The Independent

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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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Cleo

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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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Happy first birthday

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It’s March 28th tomorrow. Just a regular date in the diary eh?

Sure, some may celebrate the birthdays of actor Vince Vaughan, ex-cricketer Nasser Hussain or all round loon Lady Gaga, not to mention Teachers Day in Czech Republic and Slovakia or Serf’s Emancipation Day in Tibet, but for most it is a pretty ordinary date.

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Commuting

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Whenever I am in touch with old friends from Australia, they are always keen to hear how I am getting on as I settle back into life in the old dart after so long away.

As the result of many conversations, both online and offline, I’ve noticed that a number of common questions (FAQs?) keep recurring.

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Going Underground

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Last week was the 150th birthday of the London Underground.

It was way back in 1863 that the first passenger train chugged its way out of Kensington Olympia station on its way to Moorgate – a journey recreated on its anniversary, using a steam train no less.

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Back to nature

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Nowadays, you only have to pick up a newspaper to read some sordid new tale of corruption, greed and inefficiency in the world of big business.

Which is why I found my Saturday afternoon a strangely cathartic experience – proof that there are people living an altogether more natural and wholesome existence.

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Outside the comfort zone

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During my 20 years in Australia, I lived in a grand total of 6 houses. All in Sydney and all within about a 3 mile radius of each other.

In fact, my ‘local’ supermarket never once altered during my entire time in Oz – creature of habit or what?

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End of an era

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I woke up this morning to some sad news from Australia.

Whilst no lives were lost and for once both the weather and the stock market behaved themselves, the news nevertheless left me with a heavy heart as I came to terms with the fact that an important part of my Sydney life had been confined permanently to the archives.

Unfortunately, The Campaign Palace is no more.

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