The Mother Ship

As you all know I live in London. Not only that, I LOVE living in London. I love everything about it, the crowds, the traffic and yes, even the weather. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT. One could say I am totally  and utterly smitten with England. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sydney – I lived in Australia for 33 years. But I love London just as much, and at the moment I probably love it a little bit more.

So what I see as a little love affair with another country, some of my friends and family back in Sydney see as a betrayal of Australia. Not just one or two people, but lots of them. Regardless of the fact that my Dad is an Englishman whose lived in Australia for 40 years, in their eyes it’s almost as though I’m cheating on Australia, God forbid should I like living anywhere else. We aren’t living in the UK forever, we’ll be heading home some time in the next couple of years because we want our four children to spend the rest of their childhood in Oz. So I’m not anti-Sydney by any means but I feel very protective of England and hate hearing anyone bag it.

Australians are a unique bunch. We are fiercely patriotic, loyal to our great nation and very, very proud. We don’t take shit from anyone else and God help them should anyone slag the baggy green. I’ve travelled the world and the only other country I could compare our patriotism to would be the US, but in pretty much every other regard Aussies and Americans are chalk and cheese (let’s face it, Kim Kardashian would be salting fries at Maccas should she be Australian). We don’t suffer fools and we don’t glorify the type of celebrity famous for doing diddly squat. Just ask Lara Bingle.

The relationship between Australia and England is an awkward one. Australians and the English are similar – we share a similar sense of humour and apart from our obvious divide in the sporting arena we are quite like-minded. However there is a deep seeded resentment from a majority of the Australian population toward the mother ship and for the life of me I can’t work out why. The problem is, that the resentment is totally one sided.

Whenever someone English asks where I’m from in Australia and we start talking about Sydney, there’s usually always comments such as ‘I love Sydney’, ‘I haven’t been to Australia but I’d love to go’, ‘Aussies are always so laid back and chilled’ .. yadda yadda yadda. Never EVER have I ever heard ‘you guys are so shit at cricket/rugby/[insert any sport here]’, ‘your weather is so crap, it’s always sunny in Australia’ (which is a lie I might add, it rains all the fucking time in Sydney), ‘Australia should ditch the Queen and cut ties with England’ etc., etc. Or any of the other usual digs at England I hear often from Australians.

I find it all rather embarrassing. It’s like Australia throwing stones at England in the playground for no apparent reason. Like a sulky teenager, cranky but doesn’t know why.

I love Australia and I love England. Two amazing countries, both with lots to offer and both full of wonderful people. Both also have negative sides to them but take note I said BOTH. Australia isn’t perfect and neither is England. It’s an absolute mystery to me why our relationship is the way that it is. At which point did Australia decide that it didn’t like England anymore? And why do Australians feel this bitterness? What did England do to piss the Aussies off? When you work it out do let me know because I can’t work it out.

But in the meantime, I’ve got some Olympics to watch. With, as one of my Aussie friends refer to them as, my ‘soap dodger’ English friends.


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