My family - It is first and foremost. I miss my mum and dad, and my sister, and my nieces and nephew. I feel sad for Joseph that he will never have the close extended family relationship that we had as children. When I go over, its so intense, we have to pack a lot in, and its hard. I miss the natural relationship of living relatively nearby.
The bush - In Tasmania, the bush is never far away, what you would call the forest. The Australian bush smells of Eucalyptus, the oil that I burn isn't the same. Where we used to live, in Stubbins, there was a house with a blue gum in the front yard. I would stand in front of it and smell it, sometimes I'd grab a leaf and tuck it in Joseph's pram. The smell of home.
The bird song - Ive heard it said that English birds sing and Australian birds squawk, but I don't think that's true. I miss the sound of the birds, even our magpies are different. I love the sound of kookaburras, particularly in the morning.
The food - What I would give for flathead! I miss the fish, scallops and crayfish. I miss the fruit and vegetables, there is no imported fruit and vegetables, unlike here, beans from Kenya, and apples from South Africa. The downside of this is that if there is a local problem like cyclones in Queensland then the cost of fruit like bananas, absolutely sky rockets.
Branded food - I miss familiar packets in the supermarket, even now I think in Aussie brands, Arnott's biscuits, Coon cheese, Cripp's bread. I miss Aussie chocolate, like my beloved Cherry Ripes, everyone is under instruction to bring some back for me if they travel to Oz.
Eating out - Eating out is different in Australia, everywhere produces good quality food. I really miss going out for breakfast. In England its nearly always just a variation on a Full English (not that there is anything wrong with that) but going out for breakfast or brunch is a big deal in Australia and there's always a really good choice of food. I miss lunch too, the different breads, and the variety of salads, it is just so different.
Music - I find it hard to keep in touch with Aussie music, and I really miss it. I miss the the songs I grew up with coming on the radio. I miss the rock, but also the folk music and the country music I grew up with. Sometimes putting on a cd makes me so sad, and reminds me how far away I am. There is so much more to Aussie music than INXS, Kylie Minogue and Crowded House.
Craft - I think there's a number of factors, but more Australians seem to craft than people here. I think given the work life balance is better, people have more time. You can source good fabrics and things here, but it is much harder than back home. I miss our big craft shops like Spotlight and Lincraft, and I always stock up when I go home.
The accent, slang and jocularity - Aussies will talk to anyone, they are open and friendly. I love the accent, and I really miss it. I am always accent spotting, and gladly launch on anyone I hear, and have a natter. I love talking to people from back home, but its very rare that I find a Tasmanian. When Joseph and I arrived in Australia this time, we got into a lovely conversation at the airport bus station, and nattered about football with the bus drivers. One even gave us a dollar to buy Joseph an icecream!
Football - I dearly miss Australian Rules my beloved Richmond Tigers. I miss watcing the football with people who care, watching it at home with my soccer loving husband just isn't the same. I miss the banter, the tradition and the hot men! Fancy playing a game with a ball in long shorts with long sleeves, what is the point? And running around for 90 minutes for a zero score, what's that about?
The light - notice I haven't said weather, I am not sure whether I have acclimatised, but I don't miss the weather back home, (which is much easier to say in July than it is in December) but I do miss the light. I can't describe it, its just different.
The water - In Tasmania you are never far from the sea, and I miss being close to the sea and the beach, the salt water smell.
Current affairs - I miss news reporting and current affairs shows like 4 Corners. Aussies have an inquistivenss and honesty that is very different to here. My favourite show is Australian Story, thank heavens for the internet, that is one show I can catch up on.
What I don't miss:-
Clothes shopping. Fat chicks are much better catered for in the UK. There is more choice, the fat clothes are cheaper, and they are much more fashionable.
Supermarkets. When I first went to Tesco, I was amazed. Fancy being able to buy clothes, tvs, toys in a supermarket. And the ready meals. Although I rarely buy them, at times they are handy!
Public transport. I find England amazing, so easy to get around, and I have a lot more mobility than I did back home.