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8 Things you Need to Know Before Renting in Melbourne

We got reasonably lucky with our first rental property, especially as we had arranged it all from 17,000 kilometres away!  After many hours of internet searching via realestate.com and domain.com (how we decided on our search area needs another blogpost), we homed in – pardon the pun – on our ideal house.  This internet journey took us very quickly from our ‘ideal’ property (something big and flashy by the beach) to our ‘realistic’ property in a great suburb northeast of the Melbourne CBD.  Lots of hand-wringing and sleepless nights occurred along the way, as we realised that we would have...

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AFL Football – An Expat’s Guide to Australia’s Game

Guest blog by Sports Journalist – Sean Mortell There comes a time in the life of every person who decides to make the trek down under when they discover AFL football. It could be on at a party when new friends point you to the TV screen and begin shouting at adults chasing an oval ball around on grass. It could be when sightseeing in the city centre, seeing specks of bright colours on beanies, scarves, and jumpers. Wherever you see it, confusion is the most common side effect to discovering Australia’s most popular winter pastime. From a footy-mad young...

School books, apple, pencils, chalkboard. 6 Steps to Finding a High School in Melbourne 2

6 Steps to Find a High School in Melbourne

It’s not easy to find a high school in Melbourne when you have no prior knowledge of the city and you are sitting at a laptop 17,000 km away in the UK. It was more by luck than judgment, that I happened upon the right school. We are currently on the final approach to the exams season here in Melbourne.  As my youngest completes her final year at high school I find myself reflecting on how lucky we have been to find such a great school and, by association, a fabulous bunch of friends. It may have been slightly haphazard,...

A United Kingdom flag blowing in the wind against a blue sky. 5 Things British Expats in Melbourne Miss About the UK. 2

5 Things British Expats in Melbourne Miss About the UK

Having sworn to myself that I would not be mentioning anything relating to Covid-19 on this website, I can’t help noticing that lots of ex-pat Brits in Melbourne are talking about the things they miss about the UK, and the reality is that some are even talking of moving back there permanently, seemingly as a result of the global pandemic. Some people that have been here for just a couple of years and haven’t had the chance to explore and settle before lockdowns hit are feeling very isolated and wondering if they have made a mistake in emigrating to Australia,...

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3 Things you may not know about Bedtime in Australia

I love my bed.  It is my sanctuary from the world and indeed, during Melbourne lockdowns, it can be my sanctuary from the rest of the family.  But did you know that all is not what it seems when it comes to buying beds and bedding?  Here are 3 things you may not know about bedtime in Australia. It’s a Doooooona Daaaaahling If you go looking for a duvet in a shop, nobody under the age of about 50 knows what you’re talking about.  Now, back in the day in the UK, it used to be called the continental quilt. ...

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What I’m Reading Right Now

As Melbourne enters yet another lockdown I feel the bookshelves will be once again put to good use. Here’s one I read earlier … The Midnight Library by Matt Haig I didn’t quite know what to expect from this one but had noticed all the hype so I thought I’d have a look for myself.    The Midnight Library is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m now curious to read more of his work.  I first heard of Matt Haig when he was interviewed by Fearne Cotton on the Happy Place podcast.  He had a fascinating...

Multiple coloured umbrellas suspended against a backdrop of the sky. What's the Melbourne Weather really like? 6

So, what’s the Melbourne Weather Really Like? Rug up and I’ll tell you.

Its our Favourite Topic As Australia approaches its last month of winter, it would be very remiss, un-British, and un-Melburnian of me not to talk about the weather.  Yes, we Melburnians like to talk about the weather too, probably because we get so much of it.  Often within the same hour.  So, what’s the Melbourne weather really like? Melbourne is notorious for having four seasons in one day – remember the Crowded House song? That iconic band was formed in Melbourne so these guys should know … Upside Down First things first, coming from the Northern hemisphere, it takes a...

Coffee Culture in Melbourne: The Story Behind your Daily Fix. Image barista in coffee shop 2

Melbourne’s Coffee Culture: The Story Behind Your Daily Fix

It’s a well-known fact that Melburnians love their coffee.  According to Tourism Australia, Melbourne has “more than 2,000 cafes as well as some of the world’s best baristas”. As we pause to take a sip of our daily latte, let’s take a moment to think about the story behind Melbourne’s coffee culture. Popular thinking is that Melbourne’s loving relationship with coffee began after the Second World War with the arrival of Greek and Italian immigrants, but the story starts much earlier than that.  Coffee in modern-day Melbourne has become an urban art form but the love affair began in the...

Book cover. The Dry by Jane Harper. Book Corner. 0

Book Corner

The Dry by Jane Harper Reading has always been a huge part of my life and is a constant great support during challenging times.  I thought I’d regularly share my latest reads with you here.  Happy to be showcasing an Australian author this week with my little review of The Dry by Jane Harper. First of all, I have to hold my hands up, I haven’t yet seen the film, starring Eric Bana.  Does anyone else prefer to read the book first, or is that just me?  Feel free to leave your comments below.  For me, I love to build...

Sunglasses, passport, hat and toy plane. How to survive the long haul to Australia. 4

How to Survive the Long Haul to Australia

I had it in mind to publish this post when international borders are fully open and we are once more free to travel.  However, that seems like such a long way off, so I thought I would exercise my freedom to dream.  I know that there are so many people out there longing to see family and friends again, so let’s get prepared for the day when we can start to make travel plans. I’ll never forget the first words of my dear sister-in-law when we greeted her in the arrivals hall at Melbourne Airport: “God it’s a bloody long...