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.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Hello Sydney!

More soon....

Sunday, 22 August 2010

A few pics of our stop in Singapore

Enjoying the BBQ on the terrace at the hotel.

Dipping a toe in the stream at the Singapore zoo

Do they look hot? Ha ha - we all were!


Gorgeous Andy

In the tropics

All tuckered out!

Gorgeous girl - she's only little!

No way was she getting any closer and Finn wasn't even getting that close!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Singapore, baby

We said our goodbyes for now, had a party, cried and flew out of Heathrow Airport on Wednesday 18th August 2010.

In short:  nothing prepared me for how hard it would be to leave our family and friends.  Heart wrenching 4 days of emotions.  I feel guilty.  I feel sad.  I feel excited.  It's hard to quantify and accept really.  

It was a 12 hour flight to Singapore and the children were so good.  Best flight we have had with them.

We have tried to get into the time difference as quickly as possible but nothing could convince us to get out of bed before midday yesterday - we all slept for 14 hours and it was so needed!

I haven't even landed in Australia yet and already I feel a little homesick.  It feels so different to being on holiday.  In 2004 we honeymooned in Oz for 6 weeks and I felt fine.  I was gone around 36 hours this time before I had a real wave of homesickness.  It's been OK today and I'm sure it's just while I adjust to this life changing path we are on.

We have done some amazing things in Singapore over the last few days which include:

  • Night Safari - Amazing atmosphere and all 4 of us ate some wonderful authentic Asian food - I will get crab girl from Isla!  Saw lots of nocturnal animals from a tram during the evening.  All home and in bed by midnight and the children were so good...until the last hour! - it was a very late night for them though.
  • Duck tour - road and then river cruise (ex American aquatic military vehicle)
  • Bus tour - a great way to see Singapore on an open top bus.  Needless to say Finn & Isla loved it!
  • Botanical Gardens - amazing, lush, tropical rainforest type gardens with fruit trees, bananas and orchids growing.  Singapore is so wet and humid that plant life is incredibly prolific, the trees all have lichens and ferns growing on them.  We visited the children's garden which had water fountains, bridges, tree houses and a waterfall.  We stripped the children off and they spent a good 45 mins splashing in the fountains!
  • 2010 Youth Olympic Games - as an aside, these are being held here at the moment and the athletes are competing in the Suntec Centre next to our hotel.  They are also preparing for the Formula 1 race in September - the track is on the existing streets.
  • Marina Bay Sands -We visited this amazing hotel which is made from 3 towers and has a huge ocean liner style ship on the roof which houses the pool and the restaurants.  It's only just finished - but what a sight it is.  Makes me think Singapore are really trying to put themselves on the map - it looks like something you would see in Dubai.
  • Chinatown & Hawker Market - great place to walk around and watch the locals.  Or actually be watched by the locals as we were really in the minority being Westerners.  It was very liberating.  The 4 of us had lunch and drinks in the hawker market for around £5.
  • Buddhist Temple - we strolled around here (after I had put a shawl over my shoulders) and it really was one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen.  Buddhas everywhere - as you would expect.  It made me think about how lucky Finn & Isla are at this young age to see such parts of the world.  I hope living near Asia will help to make this sort of thing more accessible to them.
  • BBQ night - the Pan Pacific hotel do a BBQ night on the terrace with salads and cuts of meat and fish that you request to be BBQ'd for you.  Lovely feeling sitting in the tropical heat with tall cold drinks, good food and the sun setting around you.  Tall skyscrapers for a view as the lights come on and the dusk draws in.  The terrace is on the 4th floor of the hotel and has hundreds of fairy lights sprinkled through the plants.  I think we may have caused a little trauma at the sight of our 2 though as they are not the tidiest of eaters!  The staff were very attentive though and Finn & Isla generally took the adulation well.
  • Malls galore - They are all over the place - you can walk from one mall to another under ground and not come up to the surface.  They are all air conditioned.  I have never seen shopping like it.  Extensive.  The only problem is that we came over with 108kg of luggage and our allowance is 100kg.  We were lucky to not get charged at Heathrow and Andy has totally banned me from buying anything.  Gutted.
  • Temperature - OMG - 28-32 degrees - which is fine, but 80% humidity.  Now that is humid.  I knew it would be like this as we have been twice before, however, the climate is exhausting.  What's more, I often see the locals walking around in jeans and a long sleeved shirt - even someone in a jumper earlier!  I am in the bare minimum and everything is still sweating!  In fact, all 4 of us are constantly sweating when we are outside.  It is not a good look.  Plus, Isla and I have a tendency to frizz.  Nice.
Finn & Isla have very large green/blue eyes and this always pulls a crowd in this part of the world.  People want to look at them, touch them and even have their picture taken with them.  They don't see eyes like it very often and to top it off Isla has gorgeous corkscrew curls - even more so in this humidity!  The children swing between enjoying the attention and hiding with shyness!  It's quite amusing.

So for the next few days we plan to go to the zoo tomorrow and the Island of Sentosa on Monday and then we fly out to Sydney on Monday night, where the weather is forecast to be sunny, dry, not humid (!) and around 18 degrees.  Sounds wonderful!

Good news, Andy has an interview on Thursday morning, one on Friday morning and is seeing a recruiter Friday afternoon.  Which means that the children and I have all day Friday to occupy ourselves.  I'm thinking a trip to the beach.....

Monday, 16 August 2010

3 sleeps

Time is slipping away and I can't slow it down, which I can't make happen and I can't speed it up which I would also like.  It's like catch 22.  I'm excited to go but sad to go at the same time.  Bitter sweet.

It seems like I don't have time to blog at the moment.  I have been pretty bad for the last 6 weeks as we genuinely never have enough time.

Today marked our open house/leaving do.  So many near and dear people came and I am so touched.  It was lovely to see them but so very emotionally exhausting as well.  I feel a little like I have been run over tonight.  Mum arranged a banner which was amazing and made me cry straight away, and that is how we started the day!  BFF, Bronnie, made me a scrap book of our lives together until this point.  Cried like a baby.  She had put so much thought and effort into it.  BFF, Charms, wrote a poem about our lives and attempted to sing it to the tune of Bobby Brown, "two can play that game" (long story..!).  I cried more and asked her to just read it!  

Family, friends, children, they were all there.  Amazing, emotional, sad and happy day. The trouble is that because we were so busy we didn't take many pictures at all.  There were around 70-80 visitors which was amazing and it was hard to keep up at times!
Sports car fun!

Best girls forever.


Packing tomorrow.  Travel to London on Tuesday for a night in a hotel.  Fly Wednesday.  O.M.G!

Monday, 2 August 2010


That's us.  Missing in action.  We have been on holiday.  Again.  I say holiday when really I mean away from home doing what we normally do with 2 small children and not remotely relaxing or holiday like!  I'm not complaining.  I love, love, love travelling and exploring with Finn & Isla however holidays just become very different.

We went away with one of the best girls and her son.  Cottage, 4 bedrooms (totally required!) and a hot tub on the veranda that the children worshipped each day.  Finn & Isla are really much more confident in the water now after we spent all that time in the pool in Centre Parcs and I'm really pleased.  Nippers here we come!

We visited the Eden Project.  Twice.  It was really good as they have so much on for the children during the holidays.  Padstow, speed boat trip and Rick Steins Fish & Chips = fun & yum!

All in all very good.  Came home for a rest though.

We are off again this weeked to the Edinburgh Tattoo and have tickets for Charlie & Lola and Stick Man at the Fringe.  1 hour flight and a great hotel in an amazing location which we have stayed in before.  All good!

Finn & Isla are so funny at the moment.  They have recently started talking to each other and not using me as a mediator and Finn can ask Isla something and she will respond to him.  It is so very cute!  

I watch them start to interact and my heart skips a beat and I gulp when I realise how very lucky we are to have such lovely well rounded children.  Don't get me wrong - they have their moments.  They can be naughty, mischevious and disobedient etc...but they are so amazing!  I am doing my best to make them polite, observant, interesting, interested and embracing children.  It's a pleasure to watch them grow.  They change each day and I desperately want to slow it down.  ...or have a another one.....!  Did I say that out loud?

With this in mind I have started looking at schools again this weekend as I feel it is important for them both to have some structure and learning in their lives when we arrive.  I have found a Steiner School which looks really lovely and there is an open day in September on a Sunday.  We will be in Sydney and we are free that weekend so we are going to go and take a look! 

Finn left his nursery the week before last as they broke up for the Summer holidays.  It was such an amazing start for him and did wonders for his confidence.  I hope we can find them somewhere just as lovely.  

I haven't posted any pictures for ages and I really must but I have 3500 pics on my camera to sort through and do a little post processing before they are ready.  We had a little hiccup with the compact flash card (and nearly lost them all) but thankfully Andy managed to get them off and on to the laptop.  I have such a problem with storage at the moment (our container with our main computer equipment is at sea) that I had been leaving my pictures on the card in the camera.  That will teach me!