Nicki Chapman catches up with the Ashton family from Sheffield who wanted a new life. In 2006, they sampled life in Adelaide, South Australia for a week. Did they make the move?
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Welcome to Wanted Down Under Revisited.
We're catching up with the Ashton family, who we met back in 2006,
when we let them sample the lifestyle in Australia.
'Bob was a cable installer, hoping for a better life for his family.'
We seem to have started every year. Nothing's got better in the UK.
'Mum Jane needed convincing.'
It's not something I'd consider doing.
'Their trip was far from plain sailing.'
-I want my mum!
'Did they move, or did the stress get too much?
'Four years on, and a lot has changed.'
When the nurse said, "It is his heart," you could have knocked me down with a feather.
She said, "Your dad's in hospital." And the shock just came to me.
Wanted Down Under puts British families to the ultimate test,
by giving them the chance to try life in Australia.
They have one week to find out
about homes, work and lifestyle
before voting on their future.
But what happened next?
We caught up with some of our original families to find out where they are now.
In 2006, the Ashtons from Sheffield faced a life-changing decision -
to stay in the UK or to move to Australia?
We gave them a week to experience all aspects of life down under,
but was it all they hoped it would be?
'Four years ago, Bob, Jane and Billie
'were thinking of giving up their life in Sheffield for a new start.'
There's always been some reason for us not to go.
When we decided to sell, it were, "Why don't we do what we've always wanted to?"
'Bob worked as a cable installer, earning up to £30,000.
'He knew he'd take a pay cut but wanted a better quality of life.'
I just want more space.
I want more freedom and more time to spend with the family to do what we enjoy.
'Things hadn't been easy for the Ashtons.'
I lost my father, and you could say I ran away, in a sense.
I left to find myself again.
And myself and Jane got divorced.
'They got back together, but Jane was keen to leave the past behind.'
Any mistakes we've made in the past we can erase them,
start again from scratch and let's see if we can do a better job.
'They needed to think about the future of ten-year-old Billie.'
Mum and Dad told me we were going to Australia and it was a really big shock.
She's going to miss her friends and her family, but she's adaptable.
'All Australia meant was dolphins.'
She said straight away, "Will I be able to swim with dolphins?" She can't do it every day.
'But she already had reservations.'
If we don't like it there, we have to come back again.
It's going to be awful because we've gone there for nothing, really.
'If Billie didn't like Australia there was no way they'd move.
'She held the key to their future.'
To help Bob, Jane and Billie consider the risks they'd be taking,
we sent them to Adelaide in South Australia.
There were three lifestyles to choose from - one in the city,
one in the country and one on the coast.
Each option included potential work for Bob.
'The first option was the country.
'South Australia is the driest state on the driest inhabited continent,
'but you wouldn't know it from the greenery of the Adelaide hills.
'You could find fantastic homes at a low price.
'Isolated wooden cabins would have cost less than the £200,000 budget,
'and they had a luxury finish to go with the price.
'The family would have benefited from the massive outdoor space
'and enjoyed beautiful views.
'Billie would have loved the wildlife.
'Back in 2006, cable installers earned a lot less in rural areas.
'Bob could have expected a salary of around £16,000,
'almost half of what he earned in the UK.
'Option two was on the coast.
'Adelaide's temperate climate
'makes it the perfect place to chill out,
'but beach front property is always expensive and can cost millions.
'It would have suited the Ashtons to go a short drive inland,
'where they could have picked up a three-bedroom bungalow for £200,000.
'There was lots of cable installation work,
'but he would have earned a third less than his 30-grand UK salary.
'Option three was the city.
'Adelaide is a fast-growing metropolis on the south coast,
'recently voted one of the best places to live in the world.
'Living in the centre may have been a bit cramped but, four years ago,
'you'd find expansive three-bedroom suburban homes with pools
'for around £170,000.
'An income of £20,000 would have given them a good standard of living
'and Dave from a local security company had a job on offer for Bob.'
I know your expertise is in data, cabling and such.
However, I'm sure we could get you covert work and investigations.
'Billie would have loved living here
'as it's host to the only city-dwelling dolphins in the world.
'So there were three very different options, each of them life-changing.
'Which one did the Ashtons sample?'
The Ashtons tried the city lifestyle with a week in Adelaide.
There were dolphins for Billie and an interesting job for Bob.
'It was a long trip for Billie.
'Like her parents, she'd never been this far away from home before.
'The Ashtons' 10,000-mile journey from London took 22 hours.
'When they finally touched down, the whole family was jet-lagged.
'They were keen to check out their base for the week.'
-Very nice, isn't it?
'They stayed in a three-bedroom house in a suburb.
'It had an open-plan kitchen living area, popular in Australian homes.'
Ooh, I say!
-Nice and comfy.
Don't make that your bed.
Oh, it's lovely and spacious.
'It was really different from properties they were used to.'
It would be nice if they all had walk-in wardrobes.
'The owners had left a present for Billie.'
The thing that I'm looking forward to most is the dolphins.
I've heard there's lots of zoos and wildlife things.
My dream would be to swim with dolphins.
You know what that means. We've got to go and see some dolphins.
"Come and see my mum and dad!"
'Billie knew only too well what she'd be leaving behind.'
If we do emigrate, I'm going to be leaving my friends and my family
and just the lifestyle, really.
Leaving all my friends behind is a really big scare.
It'll just be a big shock.
'They had just arrived and there were already doubts creeping in.
'Little did they know how traumatic the trip would become.'
'Australia's a huge country, over 31 times the size of the UK.
'So, when it comes to buying a home,
'you'll get a lot more land for your money.
'Many homes have a modern open feel,
'often reflecting Australia's multicultural population.
'Aussies spend most of their time in the garden
'and, unsurprisingly, outdoor living is big business.
'Decking is a typical feature, as well as a barbecue and a pool.
'But remember, they can be expensive to install and maintain.
'Back in 2006, the Ashtons lived in a two-up two-down in Sheffield.
'There wasn't much room and they were desperate for more space.
'Selling up would have given them £200,000 to spend.
'On their trial week in Australia,
'they were hoping to find a bigger home with a pool for Billie.'
Look at these houses!
-It's very Mediterranean.
These are definitely out of our price range.
'Back in 2006, the first property was bang on budget.
'It boasted a large open-plan living area and had four bedrooms.
'Did it live up to expectations?'
Very nice. Plenty of room to get a table and chairs, isn't there?
The house that we're in is just a dining-kitchen all in one room.
'They were clearly impressed with the room in Australian houses.'
This is lovely. There's so much space.
To have a formal dining area, if you were entertaining formally,
or just somewhere to sit and have breakfast and your meals generally.
'The bedrooms were considerably larger than they were used to.'
-Look at them windows!
-Just so light!
-This is your bedroom.
This is lovely.
'But they would have spent most of their time in the backyard.'
Thank you. Ah, look at the trees as well!
You could do just about anything out here, bring the inside out.
The covering does not allow the UV rays to come through.
Being Australia, we do get burnt very quickly here.
It's a perfect set-up.
'Space-wise, it was exactly what they wanted.'
-How much would this be on the market for?
-We're looking for between 480 and 500,000.
-That is negotiable.
-Between 480 and 500,000?
Oh, my goodness me! I can't believe that!
That's unbelievable. That's a million-dollar house.
A house like this back in the UK would be around 350, £400,000.
-This is just unbelievable.
'They were blown away by this and by the fact that they could afford it.
'For Billie, a true Australian house had to have a pool.
'On to property number two.
'It was on the market for £250,000, so slightly over budget,
'but it did have a massive pool to keep Billie entertained.'
-Oh, my goodness!
-Look at this! This is a fabulous lounge!
This would definitely be room for everything that we've got.
We should have to buy a bigger TV!
'It had more rooms than they knew what to do with.'
Oh, what a beautiful space!
-It's an extra room.
-A little reading room or homework room.
-The ceilings are a lovely height.
-Yeah, they're not low.
But they're not extremely high like we've got, that go on for ever.
Oh, gosh! A big bathroom. This is fabulous.
This is like a palace.
This could make a nice bedroom for a little girl. I love these windows.
Neighbours, but they're not...there!
-Not joined on like they are at home.
A nice little guest room.
This is a bit bigger than the other one, Billie.
'It was no comparison to their house in Sheffield.'
This is nice. GASPS
Whilst washing the pots, is that not a better view
than looking into somebody else's kitchen?
-The view we've got at home is a scraggy old garden, Mum.
'It was the feature outside that won them over.'
-Look at that!
-What do you think of that, then?
-JANE AND BOB LAUGH
This is unbelievable.
I can't imagine how much it would cost back in the UK.
I can't even put a figure on it.
'So, it was thumbs up for property number two.
'But did they do any better with a home closer to the city?
'Property three was ten minutes away from central Adelaide.'
Hi, guys. How are you?
Hiya, Billie. How are you?
'Peter showed them around. It had four bedrooms and a pool.
'It was on the market for around £245,000,
'so it was over budget.
'But four years ago, it offered great value for money.'
-Ooh, look! This is nice.
-It's a Victorian house, isn't it?
-Gosh, that's lovely.
'Good first impressions. Was it big enough?'
PETER: This is what they're using as the master.
JANE LAUGHS Is that big enough for you?
-Oh, my word!
-Do you like that, love?
This is... Oh!
PETER: It's got some space. JANE: Definitely.
It's nearly as big as our house! Is that right? >
Bigger than our complete downstairs!
It's nice to have space.
'Next came Billie's turn.'
Yeah, it could be another guest room.
PETER: It's a fourth bedroom.
-It about as big as the attic.
-It probably is.
'The living space was pretty impressive, too.
'It had areas for every occasion, and Jane loved the kitchen.'
Back home, we've got a basic cooker,
a fridge, a sink and obviously units on the walls
but nothing like this.
'They didn't notice what was through the window.'
PETER: Look at that out there!
-Oh, my goodness me!
-Wow! That's amazing!
PETER: A nice backyard.
How beautiful is that?
This is exactly the picture I had in my mind of what a garden would be.
It's absolutely breathtaking.
It really is.
All the greenery and the bushes.
Then the pool! It's wonderful!
Oh, look at this barbecue area! The size of that table!
You imagine an outdoor dining space but not this big.
This is as good as it gets.
The problem is finding enough friends to invite round. You'd soon get friends here!
Speak for yourself!
Owning something like this in the UK would be beyond your wildest dreams.
It's not something that you would, unless you won the Lottery,
ever imagine to be able to afford.
To think this is within your reach really is unbelievable.
'They were amazed by every house, especially homes with massive pools.
'It was time to vote for property.
'Was it the UK or Australia?'
So, which properties do we prefer? Properties in Australia or the UK?
'Back in the UK, the Ashtons loved going down the pub.
'In 2006, we took them to a typical Aussie local.'
-Am I OK to fetch kids in today?
-Yeah, that's fine.
- Is it always this quiet on Sunday? - Yeah.
- Kids are allowed in till midnight? - Yeah.
'Was the beer to Bob's taste?'
It's in a glass. It looks nice.
It's not like the bitter at home.
I'll have a white wine, please.
'They went on a search for something more familiar to Bob's palate.'
How are we doing?
What happened to the Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX?
They never existed? LAUGHING: Not in here!
You ship it over to the poms?
We ship it overseas cos it's no good!
'Time to vote. Was the lifestyle better in Australia or the UK?'
-We've done half a dozen pubs now.
-Australian pubs or British pubs?
Pretty obvious, really.
'Billie was desperate to talk about what was really on her mind.'
I found out that my mum and dad were divorced six months ago.
I was very, very upset and burst into tears.
My mum said, "I don't think we'll get married again."
That got me even more upset.
The reason we had to tell Billie was because...
Do we make a decision to come to live in Australia?
Our relationship had to be out in the open. She may hear us talking.
If anybody asks our marital situation, we are actually divorced.
We had to make Billie aware in case she heard it and got confused.
Even though she vaguely remembers us being apart,
we never told her that we got divorced.
So we told her. It wasn't very long ago.
When they're not married, it doesn't feel like a real family.
-Yeah, but you...
-It LOOKS like a real family.
I was just really upset. I'd really like them to get married again.
I want to know Mum and Dad are really together.
Now that we're back together and we're happier than we've ever been,
I don't see any reason why getting married would change that.
If it went wrong first time, who's to say it won't go wrong again?
If it's not broke, don't fix it.
'The trial week brought up unresolved heartache for Billie.
'Mum and Dad believed the move would have been the perfect way
'for the whole family to make a fresh start.
'It was all about Billie and they were desperate to win her over.
'So in 2006, the Ashtons took her to swim with her favourite animals,
Billie's always wanted to do this. It's like a dream come true.
I'm very, very excited about the dolphins.
She lives and dreams dolphins.
Ever since she sponsored a dolphin she's wanted to swim with them in the sea.
'A pod of dolphins was spotted near the boat
'and everyone got in the water.
'But Billie wasn't a strong swimmer
'and the reality of open sea wasn't what she expected.'
Help! Please! I don't like it!
'It all got too much for her, without glimpsing a dolphin.
'Her dreams were in tatters.
'A new life in Australia was the last thing on Billie's mind.'
-I want my mum.
I got right far out on the rope.
And I breathed through my nose and it got stuck to my face.
I didn't like it so I took my mouth thing out
and then I swallowed a whole lot of sea water.
'But did she find the courage to try again?'
Oh, don't. You've been so looking forward to this.
Haven't you? You might not get this opportunity ever again.
-I can't, Mum.
-What have I always told you?
You can do anything if you try.
I... What did I just do? I just tried.
Where's your dad? He's still there?
'Despite Billie's panic, Bob was having a great time.
'He was living Billie's dream, swimming with dolphins.
'Bob was blissfully unaware
'that a black cloud hung over his daughter's view of Australia.
'Back in 2006, the Ashton family had a turbulent week
'trying life in Australia.
'Jane was amazed by the lavish properties.'
-I can't imagine how much this would cost at home.
'But the enormity of being so far away from loved ones hit her hard.'
I've always needed to be at home and have my family round me.
If somebody had told me I was contemplating living in Australia,
I would have laughed. There was no way I'd have considered it.
-You wouldn't have got on a plane for that long!
It's...very strange that we're even considering it now.
'Daughter Billie had most doubts.'
I'm probably a bit worried about friends.
At school, I'm not that good at making friends. Out of school, I am.
If we move, Billie's always going to be our main concern.
We're always going to wonder if we're doing the right thing,
taking her away from her friends, her family.
It'll be us three for a while.
So it's really, really important that we weigh up all the options.
The end result is that she has a better lifestyle.
If Billie said she really didn't want to go it would be heartbreaking
and I'd probably have to stay in the UK.
'Their trial week had been especially hard for Billie.
'She held the key to the future.'
When they're not married it doesn't feel like a real family.
I'd really like them to get married again.
'For her, the trip had only meant one thing - dolphins.
'When her fantasy ended in tears,
'was her dream to live in Australia lost at sea, too?
'In 2006, the Ashtons chose whether to start a new life in Australia,
'or stay in the UK.
'Which way did they vote?'
'Mum and Dad wanted a new life down under.
'Everything rested on Billie's vote. What was it to be?'
We've got a bit of convincing to do.
'Without Billie on side, the Ashtons weren't going anywhere.'
Maybe if Billie changes her mind, Mum and Dad will get married again.
'Ah. The family was split about a move down under,
'but it seemed they may be able to persuade Billie.
'Four years on, where are the Ashton family now?
'They've been living in Adelaide since 2006,
'only a stone's throw away from beautiful beaches and vineyards.'
-Hello. Welcome to our house. Have look around.
-Please come in.
'The Ashtons are renting at the moment,
'but with two living areas and plenty of space,
'this property is a far cry from the two-up two-down in Sheffield.'
This is my favourite room, my laundry room!
I love this feature. You've got a separate laundry room.
Washing machine, tumble drier, iron.
You set it up, close the door and nobody sees it.
Straight outside with the washing.
'One of the main reasons they made the move was an outdoor lifestyle.
'And what better place to enjoy it than in the backyard?'
Beautiful. We're outside so much.
Come home from work, kick off your shoes, grab a beer.
Enjoy the gorgeous weather.
There's no pool because I've got a build-yourself pool.
An above ground pool that we take down in winter and put up in summer.
It's like a little vacation place.
-It's our little oasis.
-In the middle of Aus!
A washing line in the middle!
'Australian house prices have rocketed since the Ashtons moved.
'Bob and Jane have struggled to find a property.
'In the meantime, the rental costs them £185 a week.'
This is the spare bedroom.
Good size. We can get a double bed in here.
Considering all the visitors we've had, it's been quite essential.
-Anybody's welcome to come.
-Then they have to leave again.
-And the leaving's really hard.
-That's the hard part.
Like leaving all over again, especially when my mum came. Awful.
-Never going to be easy.
'On their trial week down under,
'Billie was dead set against the move.
'Mum and Dad were desperate to persuade her.'
My parents told me that if we came they'd probably get married.
We have discussions but I don't think she wants to go there again.
She always uses the same expression. "Don't fix what's not broken."
I'm really disappointed in them. It makes me feel a bit like...
they made me come, forcing me.
The only way we could describe Australia was it's like paradise.
As a child, her ambitions would be swimming with dolphins.
She could do that after school.
Little white lies came out, I must admit.
On arrival, she hated it.
When I voted the UK before,
I'd been for a holiday and I didn't really like it.
Leaving my friends and family behind, they're the other side of the world.
Initially, she hated us for bringing her all the way over here.
The move was hard, saying goodbye at the airport. A lot of crying.
A lot of worry if anything good's going to come out of it or anything bad.
Yeah, a very emotional time for Billie.
She started at primary school.
but was a bit nervous and cautious.
I was really scared and then Mum had to go.
And I was like, "Don't make me do this."
She struggled a bit at first but now she's got some really good friends.
She's just a typical teenager.
She gets angry with everything and then she's absolutely fine.
I've enjoyed starting a new school, making new friends.
Now I know that it can be done and it's easier than it seems.
Within six weeks, she'd got new friends, she'd got a new life.
I definitely prefer it here.
# Here comes the sun
# And I say, "It's all right" #
'It may have been Billie who had doubts
'but, in the end, it wasn't as hard as she thought to make new friends.
'Ironically, it was Mum and Dad who struggled to settle in.'
The hardest thing is you just don't know what to expect.
You think you know but you don't.
You're very much playing blind.
You don't realise how important a lot of stuff that you take for granted is until you haven't got it.
The person I miss most is my mum. I used to see her every single day.
And if I didn't, I'd speak to her every day. I really miss my mum.
Missing the UK, missing the family, missing friends,
missing social activities.
Missing celebrations with friends and family, obviously.
Missing the sport. Missing my mates with golf.
Missing my football team back in the UK.
We're pretty sociable people, quite easy to get along with, so we think.
We thought it'd be easy to make friends but it's not that easy.
We don't know where to go, for starters.
You don't get little clubs that say, "Welcome to Australia"
and meet and greet people.
I used to take Billie to school then come back and sit alone all day.
That was quite difficult.
Starting again at the age of 40, it's hard to find people who've got your same interests.
It's still a nice place to live. Very nice.
'It's been tough for the whole family but they've stuck together
'and are trying to make their new life in Australia work.'
One of the reasons people move to Adelaide is for cheap housing.
But once you've found your dream home, how easy is it to buy?
We found some of the hidden costs of getting on the Aussie property ladder.
'The Ashtons are renting, but when they do buy, they may go to a property auction.
'They're more common in Australia
'and they take place at the property being sold.
'You must pay a 10% deposit on the day
'and sign an auction contract...'
'..which means there's no going back.'
Sold to you. Congratulations.
Give him a hand.
'If you're expecting a bargain, be wary.
'This family sold their house for 50% more than the guide price.'
We've tracked houses sold at a price
and, had we, I suspect we would have not maximised the potential.
Today's a great example as to why the auction system works.
'Remember, it's easy to get carried away in the bidding,
'so stick to your budget.
'85% of Aussies live within nine miles of the coast.
'Don't be surprised if your beachside home
'costs more than you anticipated.
'The Ashtons are living in one of the cheapest parts of Australia.
'Homes in Adelaide cost 25% less than those in Sydney.
'To afford their dream place, Bob had to find good work.
'On their trial week down under,
'Jane was preoccupied with Bob's job prospects.'
One of my main concerns will be Robert's job.
It's him working, if we were to come out,
that would determine whether or not we could stay.
'Work was the deal breaker so, four years ago, we gave Bob some work experience at a security firm.'
This is the area I need you to look at.
'In the UK, Bob was a cable installer
'but it was likely he'd have to branch out into security.'
-Dave, is security a big business in South Australia?
-Very large now.
There's not many places you can go without it being alarmed or being watched on CCTV.
Covert operations, that kind of thing.
Alarms will always be pretty big.
-So there's much work for myself?
-Plenty of work. Plenty.
'If Bob was interested, he'd have to do more than install cables,
'including covert operations.'
-What exactly is covert work?
-Covert's actually watching people.
-Without their knowing.
-Which is pretty exciting.
-It's not always on the bad man, the cheating husband.
-Have you ever done anything like that?
I'd be interested. It's very interesting.
'Jane and Billie explored an Aussie wildlife park.'
This is Buttons. I want you to stand nice and straight like a tree.
Buttons will climb on.
'Being close to wildlife was one reason they wanted to emigrate.'
This beats anything we do in the UK.
'But despite the excitement, Jane's mind was on Bob.'
We're having a different day to Dad.
Dad will be jealous when we tell him when he's finished work.
'While Billie got up close and personal with the wildlife,
'Jane had thinking time to consider the decision they had to make.'
It's important that Robert does well
and finds a job he likes doing.
We all know how horrible it is to get up and not want to go to work.
Our visa determines that Robert must work full time.
He has to find something to do.
'Bob's day had a lot riding on it.
'It could have meant financial stability,
'but working for a security firm was more than installing cables.
'Bob was about to discover if he was cut out for covert operations.'
-You can hear the voices.
-Come down here.
'Bob had never come across this type of work and he was apprehensive.'
-See them here?
-Get some pictures of that.
'Water is a precious resource.
'It's illegal for anyone to swim in an area supplying drinking water.'
You've got one, two, three, four adults there.
This is something I never dreamed of doing in my life. It's unbelievable.
I could live with this.
'This element of security work is nerve-racking and unpredictable.
'Bob was out of his depth.
'If the people see you, you could be in trouble.'
A guy there with multiple tattoos.
What we're looking for is distinguishing figures.
Anything that you could take a picture of
and identify with it if you had to do a police line-up.
This is what covert's all about.
What a way to make a living!
'Back in 2006, Bob had to weigh up his work prospects in Australia.'
Lazing about with kangaroos while I'm hard at work!
-Have you enjoyed it?
-It's been very different.
Going on today's experience,
what I've gone through today, it's really exciting.
But, if I'm truthful and honest, the work that I do back in the UK,
I'm more comfortable with
and I feel happy doing.
As a vote for the job, I go for...
'A vote for the UK was a massive shock to Jane.'
'Four years on, Bob has settled into his job down under.
'Unsurprisingly, he didn't opt for the private investigator career.
'He's gone back to his roots as a cable installer.
'Bob is in his comfort zone fitting telephone lines in new developments
'and office blocks like this.'
I'd never dreamed of being an investigator.
As a kid I might have wanted to be James Bond!
We ended up somewhere on the river, spying on people.
I've never done this in my life before!
I got quite a bit of stick back in the UK for being a peeping Tom.
All a bit crazy and I didn't know where I was going.
But in realistic terms I was confident enough to know
that the work I was seeking would be out there
and I'd find it, not a problem, and luckily, I did.
'Bob earns a salary of around £40,000,
'more than the £30,000 he took home back in the UK.'
We get on site early in the morning, between 6 and 6.30.
It's harder work getting out of bed at 5am.
But you reap the rewards in the afternoon when the beach is there. Great life.
'Bob isn't the only one enjoying work.'
-The address is still the same?
'Jane got a part-time job at a large pharmacy in Adelaide.'
I really missed work. Billie went to school. I was on my own all day.
Work is your social life. If you don't come to work you don't see anybody.
'As a service coordinator, she earns a salary of about £20,000
'but, for Jane, it's not about the money.'
Work is essential for your sanity.
'You do make friends through work.'
And I have made some really good friends here. Yeah.
'Both Jane and Bob seem to be enjoying their new lives down under, but it's been tough along the way.'
'Walking into the unknown is massive.
'We'd never visited Australia before.'
It's like being reborn.
You don't know anything.
'Didn't know anybody over here, no friends, no family.'
Robert really missed his friends.
He really missed the social side of things.
So we really struggled.
He used to get stressed, worried about me and Billie.
That was really hard, the first six to 12 months. It was a struggle.
'Nothing prepared them for the nightmare that lay ahead.'
I came to work, actually.
I got pains in my left arm and I was thinking, "Have I been working too hard, too much physical work?"
I thought nothing else of it and a couple of days later the pains ended up in my chest.
I actually was going to my friend's party.
Dad was walking round, his hands were all sweaty.
I said, "Are you OK?" He's, like, "I'm fine."
He said he was having problems with his chest.
He phoned me up at work and just said
he thought he was having a heart attack and he'd called an ambulance.
You need ambulance cover, otherwise you get charged for an ambulance.
I couldn't believe he was having a heart attack so my reaction was,
"That's going to cost us 700! What did you call an ambulance for?"
I knew there was something really drastic happening.
I was in so much pain. Got to the hospital...
The nurse said, "It is his heart."
You could have knocked me down with a feather. I couldn't believe it.
She's like, "Your dad's in hospital." And the shock came to me.
Yeah, a massive worry and a massive shock. And, yeah...
"Why has it happened to me?" seemed to be the case.
When that happens, you do realise how far away you are.
It was like, "Oh. There's nobody. There's just us three."
I talked to the surgeons about how it could have happened.
They put it into context of the move from England to Australia, the stress.
You don't realise the pressure you are under. What if I lose my job?
What if Billie doesn't like school or Jane doesn't want to live here?
He said the stress in that, my body just rejected it, in a sense.
If we'd have been able to afford to come home
I think we would have done - I'm sure we would have done.
If somebody had given me a plane ticket and said "if you want to go home you can" I would have gone.
Without any hesitation.
It wasn't a nice time. You wanted to be back home with everybody.
It was really hard on us all.
He was fine and the next minute he's had a heart attack.
Things did start building up inside and I didn't realise at the time.
I thought I was coping with everything.
Apparently, my body wasn't. My brain was but everything else wasn't.
Yeah. Got frightened. Got scared. Panicked.
'Like the Ashtons, many people move down under
'for the promise of a better lifestyle.
'The climate can make it the perfect place
'for families who enjoy the great outdoors.
'Families may be able to afford good homes and a great standard of living
'however, as the Ashtons discovered,
'there are harsh truths to face once you've made the move.
'Being apart from loved ones can be incredibly hard
'and making new friends can be difficult.
'It's little wonder that many ex-pats return within three years.
'Out of those who stay, 1,000 get divorced or separated every year.
'Moving to the other side of the world can create enormous stress
'so it is important that you get as much information as you can before.
'Since embarking, the Ashtons have gone on a huge journey
'both physically and emotionally.
'In the UK, Bob had been overwhelmed with grief.'
I lost my father. You could say I ran away.
In a sense, I left to find myself again.
And...myself and Jane got divorced.
'They felt a move would fix their problems
'and give them the fresh start they needed.'
Any mistakes we've made in the past, we can erase them and start again from scratch.
Let's see if we can do a better job.
'Four years ago on their trial week,
'they got to experience everything Australia had to offer.'
This is exactly the picture I had in my mind.
It's absolutely breathtaking.
'Dolphin-loving Billie had to learn the cruel lesson
'that dreams don't always come true.'
Help! Please! I don't like it!
-I want my mum!
'But things were to get a lot more difficult.'
In 2006, the Ashtons had to face up to the prospect
of leaving loved ones behind,
as we showed them recorded messages from friends and family.
We hope you're enjoying your time in Australia.
A lovely little girl, Billie. Very grown-up for her age.
Bob's a really out-going person.
He'll have no trouble making friends.
Everybody likes Bob.
I think they'll miss us more than they realise.
I think I'll be ever so upset.
I will really, really miss them.
You know, it'll be heartbreaking, really.
I don't want him to go. They want to give it a try and good luck to them.
We just do so many good fun things together.
I will really miss Jane.
The day that they get on the plane will be quite horrendous.
I'm not looking forward to that day.
We all love you and we're all going to miss you.
Take care of yourselves.
What do you think of that, then?
'Four years on, the Ashtons have made the daunting move
'but the messages they saw still haunt them.'
-It was emotional.
-When you saw your mum.
She'd never said much about us moving to Australia.
She said more on the DVD than to me. I found it quite emotional.
'So how was it leaving loved ones behind?'
The hardest part was the actual day we were leaving.
Until then, we'd been busy packing, doing various bits and pieces.
So the day that we left was a stark realisation that we were going.
Everybody came to the house.
Everybody came to say goodbye.
And you knew that this was it. It's real. We're going.
'We've prepared a new set of messages from loved ones in the UK.
'Bob's family had to come to terms with him having a heart attack
'10,000 miles away.'
Hello Rob, Jane, Billie.
Good to see you again.
Hello Bob, Jane and Billie!
Couldn't believe you were going to the other side of the world.
It took a while, you know.
I can remember you saying, "I'm never going to see him again."
-That's what me mum said.
I remember sitting at work, looking at my watch,
thinking, "They'll be at the airport." "Getting on the plane."
"They'll have gone and I'm not going to see them for a long time."
It was an interesting day.
Neither of them had got jobs.
They hadn't got a property to go to. They'd got all this to sort out.
I think they thought it was going to be a holiday then reality kicks in.
They've got to pay their bills.
It was very difficult because I used to walk to school
to pick Billie up and I still have to walk on the same route.
I see her friends and I think, "She used to come to my flat and sleep."
Sometimes, music will come on,
and it'll be, "Oh, yeah! Jane and I did scary stuff to this music!"
It's a bit, "We don't do that any more.
"Cos she's not here." Yeah, I do miss her.
I miss Billie a lot cos I used to tell her all my secrets.
Used to have girlie chats and when we were little, play with dolls.
So I do miss all of that.
Just before December last year, we were talking to him.
And I said, "Are you all right, Rob?"
-"Have you lost a bit of weight?"
He then proceeded to tell us he'd had a heart attack.
We were just numb. We couldn't get over it, couldn't believe it.
No matter how much he said, "I'm fine now. Everything's fine."
It was terrible. It really was.
It must have been absolutely awful for Jane,
having no family to turn to
That's when I thought, "It's such a long way away."
You can't do anything for them.
It must have been awful for Jane.
The fact that we couldn't get to him there and then was a bit difficult.
I think that he felt it the same.
If he could have hopped on a plane, been transported over here,
he would have.
I heard a Kylie song today and thought of you, Jane.
Just have a really great time, guys, and get on with it.
Love you. Bye.
I hope you've got over having Mother there for three months.
I look forward to seeing you next year.
Hope it all carries on being good for you.
I'd be disappointed if they weren't missing us and upset.
You know, it's ditto. It's vice versa.
But we've got one life to live, haven't we?
I probably didn't realise how much I missed Julia until I saw that.
Yeah. Yeah. Finding friends over here was difficult.
I realise that it doesn't come easy the older that you get.
Making friends as a young person, in reality,
it just seems to come natural.
Once you reach 40,
it's hard to find people who have got the same interests as yourself.
I thought, "It'll be fine.
"I'll take Billie to school and meet the mums of Billie's friends."
They don't walk the kids to school.
They live so far away, they drive and drop them off.
They pick them back up, so there were never any mums at school.
-Only me. "Hello!"
-You were the only one that walked.
The person I miss the most is my mum. Definitely.
I hate to say this, but the person I think about most is my dad.
Unfortunately, he's no longer with us.
But, yeah, I think more about him now that he's not here.
I suppose, since I had the attack,
and how lucky I was...
I think... Could I have asked my dad different questions if he had been around?
What would I have asked my dad? That's such a personal feeling.
-I don't think I've told Jane and Billie...
-It's news to me.
Yeah, I think about my dad quite a bit. Yeah.
I miss him.
'Bob and Jane made the brave move down under for the sake of Billie.
'The risk seems to have paid off.'
I've enjoyed making new friends
Now I know that it can be done and it's easier than it seems.
We go to the beach whenever it gets hot.
Billie's unbelievable. She's surprised both myself and Jane.
She's come out of her shell a lot.
Within six weeks, she'd got new friends, a new life.
She's growing up to be a nice young woman, which is frightening.
'Having lived in Australia for four years,
'Bob and Jane are slowly building a group of friends.'
Life here's been...different.
It's definitely had its ups and downs but, on the whole,
yeah, it's good, we have a good laugh.
Yeah... We're getting there.
Friends are coming. It takes time.
Now we seem to have got what we need.
Now we can start living the life we want to live.
It's all good now. Really, we're enjoying it.
We're not Australian. We're English people that call Australia home.
'It's time for one last vote.'
Based on our lifestyle, the standard of living here, we choose...
Despite initially finding it hard to make new friends
and having serious health issues along the way,
it seems the Ashtons are happy with their new life in Australia.
Join us next time when we catch up with another family
on Wanted Down Under Revisited.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Wanted Down Under Revisited catches up with some of the original British families who tried out life in Australia and New Zealand to find out where they are now.
The Ashton family from Sheffield wanted a new life. Dad Bob was a cable installer who was hoping they would find it down under, but wife Jane needed convincing. In 2006, they sampled life in Adelaide, South Australia for a week. Daughter Billie's dream was to swim with dolphins. Did it all come true, and did they make the massive move to the other side of the world? We caught up with them to find out.