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About desreb

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  1. desreb

    Any Bikers (nod) (motorcycle)

    Heh. I’m originally from Hitchin, rode a TDM, moved to Sydney, bought my dream bike - a blackbird. I didn’t do that many big rides, but used it a lot in the city, which is the worst place for a big, hot Blackbird. Australia SHOULD be a biking Mecca - smooth, low-traffic country roads, and quick and easy parking in the city. However, it’s not all perfect: Most Sydney drivers seem to be indifferent, oblivious, or hate bikers - maybe similar to London, very different to Europe. You don’t really get too many concessions as a biker; Toll is the same as for cars, and there’s few places for a bike to park in Sydney. You can now, finally, use bus lanes in Sydney, as it was trialled and proven to save lives. Our in the country, there’s always that fear of being caught and banned. Police are far less tolerant of bikers than in the Uk, I feel. I did advanced riding courses with the police in the Uk and they expressed that they knew we were out to drive fast and have fun, and their focus was on making sure we didn’t kill or annoy anyone while doing so. I drove with respect, but still had a lot of fun. Aussie policing seems more about treating bikers as prey - they’ve even been caught baiting bikers by using unmarked cars to force bikers into illegal overtaking, and then booking them. It does seem more adversarial over there. I spent the first 18 months in Oz riding in fear of being banned (I bought my Blackbird cheap from a guy who was selling it for exactly that reason). Eventually I loosened up and had some epic trips, not all below the speed limit, and did enjoy it... just not *too* much. Bikies are also a core organised crime group over there, but I’m a sports bike rider, rode mostly with friends or solo, and never came across them at all. The weather is great - actually, too hot in summer, in NSW. You have that “do I wear full protective gear” quandary on those days. But, generally, it is a pretty good place for riding. The weather is great for it. Certainly, if you went for a trip out with the family into the country, you’d be looking at these roads thinking “I wish I was here on my bike”.
  2. Hi all, I’m moving to Sydney in 4 months, and said that I’d buy myself a new bike when I moved. I like cycling, am technically a MAMIL, but am not particularly into bikes any more than being something I can get a bit of exercise on and pop to the shops without having to worry about parking. Having said that, most of my fellow riders spend £1000s a year on kit, and so I’m thinking of treating myself to something half decent that makes the experience more enjoyable. So, the question is - do I buy in the UK, or AU? I was going to buy in AU, but if the saving on buying in the UK and shipping is sizeable, then it could be worth adding it to our container. On the flip side is the question of warranty and vendor support over there. Has anyone does this, and how much did it save you? Many thanks, Damo
  3. desreb

    Finding rental over Christmas

    Yep, including us. Many thanks. It’ll be hard for us to come earlier, but maybe we can at least prepare as much as possible in advance.
  4. desreb

    Finding rental over Christmas

    Thanks again! With our calendar we should get at least one good Saturday, and we learnt from the crazy rental era of 2014-16 and had glowing references and everything printed and signed in advance, so should be good to go. Interestingly, LJH said this to us: “Nov/Dec/Jan are our busiest times with the rental market and we tend to see prices being driven upwards. My advice to you at this stage would be to look at renting a property early November if you fiancés allow. Dec is a crazy month and properties get listed and rented super quickly.” My skeptical mind says his insistence comes across that this agent is trying to pull a fast one and get us to rent sight unseen and paying for a month up front unoccupied. If we ignore hat bit, the rest says that this busy market with lots of listings is perfect for us, as there should be a lot of choice, but we need to be quick to get the right one. Is this “hyperactivity” actually the case? I would have thought the opposite. D
  5. desreb

    Finding rental over Christmas

    We have some friends whose place we can use while they visit family for Christmas, so we’re looking to do that too. It’s good to know that more than one person recommends a month to find a house. We only booked a rental for week each move , but the first time we were a couple with no children in Coogee, and the move back to the UK the first time was back into our old house. I am wondering whether landing on the 13th gives us enough time to find somewhere if the agents start winding down in Christmas week.
  6. desreb

    Finding rental over Christmas

    Thanks! We’re currently planning to come over mid December, with flights booked, which gives us a week and a half before Christmas. I think we’ll stick with this!
  7. Hi all, We’re moving back to Sydney around Christmas, and are wondering whether there are times which we should avoid for moving. For example, in looking for a rental property, do rentals tend not to come up much in December, or January, or over the Christmas break? Or is it a good time to look for rentals? Many thanks, Damo
  8. I need to move some money into Australian Dollars - a fair bit, the proceeds of a house, because we're moving to Australia next year - and my IFA recommended a foreign exchange broker that they use. The GBPAUD was quite strong until recently, at 1.85, so I asked them to exchange some GBP into AUD. They didn't reply to my email for 2 days, by which time some more Brexit news had taken its toll, and the rate had dropped to 1.75. When I confronted the broker about this, he said he was on holiday, and whoever was supposed to check his email, hadn't. So - we set a series of market orders in case the GBPAUD bounced a bit - which it didn't. Then I asked to set a rate of 1.75, so if it bounced up to that level, it would buy the AUD. Again, I didn't get any notification, so I emailed him again. He replied "Oh yes, the trade happened overnight", and soon after I received a confirmation from them for a buy - at exactly the rate we had agreed ,1.7500. However - I checked the overnight interbank rates, and the rate had always been ABOVE this level - it never crossed a threshold that would have triggered the buy. I asked him about this, and he said that the rate included their commission, so it had been waiting until touching that level before triggering. However - again, the interbank rates doesn't look like it reached a peak overnight that it hadn't already hit the day before, which should have triggered at whichever rate they had set as a trigger that included their commission. So - the question is... are they completely useless, and are now trying to claim the several thousand pounds' commission for the invaluable service they they provided me? If so, the morals of this infuriate me, as I'm paying them several thousand pounds to do something that I could have done with a low-cost DIY platform, because they're supposed to set the limit order. The question of whether I can claim recourse from them is probably much harder, but I just wanted to understand if it's likely I can get to the bottom of what happened so that I can at least claim a discount on their service feeds, if not reverse the trade. Thanks! D
  9. desreb

    Starting NDIS application before arriving

    Thanks a lot for this TPQ! I've spoken to NDIS and Betterstart, and it seems that since we had Betterstart before we headed to the UK, we can tap into what's left of that again when we return until and if NDIS funding is approved. So this should allow us to apply once we return, and not hurry it too much either since we'll be using betterstart for our EI sessions. The equivalent in the UK is DLA of course, and we're still not on that, 16 months after returning. There was a 6 month wait period before applying, even for us as UK citizens, which I assume is to mitigate Health tourism. Then we were too busy to do it for a while (we had most NHS care in place by then), then we did apply in February, and now we're waiting for the outcome. We may get it just in time to return to AU :-)
  10. That’s a very good observation on a key difference - in Australia the process involves partial subsidies that makes private care attainable if you really want it, whereas in the UK it’s all or nothing. Unfortunately, it then takes you into a political discussion around the privatisation of the NHS, which is what most people are vehemently opposed to (myself included), whilst also espousing the benefits of a system that is exactly (?) that.
  11. desreb

    Starting NDIS application before arriving

    Thanks all! It’s good to hear that we can continue accessing Betterstart - I’ll have to check there’s no issues with getting back into it.
  12. We have a young disabled child, and have found the two systems to be night and day, with Australia winning hands down so far. In Australia, she was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf soon after birth. After the diagnosis, we went into the hospital for a series of consultations, and I remember one with four professionals, including a paediatrician, audiologist, doctor, and a family counsellor. It was the last really struck me, but sure enough, the public health system recognises that this is a stressful time for a young family, and provide a counsellor to help the family cope. I don't think I've ever heard of such a thing on the UK NHS for a disability. From there, she had implant surgery at 5.5 mos (vs 1 year old, typically, on the NHS), with early implantation being important to the outcome. After that, we went to a local early intervention centre for weekly sessions with our own dedicated speech therapist and audiologist, who follow and assist children's progress from 6mo to pretty much when they graduate from school. All this was funded by a $26k lump sum at our disposal for the EI centre sessions, and any other supportive measures - we used a bit to buy some more accessories for the implants, but also to take a sign language course at the TAFE. The EI centre was a bedrock of her treatment, and the staff became like family. All related treatment - the surgery itself, the ENT, other appointments, were all arranged by them; we went along with their advice. When we moved back to the UK, we still email and Skype them for advice from time to time, for free, and one of them even offered to 'drop by' while in the UK at a conference. In the UK, we have so many healthcare professionals involved in her care, we need an org chart to keep track. She's seen around 16 in the year we've been here, and there are eight active at present. There are three different bodies - the local council sensory services, the local NHS trust, and the specialist implant centre at the local major hospital - and each have their own specialists in the same role, most of whom have only occasional communication with the others. Whereas in Australia the same audiologist has been working in the centre for 15 years, in the UK we've had four audiologists rotate through the centre in one year. Most specialists recommend speech therapy every week for someone her age, although the NHS will only provide one every quarter. We organise a 'team around the child' meeting every quarter to try to bring all these people together to introduce themselves and find some way of coordinating treatment, although really it seems more like an exercise to placate frustrated parents. Ironically, the best and most engaged people we've met in all these centres, are all ex-pat Australians on work experience in the UK. Now - there is a postcode lottery effective here; In Oz, we were in Clovelly, where you'll get a lot of highly-paid medical professionals living and working nearby, versus South-East London, where you'll get...fewer of those. But that doesn't explain the bulk of the issue. The fundamental problem appears to be this; whereas Australia has favoured early intervention centres that focus on the children, the UK offers a procession of different overlapping bodies and services, with little coordination and little emotional connection to the patient. Hence, more time appears to be filling forms and gaining familiarity, than actual treatment and therapy. Because of this, I do get the occasional pleasant surprise from the NHS, such as when I went in for a joint injury, and they gave me a series of physio sessions only two weeks later. And A&E can be excellent, of course. But generally, it's pretty shocking. D
  13. Does anyone know whether it’s possible to start applying for NDIS before living in the country. We’re Australian citizens living abroad for the last 18 months, and our DD was attending RIDBC on Better start before we moved away. She’s also born and bred Aussie. Now that we’re away, we don’t have a residential address there any more, and intend to live in another suburb when we return. We have mail redirection to a friends’ house from our last place. I think we can also still make 100pts of ID. I can appreciate that the process will be very dependant on residence and our suburb of residence, but I’m wondering if there’s any way we can get a head start on the process before we leave, given it takes so long, and we’ll otherwise be without NDIS support until months after we arrive.
  14. desreb

    Final costs of moving back to UK

    Hi Andy, Looking to move to around Newport. We can’t afford Eastern Suburbs, and I can work mostly from home, so it fits for us to live further out. The ideal would be overlooking Bronte Beach, which was pretty much our local for the first few years, but for under half the price, Newport will do! Prices have slid in London for the last 18 months, although it’s hidden when you look at sites like Zoopla. We’ve been watching houses in Newport that have just been sat on the market for months, so hopefully it’ll continue to depress to the point we’re ready to buy. I’d say the odds still favour Australia though: the financial benefits for BTL investors have decreased slightly down to “still awesome”, whilst London’s has decreased to “punitive”. So my thoughts of affordable prices are still very wishful, I think. d
  15. desreb

    Final costs of moving back to UK

    Oh yeah - one other things, we found that because we're back in the UK, we almost had to pay UK CGT on selling the UK house we had kept whilst away, even though we never bought in Australia. When you're still living abroad, there are various ways of addressing any UK CGT liability as a non-resident landlord. Since we didn't sell while abroad, and then came back and moved back into our house, those options closed off to us. In short, if you're coming back and have a house in the UK, pay for specific tax advice long before you return as to whether or not you'd be better off to sell before you return, or if you keep it, whether it's better to move back into the house, or not. It's also better to take financial and tax advice in Australia, including on UK issues, as you can tax-deduct it in Aus :-) D