Friday, October 18, 2013

Why I left England

Allow me to introduce myself.  New blogger on Broad Oak.  Name's Paul.

My first ten years in Stretford, Manchester, by definition makes me a city boy I guess.  My middle class conservative parents preached the conventional line of good education to get a good job, to get a good wage to get a nice house, to get a beautiful wife, to have some kids, etc.  So how come I end up in a rainforest in Australia?

This is one of 3 dams on my property of 156 acres.  I have managed to put up with this place for nearly 40 years now.

How I was corrupted from the conventional, the straight and narrow, began at school when I failed the now defunct 11+ exam and thrown onto the academic scrapheap.  I was sent to a 'secondary' school 75 years old, with an annual intake of 500 kids.  In that time 1 student had progressed to university.  I knew the system was wrong and unfair.  I did manage to pass enough exams to get to university with extraordinary help from the headmaster who taught me maths in his tiny office.

At university I was revolting.  Sorry, I mean I was revolutionary.  I joined the peace society, embraced the hippy thing which was new at that time and went barefoot with bell-bottomed trousers with bells.  Yes, a real wannabe.  The naturals didn't have to work that hard.  Somehow I got an honours degree.  Then hit the hippy trail through Asia for 5 years with an incredibly small amount of money, but learned there were millions of people who would say I was rich.  I came to Australia to work and replenish my depleted purse.  I didn't imagine how the vastness of the landscape and the welcome solitude it affords would permeate my being.

I left behind thoughts of career, any desire to achieve 'success', any need to accumulate money, and those ridiculous bell-bottomed trousers with bells.

I did have a family and raise kids, and I guess that will always be a constant in the changing fads of lifestyle.  I have always paid my way, though often barely, and take pride that I have always stayed out of debt.

I left England because it is too crowded.  It is too cold.  So many wonderful things like the pubs and the museums, the friendly and stoical people, the humour and the eccentrics, but just too crowded.

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A K Haart said...

"I left England because it is too crowded."

It is. Whatever the numbers say, it's not simply a numbers game it's just obvious.

Paddington said...

I was lucky enough to succeed at the 11+ in 1969. Nonetheless, when we moved to Plymouth in 1975, our school was a modified Napoleonic War hospital - our rooms were the wards, the sports changing area the old Belam, and the animal housing (for Biology) was the old morgue building. On a related note, one of my textbooks in Tutshill school near Chepstow, circa 1965, had graffiti from 1919 inside.

Paddington said...

Make that 'Bedlam'. I also miss the pubs and countryside, but don't like people too close. My wife and I live on 9 acres in the US.

James Higham said...

Not quite so bad up our way but still too many people.