Today sadly is my last full day in the UK before I leave to travel home to Sydney, Australia. I am genuinely sad to be leaving London. A short two and a half year stint doesn’t feel long enough to do this city justice, but I am not sure that ten years would. London is an amazing city filled with interesting things to see, people to be inspired by and opportunities that few other places can afford. Yet it is sooo far from family and the life I grew up with. So with many mixed feelings Elizabeth and I will board a plane tomorrow to start an extended tour home.
We will be back without a doubt, but will it be for an extended stay again? Difficulty to say, life has a habit of spoiling long term plans, but I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if one of my future locals sold warm beer.
In the tradition of my English friend, Alan, who has recently returned to the UK after spending three and a half years living in Sydney, I will list the ten things I will miss about the UK and the ten things I definitely won’t miss.
Like Alan, the miss column was populated much more easily than the won’t miss one.
- Warm beer – almost sacrilegious for an Aussie to say, but I have grown rather partial to an English ale
- The BBC – worth every single penny of the TV licence charge
- British creativity – there is a certain braveness and confidence that Brits have in forging ahead with a locally sourced solution that Aussies could learn a lot from
- Proximity to Europe – a two hour flight from Sydney might land you in Bathurst, which is a nice enough spot, but it is hardly Rome
- Northern hemisphere – things just make much more sense when you reside in the northern hemisphere, not least Santa’s attire
- London Underground – people who complain about the tube obviously have no idea how bad public transport is everywhere else
- Wit – they may not be good looking, they may not be the fittest, but by god English blokes are funny
- British postcodes – weird I know, but it makes locating something so very easy
- Twilight – having light until 10.30 pm in Summer is bloody brilliant, worth the darkness in Winter? Not sure, but perhaps
- Flamin Hot Monster Munch – strange I know, childish without a doubt, but oh so tasty
- Bureaucracy – getting things done in this country can often times be tough, hampered in no small part by cost cutting measures that have meant you deal with people half a world away, rewarded on quick call times rather than providing a customer satisfactory solution
- A spade is a shovel, or a pick axe isn’t it? – a spade is a spade peoples, be a bit more direct with your communication and you might find people understand what you are after
- The stiff upper lip – may have meant something in the past, but tends to mean moaning about things without trying to fix them today
- Victorian plumbing – though in all fairness Australia could benefit from the reduced water wasted with minimal water pressure
- Summer – it really should last longer than a weekend
- Daily Mail – a scary, scary newspaper made scarier when you understand the influence and readership it commands
- No surf – it isn’t much fun for a die hard surfer to be living in a city without a decent break
- Aussies in London – there are a lot of young Aussies here that seem to have come with no other purpose than to tell the English how shit their weather is and how bad they are at sport – I apologise on behalf of all of them
- Boozing – British pubs have a siren call that can grab you any night of the week regardless of your other good intentions
- Misplaced sentimentality – the enormous outpouring of public emotion after the Cutty Sark burnt down or when Woolworths shut its door were really a bit too much – there are much more important things to mourn the passing of
And so with that I will bid you farewell London. Next post will be from Istanbul Turkey.
The image at the top was stolen from Bellyanz1 here.