Having family to go to has been a hugely beneficial factor for a move of this proportion. George and Patsy have been so generous and accommodating. Within days, we were given a vehicle and nearly a houseful of furniture from them. The deal is Al is supposed to do some renovations for them in exchange. I hope they get their money's worth out of the arrangement!
The cousins took no time in getting to know each other and seem to have hit it off. Kirsty, Laura and Bruce have gone out of their way to make the boys feel at home, introducing them to their friends and taking them out. Bruce and Mike go out surfing every day!
The first week was very stressful trying to decide where to settle. We looked at the supposedly good schools and their neighbourhoods. Some areas are quite old and look a bit direlict, the gardens very dry and overgrown. Those that use borehole water have badly stained walls and kerbs due to the high iron content of the water.
One afternoon, we drove through a little suburb called Kinross near the satellite town of Joondalup and liked the feel of the area and the look of the schools. We found a rental in the paper, phoned to enquire and within the hour had viewed it, got the keys and signed up a very flexible lease.
The house is at the top of a hill and gets the lovely, cooling winds in the afternoon - known as the 'Freemantle Doctor'. It is close to the schools, round the corner from a small shopping complex and a skate park! Robbie, you will have to visit us soon!
We have made friends with some of our neighbours. Next door and sharing our driveway is a very dear 83 year old Australian - Neil. Acros the way is a SA couple from Edgemead in the Cape, but they have been here a long time. Josh has made friends with an English family a few houses down. He spends a lot of time cycling up and down the road with their son. They have already had sleepovers!
The houses are all very similar in design. The main bedroom is at the front of the house. The kitchen is open plan. The toilet is off the laundry room - poor guests having to look at my insurmountable piles of laundry gathering in the basket when they go to the loo!
The bathroom, toilet and laundry all have a drain in the floor, a good idea for the inevitable flooding that occurs.
The plot size is small, generally between 500 and 700 sq.m.
We pay $370 per week in rent and our landlord is happy to let us stay on as we wish.