The Null Device

Take me back to dear old Blighty

Over the past decade or two, a wave of Britons had moved to Australia, tempted by made-for-export Australian soaps, whose English-speaking, lager-drinking inhabitants seemed happier, healthier and less beaten down by life than those on Eastenders, and facilitated by the Australian government's Anglo-friendly immigration policies. Now, it looks like a lot of them are moving back; for some, the Australian reality is not the idyll of beachside barbecues, but something more alienating, and even in the age of Skype and Facebook, the distance from friends and family is great:
"If they live in a bungalow in the suburbs of Adelaide, it gets lonely. There isn't a culture of going for a drink after work and the TV is terrible."
"It's not about living by the coast in the sun - it's about living in a dull flat in suburbs that don't have any real infrastructure."
One complaint is lack of cultural amenities and history, especially from those who ended up in the sticks:
Some British people complain about a lack of culture and history, he says, but that depends where you live."Sydney and Melbourne are world-class cities with plenty of great things to see and do, but outside the big urban areas life is definitely less colourful and probably more of an acquired taste."
Some Poms, however, are staying behind and making do with the lack of real ale, quality newspapers and/or cheap flights to Spain.

There are 1 comments on "Take me back to dear old Blighty":

Posted by: Greg Sat Dec 10 11:01:00 2011

This story illustrates the danger of fiction. Did anyone really think that 'Neighbours' portrayed the reality of life in Australia? Probably not consciously, but I wonder if fiction sets up a subconscious expectation?

It reminds me of a similar anecdote I've heard from several different Australians (including - not through personal communication - the Birthday Party) who inspired by punk and post-punk went to the UK, only to find the place was not the exciting cultural cauldron their record collections had led them to believe. They returned to Australia.

IMO the most intriguing interviewee in the article is this guy: '"Australia has been good to me. Certainly I've had some good times here but there is something fundamental and soulful missing here for me." Life in England is tougher and more competitive, he believes, and that's something he has missed.'

I notice he left the UK 24 years ago - 1987. Does he miss Thatcherism? Will he be disappointed?

Btw can you make your comment textarea higher than 7 rows?

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