Our Latest Plans.

31st Dec 09 Update

Just said goodbye to Chris, Di, Alex & Laura Draper. They stayed a week after a trip to Dubai and then on to Sydney. It was great to catch up and as the photos show we all had a great time. We are now all looking forward to Angie & Jacks visit again this year. Angie will stay for 6 weeks and Jack is staying for 4 weeks. Plus Angie's sister Jenny and her husband Nigel will be staying in Perth for 2 months from the end of January, so they'll be lots of socialising. Can't wait.

Annette has now successfully completed her full time 6 month college course for the Education Assistant certificate which will enable her to work at the primary school or the secondary school. I suspect she will stick the primary school though and Annette expects to get some part time work at Charlie's local primary school.

Mark - I've done some casual work helping some people I know with their renovations. I also spent time studying for a builders licence which is essential here to do anything of any significance. My huge application which took a couple of weeks to prepare gave me the opportunity to take the 3 x 3 hour qualifying exams. The exams were unbelievably difficult and the estimating and surveyor exam which I was most relaxed about was overwhelming in the quantity of work in the exam. I got a bit too stressed with this one and only did half the exam. Fortunately I passed the other 2 exams (practical knowledge & Business/Law) and have the opportunity to retake the exam on the 12th Feb. I'll be more prepared next time and hopefully I'll tick the final box to enable my Builders Licence to be approved. This will give me the ability to sign off all building work in a similar capacity to a UK building inspector. Then renovations will be easier and perhaps I'll find some freelance project management roles.

George will start his final year at school. Which is a year longer than his UK peers and then will have to decide what he will do with himself i.e. college or university. George is doing well with his driving lessons and hopes t take his test soon in the New Year. George and I recently spent a couple of weeks doing some household maintenance to include painting the huge pergola, the deck, garden furniture and other jobs around the house. George enjoyed Aussie rule footy this year which at his age and size can prove to be a rough and fast track game which I now thoroughly enjoy watching.

Harry has started City Beach surf rescue again this year and is now qualified to patrol the beach in true Bay Watch style. But it's not just patrolling the beach he also has to train 2-3 times per week with board training to ensure he's fit and prepared. Harry had much success this year with Aussie rule footy which suits his get stuck in style. He also found he has an aptitude to high jumping and came second in the inter school athletics competition jumping 1.6m.  At school he has received a Higher Distinction for science which puts him in the top 2% in Australia! He continues to excel with maths and has been in the gifted and talented class for academic excellence. I guess he takes after his DAD!!!

Charlie has also enrolled in City Beach surf Rescue this year and is thoroughly enjoying it. Charlie is doing well at school and has enjoyed much sporting success this year at school and at the local rugby club as you can see from the photos on this web site. Charlie had a great year with his rugby and even though he's still a small frame compared to some of the other teams it hasn't stopped him getting stuck in.

Beau - Who'd have ever thought I would get a dog! Beau was an unwanted puppy who we are told was not previously walked, was neglected and we suspect had been shouted at and probably hit. He hadn't had a good start in life but that all changed when a local shelter relocated him with us when he was just 12 months old on 18th July this year. I guess we got lucky because he's quiet (doesn't generally bark) is house trained, is highly intelligent and has learnt many key words already. He comes out on the boat has learnt to swim in the sea retrieving his ball and has fitted in very well.

Tonight (New Years Eve) we will be having a BBQ and just a couple of beers and we’ll be thinking of you all as the year passes by. I hope you’ve had a good Xmas and wish you a happy New Year.

 

24th March 09 Update
Just said goodbye to Uncle Nigel & Aunty Jenny (Annette's Mum's sister) They stayed for 3 weeks and took a trip down south to visit Margaret River.

I've been doing been doing some casual jobs to include painting & tiling and have another couple of bathroom renovations about to start under the Property Makeover banner. I'm also promoting the Mini Makeover idea where I propose to give a property a fresh look between tenants or owners.

Annette has been doing more classroom assistant work at Charlie's school where she's on a standby list and gets increasingly more regular calls.

George's interest in swimming seems to have come back as it's now clear (from Harry's involement) what a great social opportunity it brings.

Harry has a great training routine with swimming and Surf Life saving and his club City of Perth Surf Life Saving came 5th in the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.

Charlie & Harry have started rugby training again.

We've just heard that George's old UK friend Jake is coming to visit at the end of June this year during his summer holiday. Fortunately it'll be half term here albeit winter, but I suspect it'll seem warm to Jake.

It won't be long now before we go way for the April half term holidays when we'll be going to the Maldives and meeting up with Peter, Ian & David Lewer on a liveaboard dive trip. Annette & Charlie will be staying nearby the Club Med and me George & Harry will join them after a week on the boat.

 

21st Feb 09. Update
After 3 months trying to sell Bent Street I also tried to rent it as well. Because Jan/Feb is relocation time for lots of executives the real estate agent was able to find a Shell executive in 2-3 weeks at a good rent for a 2 year lease with a mutual 3rd year option. At least that draws a line under it for now and I can focus on something else. Who knows maybe the market will have rebound by then.

I've also priced and picked up small job for a month replacing/renovating an en-suite, family bathroom and a couple of toilets all tiled floor to ceiling. Plus I'm the maintenance man at Bent St and have to cut the grass and check the pool every 3 weeks.

George, Harry & Charlie are all back at school. George is now single again and has decided girlfriends are too complicated. Harry has a new girlfriend who appears to be a nice girl. Both the big boys have finished there Padi Advanced with me and I plan to take them down to the HMS Swan when Harry's sinus problem goes. In the meantime I'm taking George on a day trip/double dive to Rotnest tomorrow. Both Harry & Charlie are on a growth spurt and seem to get bigger by the month. George is now 16 so he's allowed to learn to drove. Scary! George has been coming out with me for some road experience in the lead up to lessons.

Annette's getting over the goodbyes to Angie & Jack but next week we have more visitors and Annette's Aunty Jenny & Uncle Nigel are visiting and using us as a base while they play golf and explore.

 

20th January 09. Year Summary
It's been a busy year with the Bent Street Renovation and settling in to the new home. We've also been lucky to have 3 lots of visitors from the UK thanks to Angie & Jack Oddy, Brian, Elaine & Eleanor Ellis & Recently Gavin, Julie, Millie & Eleanor Aitken. Heh and tomorrow Angie & Jack arrive again.

Mark - Bent St is on the market for sale but the market is very flat and as yet (2 months so far) there has been no serious interest yet as there is virtually no activity. Unfortunately I purchased at the market high so a loss on this project is inevitable. In fact the house is even on the market for less than I've spent! Not a good start. For those of you who may not have seen it there's a really good walk through video which illustrates the house in it's current finished state with display furniture. Click here for Video for link. In the mean time I'm in the process of promoting a Renovation & Home Maintenance Business using Bent St as an example of the scope of the work available and plan to keep myself busy.

Annette has been busy as usual around the house taking care of the boys, with our visitors and also now has a part time job at Charlie's primary school working as a classroom assistant and yes currently she's earning more than me. Annette has also discovered that she's short sighted and has reading glasses and it has to said that she looks pretty good in glasses. I'll get some photo's uploaded soon. Needless to say she's mighty excited about the prospect of seeing her Mum & Dad tomorrow.

George is now 16 years old and is able to drive on learner plates with Annette or I (so far jus me), you may have noticed George in the driving seat on the web site.  He plans to have driving lessons and is saving for a car which he hopes to buy in 6 months. George has grown a lot this year and is now 6ft tall and works hard at keeping fit including regular swimming, running, Gym training and kickboxing training after school as well as all the school sports. George also moved up in his Science class after much effort requiring him to catch up on an entire term of extra work before he would be accepted for the upgrade. Currently George has a girlfriend called Kaitlyn who has been around for 5 months or so. In Australia they stay at High School longer so George has another 2 years to go. He is planning on going to University which naturally we support.

Harry. We were very pleased when Harry was selected for the gifted and talented class for Maths and Science which acknowledges his outstanding grades (96-100%) and has further given him a thirst for learning and succeeding. He also entered a WA state wide competition for Maths and has been graded as the top 8% of the state in his age group. It doesn't stop with Harry's academic ability he is also a very keen sportsman. Earlier in the year Harry played Rugby which he thought was great and he plans to start again this year when the season  starts. Harry is particularly keen on Surf Life Saving and is a member of the City Beach Surf Life Saving club which requires training twice a week. He was fortunate to have the opportunity to go on a training camp on Rotnest Island with the club which proved an amazing experience. Unfortunately camera's weren't allowed. Harry also swims after school and works out at the adjacent school Gym. Harry is also been on a growth spurt this year and gets taller by the month.

Charlie has also had a great year at school and as with his brothers has an endless amount of energy. Charlie started Rugby this year and enjoyed it thoroughly and plans to start again season. There are several boys Charlie's age nearby and he's always busy playing outside. Charlie loves to go to the beach and I'm keen to share precious time body boarding whenever possible. 

All in all the boys have settled in amazingly well and their sociable can do happy attitude makes making new friends easy. They are a credit to us and we are very proud of them lets hope they continue with there focused and happy attitude. Although we're along way from the UK and miss family and friends this is indeed a fantastic place for children to grow up and the outdoor life style is wonderful with the sun out more often than not and the beautiful beaches never far.

Heh and what about New Years resolutions! The usual get fitter, train harder, scuba dive more often, get another new business going and with a little luck draw a line under Bent St.

It's always good to hear from friends and family so drop us an email from time to time and let us know how life's treating you.

30th March 08
Boys have settled into school and are now looking forward to half term in a couple of weeks. We're all looking forward to a visit from the Ellis family for the first week in half term. The Bent St renovation is well under way and I hope to have it complete in June. I'll be making an update in the next week or two which will show all the tiling and paving complete. Harry & Charlie have started Rugby training and George is playing football. Harry is learning Chinese and Charlie is in an inter school swimming carnival in the coming weeks. Annette has now taken to cycling to school with Charlie every morning for the past couple of months.

22nd February 08
It continues to be a busy time. The boys have got back into school again and are all happy. The new house is great. George & Harry walk across the road to school. Mum & Charlie cycle to the primary school nearby with a couple of Charlie's friends in the road. I'm consumed with the Bent Street Renovation It's all coming along nicely albeit hard work both physically and mentally. George is now 5ft 11' without shoes! Harry is embracing High School and Charlie has numerous boys calling round for him to play. Mum has a new look hair cut (photo to follow). George & Harry have just started swimming training at school at 7am! 40 lengths of a 25m pool before breakfast! ouch!

28th January 08
Lots happened since last text update. We went diving in Exmouth which was great fun. We agreed the purchase price of Churchlands Ave house which we really like and it's right next to George and Harry's school and only a few minutes from Charlie's school. It's a great neighbour and there is another boy Charlie's age who comes round for Charlie to go and play! That's a first and Charlie thinks it's great. We're also friendly with the parents so that makes it better still. We completed on the sale on the 10th January and moved in on the 16th Jan when me and the boys had decorated a couple of rooms, hall, front door and some other bits. It took 4 days. George worked for 4 days and Harry 3 days plus the brother of Charlie's friend came and helped for 2 days. We hired a 3 tonne truck to move our stuff from Bent St which took all day and 2 and half loads. Only George and me doing the heavy lifting (George has got muscles overnight) It was an exhausting day and went well thanks to the help from Jack, Angie, our new neighbour Alex and old neighbour Pauline. 3 days later our stuff from the UK arrived in 2 20 foot containers. What a nightmare we have so much stuff! Whatever you do don't every store furniture because you move on and before you know it you don't need half of what you've stored. Angie & Jack arrived just after Xmas and shared the New Years celebrations. It was great to see them. Jack returned after 16 days and Angie stayed on until the 30th Jan. Loads to do at the moment which is why I've got behind with the web site updates. The Bent Street Renovation started on the 21st Jan and I've found a good fellow called Steph who is helping me full time. I got lucky finding an electrician and plumber so things are under way. I'll keep the Reno updates coming. I bought a pick up called a Ute for the Reno's which is great for everything. Let me know if you read this update via email so I know it's viewed even if it's just to say Hi.

8th December 07
After much torture and house viewing over the weeks we found somewhere else to live while Bent Street is renovated. It's right next to George & Harry's school and has enough space to accommodate a guest, separate study, theatre room and has space for a boat. Completion is due on the 10th Jan 07. At which time me the boys will do some internal decoration prior to occupation. As soon as we move into Churchland's house I will start the refurb at Bent Street. Then once it's done we'll choose to live in Bent Street or more likely sell it on.
12th November 07
So much has happened since last update! I'll be brief. Annette and the boys are all well and happy. I returned to Cyprus to finalise the sale of the villa and sell the Isuzu Trooper. While I was there I took a Padi Instructor course and passed. Sounds easy when you say it quick but it's not a go through the motions and you pass course. In particular the theory exams were quite difficult and required many hours of revision. With a pass mark of a minimum of 75% I admit to being a little stressed. Anyway all completed now and here's the certificate to prove it. So I'm now back in Perth. We've decided not to demolish the house due to the 30-36 month new build wait. Instead I've started making arrangements for the house to be completely renovated. It'll need new kitchen, bathrooms, floors to be tiled, some external works and of course decoration throughout. My car is now licence to drive in Australia and quite possibly will be the only car I make any money on when/if I sell it because BMW's cost considerably more here. Harry went on summer camp for 5 days so hopefully I'll have some photos to upload (if Harry takes some!)
 
3rd October 07
We have now been in Perth a busy month. We bought Annette a car (must get a photo on web site) We have now moved out of the temporary apartment in Perth centre which we had booked for 4 weeks. The boys are all at school now at Churchlands SHS & Primary which are rate amongst the best in WA. We made an offer on a house in Bent Street which was accepted and we have now moved in under a short informal rental agreement until the sale goes through on the 15th October 07. The house is quite dated (30 years old) and although initially I thought it would renovate and extend on the first floor I am now reviewing the option of pulling it down and building a new wow house with ocean views to maximise on the resale value.
2nd Sept 07
We packed our immediate personal possessions into a container on 24th August. Then we left Cyprus on 27th August. The container set sail on the 29th August due to arrive on the 27th September. We had a 4 night stay in Dubai in the La Royal Meridian which was very nice. The boys went to Ski Dubai and did some indoor skiing pictures to follow. Arrived in Perth on the 1st September at around 1am. Picked up a Toyota people carrier which we needed to transport all of our luggage. Looked at some cars on Saturday and arranged a test drive for Monday. I plan to make school appointments for Tuesday to Friday and hopefully we'll make a decision on the school front this week.
 

The sale of our villa has been delayed until October and possibly we will remarket the house. Have found someone to maintain the pool and the garden. Removal company have taken personal possessions and we will deliver the car on Friday 24th to Limassol. Still loads to do and the stress levels are running high. Looks like I'll be coming back to Cyprus in October.
 

Completion has now taken place on villa 2. Our villa is now scheduled to exchange on 20th August!! Completion expected 2-3 days after! We are then homeless! We expect to fly to Perth via a short stop over at Dubai on 27th August.
 

We exchanged on Villa 2 on 6th August 07 with completion within 10 days. Progress is slow to complete on Villa 1 but we plan to go to Perth at the end of August. We've booked an apartment for September in Perth so we'll have a high speed connection for anyone that wants to catch up on Skype.
 

The legal process seems to be coming together with the sale of the villas and we may to leave Cyprus around the end of August! Scary eh! lots to organise!
 

I took my 8th & final theory test today for the Dive Master scuba course. A couple more dives next will see the course successfully completed. This will have taken approx 7-8 weeks of intensive daily theory & practical. The course has included Padi Open Water, Open Water Advanced, Emergency First Responder, Rescue Diver & Dive Master including 5 speciality courses, wreck, deep, equipment, enriched air & digital photography.

We have now accepted an offer on both villas. Lawyers details have been exchanged and the draft contracts are being approved. Looks like completion could be sometime in August!  Complete due on the balance of the residential properties early in July which just leaves the shop.

Looks like we may get to do a bit more travelling in August than we expected!
 


Annette has a part time job at the Primary school on the base, albeit temporary. I'm progressing through a Scuba Diving course for a Dive Master certificate which is a full time course Monday to Friday for 6-8 weeks. The boys are all doing fine at school although Harry has had a few days off with a fractured wrist (photo above) Looks like we have a an offer from a prospective purchaser for the villa next door.
 

As I'm sure most of you know I've been advertising the Villas for a while now & it's been a slow start because it was out of season. Re-sales are slow here at best. However I've given it to numerous agents now plus I'm advertising the villas in the Cyprus Mail every day in a colour advert in an effort to promote a private sale. In the last couple of weeks I've had a lot of interest and I've currently got several purchasers interested in buying the pair.

I'm told by one of the agents that he's expecting to receive a reservation fee! That we would be really good and would mean we could plan a summer departure. Although I'll believe it when it happens. If we can get away early enough we'd like to visit a few places on route like Egypt, Dubai, Thailand & or Singapore & maybe check out Brisbane as well.

Anyway we'll have to wait and see how the Villa sales work out. If we don’t find a buyer by late summer we may move on anyway in October/November and lock up the villas and leave them behind. Looks like we'll rent for 6-12 months when we get to Australia to make sure we're in the right location.

All the arrangements for our move to Aus are a bit daunting but we're committed now and it's an opportunity too great to let pass by. I'm actually looking forward to getting a job with a Developer or Builder when I get there to help me make some local contacts and get a feel of the market with a view to start a business soon after.

We are all very well and I'm planning to take a scuba diving course in the coming weeks because there's a world wide recognised ship wreck just off the coast of Larnaca called the Zenobia. Then in end May half term I hope George & Harry will also take the PADi course so they can dive here and then again later on route to Aus.