Our house in Feb 2013 just before we left

Our house in Feb 2013 just before we left

I’m coming to the UK soon for a holiday. In fact, I’m probably in the air now. Before leaving I thought about all the things I want to do while I’m over, and here’s the list. I’ll let you know how it goes!


1. See family
2. See friends
3. Hang out in a country pub, preferably with a fire
4. Visit a building over 200 years old
5. Walk in the countryside, potentially with a dog
6. Have some chips on Brighton beach
7. Go and see our house and nose about inside

Food and drink: (There seem to be a lot of things in this category)

8. Drink a lot of tea
9. Eat a proper cream tea
10. Eat a pub dinner including chips with vinegar on them
11. Eat a roast dinner
12. Eat a lot of marmite and buy lots of smuggle home
13. Eat melting middle fishcakes and Tesco veggeburgers (not together)
14. Have a BBQ using charcoal


15. Go clothes shopping (including in H and M, Next, Debenhams and of course Marks and Spencers)
16. Get some work shoes from Clarkes
17. Buy the board game Cards Against Humanity

Other stuff 

18. Watch the BBC News
19. Play board games
20. Go on a single decker train
21. Complain about the weather
22. Sort out some stuff we left in people’s attics (not my idea of fun, but I feel a moral obligation)

I’m looking forward to you Poms stll at home helping me out with these!

Exciting news – we have a new page on our website!

On our fridge, and in more detail in my head, we have a To Do List. It’s not one of those boring ones about hoovering and chores though, but about all the places to go and things to do while we’re over here in Australia. We’ve added the new page to share it with you and you’re more than welcome to give us ideas too! I’ve also summarised what we have done so far with handy links in case you want to know about something in particular.

You can get to it by clicking the button under the main picture called To Do List (to the right of Home) or by clicking HERE.

12. January 2013 · 4 comments · Categories: Pre-emigrating · Tags:

After the comments on the last post, I thought I could give you some more details on our To Do list. It is fairly epic, and I’m still sure there will be more things added to it!

I got the job offer in Sydney in late November, for a move in February, and we were away all of December on our honeymoon. I think sorting everything would have been a challenge in the time anyway, but the holiday didn’t help! (And also meant we will be flying 1.5 times around the world in the space of a few months).

Being an overly organised individual I knew an electronic to do list was required. I got it drafted up before we went away, so I didn’t keep thinking about it on holiday.

The To Do List

The To Do List

The list tracks the number of things done and percentage complete. For each job I can put what % complete that is too, so I dont need to wait until it is all done for it to be included in the overall % complete (nice). If I start it it gets atleast 5%! There are extra tabs for listing the stufff in the boxes we pack, some of which (e.g. camping equiptment) we will have to declare to customs.

Currently we have done 29.4 of 85, so 34.5% complete. Sadly things like change the doorbell ringtone have the same weights as pack all of our things for shipping, so we’ll be left with all the hard things at the end and on 85%ish forever!

Our list has 5 categories. These, and the things on them are:

Moving: Organise flights, pack things to ship, pack things to store, cancel direct debits, change addresses, redirect post, sell the cars, do tax forms, advise the NHS, get new glasses etc. This is by far the longest section with over 40 things on it, some of which are the real biggies. Its 30% done now.

Job: Sign contract, hand in notice and get Matt a job. A short but important section. 3 our of 4 jobs done!

House DIY: Although we seem to have been doing DIY on our house forever, there are a load of things to do to it before we get tenants in. We’re finishing the kitchen, repaiting some bits, sorting the hole in the bottom of the shed (oops), oiling the wooden floor, getting a new carpet and more.

House Letting: Paperwork for letting our house, and all the things that go alone with it like getting the landlords gas safety certificate and electircal inspection. This also includes registering as an overseas landlord for tax purposes and getting landlord insurance. Yawn.

Events: Clearly the best and most fun section. 🙂 This covers seeing all the people we want to see, a climbing trip and of course planning and having our leaving party on 9th February. Let me know if you need the details, its going to be good!

There is some stuff to do which didn’t make it on the list as it’ll happen anyway, like eating and drinking our chocolate and alcohol supply. Sometimes life is hard!

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

So now i’d best go get on with some more things…

09. January 2013 · 7 comments · Categories: Pre-emigrating · Tags: ,

Our to do list for emigrating is fairly epic.

One of the things on it is to find out what you actually have to do when you leave the UK for a long time. I figured there would be lots of paperwork, forms and official bits and bobs. One of my friends suggested writing a letter to the Queen which made me chuckle!

Other than the usual moving stuff about changing your address with the long list of important people and cancelling direct debits and things, it seems there isn’t actually too much to worry about. It’s a lot easier to leave the UK than to come in!

The things I’ve found out you need to do are:

  • Fill in an HMRC P85 tax form and
  • Advise the NHS as you are no longer eligible for free or reciprocal free health care

Yup, that’s it, just the two.

You need up to date tetanus and polio jabs, and there is probably some airport paperwork, but the list seems surprisingly short. You need a UK address on your driving license, so I might change that too.

Things to do for going into another country is a matter for another time.

If you know of any more important things for leaving please let me know!

Welcome to the first of the Top 5’s.

This one is the Top 5 things we are looking forward to about moving, and the Top 5 things we’re not. Here goes.

New places and things: One of the main reasons for going is to experience life abroad and all the new things associated with that – new places to visit, new climbs, new food and drink, new animals, new shops, a different culture, different weather, the whole lot. I’m looking forward to weekends filled with lots of adventures.

Sydney Opera House from the Harbour

Sydney Opera House from the Harbour

Adventuring into the unknown: As well as all the new things we know about, there are lots we don’t. Where will we live? What will our place be like? What will our new (additional, not replacement!) friends be like? What will we get up to most in our spare time? Discovering all these unknown things together will be pretty exciting.

Having visitors: We have at least one visitor arranged already (good work Lizzie Short) and are looking forward to hosting more – especially if they bring us things from the UK which we miss (see below)!

New job: Oddly I am actually looking forward to getting my teeth into an exciting new job. It’ll certainly be a big challenge but should be rewarding too.

Penguins: I love penguins! We saw some on New Zealand on holiday and they have some in Manly, Sydney too. You can become a volunteer penguin warden and help them toddle in to their little beach homes at dusk. Awww. I think the job is mainly protecting them from tourists trying to grab and harass them though, and given I will want to go and cuddle them I may not fit the bill.



Top 5 Bad things about moving

Missing friends and family: We are lucky to have a really good set of friends and family over here in the UK. Although we don’t see them all as often as we like, we will be sad to leave them all behind. So make sure you keep in touch – now we have a website too there is no excuse!

Spiders: I am petrified of them. Although they don’t actually kill many people because of all the anti-venom, I still hate them and may not ever get over it!

Dairy Milk, Marmite and other hard to get items: We did a taste test on holiday. My finely honed female chocolate taste buds are convinced Dairy Milk (my favourite chocolate bar) does not taste the same in Australia. It has a nasty aftertaste. We are planning on doing a blind taste test when we get there to confirm / deny this potentially awful fact and may well be asking for food parcels!

The heat: It should be lovely living somewhere where it is nice and sunny much more often, but my pasty white British skin will need some time to adapt. I got burnt in 20 mins on holiday so we’ll be stocking up on sun cream and making sure we get a house with air conditioning.

Having to work: It would be much better to be rich and not have to have to go to work when wanting to do lots of exciting and new things over in Sydney. At least there are evenings, weekends and holidays to make the most of.


Once we are in Sydney I’ll make a more specific list.

Any ideas of more good and bad things about living somewhere else?