A warm spring day in April was the day. It was as exciting as it was scary. Our world was about to be thrown upside down all over again.
As I handed over my card details I thought that I would shed a tear. A tear of happiness and a tear of sadness.
But really, it was a complete non-event.
Except for the fact that I had just spent our monthly pay check on flights home and now had to budget our way through May and June, there was nothing else to it. The world didn’t crumble. There were no tears of sorrow or cheers of joy.
I thought that it would be a momentous occasion. The end of an era. Our working holiday in the UK was coming to an end and I thought I would be devastated.
Instead, I dreamed of glorious sunny days, sandy beaches and BBQ’s on the deck with friends…
On the 8th of May we celebrated the two years since we left the Aussie homeland for an adventure of a lifetime. I say “celebrated” figuratively since we had just returned from an 18 day jaunt through Europe, we were broke and I am still somewhat recovering from a long-term illness.
Over the last few months I have sacrificed Christmas, my social life, travel, food and drink. It has been a scary few months of tests, treatment and hospital visits, but I am on the mend and ready for the next adventure. But I am not ready for the next drink.
The 30th of May marked my 6th month of sobriety. That is 181 days without a pint of ale, a glass of wine or a sip of a cocktail. This is highly unusual for a girl who is used to downing 6 pints on a Thursday night, or half a bottle of wine over dinner with the girls (… if I want to be really honest… it was nearly always a whole bottle).
Surprisingly, I don’t miss alcohol as much as I thought I would. Now that I have made it this long I feel like I should keep going.
My head is clearer, my bank account is healthier and I don’t spend my weekends recovering from a big night out or “just one drink” (all the drinks) after work. The only time I re-think being sober is that point in the night when I realise that it is either time for me to go home to bed, or that the people I am with are starting to not make sense.
But these are a few things that I do miss, especially now that our return home is so near.
We are now counting down the days to our arrival in Australia. While I will miss London and Europe, there are many things in Australia that I have missed more.
Of course my friends and family top the list, but there are other things that an Aussie learns to miss dearly when they are unobtainable for extended periods of time.
I’m not talking about Vegemite, which you can buy by the jar in Tesco, or Tim Tams and Allen’s Red Frogs, which you can buy at a few select stores in London. I am talking about something much more rare and delicious…
A 400g Australian Angus Beef steak is what I seek. Cooked just enough to be considered rare, with a side of mushroom or peppercorn gravy and creamy mash that would put your mother’s to shame. I can’t understand why I can’t find a decent piece of beef steak in the UK… it seems that they just can’t get enough of pork here.
The first thing that I plan on doing when I land in my home town, after hugging my family hello, is drive down to the nearest place that serves the best steaks. It is going to be amazing and I can’t wait! Perhaps I will even follow it up with a nice cold, crisp schooner of larger.
So, does anyone know where the best steaks in Brisbane are?
First published on AustralianTimes.co.uk on 17 June, 2014 11:47 am in Editor’s Choice.
Check out my Aussie Times column as Honeymooning Nomad.