Identity Crisis

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Gordon is getting in the mood for Australia Day

On Saturday 26th January 2013 at precisely 10.30am, my husband and I will be sworn in as Australian citizens.  We have been in the country almost five years and were actually eligible to apply last year but finances prevented us so almost a year late, we will be pledging our loyalty to Australia – still, better late than never I say.  I am looking forward to being a permanent part of this country and being able to vote and just being able to call myself Australian.

Dream on

I have been having rather odd dreams about it as well which have involved me singing the American National Anthem rather than the Australian one, god knows why I am dreaming that and I have dreams that the Mayor hands me my certificate and then snatches it back and doesn’t let me have it. So as you can see, a psychologist would have a great time interpreting those dreams.

I have found myself being more than a touch homesick if truth be known and have taken to seeking out pictures of Big Ben and all things belonging to London including maps of the London Underground purely to see if I still know how to get from Marylebone to Holborn (yes I do and that is one journey that I will not forget).

Facebook

After suspending my Facebook account, my homesickness became worse as I realized that this was the main link to my family in the UK and one thing I will say about Facebook and that is that the site is very good at keeping people linked to one another and I never appreciated just how much it meant to me being able to see what my sisters/brother/nieces/nephews/dad were all up to and vice versa.

Facebook is also good for having friends that are not really your friends and I don’t mean that in a nasty way, but in a way that they are just on your friends list for no particular reason and you rarely if ever converse with them. Facebook can also be used for people that don’t really have much time for you yet are on your friends list, which enables them to be nosy or keep tabs on your lifestyle and not for good reasons either – so you get my drift.

I am also guilty of using Facebook to see what people I don’t have much time for, are getting up to so I am not entirely blameless in this.

So there was me becoming more and more homesick without realizing that the missing link, was indeed Facebook and that I could still have my account but it just needed reorganizing in the friends department – sort of like a spring clean, and reorganize it is what I did.

Which is why I decided to cut back on the friends list and delete them, nothing personal – we just had/have bugger all in common or we are not really friends – simple as.

It was rather nice being back in the ‘Facebook family’ and although I had only been gone a week, it had felt a lot longer and I thoroughly enjoyed going over my family status updates and seeing what was going on and I also have equally enjoyed talking to my sister Julie this morning on Facebook chat, it makes the distance smaller and the fact that we can involve an old pal from the 1980’s in the conversation makes it even better.  Hello Rob Ellis, if you are reading this!

With my homesickness feelings better in control, surely the weird dreams would stop? One would think so but they haven’t.  Last night I had another dream about singing the wrong National Anthem and the same thing about the Major not letting me have my citizenship certificate, all rather amusing and confusing stuff you will agree.

It feels strange to me to be gaining another citizenship, I feel so proud and excited but it has been a long time coming let me tell you – and that is another (long) story to be told.

I have had dreams about this moment and never thought it would come, right from the very first time we made our nervous inquiry about our visa and were told that we had ‘no chance’, which to those of you that know me, will know that I don’t give up easily and spent many a month learning immigration laws and different pathways into Australia.

It was a long process – about 6 years from start to finish and the visa application took 19 months on its own.  I remember my Mum being in the hospice with terminal cancer telling me ‘You will get to Australia, take it from the words of a dying woman’ – in her blunt Yorkshire fashion and after Mum died on the Boxing Day 2005, just a few weeks later my husband got his positive skills assessment and then in Sept 2008, our visa was granted.

And here we are, we have done ‘our time’ as permanent residents and are now about to take our pledge to become citizens to commit to the country that has given us so much.  There are people that I wish with all my heart that could be there but aside from the fact we are only allowed six people, and it is a long way to come for a ceremony for my Dad, we have our ‘adopted’ Aussie family to be there instead and I am just as pleased and proud that they are going to come and see us get sworn in.

Australia vs England in the cricket!

Please don’t ask me who I am going to support because I have never ever liked cricket but I guess in the next Olympic Games, it will be Australia – it has to be really.  But I do reserve the right to ogle at the NZ All Blacks when they do the Hakka because – well come on, do I really need to explain that one! (stop laughing Waitangi!)

That (POMMIE) accent!

One of the guys at work asked if being an Aussie would mean I lose my accent, I told him that I didn’t have an accent, it was he that had an accent which has resulted in a few emails going back and forth for the last efforts of POMMIE bashing, but don’t worry, I give as good as I get.

Talking of accents, the English accent seems so strong to me now; is my accent changing I wonder – I don’t know, and I also get absurdly excited when I see English money.  In fact no matter where I live or what citizenship I take up, there is a part of me that lives in the UK and will always do so.

I simply cannot and will not accept the new year unless Big Ben chimes it in, Big Ben rocks and is my favorite historical landmark.

If I hear ‘God Save the Queen’, my ears will tune into it pretty quickly, I remember they played it before the rugby when my husband and I were in Namibia and we gravitated towards the TV in the restaurant to see it where several other Brits had also found themselves.

I still love the Royal Family and was so proud to watch the Royal Wedding and the Jubilee and I am more of a royalist living in Australia than I ever was in the UK.

So who am I?

I guess from Saturday I will be Australian, my passport will be Australian (when I can afford to buy it!) – I live here now and if you live somewhere, you should embrace it and make every effort to fit in and that is what we have done.

We are getting sworn in with about 60 other people and our council are providing food/refreshments for afterwards and then we shall go off to Fremantle somewhere for a few drinks – soft ones for me of course and later that evening, we will be watching the Indian Ocean fireworks in Fremantle.  I will say that it is brilliant to see this country being so patriotic and Australia Day is no exception for this, which is why it is a great day to become citizens.

That’s it from me, I am off to make a cuppa and start learning the National Anthem and if I may say so, I am getting more than a little excited about Saturday and as for pride, well that goes without saying.

Speak soon

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

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