|13 Mar 2011|
|Hi All |
Well we have now been here in Perth for 6 months and I thought time to just update everyone as to how things here are going. Most of us are settling ok and have done really from the start Jake however has really struggled with the move and has had some horrible days when he has been so down there has been nothing anyone could do. However you will see in the next few paragraphs that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Jake: After only a few days here he applied for a job at a local supermarket which he got and which has been of a two fold benefit, providing him with much needed money and get him meeting new people. He started school in year 12 at the beginning of Feb. and although there have been some initial issues for him he has taken to full time school really well. He has even decided to join emergency cadets and been part of a school team taking part in an inter school mock trial competition for his politics and law class. He recently auditioned for a contemporary dance company in the city and was accepted into their next production in august with rehearsals starting in April. He has also started seeing an aussie girl called Thalia who is the same age and is in his dance class at school they seem to be getting along well and at last there are days when he actually smiles!
Jami also managed to find part time work after just a few weeks here, at a pizza takeaway and has been there working 2-3 nights a week since September. This has been really good for her as she has really gained in confidence when dealing with new people and has helped her with her maths as she takes all the money as well as taking phone orders. She started school at the start of October and settled straight away however after only a few weeks we discovered that she had been placed in the wrong year group( only discovered this when she received a birthday invite from a class mate we realised Jami was a whole year older!) After much discussion at school and at home it was decided that she should stay with the year she was in as she was doing well and was very happy with the group of friends she had made, the school are keeping a watch on her academic results to make sure she does not suffer from being in this year group. Jami has really embraced the aussie life she is a member of the local surf life saving club and after lots of hard work and very early morning training has gained her bronze medallion allowing her to wear the 'coveted' red and yellow uniform of life savers all over the world. Jami has also taken to surfing really well those of you who have f/book can see some pics on my page. One of the things we had promised Jami when we decided to come here was that after her wanting a dog for so long we would finally allow her, so after month in our new house we adopted a cute little dog called Perry Jami fell in love with him straight away and he quickly became part of our mad family he did fit right in. Sadly after only having him for a short time he managed to escape from the garden at night and was knocked down and killed by a car it was so devastating for Jami and also for Jade and Jena as they too had grown very fond of Perry. It was so hard trying to comfort Jami has I have always told the children that everything happens for a reason it was pretty had to explain to her what the reason for his death may be. Now a couple of months on we have adopted a beautiful little dog called Coco who is so sweet and funny and again just a bit mad so she too has fitted right in straight away and Jami is relishing the responsibility of dog ownership.
When we arrived Jade started delivering the local free paper giving her a little pocket money each week she continued do do this even when she got a job two nights a week at the local fish and chip shop she has since stopped doing the papers as once she started back at school in Feb it was too much with homework. Jade has also joined surf life saving club and wears the red and yellow uniform while on patrol there has been no dramatic rescues so far it is not all like 'Bondi Rescue' here! Jade has continued to make friends easily just as she did in the UK I cant keep up with all the different people she has got to know! While we have been here she has really grown now standing much taller than me and has gone a lovely golden shade and looks thoroughly Aussie! She has saved up her hard earned cash and has bought a ticket to see the script in April when they come to Australia for a series of concerts, to say she is excited would be a huge understatement. This is something that would not have been possible in the uk for one she would not be able to work as she can here also we would never have allowed her to travel to London for a concert at her age but here the stadium is so close and the fear of crime here is so much lower in my perception. Jade is at the same school as Jake and Jami and has settled well mainly because of the people she has got to know, she still says school is boring but hey she is a teenager! Jade has a real love of fashion and hope to study this at uni. later. At her school she was able to take clothing decisions and has made shorts and a skirt since doing this course. We bought her a sewing machine for Christmas so hopefully there will be fashions by Jade available soon! Jades confidence has also been boosted by working and she is now looking for a more rewarding job in our local area, she has produced her own cv (resume here) and dropped it off at lots of local stores. The availability of jobs for young people here is a real positive and I believe has been a big part of them settling to being here.
Jena was the first to start school when we arrived starting after just a week of being here. She really missed her friends from Benenden and was apprehensive about starting but the children in her class were really welcoming and she soon got over her worries. After the long summer break Dec-Feb she is now in yr 7 which here is still primary school which although a little strange (as children change so much during yr6 they seem ready for senior school) has been a good thing so Jena can get to know people before going to high school(sorry) in Feb 2012. Jena has also started surf life saving which as she is only 11 means that she cant be a patrol member but takes part in club day on Sunday mornings at the beach where around 350 7-14 year olds learn life saving skills including board and tube rescues also stamina training such as swimming in the ocean and lots of beach sprinting which is hard at first as sand is quite tough to run on. Jena has made some lovely friends at surf club and really enjoys taking part. Since being here Jena has started to play the guitar having lessons once a week locally with a great tutor who Jena gets on with well as she thinks he is really cool(he is a skater type guy!) she is doing really well she can already play the theme tune from star wars! Jena recently auditioned for a local drama group who are staging 'Joseph' and although she thought she did not do too well as she was really nervous they accepted her into the children's chorus so although she missed the last local production in the uk she will soon be taking to the stage again. We found a dance school for Jena a few weeks ago and she was looking forward to getting back to dance however when we turned up they had changed the day of the class without informing us Jena was so upset as the new day was not possible due to me working so we are still looking for something suitable there are lots of dance schools here but not many match up to standard Jena is used to with Creative Dance. Jena has also shot up in height since we have been here and is only a few inches shorter than me and at the rate she is growing will be bigger than me before she changes school next year. Her hair has got so long and has got so much lighter in colour with natural golden highlights that women of my age would pay through their nose for! She too looks like an Aussie as if she has been her for years rather than only six months.
Well what can I say nothing much changes work, work, work! That's not a complaint, Mick got the company up and running after we had been here a month he has achieved so much in such a short time from the start he knew he could succeed here, at first work was slow the first customers he had were people we already knew, since then things have rocketed he has worked very hard to get his name out there I wont bore you all with the details but this has required a huge financial investment but he now has over 50 regular clients and spends two full days mowing then at least one day looking at new jobs and then two days getting through paperwork and one off jobs such as garden clearances and laying new lawns. He is already at the stage where he may have to employ someone as in the last couple of weeks he has had to say no to jobs as he has just been unable to fit them in. Financially it will be a while before we cannot worry but business is defiantly heading in the right direction. The weather has been scorching during Feb. but true to his work ethic he has kept going,This is what will mean he succeeds here, giving us all the life we want here he is already talking about when he can sit back and just employ people to do the physical stuff! Mick is getting on well with the husbands of the women I have got to know and enjoys several beers at the weekends with them as we tend to socialise at somebody's house rather than a pub or bar. For Christmas(that seems so long ago!) I gave Mick a scuba diving course which he completed and earned his padi licence which means he can dive anywhere in the world however since completing it he has not had any time to do any diving which is such a shame as he thinks he would enjoy it and there are several good dive sites not too faraway. There is only a few things he misses, trees and greenery, The Bull, and BBC1 Formula 1 coverage! The coverage here is dismal something Mick hates, as the new season approaches I think we have finally found a way of watching it through a laptop attached to the tv just need to try it out oh how I hope it works as he was a nightmare as we watched the last few races last year.
I have continued here pretty much as I was in Kent school run is still stressful uniforms, packed lunches, clock watching etc but under an almost always blue sky and with a view of the ocean on the drive to school every day. I applied for a job something I have not done, for a good many years and to my surprise was offered a position after my first interview. I was very nervous when I started after so many years of not being in the workplace but it's all good and I have now been there for 4 months and although it is hardly taxing I do enjoy going as no-one calls me mum and I get to leave my sometimes aggravating family to it. I have met some lovely people and regularly see other mums and other new immigrants for coffee or lunch and we usually see one or several family's at the weekend for something to eat and drink something there is a lot of here! My life is good and is just how I had imagined although I can count on one hand the amount of times that I have actually sat on the beach and read a book! One of the delights of living here is being able to keep up my swimming apart from the beautiful ocean which is only 5 mins drive away we are well provided for with several pools locally including a outdoor heated Olympic sized pool which opens at 5.30 am although I have not managed to get there at that time of the morning! Family's are well provided for here with so many parks and huge wildlife reserves most of the parks provide free gas bbqs and many people gather on a Sunday morning for a bbq breakfast something we have not done yet. There are also lots of free events here including fireworks to celebrate the start of summer, Christmas, New year and Australia day, at Christmas free carol concerts strange in the heat and free music gigs etc. Also theme parks and leisure centres have no problem with you bringing in your own food and drinks and there are always picnic facilities at all these places. I expect some of you back in the uk would like to know about the wild weather that this region has experienced well here in WA we have only had the occasional glimpse a mini tornado about 30 mins. away and the threat of a much bigger one slightly south of where we are which never materialised. It was awful watching the pictures on tv of the Queensland floods then the cyclone which was followed by the earthquake in New Zealand. Here in Perth there was a huge bush fire which we did see first hand as we were on our way to visit my friend who has been here for 20+ years we could see the smoke in the distance we were arrived at the junction for the road to her home and were were turned back by police and told that we would be unable to access that road as all residents were being evacuated so we parked at a near by Mcdonalds and called her as we did so the fire really rook off and our car became covered in ash falling from the sky. My friend and her family were evacuated and returned to their home late next day luckily the wind was blowing away from their home and the house and grounds are fine, she feels very lucky as just two minutes walk away neighbors have lost everything.We headed back home stopping in Kings Park in the city for lunch and the fire was still visible from 40km away. As I write to you as I am sure you will have seen the devastation that has been caused by the earthquake in Japan the wild weather all around the world is very weird and scary. My brother tells me that although it is still fairly cold in England there are signs of springtime everywhere I hope it soon warms up for you all as I know from reports on tv here that there as been so much snow again this winter.
Well that is it, has taken so long to write hope you dont find it to boring
love to you all