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So I am pondering on whether to move home or not. I am Australian and have lived her in the U.K. for 25 years. And age. I am twice that myself so it is right to say I have lived in each country half my life. Maybe that makes it the right time to see which way the balance goes when weighing up the options?

I have two children, born here, who are young adults and still in college and university. The youngest doesn’t see his future in the U.K. especially after the shambles of the Brexit referendum and the eye opening regarding the views and nature of many people here. Can’t bear what is happening. 

My eldest is a europhile and speaks German and loves London, but as she and her brother are both dual nationals, she has the option of going to Australia after uni to discover it on her own terms. We’ve been back as a family 4 times in the 25 years. Not enough I realise now. We went in ’97, ’99, 2006 and 2010. The longest interval is now and I am planning a trip for October, for the first time I will go alone to see my good friends and my brother. 

I am really missing Australia at the moment, attitudes and outlook, the space, the warmth, the marsupials and the optimism. Britain feels grey and damp and hopeless in comparison. I know it’s winter but it is the people and the politics as well as the environment – I feel as if the country may never recover from the dire situation it is now in with regards to finances, political relationships, workers rights and costs of living. That is all before I say a thing about the not so hidden racism that now is leaking out in conversations in workplaces and communities. Grim indeed. 

I work in the NHS as a nurse which is only better as an employer when held up in comparison against BHS! Otherwise it is a stressed out organisation which stresses out the staff at all levels. And as everyone who listens to the news hopefully now is aware – there is a crisis in health and mental health where I work, lack of resources in staff, space, beds, lack of access to the best treatment, lack of ambulances numbers and did I say lack of staff whether that be in general practices or hospital based care. It’s like working in a high pressured environment pretty much all the time. Burnout is predicted for most staff. The NHS is crumbling and the like of Hunt and May are only accelerating this. Healthcare in Australia I understand is still of a good standard with higher satisfaction levels for patients and workers. I want some of that! 

I will go back I am sure, with the exception of one variant, my children. I would not leave either of them. Must now campaign for my daughter to embrace the sunburnt country – here’s hoping she does. 

Now to light the fire – must stave off this January chill. And dream of wide open spaces. 

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