I could have been a lesbian living in Sydney


What do I know about Australia? I know that some people call us Brits Whinging Poms - which I consider an entirely apt name. Apart from that, the answer is not much. I'm no expert, because I was only briefly there for three weeks in 1995 and apart from a stint to the divine Byron Bay to ogle surfer boys mostly lived in a house in Balmain, Sydney, full of Scottish and English people who smoked bongs all day and were crammed into this house to such an extent that there were curtains, yes, curtains, strung down the middle of the rooms to create private ‘quarters’, and consequently you could fit at least four people in a room. It was the kind of wholesome environment where people would end up having sex with whoever was beside them on the sofa at the end of the night. While I was there, one girl got pregnant. My English friend Louise was the only respectable person in this squat type situation. She had a job as a picture editor on a magazine, and I have no idea how she got up in the morning after all the degeneracy. I am quite a messy person, but the situation in one of the bathrooms was so bad that you had to wear shoes to go into it, because the floor was covered in….well, you get my drift.

Louise was there for about a year. Stupidly, she didn’t emigrate to Oz at the time, when she was under 27, and it would have been relatively easy. Instead she came back to England and got obsessed with emigrating and at one point after she was older than 27, wanted me to pretend to be her lesbian partner - for reasons that now escape me, it is easier to emigrate if you have a partner or spouse - and make an application to move there. I would have done it too, only I know I would have cocked up the immigration interview. Nevertheless, the years have passed and sometimes I can't help but wonder what might have happened if I had turned that corner. To think I could now be living with my 'lesbian lover' in Sydney eh? The mind boggles. Setting aside for a moment the fact that the officials would have seen through the charade what if we'd pulled it off?

It could have happened. We were both hacked off with men at the time, what if I'd segued into temporary lesbianism? I wonder whether if the earth had been slightly off kilter while we'd been having our drunken discussion in the pub when Louise had shrieked "I've got it - we'll pretend to be gay!" we'd have taken it all the way to Oz? Not terribly likely but still it's certainly funny to think about what I would be like if I was living in Australia. I have a feeling I'd be tan, lithe and fit because not only would I be a super surfer but they have all the nice fresh fish over there and the food is so healthy and delicious. But actually knowing me I would be 300lb and eating heaps of meat pies and Tim Tams not to mention glugging beer by the truckload to quench my thirst. What do you think...do you think I could have gone the Sapphic Antipodean route or am I clutching at eucalyptus leaves?



Well, anyway, until the day I can save enough to get to Oz for an extended vacation I hang around all the cool Aussie kids like Kathrine at Mummy Diaries who alerted me to the fact that "after 10 hours dancing on the podium, rubbing up against sweaty men and shaking your glow sticks, your pachanga will smell like road kill." I also adore Mrs Woog at Woogsworld who if you've got a mo needs urgent advice on dropping lose 20 kilos in 5 weeks without the use of tape worms. The Not Drowning Mother is a kindred spirit who likes to knock back absinthe-based cocktails with names like ‘Monkey Gland’ and ‘Sweaty Bollocks.’ And Fingers at Whine Guide is quite probably the funniest rudest guy on the planet (not for the faint hearted!)



So I am interested to know, where might you have ended up you'd given into some crazy whim or impulse or if, like George Michael put it you'd 'turn a different corner and we never would have met.' What might have happened if fate had taken a decisively different turn and you'd ended up living in a parallel universe like the one in the rather silly film Sliding Doors? Do tell all.