Wow. It seems like just yesterday I was writing our 6 week update, lol. This time last year we were preparing to get on the plane at Heathrow - here is our Oz story so far.
After an emotional farewell with my husband's family, we made the journey to Adelaide with our 3 young boys and landed in the rain! My parent's and Sister picked us up from the airport (they'd been here for 6 mths by then) and we were shown the sights of Glenelg (where they live) while we tried to keep our eyes open! We had to get to the city and sort out our OAA which was in Port Adelaide. Managed that all ok and found our new place to stay.
We stayed in OAA for 5 weeks. Transport to and from the city was good via train. Took us a couple of weeks to get a car. Finding work was a big issue, neither of us had jobs to go to. We both applied for everything! Mark was given the run around by a few companies and we were starting to panic. We got a rental in Brighton after offering 6 mths up front and thankfully, Mark got offered a job the following week.
My eldest started school in Term 2 and went to Brighton primary. Mark started work and I was back to my 'normal' routine with the other 2 boys. Winter came and was MUCH colder than we expected. I kept feeling festive which was confusing! I met quite a few people through PIA and am friends with many now - you know who you are ;). All of whom have been fantastic and we have all loved getting to know and spend time with.
In July I started work at the Women & Children's Hospital - a great opportunity although being on a 475, the childcare costs are a bit miserable! Thankfully I have now dropped down to 2 days a week so it is not too bad. With the joint income it became apparent that we might be able to get out own house - we hadn't owned in the UK so it was exciting looking - soon became frustrating! We looked between Marino and Glenalta and didn't find anything we could afford. We finally looked round Hallett Cove having avoided it for ages because it is slated on this site! Well we loved it! We were lucky enough to buy here at a reasonable price (with help from Andy from this site!) and have now been here since November. Aaron has just started at Hallett Cove East - we much prefer the school to Brighton Primary so far. He is getting on very well and the other 2 are getting along really well at the ABC centre and they love our local playgroup.
We have been renovating the house - now a 4 bed, not a 3 and we are just finishing the kitchen before my hubby's parents get here on the 25th. Can't believe how much has happened in a year. We've lived in 3 houses, bought our own house, started new jobs (I didn't even work before) and met many new friends. We have learnt a new way of life. We have gotten used to the bad TV. We have laughed so much and gained so much. I am constantly amazed by what has happened to our family in a short space of time.
We are very lucky. We are lucky to be here. We are lucky to have our family here. We are lucky to be better off here. We are probably in the minority it seems lately, but we have a much better life here than in the UK. We are not rich, we don't have amazing jobs, we don't own a mansion. But our lives are much richer than they were a year ago. I can honestly say there has not been a single day that I have been homesick. Yes, I have missed people, but I have never missed the 'UK'. I have missed Next, M&S and proper chocolate, but never enough to want to go back. One year in and Adelaide is home - I hope that those reading this who are just starting the journey have as much fun as we've had.
Jo, Mark, Aaron, James and Leo xxxxxx