Last July, when I mentioned that my first year in London was drawing to a close to Matt, he reminded me that I had not done the last year by myself. He was too right - housemates, drinking(!) buddies, travelling companions, old friends from home, new friends from home, new friends from London, visitors from home – each person that entered my life over here formed a memory that ties my heart that little more to this land and I am eternally grateful that they provided for me that cocoon of a great group of friends.
Last year I got a few people a small token of my appreciation for their part in making my first year in London bearable. My personal debt to my friends over here has increased quite a bit in the past year, however, and I want to officially give my heartfelt thanks to the people that have BEEN London for me.
Friendships when you are travelling are a truly wonderful experience. Firstly you have the Perthites, people with whom you can swap that special currency of ‘Perth hey?’ Within the Perthites you have old friends, friends of old friends, siblings of old friends, new people who know someone you know and, most satisfying of all, completely surprising faces of people you met once or twice in Perth standing next to you on the Tube. It gives you an entirely new appreciation for the size of Perth and the social web that we live in.
Then there is the Australian connection, which, after two years, becomes a little tired and loses it’s immediate bonding status because there are just so many of us here! Truth be told, I gained only one friend from the purely Australian connection, and Kim picked me more than the other way around.
The exciting new frontier of friendship over here is everyone else that is not Australian. At the end of two years I can’t help smiling at the list of people that I get to thank. There are plenty of English, a few other Brits and a pleasing selection of Europeans. Not all of them were met through work either, which gives me much pleasure, because finding friends on the streets is extraordinary good luck.
Finally, there are those from Perth who stayed in touch with me over the two years I was here. When I got over here there were surprising silences from some friends, and unexpectedly loquacious mailings from others. There were dedicated letter writers and two very special people who were always on the phone to me.
And now for the epic Oscars speech … I’d like to thank the Academy, everyone at home and …