Snowbrush posted a recent and interesting comment on my blog and I will insert his quote directly.
"Setting aside politics and focusing on the fact that white Aussies, white Brits, and white Americans share fairly recent ancestors, do you feel any more--or less--of a connection to Brits than you do to Americans?"
When I first visited England in the early 2000s, I walked out from Paddington Station after our flight to Heathrow and our Heathrow Express train journey and I had to focus and concentrate so much, I had no time to absorb and think. It wasn't until a day or so later when R was in Boots (pharmacy) and I was waiting outside standing on the The Strand pavement, I looked around and thought, these are my people. This is where I (partly) came from. My ancestors walked these streets. Ok, maybe most of the people I saw on The Strand were tourists and foreign students. But the point stands. I am sure my ancestors would have at some point walked on the pavement of The Strand, just as I was. But no long lost fifth cousin twice removed came up and greeted me. The English can be a bit insular
My second London visit found me annoyed at the busyness and noise of the big city. My third just two years ago, I felt at one with London. I get this city and I really like it.
Anyway, Snowy's comment made me ponder, thinking of all sorts of things. When young I knew I was of British stock. No one I know has found any convict associations on my father's side and I know about my mother's side. The Italian part of me is of dirt poor Swiss stock. God knows how they knew how to emigrate to Tasmania.
What I knew of Britain and America was from tv. Why in the tv show On the Buses do they keep opening and closing doors in the family house? To keep the rooms warm of course as then they did not have central heating. I really wanted one of the six metre phone leads so I could walk around with the phone in my hand as Mary Tyler Moore did, and not be tied to the hall phone table with a less than one metre cord.
Our esteemed Australian media doctor Norman Swan arrived in Sydney from Glasgow, to the very inner suburb of Balmain to be precise. He said while it looked like Glasgow, it felt like what he imagined America to be.
I was born in Australia with multi generational ancestors here. This is my country. This is where I was born, this is the country I love. It is not God's Own Country. We have many problems here but for better or worse, it is my country and I feel no connection to Britain or the US.
Grace, Sami, Cathy, Diane and perhaps others are Australian but weren't born here. How do they feel about Australia? Do they feel the belonging? Do they feel Australian above all else and or disconnected to where they came from?