I tracked Dave down via his sister on Friendsreuboring. Dave sent me
a few emails which really tell his story.
Dear Pommie Bastard
Long time no hear, well only 30+ years. I am
living in Tasmania, Australia (25 years) but do get back over there every
couple of years. My dad is now 82 and lives in Faversham near brother Mike
and sister Penny. I have a 22 year old daughter in UK (Worcester) at the
Survived only 2 semesters at Uni then dropped out due to a very
uninspiring course and other bad habits. Spent a year or more travelling.
Hitched around Europe/Asia, through Afghanistan, India, ended up in Ceylon
and then got a job on a ship for a year travelling the seas, Africa, West
Came back to England and spent a low year on the dole. I then got a
good IT job with Rank-Hovis-McDougal in Harlow (even worse than Hemel).
Spent 3 years there, got married, got divorced, moved to Sydney.
Spent 3 great years with IBM in Sydney. Married again and moved down to
Tasmania. Spent last 25 years down here bringing up the family who
are at last starting to leave home. (wish I could sometimes). Working for
a small computer consultancy. Most work is for one government department
or another. I currently have jobs going with Police, Treasury and the
Tassie is not a bad spot, bit like Scotland or Wales with better weather.
Not many jobs for the kids though. We had quite a nice yacht at one stage
and used to spend a lot of time sailing, fishing etc. Now keep fit
bushwalking (hiking) around the magnificent wilderness areas of Tassie. No hope of
retiring for a while yet, no superannuation and still got kids at home.
I was going Trekking in Nepal with my daughter this November, but she has
decided to come home via Thailand with an old boyfriend instead. Perhaps
I'll use the funds to get to the reunion, possibly even via Nepal?
Never did get Australian citizenship, though if you are talking rugby or
cricket then you can tell by my accent who I am barracking for. You used
to have to swear allegiance to The Queen to become an Aussie which always
went against the grain a bit with me...
Drop in for a beer or a BBQ anytime your are passing...
Thursday 26th September saw Dave arrive in UK for a rare visit. It
was only a few weeks since I had managed to contact Dave through his
sister and as luck would have it he had a trip planned to UK to visit his
eldest daughter. He had a busy schedule and the only time we could
meet up was immediately following his arrival at Heathrow when he had the
morning free before rushing over to Kent to visit his sister and brother.
I now recall it was Dave who suggested breakfast. Perhaps he has
been missing his Full English!
Dave hired a car and I saw him arrive and
walk towards our door. Now, it is some 36 years since I last saw
Dave and of course he has changed. He is balding and sports a full
pure white beard and reverse Mohican hairstyle. He has not put on a
gram in weight. I did not realise it until I saw him again but Dave
has a very distinctive gait. I can not describe it but you would
recognise it if you saw him. Perhaps the biggest change was his very
broad Australian accent. He was sporting a bushman's hat and an
My Gill did us proud. Juice, fresh fruit followed by sausages
(Lincolnshire of course), bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and the "piece de
resistance" - Bubble & Squeak. Doorstop toast, marmalade and loads of
coffee. I almost wish Dave came every week if this is the standards
of breakfast I could enjoy. Just like his gait, Dave also has a
distinctive facial expression. Something to do with his eyes.
After only a few minutes the years just rolled away and there we were back
in the the old times.
We took a stroll in the nearby woods, walked the dog and passed a good
4 hours just chatting. Dave has had a really interesting and
eventful life and loves his family and life in Australia. He
seems to have work in perspective and told me he looks forward to being
able to 'go walk-about' in the bush and the interior. Dave and I
were good friends at school and I loved seeing him again. He
promises to come to the Spring ToadFest if it takes place.