Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Day 1

It is cold!!! The only time I have ever slept in socks in the UK was taking my kids camping at Easter... yet last night I could not climb into bed without my twinkle toes being covered.

I won't bore you with an update of every day, but thought I would let you know what we have been doing today....

Slept in till 9:30 - jet lag, what jet lag?! (OK I was awake at 3am)
Got cash out at the bank and applied for cards etc
Bought Josh and Lois School Uniform (now I have to go and buy their school books)
Registered with medicare
Applied for my tax number
Got forms to apply for child benefit
Drove around in the UTE!

Incase you find pictures tell a better story see below:







Tuesday, 29 June 2010

We have arrived!

We left Heathrow terminal 3 on Monday and having gone via Singapore landed in Perth, Australia 3pm local time. Singapore Airlines kindly checked in all our bags without any fuss and we got everything through customs ...phew!

The only thing that did not go smoothly is that whilst we were waiting at Heathrow the money transfer company phoned to say they had not been able to wire our money across...(when I know why and have it resolved I will let you know.)

People here are warm and friendly - someone has let us stay in their house while they are away and someone else has lent us their UTE!

However the weather is not warm - though sunny in the day it gets cold when it gets dark - about 6pm. I am sat here in a jumper and for the first time in 25 years am thinking about the need to buy slippers!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

England - end of the road!


That is it we are gone!

We have had our last Sunday at The Crown Church (you guys are great and must all come and visit!)
Our friends Phil & Liz had their baby - a lovely girl 15 days late that we popped to visit tonight.
We have had the last supper with the Races who have kindly hosted us for the last week
We are packed and ready to go....

Nicky's parents and Dave Race are driving us to the airport tomorrow and then it is non stop eating and film watching for about 19 hours.

At least we are off to Australia where we are winning the cricket!!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Homeless.

Today at 11:15am our house sale went through!As a family we are now officially homeless.

Kindly a family in The Crown Church have put us up in Uxbridge for the last week and a family in Perth have offered us to stay in their home until we get a rental sorted. (Nicky and I bought our first house just before we got married, almost 18 years ago, so this will be the first time we have ever rented.)

I loved the house in Ruislip: we extended the kitchen, built a garage and put a room in the loft; 3 tube lines close by for getting into London; the Ruislip Lido and Woods are great places for relaxing and we have had the best neighbours ever - they had us round for champagne last night

The film Lion King contained the lines 'home is where the rump rests'... I am so glad that in this situation I have such a wonderful wife and 3 brilliant kids and I look forward to us establishing another family home in Perth.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Worlds Fastest Diet

Having negotiated a massive baggage allowance of 40kg per person with Singapore Airlines I thought that as a family of 5 we would be able to carry 1/2 our house in our suitcases.

Yesterday when I packed the 14 cases we have gathered I was shocked to discover that we were more than a staggering 50kg overweight.

We are trying every trick in the book: every one has hand luggage loaded to the max; I am trying to get my laptop in addition to this and Nicky her handbag; all 5 of us are carrying their winter coat, stomping in their heaviest shoes/boots and will have to sweat/wear at least 4 layers of clothing onto the plane!

Despite this every suitcase had to be emptied and each item assessed as to whether it is essential or not... within 2 hours we had managed to shed the 50kg. (If only loosing weight was that easy!)

Today they load the container (we are taking a 20ft container and it does not matter about the weight - it is whatever you can squeeze into the space!) and then there is no more we can be doing....ha,ha!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Packing!

Today 2 men have arrived from John Mason, the company moving us, and are sweeping through the house wrapping everything in paper or packing items away in boxes.

They have completed the whole upstairs already and almost done most of downstairs. (I think they are working fast so they can knock off early and go and watch the England game!)

Today it feels like living is a fish and chip shop asking for extra newspaper so we can take away. When we arrive in Perth I guess it will feel like the biggest birthday ever as we tear through the packaging, squealing as we discover the forgotten treasures stored away.

Tomorrow they will finish the garage and then load everything into a container, which will be on a ship next week and be reunited with us in a few weeks time.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Pure Escapism

Last night was spent like so many other since I have lived within a short train ride of the West End... laughing, clapping, singing and crying!

Nicky and I love an evening out at one of the musicals that are on offer in London. With only a week to go until we move to Perth we slipped back up town for one more fantastic evening - to see Sister Act!



I know that this is not the butch image many expect of a barbarian... but I do love these shows!

Monday, 21 June 2010

On top of the world!

What a great weekend! With a team of others I was able to climb the highest point in Scotland, England and Wales and raise money for an orphanage in Thailand (you can still give...)

Ben Nevis













Scafell













Snowdon













Thanks so much to James Harland who brilliantly organised the trip and thanks also to the 2 guys who drove.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

End of School...


When we exchanged on our house I offered the kids the chance to stop school and have a break but they all decided to carry on.... wow!

However on Saturday we move out of our house and away from the local area, ready for the International packers to come next week. Josh, Lois & Isaac will all have to have the last week off...part compensation as their 6 week summer break is being delayed until December this year!

One of the biggest costs for the family with the move down under has been taking the 3 kids out of schools where they are all doing well and have good friends.

We land in Perth on Tuesday 29th June and Nicky plans that they will all be in their new schools sorting out uniforms on Wednesday 30th June!

It will be fascinating to observe how they don't do the Tudors and Stuarts (can you go to school and not learn about Henry VIII and his wives?!) or have to learn french but take other more interesting subjects ... like surfing we hope.

The only complaint I have heard from the kids is about the uniform: Josh might not be able to gel his hair as he has to wear a hat and Lois will be expected to wear summer dresses like they do on Neighbours and she can't get away with trousers as she does now!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Another Adventure

Despite having only 12 days to go until we leave the UK I have signed up for another adventure, along with about 12 others (They have been getting ready for some time and a space became available at the last minute which I have snapped up)

The National Three Peaks Challenge
The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks, respectively, in England, Wales and Scotland, within 24 hours. The Peaks are:

Snowdon, in Wales (1085m)
Scafell Pike, in England (978m)
Ben Nevis, in Scotland (1344m)


I will be leaving for this on Friday and am starting the climbs 5pm Saturday afternoon and due to finish by 5pm Sunday evening.

I am doing this to help raise some money for an orphanage in Thailand that a radical couple from The Crown Church are setting up so if you are able to sponsor me that would be terrific!
Sponsor Now!

I hope to post 3 photos at the start of next week!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Santa Claus

The idea of liberally giving lots away has not always come naturally to me: without meaning to I discover with amazement at how many possessions it is possible for one family to gather (especially with 3 kid and such generous families!)

We have booked a 20foot container to squeeze all the belongings and trappings of the Cornford family into. The removal company are coming to pack next week and so we are sorting, sorting sorting.

We have had boot sales, taken car loads to the charity shop and been able to give away masses: 4 wardrobes, trampoline, climbing frame, goals, bench, my bike, the hamster.... been a bit like a conveyor belt on the generation game.
I have really enjoyed thinsg giving away - now I know what Santa feels like!
The kids have said the house is boring without the trampoline, so we will replace that, but have not really missed the rest.

Why is it that we have so much when others in the world don't have enough?
Why do I get sucked in and believe the adverts saying that I need it, that I am worth it?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Friends

Despite living in an age where technological advances rapidly change our existence and where the Internet bombards us with information; despite living in an age where travel makes the gathering of experiences so easy and such fun.... people matter, more than ever.

Tonight we have had dinner with the best next door neighbours we have ever had.
Today we had lunch with friends we have often chatted deeply and openly with.
Yesterday we had a wonderful time at Gateway Church in Poole and had a fantastic time with Matt & Grace and the whole Hosier family, with whom we have so many great memories.

It is a shame that it takes moving to the other side of the world to cause us to ram the diary with such precious friendships that we wished we had spent more time with along the way.
Maybe one lesson we can take with us is - make plenty of time for people, enjoy the journey!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

World Cup begins


Great to wear the England football shirt and gather with many others from The Crown Church to watch the game against the USA team yesterday.

On the positives:
Steven Gerrard is our man!
Better to get your mistakes out of the way at the start of the tournament
We didn't loose
We had a great BBQ (am I getting desperate?!)

At least the people in Perth can't give me any stick as they lost 4-0 to Germany tonight (no I do not want to talk about the rugby!)

I am still expecting us to get to the final and I will stay up till 2:30am to sit and watch the game in Australia!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Take off...


Having exchanged on the house and agreed to complete the sale on Friday 25th June we have gone ahead and booked our flights to Perth.

Eager to be there and crack on, we are flying from Heathrow Airport on Monday morning 28th. (I was keen to go on Friday afternoon but Nicky thought we needed a couple of days to clear a few things up before we go!)

We are travelling with Singapore Airlines - who have agreed to give us 40kg baggage allowance & 7kg hand allowance. We will therefore have one stop in Singapore on our 20hour journey. The kids are already wondering how many films they can watch in that time, I wonder how many books I can read on the trip and Nicky is hoping to sleep the most!

We will arrive in Perth early Tuesday afternoon.

We have been planning and praying about the move for ages... but now it does feel very close. We really are saying goodbyes and have drawn up a diary covering our last few days in the UK.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

EXCHANGE!!!!!




The day we have been waiting for since 1st April has arrived!
The champagne has been in the fridge so long it might have frozen solid. The last 70 days have been torture (not totally true I have had a great time with the kids and resting and reading... hope I get back into the swing of work!)

Today we exchanged on the sale of our house! The 5th chain was the one that worked! We have a completion date of Friday 25th June! (I know - lots of exclamation marks but I am excited!!!!)

Now the fun begins:
We can let the kids finish school.
We have to book the International packers.
We give away / sell the stuff we cannot take
We re-clean the things we plan to take
We have to book out flights.
We have to look for accommodation in Perth.

Thanks so much to everyone for your prayers and support throughout the process... NOW THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Packing

In order to get many of our belongings into Australia they need to be clean, really clean. About 2 months ago Nicky's parents kindly donated many hours to rubbing, varnishing, dusting and cleaning possessions ready to go. (Due to the delay we might need the in-laws back for another visit to help with the re-clean!)

Now Nicky has started to sort and organise the house ready for what we will take on the flight and what will go in the container. One side of the wardrobe for the suitcase and one for the packers.... I do hope I put my shirt back on the right side!

We have discovered that Singapore Airlines will allow people emigrating to take 40kg each plus 7kg hand luggage - so with a family of 5, if the car will carry it to the airport, we can take 235kg! (We have been collecting old suitcases to try and make the most of the allowance)

What will we need for 2 months of winter?
What are the can't do without items of life?

It is easy to think of the regular and basic items such as clothes and wash stuff. It gets trickier when trying to remember things like hair clippers so the boys look their best at the new school.
How do you persuade a 14 year old boy that his BMX is not an essential item and even if under the weight limit we cannot find a suitcase big enough?

Any suggestions for what we should include as top priority to take with us on the plane would be welcome....

Saturday, 5 June 2010

New Neighbours

Last night we had a meal and a great evening with our soon-to-be new neighbours.



Ken and Carol Shelley used to lead a church in Harrow, London, just down the road from where we are based. In 2001 they moved to Christchurch New Zealand and started Kings Church.

We had heard so many good things about them: it was wonderful and insightful to have some time together. We chatted about leaving the UK, moving the family and settling into a new country and culture. We really appreciate their wisdom, encouragement and prayers at this time.

Despite Ken & Carol being based miles from Perth - just over 3,000 miles which would take about 6 1/2 hours to fly... approximately, as newfrontier churches on mission together in the Pacific Rim we look forward to working side by side and catching up at the leaders Conference in Sydney this November.

It's always good to discover that there are nice new neighbours where you are moving to!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Changing the Guard


Despite living in London for 19 years I had never before yesterday watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. (Amazing how we British can turn a daily routine activity into a wonderful hour spectacle for the enjoyment of the thousands that gathered to watch.)

There have been so many other everyday experiences that as a family we have savoured as we prepare to move on:

Meeting up with friends we have not seen for ages
A curry in Southall
Photographing a red London Phone box

So often we do not really appreciate things until we loose them.
What do you need to stop and enjoy today?
Who do you need to tell that you love whilst you have the opportunity?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Money, money, money...


I always thought getting out of the boat involved risk and adrenaline... I never knew that I would spend so much time thinking about money.

I have been into London and opened an Australian bank account (Westpac)
I have opened another UK bank account to make it easier to transfer money abroad
I have discovered a web site where you can enter the amount of British Pounds you would like to exchange into Australian dollars and it tells you how much you would get at that precise moment in time.

The money exchange market is constantly changing and updates automatically every few seconds. There is a red arrow to show that your money has dropped and a green arrow to tell you if your wealth has increased.

I have never owned any shares to look for dividends or had any savings to gain any interest on. It can feel scary to sit there seeing all that you have accumulated in life being changed outside of my control. When the rate is down you feel robbed and when it starts to climb you sit there believing that you have earned and deserve more. (It's amazing how long I have day dreamed of hitting the magical $2 to £1 mark!)

The whole process brings a new light to the radical words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 6:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Throughout the process we have known the generosity of others standing with us in the adventure....which has been humbling and overwhelming. In it all I hope to adopt the motto from the American dollar: 'In God we trust'.