Another hectic couple of days

Well we're in the new house now. We've made the major purchases and everything we ordered has been delivered. Yesterday we bought a nice new telly and a few other things like a hoover, ironing board, kitchen stuff, etc. Our fridge, freezer and washing machine came today. We've also been given a form to claim back $200 off our washing machine as it's a front-loader. There's still a lot of top-loaders in Australia so there's a government scheme to incentivise people into purchasing front-loaders because they're more environmentally friendly.

Our phone line is being connected on Thursday, but I have to wait 10 days after connection until broadband is activated. Gutted. It's making things very difficult not having broadband. I suppose I can at least use dial-up when the phone line's connected on Thursday. I'm typing this at a shopping mall near where we live as Rach does our first big shop - at Woolworths of all places. Woolworths is one of the big supermarkets here, although I've been reliably informed that it's not the same woolies as on the high streets in blighty. She told me as it's the first food shop and everythng is different here she's likely to be in there at least 2 hours. I've promised to join her after an hour - 2 hours in a supermarket is not my idea of a good time even if everything is 'new'!

We seem to have spent most of the last 2 days building flatpacks and shopping. There's still a load to do, the house is upside down.

I plan to start looking for a job tomorrow.

Besides that everything is great. The sun has shined every day since we've been here - 25 degrees. It's forecast to be 27 deg next week even though we're getting towards Winter! The area where we live is absolutely beautiful. We're next door to parkland and there's the Bulimba Creek (river) very close where you can apparantly canoe up to the main brisbane river.

I'm still pinching myself that we're actually here.

Today (Saturday 25th May)

We've spent most of today shopping for our new house.

We went down to IKEA first thing, arriving for opening time at 9am. The IKEA in Brisbane is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and is absolutely huge. What's more it was pretty quiet and quite an enjoyable experience, unlike the last time I visited the Leeds IKEA!

We managed to pick up a bed for Lauren (which she chose herself) along with decent mattresses for us all (no good buying a cheap matress if you value your sleep!), a coffee table and other bits and bobs.

We got back to our new house at lunchtime to await the delivery of our new bed, which arrived on time just as they had said.

We then went to Cannon Hill Shopping Centre in Brisbane to look for a fridge/freezer and washing machine. We managed to pick these up at what I think is a really good price after a bit of haggling. The Salesman welcomed us with open arms and quickly told us he is Welsh, from Cardiff, even though he has lived here for 25 years!

We also bagged ourselves a real bargain. We had no intentions of getting a Dining Table set yet but we saw one we loved on a Manager's Special. It's a dark wood table with 6 dining chairs with Suede back, and what's more the whole lot only cost us $499 (2 hundred British pounds (I'm going to have to work out how to input the British Pound symbol from these Ozzy keyboards)).

We returned at 5pm to our new house to await delivery of the Sofas which again turned up on time.

So far, touch wood, everything in Australia has been a breeze. The people are fantastic. Everyone is friendly and can't do enough to help you. It must be the sun. It's so uplifting waking up to clear blue skies and glorious sunshine every morning.

It's quite funny really. It has been about 25 degrees each day while we've been here but the ozzies have been moaning that it's cool while we've been sweltering. Some are even wearing coats!

Anyway, this looks like being our last night at Cath's. She's been great letting us stay her (again) and I know Lauren's loved it playing with Bonnie and their dog Lucy.

Tomorrow's going to be another busy day building our bed and other flat pack furniture, while we're awaiting our IKEA delivery. We're also going to have a look for a telly. I very nearly bought a 40 inch Plasma with built in HD tuner today but I decided to be sensible. We may have made quick decisions so far with everything else but I'm not taking any chances with a telly, I'm going to have a good look round.

I suppose I also ought to think about looking for a job so I can pay the rent on our new house in the coming weeks!

Our third day in Oz (Friday 25th May)

Can you believe it. We arranged to see a couple of houses early that day. We loved the second place we saw, put in an immediate application, paid the bond and picked up the keys that afternoon!

It's a 3 bedroom house on a gated community in Carina - a really nice part of Brisbane. We've got a garage (with remote control electric door and everything!), a separate laundry room, en-suite master bedroom, the second bedroom has got it's own balacony, fitted kitchen with dishwasher, the lot. There's a shared pool near enough next door to our house along with a BBQ area. Only problem - it's unfurnished.

After picking up the keys we immediately headed down to Capalaba to a couple of furniture stores we had been recommended. Within the 2 hours we had before they closed we managed to buy a really nice sofa (or lounge as they call them over here) and Queen size bed. We actually got 2 sofa's - one 3 seater and one 2 seater, both in Coffee coloured suede fabric.

I'll post photo's when it's all set up. We managed to get free delivery for the sofas to be delivered the next day.

We stayed another night at Cath's and managed to stay up until 10pm this time!