Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Weekend at Centre Parks

Friday afternoon mrwandymcnoble and I left the hectic city for a relaxing weekend with his family at Centre Parks in Elveden Forest. Relaxing it was certainly not! Saturday morning started with a 6am wake-up and 4 mile run through trails and forest - a nice change from running on crowded pavements through south London! We then got ready for an afternoon of sports with short tennis, squash and 10 pin bowling. Mrwandymcnoble is fairly competitive to say the least, and I think was pretty frustrated by my lack of coordination in short tennis... I was a pretty poor partner! I tried squash for the first time and really liked it, something quite satisfying about smashing a ball as hard as you can. Just need to do something about ducking every time the ball comes flying towards me...
A squirrel outside our door
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the indoor waterpark, which is meant to be a "tropical paradise". Their newest ride, the Cyclone, was pretty good - a fast and furious raft waterslide for 4 people that had a huge scary drop an lots of tossing around. The Rapids were also quite good, and there were a few different pools - though we all felt the wave pool was a bit tame - it was no "Typhoon Lagoon" as mrwandymcnoble said! The fact that we were all shattered combined with the miserable weather led to the decision to order takeaway and watch a movie, and we were all in bed by about 9:30pm!
Quad biking

Sunday morning we went for another run (at the slightly more reasonable time of 8am), and then I went  off for a massage with the girls while mrwandymcnoble went quad biking with the boys. I could have stayed in the spa for the whole day, but there were more sports to be played, this time badminton. We finished the afternoon with another trip to the waterpark, and then it was back to London on the train to reality for us.
Extreme badminton

We have less than 4 weeks left in London now before going to Canada at Christmas, and then its off to Australia mid January. I can't believe how close it is... and how much we have to get done before then! It's going to be a busy few weeks!


Friday, 2 November 2012


Yesterday our boxes arrived from Anglo Pacific - we have decided to ship a few boxes worth of personal items like clothes, books and some things with sentimental value. The past few days have been spent sorting through our flat, putting things into one of four categories: "sell, ship, throw away, keep and take on the plane".

Doesn't he look happy doing all this packing?!
We decided to go with Anglo Pacific as they gave a very reasonable quote and also had good reviews. The cost for a 5 cubic foot box is £99 for the first one, and then £30 for each one thereafter. If you want to put things in your own suitcase it is only £18 per case. Max weight is 30kgs per box.

I've been really impressed with them so far, when I called with some questions they were extremely helpful and informative, and we got our boxes they day after ordering. They also came with tape and bubble wrap for packing. They will come and collect your boxes whenever you want (except Sundays), and then 6-12 weeks later your things arrive at our door Australia. As the guy who delivered our boxes said (in an Aussie accent) "Too easy".

I am a bit nervous about how they will arrive but just have to trust that they know what they're doing and they do it all the time.

Shipping boxes
Boxes everywhere!
For now it's back to sorting, packing, listing things to sell on, and getting ready for a carboot sale next weekend!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Visa Granted!

Well, we have had a busy few months and have been a bit slack on updating the blog. After our honeymoon we had to finish off our Masters dissertation proposals and then the school year started, and time seems to have slipped away from us.
It is half term this week, and we are busy doing "admin" for the move, including uploading all our documents onto the DIAC website for our 457 visa.
My school nominated the position for the visa on 25th October and that was approved a few days later, on 29th October. I submitted our application on 28th October and got an email today saying it was approved! So excited and happy - it finally feels "real" that we are going. Applying for a visa is such a stressful process, I was constantly fretting that I hadn't submitted enough evidence of my work experience or hadn't got the right documents certified. But all seems to have been in order, and happened much quicker than I anticipated. (Processing times on the DIAC website say up to 2 months.)
Our next steps are: booking flights, packing up some clothes and books to be shipped and trying to sell our furniture - much more fun doing this stuff with the visa bit out of the way!