11 Feb 2017 THIRTY YEARS AGO
I have long thought I arrived in Australia at the end of February thirty years ago, but couldn’t remember the date. Wanting to mark the occasion here, I ferreted around to see what I could find and came across an old UK passport which unfortunately replaced the one I arrived with, the following year.
Happily, my old metal document case yielded the key paperwork relating to my move, including the Qantas ticket for my flight from Heathrow to the Gold Coast. I landed at Sydney on February 11. I remember over-nighting at the airport hotel, scarcely believing I was actually in Australia and only a relatively short distance and a matter of hours away from folding Simon, my beloved five year old son, in my arms. He had preceded me to Australia with his mother and her partner nearly a year before.
I was forty five years old when I came to Australia, straight from London to Tamborine Mountain, where I have lived ever since; my longest ever sojourn in the same place. Australia has been extremely good to me, allowing me to live a better life than I ever could in the UK, both materially and, since I began this project, creatively.
For someone who doesn’t like wearing a shirt with a collar, I rejoice in putting on a t-shirt just about every day of my life; on a majority of days, with no need for a jacket or sweater. How is that for an endorsement of the country I am proud to call home.