JIMMY BARNES sings “standin’ on the outside lookin’ in” and that’s exactly the way I feel over here.
Having lived in the UK for a few years I find myself taking every opportunity to fly the Aussie flag. I am definitely more Aussie since moving here and my biggest fear is being mistaken for a Pom.
I feel like I’ve let the side down every time I call soccer football, but get a huge boost when some of my Pommy mates refer to it as soccer, just so that I understand what their talkin’ about.
The BBQ is fired up religiously every weekend even in winter and the vegetarians next door have now put their house on the market. I buy VB in the supermarket even if I stopped drinking it at home when I was 19. I wear thongs and shorts like they’re going out of fashion – heck, I even got a Southern Cross tattoo on my back by a Polish tattooist in Basingstoke….
But what I’ve noticed most about being over here on the other side of the world is that Australia stands still in my house. I am heavily influenced by 70’s & 80’s Oz music so the iPod is usually pumping out Oils, Chisel, AC/DC – no new stuff really. Although I will be checkin’ out the new Cold Chisel album!
It does remind me of visiting a friend’s house in suburban Melbourne years ago. His parents were Greek and when I walked through the front door it was like little Athens. At the time I was thinking ‘why don’t these people just let go and accept their new surroundings’. I now understand how pride in your country becomes stronger and stronger the longer your away and how little bubbles of preserved patriotism can be concreted into the mainstream like portholes or gateways back in time. The longer I spend in limbo the more I fear what I will find when I go back.
And bringing up three kids over here can be mentally challenging…I fear they won’t relate to our beautiful country. My youngest thinks she was born in England, “whats Vegemite Dad?” she asks, and they all have Mockney accents. So as I become more Australian my kids become less Australian…
However driving home from a day at the beach last weekend, my youngest boy leant over and said ‘turn it up Dad, this is real music’. The tune on the radio? AC/DC! Just yesterday I popped my head around the corner of my 13 year olds bedroom door, he was busy doin’ his homework with the Chisels blaring out. He didn’t know who it was but that doesn’t matter, he likes it. So it’s through their ears I will inject cultural identity and in some strange way when they are cruising Freeway 1 out of Sydney in a few years and Jimmy comes screamin’ out of the speakers it will remind them of Hampshire summers at the pebble beach…And while they won’t necessarily know what they mean – they will know all the words! ‘And that’s the way I like it!’
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Also see: Cold Chisel set for Hard Rock Calling in London’s Hyde Park
Also see: Latest UK Australian gigs listings