In post-war Australia they needed a boost to the population. Ten-pound poms and various other migrants on similar schemes were shipped and flown to Australian shores up until the ’80s. A condition of the cheap tickets offered to people from Britain and the continent was that they were obliged to stay for 2 years. After that, they could do what they liked.
We celebrated our 2 year anniversary last week. 2 yrs since we left Sydney and landed in London. I said good bye to endless days of sunshine and clear skies to a life that is a bit more heartily seasoned. I can understand now why those immigrants of the old days were obliged to stay 2 years. I hardly think about life in Sydney anymore. I will never forget my friends and family, but thinking about people is not the same as thinking about the routes you used to drive, or the way you did your shopping or the social mores and quirks of the place you came from. Life here isn’t novelty anymore, it’s just life. I guess you could say I’ve acclimatised. And honestly it’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s just a fact. It’s good because I don’t compare and contrast all the elements of my life anymore, and it’s bad because the thrill of what we did has worn off and yet the excitement and enthusiasm to be here still remains. Just last night I was watching something on the TV and I saw a view of London and thought how London will never get boring. It’s like a treasure box with layers and layers of history and personality to uncover and I think it would take a lifetime to explore.
The food in Australia is a little bit like life there. In Australia, like the weather, you can get the best of everything all the time, the freshest produce, the best cuts of meat. So our national cuisine reflects this abundance with lots of grilling and simple flavours. In Australia there’s no sense of having to make the best something, because the best is already available to everyone.
But, there’s something to said for the rougher cuts of meat. You might have to wait a bit longer but the flavour is richer. There’s something that makes a strawberry taste all the sweeter when you know you have to wait all year for the strawberry season. Just like the way sunny days are like mini-celebrations because they are few and far between. I used to take the sunshine for granted, but here it feels like therapy and always lifts my spirits. Life here is more dynamic is so many ways. There are more peaks and troughs which makes the ride a lot more fun. Smooth sailing is nice, but you miss out on all the scenery when you’re speeding down the freeway at a million miles an hour.
I love it here, I can’t imagine ever wanting to leave, but you never know where life will take you. If language wasn’t a barrier I’d live in Berlin or Rome, but alas, until the kids are out of school that will have to wait. In the meantime, I’ll have to be content with living a train ride away from the greatest city in the world.
“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
— Samuel Johnson