I’ve been dashing about London in the rain today – appointment to appointment, jumping around puddles and waging a battle with my brolly in the wind. (Incidentally, I lost that battle but managed to snaffle a cab so feel I won the war.) It seemed that after posting my moment of inspiration on Facebook this morning – “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain” – the fickle London weather seemed determine to dampen my mid-week mambo.
On the homeward-bound bus at last, I opened up my weekly Australian Times e-newsletter (I’ve had a whole new love of commuting since the advent of my Desire) to be greeted with the question Are You Losing Your Australian-ness?. After the rubbishing I got while visiting loved ones in Melbourne over Christmas (about my Ocker-Oh’s referring to my tendancy to intersperse flat ‘Australian-speak’ with a few English-sounding Oh’s and Ah’s), I thought I should read on.
Lee Crossley actually identifies twelve signs of disappearing Australian-ness but I am pleased to report that I have only identify five signs after seven years of living here:
THE phrases ‘Mind the Gap’ and ‘alight here’ no longer seem a tad odd. In fact, I find them quite sweet and quaint. I mean who ‘alights’ anything any more?
YOU no longer grumble on a crowded tube. Simply hours of fun to be had ‘minding the gap’ and ‘alighting’. Plus no-one likes a whinger.
YOU expect miserable weather. And am conversely delighted to a slightly hysterical degree at any 2 plus run of warm-weather-days. I must point out here that we are classifying mid-20(c)s as blissfully warm. I just do not have the wardrobe/patience to deal with anything hotter any more, unless lying prone next to the pool/beach in holiday repose.
YOU start to wonder where all the English people have gone in London. Yep. Pretty much. I think they all live ‘elsewhere’. Like Oxford. Or Spain.
YOU accentuate the ‘ie’ in unbelievable. Actually pronounced un-be-leeeeeeev-able and can be applied to any moment of wonder/dismay/disbelief.
Yes, 5 out of 12. That’s 41.66%, an average of about 5.9% a year. By my reckoning, that means this insidious creep will have completely subsumed my Ocker-ness in just under a decade.
Bugger!* Best bring out the big guns…
*Please don’t take offence. Click on the link if you really think I am being rude. I am not. Truly. I’m just a laconic, dinky-di colonial.
ps…if you want to keep a watchful eye over my continued
slide progress, find out what the other seven are by going to Lee Crossley’s article here and keep checking in at Gidday from the UK for updates.
Vegemite Vix firstly welcome!
I always listened to Elle McPherson and Kylie Minogue and thought to myself 'that all sounds a bit pretentious!'
Oops! Little did I know…
Wow I think you're doing really well. I've only been here three years and when I went home (Aus/NZ) at the end of the year the relies all said I was 'talking posh!'
Ladies, thanks for the show of support! I never thought that there was any point in resisting some aclimatisation – after all I did set out to build a life here – but I'm hoping that there's part of me that will always be resolutely and recognisably Australian.
Five out of twelve? After 7 years? Good balance I'd say – enough to be settled and comfortable in a culture without sacrificing national identity!
Well I think only 5 out of 12 should be grounds for celebration. Both 'sides' will claim victory! I for one will stay tuned for updates.