Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I've been meaning to post this for ages but when I start to write it in my head (which I tend to do before I hit the keyboard) it has always sounded ridiculous.

For a while now I have been seeing people I know well back in the UK, on the streets of Melbourne. (See, told you it sounds mental) Obviously I know these people are not my friends and erstwhile colleagues however, for that first split second I catch sight of someone in my peripheral, for all intents and purposes, they are that person.

It happens at least once a day. For instance, today in the lift well down stairs I saw Brian that used to do all the AV stuff in our meeting rooms at work. I looked again and of course it wasn't him but he stood the same way, he was about the same height and his hair was similar. The thing I have found with these shadowy copies of my life in England is that as soon as I see their face, I instantly know they are not who I initally think they are. (I'm sure I've confused my tenses here!)

The thing is, when you think recognise someone you know it is usually confirmed when you catch sight of their face. Before that however, the thing that draws you to believe you know the person you have only caught a glimpse of is, say, something about the way they carry themselves, their walk or even what they are wearing.

I'm sure this happens to other people. It must. The reason I think it has happened to me so often is because, essentially, I am missing my life in Manchester. I miss the people, the way those people made me feel and the strong sense of belonging that held me in there, helping to make me feel so much like I fit.

I had dinner with two erstwhile Manchester colleagues last week. They are on secondment here and both a little new to the country. I thought I'd be able to word them up on life in Oz and hopefully give them a few tips to help them navigate the strangeness of their new home. However after an hour or so I realised, to my dismay, that I felt as displaced and far from home as they did. Not a great revelation to have almost 5 months on...

I know this will get better. This sense of not fitting in, of feeling like an outsider. I know that for a fact because I overcame it on the other side and that gives me hope that both Ian and I will, soon I hope, feel as much a part of life here as the people around us want us to be.

So for the moment I will make do with sidelong glimpses of the people I left behind, of thoughts of friendships that are separated by at least 2 oceans and of some of my favorite people in the universe.


Anonymous Lisa said...

Maybe it's a Said thing. Stephen is always saying, "Isn't that ....." from miles off - and invaribly it isn't! The funny thing he guesses all the time when the person might live in say, India! And he can't see that well either,. so it makes me laugh. I tease him about it, poor thing.
hope you are doing well - hey when are we going to get together to celebrate your belated birthday/said sibling gathering?

Wednesday, 07 June, 2006  
Blogger claudy said...

Hey you sitting at home on line too!

Maybe it is a Said thing. I always do that. I tend to think most people look like someone else. Sometimes Ian says 'yeah, I guess' but most times he says 'I just don't see it...'

I'll send an email tomorrow and try and sort out a day for us all to gather for a meal. I'd rather do it at our place - when we have a table that is!

Wednesday, 07 June, 2006  

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