The gap

An English woman I met recently told me about the time she spent living in Australia when she was younger.  She moved back to England after a few years and a few years after that was married with children.  During our conversation she said she always wished she’d been able to raise her kids in Australia.  One of her main reasons was that Australia was far less class based then England and kids seemed a lot happier in general.

I’ll go ahead and say that in some ways that’s a generalisation (how can you quantify how happy a country’s children are?) but I absolutely see what she means about the class differences!  I certainly noticed it in London, but then again London feels like a whole other country to where we’re living at the moment.

The estate we live in is nice enough.  It’s surrounded by farmland but I love going on muddy walks on public footpath’s and exploring through sheep paddocks and stinging nettle.  Our house is lovely inside but on the same estate there is government housing.  The houses are run down and the people living in them are clearly struggling.

Today I drove Adam to a birthday party 10 minutes up the road.  The streets leading up to their lane had average sized middle class homes.  We turned a corner and the view changed dramatically.  Long driveways leading to massive homes with perfectly landscaped gardens.  Considering how grateful one is for a bit of grass to call your own in this country, these landscaped gardens are luxuriously big.

The invitation said “Swimming Party” and the mother told me it was a backyard pool (just to reassure the parents that their children wouldn’t be driven to a different location or anything like that).

I’m Australian, so you can imagine what I pictured the backyard pool to be, right?

I parked and walked Adam in.  There were balloons pointing us in the direction of the party area.  We walked through the side gate and into their back yard.  They had a back garden quite possibly 20 times the size of our current back garden and over to one side was an enclosed pool.  A rather large enclosed pool at that, with a spa, high ceiling, changing rooms and ample room to sit beside the pool and watch the children.

In Australia, yes there are people better off then others….but its not poverty (I’m thinking the slums we walked through in certain parts of East London) and then a few streets over a near mansion.

I suppose if your wealthy though….it would make little difference to you in that respect….though education is better here and the weather miles better back home.

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