. I think I'm finding things to worry about at the moment! I guessed we'd just have to pay VAT and then claim it back, but I'm a bit stressed about the whole cat shipping thing at the moment.
  3. I've just got a quick question for those who have sent the TOR forms recently. When I did ours I sent it to the email that was at the end of the form first, but it bounced and I saw on here that there was another email address to send it to, so I tried to send it to that one and it bounced again. I saw that there had been a problem with file size, so I fixed that up and sent it to the second email again. I got an immediate response from that email address which I assumed to be a receipt, since it said 'NCH Auto-Receipts' as the subject line. I didn't click on the email at the time because I figured it was just an automatically generated receipt. However, I've just had a look at the email and it mentions nothing about the TOR at all. It says that 'HMRC acknowledges receipt of your email' but then goes on to say something about marine and air import clearance times of 2-3 hours, nothing about the TOR. Is this the email message that other posters got on emailing the forms and supplementary evidence, or should I do it again? I'm a bit worried that I won't get the number in time for our four cats to be shipped.
  4. Reactions from UK family?

    My children are younger and we're not quite back yet, so I can't help you in terms of my own experience. Just bear in mind though, that until you've been in the UK for three years, you may well be charged international fees if either of your children wanted to pursue a university degree. I believe that some universities will charge domestic fees though, if you make the case that you moved for work and your child had no say in the matter. Just something to consider. Hopefully someone who has been through moving back with older kids will be along soon.
  5. Reactions from UK family?

    We fully intend to do just that! I've been listening to Bill Bryson 'Neither Here Nor There' (his travels around Europe) on my morning walk, and it has totally made me want to take the kids all over Europe! They want to go to Kefalonia (no idea where they've picked that up from - I guess someone from school has been there), Iceland and France, so I think those places will be first on the list. Not forgetting that the UK is a pretty amazing place too, of course!
  6. Timing

    I think they cost about $550, but we have four cats so it would be much less than that for one or two. We got them done at a vets in Kirrawee, NSW. They have to be done by an AQIS approved vet, there is a list of them here You can scroll down and open a link for your state and find one in your area.
  7. Timing

    We're heading back over to the UK (Scotland) in just under five weeks. We made the decision just after Christmas/New Year, but it has taken until now to finish our part-renovated house. It has all been done, and went on the market today with an auction date of August 19th! Average time to sell in our suburb is 19 days, so I am pretty confident it will work out. We have booked flights back for the 4th September, OH finishes work officially on the 31st August, but he is taking 10 days holiday so will actually be finishing around the 21st. If the house doesn't sell, or anything else goes wrong, we have booked OH a flexible ticket that he can change. OH has a job to go to (he was headhunted and they created the position for him so they don't mind when he starts - I understand how incredibly lucky this is), and I've managed to arrange a rental in the UK with the help of my lovely mother-in-law and OH's new boss who was kind enough to view it on our behalf. The cats have had their rabies jabs and paperwork completed, and most of our possessions are packed up and stored in a storage unit ready to go on the container. Phew! I'm making my head spin just thinking about it! Make lists, and lots of them! I use an app called Evernote, which I have on my computer, iPad and my phone, and which is also on OH's phone. On there I have created lists of things to do in Aus before and after we move, and things to do in the UK before and after we move, plus packing lists etc. I can share those between the devices. When either of us completes something on a list, we just tick the box which automatically populates on the other devices, meaning that we both know what needs to be done and what has been done. In addition to that I've used an app called Sortly to label and create inventories for the boxes I've packed, in part for the shippers/customs/insurance, but also so that if the kids needs a particular book, for example, I can look up exactly which box it is in and where that box is. My Sortly packing list is then linked to Evernote and I also have a spreadsheet, so I have a full and complete record of our belongings in more than one place. I like Evernote because on my lists I can copy paste active links, so if there is something that I've looked up on the internet but that I don't need immediately, I can just paste a link into my list for whenever I get around to that job. If that makes sense!
  8. Taking a pre existing condition to Sydney

    You'll need a Medicare card first. When you get here, go into Medicare with your passport and proof of your visa and they'll sort that out for you. The card will take a week or so to arrive, but from memory you'll get a slip of paper with the number on. If you want to pay privately for your urologist, I think you can just look them up and make an appointment directly. If you want to go through Medicare, I think you'll need to see a GP for referral. You can go to whichever GP you like, just register with a practice and make an appointment.
  9. Do you already have a visa, or is there one through the employer? With autism it can be a bit of a catch 22 situation. If a child is affected badly enough to qualify for support then a visa may not be possible, and if the autism is mild enough for the visa to be approved then support may not be forthcoming. We have a daughter with Asperger's (diagnosed when we were already citizens) and to be brutally honest we have had very little help and support for her. The only thing she has had is a mental health care plan (because she also has generalised anxiety disorder), which entitled her to a limited number of visits to a psychologist. She has had no help or support at school at all, above and beyond things like being allowed to sit in the library at lunch times if she is feeling overwhelmed. We are in Sydney though, I'm not sure if things might be different in Queensland. One of the reasons that we're heading back to the UK is that we feel she will have better access to support there now she's moving up to high school. As a girl with Asperger's she is likely to need more support as she gets older. Our local high school in Sydney (which she would go to if we had been staying) has a special needs unit, but there are only a few places and she wouldn't qualify. Hopefully someone who is in Queensland might be along to answer more specifically.
  10. Reactions from UK family?

    Funnily enough we did first look at relocating within Australia, and Tasmania was the only place we would have moved to. As it is, we are relocating to a small rural village in Scotland!
  11. Reactions from UK family?

    My mum once said to me 'It's alright for you. You live in a holiday place!' when moaning about some aspect of her own life. She's never been to Australia to see us, and had forgotten that life is still the same with work to do and bills to pay. She seemed to think we were on some sort of permanent holiday or something. That all said, to be fair to Australia it is a wonderful place and we have LOVED living here and having the experience that we've had. Our reasons for moving back are many small things rather than one big one, but above all it's just time to go. We never said we'd be here for ever, and as anyone who has read any of my previous posts about our life here will see, until the last year or so we've been incredibly happy in Sydney. We've just reached a tipping point where the pros no longer outweigh the cons, and it is just time to go. No more explanation is needed than that.
  12. Reactions from UK family?

    It has taken me until now to realise it, and I feel sad for the years I spent worrying about other peoples expectations of me but hopeful that now I have worked it out I can get on with life.
  13. Reactions from UK family?

    This ^ Someone recently said to me 'you are not a tree, and you don't have to stay where you're planted'. There is no point in spending life in a place you don't want to be. If you don't like it move. If that doesn't work, move again. We have precious little time on this little blue planet as it is. There's no point in wasting it because other people expect you to do what they think you should do. This is something I've learned over the past few months. My dad died at 52, working hard so he could start life on his retirement. I won't do that. I'm 42. I could have a day, a year or fifty years of life left, and I won't waste another second of it wondering if I live up to other people's expectations.
  14. Reactions from UK family?

    We had a few of that sort of comment, but I was sort of expecting it so it didn't bother me over much. Unless you've lived here, you really have no grounds on which to comment about living here (or indeed to compare it to the UK). We're moving back soon (flights booked for six weeks tomorrow - eek!) and have decided to try another part of the UK. OH and I are from Kent/the Midlands respectively, but we lived in Cambridgeshire/Suffolk before we moved to Sydney. We will be moving to a small village just north of Edinburgh when we move back, so a completely fresh start. People keep telling us how cold it will be, how we'll miss the beach, how they can't believe we'd give up the 'Australian lifestyle', but I live here and I know it isn't for us. I'm in my early 40's, OH will turn 40 just after we arrive in the UK, and we don't consider ourselves too old to relocate, although I would say it has been harder this way round, mostly because our children are older and less easily portable, if that makes sense. Just do what you think is best for your family (meaning you, your partner and your children). Things usually work out for the best in the end.
  15. One way emigration insurance

    We took out one way travel insurance when we came out here, and have done the same for going back, so you could do that for peace of mind. The company we used coming out this way was Go Walkabout, I don't think it was expensive, we just took it for the journey and first couple of weeks as after that we figured we'd have a Medicare number.