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About VicsBM

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  1. VicsBM

    Where's okay to live on the Sunshine Coast?

    Hi! Yes, we moved to Hunchy, in-between Palmwoods and Montville. We love it! It was so important for me to find somewhere with a village feel, after leaving a place like that in England. When I first got here, the lack of community and 'drive-through' vibe of many places really got me down. Palmwoods feels like a village (and has the BEST diner on the Sunshine Coast) and everyone seems really friendly, chilled out and helpful. The same can be said for Montville's atmosphere, as we split our time between the two really due to work/kids. Where we are in Hunchy we get a decent breeze, even though we are at the bottom of the mountain and obviously it is much cooler in Montville. I haven't noticed Palmwoods being a heat trap, unlike Nambour which definitely is! Another great place with a village atmosphere is Woombye - only 10 minutes drive from us. So.... in to your question: Palmwoods has a decent bakery and butcher, IGA, fanTASTic optometrist, friendly dentist, helpful doctors, good pub/hotel (with live music and free bus there and back), nice cafes, good public pool, tennis courts and cricket club and some lovely parks for families. (And not forgetting Rick's Diner!) Oh, and Palmwoods also has The Lane on Friday night/Sat morning where locals sell yummy produce from their land and you can get great coffee and cake! It has a real community feel and everyone is supporting their neighbours really. We wanted a bit of acreage, which is why we went for Hunchy, and we feel so settled there, nestled in-between two really fantastic villages: five minutes to Palmwoods, six minutes up the mountain to Montville. And I like that I am already saying hello to local people in the street in both places (and Hunchy)! Have I given you enough there? ;-) Hope that helped!
  2. VicsBM

    Clarks shoes or something similar

    I just bought my son's first school shoes. We went to Myers in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast and his feet were properly measured. There was even a podiatrist there for any questions! His Clarks shoes cost me $89, which is about £58. Hideously expensive, but it is his first pair of school shoes, so I don't mind! I prefer to always try before buying, so I can see how snug the fit is round his ankles, toes, etc. I have had things from Next and, although some are great, other things haven't quite right and returning them is a PAIN. With trainers, you can get some decent ones and I am sure I will trust other shoe brands in time - after all, I don't see a nation of deformed feet around me here! :smile: Maybe buy a few pairs in advance, but each time you go up a size, perhaps take them in to a decent shoe shop to check the new fitting is still good?
  3. VicsBM


    You sound all muddled because you have people you love and want to do the best for everyone. - The first thing is to think of you and your health. (Happy Mummy = happy family!) Would Australia be better for you, climate-wise? Warm weather, fresh air, space, beaches and hinterland. Even with the same financial circumstances as the UK, at least you have more opportunities to be out and about in decent weather with the kids, rather than stuck indoors, or battling with wellies, etc., or paying extortionate amounts for them to be at play centres. - The second thing - the children and how they feel. We have just moved here with our two young children and, as all my expat friends kept telling me, they are so adaptable - especially when they're young. They miss their family and friends a bit, of course, but they are making new friends all the time and having so many adventures exploring new places! I think that, as long as they have you and your husband, you can make any place (and any country) a home. - Thirdly, your Mum. This is the most difficult... How is her health? Is she able to visit every few years? Do you rely on her a lot? Could you manage on your own when you first started out in Oz? Would you be happy with weekly Skype sessions? My Mum died back in 1997, so I didn't have to consider leaving her to come to Oz. It would've made the decision much harder, I admit. However, I have found that, although it is knackering sometimes, I am doing okay on my own! My eldest starts school in a few weeks and I will be home alone with my youngest, whilst Hub is at work. We have just moved to a new home and I trust that I will start to make friends with other Mums and people in the area. If I was poorly, it would be hard, but (to be honest) I haven't had Mum to support me (except in my heart!) for many years and when time have been tough, I have gritted my teeth and got through it. I believe we have so much strength, ability and love to overcome a lot of crap that comes our way - and there is usually someone out there when we most need help. - Fourthly - don't feel guilty!! If you go for it, think of it as an adventure! Your husband has done brilliantly, getting out there and finding work. Imagine how amazing it could be looking back on this time one day - remembering how you both went for it and grabbed life by the scruff of the neck! The kids will have something to really remember and share as a great story too, whether you stay in Oz for a year or years! (I went to live in Mexico for my Dad's work for a year when I was 13, and I am SO glad I had such a life-enriching, exciting experience.) New environment, new challenges, new people - that's what life is about! :-) Of course, life is also about family and friends, and many of us realise that leaving them behind is very, very hard. BUT.... if you don't do it, will you always wonder "what if?" Family and friends will love you and support you and be there for you, no matter what. And you never know, Australia may be fulll of great friends you just haven't met yet! Good luck with your dilemma. Remember your mental and physical health comes first - the kids will be fine and will adapt, so long as they have you and Daddy as their anchor. :-) Whatever you choose, it will all be okay because, in your unique way, you will make it so. Take care.
  4. As an expat from London, now living on the Sunshine Coast (with young family) I love it here! The beaches and hinterland are amazing. Brissy, I don't know that well yet, but have really enjoyed going in. Admittedly, it's not as architecturally interesting as London, but there are lovely old Queenslander houses everywhere and quite funky new buildings around. The South Bank has art galleries, a city beach (Streets Beach), a Balinese Temple, a lovely river walk and the city is pretty vibrant with decent restaurants - especially if you know the places to go, which you would after a while. We chose to be about an hour from the city (Sunshine Coast), as we are ready to chill out more after work, rather than hit the clubs and pubs! All depends what your priorities are, I suppose. (Also Brisbane itself isn't right next to the coast.) We have great friends in Melbourne and all the positives about it are true, but it does lack the sunshine of Queensland.... Perth, I don't know at all. If you can, do a reccy of all three - your gut will tell you which is for you. Good luck!
  5. WHOOPS, I mean Broadband! Hi there. We are now settled in Oz (and loving it :biggrin:) and about to move to our new home in the hinterland! I am trying to find out which is the best phone/broadband option for us, with cheaper calls to the UK. And not too extortionate! Any advice gratefully received! Thanks. xxx
  6. I will. Maybe we will meet up sometime one day, when we're feeling homesick! x
  7. Thanks for this, I'e been on their website and it looks like I can use them rather than CWB. Great!
  8. Hiya. I am thinking of opening a Commonwealth Bank account before we get to Oz, but I had a couple of questions that I'd love unbiased answers to (rather than the bank's answers!). 1) Is there another bank that doesn't charge you $6.00 a month to have an account?! 2) Will I get taxed for moving my UK money into an Australian account? (This worries me, as I already got taxed EARNING the money!) 3) Is there another bank that's good, as the Commonwealth is involved in the unfair closure of the Sandringham Hotel in Sydney (a great music venue - Save our Sando!) and I don't really want to give them my custom. Any advice gratefully received, thank you!! :-)
  9. What a positive, informative post. Thank you! I am also from Richmond-upon-Thames (born & bred in Twickenham) and know what you mean about Richmond Riverside!! :-) My migrant visa has just been granted (I'm married to an Aussie) and we plan to head for the Sunshine Coast very soon, where we have family and I've found a great state school for my two young children. Glad you liked it on your visit! Good to hear the positives about Brisbane too - everyone seems to harp on about Sydney and Melbourne (both great in theri own way, admittedly) and poor old Brisbane doesn't get a look in. You make it sound very appealing and I'm looking forward to exploring it even more now, after hearing a view from someone from my home turf. Again, thanks for such a helpful, cheerful post and I wish you loads of good things and times ahead!
  10. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm going to wait and buy the iPad in Australia as it is certainly cheaper, and I plan to be there for a long time! :-) Now I just need to find GOOD stereo speakers for my iPod over there....
  11. Hi there, My visa has just been granted (HOORAY!!!) and we are planning to get to Oz in the next couple of months. I am thinking of buying an iPad 2 and can't work out if it makes more sense to buy it here or wait until we reach Queensland. Does anyone have iPad experience there? Is it easy to get tech support? Is WiFi relatively available? And can I use an iPad from Australia in the UK easily if I come back for visits? Thanks very much for any help! :em4500:
  12. I know they have weight allowances (30kg?), but I'm a more person visual and need to know how this converts to average sized suitcases? Would it be about two, plus a hand luggage bag per person? Any clues? Thanks very much! :biggrin:
  13. We won't need a container (sole use) as we're just shipping clothes/toys/crockery/linens. It takes so long to fill in details for each shipping company, I just wondered if anyone knew rough estimates we could expect for shipping about 12-20 big boxes? I will be trying Anglo, John Mason and PSS as they seem to have good reviews - unless someone knows any others which are good? Thanks for any help! Vics.
  14. Hi there. I am trying to find a place to live which is near a community (but not an estate), so I don't feel too cut off. We have two young children who will be going to school in the Palmwoods/Chevallum area and we have family in Nambour and Caloundra - so trying to find a happy medium! Please, does anyone know what any of the following are like: Mooloolah Valley Forest Glen Palmwoods Nambour Woombye Buderim We will be renting for a while until we find our feet. Thanks for any advice! :-) Vics
  15. Ha! Thanks. Didn't really think of that, but luckily I only wear mascara and a bit of eyeliner. Guess the eyeliner will have to go though...