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About Alexia

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  1. Alexia

    Urgent advice needed

    We had the same thing. We didn't realise the kids needed passports until maybe 3 weeks before we were due to fly. We applied for passports from Australia. I believe they were processed in NZ. It was a very stressful time as we weren't sure if we'd get them in time but they did, thank goodness. I can't remember now how long it took I'm afraid as it was 2.5 years ago. We changed our flights to give them a little longer to get to us but I think they did actually come in time for our original flight.
  2. Alexia

    Going back with no jobs(s)

    My hubby works found work within two weeks of arriving home. He had 3 interviews and got offered the job for each! He's working as an aircraft assembler. I'm a SAHM.
  3. Alexia

    Moving back to Essex - info on areas, schools etc

    Hi Louise, I'm guessing you're back in the old country now. What did you decide about Brentwood? We're currently staying with my parents there. It's rather cosy with a 5 year old, 2 year old and 9 month old twins but we're enjoying the support of family. Despite it being financial suicide for us, we're looking to find somewhere to rent there so we can continue to be close to them. Hubby found work within two weeks of us arriving. I hope it's all going well for you. Alex
  4. Removalist came yesterday and took our stuff away. Today we fly back to the old country. If I wasn't so concerned about how I am going to entertain a 5 year old, 2 year old and 7 month old twins I'd be excited. Actually, I think I'm feeling every emotion all at once! :biggrin::confused::cry::wub::eek:
  5. Our British passports arrived today after a fair bit of panic over whether they would arrive in time for our original departure date of 19th Nov. We moved the flights out to 5th Dec just in case a few days ago but change them again to 20th November today. Wooo!! Not long to go at all. Better keep on with packing.
  6. Alexia

    Counting down!

    We're supposed to be going back on 19th November but I think we'll be changing our flights as we won't have British passports for our kiddiewinks in time. Applied when we had 4 weeks to go and they're meant to take 6 :-( Still, we should at least be back for Xmas :-D
  7. Alexia

    Happy to go home, now scared

    I can totally understand how you feel. We've been in Melbourne nearly 7 years and spend 4 or 5 years making the decision to go back and now we are going back and flights are booked it feels pretty scary. When the life you have in Australia isn't really too bad and the life you had back in the UK was ok too, it does make it tricky to come to a conclusion. Having made the decision though not only is there the uncertainty or how things will work out, there's also the daunting tasking of packing up and the logistics of getting there. My children are much younger -my eldest is only five, but he says he doesn't want to leave and it does add to the doubt, even though he doesn't really know what he's going to find back in the UK. He just knows he'll miss his friends and despite the fact he's only little and has plenty of time to make new friends (and get to know family) I still feel pretty guilty about it. Also, I think now we have actually decided it feels a bit unreal that we're actually going. I've gotten so used to thinking about the decision all day every day it feels a bit strange and as hard as I try I still have pros and cons from either side going round in my head a bit.
  8. The questions of why on Earth we'd want to leave the best place on the planet to live have already started. Even the Aussies are at it. I had a conversation with the clerk in the bank about going back and she asked me "what's wrong with Australia, don't you like it?" and reassured me that if it's really bad there we can always come back as we have citizenship. She was quite shocked that we'd want to leave even when I explained that we have four young children and no family to help.
  9. I have often thought the same to myself - that there are plenty of people in the UK making a good life for themselves so I'm sure we can too. We've toyed with the idea of renting a static caravan. From the small amount of research I have done it seems many of the parks are closed over winter. For the first month after we arrive my MiL will be away and we'll be able to stay in her 2 bedroom house. Maybe we'll look more into alternative accommodation once we get there.
  10. Thanks for all your responses. I'm trying very hard to take their comments with a pinch of salt, particularly because much of what they have said I know too be completely inaccurate. One visitor commented on my OH's jumper "you don't get nice quality clothes like that back home". It was from M&S! Apparently they dont sell British apples in the supermarkets there either. But some other comments do add to our concerns because we are taking what we see as a big risk in going backs there - when we don't know how easy it'll be to find work, we don't know what government assistance will be available to us if we need it and we don't even have much of a plan for when we arrive. We'll just be squeezing in to parents houses and maybe splitting up as there's so many of us to accommodate! We're originally from Essex but it's too pricey for us so we're aiming for Suffolk or Norfolk. Seems to be a few jobs advertised around Yarmouth - not planning to live in town though.
  11. After 6 1/2 years in Australia we have finally taken the plunge and decided to return to the UK (house sold, flights booked). We've had 4 children in Australia aged 5, 2 and 6mth old twins and have gone back and forth in our minds about going back constantly since the birth of our first child. We've come close to going before, getting removalists quotes etc. but for one reason or another have not made the move. We have never really felt settled here and have lived in 6 houses (5 Dandenong Ranges, 1 Tassie) in the time we have lived in Aus. You would think that close family and friends who know our situation and know how unhappy and unsettled we are here, would understand why we would want to return. However, most of the conversations we have with certain people involve them telling us that we don't appreciate how good we've got it here, how terrible life is in the UK, how miserable we're going to be, how if hubby is lucky enough to find work he'll be taken for a ride by his employer and made to work every hour under the sun for peanuts etc etc. Due to the line of work he is in (welding), he's not really able to apply for jobs before we arrive. We've repeatedly tried to explain to them our issues and that it's different living here to being on holiday. I'm worried that we won't be able to grumble to them about anything when we get back and if it doesn't work out they'll be telling us "I told you so". I think one of the reasons it's taken us so long to go back is their negativity towards being in the UK. Has anyone else been in this kind of situation?
  12. Alexia

    Moving back to Essex - info on areas, schools etc

    Hi Louise. I lived in Brentwood until I moved to the Dandenong Ranges at the age of 25. As far as I know the primary schools are all pretty good. St Martin's High School in Hutton has the best reputation. I went to Brentwood County High, not to be confused with Brentwood School which is private, and it was ok I guess. I think Shenfield is much the same. I know a lot of kids come from surrounding towns to go to schools in Brentwood so they can't be too bad! I only went to one primary and one high school so it's hard for me to compare to other schools. Sorry not much help I know. I did come across this the other day though http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/sep/27/lets-move-to-brentwood-essex?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487&commentpage=1 The article itself isn't especially representative however the readers' comments may be interesting for you. If I had the money I'd probably move back to Brentwood (or Billericay) as that is where my parents still live and it has lovely green spaces and is generally quite convenient, but for us the whole reason we left in the first place was that it was out of our reach to buy a house there. We're returning to the UK in November and after an initial stay with family, we're hoping to move to Suffolk or Norfolk as the property prices as more within reach for us. Unfortunately all the nice places in Essex are too expensive for us. All the best for your move.