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Update on our first 18 months or so Down Under - it CAN work


Mullso

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My wife put this together - for all you who feel its hard, its not going to work, why did we do it ??? All the questions we asked ourselves when we first arrived - its not easy / its not living the so called dream -its hard work / team work and time .... sorry its a bit long

 

The first six months were the toughest. Missing family and friends was hard. It was the oddest things that were missed too, the familiar face at the post office, the crisp winter mornings, the seasons being in the right place, the ability to pick up the phone and share a moment in the same time, the list was endless. Arriving just before Christmas was tough too, it’s the strangest of things to be putting up a Christmas tree in 30 degree heat, mind you we are blessed that Melbourne is exceptionally seasonal, like the UK, and it is more normal for Christmas Day to be spent under grey as opposed to blue skies. I believe that I was the only person in Oz to pray for grey skies. The usual build up didn’t seem to happen, the TV was full of adverts for summer furniture, beach babes in Santa hats and Status Quo playing Christmas tunes in the major supermarket (Coles) adverts. It was a massive shock to the system, Then the unexpected happened, our oldest son (5) asked me how it was going to be possible that Santa would slide down a chimney in a house with no chimney, how he would land his sleigh, without snow and finally why it was that we were not seeing Herbie his mate and Nana as he usually does. It was then that I realised the enormity of what we had taken on and in such a short period of time. These are the things you just don’t think about.

 

The rehoming of our dog (some of you may remember that story) was a massive setback for us as a family and at the time totally put a downer on us being over here. A year on we have adjusted to life without her. Never a day goes by when we don’t think of her and I am pleased to say that we have had updates to show us that she is doing really well, with long walks on the beach with her new family and the one on one attention she really needed.

 

We were made all the more aware of how far away we were from you all, by father having an operation in December there is no worse feeling than being so far away when someone is going through illness or unhappiness. Phones, Skype and letters bridge a gap but nothing can beat being there in person for someone. I am pleased to say that a year later things are looking much more positive on the health front there.

 

It was as hard was not being there when my OH big sister opened her business, watch out she is going to take over Aberdeen next. It is a lovely tea shop that supports local craft and community and is a credit to her and her husband whom quit his job to run the café with her… a real family business. It was hard not to be there in person to support her both at the opening and then at the one year anniversary.

 

That being said, a year and a half later, things are quite different, Son no 1 is happily settled into School Son no 2 is practically bashing the kinder door down to start) Son No 3 is walking , talking and generally getting into mischief. I still miss family and friends and I miss the familiar feel of the UK. I feel more settled than I have done and I feel that the future is not as bleak as it felt that last Christmas. Completing a full year, living the seasons (albeit in my opinion still the wrong way around!) has been a massive help. As with the UK spring and Autumn are my favourite not only for the fact that they are the most interesting naturally but for the added reason that these are the months that I feel almost at parallel to you all in the UK, the temperature is pretty similar and come Autumn we become aligned in time frame too, at least we are on the same day when we speak.

 

We have also started exploring our new environment, in January 2013 we took a trip to Phillip Island for OHs birthday, we saw the penguin parade, and although the little ones fell asleep, No. 1 son managed to stay awake to see them all patter up the beach as sun fell. It was a magical experience. To add to this we have visited all our local sanctuaries and Zoos, all of which we are member of now. Weather permitting the weekend involves packing up a picnic and venturing out to one of the zoos or into the country. Yes indeed we have overcome our overwhelming fear of snakes, spiders and most other Australian wildlife that would most likely kill you! I have, finally, after 12 months finally taken down, from my fridge, the spider identification chart!

 

In February 2013, I became an Aunt to my beautiful niece, another milestone that made me particularly long for home.

Our first spring and summer was spent getting out and about as much as possible, exploring our local area. Enjoying the increased time we had as a family at weekends, all the things we had hoped to enjoy before we arrived, the beach being the best and favourite one of the boys. It has taken some time to convince all the boys that great whites are not generally found in the bay however other species have been known to sneak in! I have not heard of one walking up the beach yet, which if you had seen Son no 1 when we first started to go, felt like a real possibility the way he panicked anywhere within 10 meters of the water. Nowadays, we spend our time trying to coax or bribe them out of the sea, with tears occurring all the way home.

 

We celebrated No. 3 first birthday in June which again bought pangs of how much we missed family and friends but also marked a year almost since OH got his job. OH has JUST now settled into his job. It is actually quite different from what he had been doing in the UK, with his return to the shop floor, as it were and was a really hard transition, but with it came the opportunity to be at home plus had the security of PAYE employment and of course the opportunities for the boys living in a country with I guess a simpler and better way of life.

Well this simpler way of life became a little less simple come July when we not only celebrated my birthday (in winter for the first time!!) then with it came the news that we were expecting our fourth child. The new addition will be due in February 2014 (any day soon) and I am pleased to say that all is well.

 

Winter is over and along came spring, my brother got married on 4th October, a beautiful occasion to which I was pleased to be able to be part of. I flew back to the UK leaving the Boys with Dad for a quickl fly in fly out visit ! It was lovely to see him so very happy and settled. In October father in law arrived, our first guest. It was so lovely to be able to share our home and our new life with him although it might have been nice if he had left the cool rainy British weather at home. With Howard we explored many parts of Victoria and even for the first time crossed the border (albeit for 2 mins) into New South Wales. We packed in loads Great Ocean Road, Echuca, Puffing Billy, St Kilda. This was an incredible challenge given that following a freak accident I severed my Achilles tendon which meant at 6 months pregnant I was unable to weight bear on my left foot, pretty much stuck in a wheelchair and occasional crutch use, which to OH amazement I was pretty crap at using. Apparently all teenage boys mess around on crutches at some point in their life. An absolute nightmare as it rendered me pretty useless. OH is my full time care and also now has to manage his job and the children. The friends that I never knew I had have been amazing, cooking meals for us as a family and picking up No. 1 son from school when possible. I guess that means we really have settled more than we realised. Another thing we hadn’t realised was how OH was a pretty amazing cook; well he kept that a bit of a secret all these years!

 

In November we said goodbye to Father in law , an emotional farewell, we shared so many lovely times and again reminded us of what we miss most in the UK. Then we went straight into No.1 Sons operation to remove his tonsils and adenoid that although have never been infected were so large they were a sleep apnea risk and were affecting his speech. He was dead brave and between us we managed the overnight stay in hospital on crutches!

So that brings us full circle into another Christmas. We took delivery of our real Christmas tree (well after years of training from mum – it wouldn’t be anything but or anything shorter than 6ft tall and 4ft wide) this year though I refrained from embarrassing myself and ordered an Australian fir as opposed to a Norwegian spruce, yep you read it right… what was I thinking… much to the amusement of the staff last year.

 

We also had the arrival of our second guest in Jan, albeit a flying stop, by my cousin and her family. We had a traditional Aussie barbie and sat watching the boys … all five of them together fighting in the sandpit.

 

Overall a mixed year of ups and downs, tears and laughter, chaos and calamity but we survived. We are finally starting to settle in a way we never thought we would as Australia starts to feel like home. Never let it be said that leaving loved ones behind is easy, it is the hardest things to do. I guess what we have come to realise though is that no matter where you are or how far away you are, you will always stay in touch and close to those you love.

 

I hope this helps even just one family - stick with it !

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Guest Guest16631

......a wonderful update.......

......thank you for taking the time to write this down........

......it's just the sort of thing......wouldbe and new.....migrants will enjoy reading.......tink x

......( as did I though am an old migrant ..lol..!)

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My wife put this together - for all you who feel its hard, its not going to work, why did we do it ??? All the questions we asked ourselves when we first arrived - its not easy / its not living the so called dream -its hard work / team work and time .... sorry its a bit long

 

The first six months were the toughest. Missing family and friends was hard. It was the oddest things that were missed too, the familiar face at the post office, the crisp winter mornings, the seasons being in the right place, the ability to pick up the phone and share a moment in the same time, the list was endless. Arriving just before Christmas was tough too, it’s the strangest of things to be putting up a Christmas tree in 30 degree heat, mind you we are blessed that Melbourne is exceptionally seasonal, like the UK, and it is more normal for Christmas Day to be spent under grey as opposed to blue skies. I believe that I was the only person in Oz to pray for grey skies. The usual build up didn’t seem to happen, the TV was full of adverts for summer furniture, beach babes in Santa hats and Status Quo playing Christmas tunes in the major supermarket (Coles) adverts. It was a massive shock to the system, Then the unexpected happened, our oldest son (5) asked me how it was going to be possible that Santa would slide down a chimney in a house with no chimney, how he would land his sleigh, without snow and finally why it was that we were not seeing Herbie his mate and Nana as he usually does. It was then that I realised the enormity of what we had taken on and in such a short period of time. These are the things you just don’t think about.

 

The rehoming of our dog (some of you may remember that story) was a massive setback for us as a family and at the time totally put a downer on us being over here. A year on we have adjusted to life without her. Never a day goes by when we don’t think of her and I am pleased to say that we have had updates to show us that she is doing really well, with long walks on the beach with her new family and the one on one attention she really needed.

 

We were made all the more aware of how far away we were from you all, by father having an operation in December there is no worse feeling than being so far away when someone is going through illness or unhappiness. Phones, Skype and letters bridge a gap but nothing can beat being there in person for someone. I am pleased to say that a year later things are looking much more positive on the health front there.

 

It was as hard was not being there when my OH big sister opened her business, watch out she is going to take over Aberdeen next. It is a lovely tea shop that supports local craft and community and is a credit to her and her husband whom quit his job to run the café with her… a real family business. It was hard not to be there in person to support her both at the opening and then at the one year anniversary.

 

That being said, a year and a half later, things are quite different, Son no 1 is happily settled into School Son no 2 is practically bashing the kinder door down to start) Son No 3 is walking , talking and generally getting into mischief. I still miss family and friends and I miss the familiar feel of the UK. I feel more settled than I have done and I feel that the future is not as bleak as it felt that last Christmas. Completing a full year, living the seasons (albeit in my opinion still the wrong way around!) has been a massive help. As with the UK spring and Autumn are my favourite not only for the fact that they are the most interesting naturally but for the added reason that these are the months that I feel almost at parallel to you all in the UK, the temperature is pretty similar and come Autumn we become aligned in time frame too, at least we are on the same day when we speak.

 

We have also started exploring our new environment, in January 2013 we took a trip to Phillip Island for OHs birthday, we saw the penguin parade, and although the little ones fell asleep, No. 1 son managed to stay awake to see them all patter up the beach as sun fell. It was a magical experience. To add to this we have visited all our local sanctuaries and Zoos, all of which we are member of now. Weather permitting the weekend involves packing up a picnic and venturing out to one of the zoos or into the country. Yes indeed we have overcome our overwhelming fear of snakes, spiders and most other Australian wildlife that would most likely kill you! I have, finally, after 12 months finally taken down, from my fridge, the spider identification chart!

 

In February 2013, I became an Aunt to my beautiful niece, another milestone that made me particularly long for home.

Our first spring and summer was spent getting out and about as much as possible, exploring our local area. Enjoying the increased time we had as a family at weekends, all the things we had hoped to enjoy before we arrived, the beach being the best and favourite one of the boys. It has taken some time to convince all the boys that great whites are not generally found in the bay however other species have been known to sneak in! I have not heard of one walking up the beach yet, which if you had seen Son no 1 when we first started to go, felt like a real possibility the way he panicked anywhere within 10 meters of the water. Nowadays, we spend our time trying to coax or bribe them out of the sea, with tears occurring all the way home.

 

We celebrated No. 3 first birthday in June which again bought pangs of how much we missed family and friends but also marked a year almost since OH got his job. OH has JUST now settled into his job. It is actually quite different from what he had been doing in the UK, with his return to the shop floor, as it were and was a really hard transition, but with it came the opportunity to be at home plus had the security of PAYE employment and of course the opportunities for the boys living in a country with I guess a simpler and better way of life.

Well this simpler way of life became a little less simple come July when we not only celebrated my birthday (in winter for the first time!!) then with it came the news that we were expecting our fourth child. The new addition will be due in February 2014 (any day soon) and I am pleased to say that all is well.

 

Winter is over and along came spring, my brother got married on 4th October, a beautiful occasion to which I was pleased to be able to be part of. I flew back to the UK leaving the Boys with Dad for a quickl fly in fly out visit ! It was lovely to see him so very happy and settled. In October father in law arrived, our first guest. It was so lovely to be able to share our home and our new life with him although it might have been nice if he had left the cool rainy British weather at home. With Howard we explored many parts of Victoria and even for the first time crossed the border (albeit for 2 mins) into New South Wales. We packed in loads Great Ocean Road, Echuca, Puffing Billy, St Kilda. This was an incredible challenge given that following a freak accident I severed my Achilles tendon which meant at 6 months pregnant I was unable to weight bear on my left foot, pretty much stuck in a wheelchair and occasional crutch use, which to OH amazement I was pretty crap at using. Apparently all teenage boys mess around on crutches at some point in their life. An absolute nightmare as it rendered me pretty useless. OH is my full time care and also now has to manage his job and the children. The friends that I never knew I had have been amazing, cooking meals for us as a family and picking up No. 1 son from school when possible. I guess that means we really have settled more than we realised. Another thing we hadn’t realised was how OH was a pretty amazing cook; well he kept that a bit of a secret all these years!

 

In November we said goodbye to Father in law , an emotional farewell, we shared so many lovely times and again reminded us of what we miss most in the UK. Then we went straight into No.1 Sons operation to remove his tonsils and adenoid that although have never been infected were so large they were a sleep apnea risk and were affecting his speech. He was dead brave and between us we managed the overnight stay in hospital on crutches!

So that brings us full circle into another Christmas. We took delivery of our real Christmas tree (well after years of training from mum – it wouldn’t be anything but or anything shorter than 6ft tall and 4ft wide) this year though I refrained from embarrassing myself and ordered an Australian fir as opposed to a Norwegian spruce, yep you read it right… what was I thinking… much to the amusement of the staff last year.

 

We also had the arrival of our second guest in Jan, albeit a flying stop, by my cousin and her family. We had a traditional Aussie barbie and sat watching the boys … all five of them together fighting in the sandpit.

 

Overall a mixed year of ups and downs, tears and laughter, chaos and calamity but we survived. We are finally starting to settle in a way we never thought we would as Australia starts to feel like home. Never let it be said that leaving loved ones behind is easy, it is the hardest things to do. I guess what we have come to realise though is that no matter where you are or how far away you are, you will always stay in touch and close to those you love.

 

I hope this helps even just one family - stick with it !

 

Where do you come from as you're not really poms are you?

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