The Monaghans

It's our "Anniversary"!

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    Well, we made it. One year ago today the Monaghans stepped onto Adelaide soil for the first time. It's been quite a year, lots of ups and downs, a few tears and many, many laughs! It would be very long and boring if I wrote down everything that we've achieved so I'll try and do a pocket version!

     

    We landed at 6.15am on Saturday 28th July 2007. After two hours going through immigration and baggage reclaim (just what you need after 28 hours flying with two toddlers) we picked up our hire car and drove to Woodcroft Park, our home for the next six weeks. We were exhausted and to be honest, not overly impressed with our first sight of Adelaide. The A15 isn't the prettiest road in the world! However, as we drove up Ocean Boulevard and got our first sight of the Southern Ocean our spirits lifted slightly! The first couple of weeks passed in a blur, we were exhausted and jetlagged and the children weren't letting us sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. One particular day stands out though. We were at the local shopping mall and were bickering about something and nothing (we don't bicker normally honest, we were just sooo tired and depressed...) I went into one shop and Richie went into another and neither of us realised that three year old daughter Hattie had wandered off by herself. Five minutes later we both heard a tannoy asking the parents of "Cassie" to come and collect her but of course we didn't know it was Hattie. Another five minutes later came another tannoy with the same request, this time giving a full description of "Cassie" and what she was wearing! Richie realised it was Hattie and raced to fetch our hysterical child. It felt like the final straw and we went into Flight Centre to enquire about flights both back to the UK and to Perth where we have family.

     

    Well, that night we sat and had a loooong talk and decided that we hadn't come all this way to quit at the first hurdle. The following day, Richie went out, knocked on some doors and found a job. Two days after that we went to three opens and bought the second one! We moved in on September 14th 2007 and we haven't really looked back.

     

    We got a couple of cars, changed our driving licences (sp?), signed up for Medicare and got our tax file numbers. Once we'd moved into the house everything started to fall properly into place. We got a routine going, it was normal life again. The children started day care two days a week and they started swimming lessons and playgroups. I can't stress enough how hard it all seemed at first, the disorientation, the jetlag and the heartache of leaving behind people that you love and who love you. Both our mums were distraught at having to say goodbye to their grandchildren, although both families have already been out for a visit! It's also been hard losing contact with people that we considered to be friends back in the UK, some have kept in touch but not all. Living such a long distance away puts a strain on friendships, but happily we are still in contact with our closer friends. Skype is great, we use it every week to contact the grandparents and other family members. When we need to phone the UK we either use Skype or a Snap card which costs $10 and gives you 500 minutes of cheap calls. I would definitely recommend that those of you getting ready to fly out buy a Snap card or something similar when you get here. It's invaluable.

     

    As for the people here, well what can I say? We have met so many people through PIA and I'm so happy to say that most of them are lovely and helpful and kind. We must say a very special thank you though to Judi (Roo1). When we first arrived, Judi was running a playgroup in Hallett Cove. We went along in our first week to see if we could meet anyone and to give the children a bit of fun. Thanks to that playgroup we met many people, we started socialising and building up relationships. Our children were happy, they finally had friends to play with and we have made some wonderful friends ourselves. I suppose because we're all so far from the UK and the support network that we had there, we tend to form stronger friendships here. I know that if we had a problem here, I could pick up the phone and shout "Help" and at least three people would come running straight away. I won't embarrass them and name names, but you know who you are I hope. PIA has been a godsend for us in so many ways, we used it to research in the UK and to meet new friends in Australia. I think things would have been very different for us without it and I'm grateful to Tim for setting it up and to all the members who make it the forum that it is. I also think it's important to give back what you get and we're more than happy to meet new arrivals in Adelaide and offer whatever help and advice we can.

     

    It hasn't all been good. There are negatives here and I think it's important to acknowledge them. The wages are low, the cost of living is getting higher and petrol is going up all the time. I've found it difficult to make Australian friends, I don't know if it's the area that we live in or South Australia in general but I find the people here quite reserved. I go to a playgroup every Friday with the children, we've been going for almost 9 months now and there is still only one mum there who will talk to me. It's very cliquey there and outsiders seem to get a bit of a hard time. Or maybe it's me! I think Adelaide is much safer than the UK, there is crime here of course, but it doesn't seem as bad here. Graffitti is everywhere and the hoons are a concern but I'd rather worry about that than drugs, guns and knives.

     

    The beaches are wonderful and we can't wait for the summer again and the warm weather! I think we're really feeling the cold at the moment, we had to scrape the windscreens again this morning! I'm looking forward to bbq's again and sausage sizzles and long lazy days in the sun (fat chance with two kids!!!) I'm looking forward to spending more time with our friends, splashing around in the pool and moaning about the heat! Most of all, I'm looking forward to the second year of our new life in Australia. And then the third... and the fourth... and the fifth....

     

    So much for a pocket version! Sorry to ramble on everyone and thanks for reading. Good luck to everyone still trying to get here, keep holding on - it will happen!:)

    Liz

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    Guest Nick11

    Good for you girl.

    Big congrats to a lovely family.

    Nick

    x

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    Guest salisbury massive

    I've found it difficult to make Australian friends, I don't know if it's the area that we live in or South Australia in general but I find the people here quite reserved.

     

    No its not you. I've been here 3 years and can count the number of mums at school who make any effort to return my friendly greetings on one hand.

     

    I think the main problem is they already have a circle of friends and don't actually need anyone else in it. I've got a group of aussie mums I drift in and out of when it suits and I've got 2 really good aussie friends who I see on a regular basis and would help me out if I needed it. The rest of my friends are all english and I would cheerfully give the shirt off my back for them. Sometimes its just best to stick with what you know. If your brand of humour is sarcastic, (as mine it)forget it, the aussies just don't do it.

     

    Always good to read peoples experiences though, congrats on your first year.

     

    Jo

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    Guest jojo

    A lovely post liz :wubclub:

    Congrats to you all on your first year here.

     

    Jo & co xxxx:wubclub:

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    Guest Libby1971

    Blimey, that year has gone fast!!!!

     

    Excellent reading, well done to all of you. Your first year may have been a success but that is purely down to you :notworthy::notworthy:

     

    May the rest be happy and successful for all of you.

     

     

    Libby and family xxxx

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    Hi Liz

     

    Thanks for sharing your first anniversary with us. Many congratulations for coming through the most difficult year (we're still in the middle of it!). I SO identified with your recollection of the first couple of weeks in! Really tough time but it soon becomes history.

     

    I look forward to hearing more updates in the future and am so pleased you are now settled and happy. Keep smiling...

     

    Dette and family :)

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    Guest donna T

    A huge congratulations to one of loveliest families we know :notworthy: Here's to many more anniversaries in Adelaide :jiggy:

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    Guest Roo1

    Lovely post Liz, I can't believe a whole year has passed since we met. I feel like I've known you, Rich and the kids far longer.

    Well done for toughing it out, you really do get out of it what you put into it and you guys have given it your all and deserve it all.

     

    I'm looking forward to those BBQ sizzles too.......I didn't sign up for this weather!! 28_3_5.gif

    See you soon hun,

    Judi xxxxxx

    29_2_2.gif

     

     

     

     

     

    sig.jsp?pc=ZSzeb096&pp=ZNxuk137YYGB

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    Guest Guest75

    Congratulations on your first anniversary - having met you I would never have doubted that you would settle:)

     

    You just need to remember where you leave the cartons of wine and then you'll be true Aussies!!!!

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    Guest Django
    If your brand of humour is sarcastic, (as mine it)forget it, the aussies just don't do it.

     

     

    Guess I'll not bother coming out then. ;):biglaugh:

     

    Great post Liz:notworthy: Like Sarah I like to hear of personal accounts of their adventures on arrival as it gives a realistic view of what we can expect. Look forward to the '2 year in' post.;)

     

    Pete

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    Hi Liz,

    Loved the post it's so good read the ups and the downs that people have when they move to Adelaide. Wish you all well for the next year ahead and look forward to the next updated post.

    Jo x

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    fab post, we are fast approaching our first anniversary too - can't believe how it flys.

     

    congrats on sticking it out for a year! :biglaugh:

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    Guest ozzy wannabe

    Congratulations:wubclub:, and a big thank you for making us feel so welcome. Bring on that lovely warm weather and more partys:goofy::wacko:

     

    Love

     

    Vicky, Joe, Jack and Darcey xxxxx

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    Guest graandjac

    :)Look forward to the 2 year post, its good to see the good and bad points about Adelaide, and bring on the summer. Cheers Graham

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    Guest caoimhe

    I really glad to hear you decided to hang in there even when things seemed so bad you were ready to book that flight home. Good for you

    Good luck with the next year

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    Thanks for the lovely replies everyone, it means a lot to us! Unfortunately we won't be having much of a celebration tonight, Rory has come down with croup and boy is he miserable! Ah well, better luck next year!:confused:

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    Guest proctor3069
    Well, we made it. One year ago today the Monaghans stepped onto Adelaide soil for the first time. It's been quite a year, lots of ups and downs, a few tears and many, many laughs! It would be very long and boring if I wrote down everything that we've achieved so I'll try and do a pocket version!

     

    We landed at 6.15am on Saturday 28th July 2007. After two hours going through immigration and baggage reclaim (just what you need after 28 hours flying with two toddlers) we picked up our hire car and drove to Woodcroft Park, our home for the next six weeks. We were exhausted and to be honest, not overly impressed with our first sight of Adelaide. The A15 isn't the prettiest road in the world! However, as we drove up Ocean Boulevard and got our first sight of the Southern Ocean our spirits lifted slightly! The first couple of weeks passed in a blur, we were exhausted and jetlagged and the children weren't letting us sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. One particular day stands out though. We were at the local shopping mall and were bickering about something and nothing (we don't bicker normally honest, we were just sooo tired and depressed...) I went into one shop and Richie went into another and neither of us realised that three year old daughter Hattie had wandered off by herself. Five minutes later we both heard a tannoy asking the parents of "Cassie" to come and collect her but of course we didn't know it was Hattie. Another five minutes later came another tannoy with the same request, this time giving a full description of "Cassie" and what she was wearing! Richie realised it was Hattie and raced to fetch our hysterical child. It felt like the final straw and we went into Flight Centre to enquire about flights both back to the UK and to Perth where we have family.

     

    Well, that night we sat and had a loooong talk and decided that we hadn't come all this way to quit at the first hurdle. The following day, Richie went out, knocked on some doors and found a job. Two days after that we went to three opens and bought the second one! We moved in on September 14th 2007 and we haven't really looked back.

     

    We got a couple of cars, changed our driving licences (sp?), signed up for Medicare and got our tax file numbers. Once we'd moved into the house everything started to fall properly into place. We got a routine going, it was normal life again. The children started day care two days a week and they started swimming lessons and playgroups. I can't stress enough how hard it all seemed at first, the disorientation, the jetlag and the heartache of leaving behind people that you love and who love you. Both our mums were distraught at having to say goodbye to their grandchildren, although both families have already been out for a visit! It's also been hard losing contact with people that we considered to be friends back in the UK, some have kept in touch but not all. Living such a long distance away puts a strain on friendships, but happily we are still in contact with our closer friends. Skype is great, we use it every week to contact the grandparents and other family members. When we need to phone the UK we either use Skype or a Snap card which costs $10 and gives you 500 minutes of cheap calls. I would definitely recommend that those of you getting ready to fly out buy a Snap card or something similar when you get here. It's invaluable.

     

    As for the people here, well what can I say? We have met so many people through PIA and I'm so happy to say that most of them are lovely and helpful and kind. We must say a very special thank you though to Judi (Roo1). When we first arrived, Judi was running a playgroup in Hallett Cove. We went along in our first week to see if we could meet anyone and to give the children a bit of fun. Thanks to that playgroup we met many people, we started socialising and building up relationships. Our children were happy, they finally had friends to play with and we have made some wonderful friends ourselves. I suppose because we're all so far from the UK and the support network that we had there, we tend to form stronger friendships here. I know that if we had a problem here, I could pick up the phone and shout "Help" and at least three people would come running straight away. I won't embarrass them and name names, but you know who you are I hope. PIA has been a godsend for us in so many ways, we used it to research in the UK and to meet new friends in Australia. I think things would have been very different for us without it and I'm grateful to Tim for setting it up and to all the members who make it the forum that it is. I also think it's important to give back what you get and we're more than happy to meet new arrivals in Adelaide and offer whatever help and advice we can.

     

    It hasn't all been good. There are negatives here and I think it's important to acknowledge them. The wages are low, the cost of living is getting higher and petrol is going up all the time. I've found it difficult to make Australian friends, I don't know if it's the area that we live in or South Australia in general but I find the people here quite reserved. I go to a playgroup every Friday with the children, we've been going for almost 9 months now and there is still only one mum there who will talk to me. It's very cliquey there and outsiders seem to get a bit of a hard time. Or maybe it's me! I think Adelaide is much safer than the UK, there is crime here of course, but it doesn't seem as bad here. Graffitti is everywhere and the hoons are a concern but I'd rather worry about that than drugs, guns and knives.

     

    The beaches are wonderful and we can't wait for the summer again and the warm weather! I think we're really feeling the cold at the moment, we had to scrape the windscreens again this morning! I'm looking forward to bbq's again and sausage sizzles and long lazy days in the sun (fat chance with two kids!!!) I'm looking forward to spending more time with our friends, splashing around in the pool and moaning about the heat! Most of all, I'm looking forward to the second year of our new life in Australia. And then the third... and the fourth... and the fifth....

     

    So much for a pocket version! Sorry to ramble on everyone and thanks for reading. Good luck to everyone still trying to get here, keep holding on - it will happen!:)

    Liz

    Congratulations on your 1st year!

     

    We are hoping to start the ball rolling in the next year or so (waiting to vist next year in May to get a feel for it so hopefully not too cold as may put us off - Yes we finally have some hot sun in Manchester took long enough to happen and will prob rain again in next day or so!

     

    It is really helpfull to read your stories as we have all this to look forward to and hopefully can be mentally prepared as my husband is very much up for it 100% but I still have my doubts all I know is im sick of the weather, lack of space as every bit of green in being built on (and we live 5 minutes from the pennines and can't imagine what it will be like in the next 5 years) We are prepared for the cost of living as like most Brits thought everywhere would be loads cheaper than the U.K but now know thats not the case just hope we can still afford it.

     

    The funny thing is that 6months ago I wanted to move to France and my husband wanted to move to Germany and as neither could agree we both thought we would be stuck here. Then all that changed when in Feb 2008 we went to Singapore and Malaysia on holiday and got talking to an English family who now live in Perth and we realised that the earth isn't as big as we thought! and with webcams can still see our family and friends.

     

    So we are coming out to vist next May (my husbands work closes for whit otherwise would come in the warmer weather) and if we like what we see we will get the ball rolling so if anyone can recommend and places to visit or cheap hotels that would be a great help.

     

    Thanks to everyone for all the help and advice we have received so far on PIA we really don't know what we would have done without you all.

     

    Tammy (30), Darren (30) & Jessica (2)

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    Lovely update we are just about to book flights for end of august we will be staying in travelers inn for a few weeks and i am feeling sick with worry hope we are doing the right thing, reading your post gives me hope that in a year from now i will be posting my first year update and offering encouragement to others.

    My teenagers are not 100% behind us and this makes things difficult

    hoping they find work really quickly hopefully apprenticeships in construction that will make life better for all of us. Hope we can meet up with some of you when we arrive i mam sure we will keep in touch on pia as we need lots of help and info,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,see you all in adelaide soon sue billy and boys

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    Guest The Angus Clan

    Congratulations from all of us! Good to read such an honest post. Here's wishing you many happy years to come!

    Marcia

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    Guest HALT

    Hi, i think you are right about the Australians being a bit reserved. Have been here in Adelaide only 5 weeks. Kids started school at the beginning of term and as much as i try to chat to other mums no one talks to me except the occassional Hi! Think i need to change my perfume or something. Was reassuring to hear other people have experienced the same thing.

    Our 1 year anniversary feels a long way away at the moment. The flights home seem very appealing!

     

    Just noticed the Angus Clan from Falkirk. I was brought up there before i moved South to England before Oz.

     

    Great Forum, Really useful:)

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    Guest The Angus Clan
    Hi, i think you are right about the Australians being a bit reserved. Have been here in Adelaide only 5 weeks. Kids started school at the beginning of term and as much as i try to chat to other mums no one talks to me except the occassional Hi! Think i need to change my perfume or something. Was reassuring to hear other people have experienced the same thing.

    Our 1 year anniversary feels a long way away at the moment. The flights home seem very appealing!

     

    Just noticed the Angus Clan from Falkirk. I was brought up there before i moved South to England before Oz.

     

    Great Forum, Really useful:)

     

    Hi that's kinda worrying that the Aussies ignore you - do you reckon ex-pats are resented and quite a separate community? I've been told I would win Olympic gold for talking :chatterbox: so the whole stoney wall of silence thing fills me with dread!!

    Thank goodness for PIA - am hoping someone will speak to me :wubclub:

    Where abouts in Falkirk did you stay? We're in Wallacestone , Brightons.

    Hope the new perfume works!:)

    Marcia

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    Hey Liz & family,

     

    many congratulations to you, you have survived the toughest part and came out the other side smiling.

     

    Good luck to you and your family for the many more happy years you will have.

     

    x

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    Guest HALT

    Hi Angus Clan

     

    I went to Wallacestone primary School, use to live in Newlands road, Brightons. Know it well. Was there in December to visit the family before we left for Oz.

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