First post from Melbourne: Hey, I’m not dead!

So, this is my first ever post written for Wrestling with Wanderlust from Melbourne, Australia, and let me tell you, I wasn’t ever expecting to be writing it ten months after we landed. To recap for any readers who might be new, in November 2013 I moved from the UK, my home of twenty-seven years, to Melbourne, Australia, with my partner P. We had met three years earlier in a Japanese evening class in the city of Oxford where I moved in 2007 to complete my Master’s degree.

I have had a fascination with Australia for as long as I can remember, I’m not sure where it sprang from entirely but I’m probably going to blame watching Crocodile Dundee and The Rescuers Down Under too much as a child. The early nineties were a time when the whole of the UK was pretty much having a massive love affair with the Land Down Under, and I was growing up right in the middle of it. Australia was just a huge exotic land that was so far away from everything I knew. The sun shone all the time and there were vast stretches of beach everywhere according to Neighbours and Home and Away. The men fell into two camps – floppy haired, bronzed, fun-loving surfer dudes or sexy and brooding Outback dwellers who had muscles and accents to die for. The wildlife was unique and exciting, not to mention deadly.

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Wrestling with wanderlust…and depression.

I mentioned Sir Winston Churchill in my post on his birth place Blenheim Palace the other day, strangely he fits in rather well for this post too. Churchill waged a life-long battle with depression, he called it his “black dog”. You don’t think he’d be the type, he’s an icon of British fighting spirit and strength, his rousing speeches to the masses in the darkest days of the Blitz bring a tear to the eye. Steadfast and strong he embodied the British war effort: Never give up. Never surrender. How can a man with such force of personality have possibly wanted to throw himself under a train at the age of 35? But he did.

I too have battled my own “black dog”. I’ve tried to write about it many times, and I’ve eluded to it briefly in my post on emigrating to Australia, but the time has never been right. Now, for this week’s writing challenge, I think I’ll try.

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