Adelaide Feb 2008 - sorry its a long one!
Our reccie began on Thur 14 Feb when we set off for Singapore. Had an adrenaline fuelled flight - very excited to finally be on our way. Singapore Changi airport blew us away. The staff there are so polite and helpful. We had about 17 hours until our connection flight so took advantage of the free tour of singapore, boat trip etc then had lunch in chinatown area, bit of a mooch round -as you do. Headed back to airport where we had booked the transit hotel room and had a much needed 6 hour sleep and shower. That was a godsend and didnt cost much at all. It set us up for the next leg of the journey which was great too. We finally landed in adelaide on Sat 16th Feb to a temp of around 39 degs - gorgeous! We picked up the hire car from the airport with a roadmap and set off for huntfield heights. We found it quite easily after a little detour (I learnt to read maps on this reccie). The roads are sooo easy to manage. The southern expressway is a fab idea. (11 mins from bottom to top).
After meeting our lovely landlady Sarah, and being introduced to our more than adequate rental (it was perfect, modern and immaculately clean -until we hit the beach!)- if we needed anything all we had to do was 'sing out') had a quick look at our local beach -noarlunga (5 mins away by car) -and it was a big wow! I realised then i was going to fall in love with this place. Jake our 11 year old son was suitably impressed(he was determined he really wasnt going to like oz).
Within a couple of days the jetlag had gone and we were really into the swing of things. We chased up and down the country looking at various suburbs, schools, hospitals, quarries and had a really good feeling about them all. I checked out 2 hospitals, 1 private and 1 public and was made to feel very welcome at both. The clinical managers gave me a tour and we had a good informal chat. Steve and I are much more relaxed about the job situation. We kind of thought we should have a job to go out to, contracts drawn up etc but in reality, there is plenty of work for us both and we would be happy to just get over to adelaide and get a job when we get there- no worries in fact! (We are applying for permanent residency).
We took Jake to 2 schools much to his disgust but in fact it was a great idea. We looked at public and private. The thing that struck us was that the kids looked so happy. An English child of about jakes age was beaming to see him. A couple more older english girls just looked so settled and happy. The other thing that strikes you about the children is that they all look so healthy. So important.
We took a couple of trips out -cudlee creek and cleland to see the koalas and roos etc. We would have preferred to see them in their natural habitat but figured we may not and it was important for Jake to see koala and possibly give them a cuddle - which he did. They are so gorgeous. Another must do is Mount Lofty - you can see the whole of Adelaide from up there.
Keith and Sarah (who were the perfect hosts by the way) invited us to a lovely day out at the mclaren vale winery where we had lunch and a game of cricket. We finished the day off at Angela and Ashleys, where the kids had a swim in their fab pool - lucky you! thank you for that guys - you made Jakes day. We were able to meet up with quite a few regulars from PIA. Felt like i should be asking for autographs! It was great to meet you all - you know who you are - keep in touch!
We also had a day at the Adelaide Oval watching Sri Lanka v India. That was a really good day too. We took the train up to the city and were able to check out all the sights on the way up. Each suburb offered something different, gorgeous views. Steve and I actually preferred it further down south but thats just our opinion. We prefer it a little quieter and dont mind travelling around (its what we are used to here in the high peak).
Sarah even took me to a coffee morning (thanks Libby)which i thought was really kind - i want this life! Keith introduced Steve and Jake to fishing. Jakes face when he caught his first fish - ever- was a delight to treasure. My son who was determined not to like adelaide was starting to be positive about it - wup-e- doo!! Dontget me wrong, if we make the decision to emigrate then he is coming anyway, whatever his opinion. But we were hoping to convince him that there are better things in life than sitting by his ps2 and Wii because its so wet and dark to go and play out. He began to come out with some positive feedback (AND ALSO INFORMED US HE HAD BEEN CHECKING OUT THE CHICKS ON THE BEACH - FOR HIS MATE MIND YOU!!!). He told us which school he preferred - great! We realise that he has a loyalty to the Uk and to our lovely families. Which we do too- well,to our lovely families anyway.
Soo- did we love Adelaide? How can you not? The Australians are a lovely laid back, friendly bunch with a laid back attitude which infectiously rubs off. The Brits settled in Adelaide seem to have it all. Yes I appreciate there are things we dont like and i found a couple of things i whinged about which i later dismissed (after a discussion with Steve).
I look at my son now, looking like a surfer dude, a healthy glow in his cheeks and just want to be there. I do feel sick inside, knowing that if the Australian Government let us in, then we will definately be saying goodbye to our lovely families but its what we want - a better future , a life, not an existence. So keep rooting for us all to be out there hopefully by xmas 08.
We came back to severe weather warnings, Steve had to dust off his thermals, poor thing. I think we all have PRD - post reccie depression. We cant keep off the computer, checking for a reply from our agent re the TRA - nothing yet.
To conclude:- The reccie was a great idea (expensive but well worth it)Actually we put most everything on the credit card and once home realise we didnt spend that much. The most expensive part is the obviously the flights. Advice to anyone considering a reccie - do it! It was the best thing we could have done, managed to take a good look at all areas. We are now planning to buy land and have a house built which is something we had never considered doing until the reccie - if we get in! Jake is not absolutely convinced about such a big move but feels a hell of a lot more comfortable with the whole idea. Steve and I are absolutely in love - with Adelaide!!!( and id better add - each other)!!!!!!
Sorry it was such a long one - so much to say , and im sure ive missed loads out.
with kind regards to Keith, Sarah, Ruby and Kenya (big hugs girlies) - heartfelt thanks xxx
Jeannie Steve and Jakey Oxford