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mxh

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About mxh

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  1. mxh

    Swimming pool - asset or liability?

    Don't forget as well that it needs to be a reasonable size to properly swim in, rather than just splash about. Ours is 10m long and it's pretty borderline using it for exercise - I do, but I would prefer to swim in a proper 50m pool. Anything under 10m would really only be a splash pool. However, come the hot summer days and nights, there's nothing nicer than just dropping into the pool to cool off and float around for a while with a beer. They don't take a great deal of work to keep in good shape - just a few minutes a week to empty the catcher, change the chlorine etc. But you do need to do it all year round, even when no-ones using the pool. And there's the expense of running the pool pump - I'm sure that costs us more than a few hundred dollars. But overall I'd definitely want one again if we moved on to another house.
  2. mxh

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    You may be right. However systems / procedures / agreements etc have developed and evolved over a period of several decades, so I can't really see how having to change these will not come with some cost. And I doubt that there'll be much benefit in the short term - any benefit that does arise will surely take a while to materialise. But I'm mindful that it's very easy for me, sat in my Australian office, to suggest that the UK should just 'go for it', as I won't be on the receiving end of whatever might happen. Not sure if I'd be quite so confident if I was living and working there.
  3. mxh

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Not at all. People voted to leave the EU, not to 'sort of' leave it, or 'leave it a little bit', which is all that May's proposed deal does. I also think that a no-deal exit is the only real way forward. I'm sure it would have pretty severe economic consequences in the short (and maybe medium) term, but long term it might actually be a good thing.
  4. mxh

    Radio stations in Sydney

    Without wishing to sound ungrateful for your input, that doesn't really help much. The problem with this is that you need a bit of time to get to know a program / presenter / station. So if you can narrow it down to just a few to try, it makes the process much easier. Hence why I'm asking for other people's recommendations.
  5. mxh

    Radio stations in Sydney

    I'm looking for suggestions for radio stations in Sydney that are worth listening to. This is for my commute to work and back in an old car that doesn't have a USB port, or any other connectivity. And also when I'm pottering in the garage - also on an old style, analog radio. In the UK, I'd listen to either Absolute Radio, or BBC R2 - both of which had a good mix of music that I like / can tolerate (ie middle of the road to rock / Indie) and talk (generally not the inane banter that a lot of commercial radio stations seem to have - have you ever tried listening to Kyle Sandilands?) For the last few years in Sydney I've been listening to the Triple M Grill Team in the morning, but have struggled with the afternoons since they started with (so called) comedians as DJs (Merrick Watts, and now Mick Molloy). But I've finally given up with Triple M now they have another 'comedian' (Laurence Mooney) in the morning. Strangely, as someone with advancing years (40+) I find that the 'kids' on Triple J seem to offer the most adult sounding discussions ('Hack' in particular is good) - but whilst I love some of the music they play, some of it is err, really not to my taste! I've also tried the talkback radio stations on AM, but a) the reception in the car is terrible and b) there's only so much Alan Jones you can listen to, So, any other suggestions for a Sydney radio station that might be worth a listen?
  6. mxh

    Where to live in Sydney for beach and commute

    I think most people would agree that yes, Mosman would be a nice place to live. It's classed as one of Sydney's 'premier' suburbs, and has the price tag to match. Having said that, Military Road is always in the list of 'worst/busiest roads in Sydney', and trying to get a park anywhere near Balmoral beach on a nice weekend is tough. Not an issue if you live near the beach though.
  7. I'm assuming that comment is tongue-in cheek? I'd be interested to know what percentage of their business the Australian market makes up, but I'd be pretty sure it starts "0."
  8. mxh

    Where to live in Sydney for beach and commute

    I could hazard a guess - bloody awful I'd be surprised if you got away with 90 minutes each way on a good day - plus there will be a fair few tolls to pay which will soon add up. As someone else mentioned, the Inner West might be your best choice. We lived there for a while, and just visited the beach as and when - in fact if we were going for a day, we'd jump on the ferry to Circular Quay, then over to Manly. The ferries are also a great way to travel up to the city for a night out. Manly's lovely - as is most of the Northern Beaches area, but I'd think again about living there with where you'll be working.
  9. mxh

    Another 'where to live' question!

    As stated, the job is in Milton Currently , I've only got Google Maps to go on, and to me, the areas I listed look like they're right on the edge of the bush. However, if in reality they're 'inner city', and are populated by high rises etc, then maybe they're not for us. But that's the sort of info that I'm after. Not really worried about access to the beaches - the bush is more important. But I'm trying to get that balance of city and non-city living right. We don't want to live in a suburb full of high rises, shopping malls and constant traffic, but we would like a bit of 'life'in the way of restaurants, pubs etc. And the traffic is also a good point. I picked the suburbs that I listed as they seem to have good public transport options into Milton - however, if we went further out then it might be a drive? If so, how is traffic into that area early in the morning - probably a 7 to 7:30 start.
  10. mxh

    Another 'where to live' question!

    My concern would be that they're very suburban - maybe a bit too far away from any life (resturaunts, pubs etc) - although I could be wrong as I've only really got Google Maps to go on at the moment. Obviously we'll go up at some point to have a drive around and see what these areas are like, but am hoping to narrow it down to some that seem to fit the bill, at least on paper.
  11. After a few living on the north shore of Sydney, my wife has been offered a work promotion which would mean moving to Brisbane. The job will be in Milton, so I'm looking for ideas as to an area to live that would suit us. We like the North Shore of Sydney for it's proximity to the bush for walks, biking etc, and we're only 15 minutes from the beach, although we don't go that often. No kids, so schools aren't an issue. However, we do find the North Shore a bit toooo sleepy sometimes, so would be nice to live somewhere a little livelier. We've visited Brisbane a few times to have a rough idea of what it's like - but not really at 'suburb' level. I was looking at the Toowong / Auchenflower area - not too far from Milton, and with public transport options. And not too far from the outskirts in the other direction. Bit of a trek to the beach - but that's not a major concern. Anyone have any experience of these areas and what they're like to live in? Not really concerned about rental budget at the moment - we're just trying to narrow down somewhere that would suit us. Any other suggestions for areas within, say, 5k of Milton? And anywhere to avoid?
  12. mxh

    Voluntary NI contributions

    Was that the CF83 form you filled out and sent? And did you hear anything back? Was it all straightforward or are you currently drowning in red tape?
  13. mxh

    Voluntary NI contributions

    I'm in the same boat (well similar) - I'm showing as having 29 years of full contributions, but the 'gap' years are showing a cost of over £600 to top up. And what's the number of years that we need - I've read both 30 and 35 to get the full pension - which is correct?
  14. mxh

    Ideas for a day out

    Thanks guys - a couple of options there to look into - will have to try and incorporate a ferry ride into it as well (which I'm sure can easily be done if Manly is involved!)
  15. mxh

    Ideas for a day out

    We've got some friends coming over from NZ in a couple of months so am working on a plan for entertaining them for a few days. Last time they were over we did a day trip which they loved, so I'm looking for ideas for something similar (and again pretty local to Northern Sydney) Last time we started at West Head (the lookout to Barrenjoey lighthouse) and walked the coast path down to Great Mackeral Beach, then took the ferry across to Palm Beach, had lunch at one of the restaurants in the area, then up to the lighthouse and back, then the ferry back across to Great Mackeral Beach and walked back to the lookout. All in all we were out for 5 or 6 hours, and had a nice combination of some bushwalking, plus being on the water, somewhere to have a nice lunch, great views etc. Can anyone suggest something similar in another area that we could try? Whilst just being out in the bush is nice, I don't just want to walk along a firetrail for 6 hours. We haven't explored the Bobbin Head area so there could be something there? Or maybe the ferry from Palm Beach to Ettalong - although I'm not sure there's much at the other end? Any tips would be great. And if you haven't tried the walk I've described above, you should!
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