Good things about returning to UK?

(56 Posts)
Salbertina Mon 25-Feb-13 18:09:34

Thats it really...

Portofino Mon 25-Feb-13 18:25:16

Marks an d Spencer's? Country pubs? Decent takeaways? Sky +? I lust after these things and then remember about the lack/cost of after school and holiday clubs in the UK......

Salbertina Mon 25-Feb-13 18:29:31

Yes, all encouraging. Good old M & s... Sigh. All things i can think of are the boring ones.. Sigh, sigh. Not excited at thought.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 25-Feb-13 18:30:05

We're London bound as well, Salbertina, and I hate the thought.

Salbertina Mon 25-Feb-13 18:35:29

Oh dear MrsS, no option but to? Am trying to think how gentle and beautiful it is, the nhs, how cheap it is, safe, near Europe, all good stuff.. But cant help thinking doors are closing sad

Family, Food, and holidays in Europe. NHS, working with people who get your sense of humor, paid vacation days, Dd can walk to school, living near the beach.

papalazaru Tue 26-Feb-13 03:36:14

We're moving back from travelling the world for the last 9 years, the past 4 have been in the US. After reading a certain book my 11 yr old DS asked me what we would do if either he or his sister got cancer and we couldn't pay the medical bills after the insurance had run out sad...... I assured him that wouldn't be a problem in the UK - we would NEVER have to worry about a child being denied care. So despite not being too chuffed about our move I was proud to explain the NHS to my kids.

Longdistance Tue 26-Feb-13 04:51:06

Salbertina, I'll swap with glad o leave Oz to go back home. If someone gave me a ticket I'd pack now and run to the airport.

Definitely the NHS. I've never had any problems with it, and now pay a fortune for treatments, and am told my Bupa should be used as much as possible as public is slow. I paid for an anesthetist for my dd for her op, $600, to be told by Bupa that HE isn't covered, and I can claim some of it back from Medicare.

I no particular family and friends, M&S, cheap produce, buy one get one free offers, decent takeaways that don't cost the earth, restaurants, cheap booze, NHS, the cold weather, and my dd is missing out on free 15hours of childcare while we pay full wack for daycare. Decent baby/toddler groups where people are sociable.

Can you tell I'm still homesick????

Good Luck with your journey home envy

Sibble Tue 26-Feb-13 05:21:19

family, friends, access to Europe and European culture and food.

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 06:11:14

Thanks, guys, good to have those reminders, easy to take Uk for granted when it's home!

LD, sorry to hear you're homesick. I know the feeling, v hard! Have you been there long? Can take ages to settle. And yes, with you on the medical bills, had a sudden hit of £1300 last yr for dc2 and delaying OT for dc2 as cant afford it!

pupsiecola Tue 26-Feb-13 07:39:50

Where are you now Salbertina?

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 07:41:41

In south africa...

ripsishere Tue 26-Feb-13 07:47:41

family, friends, media, food, NHS, humor, television, radio, post that gets delivered rather than stolen, ability to buy clothes I like rather than those that fit, ditto shoes, weather...

greenandcabbagelooking Tue 26-Feb-13 07:49:46

Cadbury's chocolate!

GarbledMessage Tue 26-Feb-13 07:53:05

We are on the verge of spring back in blighty, it's still cold as heck, but just a couple of days ago we had one of those days where you can feel warmth in the sun, and the sky is herculian blue...and that smell of things about to shoot out and green up was in the air. All the birds were singing spring songs and the snowdrops were out and it was beautiful, in a way I think only an English spring can be. Happy sigh.

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 07:53:57

Hmm- you miss the weather?!! Must admit, not a fan of cadburys, but Green & Blacks? Now you're talking!

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 07:55:25

Oh i love the English Spring! Sounds lovely...crisp air, dawn chorus, longer evenings...ok, am getting there now.

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 07:56:19

Am overcoming my un-excitement, not that there's such a word grin

Chandon Tue 26-Feb-13 07:57:42

Depends where you are coming from!

After 8 yrs in lat am, we appreciated:

Being able to walk around safely after dark
Clean tap water
No tropical diseases
Proper seasons (winter walks)
good schools
Politeness of people
Relaxed driving ( no madness of aggressive drivers beeping horns non stop, cutting you off)
not as much sexism towards women
No men touching you up, or chatting you up in the street
Kids can have more freedom, playing outside
No need to bribe police/officals etc.

We loved south america, but happy to be here now!

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 07:59:12

Glad to hear you're enjoying it, Chandon. Yes, some of those issues on your list apply here too.

Longdistance Tue 26-Feb-13 08:55:16

Weve been in Oz 16 months now. Just really miss my family everyday, and my bf of 30 years who's godmother to my dd's, and support from them. My dhs useless with support of any kind. The girls are 3.5 and 20 months, and we've been here since dd2 was 3/4 months, just found it hard not having help, and my dp's cannot travel due to ill health, and it's always my dh's bloody family hat come. He has both his sisters living here.

Argh. I forgot fashionable clothes. The clothes here in Perth are just bleurgh. Too many patterns like leopard and roses mixed. I look like an Eastern European hooker in them.

They don't do long length trousers, and bra's are a funny fit. Give me Debenhams any time.

Disclaimer: I can compare myself to a Eastern European hooker as of my Hungarian heritage.

Chopsypie Tue 26-Feb-13 09:06:09

Coming in from the cold. When your cheeks feel all cold and tight and then you get to do the lovely stripping off of layers dance.

Snuggling up under a duvet.

Eating chips out of paper on a freezing cold sea front

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 09:10:50

Lp- sorry to hear that, sounds tough with little ones..16 months difficult stage- neither exciting honeymoon phase not properly settled. It does get a little easier though with time.

I like Country Road clothes which we get here, come up long too. Have you tried there?

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 09:11:41

Oh Chopsy, am getting properly homesick now!

Umlauf Tue 26-Feb-13 09:12:48

MARMITE! Tis my pregnancy craving and the only thing that staves off my morning sickness and I'm down to my last jar!

Plenty of other things, but that is killing me right now!

Radio 4.

NichyNoo Tue 26-Feb-13 09:14:56

We're moving back to the UK in a month after 10 years in Belgium. Looking forward to: being close to babysitters family, customer service (it is non-existent here), being able to buy fashionable, cheap clothes, shops being open on Sundays so we won't have to do all shopping on jam-packed Saturdays, fish and chips, British country pubs, lower taxes.

Not looking forward to: the cost and dire lack of childcare, NHS (health system here is far superior), small-minded, island mentality Brits, booze culture.

specialsubject Tue 26-Feb-13 10:32:08

drinkable tap water, not having to use insect repellent all the time, decent TV and radio without ads, newspapers that take more than 30 seconds to read, proper flowers, enough water, taking books out of the library, history, scenery, being in the same time zone as family and friends, houses with solid walls, decent beer (says DH).

I've no interest in shopping and don't live in a city so the downsides of those are not relevant to me. Insular people are everywhere, got fed up with trying to explain the concept of exchange rate to many who should know better.

nutty1966 Tue 26-Feb-13 11:44:28

pub lunches after long walks, M&S, friends,, public libraries, cost of living (all relative!), lots of interesting places to go for weekends away, Red Magazine, National Trust, London, Boots, striking up a conversation with a stranger in your native tongue!!

FellatioNels0n Tue 26-Feb-13 11:46:45

It depends where you are now.

for me it's green fields and trees, sensible non-kamikaze driving, decent shopping and a decent range of pork products.

(and people who use deodorant)

RubyMurry Tue 26-Feb-13 12:01:14

We've been back for 8 months and we are loving the fresh air, you can actually breathe, going for walks (proper pavements), NHS, tap water you can drink, friendly people who are not out to con you! Fruit that tastes like fruit and more variety of food on the shelves.

It's not all been plain sailing but we are glad to be back after 10 years in the middle east.

RubyMurry Tue 26-Feb-13 12:02:40

Fellatio I couldn't agree more grin

papooser Tue 26-Feb-13 12:54:48

Just moved back from Oz after 4 and a half years and very much enjoying:

Huge choice of food in supermarkets (keep spending ages wandering up and down the aisles in supermarkets gazing at lovely selection of different foodstuffs)
Beautiful green fields and countryside in general
Relatively stable weather (OK it's obviously much colder but there aren't any floods/cyclones/extreme heatwaves/supercell storms etc)
Proximity to family - hadn't realised quite how much I had been missing them.
Ditto friends
Being able to walk everywhere
Stuff going on - local gigs, events for kids etc. Nothing like this in the 'burbs in Australia.
Cost of living - I know this has been debated elsewhere but we are finding it much much cheaper here.
Also decent beer (DH has taken it upon himself to sample a wide variety of this)

Not sure how I'll feel in a year though, grass being greener and all that but for now am very glad we moved back.

footpaths and ordnance survey maps grin

No honestly. Being able to map a route for miles across countryside and walk/run it without having to worry about cars. And of course atm there are snowdrops everywhere and a few primroses too. And crocuses and pussywillow.... Soon bluebells and campion. But not much good if you are in a city perhaps

Salbertina Tue 26-Feb-13 13:05:44

Oh yes, Boots, pussywillow and dare i agree, supermarkets! Sigh.. Sigh again as i look out on our parched "lawn". The trees are quite green, but not very.
What with iplayer etc i can have R4, bbc tv etc in the sun too, lovely!

curryeater Tue 26-Feb-13 13:09:16

bbc, nhs, weather that will hardly ever kill you even if you have to sleep rough, insects that don't kill you either, lovely tasting tap water, ancient churches, good tea, gentle irony, lying on the ground under a huge chestnut tree on a summer's day

mateysmum Tue 26-Feb-13 13:14:46

Having been in the Middle East, it's so nice to be in a country where people regard themselves as equal to everyone else and there's no need for obsequious "yes Mam", "no Mam", just because I'm white and western.

Being able to let the dog off the lead for a run in green fields with other friendly dogs.

Real customer service instead of lies and "inshallah"

People turn up (more or less) when they say they will

Mostly sensible drivers who consider road rules to be more than just advisory and then only for other idiots who don't have a local passport and a Daddy in government.

Laws which apply to all equally.

chicken that isn't 50% water and keeps for longer than 1 day.

Sometimes I read the moans about this country and think how little people know about how most of the world lives.

Sugarbeach Tue 26-Feb-13 13:29:09

It could be that I'm homesick or it's the rose tinted glasses.....I've been away from the Uk for 2 1/2 years now, been in Dubai and now KL.....what I miss about the uk...

The super supermarkets
Ocado delivery
A reliable postal system
My garden
The snowdrops, then daffodils, then bluebells, then summer blooms, the autumn leaves, snow.....
My chickens
More opportunities to be more involved and embedded in village life
Shop assistants who are actually able to help rather than hover around you then look blank when you ask a question....

Sugarbeach Tue 26-Feb-13 13:30:21

Overall politeness
People QUEUE

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Tue 26-Feb-13 13:35:34

When I was on a temporary 6-month contract in the Middle East the things I missed most were:
Weather. Any type, so long as it wasn't the same every day
Coronation Street
Country pubs
Green fields
Safe road use
Proximity to Europe
Finding somewhere peaceful and quiet (everything there was very full-on)

There's plenty wrong with the UK, but there is no 'perfect place' on earth - something will always be found lacking. There are better places than here, but there are far worse too.

timetosmile Tue 26-Feb-13 13:35:39

You can drive with your window open and the door unlocked. And no burglar bars (that was the biggest 'relief' for me)
You can park at tesco without having to pay R1 to have somebody mind the car.
Proper cheese (not the orange cheddar)
Cooking apples
Readybrek not ProNutra
Having Mothers' Day on the right day!
Affordable books
Not assuming every loud bang is a gunshot. you'll miss the laid-back but can-do SA attitude, braais and the blue blue sky..

Sugarbeach Tue 26-Feb-13 13:51:52

No place is perfect....also there's no place like home.....home will always be home, whatever it's flaws....but my concept of home may be frozen in time when I left and I fear that I might be disappointed when I find that it's changed from how I remember it....

specialsubject Tue 26-Feb-13 14:42:33

what a cheering thread!

of course the UK is not perfect - but it's still wonderful.

taketheribbon Tue 26-Feb-13 14:50:10

Sugarbeach - you're right, your concept of home will get frozen in time. Having lived abroad for some years, I was shocked to come back 'home' and find myself a little hostile to some aspects of it (mainly the fact that people are just so less tolerant of children here in the UK). I went through the whole 'culture shock' thing again, which I'd gone through the other way around when I orginally emigrated.

You also find yourself, when you live abroad, looking at good old Blighty through rose-tinted glasses. Curryeater mentions 'lying on the ground under a huge chestnut tree' but fails to recall the risk of being knocked unconscious by a falling chestnut, or being blinded by a splat of pigeon shit while lying there.... You start to view life in the UK as being like living in the middle of films like Notting Hill or episodes of Miss Marple, and it's really not like that at all.

Sometimes it's worth reminding yourselves of things like the riots in the summer of 2011.

anonymosity Tue 26-Feb-13 17:46:29

For me personally, the only thing I can't get here (Los Angeles) that I can get in London is a bit of light-hearted sarcastic banter. I do miss that.

fussychica Wed 27-Feb-13 15:12:33

Been back in UK 18 mths after 8 years in Spain
Appreciating :
wonderful choice of food/ supermarkets especially Waitrose,
Being able to talk to someone without having to think what I'm going to say (my lousy Spanish),
being able to drink tap water,
not wearing insect repellant,
less extreme weather though that much rain did become close,
green fields & trees,
reliable TV reception,
National Trust
customer service

Missing :
my pool,
my mountain view,
sun, sun & sun
Wearing vest, T shirt & flip flops for 80% of the year
being able to do washing and dry it outside or gardening for that matter, on about 300 days a year instead of 50!;
fresh oranges (and juice) from our trees,
my lovely neighbours and friends,
cheap booze,
empty roads

Really it's probably only the lack of sun that might drive me away again - sad but true.

Been back a couple of months after 2yrs in Oz and it has been like putting on a warm blanket.

Yesterday it was grey and drizzly and miserable, but the snowdrops are everywhere, the leaves are coming out on the roses and the wood fire was cosy.

Today is spring. Clear blue skies, birds singing.

Things I missed:

Being able to laugh with the checkout person
John Lewis
Proper sausages
Antique shops and jumble sales where you can find something really old for next to nothing
Old buildings
Town centres rather than malls
Non tooth breaking biscuits
Cheap alcohol
"On in the village hall if wet"

anonymosity Thu 28-Feb-13 01:12:23

fussychica I like your list but I have to admit when I read "customer service" I laughed out loud as that's never been my life-long experience of the UK. But I suppose its about contrast with where you've been living and I've never lived in Spain, only taken trips there. ( I did love it)

MrRected Thu 28-Feb-13 01:23:39


I have done this move many times. Here are some things to look forward to in the UK:

It's comparatively MUCH safer. You will be able to walk out at night and be reasonably safe.
Public transport is available.
Shopping is SO MUCH better than South Africa.
The roads are a thousand times safer.
You will sleep better at night - I couldn't believe how different I felt.
I wish I could say you'd have to deal with less corruption and bureaucracy but it will just be of a different kind.

southwest Thu 28-Feb-13 01:23:47

there's no place like home wink

Longdistance Thu 28-Feb-13 04:43:43

I like that southwest smile

FellNel Thu 28-Feb-13 05:35:39

I am in the Middle East too. I am longing to go cosmetics and perfume shopping when I go home. Not because we don't have them here - we do, in huge abundance. But the sales staff outnumber to customers three to one, and are like desperate leeches that attack you the second you get in the door, then they literally follow you around the shop, watching you like a hawk, and if you hand wanders towards any product to look at it, or your eye rests for a split second too long on something, they are there, in your face, trying to sell it to you. Yet on the odd occasion I have decided to play along and ask questions about the product (perfume for example) that can't tell me a damn thing about it. confused

If I appear to be looking a perfumes they'll just pick up whatever's newest (some Kim Kardashian crap or other) and say 'try this mam, it's new. Best Seller. Very popular.' and try to douse me in the stuff.

And if I go in with something specific in mind, let's say a Chanel lipstick, and they don't have it in stock and am immediately asked if I'd like to buy some Chanel moisturiser instead., thanks. hmm

I am actually becoming too intimidated and annoyed to cross the threshold now. Customer service is a very odd thing out here. It's either non-existent and clueless or you feel like you are being stalked and bullied. There's no in between.

FellNel Thu 28-Feb-13 05:43:17

Oh, and it's nice to be somewhere where the pavements contain pedestrians, and cycle paths contain cyclists. Where I live the locals think it's perfectly acceptable to drive up the pavement and across the cycle path as a shortcut to skip the queue at a red traffic light.

It has to be seen to be believed really.

echt Thu 28-Feb-13 05:57:38

I still miss:

good sausages and ham
public footpaths
proper wallflowers

HermioneHatesHoovering Thu 28-Feb-13 20:52:54

Oh god reading this thread I'm nearly in tears. I'm in the Antipodes, been here nearly 30 years, single parent for the last 10, 3 kids, all adults now, this is home to them, they've known no other.
UK is still 'home' to me but the reality is I've no close rellies there and if I moved back I'd not see my kids for years on end, so I've no choice really but to stay here, but my heart yearns for England. sad sad

Salbertina Fri 01-Mar-13 07:53:18

Oh HHH sad not been away nearly as long as you nor roots as deep so can only imagine what a wrench either way...sounds like you've been through the mill, have you got good friends over there?? Expats who "get" it as well as locals??

You need a "horrible things about the UK" thread grin . Shall i start??

The weather
Grey buildings, sky, landscapes, people
Can't do culture
Old world and its limitations rather than new world and its possibilities

Oh and thanks to those who posted SA related links! Yes to all of them i think, v true.

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