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Eera last won the day on April 16 2021

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About Eera

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  1. Eera

    Heading back to UK with 12yr & 14yr old

    My parents ping-ponged a couple of times and we moved to the UK when I was 13: all the other kids thought I was some exotic novelty because of my accent and there wasn't any issues fitting in - I was regularly quizzed on what was happening on Neighbours more than anything. Kids are adaptable so don't worry about that, just find the right schooling level and they'll be fine.
  2. Eera

    Possible move to Mackay or Townsville

    Honestly? Apply for everything and take the first you get, worry about finding the perfect location later. There aren't any really bad areas in Mackay, just bad streets (The Cove has a reputation and a nickname of Ice Island, but there's many people who swear blind it's a great place. Andergrove used to be the place with the worst reputation but I've not heard anything bad said about it for years now). I assume you mean the Base Hospital rather than the Mater? It's in a fairly central area and really, nowhere in the main town is more than half an hours' drive away (bit more for outlying areas like Walkerston and Marian), but the Northern Beaches area does suffer at peak hours because there's only one road in and out; outside of those times it's a quick and clear run. If you're coming over from October onwards, prepare to sweat. A lot. It's a tropical area and the humidity builds horrendously, the worst is January to March, but the payoff is that winter is just about perfect; in fact most sports run a winter season with only a limited number being over the summer. Picture the summer (Wet Season) being like Singapore, and the winter (Dry Season) maybe like the summer in central France and that's a decent approximation. There's heaps of public pools around, some are free - swimming in summer needs a patrolled beach because of the stingers. We get a lot of rain in the Wet, 100mm a day isn't unusual, but the infrastructure is designed for it and it doesn't bother us too much. However, the insurance companies are scared of us because it's a cyclone zone and we pay through the nose for it (despite the fact we are built to Cyclone standards and Brisbane suffers heaps more damage every time there's a stiff breeze). Also not much choice when it comes to energy providers, and the internet speed is crap. If you're coming from a large city it'll be a culture shock, but in reality everything we need is here, though there are some additional things we'd like - cheap flights for one. If you're after a more laid back lifestyle with short commutes and plenty of uncrowded beaches it'll suit you. Some great hikes and really great spots in the rainforest inland if that floats your boat. There are a number of cashed-up bogans as there's a sizable population making big money in the mines and there's an associated drug problem, but violent crime isn't overly common - though secure your car at night! Feel free to PM me if there's a specific question you've got.
  3. Eera

    Possible move to Mackay or Townsville

    As a fitter he will have no worries at all; there's heaps of town work going if he doesn't fancy the mines. My husband is also a fitter, he worked for Detroit in town for ages before going to Rio, there's Haynes, Cat, Komatsu among the big names, as well as all the service and build companies. Good luck with your application!
  4. Eera

    Possible move to Mackay or Townsville

    Can't help on the nursing front but just want to say the regions will welcome you with open arms. At the moment, just be aware that the rental market is very, very tight in both areas so you might have to put out feelers and see if your friends can keep a lookout for you. What does your husband do for a living? There's a huge shortage of workers so he's likely to find something. I'll just add that if it's been a few years since you've been here, you'll see a difference due to the amount of investment and infrastructure that's gone on.
  5. Eera

    Have you bought any bitcoin ?

    I worked at Lihir for a while, I recall that the main pit was about 10ppm gold. They used to inspect our utes when leaving to make sure we weren't smuggling any rock out - I don't think any of them had done the maths on how much we'd have to be taking to get a return!
  6. Eera

    Credit card refusal

    I think it's pretty common: initially I had to get one for my dad on my account as the bank wouldn't let him have one. He's since managed to get one in his own name but I don't know what bank or what hoops he had to jump through
  7. Eera


    It's an OK town; don't live there but visit often for sports carnivals as it hosts some decent sized ones each year. There's some nice areas inland if hiking and biking are your thing; it's quite a pleasant looking town (at least the older colonial bits, the suburbs are bland but that's the same for every pretty much everywhere). It's not massively far from the sunny coast and major hospitals. It does have high unemployment though, which doesn't look much of a deal for you but might become so for your family, but who can tell what's going to happen down the track? There is a drug problem there, but frankly dig deep and you'll find that in any town. It's going to be like any regional Queensland town: it's not going to have the infrastructure and attractions that you'd have in Brisbane, but if you're not bothered by that then all good - is that going to be a problem for your kids as they grow up though? Some of the regions have a reputation for small-town mentality but TBH I tend to find that gets overstated somewhat.
  8. Eera

    Flights to Manchester

    I've had some pretty average experiences with some of the online agencies, and while people bag out Flight Centre, they've always looked after me. Tip, Flight Centre price match (or at least they did prior to Covid). if you find a cheap flight through an online broker that seems a bit ordinary from the reviews, go through the motions of buying the ticket up until the point where you have to enter the credit card details. At that point, print everything off, cancel the online transaction and take the evidence to Flight Centre, they'll match the price - has to be done the same day though. Recently though, I have found that the direct airline price is pretty reasonable so the flights I've booked this year have been direct with the airlines (which has not been the case for me historically). My experiences over the last couple of years have been that you get your money back with way less hassle should something go wrong when you book direct, however, with things slowly returning to some sort of normal this is going to be less of a concern going forwards.
  9. Eera

    Renewing Australian passport in Australia

    I've just done it in the post office last month; it's quick to fill in the forms etc, you can do all that online, but they also need to see the original copies of birth certificates for the renewal, so you'll have to remember those. It didn't take too long, about 5 weeks all-up. Apparently new passports are taking way longer than renewals.
  10. Eera

    Moving back after 22 years

    How it worked when i was administering International Students (caveat, was a few years ago now), was that as long as you arrived before the census date (which was 31st August) then it was counted as a year, so arrive on the 25th July, or something, as of the 1st September that was counted as an entire year for residency purposes. Universities always had the right to waive international fees; if your son had done his A Levels, you were settled in the country and showed enough ties, then we likely wouldn't have charged them as International - though the Student Loans Company wasn't as lenient. Also bear in mind that the status you are assessed at follows you through the entire university period; if he started, was assessed as International, he'd still be paying those fees at the end of the course. If in doubt, contact the universities directly; ask to speak to the department who assesses fee status; outside of the prime UCAS / enrolment period they'll be pretty helpful.
  11. Eera

    Bike licence

    No, as a new licence holder you have to get a restricted license and upgrade to an unrestricted after two years. TBH the RE isn't massively restrictive; you can go up to around 650cc on quite a few four-bangers depending on power to weight. Bear in mind that there's no such thing as the old CBT that the UK had when you were allowed to gain experience by yourself on the roads (I might be showing my age - is that still a thing?). While learning you must be accompanied at all times by a supervisor.
  12. Eera

    Cairns, Sunshine Coast or elsewhere...?

    Townsville is the regional capital and has by far the most infrastructure. It also regularly makes the Sh!t Towns of Australia top 10 but I take that with a pinch of salt: it is notorious for car crime but in the wider scheme of things that's not too problematic. If you do have health reasons for needing a specialised care service then consider Townsville carefully if you want to move up north. But also bear in mind there's a massive regional population and we manage just fine; I'm in Mackay, about 4 hours south of Townsville, and if there's some form of emergency that can't be dealt with locally (it happens with major smashes and other incidents particularly where fine reconstructive and plastic surgery is required) then the patient is stabilised locally and then put in the helicopter and flown to Townsville. It's just how it's set up here and it's done efficiently and regularly. You tend to find that specialists travel between the regional cities every few weeks; you don't have problems with routine stuff at all like cancer screening, but rarer stuff that doesn't have a population base to justify a full time specialist is a shared service; I have a friend with nephritic kidney disease and his urologist visits for a week once a month from Brisbane. Are there job opportunities for you in Cairns? Or opportunities for career progression - for me that's more of an issue in regional centres.
  13. Eera


    There are certainly Van Life pages on FB. Can't think that I've ever obviously seen the equivalent of a New Age Traveller in Australia though I guess there would be somewhere. The whole living in a van thing is not viewed as a fringe here; selling your house and just travelling around in a van is becoming something of a rite of passage for young and old - however, such people tend to have halfway decent vans and tow vehicles as the outback tracks like the Tanami and the Oonadatta will destroy your gear if it's not suitable. I've been to some caravan parks that have permanent residents, but whether there's an associated community, couldn't tell you.
  14. Eera


    Far as I can see rules are: Bounce ball every now and again. I suppose there's an increment but frankly are the refs counting?; Jumping on someone's head is allowed, encouraged and will guarantee Youtube plays forever; Flamethrowers are not allowed, but the teams would like them to be. Husband is Victorian, and I spend many an hour asking "what did he get a point for now?" In response, I get asked why the ball goes backwards in rugby. This is why I like Alpine skiing - you either get to the bottom in a good time or you get limbs torn off by fences - nice and straightforward.
  15. My tenants are pretty much always initially put on a six-month lease - simply as, if they turn out to be not that great it's easier to end a lease than to try and get them thrown out - works for the tenants too; if your house turns out to be a lemon or the landlord is not good you can get out without having to break lease. After that I let the tenants choose what term, most of them elect for a year.