I went back to Cheltenham last month on another flying visit...thankfully not for another funeral.
Cheltenham didnt seem to have changed much, it looked tired and a bit more run down in places and the high street had alot of empty shops or charity shops in place of what i remembered.....i loved going for a walk up on Cleeve Hill - which is my favorite place in the world - beautiful fresh (bracing) crispy air. The countryside was so green and lovely, but the air in the town did feel heavy/dirty and i developed a nasty cough etc...and Chelts not even industrial.
Despite it being 'nice weather' my poor knee was screaming at me after 2 hours of landing....
I totally enjoyed the cheap alcohol, and chips and curry sauce, felt bitterly disappointed in my kebab....i loved seeing my family.
But also saw the despair on the job and social front.
So many young people out of work, let down by the education system etc, alot of hopelessness which did bring a higher crime rate and suicide rate. The rich are richer and the poor are poorer and the scum are breeding like rats.
Alot of crimes dont even make it into the papers as there's too much to report on (closest friends are in the police force) and it's not like Cheltenham is a big city.
Food shopping was a hell of alot cheaper, especially if you wanted cheaper processed products, i wish sainsburys/tesco could deliver here lol...cheese was sooo cheap, but on checking out steak and chicken breasts i was stunned at the price per kilo - twice what we pay in dollars.
Friends who had good jobs still have good/great jobs, but friends in the lower end brackets struggle every day to make ends meet....but then i could say exactly the same about here. I'd rather be poor here than there though.
Cheltenham is a beautiful town/area, but after seeing so many of my older kids mates, some on their 2nd even 3rd kids, i know we made the right call for them, for our younger kids and for us.
I saw a job for HG, 18,000k gbp per annum....he was on more than that before we left...i couldn't earn what i earn here, and we'd never be able to buy a 2 bed house let alone build a 5 bed one....
Adelaide is a small town, bikies cause issues, drugs cause issues, there's good and bad areas as in all places in the world, its an incredibly 'small' town as well with alot less than the 6 degrees of separation lol.....i get to see the worst ends and some of the higher ends of the social scale in my job, i love that there is a level of humanity and get see that the middle classes will happily integrate with the poor, and many upper middle/middle dont actually look any better off than the poorer counterparts. I know a CEO who goes shopping in a singlet and barefoot
Its bloody hard work just living life, anywhere in the world....but as i said i'd rather be poor here than poor in the uk.