Blink and you’ll miss it

I often have cause to reflect on the serendipity that has brought us to Canberra and how, if our timings had been just a little bit different, we may never have made it here at all.

It’s three years now since our Australian residency visas were granted. Back then, after a couple of years of getting our documentation in order, gaining all the right evidence of Mrs CBRbound’s professional skills, and securing state-sponsorship from the ACT government, everything aligned in a wonderful post-Australia Day email which told us that we could start planning a life down under. Continue reading

Ask the family: Mrs CBRbound

Of all the family, it’s fair to say that Mrs CBRbound is the most home-loving. And when I say home, I mean Britain, because that’s what it will always be to her. So it was with curiosity and not the occasional lump in my throat that I read her thoughts on our big move and what it has meant to her.

A close-up pic of Mrs CBRbound.

This week’s guest blogger is Mrs CBRbound.

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A cautionary tale about finding work in Canberra

Researching a move to a new city in a new country is a lengthy and fraught process. The slightest missed detail can have profound consequences for your prospects in your new home.

I’d like to think that we were meticulous about looking into our move to Canberra. Indeed, the only things that have really impacted us have been a misunderstood detail on Mr Pup’s documentation (cost: A few thousand dollars and an extended stay in quarantine) and our decision to hire the Marx Brothers to handle our furniture removal (cost: lots of mess and damage and endless angry phone calls).

Oh, and the small matter of looking into the employment market here.
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Christmas all over again

About four weeks ago, I explained to my two boys that, this year, we’d be having two Christmases – one at our friends’ place in Melbourne and, because we couldn’t fit all the presents in our car (what with the two kids, one dog and several bags), another Christmas when we got home.

“Three Christmases,” commented my ever-optimistic youngest, mini-CBRbound. “Why three?” I asked. “Don’t forget ‘container Christmas’,” he responded, “when all our stuff turns up.” So, three it was, and last week was container Christmas, when all the things we’d waved off from Denmark in October finally found their way back to us in Canberra.

Men begin to unpack a removals truck.

‘Container Christmas’ arrives, all the way from Denmark.

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Bringing your dog to Canberra: Six top tips

A cockerpoo dog relaxing in the sun

Finding a home that would take Mr Pup influenced our choice of neighbourhood.

It’s been a long haul to get Mr Pup from Denmark to Canberra, but a few days after his homecoming, he seems to be settling in nicely.

In response to my last post, I was asked by the nice people at Canberra Your Future to offer some tips for new migrants who want to bring their dog to Canberra, so here goes. Continue reading

Early lessons and challenges

Two weeks into our new life and we’ve learnt a few things that are worth noting for future migrants.

In our preparations for the move, we found plenty of near-encyclopaedic lists of tips for what to do on arrival, covering all the essentials such as registering for Medicare, setting up a bank account, or how to exchange your driving licence for an Aussie one. But here are a few things that we wish we’d known, or known more about, before we arrived. Continue reading

How Mr Pup fell foul of the law

Sometimes, things just go wrong. There’s no-one to blame, there’s nothing that can be done to fix it, you just have to deal with the fall-out.

In our case, the thing that went wrong was a tiny detail of a small aspect of Mr Pup’s import documentation. It turns out that he was given the wrong type of tick treatment before he left Denmark. As a result, he needs to be re-treated, then re-tested, and must serve an extra 21 days’ quarantine to ensure he wasn’t infected beforehand.
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Things to do on arrival in Canberra

We had some disappointing news this week. After all our meticulous planning in trying to ensure our belongings will arrive in Canberra in time for us to spend a comfortable Christmas, the shipping company told us that, yes, while the container would arrive in Australia in plenty of time, customs clearance is expected to take three-to-four weeks, meaning our belongings won’t reach us until mid-January at best. Continue reading

The Boxtrolls

Last week, I took my youngest son to see the family movie The Boxtrolls. It’s a story about a group of ingenious creatures who live in boxes and fashion all their needs from the cast-offs of others. If you’ve ever seen The Wombles, you’ll have a general idea of what it’s about.

This week, in a classic example of life imitating art, it seems my family is attempting to emulate the boxtrolls’ lifestyle following the disappearance of 99% of our belongings into a container bound for Canberra.

A container mounted onto a truck.

Our possessions head off to Canberra in a container.

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