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.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Ration pack

The first of many cadbury chocolate ration packs has arrived from my Mum (hint hint....keep them coming bird..!).  Oh the heaven.  After tea tonight I opened the parcel and sneaked the corner of a label out to see if it was recognised by my own miniature chocolate connoisseurs.  Squeals of delight and I deposited a bag of chocolate coins between them to share.  Silence reined for a good 5 minutes and I captured a few quick snaps of the ecstasy!

 Isla triple parking.

 Contemplating the seriousness of the task ahead....

Like a little hamster.

One bag of coins all gone but thankfully there are still some left!  1 bag of coins, 1/2 bag malteasers and one large slab of dairy milk remain for now.....

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Next delivery & an unwelcome visitor

Oh how the sun is shining on me this evening.  Culture shock is here and everything familiar that I have ever known seems to have gone.  I find the clothes, shoes etc here so expensive and if you buy middle of the road I feel the quality is poor.

So happy days when I discovered this lovely bit of information earlier:

For the amazing deal of US $7.50 they will deliver how ever much you want right to your door.  Of course we are kind of out on our seasons so I need to plan a little in advance and order a few months before the Oz winter starts etc.....  A very small price to pay!

I have just looked at the little girls things and they are beautiful.  Have my eye on a pair of winter boots for me too!

The bad news is that I have a visitor staying with me at the moment who is taking the edge off things a little.  This visitor goes by the name of Mr Homesickness.  He showed up around a week and a 1/2 ago in earnest and has been making almost daily visits ever since.  Monday was particularly bad.  I miss things that I didn't think I would.  I have read that as an expat it can take 2 years to really settle.  Two years feels like an awfully long time at the moment.  Sigh.  I took a trip to Ikea last week just to have that feeling of familiarity in my bones, thankfully Ikea seems to be the same around the globe!

The news that Next are delivering to me now makes me feel a little better.  I hope he buggers off soon!


Monday, 25 October 2010


I started my photography classes last week.  My long term plan has started.  Just with a short 8 week evening class to get me started.  I wanted to get back into the arena gently and I thought this course would be a good way of meeting a professional photographer to get a good idea of a suitable career path.  Anyways, for the 1st time in 15 odd years I was given homework!  I have just completed it at the last minute before my class tomorrow night (not much change from when I was at school!).  So below are my first set of 6 photographs I have put forward for some constructive criticism and pointers for where to develop.  The point is also to look at the settings used to take the photo's and learn from it.  There is no post processing at this stage and they are straight from the camera.

Monday, 18 October 2010


...we have been mostly playing.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


...we have been to the beach.  Finn, Isla & I have been to Palm Beach again.  We have had an amazing day of playing in the sand, pretending we can see priates, picnicking, playing in the park and visiting Newport beach on the way home.  A vast improvement from yesterday when all they seemed to do all day was bicker and make me feel like I really wasn't good enough to be doing this job.  So thumbs up for a better kind of Tuesday!
 A sneaky little picture from a trip to Wildlife World in Darling Harbour on Sunday.  The persistent and consistent rain at the moment held off for us to have a great ferry trip in and make use of our annual pass tickets.  After we strolled around the harbour and found a new place called Blue fish for some lovely fish and chips for lunch while listening to some traditional Arabian music.  Andy showed his age (or grumpiness!) by stating that he "wished they would turn it down a bit"!

 All lined up post lunch on the beach.

We spent 2 1/2 hours on the beach playing with trucks, cups and buckets and the time flew.  The rain held off and the wind made for impressive waves crashing on the beach.

 It's a serious business all this playing you know...!

 Explorer Isla.

 Isla has such a lot to say these days.  "Finn, no", "Hello Mummy, Daddy etc", "over there", "this way", "shoes off", "cheese" - any time a camera is pointed her way!  She is 2 at the end of the month.

 Getting along and playing really well...unlike yesterday....!  


 Whatever he can do....

 When I took this picture I thought they really don't look that different in age.

 We happened across Newport beach on our way home and couldn't help but have a quick walk.  The sun was shining, we had time and it seemed rude not to!

Gotta love the beach.  A good day.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Work and an over thinking mind

Andy has started work.  After 6 months of studying and then holidaying sabbatical he has now joined the ranks of the workforce again.  So after 2 days in all is going well.  

Therefore I am 2 days into being a stay at home Mum with our 2 dearly beloved.  So far so good.  Unfortunately it has bucketed down with rain for the last 5 days or so and therefore it has been hard getting out and about.  We have however been to our local library, signed up and and taken some books out already.  Been to the Mall to get some essentials and have checked out a pre-school for Finn.  It was nice but I'm not sure if it is really the right one for us.  It is really more of a long day care arrangement which is fine but not really what we are looking for as it isn't very flexible if I only want 1/2 a day or even 6 hours.  You have to pay for the full 11 or so hours available regardless as to whether they are there that long.  So, I have found another pre-school near us which is 9-3 only during term time which is much more what I am looking for.  Therefore, as we are in the spring break school holidays at the moment it is shut.  I will give them a ring on Monday, I have a good feel about this one so fingers crossed.

I have also found a local Kindergym nearby which runs for an hour 3 days a week and there is a class that I can do with Finn & Isla together which is prefect.  As soon as I have a few pre-school days set for Finn then I will get the swimming lessons sorted.  It's all starting to come together now!

We took a drive up to Palm Beach the other day which is where they film Home & Away.  It is a lovely little beach and Andy and I sat like pensioners in our camp chairs while Finn & Isla played in the sand at our feet.  It was so relaxing!  There were a crew on the beach and some poor model in a bikini jumping around for hours on end.  She must of been freezing, bet they have to do a bit of air brushing on her!
 She did the same pose again and again and again....for hours.  We went to lunch, came back and she was still doing it!

 Miniature furniture for miniature people.
 Palm Beach.  A lovely place to visit and we will again.

 Seriously.  This is too cute.  Holding hands at the Sydney Aquarium.  Finn sporting a swanky new hair cut looking like such a big boy.

 Butter wouldn't melt.

 Isla dealing with a bowl of ice cream at Nick's in Darling Harbour like the seasoned professional she is!


 Isla not getting the joke....

 While in Darling Harbour we stumbled upon a bank holiday Fiesta event.  All Latin style dancing, singing etc on 5 stages around the harbour.  We saw these guys and it immediately reminded me of Moonraker.  I thought F & I would be scared but they so weren't.

Finn catching a ride for a much better view.

Things going through my head at the moment:
  • Will we buy a house here
  • When will it be, we have been off the property ladder for 9 months now, refreshing as it was at the time I worry about the future and when we will achieve our mortgage settlement
  • Sydney is expensive, where will we buy a house, will we buy land and build?  Where is a good affordable place to buy but that offers all we need, what are the schools like.
  • What about primary schools and then secondary schools, will be able to get ourselves into the position to be able to afford some private education at secondary level.  Private schools are pretty pricey unless you go for a religion based school.  Would that be best to ensure a good peer group mix?  But then is that teaching them what we want....although we will always encourage them to make their own minds ups.
  • What are the long term consequences of the move we have just made.  We have changed our paths so much from the norm.  What about when Finn & Isla are adults and we are still here...
  • Have we done the right thing.  I do miss my family.
  • Could we have achieved what we wanted in the UK?
  • Will I make some life long friends here.  The type that you know for so long that when you are together you can just be.  I miss my 2 best girls.  How do I really do this and move on from the superficial how are you?
  • Can I grow old and die here.  Who would come to my funeral.  Does it matter?
  • I often think it's not just about the destination it's about the journey as well.  I don't want to always play it safe.  Will I ever be able to "settle" anywhere again, I worry not.
  • Will I ever be able to survive going more than 5k in any direction without Tom Tom? 
  • I worry about not having a clear cut path and plan which is what I and we have always had.  We are so transient at the moment while we rent and start to make plans for the future.
  • Will I be able to do all I want to do with photography as a career, will it be sorted by the time F & I go to school.
  • Will be ever find an evening babysitter who we can trust so we can go out again once in a while?

I think too much and would like to be able to switch it off sometimes.   Happy but so many thoughts.....