th 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’
Posted in Australia, Britain, Countryside, England, Englishness, Making the move, Nostalgia, People, Uncategorized |
Tagged Australia, Back Home, England, Expat, Happiness project, Returning pom |
One 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.
Posted in England, Englishness, Media, Music, Nostalgia, People, TV |
Tagged Ally McBeal, Binge watching, Box sets, Breaking Bad, Cold Feet, Coldplay, Dallas, Game of Thrones, Homelands, ITV, Life on Mars, Melrose Place, Orange is the new black, The Great Gatsby, The Scientist, The Wire, This Life |
Last 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.
Posted in Britain, Englishness, Music, Nostalgia, Patriotism, People |
Tagged Isle of Wight, Lambrettas, Mods, Mods & Rockers, Quadrophenia, Scooters, Vespas |
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.
Posted in Bureaucracy, England, Englishness, Patriotism, People |
Tagged Brexit, EU, Europe, Great Britain, Leave, Referendum, Remain |
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.
Posted in Australia, England, Englishness, Music, Patriotism, Sport |
Tagged Advance Australia Fair, Anthem, God save the Queen, I vow to thee my country, Jerusalem, Land of hope and glory, Last night of the proms, National Anthem, There'll always be an England |
One of the benefits of having a WordPress blog is that they send you a rather attractive report at the end of each year, reviewing your blogging activity with them over the preceding 12 months
A year ago, I remember poring over the data to see which posts were my most popular and where all the views came from – I discovered, for instance that I have a modest fan base in Italy for some obscure reason (‘Ciao’ to you if you’re reading this).
One of my sons is a football fanatic (wonder where he got that from?) and in many ways, it is far easier for him to feed his addiction than it was for me when I was growing up.
Nowadays, with a season that lasts around 10 months of the year accompanied by blanket TV coverage, he can pretty much find a game to watch whenever he likes.
But one casualty from that relentless diet of top class games is the element of unpredictability.
Posted in England, Englishness, People, Sport |
Tagged Crystal Palace, FA Cup, FA Cup 3rd round, Hereford, Liverpool, Man Utd, Ronnie Radford, Stoke, Underdogs, WBA |
This is the third Christmas since I left Australia and each festive season, I have made a point of visiting that most British of institutions, the Pantomime.
For the uninitiated, Pantomimes could be broadly described as musical stage shows, taking place exclusively over the Christmas period and with a particular appeal to a family audience.
But in reality they are so much more than that – they are part of the wonderful eccentricity that makes Britain great.
Posted in England, Englishness, Leisure, Nostalgia, People |
Tagged Beauty and the Beast, Carley Stenson, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Humour, Panto, Pantomime |
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.
Posted in Australia, England, Englishness, Food, Leisure, Nostalgia, Weather |
Tagged Australia, Bing Crosby, Black Friday, carol singers, Christmas, Christmas lights, Cold weather, John Lennon, Mince pies, mulled wine, Pogues, Queen's speech, Santa, Shopping, Slade, Sydney, Wham, Wizard |
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.
Posted in Australia, England, Englishness, Leisure, Patriotism, Sport |
Tagged Beckenbauer, Brazil 2014, Cruyff, England, FIFA, football, Gascoigne, Maradonna, Messi, Neymar, Pirlo, Platini, Ronaldo, Rooney, Rossi, World Cup, Zico |