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

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

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

Driving home for Christmas

oxford-street-lights

Several weeks ago, I met up with an Australian friend who has recently relocated to the UK in search of a new adventure.

He was experiencing the lead up to his first ever cold Christmas, following a lifetime of festive barbecues and Santas on surfboards.

It was all completely alien to him, but I found one of his observations particularly interesting. He said that for the first time in his life, he truly ‘got’ Christmas.

Continue reading

Brazil 2014

World-Cup-Brazil

So, tonight’s the night. After all the talk and extensive media coverage, the action is about to begin on the field.

32 teams, 736 players, 64 games, 32 days and the world’s single biggest trophy to play for.

Excitement and anticipation is all around. Conversations are focused on the same topic wherever you turn. At work, at home, in the pub, on the train.

Continue reading

Farewell Jonny

65wilkinson2403b

About 10½ years ago, on November 22nd 2003 to be exact, I joined 82,956 other people at Sydney’s Olympic stadium (I’ve lost track of which sponsor it is named after at the moment, maybe ANZ? …or possibly Telstra?) to witness the final of the Rugby World Cup.

The game between Australia and England was a classic – truly one of those ‘had to be there’ moments. It was eventually won by England, 20-17 in extra time, courtesy of a drop goal from the right boot of English fly half, Jonny Wilkinson.

Continue reading

The Grand National

Bildnummer: 13351169  Datum: 05.04.2013  Copyright: imago/Frank Sorge 05.04.2013, Aintree, Liverpool, GBR, GROSSBRITANNIEN - Horses and jockeys at Bechers Brook. Aintree racecourse. (Pferde, Jockeys, Hindernisrennen, Grand National, Bechers Brook, Hecke, Sprung, Anlage, Ansicht, Tribuene, Jagdrennen, Tribüne) 809P050413AINTREE.JPG ; Pferdesport Reiten Pferderennen Hindernisrennen Aintree Liverpool xns x0x 2013 quer Pferde Jockeys Hindernisrennen Grand National Bechers Brook Hecke Sprung Anlage Ansicht Tribuene Jagdrennen  Image number 13351169 date 05 04 2013 Copyright imago Frank Worry 05 04 2013 Aintree Liverpool GBR UK Horses and Jockeys AT Cup Brook Aintree Racecourse Horses Jockeys Obstacle race Grand National Cup Brook Hecke Jump Asset View Grandstand Hunting race Grandstand  jpg Equestrian sports riding Horse race Obstacle race Aintree Liverpool xns x0x 2013 horizontal Horses Jockeys Obstacle race Grand National Cup Brook Hecke Jump Asset View Grandstand Hunting race

The British sporting calendar is sprinkled with iconic events – Wimbledon, FA Cup Final, The University Boat Race, British Golf Open, Henley Regatta.

Events with a status that somehow transcend the sport upon which they are based.

Another such event takes place tomorrow – The Grand National.

Continue reading

Two years on

Qantas

Today it is March 28th – a date that will be forever etched into my mind.

The reason is that it was the date, in 2012, that I zipped up my suitcase and headed off to Sydney airport for a flight to the UK … only this time, clutching a one-way ticket and lugging all my remaining possessions with me.

It seems like it was only yesterday.

Continue reading