Thursday 10 May 2012

A Special Anniversary - 10 years in England

10 years ago today I arrived in Manchester England, a little crumpled and disoriented. It was my first ever long haul flight. I had never been to England before, but I'd sold most of my possessions, left my cat in Tasmania, and made the break. I remember the date well, when I arrived the news was just coming through of the Potter's Bar rail disaster.

People often wonder why on earth I would leave Australia to come here! I was sick of life in Tasmania. Although I love it, and it will always be "home", it's so small. I'd gone through a divorce, and I just felt my past around me wherever I went. I didn't feel like my life was my own. I could have done something less drastic I suppose, like move the the mainland, but I was worried that the first hurdle I met, I'd go home to Tassie. Much harder to do that from the UK.

I chose Manchester for a few reasons. I knew I didn't want to move to London. I thought I'd fall into an Aussie ghetto and not assimilate. I'd met a few people (and yes a man) online (not Mr Bag of Sugar) and thought Manchester would be a great place to start. I loved it straight away. Manchester, at the time, was a little run down but it was easy to get around.

Back in 2002 the streets were lined with gold and I had little trouble finding a job, but it took me a while to find the right one. Life wasn't always plain sailing. We'd lived in our flat for a short time, when a policeman was killed very near where we lived. Manchester suddenly felt dangerous, and we moved further out to Ramsbottom.

Me and the boyfriend did fine for a while, but gradually our differences became too much (he was 21 years older than me) and we wanted very different lives. Then I met Mr Bag of Sugar, not on-line, on the 90 bus!

I really adore life in England. I adore the countryside, the scenery, I love the people, the humour, the food (most of the time) and I love the proximity to Europe. I think England is a fantastic melting pot of cultures, and I've met loads of people from different walks of life.

Of course, we've had our little boy here, who is very English, very Lancastrian, and that suits me fine. He doesn't have dual nationality, but maybe I will do that soon.

Whenever I go back to Australia now I feel very English! I don't really feel Aussie anymore, even though every day someone asks me where I am from and what am I doing here!

I never regret selling all my possessions and moving here. I really love the Graeme Connors song "Sicilian Born" and the line "home's not where your born, home is where a man is prepared to die".

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to move us all "back home", but then I think of all the things I'd miss about English life, and I stop myself from pondering any further.

England is home now.


  1. Happy 10th Anniversary! Glad that things worked out so well for you and hope you retaines your Aussie accent ;-) I love that accent!

    (Thanks for visiting my blog earlier and commenting)

    xx Jazzy

  2. Happy Anniversary-what an incredible lady you are moving countries and starting a new life. Takes real guts to do that. My own mother and family moved to Manchester from Cyprus in the 60's and Manchester holds a special place for me.