Our Diary Australia - March 2019

Project Sunshine is now in progress. We finally left the UK on the 28th January, soon after the birth of Alba Edith, completing a trio of granddaughters. It was lovely to see the happiness in Rachel and Charlotte's faces as they embark on their new adventure of parenthood. We also had a lovely couple of days with Rob and Jas and the girls. It was a very emotional departure but here we are.

We ended up spending about four weeks in Bali while we waited for our worldly goods to land in Brisbane. We moved around Bali a bit so got to enjoy Indonesia again at a relaxed pace. We even spent a few days in the honeymoon suite at a secluded resort in the centre of the paddy fields - we were their only guests so received four star treatment.

We arrived in Brisbane on the 23rd February and set about turning ourselves into Aussies. The first thing on the agenda was to buy a car. After a day looking at various SUV vehicles (neither of us are car enthusiasts) we settled on a KIA Sportage. When going through the paperwork we were informed that we needed a Queensland Driving License in order to buy a car - and to get a license we needed proof of residency! Thankfully the owner of the Airbnb we were staying at let us use her address. There followed a trip to the bank in order to change details and get a headed bank statement made out to our new address, etc. We managed to get the necessary together.

The next thing on the agenda was a trip to the Princess Alexandra Hospital to see if they would reinstate Keith on their patient list. Unfortunately during our six year absence, they had digitised their records but Keith's details were not in their database. However - not a problem - we just needed to get another referral from our GP. We turned up at the GPs in the city and were advised there would be a ten minute wait for an appointment. When he finally appeared, it turned out to be the same GP who had first diagnosed my condition 10 years ago. We both recognised each other and he was only too willing to help.

By the end of Week One we had a car, a hospital appointment two weeks hence, and had managed to catch up with Emily (over from NZ on a course), as well as having dinner with Peter and Eliza (whom we had met in Bali).
With all our business concluded we took a daytrip to the Sunshine Coast to check out possible places to live. Our first foray was very depressing - Keith got severely homesick, and began questioning the whole idea of a moving to Australia. But we decided that we should spend a few days at each of a few localities to get more acquainted with the area. Our belongings had now arrived but it would take four weeks to clear customs, etc. So our target was to find somewhere to live in that timescale. We had done some research whilst in England but the reality was very different. Our house budget was a little low but not out of reach, however finding the house of our dreams in the areas we like might be more difficult.

We had to interrupt our search to attend Keith's hospital appointment in Brisbane. We had been concerned that his lymphoma had returned. In the UK they would not consider any treatment or further investigations until he showed some symptoms. In contrast, the Australian consultant had retrieved Keith's medical records and was keen to carry out a CT Scan and Bone Marrow Biopsy - and discussed treatment options. These procedures are now arranged for the next couple of weeks - with a follow up appointment in early April. This, the sunshine, and Ozzy lifestyle was the rationale behind our move to Australia.

We are now actively searching for our Champagne house on a beer budget - will let you know how we get on. Between house hunting we have managed to catch up with some old friends and are enjoying the outdoorsy lifestyle. Early morning walks - at 6.30am the beaches are full of swimmers and surfers, and joggers frequent the footpaths. We have also visited the sailing club and received a warm welcome. Project Sunshine progresses...