…and the things I will miss when we leave England.
- Family and Friend (yes singular…*finger wave to Katie* I have other friends but none others that I would actually venture out of my house and see in the flesh).
- Driving – London traffic is far too aggressive and unforgiving for my driving abilities so I just don’t drive here. I drove in the Midlands regularly but narrow lanes are part and parcel of living in England and my spacial awareness is seriously lacking. I miss driving down a street without having to swerve around parked cars!
- Shopping centres – high street shopping is not my thing and proper shopping centre’s (malls) are few and far between.
- Customer Service – Turns out Australians are far more American then we care to admit. The customer is always right, attentive service and a polite, “how are you today?” clearly isn’t part of staff training here (or if it is then its certainly not enforced). Our advertising and shops are far more flashy with a wider range of everything (not necessarily a good thing). Fast food is way more accessible back home, and cheaper! (again…this is a pro for England in my opinion…less temptation!).
- Aussie accents, especially over the phone.
- Thunderstorms – A proper thunder storm after a stinking hot summers day (all kinds of awesome!).
- Affordable clothing – Marks and Spencers kids clothes are the same quality as Target in Aus, however the price is the same with a pound symbol replacing the dollar sign.
- Big Back Yard
- Space – From a privacy stand point (i.e we can see into 5 people’s houses from the upstairs windows) and also in terms of having space for our crap. The kitchen is our dining room, kitchen and laundry and it is NOT a big room.
- Aussie Beef – its near impossible to get a decent beef sausage here. Beef steak not only doesn’t taste as good but the cuts are limited due to the regulations for Mad Cow (I’m not complaining about them taking precautions!).
- The smells and the sounds – from kookaburra’s in the morning, to the sound of crickets and cicadas in the evenings. Summer night’s, sticky and with constant whirrs of air conditioners running all night. The click of a pedestal fan. Just that all round familiar smell of Australia.
- Relaxed and a tad Daggy being perfectly okay – We are by far the daggiest family wandering through Tesco…and for the most part I’m totally okay with that.
England (second home)
- The Rain – I hear so many complaints about the dreary weather but honestly when you’ve lived in drought for the past 10 years and rain has been non-existent and then torrential…a friendly downpour is heaven. I think perhaps I’m just a dreary, damp kinda person…I hate the heat and would happily experience coat weather year round.
- Green – England is ridiculously green (except for this past summer when it didn’t rain and it was hot for an unusually long period….the parks were brown!). Last year it was overwhelmingly beautiful.
- Pub Culture – Local pubs are actually kid-friendly (how odd would that be back home?). They just have a certain feel to them that doesn’t exist in Aus….each one is unique too!
- A glass of wine with a picnic in the park – Yes, you can drink in public (the law states you can’t be drunk in public).
- Public Transport – as much as I hate public transport…it is pretty awesome here.
- Royal Mail – they leave Australia Post looking like amateurs.
- Events and Things to Do – I can only assume that the English have more stuff on every weekend then back home because as a general rule the weather is shite and you can’t just have a lazy BBQ every weekend or pop down (or up) to the beach on a whim.
- Castle’s and other English Heritage sites – We purchased English Heritage memberships last year and we have definitely gotten our money’s worth. Standing on ground with hundreds of years of history is amazing and has yet to get old for me!
- Education – the majority of the populations children are in State Schools, subsequently the State School’s are of awesome quality. Our kids came along in leaps and bounds in their year of schooling here. It’s to the point where if we can’t afford a good Private school back home then I feel we shouldn’t move back there!
- BBC – Our T.V License is worth every penny! They have awesome programming and honestly the ABC back home is a joke. One of the major points of having a national broadcaster is to represent the population and keep a sense of national identity. They aren’t all little mini-American’s over here (as much as I wish there were a tad more influence in the supermarkets). Don’t get me wrong, most of my favourite T.V shows are American (with the exception of Farscape and Doctor Who, I’m pretty sure ALL my favourite T.V shows are American), I just mourn for a little Australian national pride (outside of the sporting arena).