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Prairie Girl

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About Prairie Girl

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  1. Prairie Girl

    What's Ryde like, NSW

    Hi there, we are currently living in North Ryde. My husband takes 40 minutes door to door to get to the CBD, he takes a bus which, after it leaves North Ryde goes directly to the city. We take our kids to two great parks here, Blenheim Park which has a racing track for radio controlled cars which the kids and husband think is great fun. Also, Livvi's Place playground is absolutely fantastic for kids, it has a flying fox and all sorts of good stuff. I can't say anything about the schools as we don't attend the ones in North Ryde but I'm sure they are fine. There is a nice little town centre with IGA, post office etc. It is nice to be so close to Macquarie Mall as well. It is easy to get out of the city quickly too. I think you should be fine to get a decent rental for that price, we have been paying $650 a week for a cute 3 bedroom house, although our lease has been terminated unfortunately. I think it is pretty good for families around here, although still expensive to buy a house, so make sure you think about the fact that your kids will get attached to their school . Also, there is nothing preventing landlords from terminating your lease after just one year and I think it happens a lot in Sydney because two of my friends and myself have had that happen. A word of warning, I am an ice skater myself, and we avoid going to Macquarie Ice Rink. It is busy, and the ice is just terrible(thin with ruts and melting). We always drive to Baulkham Hills Ice Rink, which is drastically better, and cheaper. You may be disappointed in Macquarie ice rink.
  2. Prairie Girl

    Anyone moved a cat to Aus from the UK?

    Hi, we've decided to return to Canada from Sydney, and just gave up our cat. I cried much more than I thought I would. Same thing, hubby didn't want to spend the $2400 to send her. I couldn't blame him. It's a logic vs emotion thing. Logic won in our case, and we found a lovely family to take her, so I don't think it was selfish to give her up, more like selfLESS! We are going to get new pets when we return. I guess the other thing we thought was how would we feel if 3 months after getting back she ran away and we spent $2400 for nothing. But still upsetting. Heart vs head, so take your pick! :-(
  3. Prairie Girl

    After 5 months in Oz my son is home

    I am really pleased to hear this. I think you handled it incredibly well and now your son can move on with his life knowing what he is not missing out on. I hope you and your son will feel at peace now.
  4. Prairie Girl

    Affordable living near Chatswood?

    Hi yes I have been there once but won't go back. We go to the ice rink at Baulkham Hills which is much better. Being Canadian, I am rather choosy about where I skate and the Macquarie ice doesn't cut it. The ice is terrible, with ruts and bumps, they just don't take care of it. Plus it is over-priced and very busy there. I can't think of a single good thing to say about Macquarie ice rink so will leave it at that!!
  5. Prairie Girl

    Affordable living near Chatswood?

    Hi there, I live in North Ryde and drive the kids to school every day to Artarmon which is right next to Chatswood. I take Epping Road and avoid the tunnel (cost). It takes about 40 minutes on a good traffic day to drive there. Epping Rd has some bottle necks, but generally moves along, just need to allow an extra 10 minutes in case of a traffic jam. You can take the train but I don't have any experience with that. I like living in North Ryde because it is quieter and less crowded than the Artarmon/Chatswood area, but some people might not care for the suburban feel here compared to Chatswood. We needed more space and cheaper rent so North Ryde was a great choice. Plus it is super quick to go to Macquarie mall.
  6. Prairie Girl

    Household goods AND CAR for sale Sydney

    Hi, can I buy your Billy bookcases? Can you pm me about location and price etc?
  7. Prairie Girl

    Noise levels in Artarmon?

    Hi, we have been living in Artarmon on Milner Road for the last year and I am looking forward to getting out. There is so much traffic and we get some sort of industrial noise at 5 in the morning...I think it comes from the other side of the M1 and it seems to really echo in here. i can't say I will miss Artarmon when we leave it this week for a quieter suburb...not really sure why Artarmon would seem better than Willoughby, I don't love it here at all, noisy and busy. Artarmon town centre (Hampden Rd) also is a bit shabby and there are some low income subsidised housing here that makes it feel less safe...sorry, probably not what you want to hear.
  8. Prairie Girl

    Trying for a year. Is it more hassle than its worth?

    I think the children will have a tough time being uprooted for only a year. Depending on the social style of your kids, especially the 8year old, it could be very upsetting to have to say goodbye to their UK friends, be lonely and miss them as well as their grandmother for the first 6-9 months, then just as they start to make some nice new friends here, leave them all and go back. My 9 year old grieved for her old friends, and at 9months has just started to get really attached to her new friends here. I think if you want to come just for a year it would be better not to ship anything. Best to just buy new mattresses, cheap IKEA dressers and tables, chairs, and round it out with some dishes from Target and used items from Gumtree, such as an iron, lamps, desk, car etc. The first few months you need these items right away and have to buy them anyways before your shipment arrives. Although in inner Sydney you could skip the car and use public transport. I find the Sydney rental situation kind of awful, especially when you have to rent a 3 bedroom place. There is a big jump in cost to go from 2 bedrooms to 3. We are paying $800 a week for a 3 bedroom townhouse. It isn't that nice. After moving here 3 times over the last 15 years, twice with kids, my advice is to listen to your doubts. It could be harder emotionally than you expect, and harder financially also. This time we rented out our house, got rid of old furniture, and bought cheap used car, IKEA furniture, stuff on Gumtree. We didn't have grandparents or cousins etc living close by that we would miss, and it's still been hard missing the old friends. It is so challenging to watch your kids grieve for people and know you caused it, and sometimes in the first few months you feel desparate to run straight home. However lots of people do it, just know how much money you can tolerate saying goodbye to. It's like an extremely expensive holiday with pain thrown in!!! ( am aware this might be a little negative)
  9. Hi, we live in Artarmon. Wikipedia says Artarmon was named by William Gore after his family estate in Ireland.
  10. I recently met someone whose children went to Killarney Heights High School and they were really happy with it and recommended it. I think that is close to your target area.
  11. Prairie Girl

    Anybody used OSS?

    Hi, we had OSS here in Sydney and the guys were polite and careful, so no complaints. I used Kent once and wasn't happy at all.
  12. Prairie Girl

    Stick it out or go home ??

    Surely there must be some streets somewhere in Australia that have kids playing free range? I sure hope so. Our street in Canada was terrific for that not just with the kids but the adults visiting ( maybe drinking a bit too much). I can't believe how in our townhouse complex here in inner Sydney (with safe inner courtyard) all the kids go inside after school and you never see them again, and with this beautiful weather! I refuse to cave in and go home though, at least not yet. I am in the same boat of trying to arrange play dates, but it is not as good as spontaneous playing outside. I am even wondering about renting on another street. Personally I think caving in and going home for that one reason is a mistake, because there is always something not great about every place, and to spend all the energy and money coming and leaving just because of that will lead to regrets. But to each his own, so good luck.
  13. Prairie Girl

    The consequences of a failed migration ten years on

    I have been thinking about responding and my opinion has changed since your initial post. Initially I though maybe you should let him go, but with the history of abuse I believe it is not in his best interests. I grew up with a similar rage prone father, and it still affects me negatively to this day. The consequences of living with an unpredictable parent who your son might be afraid of does not disappear the minute he moves out at 18. Perhaps you can promise an extended visit of 2 months. He does need time with his male relatives. But to live with someone like that, unless his father has had therapy and showed a real change, would be damaging to your son.
  14. Prairie Girl

    Visiting relies

    Hi, we just took our 4 and 8 year old to the Shoalhaven Zoo a few hours drive south of Sydney last weekend and the kids loved it. They got to hold a wombat, and enjoyed seeing the koalas, monkeys, dingos and lizards. It was good for kids, not too big, and there is a big slide there. The drive through Kangaroo Valley is beautiful. On the way back we stopped at Bowral which had a lovely shopping street with cafes. I would recommend it. We stayed one night in a motel.
  15. Prairie Girl

    Canada... Anybody any thoughts??

    Hi, as a Canadian living in Australia, I would just like remind you that Canadian houses have central heating. The winter is an indoor life, going from heated house to heated car and heated malls and offices. Toronto is a modern, large city. If you can find a winter sport you enjoy you will like it better. :-). With the right coats, gloves etc you will be fine. I think Toronto won't be as expensive as Sydney, and there are lots of travel opportunities to New York etc. Too bad about the mayor though...!!!