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About jennlx

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  1. jennlx

    School Holiday - where do the kids go?

    Thanks for your reply. That is interesting. I will be working from home one day a week, as I do now, which helps but my kids are still absolutely exhausted by the end of the week. But we do have holiday care here which the kids absolutely adore which helps me feel less guilty about not being off all summer and so hope we would be able to replicate something else they love. Nanny is interesting, expensive but if only over school holidays (if they'd do this?) then is rebate is reclaimed is much more manageable. I have checked the Centrelink calculators and we would not earn any benefits either.
  2. Hi all. Just a quick question around school holidays. Currently, we put the kids into a holiday club at a local primary school at the very affordable cost of £65 for both kids for all day care. Does something similar happen in Australia (Melbourne, to get into specifics). Do you find you have the kids in care for more days, as holidays are less? What do you do over the summer? I can never understand how everything seemingly shuts down (or so I'm told) for the whole month- does everyone use all their holiday allowance in January? I am going from having 30 days holidays (I 'buy' holiday every year currently) to 20 so quite a difference for us... Thanks in advance!
  3. jennlx

    London - that blessing and curse. Any advice?

    Thanks for your responses, again. No, I don't think Australia makes children instantly happy - it's just personal circumstances for us: family is a big one. Our wraparound care is not great (we have been on a waiting list for after school care at the school for almost a year). The kids desperately want to live in a house and have a garden and I rather foolishly thought that this would be achievable for us. Brexit is a good point, as I work in financial services, and there is a certain level of uncertainty around the impact on the sector. But that swings in roundabouts too: negative growth for Australia in the last quarter and a prediction of an impact on jobs in the next year from the AFR. As a plus, I have started buying lottery tickets again. :wink:
  4. jennlx

    London to Melbourne for families?

    Thanks for your replies, they are really helpful. One thing we don't have to worry about is visas - myself and the kiddies hold an Australian passport, my husband has a spouse visa (subclass 100). House prices have really stopped me in my tracks. We would need a 3-bed (as could not count on needing to move again) and I don't know how we could pay $4,500 a month in mortgage repayments for a unit. As you say, I need to look further afield, which is possible, of course, but then a longer commute and I don't want the kids sitting in after school club until 6pm every day as that's not a better life for them. It has to be said, though, my family are utter, utter snobs and so we'd be forever driving to Bayside to see them.
  5. jennlx

    Dilemma Oz or UK

    I am in exactly the same position as you are, although we have a job offer - and are still considering what our options are. Melbourne was looking pretty good, until we looked at house prices. Holy cow. We live in a tiny 2-bed rental, and looks like we could afford a tiny 2-bed rental. I don't know how we would stretch to a mortgage ever in Australia and if we did, the repayments on a tiny 2-bed make my eyes water. We too have no support here in the UK. But you say you have a nice house, nice village, nice holidays and part time work. That sounds amazing to me.
  6. jennlx

    London - that blessing and curse. Any advice?

    Thanks for your responses...I guess it's true that my heart is not in it. I'm only considering this move for the sake of my children, but even then I don't know if it is something which they stand to benefit from. The love going out and about in London as much as I do. I suspect we will have a great two years, but then want to come back to London but doubt it would be financially viable. I am heavy into art history and I know the NGV has fabulous exhibitions, but it's just not on the same scale as here. I guess I spent most of my formative years in Australia learning about European history and art and so now being in Europe I feel like I am in the "right" place. I don't love crowds, quite the opposite, but will pay that price if it means going to amazing places with falling down buildings. I appreciate Aboriginal culture exists in Australia but the whole history of how Aboriginals have been treated sits extremely uneasy with me (I have already given my two kids a potted history, even though they are very young and it is not pleasant). And yes, I do appreciate that the British had their share of unsavoury history - but it just wasn't as recent. I guess I need to consider other factors too and look at the whole picture as a whole. Life would be a whole lot more easier if we had a house to keep in London...
  7. My husband as been offered a job in Melbourne - more money (40%) than currently earning in London, but as we have two primary school aged children understand that schooling, clothes, food etc. will be more expensive. I feel like we live hand to mouth in London. For example, our mortgage deposit fund stagnated at a very low figure after having children. I work part time and do expect to be able to go back full time so our finances should improve regardless of whether we go or not. We rent in London and although my husband is from UK, we do not see any of his family (which would be another thread altogether). I have family in Melbourne, and we get on OK, they're really nice but we're not close though - I think we would probably see them 4 times a year but could be called on in emergency situations (whereas in London we have no one at all). Current UK jobs are stable, albeit probably a bit low for our experience. We both work in London and it grates on me: terrible air, crowds, dirty streets etc. We live in South London, a bit on the rough side for me and I despise the local high street like nothing else. But I love the museums, the art galleries, the theatre etc. I love just going to different places - Richmond, Primrose Hill, Wimbledon - and just seeing a different part of London. Are there any families in Melbourne who have come from London and can offer their impressions of life for young families? What do you love about Melbourne? What don't you love? We are specifically looking around the cheaper ends of Bayside and surrounds (e.g. Bentleigh etc.). Thanks!
  8. We are considering a move to Melbourne from London - myself, my husband and two children. I have read so many threads where people have moved from London to Melbourne and have said that it's a great move - so easy! I haven't lived in Melbourne for 15 years but my instant response is incredulity that London and Melbourne have similar culture. Given that my children stand to have some family, instead of the current none, would anyone think that I would get to Melbourne and despair in the limited cultural opportunities and wish to high tail it back to London? I am frustrated that I am prioritising culture and proximity to Europe over other benefits, but I grew up in Melbourne. I had a great childhood but would I say better than anywhere else? Better than holidays in France, Spain, Portugal? No. Has anyone else ever felt similar or is it just me? I caveat this all by saying I think I am so scared to return to Australia as I suspect, given our finances, that we will end up having to stay there, whether we want to or not. I have posted this is MBTTUK as I am wondering if anyone has been driven back to the UK not for finances, not for family, not for friends, but just for the UK?
  9. Thanks for coming back with so much information! Interested to see that state schools have to take you if in catchment - are their class sizes quite large then? My children are both in Primary School - would be Prep and Year Two in 2017. It didn't occur to me that there would be no one around to deal with admissions at that time too - more things to consider. Thanks very much - will touch base with a few schools and see what happens! Thanks again.
  10. I have two children in primary school and we are looking at coming to Melbourne in January. I'm still waiting for a firm job offer so haven't tackled individual schools. I live in London currently, and have no idea how we would move around in London in terms of school areas and catchment area hell. Is it similar in Melbourne, if we arrive in January and trying for a school for February start? It would also take us about a month to find accommodation also, so another consideration. We would be looking at probably Catholic primary schools (or state) in Bayside as I have family in the area. I also quite like the look of Mordialloc. I have been googling but haven't been able to find anything yet. Has anyone had any experience of this?
  11. jennlx

    Subclass 100 dawdling - what happens now?

    Thanks for your reply - looks like it might be the job! Happy with the £180 cost too, phew....we'll give the High Commission a buzz tomorrow and ask the hypothetical question. :smile:
  12. Hello! I have a question and was wondering if anyone might have the answer. I am Australian and had the marvelous idea of moving my family, including British husband, to Melbourne when I had an eight week old baby and a twenty two month old toddler. Suffice to say, I found it very overwhelming at this time (and annoyed as I sent an SOS to my family for any help, and received no response) and so we didn't go. At the time, we applied for and was granted a Spouse subclass 100 visa for my husband (myself and the kids have Austalian passports). Blink, and it's almost 5 years on and we're blundering on with no family and living in a squishy two bed flat in London and Melbourne is holding great appeal for us and so are considering another move back to Australia. But what happens to my husband's visa? It was 'activated' when we went on holidays twice to Australia in the last five years, but it did have an initial expiry date of August 2015. I presume this expiry date refers to expiry before we settle in Australia so looks like we might breach it as we will need to save for the next six month to a year, so will not be able to be resident by this date. Do we need to re-apply for the whole thing again, or did our holidays activate the visa so we're in the clear (but he would need 5 years or whatever before becoming a citizen/Australian passport). This is a very specific question, but was hoping someone out there might know the answer or have asked the question when they got their own spouse visa. Thanks in advance for any help!
  13. Wow, you could be me...I am Australian and have lived in the UK for awhile. Whenever I talk to my family, Australia is a paradise and nothing negative is tolerated. Even things like the dredging of the barrier reef, deaths in custody.....i get a brief wave of the hand and dismissive comment, followed by subject change. Like you, I also wanted to travel outside of Australia and so left when i was 21 and 12 years on i am still here. I am about 50/50 about moving home but 90% of my sentiment is due to having two young children and no nearby family for them. If i had no children, as i suspect you do not, i would explore until my heart is content. Life is too short. I once lived on £5 for a week. Money really ain't everything. Good luck in all you do!
  14. jennlx

    Good Reasons NOT to move to Australia

    Yes, have had two terminals in job in London for the last couple of years. I am a bit of a luddite though, or too simple to multitask, only use one...
  15. jennlx

    Secondary schools for Mentone

    I would avoid Sandringham College. I don't know how things have changed, but I went to high school in Bayside and it was known mainly for the fact that it took on kids who had been expelled from the local schools. My aunt lives locally and has advised that this has not much changed today. One person's opinion, of course!