I’ve been away from home for almost three months now and I miss absolutely everything about the U.K. Of course, I miss my family and my friends hugely and my beautiful, furry little cats even more than them.
But I expected to miss all of that, so it’s not come as a surprise. However, what has come as a surprise is all of the little day to day aspects of life in the U.K, and of being British, that I never thought that I would miss.
1) RAIN, THE COLD, FROST & SNOW
I never knew how much I loved those grey, drizzly, wintery days in England until I moved to a place with opposite seasons. It does rain in Australia, but it’s just not the same. I miss the excitement of stepping outside on a cold, frosty morning and seeing ice on the cars and breathing out and seeing your breath in the air. Having Christmas in the boiling heat is not festive. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas more than ever before and I’m pretty sure it’s physically impossible.
There’s only two major supermarkets over here- Coles and Woolworths- both are extortionately priced and have a minimal selection of products when compared to the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys. Don’t even get me started on M&S- the land of choice and opportunity- there is nothing like it here.
3) HOT BATHS
This one relates back to the weather situation. A lovely hot bubble bath is one of my absolute favourite ways to relax and unwind after work or to cure a horrendous hangover on a Sunday. Here, if you stepped into a hot bath, you would probably die. The air is too hot. Cold showers are the only option and there’s nothing relaxing or fun about those, let me tell you.
4) THE SIZE OF THE U.K.
Australia is approximately one billion times the size of the U.K. You may think that would offer you endless possibilities, but you would be very wrong. In the U.K, if you fancy visiting an entirely different area such as London or Edinburgh from Leeds- you can just hop on a train and be there in a few hours. In Australia, you’d have no such luck. Every city is so far away from the last that you can drive for days and end up nowhere. I had to take a TWELVE HOUR coach the other week. Not fun.
5) LOOKING PRESENTABLE/NOT BEING A SWEATY MESS
If you are planning on moving to Australia (particularly Queensland), be prepared to look a lot uglier than you do at home. Try blowdrying your hair- you’ll faint. Try straightening or curling it- it’ll be frizzier than before within 5 seconds. Try putting on a face of make-up- it’ll slide off your face, leaving you looking like you belong in Madame Tussauds. Just don’t try to look nice- the humidity will come for you.
6) WALKERS CRISPS, GALAXY CHOCOLATE, TWISTER LOLLIES etc. etc. etc.
All I want in life is a bag of cheese and onion walkers crisps and a bar of plain Galaxy. You would think that this was a simple request but NO- no chance of anything as tasty as that in Australia. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had some great alternatives to offer me. They have nothing. Tim Tams are all there is and they’re basically just a Penguin biscuit.
7) GETTING DARK AT 4PM
This is a very unexpected one for me. I am a typical Brit, forever moaning about it getting dark too early once winter rolls around. I will never moan again. It’s festive and cute and cosy and it means that you don’t feel so guilty about putting your pyjamas on straight after work.
8) X FACTOR, GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF, MADE IN CHELSEA
I’ve always been one of those people who will tell you that I don’t actually watch much T.V. What I didn’t realise is that what I do watch is great, classic British entertainment that the rest of the world is being cruelly denied. Of course you can find some dodgy link on your laptop that will probably give it a million viruses, but at least then you can watch a scratchy, out-of-sync recording when you already know exactly what happened because you couldn’t stay off twitter.
9) A PROPER CUP OF TEA
Most crucially and most British of all- the famous cup of tea. It’s true that you can buy Yorkshire tea bags over here (thank god for small mercies), but they taste quite different and the milk tastes too creamy and weird. It’s also so hot that if you dare take the plunge and drink one, you’ll feel like you’re on fire on the inside for a good hour afterwards. Tea is a sacred part of my existence as a British national and it will never be the same in another land- never.
Although this post may seem negative and moany- I do genuinely love Australia and everything it has to offer. But if you’re going to survive over here; bring supplies of your favourite food, plenty of tea bags and a great air-conditioning unit.