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  1. Hello everyone, not been on here for ages! But after getting our visa in September we put the house on the market. We have just sold it after silly silly offers and people taking the mickey really. But we hung in there and stuck to our guns and we finally got what we wanted. It was so stressfull, didn't want to give the house away but ideally wanted to sell rather than rent. Fingers crossed it will go through. Its been such a rollercoaster ride this year and often felt like giving up (mainly due to the added stress of the credit crunch). But people still need to move and my advice would be to keep up to date on right move at the competition and put the house up for a fair price. Also the estate agent always wants their christmas cheque so I would never trust them completely when they ask you to knock 30k off the asking price. We didn't tell them that we were moving to Aus either and I think that has helped. Also I had so many deadlines and dates I wanted to go and in the end I took them away (apart from the obvious visa deadline) and it made me alot more laid back about it all. So the next step is when will we go? Hopeing for Jan but now there seems loads to do so I've asked my hubby to get me a PDA to try and be organised!! I thought this time would never come and felt like giving up so many times but I have learnt that you will always come up against challenges BUT keep going! Good luck to everyone still waiting and I promise to remember to send updates when I get to Aus! (Can't imagine going though). Bernie :spinny:
  2. We are a little confused tonight. We submitted our 175 visa (8th April 2008) as an electrician (on MODL list) and haven't had any communication for request for medicals etc. Tonight we found out that someone else also applying for 175 and an electrician, got a CO two weeks later and their medicals are booked, yet they applied a MONTH LATER!! Whilst I am very pleased for them...I am feeling like what the heck is that all about? We have a straight forward case and it seems unfair somehow that they do not take on new cases in date order perhaps. Has anyone else experienced this? Or is it just luck of the draw? I have sent an enquiry form incase we have missed a communication, but just feel like the whole systems seem cockeyed!! Bernie :unsure:
  3. Guest

    Bernie, Vetassess gone today!

    Vetassess going today after going through TRA and pathway D being removed etc we are hoping this time round will be okay, especially as it costs more! Just wondered if anyone else is waiting on the new trade skills assessment with Vetassess? Hubby should have the assessment in December if all goes well, so who knows he may end up bumping into one or two of you :cool:. Can relax for half term now :spinny:...Bernie
  4. Guest

    Bernie Of All-trades

    BERNIE OF ALL-TRADES Bernie Barraclough will never forget being crouched in a shaft just 2ft.3 ins. from floor to ceiling, hacking away at Barnsley coal. 'If anybody had argued that there was a harder job in the world, I'd have said they were crazy. I was lying on one buttock, my shoulder almost touching the shaft ceiling, shovelling for eight hours.' Then wiry little Bernie discovered there was a tougher job -- cutting Queensland sugar-cane; hands bleeding, fingers having to be prised agonisingly off the cane knife at the end of a day, forced on to the handle to grip it again next morning. He laughs. A happy, carefree chuckle that carries across one of the golf-course fairways he is about to play. 'If this isn't Utopia I'd like to know where to find it.' Alan Whicker sent Bernie and two mates from the Barnsley coal mines to tropical Queensland 30 years ago. 'Not personally, mind, but by showing us what the outside world was like on "Whicker's World". We were in this pub and talking about the opal mining and cane cutting that Whicker had showed us, and I said to two of my mates: "How's about giving this Australian thing a go?" 'I'm a bit of a schemer, like, and I reckoned we could go out as ten-pound tourists, have four weeks' holiday on a ship, seeing the world as we went out there, save a lot of money, and after two years if we didn't like it, have another four weeks' holiday on the way home.' Bernie and the two Bills, all about 30 and fancy free, arrived in Brisbane and there was good work going with jackhammers. 'I'd never handled one. They called them pneumatic drills at home. Anyway I was on this site, laying down sewer trenches and they told an Aussie who'd been doing it for four years, to teach me. A couple of days later, the boss (who'd been watching) went up to the Aussie and said: "If you want to work a jackhammer properly, you'd better watch this bloke." Me! Bernie had got the hang of it, like, and he juggled "Irish typewriters" all the way to Sydney, Melbourne and the Woomera rocket range. The money was flowing into the Barraclough bank account: 70 pounds a week average, when as a top man after 10 years in the mines he was lucky to earn 30 pounds. At the sensitive Woomera site, 'we were putting in storm-water drains under a government contract. Forty-eight inch drains when they had an average rainfall of just five inches a year! They told us to make the job last, so we dawdled about, had cups of tea and took three days over a job we could have easily done in a day. The boss came up and saw it and he was furious. "I told you bastards to make it last!" he said, "there could have been a week's work in that!" Whicker had whetted Bernie's appetite for the lush, green cane-fields of tropical Queensland, so the three Barnsley boys paid 90 pounds for an elderly Humber Hawk and drove north. 'We reckoned that when it stopped we'd just pull to the side of the road and burn it.' In the 60s sugar cane was cut by hand. It was burned first, to get rid of the trash adhering to the stalk; the fierce, brief flare driving huge rats out of the stands of cane at the same time. 'I learned to urinate on my hands first, to fashion the knife handle to exactly fit my fingers, and to file the wide blade as sharp as a razor. An Italian publican told me I'd fit in OK with the gangs. "You Poms OK. You been accepted in Australia. I been here 40 years and I still wog bastard." 'In the first days your hands are raw and they bleed; your fingers are so cramped that they have to be forced off the handle at the end of the shift. When you get up in the morning you push them on to the knife again.' Bernie wouldn't let pain beat him; nor would he bow to the peer pressure of seasoned cutters who persuaded him to take less money because he was so inexperienced. 'I agreed to take less, but I fought the inferiority thing and after being miles behind the gang, caught up and passed the best ('gun') cutter.' Then Weil's Disease, passed to humans from rat urine, felled little Bernie. 'I was in Tully Hospital for two weeks and didn't even remember going there. It is a blank in my life and I'm going back to check that it actually happened.' No worries. Opal mining in South Australia was the next move, then more Irish typewriters, and a contract with the Australian Gaslight Co. fitting plastic inserts into gas pipes. 'I'd done it for three years and laid thousands of services before they found out I wasn't a qualified plumber.' Next little scheme? 'Well, I'd played around with hypnosis as a young fella in England and I knew a lot of people in the entertainment business. I had the knack, I reckoned, so I went off to the New South Wales School of Hypnotic Sciences to learn clinical hypnotherapy. I followed up with a university course in psychology and set myself up as a hypnotherapist specialising in sexual responsiveness and bed wetting. I had people breaking down my door. But when you see eight patients a day the mind gets so crowded and there's strain. So after 10 years I finally gave it away and decided in my late 50s to retire.' Bernie bought a block of land and built a house opposite his golf club in Cairns and looked forward to a life of hitting balls. 'Then this sea captain met me on the course and said he was in charge of a tourist vessel going up the Queensland coast and would I like a job as relieving deckhand?' After six weeks they were short of a man in the galley so Bernie went in to help the chef. 'There was this argument between the chef and the bosun, who wanted me back, but I stayed in the kitchen.' ‘The Queen of the Isles' 40-odd passengers needed entertainment, so Bernie put on classes in relaxation, stress management and human sexuality. 'Then they made me ship's Purser, so it was a bit of a run around, like.' At 63, he has just been through a major heart operation, but shrugged it off as part of "life's dream." 'My philosophy is simple: be kind to people; I reckon when it's time for me to go, God will say: "Come on up; you've been a bad boy, but we can sort all that out." Then I'll go to sleep and be ready for the next dream.'
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