In a couple of hours it’ll be Australia Day (AEDT). I usually spend January 26 at the Australia Day Live concert in Canberra; covered in Southern Cross temporary tatts and trying to avoid getting whipped in the face by mullets; listening to the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown in a blow-up kiddie pool with at least 2 people dressed as Corey Worthington, or sneakily palming off sausage-sizzle duty at a BBQ I’ve thrown. Ah, nostalgia.
Here are some of the things I miss about home:
- Vegemite and avocado on sourdough toast. Like the worst kind of heist plans, I swear the bread here is always half-baked. And Marmite? The diarrhoea of breakfast condiments.
- Fresh food markets. A Saturday morning ritual, I especially miss the Italian Grocer handing out mango cheeks, hitting on my Mum by telling her she looks so much like her sister (ie. me), and making up his own fruit-based lyrics to 80s pop songs (Livin’ on a Pear was a real winner). I still don’t understand why all the fruit in the UK is packaged…what is peel if not nature’s shrink-wrap?
- Wearing thongs [flip-flops]. Or at least, not having to wear long johns, a turtleneck, 2 woollen jumpers, a coat, 3 pairs of socks, sensible boots, a hat, a scarf and gloves every time I leave the house.
- Good coffee. Though to be fair, the UK’s distinct lack of coffee culture does mean that when you ask for milk in a long black you don’t get the Aus-typical derisive snort/downright refusal to serve it above 60°C (which apparently constitutes a disgusting debasement of the flavour notes).
- Light. Here in Oxford I’ve taken to nesting like a baby chicken under my desk lamp for 3 hours a day to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- People taking the piss out of themselves (in other than a ‘Haha there’s no way I can eat hommous; I’m not middle-class enough!’ kind of way). Ah for some good ol’ Aussie self-deprecation.
In an attempt to surround myself with home comforts, I’ll be spending this Australia Day at the Turf Tavern, most probably watching a bunch of Aussie trying to best Bob Hawke’s record 11 second downing of a yard glass of ale.