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.
Most mornings in Sydney I would be jolted from my slumber by a loud sound right outside my bedroom window.
Sounding like a cross between a baby crying, a protesting drunk being evicted from a pub at closing time and a member of the Australian cricket team appealing for yet another LBW (not the current team, obviously), it had a uniquely raucous timbre.
When I told locals recently that this was to be my first bonfire night in Lewes, they would generally look at me with wide eyes before exclaiming, “Well, you’re in for a bit of a treat/surprise/shock/sleepless night”.
And now, having actually experienced my first Lewes Bonfire, I can see what they meant – it was all of those things and more.
There are many ways in which the annual landmarks of the Australian and British calendars are similar.
Some dates like Christmas and Easter are obviously exactly the same (albeit falling in different seasons), whereas other dates such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day rather confusingly fall at completely different times of year.