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About tommo64

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  1. tommo64

    To all who have settled here!

    We have been here nearly 2 years now and absolutely love it. Currently living in Brighton (renting) just a stones throw from the beach. We had no jobs lined up when we came but we all found work fairly quickly. I took the longest (2 months) but secretly enjoyed the furlough! My wife was working within 2 weeks and my daughter started work at a local hair salon and finished her training as a hairdresser. It hasn't been all plain sailing though. Our son had a difficult first year, missing his UK friends and girlfriend, hated his school, hated Adelaide and probably hated us, his parents for dragging him here! A year later, with a new school, a job in a pizza outlet and a great bunch of mates, his attitude has changed completely. My wife Gail has also found it difficult at times, missing her family greatly. But she, like the rest of us, loves the lifestyle here. We bought a dog last year, a chocolate labrador called Milo (what else?) and we go for a walk on the beach most evenings and as we watch the most beautiful sunsets imaginable, we joke to each other that we should pinch ourselves just in case we are dreaming!
  2. tommo64

    Telephone/internet packages

    Hi, we are with Adam. We have their naked DSL with Adam Talk (voip) package. Costs $60 p/m, which includes $5 worth of calls. We got 50Gb data allowance but now they give you 100Gb for the same cost. It's called AdamEzyChoice. I think its an excellent deal and they have a good reputation as a service provider, always polite and helpful when you ring them and we have found the broadband fast and reliable. Unlike many other providers, they don't charge you extortionate rates if you exceed your limit, they simply reduce your bandwidth until the new billing cycle begins and you have the option to upgrade if you need a bigger allowance. To be honest though, we have never exceeded ours and 50Gb is plenty for most users, 100Gb even better. The only downside is that this system doesn't work with alarm systems that use a conventional landline and I don't think you can use a fax machine. They also recommend you keep a mobile phone for emergency calls too. Apart from this, I think its a great package. Most of my work colleagues have it and it was their recommendation that led me to subscribe. Haven't been disappointed to date. Hope this helps.
  3. tommo64

    Moroccan Camel

    I once did a camel dish for the wife, but she just got the hump!
  4. tommo64

    Weather, weather, weather

    As an afterthought, April here is the equivalent of October in the UK and I am still walking around in a T-shirt and shorts most days. Don't I'd be doing that back in chilly England somehow!
  5. tommo64

    Weather, weather, weather

    Last winter was colder/wetter than average according to the locals. (we have only been here 14 months so don't really know any different). Also, summer has been cooler than in previous years and this March was the coolest and wettest for many years. That said, SA summers are still hotter and sunnier than any UK summers I can recall and even last winter was nothing compared to what the UK has experienced. Autumn/Winter days can be quite warm but it can get quite cool at night, although here in the 'lowlands' it never reaches freezing point as far as I know but apparently they do get frosts up in the hills. A couple of points to bear in mind though: Generally, SA houses are not built for cold weather. Most do not have central heating. Some have ducted, split heating/cooling systems (mostly the newer houses), some have wood burners. We just have a gas fire in our lounge and the sun lounge at the rear has local split heating/cooling. The bathroom has a two bar wall-mounted electric fire. We use portable electric fires in the other rooms if needed. And yes, we have an electric blanket. When you have been here a few years, you will become acclimatised, your blood will thin and you will feel the 'cold' more than when you first arrive. I personally hate the cold and wet weather but have found winter here bearable, even the 'bad' one we have just had. The cooler, wetter weather we have been experiencing has been attributed to the 'La Nina' weather phenomenon, the same system which has brought flooding to much of Northern and Eastern parts of the country. The opposing 'El Nino' system is often blamed for the prolonged droughts that Australia has experienced. It is a place of extremes when it comes to the weather at times, although SA, compared to many parts of the country, generally has more moderate weather. All in all, the weather here is much warmer and drier than the UK and for most of the year you can get out and about and do stuff that you could only do for a couple of months in the UK (if you are lucky!)
  6. tommo64


    The wife reckons I'm as thick as two short planks. Does that count?
  7. tommo64

    UK Pound v Aus Dollar

    Currency speculation is ultimately a form of gambling. Just as in horse racing, the punters study the form, the course conditions, etc., the money speculators look at what's going on and try to predict what might happen. As far as exchange rates are concerns, expected outcomes and trends are often 'priced in' ahead of time. But occassionally, the unexpected happens, just like the odds-on favourite sometimes falls at the first hurdle, a Tsunami happens in Japan, civil war breaks out in Libya, etc. Suddenly all bets are off. But the market eventually finds its own level once more. Astute investors are able to distinguish between underlying trends and the occassional blips which often have a profound albeit short term effect on rates.
  8. tommo64

    Going Back

    Good to hear so many positive, supportive and balanced posts on this thread. Whether to stay or go is often as big a decision as whether or not to come here in the first place. It is very much a personal judgement call and ultimately about doing what we believe is best at that particular moment in time. For some, it is based on financial considerations, for others it is emotional and about family ties, or maybe a combination of both. On the whole, we have settled relatively well here, but the pull of family ties is still there and it is really difficult when there is a death or serious illness in the family. We recently lost our 16 year-old nephew in very tragic circumstances. My wife found this very hard especially, as it was her brother's son. So I don't blame anyone for doing what they feel they have to. I would urge anyone thinking of going back to think long and hard before making that final decision though. There are many stories about those who go back to the UK, only to be reminded of why they came out here in the first place. Then they end up 'ping-ponging'. A very expensive hobby! Some friends of ours came here just 11 weeks ago and have decided to return home. Whilst I respect their decision, I really do wish they would give it a little more time. I'm sure most of us have felt despair and home sickness at some point before things have improved. I do wish them well, whatever they decide.
  9. tommo64

    Found a Mantis in the garden (Video)

    I'm not so sure. Just watched another vid on YT where a mantis takes out a hummingbird. Unbelievable!
  10. tommo64

    School Advice Needed

    Hi Dawn, Thanks for that. We will have a look and add it to our list of 'options'.
  11. tommo64

    School Advice Needed

    Hi Jim, Yes, it is very distressing for both us and our son. We have been here about 7 months now and generally, everything has worked out well, apart from this problem. It is stressfull enough for a 15 year old to move to the other side of the world, leaving behind his old friends and trying to settle into a new school, etc., without all this other nonsense. But like all the other obstacles, I'm sure we will overcome this one. The advice and encouragement we have received on here is a great help and comfort. Thanks again to all.
  12. tommo64

    School Advice Needed

    Hi Kris and Prema, Thanks for your replies and advice, which we will take on board. We are going to approach the other school again tomorrow. We had previously given them proof of our residence within their zone and a stat dec but they still turned us down. Our son is adamant he doesn't want to go back to his present school and we have decided to take him out, for the time being at least. We are really disappointed with their response. If we can't get this sorted, then we will certainly complain to the minister as you have suggested. As you said, this boys threats are probably just that, but we are not prepared to take that chance. Thanks again.
  13. tommo64

    School Advice Needed

    Hi All, Can anyone advise please - Our son is currently attendeding a state school but is being bullied and is desperately unhappy. We have voiced our concerns to the school staff but they are basically not interested, despite the fact that the bully has threatened to knife him on several occassions. They said they can't do anything without proof and it is a matter for the police, not the school! We have just moved out of that school's zone and into another school's zone. But this school has said that they have no room. I was under the impression that if you lived within a school's zone they were obligated to admit your child. Can anyone tell me whether this is right or not? We are quite desperate and will happily go private if necessary, even though we would find it hard financially. We have to do something as our son has got to the point where he cannot sleep properly, says he cannot eat because he feels sick and has now been referred to a psychiactric nurse by our doctor because she thinks he is suffering from anxiety and depression. Hope someone can advise.
  14. tommo64

    I couldn't feel more lonely

    Hi, Sorry to hear about your situation. I can't relate to it personally, although I'm sure you're by no means unique being in that situation. The only advice I can give is that you try to get out and about as much as possible, do leisure/sporting activities that will bring you into contact with more people. Have you looked for groups with people in a similar situation to your own, i.e., single parent familys, etc.? Hope this is some help. All the best.
  15. tommo64

    Two sharks..............

    Only fair I suppose. After all, we do pretty much the same to fish don't we?

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