Thursday, September 27, 2007

Moving States and Countries

In the last two and a bit weeks I've finished work, moved everything back to Queensland and moved to England ready to start at Cranfield next Monday.

I finished work on a Friday and the removalists came first thing Monday morning - or at least they were supposed to come first thing. I discovered that you should never believe a word a removalist says. Every time I rang to see where they were I was told they were on their way and would be there soon. They didn't actually make it until 11am so I sat around for 3 hours waiting for them when I could have been doing other things! Anyway, everything eventually got packed up and taken to be stored in Brisbane. (My parents spent 2 days at the other end waiting for the removalists to ring so they could let them into the storage shed, but that's another saga I won't go into - I'll just say that Mum got to exercise her displeased teacher voice).

bye bye Newcastle,

hello Ripley!


I drove from Newcastle up to my parents place at Ripley near Ipswich the next day. 850km in just under 11 hours. I thought I was doing really well until I got pulled up for speeding by a cop in Tenterfield - first ever speeding ticket. Not happy! The cop looked very surprised when I said it was my first ever ticket and told me to write a nice letter detailing my long and unblemished driving record and maybe they'd let me off with a caution. Letter's been sent so we'll see.

The week at home was great but pretty busy sorting out the last few things before leaving the country, catching up with people and eating my way around south east Queensland. Then came my discovery that I couldn't actually take as much luggage as I thought I could. Yes, I had a Virgin Atlantic upper class ticket but apparently you only get to take 3 bags if you're flying across the Atlantic, to the Caribbean or Nigeria for some strange reason. Turns out I was allowed 30kg total so everything had to be rationed and repacked . That was really not a fun day and I still ended up sending an extra bag as unaccompanied baggage (still a much cheaper option than $40 per kg for excess baggage). Eventually I made it onto a plane with way too much luggage and started the 26 hr trek to the UK.

A HUGE thank you to Virgin Atlantic for donating my upper class flight as part of the scholarship. It's the first time I've been able to completely stretch out and lie down on a plane and when you're on there for up to 14 hours a leg that's a very good thing. My cousin can vouch for how cranky a flyer I normally am - surprisingly she's still talking to me after surviving a trip to Thailand with me at Christmas. This time I had a flat bed in my own little suite complete with sheets and pyjamas. The service was fantastic, especially the massages!

I turned up at my sisters doorstep in London at 6:30am Wednesday morning. I didn't get enough sleep on the plane to avoid jet lag but I really only had one day that was a complete write off. Two days after landing I'd managed to sort out the big jobs - bank accounts up and running, UK Sim card organised and car purchased. I am now the proud owner of a 2004 dark blue, manual, diesel, 5 door hatchback Peugeot 307 but I don't pick it up until Friday which is good because parking is less than easy in the middle of London.

So now it's Wednesday and I've managed a full week living with my sister and we haven't killed each other yet - our parents are very proud. Our normal limit is about 3 days. 3 more days and then I move into college. I'm looking forward to getting settled and organised. I'm definately over living out of suitcase!

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