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 |
Whilst the official start of summer in the UK isn’t for a few weeks, I always think that June 1st has a symbolic, start of season feel to it.
And, as if in agreement with this sentiment, what a glorious day it was – warm, but not too warm and accompanied by a gentle breeze to propel the fluffy clouds across the sky.
Posted in Countryside, England, Englishness, Leisure, Lewes, Weather |
Tagged Lambs, Lewes, Seasons, South Downs, Summer, Views, Walking |
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.
Posted in Australia, England, Englishness, Leisure, Nostalgia, Patriotism, People, Sport |
Tagged Aintree, Aldaniti, Beechers Brook, Ben Nevis, Betting, Canal Turn, Corbiere, Crisp, Grand National, L'Escargot, Melbourne Cup, Red Rum, The Chair |
Australia is a great place for camping. Or so, I’m told.
Somehow, I managed to resist its rustic charms for my entire stay down under.
Not once did I unpack my swag next to a billabong and pitch my tent beneath the Southern Cross.
Posted in Australia, Countryside, England, Leisure, Weather |
Tagged Aerogard, Camping, Countryside, Feather Down Farms, Glamping, Tents, West Sussex |
When I was growing up, most of the Kids’ TV shows I was allowed to watch were pretty harmless – Blue Peter, Magpie, John Craven’s Newsround, Crackerjack – not much there to set the pulse racing, to be fair.
But there was one notable exception that stood out like a scary colossus in the generally bland landscape of British kids’ TV shows. And that show was Doctor Who.
Posted in England, Englishness, Leisure, Media, Nostalgia |
Tagged BBC, Cybermen, Daleks, Doctor, Doctor Who, Jon Pertwee, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Sarah Jane Smith, Tardis, The Master, The Thick of It, Tom Baker, William Hartnell |
This weekend sees the
Glastonbury 2013 take place down in deepest Somerset, one of the most iconic music festivals in the world, let alone Britain.
I’ve been struck by how many different music festivals there are on the English summer calendar, catering for just about every life stage and musical taste, but ‘Glasto’ remains the jewel in the crown.
Posted in England, Leisure, Nostalgia, People, Weather |
Tagged Arctic Monkeys, BBC, Bruce Forsyth, Chic, Elvis Costello, Glasto, Glastonbury Festival, Mumford & Sons, Nick Cave, Portishead, Public Image Ltd, Rolling Stones, Worthy Farm |
One of the many positives about returning to live in the UK is the easy access it offers to a wide range of different types of holiday.
In recent years, I have to say my Australian holiday experiences (or those that didn’t involve a trip home to the UK) had become somewhat limited by a diminishing passion for either long haul flights or, dare I say it, the beach.
Posted in Australia, Countryside, England, Leisure, People |
Tagged British Isles, Butlins, Center Parcs, Easter, Holiday, Longleat, Longleat Forest, Middle Class, Scandinavia, Travel and Tourism |
From a young age, I’ve always loved music.
Top of the Pops, Radio Luxembourg, NME, Old Grey Whistle Test…they all played an influential role in my music education as my ‘tastes’ went on a rollercoaster ride through phases of pop, glam rock, new wave, prog rock, heavy metal, trip hop…the list goes on.
Posted in Australia, England, Leisure, Nostalgia, Patriotism |
Tagged Ben Howard, Brit Awards, British music, Emile Sandé, ITV, James Corden, Mumford & Sons, Old Grey Whistle Test, One Direction, Radio Luxembourg, Simon Cowell, The Brits, Tom Odell, Top of the Pops |