One Year in Oz

Well, it’s been a year since we left England. Time has flown by really quickly, it only seems like a few weeks ago that we were saying goodbye to friends and family in Oldham.

Looking back at the blog archives, those first few weeks in Melbourne were exciting times — everything was new to us, we didn’t know anyone or anywhere. Things have settled down now, so here’s a summary:

  • We’re still living in the same house that we rented via the Internet from the UK, although we’re looking to move soon. We’ve decided to rent again in a different area for a while before buying/building a place of our own.
  • Back in the UK we now have new tenants renting our house. I didn’t blog about the previous tenant from hell, but fingers crossed these new people will be better. >:p
  • Sara still has her funny little car, but she’s looking at replacing it now because it’s no fun driving a car without air conditioning in the summer. She’s had test drives in various other small cars so we’ll see what kind of trade-in deal we can get. I’m still enjoying my Land Rover, but it needs a service, new tyres and brake pads this month. $-)
  • The weather was a bit of a surprise to us: it’s pretty cold and wet in June, July & August. Well, when I say cold I mean 5°C overnight and 12°C during the day; hardly cold by UK standards, but chilly for here. I’ve worn my coat just six times in the last year! Summer months are hot, hot, hot — nothing prepares you for those 40°C+ days. #:-s
  • We’re both still working in the same jobs we took last November. Neither of us are particularly enjoying our jobs at the moment, but they pay the bills. It’s end of tax year now, so we need to apply for our tax refunds this month. \:d/
  • Unfortunately we didn’t keep up our swimming and walking programme once we got our jobs, but we still eat healthier than we ever did in the UK and drink a less too. I reckon we’ve cooked on the outside barbecue 40 times this year!
  • We now do stuff. We’re busy with something every weekend, going places or doing things. Maybe the weather helps, plus the lack of a “local” pub — we’ve probably only been to a pub 10 times since we’ve been here.
  • We still download UK TV, rather than watching the Aussie rubbish. Sara is still fully up to date with all the UK soaps, we’re even watching bloody Big Brother. Likewise I’ve been able to watch more United games on TV than I ever could in the UK, although the time difference is a bit of a pain. (:|
  • When buying things, I still have to convert everything from Dollars into Pounds to decide whether it’s good value or not. It drives Sara mad when I do it — “But we don’t earn pounds, we earn dollars now!”. I don’t think I’ll be able to shake that habit, but I’m sure if I return to the UK I’ll find myself doing the opposite. 😕

Life is pretty good here at the moment, it’s just a shame that everyone is so far away. Hopefully some of you will be able to make the trip out to visit us soon, but in the meantime we look forward to the phone calls, e-mails, photos, videos, Skype and MSN conversations. Keep in touch. :)] :-h