I have been living away from my homeland for five years now. According to Dylan Moran I should count myself lucky as it’s full of things waiting to kill us and it is after all a jail, especially the bit I originally come from. And at the moment, all bits of it are suffering the wrath of Gaia and her evil climate-tantrums.
But, dear friends there are some things I am really starting to miss, things that you just can’t get here, or are just not the same. So, indulge me a while.
Food – oh boy, the list could go on forever but…
Thin beef barbeque sausages – can’t find anything remotely close here – everything is pork and short and fat – not suitable for bread and sauce at all.
Weiner schnitzel – pork or beef, supermarket or pub. What’s the issue, why doesn’t this exist here – Europe’s only a stone throw away?? Anyway, ‘twas my favourite counter meal and I miss them!
Lamingtons – I wasn’t a huge fan at home but when you can’t find some when you want them you miss them.
Gaiety biscuits – wafer chocolate treats, twice as yummy as Tim Tams but not as well known or popular but well missed. Pink panther wafers are an OK substitute but not the same, sadly. Very nice with strong coffee and champagne.
Summer – I really miss Australian summers – a surprise, I know.
And it’s not winter here that sets me off: no, it’s the pathetic attempt at summer that happens here. Seriously it is about 3 days of proper heat, hardly time to get outside, let alone set up the BBQ or catch a spot of sun. So, it’s the beach, the sky, the heat, the smells; being outside most of the day – that’s what I miss.
I miss the Sydney-Hobart yacht race – watching it on Boxing Day, usually with my dad, but with a glass of bubbles and cold left overs from the big day before.
Consequentially I miss Christmas in Summer – it’s cheerful and positive, not stuck inside in small rooms, claustrophobically stuffing food in your face all day.
Australian politics – truly!!
I can’t abide the tossers here. Ours seem real, more like us. I love Julia, even though she’s probably a rubbish PM. And where else in the world would you find someone like Tony Abbot still in politics. Oh, and the fact that we voted out the second longest serving PM, out of office and out of his seat. That was one of those wonderfully blissful moments. Here, politicians make you reach for the sick bag, not laugh out loud like our lot tend to.
Thus I miss Kerry O’Brien – the best interviewer in the world. I miss his subtle sabre questions, his ginger top and sly smile and blue eyes. I could come home just for Kezza alone.
My house on the river. It’s too long since I sat on the verandah watching the river. I miss my kitchen, my en-suite with spa, the wood fired heater in winter; the space so we can do our own thing without falling over each other all the time. I miss the boat-shed, the roses, the lawn – the colours, the brightness and freshness of it all – the light. The space – yes I miss the space inside and outside and the river, watching the river, being on the river.
Driving fast every day. Indeed I drove to and from work at speed nearly every day for nearly every year of my Oz working life. Now I only drive in France. The traffic and bizarre road behaviour in and around London would do my head in – especially a certain intersection at Borough Market, which I still cannot work out, despite passing through it every working day these past five years.
And finally – Glad Wrap. I find this unbelievable actually, but I have come to miss this humble kitchen necessity more than all else. I cannot abide the Tesco cling film that I now have to buy – there are no choices in my supermarket. Here it is a weak, flimsy thing, pulling apart in awkward and annoying ways, seeming to collapse in your hand whenever you use it, unwilling to do what it must. Glad Wrap is strong, robust, co-operative and I would sell my soul for it!!!
Of course, when I do go home – eventually, whenever, someday – I will miss things from here. But that’s a blog for then, isn’t it?? (Images courtesy Google Images and Private Collection)