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.
When I lived in Sydney, I spent many entertaining days at the Sydney Cricket Ground, seeing a procession of international cricket teams put to the sword by the likes of Warne, McGrath, Ponting, Gilchrist, Hayden et al.
On a number of sobering occasions, I saw hopeful English teams rock up for an Ashes tour, but by the time the 5th test arrived in Sydney, the series was usually long since conceded, along with all semblance of competitiveness. Or dignity.
Today was St George’s Day – the national day of England.
What’s that, you say? You had no idea? Sadly, I fear that may have been the reaction of many people today.
Living in Australia for so long, Australia Day was always a major landmark on the annual calendar, a public holiday and a cause for ceremonies and celebrations (as well as the odd bit of controversy and conversation around the future of the nation).
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.
This weekend marks the beginning of the Six Nations tournament – the jewel in the crown of Northern Hemisphere rugby.
Formerly known as the Five Nations when I last lived here (that was before Italy joined the fold), it is a chance for the young warriors of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and now Italy to play for the pride of their nation.