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December 8, 2012

One Year Back in the UK

Exactly one year ago today we landed back in the UK after more than three years overseas. We spent just over two years in Chicago and 8 months in Australia and feel very lucky to have been able to experience two new countries.

I remember sitting in the lounge at Melbourne Airport on the phone to Telstra, trying to release us from our 24-month contract. It was the last loose end that required tying before we left Australia.

We arrived back in the UK on Thursday 8th December 2011 at 1.30pm to be greeted by a very happy set of grandparents-to-be (and auntie & uncles-to-be). Our daughter was due in early March so we only had around three months to get ourselves settled & our home prepared. I spent most of December and January redecorating our flat with my dad whilst Sap gradually acquired the many, many things we needed for our impending addition to the family. We finally moved into our home in mid-January and awaited our new arrival.

Mia arrived a week early and changed our lives. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of new experiences & emotions. It’s clich├ęd but true — your children grow up so quickly. Time passes in an accelerated fashion and you only realise significant chunks have passed when you look back.

April 14, 2011

Day one in Melbourne

Filed under: The Australian Adventure — admin @ 8:44 am

We’re at the end of our first full day in Melbourne. It’s 6.36pm and we’re about to head out for dinner. The jet lag is almost kicking in but we feel we’ve had a fairly productive day.

Getting through customs & immigration was quick & painless. We hopped in a cab to head to our apartment and, about 45 minutes and $60 later, we were at our temporary home for two months. We met a man from the apartment leasing company and were escorted to the 24th floor. What greeted us when we opened the door was nothing short of amazing. We’re in an awesome ‘executive’ apartment, complete with two balconys, tons of light and a great view north-east over the skyline of Melbourne. We quickly unpacked, showered and headed out to explore Melbourne.

We wandered into the CBD around noon, keeping a mindful eye on where we were within the CBD in relation to the bank branch we had an appointment at 3.30pm at. We spent a few hours wandering around, taking in the sights & sounds, and generally getting a feel for the place. The CBD in particular is a busy place — the last time I visited was a Saturday, so I felt it was busy but perhaps not surprisingly so given that it was a weekend. We wandered out around lunchtime so the place was filled with workers going about their lunch-hour business.

We enquired about getting mobile phones and were subsequently depressed when it transpired we’d need 100 ‘points’ in ID documentation and a credit check. To be honest the pre-pay phone option just fills me with dread, given what we went through with our Nokia Brickshits when we first arrived in the US, so we’re going to gather all the paperwork saying we’re honourable British citizens and take it in again tomorrow. The only question is whether we go with Telstra or Vodafone — it may just depend on who can offer us a deal.

We eventually wound our way to the branch which was packed — nothing unusual in that, according to the very nice lady who activated our accounts. We ordered debit cards (Sap went for pink which made her day) and applied for credit cards (I assume that the idea of ‘building’ one’s credit exists and is a good thing in Oz — finding information online about just how it works is kinda tricky). Then we wandered back to our home, bought a few bits & pieces (including a box of wine — got to celebrate the first day) and have been chilling for the past few hours.

We’re about to head out for dinner to try & stave off jet lag for a little longer, but I think we’ll be snoring by 9pm.

April 8, 2011

What a day!

Filed under: The Australian Adventure — admin @ 1:08 am

Today was always going to be a bugger of a day. So much to do before the packers arrive tomorrow morning. But we did it all. I now feel every single one of my thirty….thirties…..years.

Sap’s been great today, so organised. If it wasn’t for her we’d be in a right mess. She made a list of what we needed to do, when we needed to do it, which one of us was doing it…all good.

I think we’re just about done for the day now, so we’re off for some dinner — a last hurrah at Big Bowl.

Then tomorrow the packers come and take our life away. We won’t see it again for two months.

Then a weekend of fun & frolics with friends.

Then we’re off.

Bonza!

April 7, 2011

Pepper’s gone…

Filed under: Pepper,The American Adventure,The Australian Adventure — admin @ 6:27 pm

Pepper left us this morning to begin her three month board at Miaow Chicago. It was a bit sad watching her go and packing her stuff up but we’re excited about the beginning of a new adventure.

We’ve packed her bed, carrier and a few of her favourite toys off to Mamma & Papa Walsh in the UK, so she’ll have some familiar things when she finally gets to her new home.

In anticipation of today being a bit of a tough day, we took about 500 photos of Pepper over the past few days. Needless to say, in each one she’s looking suitably unimpressed.

That’s my girl.

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