The Independent


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.

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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.

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Brands I’ve missed: #14 Solpadeine


After last night’s Paralympics closing ceremony and following August’s Olympics extravaganza, the summer party is sadly over for Britain and the hangover begins.

In a rather clumsy segue, (and as those that know me will confirm), I too have always struggled with hangovers, often with a scale and ferocity completely out of kilter with the night before.

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Brands I’ve missed: #13 Argos


Strictly speaking, this is not a brand I have missed, or even thought about at all over the two decades I have been away from the UK.

In fact, upon returning and discovering an Argos branch still plying its trade in downtown Lewes, my initial thoughts were more along the lines of “I can’t believe this dinosaur is still breathing”.

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Brands I’ve missed: #12 Bottle Green


Over the last few years, any holidays back to the UK have usually taken place during the summer months, as we hope for a bit of sunshine to brighten up those long hours of daylight.

One abiding memory of those holidays has been the lunchtimes spent around my mum’s kitchen table, as it groans under the weight of the vast array of food she has prepared to ‘keep us going’.

But when it came to drinks, I always found myself drawn towards a rather tall elegant green bottle, lurking in the recesses of her fridge, cunningly named Bottle Green.

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Olympics watch: #8 Omega


Omega have quite a claim to fame – “official timekeepers of 25 Olympics”.

I dare say they must include Winter Olympics in this definition as well, otherwise I can imagine their role in the first of those 25 (Summer) Olympiads some 100 years ago would have involved some top-hatted official whipping out a fob watch to record the finishing time.

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Olympics watch: #5 Adidas

Today UK Athletics announced their final squad for the Olympics and in so doing, helped to realise the dreams of some athletes, whilst also shattering the hopes of many others.

Elsewhere, other UK sporting bodies have also been busy making their own final selections as they reach tough decisions over who they believe has the best chance of delivering those all important medals for Great Britain in a few weeks time.

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