The story so far

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pees and Peas

I’ve already noted that the Australians are different to the British in their nature and attitudes. Ultimately, I'd like to understand this culture and learn to appreciate it.

As part of the preparations I have been trying to be more observant about the world around me, I want to appreciate and remember what I love about England but also to understand how other countiries differ.  A recent trip around France and Switzerland gave me the chance to observe the Europeans.  If I could learn to appreciate and even enjoy some aspects of their culture, I thought it would make me more receptive to the Australian way of life.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Thoughts about England

As the time ticks by and our departure from the UK gets closer, we are thinking more and more about Australia.  I guess that's to be expected, but some of these thoughts are frankly quite unexpected and I thought I would share them.

It's a mixture of emotions.  We are going to Australia, at least in part because we think we can get a better life there.  In England we have made certain choices which tied us down, forced us to work in demanding jobs to pay the mortgage.  Australia is a chance for a new start.  We have no ties and it is an opportunity to set ourselves up again with more focus on what is most important to us now.  There are things we love about the UK also, and these thoughts, while not overpowering, are beginning to creep in.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

First impressions of the Aussies

Before going to Australia, I thought it would be a good idea to try to understand the Australian culture. If I was going to have to live and work there I would have to interact with Aussies on a daily basis and maybe even befriend one or two. I had better understand a bit more about what makes them tick.

I already have a view on Australian culture mainly based on sporting legends like Campese, Ponting, Warne and Border. While this may not be a representative cross section of Aussie society it gave me a start.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Job Hunting

Thanks to the disasterous performance of the British economy over the last year or so I have decided I need to find a job in Australia, rather than live the life of a surf bum.

In fact, this has been the chief cause of concern for me. The world economy is bottomed out (although Australia seems to be coping better than most) and I have just resigned from a well paying and seemingly stable job at Detica. I couldn't afford to eat too much into our modest savings or we would erode our deposit too much and wouldn't be able to afford a decent house in Aus.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Castles of France and Australia

Earlier this week, we went to Disneyland in Paris. Again, this was an opportunity which we would not get in Australia so a last chance to visit Disney, which according to Hannah every child should experience.

I had never been to Disney as a child and wondered how life would have been different for me if I had. Then I thought about all those Australian children who also can't easily get to Disney. It doesn't seem to affect them too badly. Is this because it is not necessary to go to Disneyland as a child or does Australia have something just as good which helps them get though the challenged of childhood? Either way I slept easy that night knowing that my kids would get a bit of Disney and a bit of whatever the Aussie kids were getting.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Towel elephants and symbolism

On Thursday, as part of our preparations for going to Australia, I travelled up to Norwich for a family party. In doing so I listened to Radio 1 for the first time in a while. In inane fashion, Scott Mills was discussing of all things "the towel elephant". Apparently in Indonesia and Thailand especially, you can arrive back in your hotel to find that housekeeping have left elephants, sleeping men or even monkeys fashioned from carefully arranged towels or other items of bed linen. Since the trip to Aus would involve a nine-day stopover in Thailand I wondered......"wouldn't that be great, a nice little towel elephant. The kids would love it". I was cautioned not to raise their hopes by the tale of one listener who had raved about the towel creatures to his wife only to be disappointed. On the second day in the Indonesian resort he had even made a "towel snail" as a hint to housekeeping, but no towel creatures had arisen.