It is not a bad quality, but I have always been known to be a very organised person. This has obvious advantages in planning such a huge event as the Big Lap but it does have its drawbacks. On the positive side it does mean I am championing through the list of things to do but on the negative side it does mean I stress out about those things that are outwith my control. I am trying to keep a lid on it but a case in point is the granting of our 12 month visas.
We had not thought it appropriate to apply for our Subclass 600 Tourist Visas until a few weeks ago because we thought that the 12 month clock would start ticking as soon as it was issued. If it was issued quickly we thought that would then disadvantage us and limit us to potentially only having 10 months to complete our trip. We needn’t have worried because we have now learnt that the 12 month clock only starts ticking from when you enter Australia. The issue date is relevant in so much as you have 12 months from the date of issue to actually enter Australia. Multiple entries are allowed within the 12 months and whilst we hope not to have to rely on this you never know what might happen when our backs are turned!
Two weeks ago Mike and I both completed our online visa applications, linking them together under the title ‘Big Lap’ and then sat back waiting for them to be issued within the expected 17-29 days. A week later we got our response – my visa has been granted but Mike has to undergo a medical examination first. We are both pretty fit having run the Edinburgh marathon last year and we play a lot of sport. We can only assume this request ties in with the fact that Mike is about to turn 68 and, at six and a half years my senior, may be considered more of a health risk. His medical takes place tomorrow, conveniently at a private clinic less than 10 minutes walk away, and fingers crossed all will run smoothly and I can return to my optimistic self! We know there are ways round the twelve month visa by popping out and in every 90 days on the standard tourist visa. My sister in New Zealand would be more than happy to facilitate these little jaunts but it would not be ideal if we’re out in the sticks!
Other than this little irritant, we certainly feel things are now moving a-pace. The calendar for week commencing 25th June is a logistical masterpiece with our personal belongings moving into storage on the Monday, carpet and oven cleaning happening on the Tuesday, Gas and Electrical Safety Certificates and the Tenancy Inventory on the Wednesday and all other last minute cleaning happening on the Thursday. I truly hope everyone will be true to their word and turn up. Mind you, I should be nice and chilled out that week because I will have spent the previous week relaxing with my friend Ann in Alonissos, Greece and the week before that on a walking holiday in Dingle, Ireland where the craic will be brilliant, to be sure!
Having now had over twelve months to get the house and contents organised I am still surprised at how long this whole thing is taking us. Every week we have been making progress whether that was to paint the whole house magnolia (as per the letting agent’s instructions), to empty out the contents of the loft or to sort out which clothes needed to go into which pile, I am still amazed at how busy we have been and we aren’t there yet. I have continued to find time to complete craft projects whether that be knitting, sewing or beading and I have set aside a small space in my luggage to bring some materials with me as I’d be lost without them. You never know, I may even pick up some beer money selling beaded angels at Christmas time to fellow campers.
I am very aware of the need to keep our suitcases within the acceptable upper weight limits – all the more so because of the embarrassing scenario during our Heathrow check in in February when we were well over. Mike had said we were allowed 30 kg each but what we had not appreciated was that that had to include 7 kilos hand luggage – ooops!!! With this in mind I attach a picture of two very lightweight luggage items I’ve got ready and waiting to pack – anyone know what they are? Some of you may recognise the green sack – that’s our new washing washine. What about the cream coloured foam square thingy? That little Robert Dyas bargain is a portable draining board extension – what self respecting motor home owner would be without one, huh!!! LOL.