My friend sent me an sms: 'Just seen a magazine called Whingeing Pom!' I don't know why on earth he thought that might be of interest to me... But out of general interest in others who might possibly be considered to be both whingers and Poms, I had a look.
Turns out I'm not a Pom at all, I'm a Possie - well, a low-grade one, since apparently a true Possie has dual nationality; us mere permanent residents are beneath them. Pfft, sounds like these dual nationality folk have already sold out, not like us proper fence-dwellers.
But it got me thinking - what will that make our children? I got a fright the other day when I discovered that The Boy, aged 2, doesn't know what a squirrel is. Back in London, The Girl and I used to go to the same park nearly every day, where the squirrels would dance about autumnally and eat the leftovers from the park café. She knows what a squirrel is; she has lots of European-based memories, and coupled with my special instructions ("It's yoghurt with a short o, not yo-ghurt with a long o! Repeat after me!") is bound to retain some Pominess (glossing over the fact that she wants to spend her life playing Aussie Rules, "fudie" as she calls it, and eat "pardy pies"). The Boy, on the other hand, pointed to the squirrel (picture of) and said: "A possum!" I let it slide, just that one time, but if he starts pointing to pictures of Bambi and shouting "Kangaroo!", or badgers ("Wombat!") I shall have to take serious steps. Maybe I will buy him a subscription to Whingeing Pom for his 3rd birthday.
Things to watch - October 2015 The Wheeler Centre invited me to chair a panel about Young Adult Fiction. If you click the link below you can watch John Marsden (Checkers, Wi...
6 days ago