the flying kangaroo retires after 100 years.

QF1 flew our family beyond grime and litter of

Industrial Birmingham history, only Patience tested

And rewarded;

2 years of red tape on desks at Australia House

To emigrate, to wait, divert my 12 year mind,

From dwelling on leaving kith and kin, but relieved of

Peer group bullies, though missing Top of the Pops on BBC1,

Not local Crossroads cardboard motel we watch for laughs.

And I could do without reading the sordid News of the World

Whilst Nan cooked Sunday roast.

The one Australian we thought we knew was Rolf Harris whose

‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport’, was an instant hit into our

Humble terraces, where Rolf spun yarns and mesmerised us by

His deft house brush, slapped house paint onto expansive cardboard.

We caught the vision of Aussie bush and sky then back to British

Landscape familiarity, he was a smart chap who left entertaining

Small town Perth to sojourn ex-pats Earl’s Court.

This musing about wobbling masonite board helped the

13 hour flight and the handsome Qantas crew with slim

Suntanned men a sight to be seen!

Black and white T.V. had become colour in the land of Qantas.

Melbourne via Bahrain and Singapore route to

Start over, my family and I, new jobs, better pay,

And the film shown at Australia House in Manchester

Imprinted Kangaroos and koalas lazing in the back garden!

Saying goodbye to my working-class ancestral home, lastly sorry to the

Spirit of Nan turning 68 years old, and Dad hoping he was right about

Signing his 3 children to the other side of the world where

Opportunities, and a better life awaited –

The lingering last of white Australia’s $10 pound poms (13 pounds by 1978).

QF2 – 11 Jan 1977 London to Melbourne
Art work by Australian artist Donald Friend
My Virgin flight reading the menu, and introduced to the art of Donald Friend. It didn’t appear Australian to me…
Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

END NOTES. CULTURE SHOCK

Bookends

1 Australian born Rolf Harris, Household name, entertainer, artist, Queen’s favourite was charged and jailed in London for sexual assaults on girls and women throughout his career.

2. Donald Friend esteemed artist born Australian, left a legacy of diaries which described sexual abuse he committed against young boys in Bali and Sri Lanka.

737 retires 2020

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