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The Book Corner

Reading has always been a huge part of my life and provides great support during challenging times.  I thought I’d regularly share my latest reads with you here, to provide inspiration for your own book corner. Becoming: The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller Michelle Obama. Wow, what a woman! No matter what you think about American politics, this book is a fabulous read.   Michelle Obama, raised in the South Side of Chicago, grew up with incredibly strong family foundations and was brought up with solid values which have kept her fully grounded throughout her life, but no more so...

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What About the Dog?

It’s not every day you are presented with the opportunity to change your life completely and go and live in a new country.  The decisions to be made are huge and it’s often difficult to know where to start with the thought process.  As soon as Australia became a possibility for us, my mind went into overdrive.  But I can tell you that the very first thought that popped into my head – and subsequently straight out of my mouth, was ‘What about the dog?’  I laugh about that now, because surely my instinctive reaction ought to have been ‘What...

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How to Access Healthcare in Australia: A Quick Start Guide.

When I first arrived in Melbourne from the UK, one of the key actions on my to-do list was to get to grips with how to access healthcare in Australia, both for myself and for the family. Australia has a reciprocal agreement with the UK which means you can access healthcare via the Australian national insurance scheme known as Medicare. This agreement covers medically necessary care out of hospital, medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital, and some prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Here’s what you need to do. Get Your Medicare Card...

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Can’t find familiar food items in Australia? All is not lost.

If, like me, you have been craving familiar food items from back in the UK but can’t find them in Australia, all is not lost, read on.   Pork Pie I have to own up.  I’ve been craving a proper pork pie since Christmas 2017.  We had decided that our first Christmas in Australia was certainly going to be different.  There was no way we even wanted to replicate the turkey roast dinner followed by Christmas pudding in 30+ degrees of heat.  So we settled with the idea of having a ‘true Aussie Christmas’ by going to the beach, followed...

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My Top 5 Instagram Accounts: Melbourne & Victoria

There are so many great things to do in Melbourne and ultimately you’ll also want to be venturing further out into the beautiful state of Victoria, but it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start.  Here is a handy, quick-start guide to my Top 5 Instagram accounts to inspire you to get out and about in Melbourne and Victoria. There’s nothing like some great visuals to flick through while you drink your coffee and start thinking about some wonderful days out. walking_perspective Absolutely stunning pictures taken by photographer Jim Zapsalis, on walks in and around Melbourne, portraying all seasons and...

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My Top 10 Favourite Podcasts

Moving to a new country and settling in is a long and complicated process.  I’ve found that listening to podcasts can be really inspirational and have helped me through many tough days, especially during the long lockdown in Melbourne during 2020.  Whatever your interests, there are so many podcasts to choose from.  I’ve built up my library over the last 4 years but to give you a head-start, here are my Top 10 favourite podcasts: Mamamia Out Loud When I couldn’t get to the coffee shop during lockdown to meet and chat with friends, this was the next best thing. ...

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How to Survive Driving in Melbourne

I had been driving in the UK with a full licence for over 35 years and considered myself to be a pretty good driver.  However, I was a little cautious about driving in Melbourne.  Firstly because I had lived in a village in the UK and the main hazards when driving locally were slow-moving tractors and escaped sheep. Secondly, I was nervous because I was swapping from manual to automatic transmission and I was a bit dubious that it wouldn’t feel like ‘proper’ driving.  OK, so I soon got over that second hesitation.  Driving an automatic car is what most...

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5 Things you Need to Do as soon as you arrive in Melbourne

Congratulate yourself There are no two ways about it, it’s a blooming long way!  You are probably feeling like you don’t know which way is up, let alone what time of day your body thinks it is.  You made the very brave decision to emigrate to Australia some time ago. It’s been a huge upheaval. You’ve made it.  Welcome to Melbourne. Take a deep breath In … and breathe out slowly.  Sounds obvious I know, but you will have been going through a fair old rollercoaster of emotions in the past few hours, days, weeks, months.  A move to the...