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Lynne78

Surely the UK isn't all that bad...?

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I was at a Burns Supper the other night and met a couple from London who were over sorting stuff out before they make the move in August. He said he could not wait to get out of there as the UK was going down hill, she followed it up by saying that it hadn't stopped raining in the UK since they left. They were so enthusiastic and optimistic that I didn't bother telling them that we couldn't wait to move back (and share all our reasons!) so just nodded along and gave some advice about rentals etc...

 

It got me thinking though about their expectations. Are they realistic? Are they expecting paradise or do they think that all their problems will be fine as long as the sun is shining? I am looking forward to moving back to Scotland, but am under no delusion that it is perfect. I think I'm quite realistic as I came to Australia for a change, to see what it was like, rather than because I hated the UK and thought everything would be perfect here.

 

Speaking to family and friends, and following on Facebook, I've heard the odd complaint about increasing utilities and annoyance with the government etc, but nothing too dramatic (or different) . I work in a government clinic so meet a lot of people every day, especially elderly people, both Australians and expats. Frequent (negative) topics of conversation are: price of food, price of utilities, price of fuel, price of rent, lack of affordable housing (especially for low income families), difficulty finding work, hospital waiting lists, cost of dentistry/doctors, cost of private health insurance, bad drivers, drunk drivers, drug and alcohol abuse, antisocial behavior, poor police presence, lenient jail terms, useless politicians, immigrants, health problems, low incomes, cold weather, rain, hot weather, fires....

 

A lot of these problems exist in the UK and Australia, but if you believe some people they are exclusively UK problems. Is the UK really worse than Australia? Are these people right to escape to the sunshine? I know Scotland wasn't perfect when I left 3 years ago, but I don't believe it has changed that much, that I will find some unrecognisable land where everyone is miserable and desperate to leave.

Those that have returned - did you notice a difference? How do the two compare? Is Australia better or are the newbies just believing the hype? (I had a little eye-roll at the the radio presenter today who said that the unbearable heat we are experiencing is "the price we have to pay for living in paradise"!)

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I left Scotland in 2008 and return 2013 and saw no perceptible difference - we didn't leave because we weren't happy there (why did we leave? bloody good question!) - my friends are all working (more so than 5 years ago but that's more down to kids growing older, divorce etc.) I haven't noticed things being more expensive (& house prices are about the same or possibly less) but after 5 years in Perth everything seems cheap.

 

Just before we left we had a garage sale and some ping pongers from Dundee warned us we wouldn't recognise Scotland, that it was a muslim country now and schools were being turned into mosques... I checked 1.4% of the population are muslim compared to 2.1% in Perth.

 

Some people just have an agenda & if you look at the rubbish published under the name of news it's no wonder.

 

If I had one complaint about British people it's that on a whole we are not proud of our nation, although Scots are a bit more so than English.

 

And as for the weather, it's been perfect so far - a wonderful summer that drifted into Autumn, snow in the Highlands over Christmas that cleared by the time we needed to head home. I'm under no illusion that we have February to come but so far the weather has had far less impact on my life than it would have done in Perth.

 

Dornt fash yerse you'll be alrecht :)

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There's a lot of brainwashing going on IMHO - there's very little difference really. It most certainly has NOT rained every day (not where I am anyway!) I suspect a fair bit of cognitive Dissonance being displayed here!

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Oh it really makes me smile....A FB friend of mine was moaning about something the other day (which is fine) but one of her friends commented and said 'I'm sick of this country, I've just been watching wanted down under and the Australian's have got it right'

 

It's so funny....if you move to Australia you can work really short hours, have a massive house and spend all day at the beach......lol.

 

Mind you my brother in law (Australian) talks about living in 'the lucky country' but when he goes on holiday it's to Bali and Fiji....Australia of course seems 'lucky' in comparison my very well travelled sister in law...thinks Oz is pants and so does my aussie husband. Which is why we are still so glad to be back in the UK.

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We met a couple from Yorkshire a few weeks back, who were here on a "reccie"

They honestly thought it was "utopia"

Mind, the more I got talking to them, the more I realised that they had absolutely no idea whatsoever

They had no idea about visas,what it entailed,no idea about much really, just "living the dream"

They did nothing but slate the UK, and TBH, I really did just think in the end, that they have got a major shock coming, if they can ever get a visa

We told them, we couldent wait to get out of here and get home, and they looked horrified

We did tell them a few negatives about it here, but I think we were wasting our breath, and I think they were simply prime candidates for disaster, if they ever get here.

 

All of our friends and family are doing really well, in the UK.Yes, they moan about certain things, but it certainly does not affect thier standard of living or lifestyle.They all seem very happy and have good jobs, and nice homes.

I know none of them would swop places with me, and come to Aus :)

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When I left the UK in 1985, it was after the miner's strike. For the first time in my life, I didn't have a permanent job. My husband hated his work but couldn't find an alternative. The outlook was bleak. Australia was a paradise by comparison. I've achieved far more here than I ever would've in Scotland, in many aspects of my life. I think the same applied to most of the British migrants who came out before me, all the way back to the fifties.

 

In my last month before leaving Scotland, I was given the job of issuing new contracts to the factory staff at my work. I had to talk to each one individually, and naturally they wanted to know why I was leaving. Every single one of them had a relative (or a friend or friend of a friend), who had gone to Australia and "made good". The Australian government doesn't have to brainwash the British about Oz, it's been passed down to us in our folklore!

 

Besides, the grass is always greener. I love watching those "Dream Home Abroad" type shows, and I'm always gobsmacked at how stupid people are - moving to a derelict Tuscan hovel in the belief that running an olive farm will be idyllic. Don't they know farming is back-breaking work with uncertain returns? It's human nature to want to believe a dream.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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You are right Marisa "Passed down to us in our folklore" Sometimes I wonder if its a question of pride. There is an old saying 'Pride comes before a fall.' I remember a teacher at school talking about the subject of pride many years ago. She suggested aspects of pride are positive. Pride in your children, your parents, the qualities of your partner etc, but if you feel the need to express regularly the pride of where you come from there might be an element of doubt in your mind, she offered.

 

When I return to the UK in August this is something I will take with me and it is evident in "the first person plural" if that is the right expression. (Someone will correct me if it isn't). Our this and Our that. I hear it every day in the press, all media and everyday conversation. Our highest mountain, our deepest lake, our barrier reef and our boys who just thrashed the poms at cricket. I wonder if there is anyone in the UK who refers to London as "Our nations capital?"

 

So it goes on, a film trailer on TV announced in that deep gravelly voice, "Starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and "Australia's" Cate Blanchett. Why is there a need to do that???

 

But the best one I ever heard was "Our stars are better and brighter than those in the northern hemisphere." OUR STARS !!

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I do feel that DH and I have had better opportunities to develop our careers here than if we had stayed in the UK. The smaller population makes our skills stand out a bit more plus I feel that employers here have been more willing to take a chance - e.g. I got offered a job writing for a magazine after the editor read my blog. I cannot imagine that happening in the UK.

 

But it's a bit like "sliding doors" isn't it? Who knows what opportunities might have come my way if I'd stayed in England.

 

It's interesting but the only negative reactions we've had to our decision to move back has come from fellow Brits. We have heard the usual "it's gone to the dogs" type comments which, with hardly any digging at all reveals itself to be based on an anti-immigration stance. I can happily dismiss this as bigotry and not worry about it. Another complaint is the weather - an age-old British complaint and the price you pay for living in Northern Europe - no surprises there! The impact of the GFC and recession is another one and I do think this is worth considering but our friends are still employed, getting new jobs etc. so it's not all doom and gloom. My biggest worry is the perceived increase in "chavism", something I hated when I lived there and haven't experienced here. But then we left a deprived part of London and are (probably) returning to a nice village so my experience isn't universal.

 

So no, the UK isn't bad at all! We didn't leave the UK because we hated it and we're not leaving Australia because we hate it - gives us a good balanced view and prepares us to take things as they come I think. Also, sometimes the naysayers feel their decisions are being criticized when someone else chooses to return and they rain on your parade to make themselves feel better.

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Yes Lady R, I heard the Muslim comment as well and just thought pfft, what nonsense. As Aunt Agatha says, a lot of negativity can be dismissed as bigotry. I agree with you about national pride (and that us Scots show a bit more than the English) but as Paul points out, one thing that really bugs me about Australia is how they take national pride to the extreme, to the point of arrogance at times. One conversation at work recently (after a fellow Brit said something about England) quickly became a rolling put down of the UK: "why would anyone want to live there?", "it's always cold", "it always rains", "why would anyone want to leave Austraaalia, it's AWESOME?!". I quietly made my cup of tea thinking "only one of you has ever been there for Gods Sake!!!! You have no idea what it's like!" I often get frustrated by such comments having encountered so many Australians that have never traveled (do we count Bali?) and have no experience of foreign cultures, yet revel in their ignorance and proclaim all other countries to be inferior.

 

I have no concerns about returning home, I was really interested to hear everyone's thoughts. My husband is quite concerned about finding work. Unfortunately we believed that Australia was desperate for tradies and he (an electrician) would have no problems finding work - he has spent most of the last 3 years either unemployed applying for dozens of jobs or on short term contracts that end as soon as work dries up (with bouts of depression in between as a result). So I tell him that the job situation on Scotland is unlikely to be worse that what he's already gone through!

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You are right Marisa "Passed down to us in our folklore" Sometimes I wonder if its a question of pride. There is an old saying 'Pride comes before a fall.' I remember a teacher at school talking about the subject of pride many years ago. She suggested aspects of pride are positive. Pride in your children, your parents, the qualities of your partner etc, but if you feel the need to express regularly the pride of where you come from there might be an element of doubt in your mind, she offered.

 

We're at cross purposes, Paul. I wasn't talking about Aussies. I'm a Scot and I was working in Scotland at the time - and every single one of those workers knew someone who'd done well in Australia, so they had a very positive view of the country. When I was a wean, it was the common perception in Scotland, because so many people from previous generations had been so successful there. That's what I meant by "passed down to us in our folklore". I meant British folklore, or at least Scottish folklore. And I'm sure people of my generation passed it on to their kids, and it's been reinforced by programmes like Neighbours and Home & Away. Unfortunately, that old picture still lingers in people's minds and today's Australia isn't as much of a land of opportunity as it used to be.

 

When I return to the UK in August this is something I will take with me and it is evident in "the first person plural" if that is the right expression. (Someone will correct me if it isn't). Our this and Our that. I hear it every day in the press, all media and everyday conversation. Our highest mountain, our deepest lake, our barrier reef and our boys who just thrashed the poms at cricket. I wonder if there is anyone in the UK who refers to London as "Our nations capital?"

 

So it goes on, a film trailer on TV announced in that deep gravelly voice, "Starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and "Australia's" Cate Blanchett. Why is there a need to do that???

 

 

I've never minded about that because Scots are famous for doing exactly the same (there's that famous Aberdeen newspaper headline when the Titanic sank - "Aberdeen Man Lost at Sea" - which isn't true but it's funny because it's an exaggeration of reality). But there's nothing wrong with patriotism.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I agree that it's in our culture....when we were at the airport in Manchester abut to embark on our 'new life in Oz' the woman at the check in desk said 'brilliant I wish I was leaving this country for good' conversely when we left Brisbane on a one way ticket the check in woman looked personally wounded as if we'd smacked her in the face....lol x

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I think it depends where you come from.So many complain about the weather,how gloomy it is,how depressing blah blah blah and I honestly don't see that where I live.So its winter?????I was stuck inside in Sth Oz with the wood burner chugging away 24/7 when I lived there so whats the diff?We've had some glorious days here,blue skies and sunshine in January???Unheard of it seems to some people in the UK!:cute:I've said this many times over the years,where I am,I have not noticed a recession,I don't know anyone out of work,people are shopping,planning their annual holidays,decorating their homes,and getting on with life in general.I had a good life in Oz and I have a good life here.Its also about attitude.All to easy to focus on the negatives,where ever you live,and long for something better,but really,what needs to be better is people's attitudes and maybe to see things differently.All the best for a happy bright future.Scotland is gorgeous.


When the power of love overcomes the love of power,the world will know peace ~ Jimi Hendrix

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I personally like the fact that we, as a nation moan and grumble a bit....to me it shows we question things rather than being accepting of everything. It does get a bit much at times though but the inane grins on most of the Aussies we knew got on my nerves just as much, to me it was like a kind of moronic brainwashing.

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I personally like the fact that we, as a nation moan and grumble a bit....to me it shows we question things rather than being accepting of everything. It does get a bit much at times though but the inane grins on most of the Aussies we knew got on my nerves just as much, to me it was like a kind of moronic brainwashing.

 

I must confess to being mystified, I'm seeing this comment all over the forums but I've never encountered it myself. Sure, the media can be a bit jingoistic but I've never come across it amongst real people. Does it come down to where people live? I know there are huge differences from state to state and city to city - I know Australians all speak the same language but attitudes are enormously different. Maybe I was just lucky to land in Sydney, and be able to afford to live in the centre, rather than somewhere else!


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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