These entries are to be read in the typical "t-minus x days and counting" style and detail everything that's happening in the build up to our new life Sydney.
25 July 2010 (34 days to go)
- Registered with HiFx for money transfers
- Applied for bank accounts with NAB where they state it can up to 2 weeks to process. Weirdly they don't seem to advertise much and it was only through a forum that we found out about them.
- Cancellation letters sent out to stop broadband, mobile phones etc
26 July 2010 (33 days to go)
- Amazingly NAB have setup an account for us in Australia and even had their UK office follow up. They're on the ball and even sent through a PDF covering account details (including SWIFT bits). HSBC wanted to charge GBP100 for the same service, glad we skipped them as NAB are absolutely brilliant.
- Handed in my notice at work, sad to be leaving but I've learnt so much from my time there and it looks like there could be the chance for some contract work to finish off a few projects while in Sydney. Will have to see if I'm able to arrange anything there.
- Emailed various family members to let them know the news. Most of my family is strewn out all over the place that the only difference will be another timezone to deal with. Otherwise there's still email and SMS.
27 July 2010 (32 days to go)
- Ouch well turns out that Leaders are "different" when it comes to their notice period where they require you to hand it in on the day your rent is paid. Never had that before with any other letting agent here in the UK. Boils down that we're now liable for another months rent unless they can find someone else to take over. All because of 3 days... Our flat should be on the market from tomorrow to see if they can fill it in time.
28 July 2010 (31 days to go)
- The team at work were told that I've leaving (and Chontal is forcing me to have leaving drinks!) although it now seems mostly confirmed that I'll be working remotely for a few months. Extremely nice of the company to allow me to do that, and as a bonus it'll push me to 3 years at MediaTel.
- Got home to find a letter from Leaders stating our final rent and last day. Strangely it all matches up with what we requested and after some digging it turns out that the landlord has accepted our day-late notice. Yay!
30 July 2010 (29 days to go)
- We received, and accepted, a quote for shipping belongings to Australia with a date penciled in for the end of W/C 16 August.
31 July 2010 (28 days to go)
- Andy has been browsing http://www.realestate.com.au/ and we're thinking that Balgowlah (and then Fairlight) might be good places to look for a rental property.
01 August 2010 (27 days to go)
- More selling of eBay items along with going through the logistics of final dates for the movers and refuse collection (for old sofa etc)
02 August 2010 (26 days to go)
- Registered online at http://www.sutton.gov.uk/ to apply for a parking dispensation for moving day. Turns out that we need the vehicle make and registration details before we can continue with it. Part-completed forms can be saved online so I can come back to that when Andy has got the details from the shippers.
- Emailed Lynne from HR regarding remaining leave and final working days. Hoping to get a letter of reference about me contracting as that should help when we're renting and having to prove income
- Flights have been pre-booked through the company, just waiting on final confirmation now. Unfortunately the direct A380 flight is no longer available on the day we want to depart so we'll be going via Singapore with a 120 minute layover there.
08 August 2010 (20 days to go)
- We spent the morning doing a bit more research on areas to live, this time seeing what was available along the rail network. Our sights have now been set on the Turramurra area which not only seems to be just under an hour into Sydney Central station but you also get a lot for your money. Yes it's looking as if we can get an actual house, something we never thought possible before.
- Emailed our usual movers, Avondale Express to organise for them to dispose of the household items we no longer need. Richard is extremely reliable, helpful and friendly which is what you need as the last thing we want is someone not turning up.
- Our last two days in London will be spent staying in a hotel in Russell Square. We will have to make sure we make full use of being so central to everything. Seriously going to miss QuidCo as we got GBP33 off our hotel stay using them!
- All of my eBay selling from the 1st has resulted in me getting my first negative rating. Oh and the camcorder, which was working perfectly recording/transferring, had a bit that fell out of it when the person received the package. More fun and games there as I'm probably going to have to get them to send it back for a refund. Only to have to dump it somewhere.
09 August 2010 (19 days to go)
- It's now official that I'll carry on working for the company as a contractor for 3 months starting on 06 September 2010. I've got my reference letters from them too which will definitely help when trying to look for a rental property down under.
- Settled on a iPad dock and iPhone 4 dock as my leaving present from the office. Glad I got the chance to nominate what I'd like.
15 August 2010 (13 days to go)
- This weekend felt like one of our busiest yet and the flat finally looks like we're moving. We've gone through every room and putting things we don't want to take with into the box room. That involved going through all cupboards, drawers and anything else that can hold stuff. Even plants were not immune to this with a fair few being tossed out.
- Nic and Sonja came over on Saturday and took a few pits and pieces with them. They've earmarked what they want and it's all been set aside for Thursday when their mover comes to pick stuff up.
- Traded one of our spare Xbox 360 consoles in for a paltry GBP25. Technology never holds it's value for very long but there's really no sense in keeping something if you're not using it.
- Insurance forms have been completed and we've taken pictures of all the expensive items to prove that we did indeed actually have them. A few more eBay items listed to clear out the last of the clutter.
18 August 2010 (10 days to go)
- Mail forwarding has eventually been setup, hopefully we won't still be getting too much post as almost everything has been cancelled. My bank will let me have a foreign address on record which should prove very handy indeed.
- Sorted out the last bits for the two sets of movers arriving tomorrow. One is junk that Avondale Express are grabbing at 9AM (mattress, sofa, tables, etc.) and then a few bits and pieces for Nic to take. So it's a blow-up mattress for us from tomorrow until the 26th.
19 August 2010 (9 days to go)
- More amazing service from the Australian bank, they've confirmed that the test transfer we did of GBP250 has arrived as AUD402.60 making for an exhange rate of 1.6104. Could be worse but could definitely be better. Least it's an easy service to use with the money taking around 5 days to make it's way there.
20 August 2010 (8 days to go)
- Last night was our first night on the air mattress, actually turned out to be a lot better than expected. The flat certainly is looking empty now though, and it's only going to get worse come Monday when the shippers arrive.
- Had my exit interview at work today which went by quite quickly.
22 August 2010 (6 days to go)
- We'd (naively) assumed we'd have been able to go through the last remaining things in cupboards and put aside everything that we wanted the movers to take tomorrow. Boy were we wrong, our self-imposed 12h00 deadline came and went and it was not until around 17h30 that we were finally done. But saying that we did get sidetracked and cleaned out the kitchen of all things we'd not need. Something that could have waited a few days. But by the end of it the lounge, IT room and main bedroom only contained items to be shipped. Less confusion when the guys arrive tomorrow.
- T-Mobile UK sucks when it comes to customer service. Aside from being bounced around different continents no one wants to take ownership of an issue leaving you to explain your problem over and over again to the next agent. All we wanted to do was to get Andy's contract SIM/number converted to PAYG. We'd first been told that even though we'd paid the early termination fee we'd have to wait until Jan/Feb 2011 before it could be done. This then changed into us needing a PAC number to port T-Mobile to T-Mobile which them we found out was wrong (after activiting and topping up a PAYG number) only to end up being told it costs GBP15 to migrate. Absolutely insane, how can they want to do that when you're wanting to be a loyal customer and stay with them? It's far easier to just leave for a new network. They've not been instructed to close the account down completely, 30 days notice has been given.
- And following on from that I've asked O2 to not port my number (for free) to PAYG as they've not sent the micro-SIM through. I'll phone them in early November to request my account be terminated, at least that way it avoids the early termination fees and I've got Internet access right up until we take off. Urgh. Networks. Meh.
23 August 2010 (5 days to go)
- The moving day has finally arrived and Anglo Pacific were on site shortly before 10h00 to start the process. Up until now our flat has not looked like we were moving, hardly any boxes around or much packing of any kind going on. But that changed today as the guys started packing everything we'd left out. Definitely took longer than I thought it would with them having everything loaded up on the van by 15h30. Quite a long day indeed but it was amazing to not have to do anything. Between the two of them they got everything packed up with no fuss at all. Not sure why we've never taken movers up on this offer before ;) 8 to 10 weeks before we seen our possessions again...
- Met up with Nic and Sonja this evening for the "final meal" as we probably won't be seeing them before we leave. But who knows, perhaps they'll organise to be on their way to Australia sometime too. We'll miss 'em but by now I think we're used to doing the "country shuffle" so we'll go back down South while they look after the Northern hemisphere.
24 August 2010 (4 days to go)
- My first day alone in the empty flat, with quite a bit of it spent cleaning. I've discovered that if you can't get something off with one spray or another simply throw something else into the mix and in no time you've got something that's toxic to the dirt. Oh and bleach works wonders for just about anything. Thankfully we made extensive invetory notes when we moved in so all of the existing mess (some of which is permanent) ain't our problem.
- Andy "created" a micro-SIM for me over the weekend from a PAYG T-Mobile card. We'd topped that up with GBP5 so today signed up for the GBP2.50 for 5 days of Internet bundle. That's now sitting in my iPad and working beautifully and their network is much better than O2. Was nice being able to browse and check email on it while sitting in Cafe Nero this morning.
25 August 2010 (3 days to go)
Something feels wrong, we are moving to Sydney on Saturday but our minds are telling us otherwise. Everything seems to be done, we've got flights booked, hotel sorted (on both ends) and our flat is completely empty. Surely with having all of that in order we'd feel like something was happening eh?
- Maybe some of this is down to the fact that we did no packing ourselves, the movers took care of that for us. It could also be that we've both got jobs on the other side. Mine virtual in the contracting but still work nonetheless. So things are far more organised than before with the dances between London and Cape Town. I've got a good feeling about our new lives down under and fingers crossed once we're on the plane things will slot into place.
26 August 2010 (2 days to go)
- Last day in our flat today which mean lots to sort out, clean and throw away. Once we'd had the place spotless we had to sit through a 2 1/2 hour check out by Leaders. Thorough won't do, think we need a new word for them.
- After having no luck trying to get a Radio Taxi booked we walked down to catch the bus instead. With all of out cases. Thankfully a S1 arrived within 5 minutes so we were at the station in no time with a FCC train waiting to take us to Kings Cross.
- The hotel we're at is nice and central which made for a nice time out last night. Such a new idea not having to worry about the time to check when the last train home is.
- Dinner at our favourite place, Ultimate Burger on Glasshouse Street, because they're so tasty and consistent. Something that's difficult to come across in London. All followed by drinks at Bar SOHO and Balans Cafe.
27 August 2010 (1 day to go)
- Andy had to head off to his last day at work so I've got the day to entertain myself. Morning involved a visit to Cafe Nero on Frith Street and probably a stop by a museum later on. I've got to pop by the office at 1300 to sign some papers and pick up a payslip.
- We had a lovely (final) dinner at Thai Thai near Old Street. Amazing food with some delicious cocktails - a fitting end to it all I think. That was followed by a drink or two at Bar SOHO before heading onto the hotel.
- 28 August 2010 (liftoff!)
- Don't even get me started, the saga is detailed in here