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Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Old Nov 27th 2008, 8:18 pm
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Smile Re: Just returned to UK - daughter attacked at school today...

Originally Posted by Irish Guinness
So sorry to hear that Ezzie !!!!! you are certainly going through an emotional time girl,hang in there......
Oh my goodness the nurse refused to see her thats dreadful!
Hang in there you guys have been on a huge roller coaster with the tv filiming and not really had time to enjoy your surroundings as a family yet.

With everything going on sounds like you were all stuck in your very own mini tornado and as we all know tv programs are'nt done with your wishes and comfort in mind it's all a ratings game so everyone in your family is possibly stressed to the max from the inital flight there and not stopping since and every thing that happens at the moment (excepting your daughters awful experience becaue that is a nasty thing to happen) no matter how small will seem like a huge problem.

Hope your daughter is ok she will be feeling traumatised by the whole situation she found herself in. (don't be blaming yourself because its you that wanted to be in th UK and realise that everyone voicing their opinions is ok dont take it as a personal attack on yourself just hear what they have to say and let them know that you are listening to their thoughts and fears and they in turn will listen to yours (and you know you always have the BE family for support).
Big hugs for you and your family
Cally xxx

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Old Nov 27th 2008, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Who attacked her and why?
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 5:19 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

My wife returned to the UK (rural south west Scotland) a couple of years ago. I'm still in South Africa, and went back in May for my first visit in 20 years. The following is completely subjective, but whatever........

I felt surprisingly at home in London when I arrived. I've never lived there, but did spend a bit of time in the place years ago.

I still love the sense of past and history in the UK that's around you everywhere. We visited a few castles and so on, which I've always enjoyed, apart from the expensive guidebooks and the generally clueless "guides". There was one exception. A lovely young lady at Dryburgh Abbey. I wanted to visit Haig's grave, and she gave me directions and offered to take me there if I couldn't find it.

Most people were friendly. A few morose gits, but you get that everywhere.

There is a much better choice of goods in the shops than we get here, although SA isn't as bad as it used to be. Some things, particularly books and consumer electronics are far cheaper in the UK. I'd also forgotten about "high street" shopping, we are about 90% malls.

Eating out is far less expensive, and the food is generally better, in SA restaurants. I suppose there are excellent places in the UK, but I was invited to lunch at one very expensive London place and really couldn't get excited about it at all. We also had a poor experience in a 4 star hotel, where my expensive "bar" lunch probably came from the freezer via the microwave. The staff didn't seem to understand when I suggested that my wife's omlette shouldn't really be the consistency of rubber either!

The lack of "security guards" in shops, security gates in restaurants and heavy residential security systems was very noticeable. Took me a few days to get used to the idea that someone can walk right up to your front door without having to use the access control system and wait for you to unlock the gate.

Television? I've no idea. I don't watch TV at all, and my wife didn't switch it on while I was there. Newspapers, at the quality end anyway, are far better than the ones we get here.

The postal service still seems to work well. I ordered a few things from internet dealers and they arrived a day or two later. We don't have this type of shopping in SA, and the goods would probably be stolen by the Post Office if we did!

The British banking system seems incredibly backward. My wife paid her credit card account in cash at a local branch, because she has found that internet transfers are slow, and was told it would still take several days to credit. She was paying on the due date and there would be a penalty because it wouldn't reflect in time. I paid mine using my laptop to connect to my SA bank online and it credited as I watched.

I was lucky with the weather (May), apart from a few days, but I'd forgotten that it can get cold and wet in early summer. I live in Johannesburg and summers are hot, with rain. Winters are generally warm during the day, cold at night, and bone dry for months.

Motorists do seem far more law abiding (speed limits, drinking and driving and general courtesy etc). Our traffic cops are completely corrupt and most people just ignore the law. If you can get away with it, or give the cop some money to go away, that's fine.

The cost of just about everything knocked me sideways! I was, sort of, prepared but at 16:1 (rand to sterling) it still came as a shock. It was 2:1 when I left the UK.

This is a bit rambling, and very subjective, but I enjoyed the visit. Will I go back? Maybe.
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 5:51 am
  #154  
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Ezzie,

That is terrible, please let us know if your daughter is ok - I must repeat that I'm so glad we're going the home-schooling route from Jan., the schools (everywhere) just have no dicipline these days and the whole system sucks!
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 6:50 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Yes, a bit of a nasty shock - especially when the poor girl wasn't too impressed with English education to start with! She was sitting at lunch with other girls outside when a group of boys (Yr 10) came by playing football, they were playing roughly around the girls and the ball richoched off a wall, hitting my daughter in the face. Now that's just a bit of horseplay and something I think most of us could cope with, but this boy then took the ball, stood there, squared it up to my daughter and fired it into her face on purpose, he then retrieved the ball and fired it into her face again, at least this time she had the opportunity to put her hands up to defend her face.

I'm pleased to say that the school acted immediately and in a fitting way. They got in touch with me - didn't say too much and although they did initially indicate it was a bit of horseplay, when I contacted them after picking her up and finding out the details, they did apologise and say that until the matter is investigated they can't say anything until Heads have met etc. which was happening immediately as we spoke. Their first concern was my daughter and it was nice to see them getting their priorities right.

I was also pleased to hear that everyone around her really went out of their way to care for her...and the other girl injured in the incident (she was stepped on badly in the mellee). Her sister tells me that a boy in their class has stepped forward and offered to be her champion and beat the offending boy to a pulp for her - quite sweet really in an odd sort of way!

The school contacted me to let me know that the boy involved has been excluded for 3 days and to let me know that they've taken it seriously. The girls have been told they can access the Head at any time if there are any repecussions - which I've been told that, 'knowing the boy involved', there might be. They've done all they can to ensure the witnesses remain anonymous.

So....now we also have to worry about revenge tactics next week! My daughters are friendly, gentle and very beautiful and I dread anything happening to them. Sounds like the event has cemented a few friendships though within their class....singing..."always look on the bright si-ide of life" etc!

The other stressful incident of yesterday was our dilemma as to how to dry a horse. It chucked it down and the horse was soaked. Hit Google with the question and came across chatboards of teen girls having angst over the same issue...to put a blanket on a wet horse...or not! Anyway, we did and the horse now seems to be taking to us (probably as it associates us with food!). Can't believe how no one seemed pre-pared for the rain - it peed it down leaving school kids running for cover drenched to the skin...not a brolly or jacket amongst them!

'Safety' camera vans out in force along the roads here yesterday. I've not seen any bad driving since I've been here. The stretch of road doesn't look dangerous, but they have reduced the speed limit there recently. Now would I be so cynical as to suggest they're out to catch some unsuspecting locals doing the usual 50 and not the new 40?

Anyway, my son is now feeling guilty because they're ordering a text book in for him especially and he knows he won't be there in another couple of weeks. He's got a free period last thing today so he's heading down to the village for some chips with the lads. He won't be going to the party this weekend though where they all go down to the woods, light a fire, get pissed and smoke themselves to death. He has said that none of them take drugs though which is reasurring.

I tried to join the WI yesterday but they've all closed down due to lack of interest. So, it was either drive miles or give up...a shame. They also only meet once a month - I always thought it was a weekly thing. I have to think of another way to get involved in local life.

I did something yesterday that I've wanted to do for ages - I bought a local ham hock and cooked it up with enormous English spuds, brussels, carrots and a white onion sauce - I was in heaven! Ambrosia creamed rice to follow with a few raspberries and a glass of Spanish plonk to wash it all down.

Righto...off to check daughter (again). Time for them all to get up and face school. I'm sure there'll be lots of questions for them to answer and the gaggle of boys who apparently 'fancy the pants' off the girls will make sure nobody harms them...although I'm beginning to worry about who'll protect them against their little army of admirers!

Thanks again for kind comments from some of you...nice to know there's still some reading my mad ramblings from England.

Oooh! Just have to tell you how lovely it was to wake (in the dark) to hear the "hoo hoo" of an owl. Not sure what sort, but it was close and so nice to hear instead of bloody possums fighting. I can't tell you how lovely it is to see the hedgerows - I just can't stop looking at them.

DH is catching up with friends in London; they spent around the same amount of time in Australia as us and have now returned to the UK (leaving their 16 yr old daughter in Oz boarding) so I'm sure he'll return with some info/stories as to how they've settled - although he transferred his job (wish we could!).

...I really am going now, got to put some porridge on the stove for the sleepyheads.
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 7:17 am
  #156  
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

I've been reading Ezzie. I m really sorry to hear what has happened to your daughter. This is pobably going to sound crazy, but there hasbeen a positive spin off from it from what you have said. It appears to ave enabled them to forge some new friendships because of it. How galant of the young bloke to defend your daughter too!! Chivalry isnt dead afterall...lol

A shame what you said about the WI. I was thinking of looking them up when i get back. I have been watching that TV show with Dawn French.. Jam and Jerusalem. Very funny. Maybe it is more active where i am going.

Best wishes with everything

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Old Nov 28th 2008, 7:49 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

There's stupid little shits in every school, wouldn't it be great to have a school where every kid was perfect
My eldest boy got bullied into a fight here in Perth, he was bashed and set upon by two Aussie kids. My son came worse off and don't think it was dealt with properly by the Head teacher. Anyway he's been ok since, but it is so upsetting knowing that your kids are getting hurt for no reason.
Hope your daughter holds her head up high and that this hasn't hurt her confidence.
How long have you got left in UK ezzie?
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Hi Ezzie

Have really enjoyed reading your entries as have been wondering how you were all getting on ... or not as the case may be!

Very interesting reading and look forward to reading next instalment.

Hope daughter has recovered from her ordeal - poor thing.

J xxxx
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Originally Posted by backagen
I didn't take any notice though and neither should anyone else. Otherwise these things become self fulfilling prophecies because people start behaving as if things are bad, and that tends to make things actually become bad!


Spot on.

I think with the Daily Mail being so popular they've all decided its a winning way to broadcast the news.
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Old Nov 28th 2008, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Why stop with the idiots at schools? Just think how much nicer the world could be if we could hit the 'delete' button on a few characters worldwide...starting with the bozos who decided to run around Mumbai shooting innocent civillians. See....two weeks here and I'm ready to join the BNP!

Joking aside, you're right, there's always a few rotten apples in the barrell. Sorry to hear what happened to your son. My daughter seems to have coped with it well; although we'll see how she really went when I pick her up from school today. Fortunately her dad was away when it happened so I was able to brush over it without it being turned into something bigger than Ben Hur.

Here till mid Jan. A chill in the air today - just went into local charity shop for a jacket for 4 quid. Hilarious! More volunteer staff than customers - they'd just done 'the Christmas window' and were comparing it to other shops. So funny listening to them, some real characters in there. Also bought a bargain pack of large chamies there to dry the horse!!!

Originally Posted by Nu-Shooz
There's stupid little shits in every school, wouldn't it be great to have a school where every kid was perfect
My eldest boy got bullied into a fight here in Perth, he was bashed and set upon by two Aussie kids. My son came worse off and don't think it was dealt with properly by the Head teacher. Anyway he's been ok since, but it is so upsetting knowing that your kids are getting hurt for no reason.
Hope your daughter holds her head up high and that this hasn't hurt her confidence.
How long have you got left in UK ezzie?
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Old Nov 30th 2008, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

The first real thoughts of 'could I really live back in the UK?' hit me yesterday. It was grey, bleak, cold and the worst thing, it was dark. I mean dark in the morning, dark at midday and positively dark and gloomy in the afternoon. After seeing to the horse, feeding various animals etc, we headed off to Bridgenorth. Our friends' daughter was sitting for a grammar school test so had left the house early (580 sitting for 104 places!).

Actually we diverted to a farm supplies shop first to pick-up chook food, dirty carrots and a pair of size 11 wellies. There was a market outside and we had a lovely time chatting to the storekeepers and having a laugh with them. In fact for the first time it was us waiting for dh to catch us up as he did most of the chatting! We bought some brussel sprouts still on the stalk, gloves, anti-freeze, more gloves and some scented dog poo bags - a very English shopping list if ever I saw one!

Bridgenorth has a lovely shopping street and market and we enjoyed meandering down the lanes. It really was quite biting and I wondered how I'd cope with December frosts, never mind those in January or Febuary...and then those March winds, brrrrrrr!

It wasn't really the cold that got us down, even in this lovely town, there just seemed to be so many oiks around. We were amazed to hear the way kids answered their parents...who didn't batt an eye whilst being abused mercilessly by their 10 yr olds. This wasn't the social minority we used to see who lived in certain areas - it seemed the norm! We saw teens hanging on the streets, throwing rubbish wantonly about, girls loitering around in groups, hanging after the boys, dressed in tiny skirts, low cut tops looking bored....must have been bloody freezing!

Popped into Woolies (before its final demise) and was awful to see young kids picking their mix by delving around in the tub of sweets with their hands...blah! This is whilst parents stood by encouraging them. On the positive side, it was brilliant to be standing looking at a toy and have the woman next to me initiate a chat - we ended up in tears laughing at some whacky toy invention. Brilliant...warmed me more than a full set of Damart thermal undies. This is what I don't seem to be able to find in Oz - that willingness to connect and let your guard down with total strangers.

Returned home a bit gloomy about prospects. Kids still think we're off our rockers to be contemplating a return to the UK. Anyone been on the old train in Bridgenorth that trucks up and down the hill? It's still going strong!

I woke this morning realising that the thing that is driving me back to England is predominantly the search for 'banter'. It seems a small, and totally unreasonable, thing to drag my family to the other side of the world for. Is it just me?
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Old Nov 30th 2008, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Sounds like the quicker you leave the UK the better ezzie. When it gets to the point of every aspect annoying you and the family, it's time to go.

It is winter in the UK, of course it is going to be dark and gloomy, just that you have forgotton living in OZ for so long. It's what we get used to.

It's sounds so ironic, but i will be glad to leave Perth in the summer, the flies and stinking hot heat is more than i can bare.
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Old Nov 30th 2008, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

I'm just trying to paint an accurate picture of the UK - I'm aware that there's people reading this who are in a real quandry about whether to return or not, and I know how all-consuming this situation can be, so I'm hoping that by describing day to day events - which might bore the pants off some, but it also might spark off some memories or ideas which make a decision either way a little easier for those mulling over attributes less clear than 'which country is best'.

It's all about what makes you happy of course. For me, I love stomping through a bit of mud, walking on the hills and the wonderful seasonal changes, plus I love nothing more than a good natter and a bit of banter. Others aren't the country types, are more private and quiet or even love the heat, sand and surf...for them Sydney would be a dream come true...it's not such a happy place for me.

The real issue I see, is 'where do I want to grow old'. For me, that's a large village or small town in England where I can be silly, join the WI, grow strange shaped veggies and walk the dog along lovely lanes. I may have to rob a bank to fulfill that dream, but I did see some suitable black balaclavas for sale in the market yesterday for just 2 quid which might come in handy!

Essentially in my ramblings, some days will be good, others (like last Wednesday for us when our daughter was assaulted) were pretty bloody awful. Hopefully, if anyone is still reading this by the time we leave (I will be awarding medals), they'll have a bit of an insight into the ups and downs of UK life. Not everyone's life of course, just ours living on the fringe of a big city in the countryside.

We came here to see the UK 'warts and all'...admittedly the warts have grown and spread somewhat so you can't hide them under your jumper anymore, but there's hope, and that hope seems to be that there are still people smiling, still courteous, still cracking jokes and the fields of England still offer the most sensational ever-changing landscape and I love it! In fact so much, I'm off to put my new wellies on and have a stomp around in a bit of good English gooey mud. Let me know if anyone would like me to have a bit of a stomp for them whilst I'm at it!

Originally Posted by Nu-Shooz
Sounds like the quicker you leave the UK the better ezzie. When it gets to the point of every aspect annoying you and the family, it's time to go.

It is winter in the UK, of course it is going to be dark and gloomy, just that you have forgotton living in OZ for so long. It's what we get used to.

It's sounds so ironic, but i will be glad to leave Perth in the summer, the flies and stinking hot heat is more than i can bare.
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Old Nov 30th 2008, 8:10 am
  #164  
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Can't you just focus on the beautiful bits and not look at the ugly ones?
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Old Nov 30th 2008, 8:14 am
  #165  
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Default Re: Just returned to UK to film for TV prog....initial thoughts

Actually, I'll rephrase the question. Can't you accept what's not perfect and go towards what's pleasing? Without living life in a permant escape route I mean?

Maybe we should all remember that when we jump ship and live on the other side of the world, trying to live in an escape route is what really gets us in the end. We can't do it. That's why we all get into such a dilemma. It's the real world or nothing.
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