Well then, I can’t believe that my time in the UK has nearly come to an end. Feels like only yesterday i was flying out of little old Hobart only to arrive in the big time, Manchester. The last 4 months have been the best of my life! The banter the beers and the boys have made my trip a memorable one to say the least.
Day one of arriving in Manchester greeted at the airport by two fresh faced poms who would become like a brother and sister too me. They met me with huge smiles accompanied by an even bigger poster reading ‘WELCOME BEAU FROM TASMANIA’. I knew from then I was going to be well looked after. Nervous about the cricket club and the sort of people I would spending the next 4-5 months with, i turned up sheepishly to training on a cold Thursday night (typical of England mid April) trying to mentally remember names but having the memory of a goldfish I resorted to calling everyone ‘mate’. FIRST BEER IN ENGLAND, pint of Carlsberg. “That will be 2.85. “(around $4:50) said the barmen who turned out to be cheeky burger who paid my wages and loved throwing in a little ‘jab in the ribs’ comment when i made little or no runs on the weekend.
England has such a Tasmanian feel to i felt right at home. The weather was cold, the wickets were hard to bat on and no matter how fresh it gets at night, the girls love wearing not much more than a tee towel. Although England felt very homey, there are many little and big things that are vastly different. I don’t know whether it was just me, but the first time i got a hold of some British pounds it felt like I was carrying around 3 or 4 sheets of A4 paper and my little aussie wallet wasn’t up to the task, therefore losing the odd tenna or 20 quid notes (not to mention the time a teammate consumed a 20 quid note in the back of taxi on the way to town, but thats a story for another time). The next thing that comes to mind is the different accent every half hour you drive in a car. Some easy to understand some very tough, I’ve had countless conversations where I spent the majority of the time smiling, nodding and giving the occasional laugh where i thought appropriate, when most of the time it wasn’t appropriate leaving the conversation in awkward state. I’m %100 sure that some people thought I wasn’t all there and probably had a screw or two missing.
I did manage to find my way over to Europe for a few 5 day trips. Croatia was beautiful and so different to anything I had experienced before. Dublin was brilliant even if i was only there for 2 days. The Irish love a beer, especially a Guinness! The people in Dublin were extremely friendly and even though it will cost you close to a months salary for one perfectly poured Guinness its totally worth it. Then we get to Magaluf or ‘Shagaluf’ as the English call it. Boy do I have some stories from the 5 days we spent there. Once again a stories for another time. Although it is meant to be one of the best party destinations in Europe and there is more pubs and clubs that you can wave a wobbly stick at, it was nice to spend some time in 30 degree heat on white sand beach and in crystal clear water. I’ve got three more weeks left in the UK before I head back to Tasmania and get stuck into preseason with the Tigers. I have one last trip planned to Cardiff to watch my new found favorite sporting club, Manchester City, play an away game. More importantly a night out in “The Valley” (watching MTV show The Valley to know what I’m in for). Before I finish i must give special mention to my second home, 5th avenue night club, if anyone is floating around Manchster in the late evening, give it a visit, its well worth it, and while you’re there say hi to Jonny for me.
Thanks England its been real xxx
Beau “Slug” Webster
Published with the full consent of Beau Webster (view more of his stuff at Webster Writes!