Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Here safe and sound.

The Boy ready for the flight.

I thought it might be time for a quick update!  I’ve been a bit offline for the last few weeks – the apartment we’re in doesn’t have wifi and my phone has been locked.  I feel like a bit of a fool because I thought that my phone was unlocked already and I could have saved us a lot of hassle if I’d unlocked it before I’d left the UK…

Anyway! We’re all safely here – the older three children were pretty angelic for the journey.  The mini ipads were a super investment.  The Baby was slightly less angelic, but she did sleep on the first flight and a bit on the second, even if not in a way that I could get any.  It could have been a LOT worse.

We’re staying in an apartment in the CBD and it’s pretty nice.  Mostly well stocked and well located too on the river.  It has a heated pool which we’ve taken advantage of a couple of times too. 
The Eldest ready for the flight.

The last 2 weeks (only 2? It seems a lot longer) have been spent looking for houses and schools and generally trying to orientate ourselves.  The children and I have spent a lot of time in playgrounds, getting light on our skin to get over the jetlag and just generally running off steam.  I’ve been super impressed with the playgrounds here – really well designed.  I love the one over at New Farm which is built around a couple of Banyan trees.  The one at the Botanical gardens is smaller, but we can get there along the river bank which is a nice walk.

The ferries have been fun too and we’ve caught them around a bit.  We accidentally went to a farmer’s market on our first weekend here which was a pleasant way to spend $100 in 5 minutes…  The first few days we were here were unseasonably wet, but it’s since brightened up and has been lovely.  Sunny days, if a little breezy.  We’re due some more rain tomorrow, but then it should brighten up for the weekend.
The joys of jetlag.

We were really pleased to find a beautiful house within budget.  It’s a reproduction Queenslander, so hopefully all the benefits of being in a Queenslander without the disadvantages of dodgy wiring etc.  It has a solar heated pool too which we intend on making full use of (those mad English in the pool in winter!).  We’re moving into it on the 6th July.

Schools proved a little harder, particularly with regards to placing The Eldest in Year 2.  However, we’ve found one that we really like that will take her in Year 2 and The Boy in prep (which is equivalent to the UK reception) which is a relief.  They will both be the youngest in their year by a couple of months because the Australian cut off date is at the end of June, which means they should both be in the year below with their August birthdays.  If we were moving here forever, then that wouldn’t be a problem at all, but as we’re intending on coming back to the UK, it was important for us to keep them in their English years.
On the Ferry.

We’ve had some issues with car seats.  Our English ones were illegal here (despite being top of the range in the UK), so we had to buy Australian ones which all require a tether.  With 4 children under 7, they all required tethered seats, but the car we’ve been given (a Hyundai Sante Fe) only has 3 tether points.  After a bit of a battle, they’ve now ordered us a Kia Carnival (aka The Van) which I am thrilled about (I’ve wanted a van for a while…).  Not only will it have the 4th tether point that we need, it will be a lot more practical than the Sante Fe for a family of 6.

So we’re all settling pretty well.  I’ve had some moments of homesickness and missing friends, but it’s been so full on that I haven’t really had time to dwell on it.  The children are a lot more relaxed than they were before we left the UK and I think that they will be happier still when they start school again.  The Husband has even checked out the local Accident and Emergency services, after dropping a sharp knife on his toe.  He needed it glued poor boy…

Snack time at the New Farm playground.