Thursday, April 09, 2020

My Aussie Man

Fifty years ago on this day R arrived in Australia having paid £10 for his subsidised flight from England. He was advised by our immigration authorities in England to not come here until he was 20, and so avoid the ballot to be drafted into the armed forces and being sent to fight in the Vietnamese War. It was less than a month after his 20th birthday when he arrived.

He had the choices of South Africa and Canada too, but he wasn't too keen on apartheid and unrest in the former or the cold in the latter. The Aussie emigration brochures showed endless summer days and beautiful beaches, the latter being true but the former not at all.

Four years later he became an Australian citizen, although a dual citizen. R has been back to England about six times. I have been three times. In England he feels as alien as I do. He has memories. I don't.  He is a proper Australian and in fact complains more about England than I do when we visit. You should hear him rant about London's Tube trains.

While he is connected to his family in England, as am I, he is very close to my family here. They adore him and depend on him, socially, emotionally and go figure, financially. I have more money than R, but it is R they ask when they are short of a quid (buck).

Not always smooth sailing over the past 40 years we have been together, no not at all and still isn't but I love my man R and he loves me.

R was dancing with his visiting now long late mother here in Australia in I think the late 1980s. Later that night with both of them very tired and emotional and the sober me at the wheel on the drive home to Waverley Road from Alphington, the truth came out about why R's brother committed suicide. There were cleansing family tears. For once, R's father stopped demanding attention and let them get on with their tears and grieving.

32 comments:

  1. Thank you for the story of R and you. Very poignant, that part about when the truth came out.

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    1. Cynthia, it wasn't an easy conversation but it had to be had. Thanks.

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  2. That was beautifully written. Happy Anniversary to your new Country R.

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  3. This is a lovely post - and your man looks lovely too.
    I think all three of my brothers remain dual citizens (no politicians in the family).
    My mother never returned to the UK, nor my father to Germany.

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    1. EC, that is probably a bit unusual about your parents but if Jewish heritage comes from you father, understandable about him.

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  4. 40 Years!!! Unbelievable - I Commend The Both Of You - All The Best Over These Upcoming Decades

    Cheers
    P.S. After 40 Years, You Still Drive Like Sh*T

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    1. Padre, you remembered. Strange how I don't ever crash or receive a ticket from police or leave a Mr Magoo like trail of destruction behind me.

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  5. Life is not easy...but we do the best we can with what we have.

    Relationships are never always smooth sailing, but we ride the waves, even if we sometimes get drenched along the way.

    To love someone...and to be loved in return is to be cherished, and held on to...regardless of stormy seas and. Blue skies do return.

    Allow the good times rule...and be regular visitors who never overstay their welcome. :)

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    1. Lee, we are both fortunate indeed to have each other, but that won't be forever and one of us is going to be devastated.

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  6. We Englishmen who live away from England often criticise our native country. In fact I think it's all the eccentricities of England that really make it so special, and why there is far more immigration than emigration.

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    1. Cro, as you would expect, I rather like England myself. Not all, but mostly.

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  7. It is so difficult when families live across the world. Even though people get used to it, the pain is worse on birthdays, holidays, weddings and funerals.

    When mum's sister went to live in Israel at 50, my grandmother called it "running away from home". No computer contact back then :(

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    1. Hels, that was rough for your grandmother. Do you sometimes wish you lived there? I expect not.

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  8. R had lovely golden hair then, now he is a silver fox. I'm glad you two found each other.

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    1. River, not fully silver yet. Grey at the sides and greyer when it is just cut. So lucky that he has a full head of hair.

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  9. Mother and son, nice photo.
    Gee 40 years together, well done to you both.
    Got to have times when you don't get on, it's fun making up and having memories.

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    1. Margaret, I don't believe any couple who are together a long time don't have a word or two to say to one another at times.

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  10. Fifty years, and it probably feels like just yesterday sometimes. About a decade into our relationship, Jay was out of town at a conference, his mother called the house, I explained where he was and when he would be back. She went on to tell me about a disagreement with one of her other sons and wanted me to take sides, to say she was right. When I told Jay about that, he said, "welcome to the family, she must really love you to ask you to take her side in a fight." I miss her.

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    1. Travel, that is a bit funny about Jay's mother. I am sure you didn't take sides.

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  11. Happy 40th anniversary Andrew and R.
    We will be celebrating 39 this year!
    He certainly made a good choice coming to Australia, as he would probably have left South Africa by now.
    I feel the same way about Portugal, even though I lived there for 12 years before emigrating to Australia, I no longer feel I belong there. I have my family and some good friends, and I love the variety of food, but mostly I feel like a tourist there, which in a way is good. And I also complain, lol.

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    1. Thanks Sami. As you know we really liked Portugal and the food and cheap wine. I suppose it takes a couple of decades to feel as you do.

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  12. Aw you two are adorable 💙 Happy happy anniversary to you both, such a shame you can't go out and celebrate, but I have a feeling that won't be an issue, enjoy the long weekend 🎊🎉🎈🎂🎁🍷

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    1. Cheers Grace. Life as normal as it can be in abnormal times.

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  13. Thanks for sharing this love story!

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    1. Jackie, thanks. It has been quite a ride.

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  14. R is a handsome man. I am glad he loves your family in Australia and has managed to return to England every now and then.

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    1. Gigi, his family are great too, especially as they are 22 hours flying time away, haha.

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  15. Forty years together ! That's a long time, like my 50 years ! Of course there are disputes etc in a couple and who denies it lies ! The proof is that we are still together. Must not have been easy for you at the beginning as a couple, probably always hiding. Fortunately nearly the whole world has changed, except the pope who still thinks that parents should send their "boys" to a psychiatrist !! He must have slept in biology classes at school !

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    1. Gatinna, it wasn't so bad. Both R and I worked in employment areas where there were quite a number of gay men. My family was very accepting, and R's later. We did have some issues with our mortgage in the 1980s but we went to the top management and even back in the mid 80s it was scared of being accused of homophobia, and it was sorted out. We can always hope for an enlightened Pope, but it hasn't happened yet.

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  16. Oh gosh Andrew, you made me cry. That is a very lovely sad happy story! Thank you.

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