If you’re not one of the tens-of-millions of people around the world to be gobsmacked (pun intended) by the clip already, take a look (above). It’s astonishing.
In it, a bunch of hunters scramble to find their dog, which is not so small itself, which they find being held in a headlock by a burly male kangaroo.
One of the hunters jumps from the vehicle to intervene. When he approaches, the man-sized marsupial gives one more kick to the dog before releasing it to turn its attention to the human.
The man and beast face up, Ali vs Frazier style. The man makes the first strike, clopping the ‘roo with a mean hook punch straight to the head.
The dazed kangaroo takes stock before deciding it might be best to leave the ring.
Viewers the world over – over 28 million just on this YouTube posting, then add those who have viewed duplicate postings, Facebook versions and even on TV – have been left to pick their jaws up off the floor and ask: ‘Is it real or face, though?’
In this dawning of the Trump/Post-truth era, it’s a fair question.
Well, according to reports, it is indeed for real.
The increadible footage was apparently taken during a trip hunting wild pigs for a guy named Kailem who was suffering from terminal cancer.
“Basically Kailem wanted to catch a boar,” hunt organiser Mathew Amor said of the June trip on a property in country NSW, according to News.com.au.
“And so a few of us got together to take him out, and another mate filmed more than an hour of video to put together as a DVD for Kailem and his family of the trip.”
Sadly, according to the report, Kailem died from cancer earlier this month.
According to the information on the YouTube post, Kailem’s last wish was to catch a 100kg wild boar (which are a feral pest in Australia) with the dogs. The video is part of the “treasured memories his family and friends have” of the hunt.
Since the video became a global sensation this week, it has been revealed that the man who got into the tangle with the kangaroo, Greig Tonkins, works as a zoo-keeper at one of Australia’s best known wildlife parks.
His employer was forced to release a statement after concerns were raised about the ethics of punching a wild animal.
“Taronga Western Plains Zoo can confirm that Greig Tonkins is an employee at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” a spokesperson for the zoo said in a statement.
“Good animal welfare and the protection of Australian wildlife are of the utmost importance to Taronga.
“We are working with Mr Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action.”
“My mate only stunned it,” Mr Amor said, according to News.com.au, in defence of Tonkins.
“His hand was OK, he didn’t hit it very hard at all.
“It was funny because the guy who did it is the most placid bloke. We laughed at him for chucking such a sh*t punch.”
And that’s how it goes, in #Straya.
I knew people who had been living there for almost two years and didn’t have any close English friends. I didn’t get it. How could someone spend two years in Britain and only seem to associate with others from south of the Equator?
I was determined not to spend my stint in London in one of those little Aussie/Kiwi bubbles. I would keep away from the Antipodean (for the uninitiated, in London that means ‘Aussies and Kiwis’, by the way) bars for as long as possible.
I landed in the UK, fresh-faced and tanned, ready to immerse myself fully in the English life — and that meant making friends with as many different nationalities as I could, as well as the locals.
I’d been dossing in West Hampstead and decided to stay on that side of town. I found a nice flatshare with three friendly guys — a Brazilian, an Irish and a French — in Willesden Green. I managed to keep away from the boisterous Antipodean hangouts in She Bu, Clapham and Fulham (except on Australia Day) for a good few months.
But after a few months of living in my international house and working in a very multicultural Liverpool Street office, I began to feel lonely.
All of my mates lived with other Aussies and Kiwis, who they had heaps in common with. They were all here for a good time, not a long time, frequenting those pubs I’d foresaken, and travelling as much as their small incomes would allow.
I longed to live with people who I could relate to; people who understood my need to spend almost four quid on a packet of Tim Tams and who weren’t afraid to strike up a convo with strangers on the Tube.
So I moved to Acton to live with a bunch of Antipodeans. It was awesome! I felt right at home.
Sure, the bathroom was often dirty and my liver hadn’t experienced that sort of abuse since first-year at uni, but I was having a blast, creating the kind of memories and friendships that last a lifetime.
So, despite my best intentions upon coming to Britain, six months after stepping off that plane at Heathrow I found myself living with and hanging out with Aussies and Kiwis. I was as typically Antipodean expat as they came… but with a few English friends to boot.]]>
As a born and bred Sydney girl, I had images of a Sydney ferry taking us to a slightly more equatorial version of Manly, full of tourists and souvenir shops.
How wrong I was.
I arrived in Zanzibar in a short downpour of rain, so a taxi quickly whisked me from the ferry port to my hotel, right in the heart of Stone Town.
My first plan of attack – a tour of Stone Town with a local guide.
Calling himself Ali G, our guide managed to not only take us all over town, but also out to a Spice plantation where we sampled the local spices and fruits.
The city-slicker in me learned that pineapples grow on bushes and I even got to try the most amazing pineapple I have ever tasted in my entire life.
When I was handed a truly delicious passionfruit, something I haven’t eaten since I first came to England, I would have sold my soul to the devil for this fruit to be magically transported to my local Sainsbury’s store.
The rest of my time in Stone Town was spent snorkelling the clear blue waters, finding not only Nemo but also quite a few of his co-stars, including the wild tortoise population on Prison Island.
In fact, I become a little enamoured of these slow, slightly stoned looking creatures, who love nothing more than eating some fresh greens out of the hands of the tourists who come to this tiny island just to see them.
My evenings were spent at the local night markets, where mouth-watering fresh seafood is sold by the piece and haggling is considered a team sport.
After two fabulous days exploring Stone Town, I headed for north Nungwi, a fishing village on the tip of Zanzibar. And there I found paradise.
Picture this:- a beach of the finest, whitest sand you have ever seen, framed only by tropical palm trees and (bizarrely) a bar with no walls but only a door leading from the beach so you can make your grand entrance.
As you walk from the beach to the ocean you are greeted by a glasslike sheet of pure turquoise water, which only intensifies in colour as your eyes reach towards the horizon.
The crystal water is only occasionally dotted with the hulking frames of wooden dhows, the traditional fishing boats, still handmade by locals only about 10 minutes down the beach.
But the most intense colour is encountered once your eyes reach the horizon. The blue sky is unbroken by cloud or plane. It’s the colour that was called ‘azure blue’ in your Derwent coloured pencils tin.
You almost expect to see Katriona Rowntree sauntering along in a bikini telling you fun facts about Zanzibar.
So obviously I did what any self respecting Australian girl, who has spent several years in London without really seeing the sun, would do in the circumstances… I donned my bikini and made new best friends with the beach.
Over my several days in Nungwi I lept and frolicked, swan and sun bathed, saw turtles, jellyfish, coral, Dory fish, and even a palm leaf which looked, to the untrained eye, like a surface-dwelling great white shark.
On a related note, almost hyperventilating when underwater will not endear you to your scuba dive instructor. It is neither quirky nor kooky. Rather, they will think you are some sort of hysterical psycho and look at you strangely in future. Or so I’m told.
But most importantly, I reacquainted myself with my old friend the sun.
And as I returned to Stone Town to board the ferry back to Dar es Salaam with its pumping Michael Bolton and Celine Dion mega-mix, I did so knowing my glorious tan was proof of my fabulous time in Zanzibar.
You can visit Zanazibar as part of an African adventure with Topdeck Travel]]>
Jake, a teacher, has lived in London for nearly two years: “Since working with Teaching Personnel since I arrived from Oz, I am lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the school holidays and uncover and make the most of all London has to offer. My personal favourite is Winter Wonderland and the novelty Santacon pub crawl!”
Here are his and other Aussie teachers’ hottest tips for the festive season in the capital.
Ice skating in London
London is spotted with cool ice skating rinks all over the city during the winter period. You can skate for under £15 right next to the London Eye, glide your way through the huge rink at Somerset House, Natural History Museum and the newest addition of rinks – Canary Wharf.
Christmas in Leicester Square
Christmas in Leicester Square is the newest addition to the Crimbo celebrations this season. Smack bang in the middle of central London the square is free to enter and provides endless bargains to bag yourself, a tonne of scrumptious food stalls and La Soirée circus performances.
London lights up over Christmas, and it would seem rather grinch-like to not go and take a look at some of the displays around the city. The iconic Oxford Street Lights include 1778 snowball-like decorations and often see the likes of someone famous to switch them on. Carnaby Street usually put on an impressive display, as well as Regent and Bond Street.
Winter Festival at the Southbank Centre
The Southbank Centre right next to the Thames run their own style of Christmas. The riverside set up provides hours of fun to tick all festive boxes. Sip on a mug of mulled wine whilst browsing through the funky pop-up markets, watching Christmas shows and indulging in some heart warming seasonal produce. Don’t like mulled wine? Then Rekordelig will have you sorted with their Cider Lodge offering mulled cider and Scandinavian snacks. The Southbank Centre Christmas is open from November 11th through to 8th of Jan, best of all- its free!
There are endless markets to explore and bag yourself a bargain at this winter! You can find some of these market full of goodies spotted around the city- Whether you’re their to shop for gifts or stuff your face most of these markets tick the boxes!
Some of the best in London include Tate modern xmas market, Greenwich Market, Kingston Christmas Market.
Definitely amongst a favourite winter holidays activity among the expats. It combines all things fun spread across Hyde Park, and open for six weeks! The combination of rides, German beer halls, Christmas markets to browse through, mulled wine stalls, circus acts, ice skating. What more could you possibly want to fill up a cold, gloomy winter’s day in London?! Or for a smaller version of Winter Wonderland, head to Victoria Park for ‘Winterville’. Jam packed with pop-up food stalls and bars, a cinema screen and mini-golf!
Santacon pub crawl
What kind of Aussie doesn’t love a pub crawl? Not just your average pub crawl however, dress as Santa Clause, gallivant about London as a sea of red stopping at numerous bars and pubs along the way on a set weekend in December. ‘Santacon’ is the answer, a must for anyone living in London over the silly season!
Once all the Christmas hype is over, head over to ‘Lumiere London’ for an outstanding show that lights up central London. The magical installation over various areas of London is a must see and runs usually during mid January.
The winter break is the perfect time for teachers explore the excitement that London has to offer.
If you are interested in working with Teaching Personnel in the New Year, visit their website: www.teachingpersonnel.com
Cover image by Pixabay]]>
Last week’s protest by pro-refugee and whistleblower activists during Question Time in Federal Parliament should be acknowledged not for its boisterousnous but its non-violent disruption.
So too, it seems the Federal Police and Parliament House Security kept karma and carried on protecting Her Majesty’s subjects with moderate force.
From resident drama queen and Coalition House Leader Christopher Pyne’s high pitched admonishing, you would have thought there’d been a Guy Fawkes type Gunpowder Plot afoot.
“This is the most serious intrusion into the Parliament since the riots organised by the ACTU in 1996 for which I was in the Parliament.”
Poppycock. The natural inmates do that quite nicely without outside interference from citizen rabble.
There is no comparison between what happened last week and the ”Cavalcade to Canberra” on budget eve 20 years ago when protestors broke away from a rally of 25,000 people organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to protest the government’s Workplace Relations Bill.
Parliament riots, August 1996. Rally against the government’s tough new, industrial laws.
Hoots of laughter as Christopher Pyne says refugee protest most serious ‘”since  riots organised by ACTU”
The Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance have an unashamed manifesto that one hopes would be embraced by all the many shades of grey matter in both the lower house and the Senate.
“WACA is unapologetic in its commitment to resistance through non violent direct action. When our leaders refuse to act, the community must step forward, take action and lead the way.”
It was WACA protestors who impressively abseiled down Victoria’s Eastern Freeway in February this year, at a time when thousands of Australians around the nation marched and protested against what was being done to refugees and asylum seekers in our name.
And on Thursday last week, WACA’s crack abseiling team was at it again, unfurling another banner proclaiming CLOSE THE BLOODY CAMPS NOW. #JUSTICE FOR REFUGEES on the facade of Parliament House just under the Coat of Arms. They also added blood-red dye to the moat.
Whilst these protests were taking place in Canberra, across the border in Queensland the continuing inquest into the 2014 death through visa bungling, incompetence and gross negligence of Manus Island prisoner, Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Khazaei, is proof positive of the need of continuing citizen activism.
The ABC’s account by Louisa Rebgetz is distressing.
The 24 year old was to die from
“…severe sepsis from a leg infection and was first moved to Port Moresby before being flown to Brisbane where nothing could be done to save his life.”
The infection was apparently caused by a rare bacteria called chromobacterium violaceum found in stagnant water and soil in tropical regions.
‘It can progress to fulminating septicemia, with necrotizing metastatic lesions and multiple abscesses in the liver, lung, spleen, skin, lymph nodes, and brain, and result in fatal multiorgan failure.’
Like the other articles you’ll find on the diligent ABC coverage, the disturbing sequence of events are so bleedingly obvious in identifying the errant duty of care by sub contractors, the PNG Government, our Opposition and Coalition Government and Minister Peter Dutton, that they border on collusive manslaughter in their utter disregard for deploying even mediocre health strategies and basic care for human life. All certainly contributed to Kharzaei’s death. There was no proper duty of care.
“the most awful colour I’d ever seen
in a human being …. never seen
anyone deteriorate that fast”
~ Dr Marten Muis
Giving evidence before Coroner Terry Ryan, Dr Marten Muis, newly arrived to Manus Island at the time, gave an horrific account of events leading up to the young man’s represensible death and described Khazaei’s appearance as
“…the most awful colour I’d ever seen in a human being…He was just grey, blue…I’ve never seen anyone deteriorate that fast.”
Hamid Khazaei’s life was/is surely just as precious as any one of those lost at sea. He is just one of the thousands of reasons that campaigners like WACA erupt from within the community’s shared conscience and compassion.
What is supergluing oneself to a railing at Parliament House when the lives and welfare of the asylum seekers we have trafficked to sub contractors continue to be under threat and uncertainty ?
Is such activism worth the price? Yes, it can be.
Speaking on the News Corp Australia freshly acquired Sky News Australia, LNP Senator James McGrath, Dutton’s assistant lackey, huffed and puffed as befits a former adviser to Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London, now the UK’s foreign minister.
McGrath described protestors as “grubs” and “Kmart Castros”.
That’s funny, earlier this year, Crock Jock Alan Jones called McGrath (one of the meisterminds behind Malcolm Turnbull’s coup to dethrone PM Tony Abbott) a grub.
“You’re the king of the bed-wetters actually. You are actually a grub.”
Bear in mind that Jimmy is the type of gent who “gets” what Margaret Thatcher was on about. Now there’s a clue. He also wants to sell the ABC and, it appears, Australia entire. Why not.
Such a pity that Bombastic Boris had to jettison the imprudent McGrath from his team of Boris Bovvers. McGrath was one of the Australian mafiosi of advisers in the UK. We make jolly good servants for the Brits as our war death toll attests.
But McGrath did have to go and open his big gob, displaying a distaste for activists, putting people down and making racist comments.
A 2008 article by Peter Wilson in The Australian stated:
Mr McGrath’s downfall began at a meeting a month ago with black political activist and left-wing “citizen reporter” Marc Wadsworth, who was referred to him by Lynton Crosby, the Australian campaign director who had worked with Mr McGrath on Mr Johnson’s election campaign.
Wadsworth reported on his website — the-latest.com — on Friday that in the meeting he had raised with Mr McGrath a claim by another left-wing commentator that some older blacks from the Caribbean might leave Britain if a right-winger such as Mr Johnson became mayor.
Mr McGrath had responded: “Let them go if they don’t like it here.”
Wadsworth headlined his report ‘Blacks should ‘go back home if they don’t like Mayor’, adding that Mr McGrath had been ‘far from politically correct’ and was ‘from a country where black people are the “Aboriginal” Indigenous nation who are stereotyped by the white colonisers as social security scrounging drunks’.
That “ ..let them go if they don’t like it here “ remark by McGrath has such a familiar ring to it, dunnit. No wonder he felt so comfy hopping it back in Oz, kangaroo tail between his legs.
But Mr McGrath probably had a sense of schadenfreude when, earlier this year, Mr Wadsworth found himself embroiled in an “anti-semetic” controversy over a report investigating allegations of anti-semitism in the Labour Party.
Me old mate … McGrath and Boris. McGrath is the one wearing glasses and looking very pleased with himself; so he should be, looking like a proper little Sloane Deranger. (Image courtesy Business Insider)
The reality is this — Parliament House is NOT, for us, a revered ediface symbolic of good governance, nor of good democracy.
Sadly, it is not a sacred place where speak the first among equals; where the greater good is a prime consideration for voting for and against matters that go to the heart of the country’s well being and progress.
Nor is it a safe haven for peace, justice, compassion or gender equality. They are all mostly outcasts and strangers therein.
It is a House erected atop the stolen midden of a Constitution built on the notorious lie of Terra Nullius and no amount of ferritic legislative scaffolding can enforce otherwise.
Thus it is not a House for all the people, but some of the people. The inherent racist implications of our Constitution are painfully obvious to those of us whose noses are pressed upon the window panes looking in.
Chains unknown. (Image courtesy Sovereign Union via National Indigenous Times.
Photographic evidence that no human beings occupied Australia. This photo above shows a species of Australian wild fauna herded from the bush and interlinked with bullock chains lest they escape.
Ideally, our politicians should themselves be brave activists, gamechangers for the betterment of the people, the country, the world. Such aspirations are not lofty esoterics and nor should they be tinctured “left” or “right”, or black and white. Some are, of course, of such ilk, but they are too few in number.
We people did not superglue ourselves to the railings of Parliament House screaming for Saddam Hussein’s blood, calling for our children to invade Iraq. Nor did we fabricate bedtime horror stories that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and Iraq was where we would find those fantastic beasts.
No, it was white men in dark suits who first pulled the triggers that unleashed a thousand hells.
Nor did we superglue ourselves to the railings imploring our governments to onsell our refugees and asylum seekers to other offshore people traders. Or to kill, torture and maim them through our dispassionate negligence via our well-paid proxies.
No, it was successive governments that committed these misdeeds.
Last Thursday was the last day of sitting for this parliamentary year. Our politicians did what they seem to have been doing all year: horsetrading votes for party survival of the unfittest of the species.
This is not honourable compromise but bribery.
Nowhere has this been more evident than the 11th hour passing of the Backpackers Tax Bill, after 18 months of needless and reprehensible time-wasting bickering, only because the Coalition struck a deal with the Greens; such inept governance.
2017 holds little political promise or cheer; unless Attorney- General George Brandis, whom Richard Ackland of The Justinian describes in The Guardian as our “chronically dysfunctional first law officer”, is turfed.
Sharing his fate, of a twin-share on a one-way ticket to Manus Island with no U.S. option, should be the “unsmiling assassin” of asylum seeker injustice, Minister Dutton-dressed-up-as-spam.
The dour Dutton was chief architect of the infamously bungled Austasi Police Rumble scheduled for Melbourne’s unsuspecting CBD pedestrians and tourists enjoying the delights of our most liveable city. Activists and social media put an end to his folly.
It has been an inglorious year for Australian politics.
Turnbull’s disturbing comment about the Backpackers Tax debate that
“Bill Shorten thinks rich white kids from Europe should pay less tax than Pacific Islanders working here”
reflects a new and disappointing low.
Turnbull has proved the hollow man of politics this year’s end; Shorten the shallow man.
Both were once activists, but they have both seemingly killed the activist within.
Non-violent activism is critical for democracy and is becoming a major force in combating the onslaught of multinationals that so often cut a bullying, but financially compelling swathe, through countries and peoples, including Indigenous communities.
Disparate groups of commoners are uniting on common ground for the common good.
Consider the alliance between the protestors against the Standing Rock $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, poised to be built beneath a lake near the Standing Rock’s Sioux reservation.
The scandal mirrors several blockbuster mining projects in Australia that jeopardises Aboriginal sacred sites and has the potential to contaminate water sources, in that the Pipeline also poses a threat to sacred Native American sites and water resources.
Over the weekend, more than 2000 U.S. military veterans headed up to Dakota from throughout America to form a human shield around the protestors. The WACA protestors in Canberra also support the Standing Rock protestors.
Peaceful activism and protest is our right and electing governments does not preclude citizens from either taking part in public debate, or uniting to demand change.
They fool us some of the time. They cannot fool us all of the time.
TOP IMAGE: Protest by pro-refugee group outside Canberra showing abseilers on the wall and water feature coloured red for ‘blood”. (Image via sbs.com.au/news)
Feature originally appeared on IndependentAustralia.net
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License]]>
She’s going global with her delicious DIY videos and has now found her way to Sydney (don’t they all?).
In this episode she shows us all the fun things you can get up to in Australia’s biggest city. Some of these include eating banana bread while drinking coffee, forming your own artisitic impression of the iconic Syney Opera House, and of course and wearing a cork hat because ‘everybody wears them’.
She also says that your friends shouldn’t call you while you’re on roaming because she has to pay!]]>
Michael Cheika will be a man under pressure, particularly given the horrendous second half performance that saw his men capitulate under a constant tide of English pressure.
The war of words between both coaches, once close teammates at Randwick and now big rivals, during the week set the scene for a pulsating if somewhat error-ridden encounter.
The Wallabies made an outstanding start, and no-one in Twickenham would have complained if they were 20 points to the good at half time. But the Aussies let England back into the game with a series of errors before being totally out-gunned in the second half, leaving Australian rugby once again facing more questions than answers in the off-season.
There was much to admire about Cheika’s men in the first half. Messrs. Hooper, Folau and Pocock were terrific as usual and it felt like England were being cut to pieces whenever Folau or Kuridrani had the ball.
Twice the Wallabies were held up over the line with England somehow holding firm as wave after wave of green and gold came at them.
The turning point of the match undoubtedly came from a horrific pass from Nick Phipps to Sekope Kepu, allowing England to hack on with serial poacher Jonathan Joseph going over for England’s first try. Not for the first time has he done this to the Wallabies this year. England were never been in touch before this key moment in the game.
The second half was a nightmare for the Wallabies and bordered on shocking, given how dominant they were in the first half. England were good but not that good and Australia simply imploded through a catalogue of blunders that let the poms in.
Contrast this to the explosive opening quarter with the Australians putting in a masterclass of sharp passing, slick handling and devastating footwork that left England grasping at shadows. How different it was in their last 40 minutes of the year with dropped balls, intercepted passes, knock-ons and general indecision blighting the Aussies into submission.
Watching England pounding the Wallaby line in the last few minutes was depressing for all Australian fans. If England had been more clinical in the final quarter, the scoreboard would have been extremely ugly.
It would be easy to blame end-of-season fatigue brought on by five successive weekends of Test match rugby but the fact of the matter is that both Ireland and England had half of their first teamers missing. Australia has had pockets of magic in both of these games but have unable to convert dominant periods into match-winning situations. Is this poor fitness and discipline, or extreme fatigue mixed in with some dodgy refereeing? The jury is out on this but I suspect all of these elements are true.
So, where to for the Wallabies now? There is no shortage of world-class players: Hooper, Pocock and Folau can lay claim to being the best in the world in their positions. Add in the ever improving Foley at fly half, a resurgent Will Genia and a sprinkling of talent through the likes of Haylett-Petty and Sean McMahon and it appears that the Australians are set fair for the 2019 World Cup.
Getting the Wallabies to gel appears to be the ongoing challenge that Michael Cheika has to solve going into the 2017 season.
Cheika would do well to actually look at how Eddie Jones has molded an under performing England team into an unbeaten juggernaut in 12 months. England do not possess the kind of talent that the Wallabies have at their disposal but they do have rapidly improving players who are utterly dedicated to being the best they can be under Eddie Jones’s tutelage.
With three years to go until the World Cup in Japan, should the ARU take a big step and bring in Stephen Larkham as the head coach?
This would be undoubtedly harsh on Cheika given the exceptional 2015 World Cup campaign that he engineered but it may also be necessary if the Australians are going to be a contender in 2019.
Larkham had a stellar career with the Brumbies and the Wallabies, and commands great respect through the work he has done in Canberra. Could he be the man to get the Wallabies working as one and making the most of the personnel that they have?
The same could be said for Stephen Moore stepping down as captain and keeping his place in the side as the number one hooker. A change in direction with Michael Hooper taking over the captaincy might be the shot in the arm that Australian rugby needs.
As for England, they charge into the 2017 Six Nations with aspirations of overhauling the All Blacks should they be successful in winning the Grand Slam.
The men in white have tough games away to Ireland and Wales to look forward to but who would bet against them continuing their march towards the All Blacks crown?
They have added resilience to their growing list of strengths, by comprehensively beating a decent Argentinian outfit with just 14 men for most of the match. If they were to improve from their dozy starts and get more out of their backline, then this England team will unquestionably challenge the All Blacks in Japan.
How times have changed over the last 12 months. The strutting brilliance of the Wallabies on show during that historic night at Twickenham where they humiliated their hosts and brought a nation to its knees is over.
The fact facing this hugely talented Australian team is that they have not worked out how to beat the All Blacks or the English over multiple attempts this season.
Unless something changes then it is difficult to see Australia being realistic challengers for the 2019 World Cup.]]>
I think most of us approach Christmas in the same sort of way. Outwardly, we groan how the decorations appear earlier every year and lament on how it’s becoming just a commercially driven celebration without any meaning, and how it will inevitably leave us in debt for the next 12 months until we do it all again, etc etc.
But secretly our inner child is cheering, relishing the unadulterated eating and drinking to come, and harbouring a secret hope that perhaps this year will deliver on the perfect Christmas promise so beautifully portrayed in the latest John Lewis TV commercial.
But Christmas is all about family. So what do you do if you’re an expat, possibly on your own, on the other side of the world?
I believe you have 2 options. Either you pull your duvet over your head, severe all communication with the outside world until New Years at least, watching a box set of M*A*S*H while eating pot noodles and denying all knowledge of the season to be jolly. Or you make the most of being in one of the most amazing cities of the world, and just go for it, Christmas on steroids. I suggest the latter.
The one thing I really love about living in the UK is that Christmas is celebrated in WINTER. Finally the dreams of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose can finally be realized. Fellow Aussies could wax lyrical to me all day about the brilliant beach BBQ they have on Christmas day followed by Boxing Day with beers in the pool, but frankly it falls on deaf ears. To me, nothing beats a cold Christmas, so while you’re in London, make the most of it.
My suggested itinerary is outdoor ice-skating somewhere iconic like Hampton Court Palace, followed by warming egg nog (or cold Bavarian beer if you fancy) with bratwurst and sauerkraut at the German Markets in Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
Witness the carnage unfolding in Hamleys toy store and admire the painstakingly put-together shop window fronts of Oxford Street. Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall is a magical experience – though don’t be put off by your neighbours tone deaf singing, instead, join in, the flatter the better. And ballet fan or not, the Nutcracker is a must to inspire even the most determined Grinch to join in with the spirit of the season.
My final tip is to revel in tipples usually reserved for pensioners — sherry, brandy and port; for some reason it is perfectly acceptable for anyone of any age to indulge in these during the weeks surrounding Christmas. With the added excuse that one needs them to keep the frosty weather at bay.
And there is one final bonus to spending Christmas in the Northern hemisphere — the possibility of experiencing the most magical Yuletide of all: the White Christmas Bing Crosby croons of so silkily, year on year. Though the odds of it happening in London are slim, at least there is hope, and to me that sure beats the alternative back home in Perth, the possibility of a 40 degree stinker on Christmas Day.
So hopefully this has inspired you to rope in all your unsuspecting mates and to go Christmas-crazy in the Big Smoke this year. I for one know that when the memory of Christmases spent in the UK become more and more distant, I will still be trying to recreate the magic in my pool room back in Oz, with air conditioning cranked to the max, trying to convince anyone that will listen that sherry isn’t just for old ladies who play bridge.]]>
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There were also some other major immigration changes, such as the new minimum pay threshold that impacted significantly on the lives of many immigrants.
Unfortunately, with significant immigration changes, there are often rumours going around that confuse people even further. We have subsequently answered some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our advisors in 2016, that will provide you with the correct facts.
I am an EU citizen living and working in the UK, and very concerned about how Brexit will affect my ability to stay in the UK. Do you have any guidelines on the issue?
At this stage, there is no definite answer on when Article 50 will be triggered to start the formal process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The UK will, however, remain a member of the EU throughout this process, and until Article 50 negotiations are concluded.
There are some indications that EU nationals currently living in the UK will be able to continue to do so, after Brexit. This is however not confirmed.
For now, Breytenbachs recommend that EU citizens who can apply for UK Permanent Residence do so, for their peace of mind, and as a possible safeguard against having to leave the United Kingdom upon Brexit becoming a reality. Please speak to your BIC advisor for the rules on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain as an EU National.
I am in the UK on an Ancestry Visa. How will the minimum pay threshold affect me when I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
One of the biggest misconceptions about the minimum pay threshold is about who is affected by it.
In this regard, it is important to note that the minimum pay threshold is only applicable to Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) migrants who are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. There are many persons on other migration routes that still incorrectly fear that this will affect them, but persons in other immigration categories do not need to worry. The pay threshold only applies to Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa holders. It will NOT affect applicants for ILR in any of the other immigration categories.
All Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportspersons) who are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, have to earn at least £35,000 when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If they are not able to prove that they are earning this minimum pay threshold, they have to leave the UK, unless they can find an alternative route to remain in the country. This came into effect on 6 April 2016.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to the minimum pay threshold including;
Please speak to your BIC advisor for further details on other exceptions.
I have recently arrived in the UK and have been informed by a letting agent that they have to check my right to rent in the UK. Please, can you tell me more about this?
Since 1 February 2016, all new tenants have to prove that they have a right to rent a property in England. Should a person not be able to provide the acceptable documents, he/she will not be able to rent property in England.
A landlord, householder or agent who does not follow the correct right to rent checks and is found to have let the property to a person who does not have the right to rent, will become liable to pay a civil penalty.
The UK Government introduced these new rules to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants and overstayers to stay in the UK.
Keeping up with all the changes to UK Immigration law can be daunting. Arrange a consultation with Breytenbachs and allow us to ease this burden. We offer a professional, friendly and exemplary service that will put your mind at ease and ensure that the application process is smooth and efficient.
www.bic-immigration.com or email@example.com]]>