Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Up, Up And Away.

I fly out to Australia tomorrow. It's been almost two years since I was home. I'm really quite excited about the whole trip, especially catching up with family and friends.

I'll be staying with my parents in the house in which I grew up. The house has changed a lot, so it's not quite as nostalgic for me as it might be for others returning home. There is nothing there which was mine from my teenage years, for example.

I will visit my old school, where I was a student and then a teacher before I moved to the UK. It's only a couple of hundred yards from my parents' house and is home to many of my best friends. It's also earmarked for rebuilding, and parts of it, including the staff room, have already been stripped. This will be the last chance to see it as it was.

My hometown is a bit of a sleepy hollow, but I know it well, having grown up, taught and policed the area. It has changed dramatically in the last 50 years (we moved there in late 1968) and I will be interested to see what has changed in the last couple of years.

I'm also looking forward to a couple of food items you can't get over here. Vegemite is readily available, I love Tim Tams but don't yearn for them, and you can get kangaroo steak here if you look for it (I haven't).  No, these are not the things I miss. What I really long for is a dim sim or two.

Dim sims are a uniquely Australian take on Chinese dumplings. They're cheap, they're nasty, and they are completely wonderful. They can be served steamed or deep fried (always deep fried for me) and they're something I've been craving for the past two months.

I'm also looking forward to a Chiko Roll. Yes, I know. They're usually awful. They seem like a good idea until you have one, then when you do buy one, you remember why you haven't done so in a long time. And I think I might buy a meat pie - Australian style.

I've rented a car this time so I will have more mobility, be able to go further afield and visit people I didn't get to last time. Already I have plans to drive out west to visit and old friend, and then up north-east to visit my brother. I do love a good road trip. MP3 player at the ready.

Tomorrow I'll be in the air, and I think that's the only thing I'm not looking forward to. It's a long haul, and the airlines continue to dehumanise their customers by decreasing space, offering fewer services, and charging for things that should be included.

I'll see you on the other side.