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Rachel Tilley

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Everything posted by Rachel Tilley

  1. It's been a while since I posted on here, but I have been working voluntarily on a daily basis with many parents (usually mums) who feel they are stuck in a foreign country and unable to move home again because they cannot take their children home with them. I know there are many mums in Australia in this situation, but our work involves parents who are 'stuck' in 31 different countries, including Aussie mums 'stuck' in the UK. However, the majority of the parents we support are in Australia and New Zealand. I know there is a very detailed thread about the Hague Convention and the law regarding this, and myself and my colleague have paid to have a video made to help raise further awareness of this issue to help reduce parental child abductions. We have also been working with a specialised Hague Convention solicitor and barrister who have helped us to create a Pre Migration Contract for families leaving the UK to live abroad. This will legally help to formalise the verbal promises of "let's give it a go, we can always come home if you/me/we are not happy there". As in my case, these verbal promises count for nothing, and from reading other threads on here I know I'm not the only woman who moved to Australia with children to support a partner's wish, only to find that verbal promise means nothing! Please view the video below (it's only two and a half minutes) to get an understanding of the legal issues in family law about moving a family abroad. It all boils down to the 'habitual residence' of the children and what this means in real terms.
  2. Rachel Tilley

    Do we need to steal another generation???

    It's always going to be hard to change the intrinsic values and beliefs of people. I'm very happy with my way of life - it works for me and I think I'm doing okay, so if someone who thought I'd have a much better quality of life by doing it their way tried to force it upon me then I'd be fighting to resist it. Trying to force me to live an Aboriginal life for instance would be totally alien to me and the thought of being made to change everything I'd been brought up to believe in and move over to that way of living would be a nightmare. For others, my way of life would be a nightmare. For those that have been born in to tremendous wealth and grown up in mansions and had brand new flash, powerful sports cars they may visit my house and wonder how on earth anyone can live in such a small space with only one reception room and have a bedroom that doesn't even have an ensuite! And then, on top of that, have to drive around in a 5 year old car that takes 11 seconds to go from 0-60mph! The thought of downsizing from a mansion with large grounds to a house of my size with a small garden would be devastating - purely because it's not what they are used to and not what they want to get used to. I believe ISIS want everyone to be Muslim and think that is the best way forward for the world. Well, I'm certainly resisting that - even though they think, or know from their own experiences that they live perfectly well and happily with that way of life, they're not going to drag me into it. I'm note even going to try it to see if it is a better way of life because I'm perfectly happy with the way of life that I have and have known. It's going to be very hard to change the culture of anyone if they don't want to change their culture themselves. I don't want to change mine, and nobody whether it's with the best intentions for my future or not, will persuade me otherwise. So if we apply the way we would react to a forced change upon ourselves to the forced change we think should be put upon the Aboriginal people then it's easier to understand how hard it's going to be.
  3. Rachel Tilley

    Grammar Nazi's

    Ah... now I didn't think of that! If he'd have just put "let's have pudding before dinner" I might of (only joking) - might have - looked at his profile a bit more!
  4. Rachel Tilley

    Grammar Nazi's

    I'm a terrible grammar snob. I don't even use text talk when sending a text, everything is spelt properly and with full stops at the end of a sentence. For me, correct spelling and grammar indicates a level of intelligence but using this to make judgment calls is not always a good thing! For instance, on dating sites I might look at a guy's profile and think he looks nice, then when I read his profile and see the poor spelling I click off it again, but if I was to meet him in real life then it's something I would not be aware of and might actually get on with him fine! Some real laughs I've had are opening lines of "Are their any descent women left on here" (with no question mark!) "Let's be adventurous and do desert before our main course" "am i the won you have been looking for" "descent man looking for descent woman" Then there are the men who really don't know how to sell themselves when they write about themselves and often put something like "wanna no more just ask" No wonder I'm single!
  5. Rachel Tilley

    Advice wanted on what to do!

    If you moved to Australia for a better quality of life then clearly you are not having one! I'm sure your husband did not move there to increase his working day to so many hours. 457 visas are only temporary and you are all trying to build a long lasting life in Oz on something that can be taken away or expire. You and your daughter are totally dependent on your husband for the right to remain in Australia and his mental health can only last for so long before stress takes its toll. If he was to take a long period of sick leave due to stress or anxiety he would probably worry that he would lose his job, so he's in a vicious circle to keep going, hoping for something else to come up but with no guarantee. Do you have a home to come back to in the UK or did you sell up? If you are having less quality time as a family then have a good think about where you all had more time for each other and more fun together. If that was back in the UK then you have your answer.
  6. Rachel Tilley

    For those who have returned...would you ever go back?

    No I wouldn't go back. My self sufficiency for a quality of life is far better in England than it was in Oz. If my son does decide to go and live there when he's older and leaves home then I can then go off and do some Red Cross work in a third world country and follow my dream to make a difference in this world, at least to someone, before I die.
  7. How old are your children that are in Australia? The Hague Convention will apply for you, they are now 'habitually resident' in Australia and your wife can't take them to LIVE in another country without your consent. The HC applies to children under the age of 18, but if they are 16 or over it's unlikely a UK court would issue a return order to send them back to Oz. However, if your wife wants to take the children to the UK for a HOLIDAY then you should negotiate this with her and a solicitor is not necessary. If she did not return with the children when she said she would then the HC is still on your side for an 'unlawful retention' of the children in the UK and you would get free legal advice and legal representation through the Central Authority in Oz to get them back. Visas and entitlement to live in Oz don't come in to it. The ludicrous situation of this could be that you successfully get the return of the children to Australia where absolutely none of you then have the right to live there! In this legal scenario the Family Law and the Immigration Law are in total conflict. My son and I were both sent back to Australia under the HC when both of us were on temporary visas. As I could not legally live there the judge had the sense to allow us to come home, and the whole debacle cost in excess of £30,000! Think long and hard about what you do here. 'Winning' a family court case is not the be all and end all. 11 years on from my case and my son is deeply affected by all that happened and still has two parents in two countries and has tried living between the two countries for years, tried living in Oz last year, returned to the UK at Christmas to live, and despite now wanting to remain in the UK is having emotional issues because he's not seeing his dad. If your relationship with your wife is good then it will be far better for your children to have you all living together in one country. My son has told me many a time that he doesn't care what country he is in, he just wanted a mum and dad in the same one.
  8. Hi there, I was having a conversation with my brother yesterday about a house that he owns and rents out. He was considering selling it but as the interest rates are so low in the UK at the moment he said it really wasn't worth having the money in the bank and he's better off having more tenants for the next few years and making money on the rent (he owns the house outright with no mortgage). I suppose it would depend on what you would do with the money if you sold it? Investing it in the UK is not going to make you much interest BUT it does relieve you of the worry of tenants not paying, trashing it or doing a runner with some of the contents, and relieve you of a mortgage. It could be a nest egg to come back to, or to transfer to Aussie dollars in the future (maybe when the exchange rate picks up). Personally, I would find leaving a home vacant a bit worrying. You'd still have to pay some utility bills (Council Tax) and if word got round that it was empty you could end up with vandalism or squatters and then you'd have the worry and hassle of dealing with this from afar. You may also have problems with keeping it adequately insured for vacant possession as most insurance companies want to know if a property will be left for periods of 28 days or more. Renting it out may be your best option for investment reasons. My brother has had a tenant in his house for the last 13 years with no issues whatsoever and the house and garden has been kept in great condition. He is also a good landlord and has done everything required of him, including fitting a brand new, good quality bathroom for the tenant a couple of years ago, a new kitchen and new carpets when required. It all depends on the tenant really, if you get a good one then you're sitting on a great investment, but if not, well, you'll have problems! When we moved to Oz we kept our house and rented it out. Thank God we did. We were also on temporary visas and the move didn't work out for me. At least I had a home to come back to, even though the second lot of tenants had left it in a disgusting state. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you keep a bank account open in the UK, even if it only has a small amount in it. Change your address with the bank to one of a trusted relative and opt for online statements only. It would seem that people who are coming back to the UK after some years in Australia are having trouble opening up bank accounts again so don't end up in that situation yourself.
  9. Rachel Tilley


    Hi Jessie, To answer your question, yes, I've thought about suicide as a 'way out' on a few occasions through my life but I've never actually tried. During some of my darkest moments I have thought about how I would do it, what I would leave in my note, plan it all in detail... and then shut the door on the idea and think of another solution or way of coping. I have had quite a lot of counselling over the past 12 years and learnt that it is quite normal for people to consider suicide as an option when they feel they are unable to cope with life but only a few actually go through with it. Sadly, those 'few' do amount to several thousand people per year. One counsellor I saw explained the thought process as a bit like those puzzles you see for children where a lot of squiggly lines lead to different things. I was in the middle and had to follow each line through all the mess and the tangles to an open door, and behind each door was a solution. If I didn't like the solution behind that door then I could close it and return to the middle and start again. One of the lines would always lead to a door where suicide was an option. For me, I closed that door, but for some they will leave it open and return to it time and again, until sometimes, sadly, it's the only door left open. As others have already suggested, some of the things that were behind the other doors of my squiggly lines were: Talk to someone you trust (friend or relative) about how you feel Talk to your GP Call a helpline Take medication Get counselling or other therapies Take some time out for yourself to have some peace and do something entirely for you Ask for help with whatever it is that is getting you down (it could be that your work load is too much to cope with for instance) I've learned that it's okay to ask for help and I often wear my heart on my sleeve. This was difficult for me to start with as I was brought up in a family where things were kept private. My mum still does keep things very private and would never tell friends certain things. She'd be horrified to know what sort of things I post on a public forum about myself for instance, she just wouldn't understand why I'd expose such private matters to people. However, I soon found out that trying to keep that stoic "I'm fine and I can cope" attitude didn't do me any good at all. I think forums like this can be a great help to people. Most of us will have no idea who each other is, where we live, whether we use real names or not, yet we can tell by the nature of the posts we write whether we are caring people or not. So in the modern world we can also add community forums as a source of help in times of crisis too.
  10. I was a single parent in Australia and found it very difficult. I'm still a single parent back in England and it is hard work, but here's what I have in England that I didn't have in Australia: When my son is ill I have family who will come and stay during the day so that I can go to work and know he is being looked after When I am ill I have family who will help out, get me some shopping, come and stay to keep me company, entertain my son or take him out to give me some rest. I am also able to go to the doctor, the dentist, or the hospital for appointments by myself as family will look after him whilst I do these things When my son does my head in (which is frequently!) I have a great support network I can have a whinge with - these are long term friends who also have children the same age so we can compare notes and laugh about whose child has the worst/smelliest/untidiest bedroom or whatever the latest gripe is! When I need some 'adult' time I have two lot of grandparents who are happy to have my son overnight so that I can have a night out - I also get the odd weekend away with girlfriends for a spa break due to that loving, family support Sometimes it gets a bit boring that my son just has me for company, so we often have family over for Sunday lunch, or go to other family members where we are all together, play cards, board games, dominoes Things change as the age of the children change. When I was a single parent in Oz my son was 2-4 years old and I had to take him everywhere with me (doctor, dentist, solicitors, shops) and he'd be bored to death but I had no support network that I could count on to drop him off with whilst I did these things in private. I'm not saying it's not doable being a single parent in Oz, but I do know many mums who would rather be a single parent back in their home country than in a foreign one. As the children get older, make friends and have sleepovers that frees your time up a little bit so you can get a social life of your own. If you have PR, Citizenship and a job that provides a great income and concessions for childcare then it will help. In my case I was not entitled to any concessions and the cost of childcare for me outweighed the benefit of me getting a job as I'd have been worse off. The difference between me and you though is that I didn't go to Oz to be a single parent as myself and partner split up after we moved there, but you are going as a single parent. What you need to establish is how much support you have here that you rely on and how much you need to factor that in to your situation if you were to lose it. If you are pretty self sufficient and self reliant then it won't impact you as much as it did me. When it comes to finances, we often take for granted that in the UK our children have free dental treatment, free prescriptions, free schooling, but this is not free in Oz so it's another cost you need to budget for when considering salaries.
  11. Rachel Tilley

    Getting a credit card

    That's exactly how I use a CC to my benefit too! Most UK credit cards don't have any annual fees at all so it really doesn't cost me anything to have one. On the odd occasion it does cost an extra 2% to buy on a credit card then I'll use the debit card, but apart from holidays there is very little I buy that I would have to pay the extra percentage on for the privilege of using a credit card. I turned a credit card down when I lived in Oz because I didn't want to pay an annual fee for one so I continued to use my UK one. As the exchange rate was in my favour at that time it actually turned out cheaper for me to pay the dollar rate and have it converted to the GBP rate for final payment.
  12. Rachel Tilley

    Wondering What Bank Account To Go For?

    For those of you about to return home and needing to open up a new bank account then one of the best deals around at the moment is the Santander 123 Account. They offer 3% interest on the first £20,000 of your savings which is better than any ISA or savings account in the UK at the moment. Also, from April 2016 you don't pay tax on your interest earned up to £1000. The Santander 123 Account pays the interest monthly. It also gives you cash back of 1,2 or 3% on some of your direct debit costs for your council tax, phone bills, water rates, electric/gas bills. To qualify for this account you have to pay in a minimum of £500 per month, have a minimum of two direct debits set up and there is a monthly fee of £5 - but that is easily offset against the interest earned if you have enough savings in there. Thought I'd share this as I've been looking to change my bank account recently due to the one I've had for over 30 years not giving me anything! After lots of searching I found that this was the best available and have just switched to it.
  13. Rachel Tilley

    Wondering What Bank Account To Go For?

    That's a bummer :sad: I can't believe a bank would be willing to turn away a potential customer with £20,000 to deposit. Customers are able to have two accounts with them, one being a joint account, so perhaps a returning resident could be a named account holder with a trusted family member in order to get on the credit rating ladder, especially if they have a family member who already has an account with them?! Not sure how that would stand, but if you're coming back to the UK with a large sum of money from the sale of a house then that's the best place to put it at the moment. I didn't realise it was so hard to open a bank account as a British Citizen, thank God I kept mine going when I was away. I know my ex still has one here too with just a few pounds in it and he's been gone 12 years.
  14. Rachel Tilley

    Safe Schools Program likened to paedophile grooming

    There was a wonderful young man in the UK X Factor last year who describes himself as 'gender neutral'. He's an Australian guy called Sean Miley Moore and he is a fantastic singer. What's so great about him is that he is totally comfortable with who he is, his family fully support who he is and he gained a huge following over in the UK as there are many people who identify with him and/or just respect the person he is and admire his talent. Sean has said in an interview that he identifies with both the male and female characteristics of his genetics and therefore, he is gender neutral. The schools programme is designed to recognise people like Sean as an equal and valued member of our communities instead of outcasting them as 'freaks' or 'weirdos' or any other derogatory word in order to exclude them from society. I always find it rather funny how people judge other people. It seems we want to instantly know by appearance what someone is so that we somehow feel 'safe' being amongst them. However, when we first look at an animal we see that animal. We don't always know if it's male or female, we don't judge it on the colour of it's fur, if it looks aggressive then we spend time trying to make it friendly, if it's timid we spend time trying to get it to come to us... If only we could apply the same approach to other humans the world would be nicer.
  15. Rachel Tilley

    Getting a credit card

    Hi Chortlepuss, Have you only tried to get one with your bank? Mine is through one of the large supermarkets (Tesco) and I've had it for years. Like you, I pay it off each month and I've never paid any interest on it but I use it to buy everything in order to earn points. Every quarter Tesco convert the points in to cash and send me vouchers. So for example, if I get £20 in Tesco vouchers I can either spend them in Tesco towards my shopping or fuel and they equate to £20, or I can convert them online in to vouchers for other places and they are worth four times the face value, so £20 becomes £80. I find that a really handy way to use them. As it's half term this week I've just turned £10 of my Tesco vouchers in to £40 of Pizza Express vouchers so I can have a slap up meal with my son and it won't cost me a thing! I know not many people are fans of credit cards, but I use it to my advantage and over the years I've had about £1000 worth of vouchers that have given me days out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, Drayton Manor Theme Park, Alton Towers Theme Park, meals at Bella Italia, Ask, Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge. You have so many options to use them on.
  16. Rachel Tilley

    Homesick and scared to death about making wrong decision

    It's human nature to blame whatever is making you unhappy unhappy! So if people are unhappy living in Australia then they are going to blame the particular place they live for their unhappiness - I know I did to start with. The OP has stated she is homesick, so if this is the main cause of her unhappiness then no matter what city or state of Oz she lives in she will probably be unhappy there. The other reason she is struggling is because she doesn't have as much family time as she'd hoped to have as her husband works long hours. To be honest, if you are homesick and not getting enough quality family time then it doesn't matter where in the world you are living, you are unlikely to feel fulfilled with life and wish to return to the place where you were happier and had better times. Likewise, if you can't find a job in the city you're living in and you can't sustain a standard of living you've been used to then you're also likely to be unhappy, and as the unhappiness is linked to the town/city you are in you are unlikely to like that place. Whether you like somewhere or not, or think it's exciting or boring all comes down to the state of mind it gives you from the experiences you have had. Clearly, these are individual and unique to everyone. For the people who have migrated to Australia and CANNOT find that happiness for whatever reason then they are likely to contemplate a return to the UK and look for help/guidance/support/understanding on this section of the forum. For the people who have migrated to Australia and HAVE found they are totally content there and their lives have even improved they may not have the same empathy for someone who isn't happy in Oz. I now have some very happy memories of Adelaide and certainly do not slag off Australia even though much of my time there was pretty awful. If I had to live in Australia again I would happily return to Adelaide and not even consider another city or state - yet some people find Adelaide extremely dull! However, I have a better standard of living and a better quality of life where I currently live in England, although I must admit there are some places in England that I'd hate to live and would rather return to Australia than live there!! As I've said before, one of my favourite quotes is: It doesn't matter where you go in life, what you do or how much you have. It's who you have beside you. If the OP doesn't have her family and support network beside her, well... refer to the above quote!
  17. Rachel Tilley

    Has your partner ever had an affair???

    Does that mean you wouldn't trust me to water your plants, feed your pets and remove your post from the front door if you went on holiday?! :tongue: PS I don't think parleycross is playing !
  18. Rachel Tilley

    Has your partner ever had an affair???

    I'm not proud of it and wouldn't do it again. At the time I was going through a bad patch myself and thought (wrongly) that I was doing no harm as I was single and had nothing to lose. I was brought up on a very sad story of my mum's friend who was involved in a relationship with a married man for 15 years and was always waiting for the 'right time' for him to leave his wife and be with her. My mum used to tell me endless tales of this lady waiting by the phone on Christmas Day for the phone call that never came (he couldn't get to a phone box) to having a bag packed for a hotel stay and him have to cancel because 'one of the kids was ill'. My mum made me believe that to get involved with a married man was a road to heartache because he would never leave his wife! So for years I never did get involved with a married man, and then the one time I did I did it for selfish reasons. And then he went and destroyed the myth that married men never leave their wives for the women they have affairs with! Anyway, she had the last laugh because she went on to meet someone else who she is still with and very happy and I ended up being trapped in Australia with her ex husband - perhaps the huge dollop of karma I deserved!
  19. Rachel Tilley

    Has your partner ever had an affair???

    It's not always that black and white. Many people don't want to be on their own/can't be on their own, which means if they walk away from a relationship they're unhappy with then they're going to be on their own. The easiest way to avoid that is to meet someone else whilst you're still in a relationship and then you have someone to go to, but to do that you need to weigh up or assess if the new person is right for you and that takes time, hence the affair and working out which of the two worlds you're living in is going to be the most beneficial! It would be quite a 'nice' world if people always parted when they became unhappy, the other party accepted that and everyone just moved on. Then there's the results of the decision the wounded party has to make if they find out about the affair. The 'do I end this and lose everything I have?' decision, or 'do I forgive and try and deal with it and keep everything I have?' decision. I suppose the same applies to those in violent relationships, but the problem is that once you show a level of acceptance of a certain behaviour the wrong doer knows what they can get away with because the wounded party has moved their boundary of what is acceptable. Everyone has their own personal boundary of what is acceptable or not and only when their personal boundary has been breached will they act. In terms of affairs it may be the first affair they discover, the second or the third. For others it may be if their other half kissed someone, had a one night stand or a full on affair over a period of time; then that amount of time may be taken into account too. Was it a week, a month, longer? The same applies to violence. Some would leave after a slap, some after a punch, some after a broken bone, some after being almost murdered! Then there's the time frame on this too; if the next slap is six months after the first slap, and then the punch comes six months after that... What it would take to give up your home, your life, your belongings, your social circle, your friends, your job, disrupt the lives of your children is different for all of us, and just because someone cheats on a partner doesn't necessarily mean that they will be a thief and not be a trusted employee.
  20. Rachel Tilley

    The Envelopes

    I thought they were blue and pink and indicated the sex of the member who had created the post! :rolleyes: What does a little house by the side mean?
  21. Rachel Tilley

    Has your partner ever had an affair???

    This certainly made me laugh newjez. You go and buy your new cowboy boots and tell your wife to be in a hotel bar at a certain time. Strut in with your extra few inches and she'll wonder who this handsome man is and whisk you off to a room before you can say 'hi ho Silver'!
  22. Rachel Tilley

    Would you remarry?

    @Rossmoyne it's so refreshing to read that you are happily 'single' still after all these years. My life is nothing like I thought it would be either. When I was 18 I truly thought I'd be married with two kids by the time I was 30, and then spent my 30th birthday as a young, free and single girl with no commitments! I think when you've been hurt, destroyed and betrayed to a degree like a few of us have felt on here it is so hard to ever put your faith and trust into another relationship. One guy I dated a few years back said that my brick wall had steel reinforcements and was inpenetrable and that I'd end up 'a lonely old woman' if I didn't allow anyone to get through! I laughed at the time, but five years down the line he may have a point! :eek: However, my life is what it is and I go along with it. I don't envy my friends that are in relationships as they all seem quite bored and don't seem to do anything interesting as couples. One of my friends tells me she's bored with her husband and doesn't find him attractive anymore, another one tells me she has sex with her husband 'once a month' as that seems enough to keep him happy, lol. At 18 I really hoped that I'd have a long lasting marriage and a 'happy ever after' but now realise that those things do seem to belong to fairytales - with the exception of a few PIO members who have proven that occasionally they happen in real life too. :cute:
  23. Rachel Tilley

    Has your partner ever had an affair???

    Relationships can be so complicated and sometimes people just aren't happy no matter what they have. Having read some of your posts over the months you come across as a lovely man who has had a really tough time and have done the absolute best for your children (and still are even though they are now adults.) Just like people emigrate to Oz for that 'better life' some people think they can have a 'better life' with another person, but once the excitement wears off the same problems still exist, and often the problem is fundamentally deep rooted within themselves. If your ex is an alcoholic I should imagine that her current partner is not finding her easy to live with either! My ex thought that moving to Australia would find him ultimate happiness but he is on his second marriage since we split up, so clearly, Australia was not the be all and end all that would solve his woes. Sometimes, people spend their whole lives looking for happiness and never find it (me included). I hope that one day you will find a lady who appreciates all that you have to offer and who is worthy of you x (hope that last sentence came across the way I meant it - I've confused myself now!)
  24. Rachel Tilley

    Are cowboy boots gay?

    Go for it, most men would go for anything if it would give them an extra couple of inches :laugh:
  25. Rachel Tilley

    Has your partner ever had an affair???

    I've been cheated on just the once that I know of, and by the time I found out I wasn't that bothered as the relationship wasn't good. I've never cheated on anyone that I've been in a relationship with and I never would. When I was about 9 years old I heard my mum and dad arguing and I snook a look over the stairs to see what was going on. My mum was challenging my dad about something she'd found in his jacket pocket and accusing him of having an affair. My dad was denying anything was going on and basically telling her she was imagining things. I saw my mum crying her eyes out and pleading with him to tell her the truth but my dad left the house and I saw my mum literally slump to the floor sobbing. I knew I shouldn't be watching this and went back to my bedroom. That image of the pain and heartache an affair can cause has stayed with me and I've never wanted to put someone else through that by doing the dirty on them. I later learnt that my dad was having an affair and my mum had caught him out (however, my mum forgave him and stayed "because of the kids") I have been guilty of being the 'other woman' when I was single though - and it's something I regret and would never do again (if it weren't for women like me then married men wouldn't be able to stray!) However, I got my punishment because I ended up with him, he left his wife for me and I think most of you know what happened next... perhaps it was a huge helping of karma! As Barbara Cartland once said - "Don't have an affair with a married man. You might end up with him!" So, for all the ladies on here who have been cheated on and have been left for another woman then take a deep breath and smile because she'll be in for the same treatment, she just doesn't know it yet!