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About Cinders5055

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  1. Cinders5055

    2 Year 3 Month update

    Phew! Finally passed the two year mark, and what a rocky road it was. I can now say that I feel truly at home now here is Oz and can't imagine ever living in London again :wink: Well, where shall I start? I wont bore you with a blow by blow account of the last two years, but I will give you the highlights. My marriage almost broke up, twice!! But having embarked on counselling we are finally on track. There are lots of counselling services here, and I have found they take mental health very seriously. It's not frowned upon, and not hugely expensive either. I pay $50 a session because I don't qualify for a discount. I can honestly say that I have never been happier than I have the past couple of months. My eldest daughter came for a long visit with my grandson, and saying goodbye was the hardest things we have ever done. We seriously discussed going back to the UK, but my 15 yr old told my husband and I we would be crazy to give up now - wise girl. My 15 year old has settled at school, and is in year 10. Her homework levels are HUGE, and she has many assessments to complete. I think the way the schools set out their work is more like college in the UK, it's tough and she gets very stressed every term to reach the deadlines, but she does it. She has just picked her subjects for her OP which I still don't really understand but it seems similar to the UCAS system for Uni in the UK. I have settled at work, that also was hard.. but I don't compare things back to the UK anymore, which helped me a lot. The sector i work in has a lot of English people in, although I'm not sure if that made the transition easier or not. It's good to have the benefit of their knowledge, but you need to find your own way that's the adventure. We are now looking forward to gaining PR from my 457 and buying our own house. We have a good standard of living here in Brissie, I'm not saying that money is the beginning and end of everything, but it helps when you don't have financial worries. I'm looking forward to having my daughters visit this year and my mother-in-law also. I remember my cousin saying to me you have to give it at least two years, and she was right. Good luck to anyone just starting out - I think it was worth it :laugh:
  2. Cinders5055

    Skills assessment joiner/carpenter dilemma

    Hi Zaffyroe, Can I ask you how much it cost? I've looked at the site and it looks like it will add up to quite a bit. I'm guessing nearing $1000 is that about right? Thanks X
  3. Cinders5055

    Pics please!

    Here are two from me :biggrin:
  4. Cinders5055

    Deception Bay

    Very true the sea breeze does help. Scarborough is really nice, good choice. I have figured that a pool or spa is essential in the summer though, and will shop around for one this winter. Sent from my BlackBerry 9860 using Tapatalk
  5. Cinders5055

    Still not sure about moving back... but until then...

    Well said - I feel the same! Its such a shame but I feel that Australia is a bit of a let down, and slightly dull Coming from London I feel Brisbane is a bit slow and dated. However I have also decided to make the most of it for the time being and try and travel to find whats best for us. I was wondering if Sydney may be a better option for us - any thoughts anyone? Lisa
  6. Cinders5055

    Deception Bay

    We moved to North Lakes about three months ago, and I quite like it here. It is true that the houses are close to one another unless you are lucky enough to rent in the older part. Everything is here, Westfield, Schools, swimming pool etc. They are building a new shopping complex which will include a cinema which will be good. All the little estates have a green with communal bbq's which is nice for meeting the neighbours. Rents are reasonable, and much cheaper than the inner suburbs. The commute can be a bit of a nightmare, 40-60 mins in rush hour, and 30-40 mins outside rush hour. The Clem7 and airport link an shave off 10 mins if you dont mind paying the tolls. (they do mount up though last month they cost me $66!) Driving back home from the city on a Friday afternoon is a complete nightmare as everyone and his wife is heading to the sunshine coast for the weekend. Last Friday it took me and hour and a half to get home!! Redcliffe is 15mins drive away - nice place (bit smelly at the beach) but quiet, bit like a retirement village. You have to travel for any decent shops and the sea front parade gets stale quickly. There is a nice lagoon there, which was lovely to swim in during the recent hot weather. I would say you need to look yourself and make your own decision as whats right for me may ot be to your taste. Mango Hill is nice, Murrumba Downs is nice, but I like the look of Asply or Carsledine. (We chose NL for the school as we thought that the higher number of Brits may help her settle, although her whole class is ozzie lol ) Anyway good luck with your choice Lisa
  7. Cinders5055

    In Defence of our sausages....

    We love the Kangaroo sausages! I actually think Aussie meat is way better than our meat, it's not full of water so doesn't shrink when you cook it.
  8. Cinders5055

    6 Months In, our story so far

    I looked at Cavendish Road - Great Rep, and Mount Gravatt State High also good, but to be honest it's more of a social problem for her. I don;t want to say it's a Brit thing, but she says the Australian kids don't 'get' her. She says they all talk about each other all the time and she cant seem to get close to anyone. I'm wondering if she will settle with English kids better... I don't know
  9. Cinders5055

    6 Months In, our story so far

    Thanks Guys - It's a real roller-coaster of emotions for sure, but I'm glad we're here :biggrin: and Congrats on the pregnancy Ffeckleface! how fantastic!!
  10. Cinders5055

    6 Months In, our story so far

    Firstly i'd like to apologise for taking so long to come back and update, my feelings were all over the place and it probably would have been the rantings of a slightly homesick raving lunatic! Anyway, here goes.... We arrived Feb 13 2012 in Brisbane to waiting family (aunty, uncle and numerous cousins), who had booked us 6 weeks temporary accommodation at The Brisbane Gateway Resort, in Roachdale. http://www.brisbanegateway.com.au/ . This turned out to be a really good first base, the staff were tremendously helpful and the elder residents lovely and welcoming. We met a couple staying there who had also migrated from the UK who had actually come over on the same flight! I felt completely shell shocked, and cried for a couple of days, with an overwhelming feeling that I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I missed my elder two daughters and my grandson (still do) dreadfully, and was desperate to talk to them. There was WIFI in the complex, but only available in the clubhouse, so I could skype, but we managed to get an Australian sim card with a good data allowance that allowed my husbands phone to be our modem so we could have private skype calls from our chalet. I suffered from jet lag so I couldn't sleep properly for about two weeks, and none of my shoes fitted! lol I was completely miserable, but hid it well from everybody insisting to everyone who asked that I loved it here and had no regrets. My family completely took over started to arrange my life, school for my youngest daughter of their choice, houses of their choice, outings, and every day at one of their houses that I was screaming inside. I finally confided in my husband how unhappy I was and he found us a unit to rent a bit away from them and helped to get me some space. I had a job at the Mater, and HR wanted to see me to sign all kinds of stuff, plus AHPRA and uniforms etc etc, so I didn't really rest for about two weeks after we arrived. We hired a car, and set about exploring. Brisbane is a lovely city, clean, relaxed and everything I thought it would be. The weather when we arrived was lovely, about 28 degrees and some brief showers in the late afternoons to help cool it down. We looked at suburbs, mostly in the South because of my job and I took the view that I didn't want a long commute. We were offered a lovely furnished unit in Coorparoo which is about 4km for the Brisbane CBD and 10 min drive from the Mater (20-25 mins in rush hour), the unit wasn't fantastic, but it had everything we needed. We took it at $475 a week (expensive I know), but the unit has everything even an iron, so we just arrived with our cases and no worries. Perfect! We even have a Coles and Woolworths within walking distance, and my daughter is happy that there is a Maccas about 500m away :biggrin:. My daughter started at Coorparoo Secondary College. Uniform was expensive I think it cost me $250 for a set, and the quality was rubbish. You have to buy books and materials from the school which cost $275 a year. And be aware any extra activities even soccer is chargeable. this term it's cost me $180 for piano and $45 for soccer games. We bought a car each, my husband changed his driving licence so we could register the cars - I'm so lazy I haven't done mine yet, but the process is easy, costs $125 and there is no test, nor eye test. You just take your licence and fill out a form and they give you a QLD licence. My husband and I love it here in Coorparoo, great suburb, close to everything, good transport links, but, my daughter can't settle at the school and is unhappy. It is a really small school and after coming for a huge inner city London school has been a culture shock for her. She has made a couple of friends, but not friends she can confide in, and she is not willing to stay there. We have talked as a family and decided to move. After talking with people at work, I am looking at North Lakes, for the school really, people assure me she will be happy there. We are going to visit the school next week and hopefully will move around Oct Nov time. I'm not really looking forward to the increase in commuting times, but I only have to drive in rush hour twice a week so I guess I'll survive. I think there's a few people on here who live in NL, so I guess it's ok. My husband is a builder and he found it really difficult to get work here. He was job hunting to no avail for 16 weeks, until we found out that Australian companies are reluctant to take on workers on a 457 visa as they think they might not be loyal, and will leave at the drop of a hat. in the end he put an advert on Gumtree to work for himself and managed to get a job that way. He now has more work than he can handle, but it was tough, and he wanted to go home and he felt like a failure, and more than a bit depressed. So after 6 months we still haven't settled completely, although I'm not crying now! lol I think it's going to take at least another year before I start to think of this as home, but I can see that we will be better off here. Money is better - although things are more expensive, so in some ways it evens out. But life is more relaxed, and I do fell less stressed here. Working for the Mater is good, I am working on call 5 days a week which is tough but I'm getting used to it now, and my team are lovely, so I'm happy at work. I've been reading over the new visa's today and it seems I will be working for them for two years before I can apply for PR, I can do that. My daughters and grandson are coming over for Christmas and I cant wait! Roll on December :cool: Anyway, We're still exploring and have recently found the joys of 4 wheel driving, if anyone fancies a meet up PM me. Lisa X
  11. Cinders5055

    We fly out tomorrow morning!!

    We're off to Brisbane, I think the rain is set to continue! lol Thanks everyone:smile:, my stomach is churning... time for bed gotta be up early, Take care Lisa X
  12. Cinders5055

    We fly out tomorrow morning!!

    Aww thanks Deb - I'm also leaxing a 24 year old and a 15 month old grandson, its such a trade off isn't it? Well I keep taking deep breaths, but I have plenty of tissues in my hand luggage, as they're all coming to the airport. Lisa Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk
  13. Cinders5055

    We fly out tomorrow morning!!

    No Debbie she isn't :cry: hence the blubbering. but she's coming out for Christmas, and is planning to make the move herself after her Uni is completed. Just me, the hubby and my youngest daughter who's 12. Thanks everyone for your good wishes Lisa
  14. Cinders5055

    We fly out tomorrow morning!!

    Well, it's finally here - we are due to fly from Heathrow Terminal 3 at 10.55 am! I'm so excited, but really nervous at the same time. I keep asking my hubby if we're doing the right thing. I went out last night with one of my daughter and her boyfriend - got quite drunk on cocktails and started blubbering:embarrassed:, so feeling a little delicate today:yes:, but glad to spend quality time with family. Well thanks to everyone on here, and see you on the other side!!!:wink:
  15. Cinders5055

    19 year old daughter

    As far as I'm aware this is true. My 24 and 19 year old daughters could not be included on my visa because they have been deemed as financially dependant from me. Speak to an agent maybe she could come out on a temp work visa or other than that maybe she could train in something on the skills list. It's really hard - I'm leaving my 2 daughters and grandson this Sunday :frown: Good luck Lisa