About us

We are a family of four. Sarah, Andy, Finn & Isla and we are on the emigration path to Sydney, Australia from Somerset, England. We arrived on Tuesday 24th August 2010 and this is our story.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Part 1

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote and I write this on the laptop while on holiday in Newquay where we have no wireless to upload.  Must get fingers on the keyboard before I start to forget all of the things I have to say and keep. 

The day in mid June arrived when I would work with my employer of 15 years for the last time.  The morning started well and I was optimistic that I would refrain from crying.  I was wrong.  It suddenly hit me that I was leaving all of these people that I had known and worked with for so long.  You really do spend a lot of time with the people that you work with. 37 hours a week on average.  Or, in my case as a part timer over the last few years – 19 but previously 37 hours for 12 years.

I was sat at my desk at 11 in the morning rounding up a few last e-mails and generally touching base with people as they came around to wish me luck (and tell me that they wished they could leave too!(it’s not how it once was!))   When there was the unmistakable patter of feet as people started to congregate around my desk, there must of been around 50.  I duly took to the floor as one of the managers gave a speech about my time and some of the mis-adventures that I had been involved in!  I immediately choked up and had to take a deep breath to steady myself.    A common theme, it is fair to say, was my driving.  Now I consider myself to be a reasonable driver but I can only draw the conclusion that I may be a little sporadic as there were around 4-5 stories of my skills!  Some I really had forgotten and it was lovely to be reminded of some of the laughs we have had. 

One amusing one was when I was driving a particularly gutless pool car up a pretty steep hill near Bristol and decided to go for an overtake only to draw level and seriously think I wasn’t going to make it!  Foot to the metal and we crawled past and nipped in just before a car coming in the other direction got pretty close.  Ha ha, still makes me snort to think about it.  When the story was told I had to dig pretty deep to remember but then it all came flooding back!

Several other drunken stories came out and my favourite was a corporate race day in Worcester which started well as there was a free bar!  One of the girls, Sam & I made full use of that facility and ordered 2 drinks of double Pimms at a time.  Slaughtered.  That’s what we were and in bed pretty early!  Our table caused a few raised eye brows as we could certainly put it away!  This memory resulted in one of my leaving presents being a bottle of Pimms.

The conversation then turned to Andy as we met at work and then the birth of Finn & Isla.  Some very lovely things were said and I really feel that I did add something and make a small difference.  I hope so.  I said a few words and I really did have quite a lot of trouble holding it together.  I was given some lovely things.  Some camera books and a flash diffuser.  Union Jack cushion to remind me of home.  Some lovely pictures of the people I have worked with and the infamous bottle of Pimms!

Three of the people I have worked with the closest over the years gave me some extra pressies and I was so touched.  Kangaroo ruck sacks for the children, a very apt bbq apron for Andy (genius!) and some Cath Kidston vouchers and sewing bits.  They also gave Andy and I a book on British history with a lovely, poignant poem about home stuck in the front.  Fresh tears with this one and a real tug in the heart.

I left the office sad but happy.  Andy and I went out for a leaving do in Bristol on the Friday night and had an amazing time.  Andy and I caught the train in and took a slow stroll though the city in the afternoon stopping off for ice cream and browsing along the way.  Cocktails in Browns were had which was very relaxing.  Food, drinks, drinks and more drinks!  Another emotional time and puffy eyes from crying is really not attractive!

I headed off the Newquay the next day with my best girls Bronnie & Charms.  We spent 2 days doing what we do best.  Drinking, eating, talking and enjoying the good things in life.  Sun, sea, surf and Pimms!  The very gratefully received bottle above was obliterated in 36 hours!  We swam in the pool and enjoyed G & T’s and cream tea.  By chance it was the Newquay night surf on fistral beach which was stumbling distance from our beach cottage.  The sea was floodlit, a rock band was playing and the surfing competition went on until 11 and then was followed by fireworks.  I had a funny feeling in the pit of my tummy on both evenings and couldn’t place it.  I felt unsettled and close to tears on both evenings.  I spoke to the girls about it and they think I was a little homesick.  Obviously I haven’t left yet but everything that I have known for so many years either has changed or is in the process of changing.   Bronnie has felt like it when she has moved away from home previously and she reassured me that is completely normal.  I felt better when Andy arrived with the children on Monday and the manic pace of life with 2 littlies helped to subside the feelings.  I hadn’t been away from the children for so long and had so much time on my hands before and I don’t think that helped as I had too much idle time!  Lovely as it was I’m just not used to it!

So much more to say, but for now, enough.


Sunday, 13 June 2010


A couple of short funny moments from life at the moment.

Mum has a very large cat.  Chloe.  She moves not a lot and on the other hand eats....a lot.  She is more like a small dog than a cat!

Daddy:  "Finn, what does Chloe say?".
Finn:  "Miaow"...short moment of contemplation "Feed me, I'm hungry"! 
Queue parents rolling on the floor laughing.

Andy is all about the exams at the moment.  Work, work, work.  If he isn't required to be doing anything else then he has a laptop on his, err, lap and a book in his hand, revising.

Finn exits the room with his toy laptop in hand.
Daddy: "Finn, where are you going?"
Finn: "I'm going to the sitting room to do some revising"

So good we had to write them down.  Wanted them in the blog so when I make a book out of it we can look back and remember.  And laugh.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Sooooo busy!

There are so many lovely things happening in our life at the moment and sometimes I have trouble just keeping up!

Finn's birthday trip to London was a huge success, especially compared to last time...  We had a great trip on the train from Somerset to London but at 2 hours 40 minutes it was around 40 minutes too long.   We spent the last section humouring, placating, reprimanding and diverting our two dearly loved ones.  In the nanosecond we had to discuss during the disaster aversion tactics we worried each other by wondering aloud how 14 hours to Singapore in August will be....hmmmm.  I wonder.

We went to The Diner in Soho for Finn's birthday lunch which was really nice and for a little while I felt like a cosmopolitan Mummy around town rather than a practical and slightly obsessive aspiring domestic goddess.  It made me wonder if we could live in the inner suburbs of Sydney in a smaller place but much more in the cut and thrust of things and enjoying the trappings of a city life.

One of my favourite places in London and in fact the UK was on the itinerary for the Sunday and in fact numerous other families - The Natural History Museum.  I am pretty keen for Finn to have an interest in dinosaurs so I am nurturing and igniting this for him by providing plenty of books and toys around the subject which we purchased from the shop.  If he is going to be 'into' something I fancy this may be a good subject to be passionate about.  I got Isla a Tyrannosaurus model also but at this time she is not quite as interested.  We bought a big reference book for Finn and he really enjoys looking at all of the dinosaurs and keeps asking me to pronounce the names for him - there is a bit of guess work from me here!  I have taught him about extinction (which he has a grasp of now) and tonight we moved on to herbivores and carnivores.  Sometimes I think I underestimate the capability he has to grasp things like this as I feel he is still so young, but grasp it he does!

Took a spin around Harrods before tea in Leicester Square and then a lovely walk down past 10 Downing Street and around Westminster.  Lovely evening and Finn fed the squirrels in the park monkey nuts donated to him by a very kind lady.

The next day we hit the London Eye again and had a much better time than on the last visit (see 1st link!) which, to be fair, wouldn't be hard!

We also caught the train home, which was on the Monday evening, so we now had two toddlers who were pretty tired from a busy weekend of walking, early starts and late nights.  We started in Paddington with a relatively empty train, only around 5 other groups of people in our carriage.  Within around 45 minutes we had the carriage to ourselves!  Can't say I blame them all really - Finn & Isla were pretty noisy and quite a bit tetchy...  Andy and I joked that if we could have been in another carriage we would have been!

Great weekend had by all.

Today we have been to the Royal Bath & West Show (which I love) with Andy's Mum.  I have been going for as long as I can remember.  I bumped into 3 sets of people who I know through work, which was really bizarre as it is a pretty big event with a lot of people.  We took a picnic and looked at all the animals, stalls and displays.  Another lovely day in the sun - it must of been around 25 degrees today which was lovely.  The children were really good and Finn walked the whole day without being crabby, they were both great company.  This will be last show I go to for quite a while.

10 weeks on Wednesday until we fly.