For better quality, remember to click on the photos.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

First visit to Orange, NSW

Gaby and I went to Orange on Monday. Orange is a town/city with a population of about 35 000 and is about 280km's from Sydney, in NSW.

He had to go for a consultation session with their council. We slept in a Motor Inn (smart name for a Motel) which was quite smartly decorated and well equipped.

While he was working Tuesday I was galavanting all over town in a lovely Mitsubishi Pajero. Think it is the smartest car I ever drove and enjoyed it thoroughly. "I love that car!" Only the Ozzies will understand what I mean by that because of Mitsubishi adds on tv.

The trip was food for soul because we were out in the country and I saw cattle, sheep, horses, goats, chooks, wineries and fruit and cherry (is it a fruit..) orchards. The cherries were ripening and I had a few very sweet cherries to taste at different places.

The surrounds are lovely and the town, pardon me, city is very clean and I met lovely friendly people at various places. Lots going on in the area, the only negative it is not close to the sea (as if I've lived close to the sea all my life).

It gets very cold in winter and they often have snow. Must say if you have a well insulated and heated house the prospect of cooler summers sounds very enticing. Spain changed my outlook on hot summers for ever I think.

I had tea up in the 'mountain', a little 'mount' with a massive slice of carrot cake and with a King Parrot as company. The photo is misleading because it is a giant cup which they use as a bird feeder and water trough. I also had the company of the notorious Ozzie fly. My goodness golly what a nuisance they are. I know now why the Ozzies walk around in the bush with a hat and little corks and goodies attached to the rim, dangling around your face. Strange place we live in.

I visited their art gallery and library which were most impressive and also the most beautiful little nursery with the name of 'Anything Grows'. What a delight!!

Gaby and I stopped at a little pub restaurant and had some tappas and a beer each. Was lovely to sit outside when the day started cooling down.

Again, my apologies for the bad quality of the pictures. Hopefully we'll replace our stolen camera before we go on holiday in January.

What a great day I had!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jakarandas in Sydney

What a joy it was to drive through the streets and saw the purple splendour of the Jakarandas. In Coin, Spain if I can remember correctly, I saw not more than 5 Jakarandas. I was very grateful for that too.

Those of you who are not from SA and even more so, not from Pretoria won't know what the fuss is all about, but Pretoria, my home town in SA is also known as the Jakaranda City. There must be a few thousand in the city (is it possible or am I exaggerating..?)

Some of these trees have a deeper colour purple and many at present are already full with leaves and also still full with flowers.

Enjoy and be grateful with me.. :)

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures but it was taken with my mobile. We haven't replaced our stolen camera yet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Visit from friends.

Our friends Louis, Karen and Kyla from South Africa came to visit us during the July school holidays. Some of you from Spain would remember them as they also visited us there. They came a few days before Carli's birthday party which was held on the 5th April on Dom and Tanya's finca. What a great time we had that day.

Anyway Louis went to a conference in Perth and then they came over east to visit us. They are amazing travelers and are always eager to explore and are very excited about every new place they discover (and they've been around...not a novelty to them)

Louis and Karen went down to the South coast for a few days while Kyla stayed with us. They convinced me that there are fewer eucalyptus trees inland and took photos to prove it. This was taken in the Kangaroo valley. I don't know how the new arrivals to this country coped with all the trees.

Kyla must have been very glad that Carli had holiday because the previous year in Spain she went with her to the Spanish school and felt very sorry for Carli!! Anyway over here they do speak a kind of a English... Only kidding, we love the Ozzie accent and Carli is slowly picking up more of the local lingo. Wonder what her brother is going to say when he arrives in a few weeks time from SA?

Pretty rocks at West Head in Ku-ring-gai National Park

Having a Hungry Jacks meal at Manly beach.

We had a lot of fun and as always the time was to short but we are looking forward to their next visit when we are going to rent a camper and travel for a few weeks...months...mmmm!!

City centre from the Botanical gardens

Even at night time a pretty picture

 Coast line south from Manly beach

What a perfect view!

They saw kangaroos or are they wallabies... on the beach some where at the South Coast

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Applying for residency in Australia

We are in the process of applying for permanent residence in Australia and how I wish some one has given us information about all the 'stuff' which can be done beforehand, specially if you are in a hurry to get it done.

A few things for all those interested in seeking 'greener pastures' in Ozland. I know all who has decided to leave their country, where ever in the world that might be, has a different reason for doing it. Be it as it may I hope some of the information I am giving here today might help to smooth things out a little.

A few things:-
1.  Get the whole family's 'unabridged birth certificates' and your 'unabridged marriage certificate', if applicable, from Dep.of Home Affairs. I think even if you don't have any plans to leave the country is it still a good idea to get it. You NEVER know..!!

2.  Just before you leave have your police clearance done for all above 16yrs. It is valid for 12 months here in Aus., as long as you haven't been back to that country. If you have lived any where else the last 10 years get from those countries as well.

3.  Have transcripts of all your academic qualifications ( IN ENGLISH!!). If you need to have your qualifications accredited by a department here in Aus. start the process asap, even before you leave your country. It's all done by internet and you can mail all your documents from anywhere. In certain states is it easier to get accreditation eg Nursing qualifications accreditation in Queensland much easier than NSW. And as far as I know once you have the accreditation is it valid in all the states. Do your home work concerning that. After receiving your transcript submit it for Australian assessment at following website:

4. If your children have attended English schools have a letter from the school stating that fact, then they don't need to write the English Proficiency test (only children above 16). If you have worked in an English environment get similar documentation. No need for the test then.

5.  Men remember to get your army clearance papers (if applicable). We eventually needed some one in SA to do the phoning and faxing because, eish...  "de computer, hy's off line" ..... etc etc :)

We are working through an agent because the company who has sponsored us to come here is also sponsoring our permanent residency visa. It is much easier but more expensive. We are just happy that they do it because ours is not so straight forward, eg we lived in Spain before we came here and we have a child in SA who is studying but on our visa application. We need to prove that he is still dependant on us which makes it more complicated with all the bank statements and rental payments etc.

The agency we are working through is called Hitchcock and associates. They've been in this business for many years and have seminars all over SA. They will be in Pta at the end of Nov again. They told us that Aus. Immigration hasn't slowed down the intake it is just that some professions are handled faster because of shortages. They have offices in Pta and Cape Town.

You are more than welcome to contact me if you have any questions and I will report back if I have more info.

I am posting a friend's blog with lots of lovely stuff and information. All in Afrikaans but quite informative and entertaining. He got me onto blogging and I feel quite embarrassed if I look at his site.