Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back to School

Wednesday 19th March 2008
We were all up early this morning in preparation for the kids first day at school, Marisa and Kristian woke up first at about 6am and by 6.30am were chomping at the bit and making a hell of a row. Fraser had to be woken up at 7am because he spent most of the night awake, playing in his room and was not at his best.
All three were ready to go, dressed and breakfasted well before we needed to leave at 8.10am so we were able to get there well before the uniform shop opened at 8.30am. Because we were early we were able to get all of the paperwork done first which was good because it meant that as soon as the uniforms were sorted they were able to go into there classes at the same time as all the other kids. The first lesson of the day for the whole school is a walk along the beach, we don’t imagine that it stretches the kids too much but it does give the Principle a chance to go through the kids bags and confiscate the drugs, booze and ciggies that have been brought into school without fear of being disturbed (only joking).
The kids look really great in their uniforms but we didn’t get time to take a photo to prove it so hopefully we will remember tomorrow. After watching the kids head off on their route march to the beach we headed for the CafĂ© for a cup of coffee and a chance to catch up on the emails after which we headed to the bank. That’s right, the same one as yesterday.
What a difference a day makes, today everything is waiting for us all we have to do is fill out the forms, decide which accounts we wanted, which tends to work on the principle of how much are we willing to pay the bank for doing nothing before you start paying fees for the things that they will do. Once that was decided they then arranged for a card machine for us and even helped us negotiate the fees so that we didn’t pay top whack. We did need to sign a form and fax it back to the card machine department but the guy who was dealing with it went for lunch before sending it, so after about 10 minutes of waiting for this form that was obviously not going to turn up till after lunch we decided to go for lunch and went back and signed it afterwards.
We had arranged another viewing of the house, to measure up for carpets and curtains but had ½ hour to kill so we went to the local Telstra (phone) dealer and discussed a few Phone/Mobile Phone/Internet packages with them and it would appear that to set us up with 2 lots of broadband, 2 Phone lines and 2 Mobiles to cover work and home it is going to cost about $300 a month (approx £150), and that’s without starting to use them. The call charges are obviously set by somebody who has worked out that people do not like talking to an ansaphone because they charge a connection fee of 37 cents (18p) which if you put the phone down you still have to pay, and when you try again you will pay again. If you manage to get through to somebody though it is a different story because they then start charging you in blocks of 30 seconds as well as the connection charge and the 30 second blocks cost up to about 50 cents (25p), at least Dick Turpin wore a mask. Fortunately if you disregard all this charge through the nose for everything attitude, Busselton has still got a great feel about it and while we may kick up a stink in our own little way we have no intention of leaving just yet as we think the alternative, coming back in the UK would be worse still
After that we went and measured up the house for carpets and curtains, it appears that the bank sent round the Valuer yesterday so we should hear back from them quite soon. While we had a look round the garden Ian mentioned to the Realty Agent that we would get a gardener in to cut back the trees and bushes a bit if only to keep it safer for the kids, because of spiders (Redbacks) and their habit of living in trees, to which the agent replied that it’s not the Redbacks you worry about down here, it’s the White Tips that do the biting in Busselton. This has made Ian feel really good, having preached to the kids about the dangers of spiders but concentrating on Redbacks because they are the ones that people talk about from day one, he has now got to warn them about white tips and he hasn’t even seen a picture of one yet. Did you know that receiving a bite from a White Tip will do you less harm than receiving a phone bill from Telstra?
At 3pm we went to pick up the kids and fortunately they had loved every minute of it, they didn’t appear to have been worked too hard on their first day but nevertheless they seem to have enjoyed it, made some friends and are looking forward to going back tomorrow.
Early evening Carolyn took the kids to the park while Ian went food shopping again before making dinner and then they all had an early night.

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