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2004-09-23 - 6:29 p.m.

I've been walking around some of my old haunts here and it's sort of... I don't know. Something. I have some kind of weird emotional ties to this place... when I was torn away from here, unwillingly, at the age of 13, I thought of myself as an English boy. My friends were here, the places I loved were here, everything that mattered to me or gave me a sense of place or of being at home was here. Australia was just this far away kind of memory of somewhere I used to belong... and so when I returned after six years away, 19 years old, I had this kind of wonderful rush of nostalgia as I visited my old haunts. Things came back to me that I hadn't even realised I remembered. Little things, the shape of the paving stones, the various ways I could walk home from school, the colour of certain buildings, smells... I was awash in this world of memory that was so steadily and reassuringly the same. But now, this time, it's not like that. There are things that I recognise but the recognition is vague, fuzzy. Or there are places I see that I sort of think I might recognise but I'm not sure. But the big difference is that I don't feel nostalgic for it anymore. My home, I guess, is Sydney now. I have put down new roots. And so the emotional sensation isn't nostalgia or homecoming or familiarity or anything like that... it's just, I don't know... I guess the main feeling I've been getting from London is the realisation that Sydney is home now. It's not that I don't want to be here or that I hate London or anything like that (although, let me tell you folks, they are murdering you on public transport fares here) it's just that this place doesn't... hold me anymore. I don't know if I can put it any better than that.
"I'm an English boy
I was brought up right
Hold me down
And I will bite" - Pete Townshend

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