IT’S that time of year when inevitably my expat Aussie mind starts thinking of home. Thinking of the sun and the surf and my mates playing cricket on the beach. Of Christmas with the fam. Of the Boxing Day Test, of an Aussie summer, of cold VBs on the back verandah. I think of the flies I would be swatting furiously away. Of the whine of the air con cranked right up as I drive around the Sydney streets. Of long hot days, of funny family meals, of beach holidays. Of sweaty runs with my dogs and of sun burnt legs after a round of golf.
I miss Triple J on the radio teaching me new Aussie songs so that I can act like I am hip and cool. I miss my grandmothers doting over me and of crazy aunts, uncles and cousins making me roll around with laughter. I miss play fights with my bro and long talks with my sis. I guess when winter sets in here, and the darkness comes down like a heavy blanket, I just really miss Australia.
I don’t know if you have ever listened to Tim Minchin’s song ‘White Wine In The Sun’, but for me it is my all time favourite Aussie Christmas song. Go and listen to it right now and I challenge you not to get nostalgic (and maybe even a little bit choked up).
But when I get down and start pining for the heat and the hugs back home, I quickly think of how lucky I am. Yep, my family isn’t here to share Christmas with but I am on Europe’s doorstep. I get to experience Christmas in one of the best cities in the world for it – in London. I get to marvel at the amazing London lights and the Xmas fever that hits, I get to slurp mulled wine in the warm city pubs and get fat on free minced pies, I get to snuggle down under a doona (that’s right – doona – and it will always be called that) and watch some quality Christmas TV.
I get to go skiing in the Alps and make snowmen in the London streets. I get to share fun times with new loved ones. I get to dream about the travel I will be doing in 2012, I get to curse the wicked winter wind, I get to moan about 3pm darkness. I get to plan for outings like watching the tennis at Wimbledon next year (the ballot for tickets closes on New Years), to wish for Glasto tickets and get excited about London 2012. And I get to remember, that while it may be cold and dark and wet and foreign, I get to experience this amazing opportunity now with the chance to spend many, many more Christmases and summers back in Australia for the rest of my life.
So I guess we’ve got it pretty good here in London. I just wish there was an English equivalent of Triple J, because then I could start feeling hip and cool again!
Check out Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine In The Sun’ below. Also view the top 5 Australian Christmas songs and play the Advent Calendar to win Christmas presents
(Editor’s note – 15/12/11:
Deanne has made a fantastic shout in the comments below – how could I ever forget an equally gold Australian Christmas song – Paul Kelly’s How To Make Gravy – enjoy)