Rule Brittania (mostly)

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Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been, ooh a really long time since my last blog but in my defence I’ve been busy, really busy. Soz.

Apologies out of the way. Just got back from a short trip to the motherland – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – and it was a great. Continuing with the confession theme, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Family life was busy and my Uni work was piling up. The timing was off and being a person who likes to be organised, very organised, I was suitably stressed and stroppy. But, as is always the way, the way the other is always right, once I landed and shaked off that feeling of being at the bottom of a swimming pool, I found my straps and had a lovely time.

Now, don’t lets be misunderstood, Australia is home and I love living here. There are so many things which makes life such a pleasure to be in OZ, but if there is one thing the Brits/Poms do better than anyone else its Pubs and in particular, the Country Pub. These lovely old rickety places with that smell of age and warm beer are just a delight to behold and now that they know how to serve a decent plate of food and a drinkable glass of wine, I could almost move in. My Mum and I, for that was who I was mainly visiting, managed to knock off quite a few of these fine establishments and we were never disappointed with our experience. If I could transport one, lock stock and wood barrel, then my life here would be truly complete.

It wasn’t just the Pubs which were a highlight, it was also an opportunity to hang out with my Mum and help her move home. She has spent the last year living with her older brother, which I’m sure has been a challenge for both of them, but the advantage for me was being able to spend time with my Uncle. This is a man, who whilst I was growing up, filled the role of surrogate father . The real one being absent without leave in California. I hadn’t spent this much time with him since I was a kid and I had forgotten what a kind, funny and special chap he is. It has been a great fillip to rekindle a close association and to be able to reconnect in such a strong way. Added to that is the support he and my other Uncle have afforded my Mum during her arduous health difficulties.

In between Pubs, house moving and family, I managed to fit in a few friends as well. Being so far away, I do miss them. These are the friends I have know since I was a kid. These are the friends who have seen me at my best and my very worst and these are the friends who offer unconditional support and relentless piss-taking. We now all have kids, careers and mortgages but the fundamentals of our friendship have stayed the same. They talk about the soul mate and I have found mine, the other, but there should be a category for soul friends. The connection of understanding and support is something very special and something I hold very dear.

I can’t finish this piece without mentioning the rise of British sport, particularly in the context of a Brit living in Australia. Being home and reveling in the consistent wins the country has enjoyed is a complete novelty. A novelty none of my friends, family and I could quite fathom. I’m sure it won’t last but for now its bloody marvelous and I for one am going to bath in it for as long as possible.

I loved being back in blighty with its eccentricities, breathtaking countryside and endless roundabouts but I also love being back home with the family, guaranteed sunshine and endless opportunities for ribbing my Aussie mates about how good we are at sport. Ta-ra.

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