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About gabbycat

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  1. gabbycat

    Expired PR Visa

    Thank you for your replies, they are very helpful.
  2. gabbycat

    Expired PR Visa

    We are natural British citizens.We had permanent residency visas for Australia granted when we lived there between April 2012 and April 2014. We returned to the UK in 2014 and due to circumstance are still here. We do not need to work to fund our lives. Where do we stand on visas for returning to live in Australia? Our children have both now turned 18, where do they stand.
  3. gabbycat

    What would you do?

    Your thread is titled 'what would you do?' and what I would do is take a long hard look at provision in both countries for special needs children and young adults and find out as much as I can about where the provision is best for my child. I would then look at the support available for parents of special needs children, I know there are support groups out there. I would move to the place I think the child's needs would be best catered for over the next 15 years and then I would set about joining local support groups as my first social contact. From there I think your network of new acquaintances will grow into friends. You've said you have a lot of anxiety and that you are struggling to socialise and trust people. You have also implied you think your Dad will be too busy to spend much time with you in the UK. Is this a fact of your family relationships or is a reflection of your own anxieties? The other thing I would do is tell my Dad how I am feeling. In my experience it takes 2 years for any new place to feel like home and new friendship rarely just happen, they grow over time. We find new close friends through shared experiences and interests. Friends are attached to us more if we are happier in ourselves so maybe I would try to work out what makes me happy, I would try to think about what I liked, where I could picture myself, what things I want to do with my child over the next wonderful 10 years and then look at where I can do those things. I know what you mean about starting over somewhere new, I've done it a number of times and the only thing I would say is it is hard but it is possible to find the right place.
  4. gabbycat

    Getting a job in the UK with a relocation package

    Yes. Same package as would have been offered for moving within the UK, so doesn't cover everything but certainly helps!
  5. gabbycat

    Your thoughts on Bristol?

    Love it. Loads of friends work in Bristol, husband works in Nailsea, we live in rural Somerset. pm me if you want to ask questions.
  6. gabbycat

    Moving back - how to go about it??

    I've seen people selling a house worth of stuff as they leave to poms moving out. I've also seen a lot of moving overseas garage sales. Otherwise Gumtree. If stuff doesn't sell you can book a shared container to ship it, airfreight it, ask a friend to keep trying to sell it for you, give it to charity or send it to the tip. I didn't sell my stuff, I shipped early though and so had to 'camp' in my house for a few weeks.. We flew Emirates to get home so had 30kg of luggage allowance each and that was all we hung onto for the last few weeks. We organised to leave our rental the day before council clean up so anything left over went out on the nature strip, including those last pieces of furniture we didn't ship. I suggest looking at when you rental contract allows you to give notice, cost up flights, talk to a travel agent and find out when airlines typically announce a sale and work out what you are going to do at the other end. We needed a holiday cottage in the Uk for a couple weeks so maybe avoiding high season here might be a consideration. We also found that once we gave notice we had to deal with the open house viewings, so talk to your letting agent, if they are good you'll be able to chat without committing to giving notice. We were lucky, our agent loaned us a vacuum and a fridge for the last few weeks. Sadly as to selling our car, had to let it go far too cheap.
  7. gabbycat

    What to do if you miss the school application deadline?

    I don't know if this is any help but I've just moved bcd to the UK with a primary and secondary school child. Both schools were academies and therefore we had to apply directly to the school rather than messing about with applications to county. In Somerset you apply to county if you are joining the first year of a school along with the whole intake i.e. Reception or year 7 but if you are joining an academy mid year then you apply direct to the school. We found dealing directly with the schools very easy and had no trouble getting the places we wanted.
  8. gabbycat

    Moving back to uk need advice re shipping

    Hi We had four companies quote, they were similar in price, and we flat packed everything we could and reduced our 3 bed house contents enough to fit in a 20ft container even though all the companies told us we were over. So we took pretty much everything! The only things we didn't take were things we needed whilst we camped the last three weeks. We flew home with Emirates and managed to bring back 2 large suitcases, 2 medium suitcases and 3 cricket sports bags in the hold, 4 cabin suitcases and two laptop bags. The removals companies all recommended we let them do the packing for insurance reasons, we even unpacked some stuff from the garage so they could pack it again so it was covered. They all want to sell you their insurance but we ended up choosing Letton Percival in the UK to insure - much cheaper. The packing was easy, and we booked council clean for two months in a row to get rid of all the stuff we weren't taking. The most boring bit was going though replacement cost of the household goods to do our valuation estimate for the insurance. I suggest you get a removals quote and they will tell you how much stuff they think you have then you can start thinking about how much you want to pay and what you are prepared to ditch. I think I remember the garden sets are way cheaper in Aus and worth shipping.
  9. We are selling our nearly two year old Holden Cruze Sedan. Three years warranty remaining. Needs to sell this week, we're heading back to the UK!
  10. gabbycat

    Moving to the "wrong" area?

    That's a hard question! If you'd asked me a couple of months ago the answer was definitely wet, but then it was everywhere! It doesn't get the Atlantic storms that hit around Cornwall/ Devon but does get some of the rain coming in from the Atlantic. We get snow, enough to be fun but not too much, and lots of sunny days. But to be honest I don't notice the weather much. I guess it is warmer than the NE, I used to notice the temperature drop as I drove up through the Midlands. It rains on Glastonbury weekend of course and at about 3.00 when you are waiting in the playground to pick the kids up from school, but usually only for the 10 minutes it takes you to get to the car. We live on the Mendips just above the Levels and some mornings are foggy in the valley but that's beautiful too. We can get to the south coast around Lyme Regis / Weymouth so it is easy to make the best of sunny days. The kids primary school had a heated outdoor pool and we have spent many hours playing out in it in the summer, usually from May to the end of September.
  11. gabbycat

    Moving to the "wrong" area?

    We live (have lived/ will be living) 1/2 hour south of Bristol in the gorgeous Somerset countryside and love it! Loads of work in Bristol and loads of people commute from where we live. Definitely a great place to consider, and not expensive compared to the SE/ Basingstoke/ Reading area.
  12. gabbycat

    Moving to the "wrong" area?

    Any chance he would be offered a relocation package with a job? Typical relocation package seems to be £8000 and that can go a good way to covering shipping and flights. I suggest start looking now and see how it goes. It can take longer than you hope to find the right company. We've just been though it, we started looking end of Sept and are moving mid April. My OH made full use of old colleagues, recruitment agencies and LinkedIN to find roles - it's an idea to start putting feelers out there. The recruitment agencies, a lot of whom found him through LinkedIn were a fantastic source of information and opportunities. We had a couple of false starts with companies who weren't prepared to do second interview over the phone and asked when he might be popping over to the UK so they could do a second interview, which was frustrating. Before he started looking I spend hours looking at areas I felt prepared to live in and the schools/ house prices etc and that helped us focus the job search and more significantly the salary range we could look at. We found that some areas he would need to be seeking a considerably higher salary than others in order for us to be able to buy a house. We then checked out the major employers in the area and started checking their job sites every week. It may have been a spectacular waste of time because in the end he got a job back where we came from but it helped me feel I had some sense of control over what was going on. Moving to the 'wrong' part of the UK is a big decision in itself and it was one where I had to really carefully consider how I felt about it and 'starting over' again. I think it is nice to consider your daughter too - if you can make that transition into school easier then it is good, for your sake as a new parent at the school as well as hers. Maybe try and step outside the immediate situation and look at the longer term picture. Where do you really want to be in 2/3 years? The bonus helps, sure, but in the end if it isn't the only way to pay to go home then maybe it shouldn't be a key driver in your decision making. In 2/3 years will the bonus have made a significant difference to your quality of life? It is important that your husband is happy in his work and you are both happy where you are living and it is worth allowing the time to look to find that. Also an interview is exploratory discussion for both parties and job offer is just that, an offer, he doesn't have to take it. It doesn't do any harm to be having the conversations with potential employers. Also a bit of interview practise will help him perfect his answer to the first question my OH kept being asked....why would you want to leave Australia?...! I'm convinced some of the recruitment agencies only contacted him to ask him that! If I were in your position now I would be trying for option one, be prepared to go with option 3 and quietly checking out the alternative possibilities option 2 might offer.
  13. gabbycat

    So you are going back/have gone back...why?

    We're heading back in three weeks time. We've been in Sydney for 2 years and had a great time. We had a plan to come out for 2 years and see how it went, and travel as much as possible in that 2 years. We did that. We've been all over NSW, the Barrier Reef, Uluru and North Island NZ. We found a fantastic community within our local scout group, cricket club and through the primary school Mums. Our friends are mixture of expats from UK and other countries and Aussies. Lots of people in Australia have asked why we are going back, but those who know the part of Somerset we come from understand it - one even asked why we left Somerset in the first place. The sun here has been a mixed blessing, I haven't done well in the heat and the endless nagging to put on suncream drives me and the kids mad. I've spent as much time indoors to stay in the shade as I would into UK to keep out of the rain. We miss our family and want the kids to grow up knowing their grandparents and cousins well. That in itself is the main driver but the other is money. We are sick of renting - we've had our rentals sold out from under us twice in 2 years. We could afford to buy a house here if I went to work full time but that would mean after school care for the kids and we don't want that, and I don't much like the Australian houses in our price range. We have a few more things we would like to do here but with my son due to start high school now is the best time to go. So family, money and weather are our reasons for heading back. We don't know yet what we will miss about Australia but it has changed all of us, in a good way, my kids have had amazing opportunities for new experiences and I count myself so lucky to have been able to give them that. Now we are going to go home in time for spring, get a dog, a couple of cats and hamsters and start planning our next adventure - I'm thinking a holiday in Italy.........
  14. gabbycat

    Shipping Holden back to the UK

    I had hoped Chevrolet were doing a similar model. Although still not common I imagine.
  15. If we can't sell our Holden Cruze in the next 3 weeks we are considering shipping it home to the UK. We're having trouble getting insurance quotes on it as it is a grey import. Has anyone shipped a car as a grey import in to the UK, and can you recommend insurers?