IT WAS my birthday last week and as I prepared to celebrate turning yet another year ‘younger’, it dawned on me that sometimes in England, the Poms have things round the wrong way a little.
Take the much vaunted day of my birth for example. On such an occasion, is it not fair to expect fawning, sycophancy and to be lavished with gifts, praise and wonderment? Apparently not in the UK! On a day that was meant to be all about me, the British workplace turned out to be a cruel mistress. Not only was I sorely disappointed that there would be no Aussie Times HQ office party in my honour, it was in fact expected of me to source, pay for and then bring my own birthday cake to work. Wow, talk about people having your cake and eating it too.
But please, don’t let me digress and seem overindulgent, for it doesn’t end there. As a keen sportsman, I take great pleasure in celebrating others’ sporting triumphs and milestones; like scoring a hundred in cricket or notching a hole-in-one in golf. In Australia, you would be lauded from the rooftops, honoured on high and have your name inscribed on club honour boards. You’d be hero for the day. But what happens over here? Perform magnificently and do something special and you’re meant to shout the bar after match. Bugger that!
Tim Martin is the Editor of Australian Times.