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About SaffanZimbo

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  1. We rent out our UK house through an estate agent but do not have any UK tax liability as the income is below the UK tax threshold. Do we need to disclose this rental income on our Australian Tax Return and if so can we deduct the full mortgage payments? The rent covers our mortgage and insurances (just!) so not sure how we would find the cash if we have to pay tax in Australia on the rental income (less only mortgage interest and expenses) quite worried:confused:
  2. SaffanZimbo

    Winter holiday - the ups and downs

    If we went up north again I'd only go to Monkey Mia for a day visit - there are better places to stay in nearby Denham at much better rates. Kalbarri National Park was lovely and lots of lovely viewpoints etc.
  3. SaffanZimbo

    Winter holiday - the ups and downs

    Well after much debating we decided to go for it and try and escape the winter rain in Margs for warmer and drier weather up north. We decided not to kill ourselves driving for 10+ hours so booked 1 night in Geraldton en route to a 2 night stay at the Monkey Mia Resort. What a disaster - the motel in Geraldton was absolutely awful. Dirty floors, broken window blinds so all the world could peer in at night, very dated furnishings and a bathroom that left me speechless at its horrors. We really have not got used to such poor quality of accommodation. The Premier Inns and Holiday Inn Express chains in the UK were such value for money and so clean compared to anything we have found in WA. However, the Geraldton experience was nothing compared to the Monkey Mia Resort..... On arrival there was no parking as the Resort was full. Our Budget Family Room (with share bathroom much to the shock of OH!) was the size of a shoe box with a double bed, bunkbeds, tiny rickety table and 2 mismatched chairs.... 80% of the curtain runners were broken on both the window facing the courtyard and the sliding doors facing onto the sea view - and slap bang onto the campsite!. The floor was dirty and the bathroom smelt of mold - the fan has a prehistoric notice on saying it was out of order (for how many months/years???). The resort looked so very overcrowded and we spent the afternoon getting our bearings and the girls had a quick dip in the sea (it was freezing). The rain started late that evening and did not let up till just before we left. The corridors flooded and we and 50+ others braved the rain and cold the next morning for the "dolphin experience"... 20 minutes of a speech whist we shivered on the jetty and then 5 minutes on the beach and only 4 dolphins were fed due to strict feeding regime. Quite a disappointment for our girls. We really found the resort very, very overpriced and in need of maintenance. Our door frame was rotten at the base and cables for the TV ran through the bathroom mid way across the room and about 10cm from the ceiling - what the ???! We really expected a bit better and really disappointed. We left and headed north to Quobba Station where we camped for 3 days and relaxed - the weather was kind to us during the days but the first night was very, very cold (I ended up sleeping in a tracksuit whilst my family snored around me!). Quobba is lovely and the ablution blocks was hands down the best ablutions we have come across at any campsite. Hot water from Solar and supplemented by a donkey (wood burner). The camp hosts were lovely and the girls had such fun on the beach and around the campsite. OH and I managed to relax for a bit which was lovely. Our plan was to stop at Gladstone on the way home for 2-3 nights as it had been closed due to flooding on our way up. We headed there after leaving Quobba but the warning signs were on the horizon of more rain and after seeing the road going in we decided to head for home...... The rain started just after we left Overlander Rest Stop and 16 hours later we arrived home after almost continuous heavy rain.... So we've ticked the winter holiday off our list. We'll either have to head further north (Camping only as not willing to take a chance with horror accommodation!) or save and head to Bali! One consolation was that when we arrived home we had missed the coldest day of the winter so far!
  4. SaffanZimbo

    I know no one will care but ......

    Chilling at home after a lovely day at the girls sports carnival and a lovely dinner at Goodfellas Restaurant. Their surf and turf is the best! Girls absolutely shattered after the carnival but thankfully none of us got sunburnt - we've all become adept at slapping on sunscreen every morning! Hubby prone on the sofa "watching" MotoGP whilst resting his eyes and as soon as the girls are bathed and in bed I'll be off to bed as I'm shattered. VeryStormy glad things are falling into place and you've found a great job and rental (very envious that you'll be near our old home - Maidenhead!).
  5. SaffanZimbo

    what are you doing at this moment

    Hi Rossmoyne, yes we are indeed very lucky to be living in Margaret River. At first we thought "what have we done???" but after a few months we came to appreciate how lovely the town is and how friendly the people are. Our girls are flourishing and we have a lovely group of really genuine friends. We have a lovely work/life balance compared to the UK. I do miss our family, old UK neighbours and friends and the girls awesome school in Maidenhead but loving the Australian way of life. I love Lloyds store but don't go in there very often as I have very little willpower and they have amazing stock!
  6. SaffanZimbo

    what are you doing at this moment

    Relaxing at home after a lovely day at the beach watching the girls and their lovely friend surfing. Our 6 year old has really taken to the sea and had a very proud mummy moment when a surfer commented how determined she was and good technique (thanks to SurfGroms program!). Our 8 year old always game to give surfing a go but prefers dance classes. We have been so very blessed since arriving in November 2014. OH has been lucky to get a very busy and demanding job at a local winery and I've been lucky to find part time work at the local Free Range Egg Farm. Both girls enjoying their school and extra curricular dance and sports. We have made some lovely friends through the school and church and just hoping the WA economy picks up as we've had some friends in Perth badly affected by the downturn. Its taken a little get used to Margaret River but after spending some time in Perth we are really glad we live in the SW and love having our friends come to visit. I don't get onto the Forum very often as we spend most of our time outdoors and away from technology when at home - living the good life!
  7. SaffanZimbo

    Moving back

    Sorry to hear you have had a torrid time since arriving. I haven't been on the forum for ages. Wishing you all the best for your return to Blighty.
  8. My OH's stepdad (aged 74) collapsed yesterday whilst on holiday near Springbok and his mum will be at he hospital shortly to switch the life support off. We are shocked beyond all belief as he was very fit and healthy. The doctors said is was a massive brain aneurysm and there was nothing anyone could have done. They were planning on coming out to visit us for 2 months over Christmas and we were going to speak to them about sponsoring them so that they could move over as they live on their own and we are not happy about their security. We are now trying to work out if we can sponsor his mum over and what is involved. Does any one know of a good immigration consultant would could give us advice? OH's only sibling lives in Korea so his mum who is 65 will be on her own. Any advice would be appreciated.
  9. We have been in Oz 8 months already! Time is flying by. We hit our first wobbly moment last weekend and now a little more subdued to be honest. OH has a great job and we love in a beautiful part of WA, the girls are loving their school and the Oz way of life but we are missing our UK friends, family and to be honest the easy life we had there. We got a message from our neighbour in the UK (who was also our very good friend and babysitter) to let us know that one of our lovely neighbours had passed away on Thursday evening, 3 weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer. Ed was a absolutely gem of a guy, recently retired and had for the past 5 years been visiting his mum who was her 90's every day to ensure she was OK. Sadly Ed's mum passed away on 31 May and Ed was apparently very lost without her and the cancer diagnosis a bolt from the blue. We are so sad we could not be there to have helped him in his final weeks and its made us think long and hard about what we want. Yes, we moved to Oz to give us as a family a better life and in most respects we have achieved just that BUT we didn't count the costs of being so far away from friends and family. OH and I had a long hard talk and we've agreed we will stay here till we have Oz citizenship and only then make the decision about where our future home will be. We knew it was going to be tough financially but in some respects money being tight has been a good thing - we can't afford to move back so no knee jerk reactions are possible. Sorry for such a muddled post but I've found this forum is a great place to be able to vent as there are like minded members who understand.
  10. SaffanZimbo

    I know no one will care but ......

    IKNWC but I have (finally) got a job! After 4 months of applying for every sort of job possible I start work on Tuesday as Office Administrator for a local business. I've loved being at home since we moved to Margs in January but really want to get back into the office so that I don't lose my skills. The job is part time so I can still fetch the girls from school every day and I've found a lovely lady to come and look after the girls from 7.30am and drop them at school. Fingers crossed its all starting to come together!
  11. SaffanZimbo

    Car service / repair

    We used the Automotive Inspection Services in Rouse Road, Mandurah and they were fantastic. https://www.facebook.com/AutomotiveInspectionServices
  12. SaffanZimbo

    I know no one will care but ......

    Estates Agents just been to value our rental..... not sure if our landlords are selling as they are being a little vague. Rentals really, really hard to find in Margs and our 9 month lease ends at the worst possible time of year (5 October). We don't want to break our lease early but really worried that we won't find another rental in October and maybe if the house is going to be sold it may be a blessing in disguise??? Feeling very out of sorts today.....
  13. SaffanZimbo

    I know no one will care but ......

    Paper Planes was is an awesome movie! You must go and watch it - brilliant for all ages. It was VERY cold but we dressed up warm and had hot milo to sustain us.
  14. SaffanZimbo

    I know no one will care but ......

    8 Celsius in Margaret River this morning - BRR!! Missing the UK double glazing and central heating. Really hoping for a rain free day so that we can go to Movies at Cape Mentelle this evening to watch Paper Planes.
  15. SaffanZimbo

    School Shoes

    My two girls go to a Catholic Primary and they wear black school shoes (with Velcro). The school uniform states black lace up but are flexible and have allowed Velcro (teachers probably don't want to spend ages retying the younger children's laces!). At the local government school the children wear trainers. Had I known that our girls were going into the Catholic School I would have bought Clarks shoes before leaving the UK, however the ones from Target are cheap and seem to be very durable. I did buy trainers and bring them with and I am glad I did as good trainers are expensive here.