My Premier League dilemma

IMG_2357For as long as I can remember, I have believed that once you choose a sports team to follow, you stick with them for life.

On no account should you be allowed to shift allegiance… and anyone who did wasn’t a proper sports fan in the first place. Or so my logic went.

Continue reading

Happy 5th anniversary

9780307888570_p0_v4_s550x406

28th March 2012…….that date will be forever etched into my mind.

It was the date I got up in the wee small hours to head to Sydney airport with a one-way ticket in my pocket and my final 30kg of possessions crammed into my remaining bags.

It was also the date, thanks to the vagaries of time difference and a ‘direct’ Emirates flight, that I touched down at Gatwick, ready to start my new adventure ‘Back home’

Continue reading

Cold Feet

cold-feet-reunionOne of the first casualties of parenthood for me has been the ability to commit – really commit – to watching an entire TV series.

I start off with the best intentions, but after episode 2 or 3, my ‘live’ viewing pretty soon switches to ‘catch up’ and not long after that to the deleted bin as I realise that other time pressures have left me with too much to catch up on and not enough time to catch up in.

Continue reading

We are the Mods

400Last weekend, taking advantage of the glorious summer weather, we decided spontaneously to pack up the car and head over to the Isle of Wight on the ferry.

I hadn’t visited there since a school Geography field trip to Sandown many years ago and I wondered how much had changed in the intervening decades.

Continue reading

Team GB

teamgb_2308229bOne of the downsides of living for so long in Australia as a patriotic, sports-loving Brit was getting used to losing. Pretty much all the time.

Sure there were some glorious exceptions – the 2003 Rugby World Cup (13 years ago!) and the triumphant Ashes tour of 2010-11 – but by and large it involved eating a great deal of Green and Gold coloured humble pie.

Cricket, Rugby, Rugby League. It seemed that every time there was a match-up between Australia and the Old Country, it was the aggressive, competitive Aussies who would ultimately triumph.

Continue reading

Close to Europe

eu

This is a big day.

I have just returned from a polling station where I had to place a cross in one of two boxes. A very simple task, but one with a very big implication.

Depending on the results of my vote and the vote of millions of others today, Britain will either remain in the EU or decide to go it alone.

Continue reading

The Independent

IMG_0188

One of the things I missed most whilst living in Australia was being able to read British newspapers on a daily basis.

Sure they have some good newspapers in Australia, but for me, nothing quite matches the extraordinary diversity, vibrancy and sheer inventiveness of the British press.

Continue reading

Cleo

eb8679aa2770fc36085de70815c8762f

Despite the fact I have been back in the UK for nearly 4 years now, I still keep in regular touch with all manner of news from down under: general news, sporting news, celebrity news, popular culture news….

But every so often a piece of Aussie news finds its way onto my radar which strikes a particular chord and reminds me vividly of some aspect of the time I spent there.

Continue reading

Anthem

stream_img

During my time in Australia, I became an Australian citizen, thus making me a dual national and the proud owner of two passports to boot.

At my citizenship ceremony, us new Aussies got to sing ‘our’ national anthem (‘Advance Australia Fair’) for the first time – not as part some kind of test (“Get it right or there’s no certificate for you mate”), but more as a celebration of our newly adopted nation.

Continue reading

Bowie

Low A side.tif

“Bowie’s dead”.

It was one of those moments, a bit like the deaths of Elvis Presley or John Lennon, when I’m sure millions of people all around the world couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing or reading.

“But how can this be?”….. “He only just released a new album” ….. “I didn’t even know he was ill”.

Continue reading