A Little Tinkering…

Well peeps it’s been a cosy, curled-up-indoors kind of Sunday here at Gidday HQ. I’ve done chores (well, some), read a little, sorted some pics I took in London yesterday, had a chat with Mum and carried out a little virtual redecorating. Yes, in the spirit of trying out new stuff and beginning a shiny new chapter, I have been tinkering away to give Gidday From The UK a bit of a lift. 

This year is about new horizons for me, whatever they turn out to be, so I wanted a ‘eyes up’, skyward theme. But I also like the relaxed feel of Gidday – a bit like I’ve invited you over for a cuppa and a chat – and didn’t want to morph into something that just wasn’t…well, me. So I’ve decided to use a picture of my very own street in Fabulous Finchley as the backdrop to all things Gidday.

Taken from the footpath right outside my front door

The last year has also seen me out and about a bit and I’m quite chuffed about this new notoriety. And I wanted to acknowledge the generosity of my fellow adventurers in the blogosphere for saying nice stuff about Gidday and for some especially brave souls, letting me loose on their patch to witter on about stuff.  So I’ve added a new page, Going Walkabout.

Gidday has played host to some Special Guests this year too. I love the variety it brings to the Gidday journey and so am putting this out there now – if you’d like me to write a guest post for you on…erm…something, I am completely up for it.

Speaking of putting stuff out there, I told you yesterday about another new page, Mind The Gap! designed to capture all that’s sublime and ridiculous about charting one’s course through the Queen’s English in Blighty. Please feel free to contribute your stories – the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned (and thanks to Michelloui for her LOL tale of #expatfail on yesterday’s post).

The Book Nook (previously the 50 Book Challenge until I got to 50) will remain at large and in the last few months has featured the scribblings of two of you, Charlie Wade with The Bailout (No. 51) and Jack Scott with Perking The Pansies: Jack and Liam Move To Turkey (No. 57).

No doubt there’s more to come and not just from Jack and Charlie. You (well some of you anyway) seem to like my mini-reviews so I’ll keep ’em coming for 2012.

As for the rest, we’ll see what transpires as the year progresses. I already anticipate much travelling and a fair amount of fossicking in old London Town so some new themes may emerge on this front. In addition, the new Gidday HQ offers many opportunities not available in my previous super-small abode. I can see a few soirees of the outdoor variety taking place on the sizeable patio/in the grassy bit of the garden (which may or may not overshadow any future baking exploits). And let’s not forget that Gidday HQ is guest-ready – Mum will be here in just 37 sleeps.

And speaking of Mum, she’s is a stickler for manners that one – I may never meet HRH but Mum is comforted by the fact I at least know how to behave well. So thank you for all your reading, laughing, scoffing, following and commenting. Let me assure you every one of your comments is eagerly opened as I make my daily commute to and from work. This is the place where I put little old me on the page – whatever that may be at the time – and being cheered, supported and surprised by your feedback can really transform an often lacklustre commute.

That’s it for now so I hope you enjoy Gidday From The UK’s new duds. I look forward to more exciting travels through the blogosphere with you and if you are ever actually in London and fancy a face-to-face with an irreverent Aussie sheila, just let me know.

The Language Barrier…Mind The Gap!

I’ve lived here in the UK for just over 7 years now.  I came from another English-speaking country – a colony of the British Empire no less, built on the entrepreneurial and criminal exploits of those shipped in from the Mother Country.

And I have spent a not insignificant proportion of my time explaining passing comments, pithy retorts and ironic witticisms that lose their essential meaning when transported to the other side of the world.

The comment that sparked it all off 7 years ago was this:

I went for a fossick on your desk.

I had presumed that fossick was a word in use in everyday English language but clearly not.  And I found myself, flush-faced, explaining to the wide-eyed recipient of said comment that it meant to rummage about for something, using all of the relevant Aussie ‘looking for gold’-isms I could think of! 

I am secretly quite proud that I haven’t yet fallen for the whole ‘I was walking to work today and my pants got wet’ gaffe (for those non-English people out there, pants are underpants here) but there have been a few faux pas including thongs and vests (both also undergarments) and a few smiles/sniggers/raised eyebrows at comments like this week’s pearler, ‘suck it up Princess’ (directed at one who needs to get over oneself!)

And it reminded me of some of those truly ‘choice’ (the English would no doubt say ‘cracking’) sayings that I had under my belt when I arrived ‘off the boat’ that captured the essence of a sentiment in the way only an Aussie can:

(Best I warn you here: if you would rather avoid references to swearing and general, unlady-like behaviour, you should stop reading now)
Feeling like a shag on a rock – the shag being a bird of the feathered variety – does not mean I would like to have sex in an uncomfortable place but rather that I’ve been (to use another metaphor) ‘left out in the cold’.
As useless as t*ts on a bull – which has now been replaced by the more genteel ‘as useless as a chocolate teapot’ – you get my drift, right?

…and one of my all time favourites…

Don’t p*ss down my back and tell me it’s raining – which is really not for use in anything other than highly-social, alcoholically-lubricated situations but really sums up what the little voice inside my head is screaming saying sometimes.
So now you’ve had a peek behind the sunburnt brow of this ridgy didge Aussie Expat.  Shocked?  Well, I may not have painted a very erudite picture, but I’ll bet you wouldn’t have learnt any of that watching Neighbours!

But you can do your bit for British-Aussie relations yourself by clicking here and swotting up courtesy of the The Australian Slang Dictionary.

Then we might actually be speaking the language!

And that’d be bonzer mate…