Monday, 27 August 2012

on the radar

I'm working my way through an endless pile of laundry, making frantic lists and packing in preparation for our holiday. We fly to South Africa on Saturday and there seems so much to be done before then. Travelling with kids (especially for a three week trip) just requires such an enormous amount of planning and stuff. We spoke to Curt's parents on Skype last night and there has been something of a heat wave in Durban the past few days so looks like we should be in for some sun. Maybe even in the UK too if I'm lucky :) It's exciting to dig out all my summer clothes again after being jeans and knitwear clad for the past few months of the Australian winter. I've got to get back to the grindstone but here are some things that have caught my eye over the past few days...

I've always been an advocate of the 'no regrets' school of thought, so I am seriously coveting one of these awesome posters by Sarah & Bendrix (pictured above) to adorn the walls of of new home. Avaliable here from their Etsy shop. Translation from French to English: No, I regret nothing.

This one below is awfully romantic too...

I can't get enough of this lady's effortless, laid back style of late. Love.

The work of Australian artist Belinda Fox is magical and mesmerising. If I was to start seriously investing in an art collection, I can't think of a better place to start. See more on her website.

Monday, 20 August 2012

a home of our own

It's been a surreal, stressful but ultimately wildly exciting couple of weeks involving headaches with mortgage brokers, negotiations with estate agents, numerous phone calls and emails with lawyers and a ridiculous amount of paperwork. However it's been worth all of the late nights and grey hairs as we have a house to call our very own, our first home no less. After living in rentals the size of shoe boxes for more years than I care to calculate it feels so good to be able to say that.

My dreams of decorating, furnishing, tinkering around with, creating a garden for, making a home- our home, for our family can now become a reality :)

It all happened incredibly quickly due to Curt being offered a promotion which involves a job relocation to Geelong, a city about an hours drive out of Melbourne. Once we knew we'd be moving out of Melbourne itself, it was an easy decision to base ourselves in a small coastal town about twenty minutes drive away from Geelong. Torquay- the first town on the famous Great Ocean Road, home to the world famous surf break Bells Beach and the capital of surf culture in Victoria, being the birthplace of the iconic surf brands Quiksilver and Ripcurl.

During the summer months it is a thriving holiday town and a more chilled out place during winter but somewhere we are very excited to be able to call our home. It feels like we now really get the chance to live the beachside, outdoor, relaxed lifestyle we came here in search of. We will be moving in at the start of October, so there's lots to be done and sorted out before then. As for the house, it is a three bedroom wooden board, beach style house in a lovely street. Pictures to come soon I promise.

Image from designlovefest.

Monday, 13 August 2012

following a dream: part 1

Or how we eventually got to live in Australia and how that's working out...

I've never shared many of the details about our being here in Australia- why we decided to pack our bags, leave London and head to the other side of the world and how we made it happen, but I thought I'd put our story out there in the event it may be interesting or useful to anyone else entertaining ideas of doing something similar or embarking on their own adventure.

I've always been a believer in getting up and doing, trying to make dreams happen rather than just sitting around whinging about how I wish I was somewhere else, doing something different. Of course these plans and goals don't always come to fruition but nothing ventured, nothing gained as the old saying goes.

Since soon after Lila was born four years ago, we had been throwing around ideas of trying out life down under. London had been a truly awesome place to call home for both of us during the previous few years but it wasn't the ideal environment in which we envisaged raising a family. We were both keen on a more outdoor lifestyle. I spent my childhood on a farm, running around in fields and making dens in hay bales and Curt was keen to raise his kids by the ocean in the the same kind of relaxed, beach environment he had grown up. We also wanted to see more of the other side of the world and give our children the chance to experience new places and people. And live somewhere where summer isn't always a washout (sorry, England. You will always have my heart but your summers are just not quite long or reliable enough). It seemed an ideal time to do it, as Lila was still so small and not settled into school yet. 

I had spent six months living and working in various places in Australia during my year of post-university travels. Curt had never set foot on Australian soil but knew the lifestyle and culture was similar enough to that of his native Durban in South Africa. The obvious choice within Australia was Melbourne as my sister had already been living there for a few years and was settled with a fiancee and a stable job, and if you plan on upping sticks to the other end of the world then it makes sense to be near family.

So we knew where we wanted to be, but actually getting here was far from straightforward. Of course we'd heard enough from other people to know that getting work visas would likely be a difficult, expensive and protracted process. Fortunately Curt was working for a big multi-national company with offices all over the world, including Australia, so applying for a transfer seemed the easiest way to go about getting a visa, and of course guaranteed him a job on arrival. 

As his wife/partner I could automatically get a work visa off the back of his. The timing wasn't ideal as he started the transfer process just as the first wave of the recession hit. The Australian offices suddenly dug their heels in as they were understandably wary of adding to their team in such an uncertain economical time. So everything ground to a halt and we were left hanging, unsure of whether anything would happen at all, told that the recruitment process had been frozen for the forseeable future. 

To be continued...

Family snapshots taken on Wimbledon Common and in our local park in Winter/Spring 2009, a few months before we left the UK.

Monday, 6 August 2012


Here are a couple of songs that have been getting a lot of air time in our house lately. Two musical artists from the opposite ends of the Earth but both with such soulful, unique voices. I love the video for Old Pine, from Devon native Ben Howard which showcases some awesome British countryside. Aussie Matt Corby also has some skills in the song writing department, his track Brother is definitely worth a listen too.

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