How I became “Dinky Di” 62



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Well, some people may still find my slight accent a give away, but I now think in Australian, which is a definite indication that I have become one – I know what to “crack a tinnie” means, after all.

I say ‘Bob’s yer uncle’, and ‘bonzer’, I get my knickers in a twist, spit the dummy and am ‘totally wrapped’ about living here. ‘Strine’ is my second language, I stopped whinging because I sounded like a Pom. Unfortunately coming from Somerset in England, my accent owes more to the Pirates of the Caribbean (as all the Pirates came from my part of the world obviously…just ask Johnny Depp).

I truly love Australia, the wide brown expanses, the empty beaches, the millions of birds, and the bush. So when I arrived, I soaked up the sayings I heard. I worked in Prahran. The Italian and the Aussie girl I worked with soon had me learning fast, about footy, about drinks, about having fun Australian style. We used to slug champagne on Friday afternoons as soon as all the clients went home, sitting on the verandah of a little house in Eastbourne Street. I travelled on packed trams and trains and the close proximity with other travellers soon speeded up the learning process.

I learned as Christmas approached that first year, that ‘break up’ parties didn’t mean you broke anything. That if you rooted for footy teams that was rude! The correct phrase was “barracked”. I worked hard and was “flat out like a lizard drinking”; if I got confused they said I might be “a sandwich short of a picnic”. There are a million other brilliant sayings, so send some of your favourites.

I wanted to belong from the first day here, although I still love and appreciate the beauty of my original home, and Somerset and Devon are beautiful, I belong to Australia. Today is Australia Day, and I will never forget the first one I had here. It was 1988, a special year. As I watched the celebrations all over the country and felt the swell of pride for my new home, it etched all those visions on my memory. I sat on the beach at Phillip Island and looked out to a blue horizon. It was a perfect day; some days are like that and they remain with us.

When I wave my little flag and try to sing along to Advance Australia Fair I shall feel just as proud. Tears come when they sing, “I still call Australia home”. So be proud of your country, of its origins in the time before white settlers, in the growth that has spread across the land. Like any nation mistakes are made, we don’t have to look far to see them around us. But we still have so much to be thankful for, this is still a proud country with a background of strong pioneers who knew what real hardship was. There are still those working on the land, battling the elements and making a better life for us all. So, Advance Australia Fair.


What are your favourite Australian sayings? Share them with us!

Jacqui Lee

Jacqui Lee is 75 and now retired but the last ten years or so have been some of her busiest. She worked at a hospital, where she took several Certificated courses, she cleaned a school, helped to run two conventions, wrote short stories, started painting, and in fact is never bored even now, "I honestly feel we are lucky to still be upright and breathing, and my motto is, Remember yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today. I love fun, clothes, food and friends."

  1. Being an Australia? Errors are occurring more and more, doesn’t anyone ever read the text? And I have every right to point it out, if I make a mistake it is noted, before the ‘ oh dear, never mind, don’t be petty’ brigade start.

    4 REPLY
    • A huge staff of 3, yes three, put this publication on line each and every day, at no cost to us. Yes Ingrid you have every right to comment, but try commenting about the articles. With all the wonderful things in this article, all you can see is one missing letter.

    • I enjoy the content of the articles..I don’t look for mistakes.. Karen is right this is a free service

    • Ingrid !! shit stir away, hun, do you have one arm browner than the other? Like you on many occasions, she could have said “STRAYA” lol

  2. I love this land, my ancestors came on the first fleet, and every one after it, I’m proud of this fact, my husband, came from England 44 years ago and made this his land, he loves it too,

  3. My husband immigrated from Devon 40 years ago. I have accompanied him back there on a couple of occasions. It certainly is a beautiful part of England. He loves Australia and considers it his home. But sometimes he has the pull of wanting to see his place of birth. When he goes to England, he misses Australia.

    2 REPLY
    • my family came here as convicts I will say that first, but I can’t say I blame your husband..I have worked all over Australia and I always fretted for home ( in the same country !!), but it didn’t take me long after I got back home to go in search of adventure again. It is normal to miss your country of birth, but he is good he keeps coming back here after each visit

    • We migrated here from UK 26 years ago and took out Australian citizenship two years later. My husband has been a true Aussie since day one and supports the Aussies in all sport. It took me 10 years to settle down as I really missed my family “back home”. Been back loads of times and I always miss Australia and can’t wait to “go home to Oz”. But at times I feel that I must visit “home” and see my family. So I have two homes and love them both. Just hate really hot weather.

  4. My husband is originally from Yorkshire and shares many of your experiences. He became an Aussie on Australia Day, 1988, so he’s now a Bicentennial Aussie. During the ceremony he asked the (then) mayor for a special dispensation to still be allowed to barrack for the poms at the cricket. Now he’s fully assimilated and goes for the Aussies.

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