I can't beleive that I am writing a 1st year post already - time has flown and we feel as if we have been here forever.
We landed just over a year ago after flying with Singapore Airlines who were fab. The nightmare of taking a 2 year old and a 5 year old didn't happen - they were asleep within an hour on both legs which was a huge blessing to both us and the man in front of my daughter who had hit him on the head repeatidly for the first 35 mins!
We took OAA at Novar Gardens which was really basic but very central and very cheap - gave us a real incentive to get off our backsides and find a house asap.
We took a week to orientate ourselves and then Russ looked for work - he is a Print Finisher and rang a number of companies from the directory and had a couple of immediate interviews. He was lucky enough to be offered both jobs to start straight away. He doesn't much like the job and it is poorly paid but they treat him well and who knows what is around the corner.
The first 2 weekends we looked at around 40 houses in all sorts of areas and drove and drove and drove - no fun with 2 squabbling little ones in the back. It isn't easy deciding on area but we had a long list of suburbs that we had done a bit of research on and then drove around them putting either question marks, ticks or crosses against - not terribly scientific I know but it sort of worked for us.
We decided that it was a toss up between Hallett Cove (even though we had been determined to avoid it) and Flagstaf HIll, looked at schools in both and then went to every open in those areas. In week 3 we had bought our first Aussie house and moved in 4 weeks later.
The first weeks are a whirlwind and if you can d any of it leaving the kids at the beach with OH - do it!
Financially, we don't have much as the wages are lower and the prices a bit higher than we expected but most of the things we do don't cost much - swimming, beaches, little athletics, barbies and coffee mornings so I believe that the standard of life we have is far superior. There is always enough in the pot for a few bottles of red and a cold beer or two!
Joshua, my now 6 year old is thriving, from being a boy who wouldn't get his hair wet in the shower or swimming - he now boogie boards and crashes through the waves and is just learning to skimmer board too. He has lots of friends, an Aussie accent and plenty of attitude!
Isabelle, now 3, has sloted in beautifully, goes to a number of playgroups, and is due to start Kindy in September
I don't work at the moment so have plenty of time to meet up with all of the fantastic friends I have had the good fortune to make in the last year. Making friends is the key to settling here in my opinion, without them I would not have settled so well. I would urge everyone to be as open and honest about themselves as they can and accept every invitation. Thank you to all of those wonderfull people who I now call my friends (you know who you are)
So, we are settled, we have had our first visitors which was wonderful and horrid when they went back (but didn't sway us from being here) the kids are thriving, our social callender is certainly fuller than it ever was in the UK and we call Adelaide home.
Best of luck to everyone starting the process or newly arrived - it was the best move we ever made.
Sorry it was a bit of a waffle
Donna, Russ, Josh and Izzy x