Gills's BLOG

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Back to School03 Feb 2009
One year in Oz15 Dec 2008
1 year since visa was granted28 Sep 2008
Photos - Noble Falls10 Sep 2008
Cottesloe beach photos09 Sep 2008
Sightseeing weekend09 Sep 2008
Toodyay09 Sep 2008
6 months at school15 Aug 2008
Nearly 7 months06 Jul 2008
2nd week of school12 Feb 2008
Thank you06 Feb 2008
Kids start school - whooppeeee04 Feb 2008
Settling in30 Jan 2008
One year in Oz
15 Dec 2008
Thanks for all your lovely comments. I'm quite glad we survived too!!!! LOL

Hope everyone has a great Christmas & very 'merry' New Year - sorry that's the Scottish side of me coming out!!!!!

Gills
xx
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14 Dec 2008
We reached our one year anniversary of landing in Oz to start our new lives on Friday. What an amazing year it has been, can't believe it's gone so fast.

We arrived 2 weeks before xmas last year so it was a bit mental trying to get organised for the day in a short space of time, especially not knowing what shops to go to for certain things, but we managed. We also arrived the day schools finished for summer hols so I had the pleasure of my bubbas company for the first 7-8 weeks. Don't think they were very impressed with being dragged round car showrooms, medicare, centrelink, bank, estate agents, house viewings etc etc etc but at least they could see how much was involved in the move. We couldn't have survived the festive period & beyond though without the help of the little family we have out here. Marks cousin has lived here for 18 years having followed his girlfriends (now wife) family out here when he was 19. Their kids are the same age as ours & although they had never met clicked straight away. Definitely helped the kids to settle in having some people their own age around.

I had already enrolled the kids at Joondalup Primary before we left Scotland so I concentrated our house search around that area but the only houses we could afford were in dire need of heaps of TLC. Just wasn't on our wish list, houses that needed loads of work, so we started to look further afield. We ended up in a weeny suburb called Banksia Grove which doesn't have much going for it in the way of facilities but the school has been great for the kids. They have both made some really good friends & enjoyed their year. There is loads of development work going on now which will eventually provide a high school, another primary school, shopping centre & other stuff. Don't know how long that's all gonna take.

Ross is heading off for yet another chapter when he starts high school after the summer. He was at his orientation day on Thursday & his only concern is getting lost as it is HUGE. He sat some exams back in May to get into the academic programme at Woodvale high & passed with very good results. He will also be doing the music programme so think he's in for a massive culture shock in 2009 !!!!! LOL!!

India has made some great friends too & settled in really well. Mind you, she can make friends walking round Coles!!! She still misses her BFF's from Scotland but keeps in contact with them thru msn & bebo & emails. She hopes to go back & visit them one day but is happy living here.

Mark landed a job from his first interview & has enjoyed his first year there. He loves getting to ride his motorbike every day (even when it's raining, if anyone has seen the tango man riding down the freeway, that would have been him).

I had a few hiccups about April/May time when I wasn't quite sure we had done the right thing. Couldn't put my finger on what it was or what caused it - still can't - had a rough few months but all of a sudden things just clicked & I knew I was where I wanted to be. I would like to go back to see everyone but this is home now. I got myself a part time job in Westpac with my first interview in years which amazed me. When the only work I've done since having kids was for my father-in-law where I made up my own hours & got away with murder I was amazed that I survived the interview. Working with a great bunch of people, although they make me feel old as they are all in their early 20's!!! Had my first xmas do in years last weekend & had a great laugh. Playing Supagolf at the Swan Valley in the scorching heat - bit of a bizarre experience for a xmas shindig.

My parents have been out twice now, & while it's not for them, they agree that we have done the right thing for us & our kids. Just seeing how happy & confident the kids are is good enough for them. Mark's aunt & uncle have been out too & were amazed by how well we have settled in here. In-laws are due next weekend - no doubt they will have lots to say!!!! LOL!!

To anyone still in the process, getting the visa isn't the hard part, that starts when you arrive & have to start from scratch. Building a new life in a country that has a whole different way of doing things is hard. You will have good times & bad times but I reckon the good far outweighs the bad. Just don't expect everything to be the same as what you left behind. Come with an open mind & a willingness to embrace change!!!!
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