Tough Love Down Under…

Yesterday was Mother’s Day…not in the UK but in Australia…so I am confident that the British telcos made an absolute fortune from a) all the Aussies phoning home and b) all the phone calls that went over their ‘free’ threshold. (Here’s a tip: I set the kitchen timer for 55mins as I get free calls to Australia up to an hour – if the conversation goes longer, I just hang up and call back for my second freebie).

Whilst I was one of these erstwhile antipodeans (and it was lovely chatting to you Mum!), I actually wanted to tell you about her email to me this morning which followed up on my last blog ‘The Australian Way’ – about the introduction of random breath testing in the UK 33 years after its advent in Australia. Apparently things have gotten even tougher Down Under…

‘…on public holidays, long weekends and times when anything “special” is on eg Melb Cup, AFL Grand Final, Grand Prix, we now have double the normal points lost and double the fine for the period. Also, they now impound the cars of street hoons for 3 months minimum. No car… no drunken races or burn outs..,. Also now the random breath testing is everywhere, almost every time you go out and you can be stopped. Along Nepean Hwy between Mentone and the city, I often get stopped 3 times in the one trip – quite often. They no longer have 6 policemen testing, they have 20, so nobody gets waved through. It’s making a big difference, but sadly people still become fatalities.’

So knockin’ the top off a cold one around the barbie is not as free and easy as it sounds and any Aussie will tell you that a combination of ‘fair play’ and negotiation are integral in creating simple, strop-free weekend travel arrangements. Could this be why London is so full of Aussie ‘cheer’? Oh how I love the bus(es)…

Also, News from the Patch…I used the first mizuna, rocket, spinach and chard from my garden for our bbq salad last night…the little blighters are going beserk! I am now stalking (daily) my strawberry plants as they tell me once flowers appear, the fruit is not far behind…my herbs are getting a regular trim too – fresh mint is amazing with pineapple and vanilla yoghurt and they were a few coriander leaves available to garnish a fairly wicked curry I made last week…

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