Stuff

Post #46 – 45 Things This Aussie Initially Observed About England

As I write this, I’m sitting within the walls of a typical English house in the southern county of Hampshire, with a faint breeze outside and the sun beaming down. The flowers are in full bloom, and the bumblebees are buzzing away. Yes, there’s much to like about England, but there’s also some bits that are baffling – and some that are just a downright offence to common sense. One of most famous individuals to be influenced by the sights and sounds of England was the great poet George Chapman, who many in this country consider the rival poet of Shakespeare. He said this of his fellow countrymen in 1636,

I know an Englishman. Being flattered, is a lamb; threatened, a lion.

Much the same can be said about contemporary English folk – they shy from praise, but will squirm and sulk at the first sign of critique or self-reflection. So this post today will combine a bit of both – the peculiar and bizarre of all things English I have observed, firmly from the perspective of an inquisitive Aussie. I find it eternally fascinating what aspects of culture, mannerisms, ideology and lifestyle have managed to make it all the way to Australia – and conversely, what hasn’t.

I’ve briefly been to England a few times in the past, and this time around I’m attempting to live and work here. However, my travels here have never been very exploratory, only ever in the winter, and never any further north than Luton. So to say my comprehension of this complex and multifaceted nation is limited would be an understatement. But nor is it an attempt to be so, and these are just my initial understandings of this country. So here they are – as an Aussie these are the things that really stand out for me, divided up into five key sections – Mannerisms, Society, Food, Alcohol & Gambling, and Transport.

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Post #26 – My Rules For Living In A Share-House

So I know my blog posts have predominantly been about politics and economics, but sometimes, just sometimes I go a little crazy and write about something like beer or Taylor Swift… I’m that unpredictable!  Anywho, my last few posts have been pretty deep and arguably a little wordy. So I thought I’d ruffle through some of my old stuff and give you something a little more upbeat. Below represents a chapter in my life when I used to live in a share-house in a bohemian and hectic part of this wonderful city called Sydney. At any one stage I lived with about 8 other people, and our landlord owned another Federation-era carbon copy of our building right next door at #125 – with another 8-9 people residing there. So 16-18 transient people from all over the world, all roughly the same age, with all our mates coming and going – living together. To say it was a lawless mad-house is an understatement. Days were crazy and nights were crazier. So crazy in fact, this OCD-riddled control freak had to write up some house-rules for the dwelling – 123 Bedford St. I’ve posted them below – word for word. These rules were printed out and put around the house for all to see. They’re tongue-in-cheek (most of them) so I hope you’ll find them humorous, and if you’ve ever lived in a share-house I’m sure you can relate. Enjoy!

13 LUCKY HOUSE RULES FOR BEDFORD 123

  1. WWJD (WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?) – Well, probably not live in a share house for a start. But if he did, he probably wouldn’t take other people’s stuff without their permission. Don’t believe me? It’s in a little something called The 10 Commandments’ (it was referring to livestock mostly, but can be applied to things like (more…)

My Initial Thoughts: The Inner Machinations of a Newbie

So I’m going to start writing a blog due to peer pressure. The masses, the people, yearn to scroll over the handiwork of my salad fingers and brain combining to bash out sweet political poetry on my keyboard.

Actually I lie, only two individuals have recommended I blog my thoughts, and I’m certain one of those individuals said it in jest. The other was my dog, and the canine has a habit of feeding me furphies after a session of extreme frisbee in the backyard. Despite this, I’ll soldier on in the hope that somebody surfing the deep extremities of the interweb stumbles across my blog and decides to read (and possibly comment!) on whatever I’ve decided to ramble on about. In fact, I’d appreciate it if you did comment, because at least I’d know I wasn’t exclusively writing this for my own amusement.

‘But what are you going to write about?’, I hear you say.
‘Why should I pay attention to you?’ and ‘Why are you on my computer screen… is this a virus of some sort?’

Well, despite my ability to blather on, this is no virus. I’m honestly as pissed off as Peter Finch on crack and I’m simply “not gonna take it anymore!”. So I’m going to do what any good revolutionary does and fill up a bowl with chicken-flavoured Smith’s, re-adjust my seat and the Venetian blinds to ‘creep mode’ and take my rightful position in front of the PC to truly become a fully-fledged ‘keyboard warrior’.

You might think it’s petty to whinge about the calamities I face, my community faces, my country faces, the WORLD faces – all the while sitting in front of a digital screen in the comforts of my white, male, middle-class privilege. I would tend to agree with you – however considering the forces that be in the world, every little bit counts – including me writing a blog.

‘But who are you?’ I hear you ask, and ‘Why should I give a damn what you have to say?’. These are two valid questions, and I can only answer the first one with some gusto (and certainty). I don’t want to let on too much about my character, lest it weaken the narrative of any further developments on my blog (also, just read the ‘About’ section on this site… cereally, that ezzy) and nor do I want to bore you. I do not confess to be, as Tony Abbott so eloquently puts it, the ‘suppository of all wisdom’, but I feel I’ve been around the block enough to at least have a rough idea what I’m talking about. To quote the character Finch once again,  ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!’… and that is why, to sum up, I will blog. I have something to say, I might as well say it.  Furthermore, I’m currently completing a Bachelors in Political, Economic and Social Science at the University of Sydney, and this blog could well be a place to vent and internalize all I am presented with (or possibly just another place for me to bitch about how much I hate The Voice) and put forth ideas for change. So I hope you follow me on this journey, I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I honestly look forward to your input. Agree, disagree, sign up to my blog, sit on a fence or just comment to inform me that your cats’ name is Mittens. It’s all good!