It has been seven months since we finished our lap of Australia and returned to the UK in time to celebrate my father’s 96th birthday.
Dad’s Palindrome Birthday
We loved our time in Australia and were keen to return again with another visa in place. Luckily for us the Australian Government brought out a new visa in July called the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa which suited our purposes perfectly! It required our son-in-law to get approved as our Parent Sponsor and then it was over to us to sort out the necessary medical, police checks, referees, $$$ funds and application form. Our five year visa was granted on the 24th September 2019 and the clock has already started counting down!!!
=”attachment_1036″ width=”1970″ /> It’s Officially Granted!
It was always our intention to spend Christmas with my Dad and so we have spent the intervening months getting ready to move in the New Year. Whilst we haven’t had quite so much clutter to throw out this time, we have had the added task of getting rid of all the furniture we are not shipping out to Australia. We have carefully studied the guidance about what we can and cannot ship and unfortunately the 22 bottles of gin I was given for my birthday did not make the cut! As I’m doing Dry January quite a lot of ‘regifting’ happened at Christmas time!!!
Source of the River Thames
In addition to securing some really lovely tenants for the next three years, we have spent a lot of time enjoying the British countryside. This has included walking the entire length of the Thames Path (184 miles/294 kms) from the heart of the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier as well as four days along the Fife Coastal Path and three days hillwalking between Dollar ($) and Stirling (£)! Mike and I also secured our official red Park Run tee shirts for completing our 50th run a few weeks ago.
Fife Coastal Path
Dollar to Stirling
We have been desperately saddened to watch the daily television reports showing the devastating bushfires across Australia but especially in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Balmoral, Kangaroo Island and the whole coastline around Batemans Bay hold very special memories for us. As for the wildlife it is just heartbreaking. We have read many reports that say once the fires are out these communities will be in even greater need of the tourist dollar and hopefully we will get a chance to go back in the future. But first we’re heading off to Tasmania. Our plans have been hanging in the balance somewhat with my father’s health not as good as when we arrived back in the summer. If he’s “spared” – an expression Dad has been using for the past few years – we fly out on the 28th January to spend two weeks in Dee Why with my daughter and family. Thereafter the plan is to fly to Tasmania where we have hired a Britz campervan for eight weeks and hope to see as much as we can before heading on to New Zealand for some quality sister time. Several of my previous followers asked if I was going to write another blog – I wasn’t sure …. until today!!!