Sunday, 9 December 2012

Carboot time!

We spent the day at Capital Carboot sale in Pimlico flogging all our unwanted goods. I had a great time despite mrwandymcnoble's initial negativity and doubt that anyone would actually buy our stuff. Boy was he wrong!


Fortunately, no one made a high enough offer 
The initial rush was mad, with professional carbooters haggling us down - a common conversation was:
"how much is that?"
"1 pound"
"I'll give you 50p"
"sold"
 We got rid of loads and then gave the rest to charity at the end of the day. We were pretty chuffed with our takings and celebrated with a glass of prosecco at a nearby pub, where I was able to gloat "I told you so!" to mrwandymcnoble.

The house is pretty empty now as we've also been gradually selling off our furniture. We basically have a bed, a dining room table (with no chairs) and the breakfast bar in the kitchen left. 2 weeks until we are in Canada for Christmas, can't wait!

mrswandymcnoble

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Weekend at Centre Parks

Friday afternoon mrwandymcnoble and I left the hectic city for a relaxing weekend with his family at Centre Parks in Elveden Forest. Relaxing it was certainly not! Saturday morning started with a 6am wake-up and 4 mile run through trails and forest - a nice change from running on crowded pavements through south London! We then got ready for an afternoon of sports with short tennis, squash and 10 pin bowling. Mrwandymcnoble is fairly competitive to say the least, and I think was pretty frustrated by my lack of coordination in short tennis... I was a pretty poor partner! I tried squash for the first time and really liked it, something quite satisfying about smashing a ball as hard as you can. Just need to do something about ducking every time the ball comes flying towards me...
A squirrel outside our door
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the indoor waterpark, which is meant to be a "tropical paradise". Their newest ride, the Cyclone, was pretty good - a fast and furious raft waterslide for 4 people that had a huge scary drop an lots of tossing around. The Rapids were also quite good, and there were a few different pools - though we all felt the wave pool was a bit tame - it was no "Typhoon Lagoon" as mrwandymcnoble said! The fact that we were all shattered combined with the miserable weather led to the decision to order takeaway and watch a movie, and we were all in bed by about 9:30pm!
Quad biking

Sunday morning we went for another run (at the slightly more reasonable time of 8am), and then I went  off for a massage with the girls while mrwandymcnoble went quad biking with the boys. I could have stayed in the spa for the whole day, but there were more sports to be played, this time badminton. We finished the afternoon with another trip to the waterpark, and then it was back to London on the train to reality for us.
Extreme badminton

We have less than 4 weeks left in London now before going to Canada at Christmas, and then its off to Australia mid January. I can't believe how close it is... and how much we have to get done before then! It's going to be a busy few weeks!

mrswandymcnoble

Friday, 2 November 2012

Shipping

Yesterday our boxes arrived from Anglo Pacific - we have decided to ship a few boxes worth of personal items like clothes, books and some things with sentimental value. The past few days have been spent sorting through our flat, putting things into one of four categories: "sell, ship, throw away, keep and take on the plane".

Doesn't he look happy doing all this packing?!
We decided to go with Anglo Pacific as they gave a very reasonable quote and also had good reviews. The cost for a 5 cubic foot box is £99 for the first one, and then £30 for each one thereafter. If you want to put things in your own suitcase it is only £18 per case. Max weight is 30kgs per box.

I've been really impressed with them so far, when I called with some questions they were extremely helpful and informative, and we got our boxes they day after ordering. They also came with tape and bubble wrap for packing. They will come and collect your boxes whenever you want (except Sundays), and then 6-12 weeks later your things arrive at our door Australia. As the guy who delivered our boxes said (in an Aussie accent) "Too easy".

I am a bit nervous about how they will arrive but just have to trust that they know what they're doing and they do it all the time.

Shipping boxes
Boxes everywhere!
For now it's back to sorting, packing, listing things to sell on preloved.co.uk, and getting ready for a carboot sale next weekend!

-mrswandymcnoble

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Visa Granted!

Well, we have had a busy few months and have been a bit slack on updating the blog. After our honeymoon we had to finish off our Masters dissertation proposals and then the school year started, and time seems to have slipped away from us.
It is half term this week, and we are busy doing "admin" for the move, including uploading all our documents onto the DIAC website for our 457 visa.
My school nominated the position for the visa on 25th October and that was approved a few days later, on 29th October. I submitted our application on 28th October and got an email today saying it was approved! So excited and happy - it finally feels "real" that we are going. Applying for a visa is such a stressful process, I was constantly fretting that I hadn't submitted enough evidence of my work experience or hadn't got the right documents certified. But all seems to have been in order, and happened much quicker than I anticipated. (Processing times on the DIAC website say up to 2 months.)
Our next steps are: booking flights, packing up some clothes and books to be shipped and trying to sell our furniture - much more fun doing this stuff with the visa bit out of the way!

-mrswandymcnoble

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Olympic Training

Well we are just packing up the last of our stuff for our honeymoon! Woohoo! A taxi is coming to pick us about in about an hour to go to Heathrow, so just trying to fit in one last blog post before our trip.

This week has been busy, we've been watching A LOT of Olympics, trying to write some of our Masters Dissertation proposal, and picking up some last minute items for our Kilimanjaro climb (seriously, I don't want to go into another trekking/camping store for a long time!)

After watching some of the worlds greatest athletes compete these last two weeks from the comfort of our sofa, mrwandymcnoble has decided that, he too, would like to become an Olympian. In what sport, you ask? Well, that is a very good question. I think he has decided on triathlon, after watching the British Brownlee brothers take gold and bronze in Hyde Park this week, but would settle for any of the running events as well.

Watching the triathlon in Hyde Park - cheering for Canada AND Australia (oh ok, and GB!)



I don't have the heart to tell him: YOU ARE TOO OLD! GET A GRIP! Actually, that's a lie. I tell him all the time. Luckily I am not the only one to have a fantasist as an other half - my good friend sweatybetty's* boyfriend has also decided he would like to be an Olympian as well. So, this week we have had to put up with 5:30am cycles to Richmond park and constant talk of nutrition and training, and daily weigh-ins. (To be fair, once we got to Richmond Park, it was absolutely stunning at that time in the morning.) We have also all signed up for a triathlon in Kent in September and mr and mrssweatybetty are watching wetsuits on ebay.

Richmond Park at 6am
Training!



Mrwandymcnoble is now a bit stressed that our honeymoon means he will have 2 1/2 weeks of training less than mrsweatybetty. However we have managed to reassure him that climbing Kilimanjaro means he will have "altitude training", surely giving him some sort of advantage.

mrswandymcnoble







*name has been changed to protect identity.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Loving the Olympics!

Well, we've definitely been caught up in the Olympic fever that's been running through London the past few days! It's been super exciting and we've been lucky to have attended a few events already.

On Friday we went to Victoria Park in East London to watch the Opening Ceremony on a big screen. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, completely bonkers at times, and hilarious - showing off the British sense of humour I've come to love since moving here. The Queen with James Bond was priceless, as was the Mr Bean skit (who doesn't love Mr Bean?!) and of course I loved all the music that was celebrated during the ceremony. I probably missed quite a few references, in fact it was so complex that I am sure even the Brits would have to watch it multiple times to get all the connections, but even still I thought it was really well done. Watching it in Victoria Park with thousands of others on a big screen really added to the atmosphere as well, and we all jumped up and screamed like crazy when both the Australian and Canadian teams paraded into the stadium.

Saturday morning - Day 1 of the Olympics - we got up early to go see Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade. Although the idea of a "beach" in the middle of central London is pretty laughable, the venue is actually excellent. We had the cheapest tickets available and could still see everything and the view of Whitehall, the London Eye and Big Ben was amazing. The announcer was a bit cheesy - I think they wanted it to be a bit like being at a baseball game - and the crowd was a bit funny at the start. Being British they would quiet down at the start of each serve, as if we were at Wimbledon! So the announcer had a bit of hard work getting the crowd to be a bit more lively throughout the whole game. Unfortunately we missed out on seeing GB vs Canada in the afternoon session, but we watched it on TV with friends - I was pretty happy as we won, whoop whoop!
Watching Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards
Parade


Day 2 we went to Putney to watch the women's road cycling. I say "watch" but really all you get is a few seconds of them whizzing by on their bikes. GB got a silver in that race, which was their first medal so that was exciting. We spent the rest of the day watching various sports on the BBC, including watching Canada get its first medal, a bronze in the women's 3m springboard diving.

Yesterday was Day 3 and we went to see women's Tennis Table with the Noble's at the Excel Centre. To get there we took the Thames Clipper from Embankment to North Greenwich, and then a cable car across the river that has been put up for the Games. It was a pretty nice way to travel around London! Table Tennis was INTENSE to watch, there are 4 games going on at a time and they are quick. Really impressive, and actually far more entertaining than I was expecting.


Table Tennis at the Excel Centre
I just want to take a minute here to say how easy travelling around London has been since the Olympics have started. There are giant pink signs telling you how to get EVERYWHERE and tons of helpful volunteers. Also, I have not been squeezed into a tube car once - in fact if anything it seems less busy than usual. TfL have really done a good job (who would have thought we'd be saying that?!)

We got home last night and watched the highlights of the day - the most heartbreaking was the men's gymnastics. GB thought they had Silver, but then Japan appealed a decision and bumped GB into third. Worst of all the Ukraine thought they had bronze but were bumped to 4th place - I felt so sorry for them! I guess for every uplifting and inspiring story from the Olympics comes an equally disappointing and heartbreaking one.

Really looking forward to being in London for the rest of the games - Go Team Canada, Team GB and Team Australia!

mrswandymcnoble

Monday, 30 July 2012

I am registered as a teacher in Australia!

Just a quick post to share some exciting news - my VIT registration has come through! Yippee! This means I am licensed to teach in the state of Victoria. I submitted the application at the end of June, so it took about 4 weeks to get a letter confirming the registration, which I thought was pretty quick.
So step 1 in the visa application process is complete - Melbourne here we come!

mrswandymcnoble

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

London 2012 Olympics

Olympic fever is gripping London!  Now that school is out for the summer, I have been into the city a couple of times and everywhere is buzzing about London 2012.  Mrs Wandy McNoble and I have tickets for Beach Volleyball, Table Tennis and Badminton, and will be watching the opening ceremony in Victoria Park on Friday.

Continuing with our efforts to cram loads of stuff in before we move to Melbourne, I tracked down the Olympic flame last night.  After seeing the flame being paraded around the UK on TV, I got the chance to see what all the excitement was about.  The flame made its way to South London and I got a front row seat on the side of the road!  I then had a stroke of luck as I got to hold an official torch inside the after party!  I got this great video of the flame being passed to the next runner.









Tonight I am heading back to Portsmouth.  I am going on a hot air balloon ride with Dad early tomorrow morning!  I will upload some pictures from that tomorrow!  Other upcoming events include climbing Mount Snowdon next week and then our holiday of a lifetime to Tanzania!  Mount Kilimanjaro and game reserve safari here we come!

Mr Wandy McNoble

Monday, 16 July 2012

Marlow River Triathlon

Yesterday mrwandymcnoble and I participated in the Marlow River Triathlon. We did the sprint distance, which was a 750m swim, 24km bike and 7.5km run.

We were up at the crazy hour of 4am, had a breakfast of porridge and bananas, and were on the road before 5. I noticed 2 girls on our street coming home from a night out, and felt pretty smug that I was up and ready to do something athletic instead of crawling home in the wee hours of the morning (though, let's face it, it wasn't so long ago that that was me!)

We made "darn good time" as my dad would say, arriving at Higginson Park before 6am. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, a rarity in the UK lately. Registration and bike racking went smoothly enough; it was a small race - only about 160 racers doing the Sprint Distance. I noticed that I was pretty much the only one there without a road bike, which made me a bit nervous... where were all the novice triathletes with hybrids like me?!
Walking to race briefing


6:45am came around quickly, which was race briefing time. We were told there that the swim course was now one way, downstream only, as the current was too strong to have us swim upstream. Hurrah! I couldn't have asked for better news. I had been really worried about swimming in a river with the current, as I have never done it before. I was standing next to a super competitive guy though, who was not at all happy about this. He told me he was a strong swimmer and this meant he will lose his advantage over the rest of us less strong swimmers. Seriously, he was a bit up himself, and I think he got a bit bored of talking to me when he realized that I did not give a crap about his lost advantage!

We had to walk upstream 750m in the mud to the start of the swim which was an unusual warm up. We then got into the river and realized just how strong the current was. Some of the swimmers, the "serious" triathletes, were warming up by swimming against the current, and they weren't going anywhere! It was like one of those training pools where you basically swim in one spot (like a treadmill for swimming). I spent the swim pretty relaxed and trying to take in the gorgeous scenery - Marlow is a beautiful town which I wish we had had more time to explore.
Swimming in the Thames


With the swim done in about 10 mins I met with mrwandymcnoble in transition, who was about a minute ahead of me. On to the bike.

mrwandymcnoble heading off on his bike


Most of the ride was pretty uneventful. As the race was so small, I was on my own for most of it. The scenery was, again, gorgeous, and the weather amazing. I was averaging about 15mph which I thought was ok on my hybrid! Some tough hills, but these were rewarded with long stretches downhill to relax my legs. It was an out and back course, so mrwandymcnoble passed me when I was at 7 miles, so he was about 1 mile ahead of me.




me heading off on my bike

The last mile was at the end of a long downhill. I was going fast, too fast, and realized too late that I had to turn right. I turned in too quickly and tried to slow down with my breaks. Only mrwandymcnoble had just tightened my breaks the night before and I pulled them too quickly. Next thing I knew I was skidding and then laying at the side of the road, bike on top of me. I hit my head, but of course my helmet took the brunt of that (thank goodness for bike helmets!)

My first thoughts were that I was ok, and I had to get out of the road. There was a marshall across the street from me, who was pretty useless. She eventually called the paramedics for me when she realized I wasn't able to complete the ride. The paramedics took about 15 minutes to come as they got lost on the way. In the meantime a police car had driven by and stopped and the 2 police officers kept me company until the ambulance came. We watched the marshall together who was completely rubbish. She started telling some of the runners the wrong way (apparently some of the front runners went a mile out of their way!) and was pretty rude to anyone who asked her a question. I know marshalls are volunteers but she could have been a bit more helpful!
mrwandymcnoble about to cross the finish line


Once in the ambulance they cleaned me up. I have some bad scratches across my arms, back, shoulder and neck, and am pretty sore today. Mostly though I was disappointed that I couldn't finish the race. I was only 1km from the bike finish! How could I have been so careless and stupid! I am really annoyed with myself about it all, to be completely honest.

Once I got back to the race finish with the ambulance I met up with mrwandymcnoble and his dad who had heard that I'd had an accident. By then the shock of the fall had worn off and I was pretty tearful about it all. We had to wait around for a while to get my bike and I needed a lot of help changing into dry clothes, but luckily I was generally ok.

Last night I kept thinking "what if"and imagining my accident again. It could have been a lot worse. But, I can't let this put me off cycling and triathlon. I'm not ready quite yet, but I need to get back on my bike as soon as possible and not dwell on this. So I guess the only question is... when is the next tri???

mrswandymcnoble

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Life in London: Swimming in the Serpentine

So, nothing exciting is happening at the moment with respect to the move. We can't do anything until my VIT registration comes through. In the meantime, we are working on a bit of a "bucket list" of things to do before we leave London. So far I have 3 things: Visit Cambridge and go punting, have afternoon tea with the girls at Fortnum and Mason, and have a huge night out at Fabric. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Yesterday mrwandymcnoble and I did something else we'd never done: go swimming in the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park. This was mainly to get in some open water training before our triathlon in 2 weeks. I was super nervous, having an irrational fear of swimming in open water, despite spending every summer of my childhood swimming in lakes.

We got to Hyde Park in the morning and were a bit worried about the amount of Canadian Geese we would be swimming with. Thankfully the roped off swimming area was geese free, although there was a lone swan perched beside the lake watching us swim. The water wasn't as cold as expected, about 19 degrees, and the water was pretty clear (though I was very conscious of trying not to swallow any water!) The swimming area is shallow, the deepest it gets was only 1 meter, and you could see the bottom while swimming. I managed 12 lengths (110 m each) and absolutely smashed mrwandymcnoble who only managed 8. All in all it was a pretty enjoyable swim, finished off with a latte in the sun at the lido cafe. I'm feeling much more confident about the swim leg of the triathlon now.

Today we are off to another London first: checking out the Canada Day festivities in Trafalgar Square. Hopefully the rain will hold off long enough for us to enjoy some street hockey, music and Canadian beer!

mrswandymcnoble
Canadian Geese in the Serpentine
Climbing out after the swim

Friday, 29 June 2012

VIT Registration... done!

Mrwandymcnoble is getting annoyed with me as I haven't written on the blog in ages. So thought I'd update with a post about what you need to do to register with the Victorian Institute of Teachers.

After a few months of gathering documents (and I'm serious, I've been collecting them since April) I finally sent off my application to the VIT along with a registration fee of $104 (Aussie Dollars). Here is a list of the documents you need and what you need to do if you want to register to teach in Victoria.


Click here to get to the online registration procedure for Overseas Teachers 

Send the following supporting documents to the VIT (all need to be originals or certified copies)

Passport biodata page
Driver's License (or a letter from a registered teacher confirming your address)
Transcripts
Degree Certificates
Initial Teaching Training Transcripts and Certificates
Letter from University stating number of supervised practice teaching days
Teacher Registration documents (OCT in Ontario or GTC in UK)
References from previous Head Teachers (They should fill in Form B)
Criminal Record Checks for any country you have lived in the last 10 years

Canadian (you need to get your fingerprints done for this one!)

Once these are gathered together, copied and certified you send them to:
Victorian Institute of Teaching
PO Box 531
Collins Street West
Victoria 8007

Hopefully in 6-8 weeks I will be a fully registered Victorian teacher!

Your comments are welcome.
Mrswandymcnoble

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cost of living in Australia - Grocery shopping

Like many others, it has been highlighted to us that the cost of living in Australia is way more than in London. Is this really the case?!  We have looked into this and are trying to figure out what our monthly budget will look like.  Having completed our weekly food shop online, Mrs Wandy McNoble added the same items (as close as possible) online at http://www.coles.com.au/.  She found the same shop to be only £2 more expensive in Australia.  This may be a one off, so we intend to do the same again next week.  It is pleasing though :-)

Mr Wandy McNoble

Visa documents - lets send them off!

We have not posted on here for a while.  Reason being we are both back at school, working hard, and counting down the days until the summer holiday!  We have also been finalising Mrs Wandy McNoble's visa documents.  The final document arrived from Canada which now means grouping them all together (which will take a while as there are so many) and sending them to Australia.  Exciting times!  Keep checking for posts on exactly what we needed for a sponsored visa.

In other news, our Instagram gallery is now open which means you can purchase our photographs.  The photos are shown in the feed on the right.  Check out the gallery at http://instacanv.as/mrwandymcnoble.  Let us know what you think :-)


Mr Wandy McNoble

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Sponsored visa

Mrs Wandy McNoble is allowed to stay in the UK for another two years!  Step one complete.  Now she can work legally from September for another two years, meaning we can still earn money to go to Australia!  Step two has also begun.  Infact, it has been ongoing for a while now.  It basically involves Mrs Wandy McNoble organising all her Canadian documents, UK documents, and Australia job offer.  At some point it all has to be sent off.  Keep an eye out for a post from Mrs Wandy McNoble about exactly what you need for a sponsored visa.

Mr Wandy McNoble

Mrs Wandy McNoble organising her visa

Tip number 1: Get organised! Use a spreadsheet to record all the stuff you need to send off and collect. This is how you do it!

Mr Wandy McNoble


Extending my British visa

Annoyingly, my British Ancestry visa runs out about 4 months before we want to move to Australia. So, while also getting together seemingly millions of forms for my Aussie visa (more on that later), I've also had to get everything together to renew my British one. We are on our way to Croydon now to apply in person (for the low cost of £867, yikes!), in the hope that there will be no complications and it will be sorted today. It should be fairly straightforward, however border agencies are notoriously picky (rightly so, I guess) and I am feeling quite anxious about the whole thing. Fingers crossed!

Mrs Wandy McNoble

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Our photos

Check out our Flickr feed on the right!  This is basically all the photos I take on my iphone using Instagram.  Follow me @mrwandymcnoble.  Photos at the moment are of anything and everything in and around London.

Mr Wandy McNoble

Visa organisation

Mrs Wandy McNoble is organising a bunch of documents to renew her British Visa tomorrow.  We need to do this before we can continue sorting the Aus visas or she won't be able to work in September!  We have an appointment with the border agency tomorrow.

Mr Wandy McNoble

Monday, 4 June 2012

Move us Down Under

And so it begins.  Thousands of Brits emigrate to Australia every year, so why can't we?  We have been sucked in by the warmer climate, a higher percentage of sunny days, and the opportunity to experience a different culture.  Or is it just that Mrs WandyMcNoble is dragging me away from my friends and family to have a break from our hectic London lifestyle?  Mrs WandyMcNoble has a job lined up.  I don't.  So I have started this blog to keep me busy!  Having visited Australia on a gap year in 2007, I found the way of life refreshing and the locals very easy going.  So although a little apprehensive about moving to the other side of the globe, I am excited!

Mr WandyMcNoble