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flossybeth

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Everything posted by flossybeth

  1. flossybeth

    Emergency Travel to UK

    A few years ago we booked for my husband to go back for his Mum's 70th and it wasn't until the Sunday before he was due to fly on the Wednesday that we realised his passport had expired. He managed to get an appointment at the Embassy in Melbourne (from Adelaide) on the Monday and be issued with his emergency travel document for his journey. He was only able to travel on the dates given with no deviation of his route. So depending on where you are you'll just need to find out which is your local embassy/high commission and take it from there.
  2. flossybeth

    Location for holiday visa validation

    Aberfoyle Park is very much a residential suburb, it has a lot going for it in terms of location to the city & the hills but for a holiday spot I'm not sure I'd want to stay there (even as a 'get a feeling for real life' recce). North CBD (so sort of North Adelaide) would be a good spot for getting out and about into the north east. There are some lovely areas up out that way, Thorndon Park at Paradise is a great spot and easy access to the Barossa wine region (check out the Winey Kids website - https://www.wineykids.com.au/ - it focuses mostly on the McLaren Vale region, because that's where they live, but there's some good guides to the other local areas). We've been in Australia since 2012 and live in McLaren Vale but started off in Lockleys (western suburbs). When it came to buying we were looking at either the north east or down this way and there were more 4 bedroom houses down this way than in the NE, which is why we ended up here (3 children plus overseas visitors meant we needed the room). We're very happy with our location, it's just occasionally a little far away from the city to really join in sometimes but we don't miss out - it's a 40 minute drive or an hour on the train to the CBD.
  3. flossybeth

    Location for holiday visa validation

    I would suggest that your children will definitely paddle at the very least because the sun is still pretty warm, when it's out. What you won't get are days lying on the beach or long evenings (even in summer the sun's gone by 9.30 at the very latest) and some of the winds might be a bit blowy. As the majority of the others have said Glenelg or a CBD location would be best for such a long term stay because of the transport options but public transport is pretty good around Adelaide with trains up from the south, into the north and the Obahn coming in from the northeast so there's lots of options. The parklands around the CBD are really good, lots of playgrounds and the linear parks along the Torrens are easy walking. I don't think you'd want to spend you month up in somewhere like Hahndorf or Mount Barker, they will be chillier and although they might be lovely places to actually live in I think you'd find yourself bored pretty quickly if you were left without a car. Your husband might have to drink his wine pretty early too if he wants a view with it - it's dark by 5.30 just now.
  4. Exactly as Snifter says: our eldest is August 30th and was put into the year above her age peers when we arrived by the head. It is one of the few things we would change if we could about moving here. They're now in Yr 12 and academically have managed to keep up but socially there have been heaps of issues which don't really look like they'll be diminished on graduating this year: we're even looking at sending them back to the UK for 12 months so that when they come back they'll be 18 at least and ready to enter uni on a level social field (in regards to going out etc). We asked on a number of occasions if we could hold them back a year but each time got told that our child had to be failing everything before they'd consider it and of course they weren't. Our middle child whose birthday is September was also put up when we arrived but we managed to move him back down when we moved house and schools because we could see he was being massively influenced by the older boys in his class and that was at year 5! We toyed with the idea of a Waldorf education for our youngest when it came to switching from primary to high school last year just so she would be reset but she rejected it in favour of staying with her friends; her birthday is mid May though so it's not such a huge issue for her. It's hard not to get hung up on 'repeating' but it actually isn't repeating, it's just a different system, accept it as part of moving half way round the world.
  5. flossybeth

    Where to have a holiday?

    @Toots - Going to bed singing the Balamory theme song now
  6. flossybeth

    Getting about on holiday

    My sister and her family have just done the Great Ocean Road but I can't remember which hire company it was - what I do know is that we (my family when they come and us before we left) always book stuff through Trailfinders - flights/hire/trips etc And if they're feeling pretty free spirited they could always keep an eye on this page closer to the time: https://www.drivenow.com.au/onewayrentals.jspc?fromUpdate=true&utm_medium=email&utm_source=relocation-update&utm_campaign=watchlist-2017-02-07-thl-au#/relocations/AU
  7. flossybeth

    Flights to Europe

    I mostly read the MBTTUK posts (although we have no intention of moving back) and one of the reasons people often cite as a draw is the proximity of Europe and the cheap flights. I understand nothing has really happened yet in regards to Britain choosing to leave the EU but when it does do you think the cheap flights will continue or will there be an added cost with them becoming 'international flights' rather than a hop across to France/Germany etc, Will people be put off by passport and border restrictions being re-introduced?
  8. flossybeth

    Parents on citizenship application

    Yes definitely Citizenship, it seemed to me to be overly complicated and involved - why they can't just link our existing visas with our passports and ask a few proof of identity/address questions I don't know. But still it gave me something to do for the evening... And thank you Catalyst2012, so long as it's not just me I'll wait and see what happens.
  9. flossybeth

    Parents on citizenship application

    We've just completed the on-line citizenship application which submitted fine, however I'm just a little puzzled by the fact that our parents appear as applicants even though neither of us want our parents to move to Australia with us (nor do our parents) and my husband's dad actually died back in 2007. When we filled in the forms we just assumed they were after the information as a proof thing especially as it wouldn't NOT let us include my husband's dad. Is this normal and all will be OK? or is there likely to be some follow up on this? Thank you.
  10. flossybeth

    Feel like I'm trapped!

    From reading your responses to previous replies I would suggest that your husband earns more than you and is very happy in his job, I would also suggest that for you working full-time isn't giving you time to spend with your son or getting to know the area you do live in and finding the good places to go. It comes across that you've only relatively recently arrived back in Aus and perhaps that's part of the problem - new baby, another (not insignificant) move, back to full time work and you really haven't given yourself time to settle. I know that it took me a good two years to make sure that my family were happy and settled before I began to think about what I would do career-wise (turns out to be the same as in the UK, but I'm ok with that), my husband's wage isn't amazing (under $90,000 for 5 of us) so we had to budget and we certainly weren't out there buying jetskis, camper trailers or kayaks.... but we figured we were here for the long term not the immediacy of a holiday. Is this something you might be able to do - reduce your hours at work, relax your expectations and allow your husband to take some of the burden (part of his compromise to keeping you here) which in turn will allow you the time and space you need to be able to settle.
  11. flossybeth

    Stopover in Singapore

    We did a 3 day stopover on our way to Australia 3 years ago and I can't for the life of me remember what we ate or where or how much things cost; I suspect we were on very much in the mode of it all being Monopoly money by that point... I know we had a drink at the Long Bar at Raffles which was obviously expensive but I don't recall it being a particularly expensive City to be in. I know you say you have a lot of attractions included in your hotel price but we went out to the Discovery Centre (http://www.sdc.com.sg/) and had a great time - really interactive, well worth the trip out. We went to the Botanic Gardens too (actually we ate there one evening!) and that was fantastic as well... the public transport was very easy to use. Like I said it was 3 days 3 years ago now and our children are still talking about it - I don't know if we'll ever be able to just pass through the airport again - I suspect they may make us stopover every time!
  12. flossybeth

    Erudio Student Loans

    I'm just wondering if anyone else is having any issues with their student loans which were bought by Erudio last year? I've had 3 student loans since 1994/5/6 and have deferred every year without any trouble. In March last year I received a letter pack from Erudio informing me that my loans were now with them and that I owed them money - as far as I was concerned I had an agreement with the SLC and my deferment was in place until Jan 2015. I emailed explaining my confusion and heard nothing back until April when they said they needed proof of my deferment - so I scanned in my letter from the SLC and I heard nothing until an email in May (after I sent an email confirming that since they hadn't replied I could assume everything was in order) although this email was a standard 21 day reply and I never received anything more until a letter in the post just before Christmas informing me that I had been in arrears since June and owed them almost 800 pounds. I've disputed this with them for over a month now and today they have responded and said that the letter I had from the SLC is "not an agreement stating your account is deferred". The letter that I scanned and sent was the only thing I had from the SLC and worked fine for them so why are Eruido not acknowledging it as a deferment letter? I also had to point out that I had received no deferment forms from themselves (ever!) but for the coming 12 months so they did email me a copy of those to print off and return, which I did by recorded delivery, but again I've had no acknowledgment of these forms. Because I now live in Australia my deferment with the SLC has been issued under an Overseas Income Contingent (which is perhaps why Erudio are choosing to be obtuse and not recognise it as deferment - even though the forms I have filled in and sent back to the SLC have always been their standard deferment forms) and the only phone number they are prepared to give is their 0845 number which I'm not prepared to ring from here. Any help would be gratefully received.
  13. flossybeth

    Erudio Student Loans

    No, the UK loans have to be deferred every year (if your income is under the threshold) until the loan expires (either 20 years or as the loan holder turns 50). I suspect that since the first lot of student loans are nearing their 20 year cut-off this new company Erudio who bought the loans from the Student Loan Company (which was government owned) last year they are pushing to create arrears for accounts that will then mean they are in breach of contract and can't then be written off.
  14. flossybeth

    Desperate to move back home for university...

    I'm not 100% sure the OP's happiness outweighs the relationship of her parents with their parents do you? Surely a better way would be engage in a dialogue that wouldn't' cause a rift (fortunately the OP has said that she can't live with grandparents anyway).
  15. flossybeth

    Water birth

    I got through all three of my labours with nothing more than gas and air and not one swear word; when I broke my ankle I turned the air blue and needed morphine... And yes Lady Rainicorn you're right, a TENS machine is another brilliant gadget.
  16. flossybeth

    Water birth

    Oh - me, me! I had a water birth with my first, it was in hospital and it was fantastic. Labour had been over 12 hours before I got into the pool and the relief; it was so good I didn't get out to deliver even though the midwives wanted me too. My second I hoped for the same but was left unexamined for too long (no-one really thought I was far enough along until my mum went to find a midwife to tell them I was pushing...) I was offered a bath though! And my third was a planned homebirth (although she arrived before the midwife) and I must have spent a good hour or more using the shower to alleviate the contractions - we'd decided against a home water birth, mostly for practical reasons (in the hospital the pool is like a giant bath so the temperature can be kept constant whereas at home it would have involved lots of emptying, topping up blah blah...) but I certainly find water a great pain reliever. One of the things I was told at an antenatal class was that every contraction was a good pain because it was one step closer the end, and found that really helpful to focus on. And although Hollywood portrays breathing as comic that too helps focus your mind. I'd say, as others have, that you do need to be flexible in your plans and obviously when it happens all you want is a healthy baby, healthy mother. And one more thing, I'm not sure how the Australia system works but bear in mind that in France ladies are given 42 weeks as standard, so don't be pushed into an early induction. I really do believe (from no medical background at all) that a pregnant body can cope better when it's ready to do what it needs to do. Oh - and don't take too much into hospital it's really quite tricky to carry everything and a new baby back out - and it's unlikely that you'll even use half of it!
  17. What a bunch of short sighted people you are - great so the Carbon Tax is repealed and you get "cheap" electricity for a while but that's not really going help long term is it in terms of future energy productions? the point was that you'd use less energy and think about where it comes from.
  18. flossybeth

    At what age?

    We were both pushing 40 with 3 children 10,9 & 7 and came two years ago. It's been the then 7 year old who's found it hardest to settle and still insists she'll return to the UK when she's finished school... As far as our thinking goes though, we left at an ideal age given that the children all knew and had a relationship with their grandparents and extended families - so it's not hard for them to talk to them on Skype or wonder why they're being made to chat to some old people through the computer. It also meant that our eldest started secondary along with her peers and the other two will just flow through too; a little disruption in their primary years but we always thought secondary needed to be much more stable. Job wise we also thought that 40 was still young enough to become established again - however one thing we completely underestimated (although thought we had taken into account) was just how far back financially we would be; we'd obviously got too used to having "extras" and are now 5-7 years back again and it is tricky to walk past the treat aisle or have to say no to ice-cream when we're out (on the other hand it's not so bad for our waistlines ).
  19. flossybeth

    [Full-time] Are you our next Au Pair? at Bernadette and Tom

    20 years ago maybe, but now the commute from Adelaide might just be a killer....
  20. flossybeth

    This is going to be a long one...

    Brownsauce - I too thought I would turn up with my youngest (Y2 when we first arrived) and see lots of mums to at least say hello to but it didn't happen; they 'kiss & drop' far more than in the UK but we have got into the habit of sending notes into school with which ever child wants a friend over with all my contact details on it and then leaving it up to the other parent to get in touch. It's worked, and it works over the holidays too - a friend of my son's handed out "business cards" with all of his details on saying If you'd like to play over the holidays Bob would like to hear from you. It doesn't necessarily mean that I've made loads of friends but I am able to say hello to parents when I see them around town now and it does mean that my children aren't as isolated as they might possibly have been. Good luck with your other choices too.
  21. flossybeth

    Spongebob Headstone

    I suppose if it wasn't over 2m tall it might have been a little more acceptable but can you imagine other people going to visit their more traditional graves and having 2 giant Spongebobs grinning at you - I think the family perhaps need to consider other people are also grieving their loved ones and not everyone loves Spongebob.
  22. flossybeth

    Favourite Quotes

    My current favourite (which I saw on the wall of a classroom as we toured a Waldorf Steiner school) but I don't know who it's credited to: "You are free to make choices but you are not free of the consequences of those choices"
  23. flossybeth

    How the UK sees rudds decision.

    Depending on how old your grandparents are/where - I'm sure that through the '60s there was huge discrimination against people from the Caribbean who moved to the UK looking for the a good future, they couldn't find rooms to rent, public places were segregated and on and on.... and go back just a few decades earlier and we have WWII - fought (in simple terms) because one man didn't like an entire religion, not too sure where the tolerance was? Perhaps a better sense of community, so long as you'd grown up in that community......
  24. flossybeth

    How the UK sees rudds decision.

    The numbers are not negligible - over 1,000 people have drowned trying to get to Australia by boat. I'm sure that Australia as a nation isn't against helping genuine asylum seekers and refugees, I think this new policy is to deter people from getting on boats owned and operated by people who have very few morals, willing to ditch them into the sea at the first sight of a naval vessel. On a per capita basis Australia takes it's fair share of immigrants per year - and for those who reckon there are "boundless plains to share" should we send those asylum seekers out into the outback and see how they get on - because that's where all the space is?
  25. flossybeth

    Pics please!

    The first one is Henley Beach South (Adelaide) on Christmas Day last year, the other 2 are Roonka on the Murray - cub camp
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