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Thread: Returning to the UK after 20 years

  1. #1
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    Returning to the UK after 20 years

    Good afternoon, peeps.

    After 20 years in Doha, I think I'm done. I've been slowly leading up to this point for the last few years - my kids still have four grandparents, but won't forever. heir cousins are getting older and it would be good to connect with them. And I'm missing a lot of things about the UK!

    So we recently completed on a new house in Warwick, where I've always been based. The original plan was that I would come back this week and check it out, and move a load os stuff from our old house to the new one in order to dress the old one to sell. (Why, yes, I have bought a new house without stepping foot inside it, why do you ask?) But lots of plans have changed this year, haven't they?

    I"ve got high hopes for the move. I want to get all my books out of storage, and wonder why I decided to keep them, 20 years ago. I want to enjoy bad weather, and wearing some of my lovely coats and jackets. I want to sort out a nice stereo in the lounge. But what else will I enjoy?

    The wife is looking forward to shopping (as am I!) Aldi, Lidl. Poundland. I'm looking forward to going shopping and not buying all I can find of stuff, worried that it won't be there next time! (A common Qatar shopping technique.) I'm looking forward to magazines! I might even treat myself to a subscription or two.

    What else? What are the very British things that you miss when you spend any time away?

    I'm looking forward to being a pedestrian.
    I want to be able to walk to the chippy on a Friday night. Walk to the pub.
    I'm looking forward to dressing for the weather, rather than it just being warm and hot everyday!
    I'm looking forward to seeing some concerts, some bands, some comedy. Maybe in 2021, eh?

    What else should I be looking forward to? What do you think has changed in the UK in the last 20 years?

  2. #2
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qatar-wol View Post

    What else should I be looking forward to? What do you think has changed in the UK in the last 20 years?
    Twenty years ago, I was enjoying my job and looking forward to my retirement. Ten years ago I was made redundant after suffering injuries (which could not be fully proven) at work, then had to work on minimum rate before retiring on a much reduced pension. Then, Covid came, so I am stuck in this cold, wet, miserable country and can't even go on holiday! What has changed? Not much for the better! I am fairly lucky, to have moved to a sleepy coastal resort, so we are out of the rat race and Covid hot spots.

    All the best for your move. Stay safe.

  3. #3
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Unless you have lived abroad, most Brits don’t appreciate all the little things that make this kingdom so very special indeed.

    Enjoy them all!!

  4. #4
    To be honest, I can't wait to leave the UK. Once my final child has finished school and started uni I'm off!

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    You really have been away for quite a while, you might want to visit specsavers on the way home.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  6. #6
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Is it too late to reconsider? I lived in Switzerland as a child and my dad is still there, wishing I'd moved out to join him when I graduated (my g/f now wife was against it).

  7. #7
    Master
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    " What else should I be looking forward to? What do you think has changed in the UK in the last 20 years? "

    New breed of properly brain dead idiots everywhere. My nephew started Uni the other day and it took all of a few days before he was attacked in broad daylight by a random stranger he had never seen before. The thing is, i am not suprised in the slightest bit because these morons are common as muck now.

  8. #8
    Don't do it, plenty of nicer places to live.

  9. #9
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Good luck! And you can always head back out to Doha

  10. #10
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chinnock View Post
    Unless you have lived abroad, most Brits don’t appreciate all the little things that make this kingdom so very special indeed.

    Enjoy them all!!
    This.

    It really is the little things that we all take for granted that I missed most about living abroad.

  11. #11
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Difficult one. We've returned to the UK after longish stints away four times now. We usually get itchy feet after about a year back, and we've ended up back overseas within two. This time will definitely be longer due to GCSEs and elderly parents but I'm sure that we'll head off again eventually. The big advantages are proximity to family, a chance for the kids to make long term friends back home and access to the amazing NHS. I like the UK climate but we have always lived in places that have some sort of seasonal variation. I suppose we have always visited the UK enough to be able to still enjoy the fantastic museums, arts and cultural activities available here. I miss all of the places that we've lived in one way or another.
    Last edited by Mr Curta; 17th October 2020 at 13:47.
    My old clock used to tell the time and subdivide diurnity; but now it's lost both hands and chime and only tells eternity. PH

  12. #12
    Family and friends will make all the difference. But there are elements in society that seem to be getting worse each year. On the roads, shops, eateries etc. I don’t know if it’s a lack of manners, education or upbringing.

    If you can avoid the public, it will make the transition smoother!

    Wishing you and your family all the best.

  13. #13
    Master village's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qatar-wol View Post

    What else? What are the very British things that you miss when you spend any time away?
    ?
    A decent cup of tea.
    A proper pint in a proper pub.
    Proper bacon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Don't do it, plenty of nicer places to live.
    There are plenty of nice places to visit & spend some time but there is nowhere else I would want to live.
    Last edited by village; 17th October 2020 at 14:22.

  14. #14
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Welcome back Walter
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  15. #15
    Master sean's Avatar
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    The UK has by far the largest variety and best selection of biscuits.

    Jammy dodgers, chocolate digestives, garibaldis? Not a chance in the supermarkets here, it's all Oreos (a pale imitation of the bourbon cream) and oatmeal cookies.

    And don't mention Tunnocks...

  16. #16
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    There are plenty of nice places to visit & spend some time but there is nowhere else I would want to live.

    Hear hear.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qatar-wol View Post

    What else should I be looking forward to? What do you think has changed in the UK in the last 20 years?
    I'm with you with the seasonal weather. I only spent a year in Abu Dhabi and managed to adjust to the heat but the changes from hot to hotter or hotter and dusty got a bit tedious. I arrived back in the spring which was a great time to return.

    I also craved a decent pint, pork pies and scotch eggs. I also enjoy growing stuff so I was happy to see real soil which sounds a bit strange.

  18. #18
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Welcome back Walter - lots to enjoy in the UK that many take for granted.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  19. #19
    Master yumma's Avatar
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    Just got back from a nice walk in the Essex Countryside, came within 20m of three Deer. I do love the UK’s natural environment.

  20. #20
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    Thank you for teh replies, everyone - I appreciate it!

    I've very much aware that nowhere's perfect, and we're running down this last academic year in Doha listing off the tings that we'll miss about the place!

    And I'm aware that there are lots of things about the UK (the press, some of the politics) that I'm really not looking forward to.

    But I'm lucky that if, after a year or two, I'm hating the place, I can always move abroad again. I think I've missed the window to move further East - elderly parents, mainly. But I'm pretty employable, and very lucky that way.

    I can't wait to get back to the UK and sell some watches! I've got too many at the moment! I want to consolidate two houses into one - get rid of the duplicates, get rid of things that haen't been used in a some years. Have a life laundry?

    I'm ready for it. It's been a while! And I'll be walking distance from my brother, my B-I-L, my parents, my inlaws.

    I'm a lucky man.

  21. #21
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Fish and Chips.

    Decent hand-pulled real ale.

    The best crisp selection in the world.


    Apart from that the UK is pretty crap at the moment!

  22. #22
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk280 View Post
    Fish and Chips.

    Decent hand-pulled real ale.

    The best crisp selection in the world.
    I think that's it in a nutshell. I've been thinking about Dark Star Hophead and American IPA quite a lot recently...
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  23. #23
    I suspect your life experience coupled with a good sense of why you’re moving back will help you weather the nonsense that pervades much of society in the Uk.

  24. #24
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    I hope so!

    There's a good chance that I'll be able to weather a year in the UK before I have to get a job - I can settle the kids in to their new schools, and make the new house our own. That feels like a good year, and a good reward for two decades away!

  25. #25
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    You will be able to listen to many folks whose only experience living overseas is a two weekly holiday in the Costas telling you how crappy life in the UK is

    Personally, despite its issues (which every country has), I love living here and have zero desire to live anywhere else. Others may of course feel differently.

    Welcome back.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  26. #26
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    How nice to read a post from someone who actually likes the UK. It is not compulsory to like the U.K., but I do. I feel privileged to live in it.
    I love the topography, legends. weird customs, local foods, accesibiulity of most of the beautiful bits, and the grass-roots friendliness of the vast majority of the population.

    We are all different and all appreicate or dislike different things, but well done for not being afraid to announce that you are a UKophile.

  27. #27
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    I'm anticipating a cold, damp stroll tomorrow morning. Not to worry, sharp get a warm through . . .



  28. #28
    Master
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    I only spent a couple of years in the Middle East, but when I returned, one of the things I enjoyed was places to go on the weekends with a bit of history and culture - museums, live music (much bigger selection) and the like, as well as the countryside - more than just sand
    Last edited by mtagrant; 17th October 2020 at 21:18. Reason: Typos!

  29. #29
    Journeyman Halitosis's Avatar
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    After living in hot climates, I really appreciated (for the first time really) the seasons. Right now I'm enjoying the changing colours and wading through leaves on a chilly morning dog walk.

    Being able to go to the theatre for gigs and shows - especially comedy where the whole audience shares the sense of humour

    Silence with no air conditioning in the bedroom

    Perfectly drinkable water direct from the tap (OK I live in Scotland)

    General British niceties ("after you", queuing)

    The NHS (though hopefully rarely needing to make use of it)

    Never mind all the wingers - they appear to have forgotten all the positives that we usually take for granted.

  30. #30
    I would really miss the beautiful places to take a walk throughout the UK and a deserved pint at the end, but welcome back Walter and look forward to seeing those watches.

  31. #31
    Master
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    I spend 3 - 4 months or so abroad each year, which I always enjoy, but always happy to be back to see wider family, the friends I have grown up with, and the members of the 2 sports clubs I belong to.
    Plus cross country running through the mud and rain in the winter, and cycle time trials in the summer!

  32. #32
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclealec View Post
    How nice to read a post from someone who actually likes the UK. It is not compulsory to like the U.K., but I do. I feel privileged to live in it.
    I love the topography, legends. weird customs, local foods, accesibiulity of most of the beautiful bits, and the grass-roots friendliness of the vast majority of the population.

    We are all different and all appreicate or dislike different things, but well done for not being afraid to announce that you are a UKophile.
    Yes.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  33. #33
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    I like the last 6-7 posts here, thank you - that pub looks good, magirus, and the kind of think i"ve missed by being here! There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to about the UK - a lot of things that I'm proud of. Let's see how we get on!

  34. #34
    The UK was great 20 years ago. Everything seemed simple, schools were fine, NHS was fine, police were fine. Jobs were fine. Not so much now. Still a beautiful country though.... in parts.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    After living in hot climates, I really appreciated (for the first time really) the seasons. Right now I'm enjoying the changing colours and wading through leaves on a chilly morning dog walk.

    Being able to go to the theatre for gigs and shows - especially comedy where the whole audience shares the sense of humour

    Silence with no air conditioning in the bedroom

    Perfectly drinkable water direct from the tap (OK I live in Scotland)

    General British niceties ("after you", queuing)

    The NHS (though hopefully rarely needing to make use of it)

    Never mind all the wingers - they appear to have forgotten all the positives that we usually take for granted.
    This.

    And greenery.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by sprite1275 View Post
    The UK was great 20 years ago. Everything seemed simple, schools were fine, NHS was fine, police were fine. Jobs were fine. Not so much now. Still a beautiful country though.... in parts.


    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by farquare View Post


    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    Why you crying ? It's not that bad.

  38. #38
    Grand Master
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    Can you back out? Don't do it, seriously. This country is in a terrible state and not looking like getting any better any time soon. I'd love to leave and still dream that I will one day. It's horrible here.

  39. #39
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    I think it's a great country to live in.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  40. #40
    Master Rinaldo1711's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    I think it's a great country to live in.

    i agree - I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

  41. #41
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    I'm anticipating a cold, damp stroll tomorrow morning. Not to worry, sharp get a warm through . . .


    Why would you want anything more?

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  42. #42
    Master
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    Live out in the Falklands.

    Don't miss UK crime - people here leave houses and cars unlocked

    Miss a good chippy, chinese, Indian and pint!! Also miss going to gigs however that of course is over for now.

    Also shopping - takes 2 weeks to a month to get anything out here via mail order

  43. #43
    Craftsman
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    We certainly can't compete with the time that you've been away, but after nearly 5 years in Bulgaria, we're set to return to the North West start of December.
    Like you we've been considering the things we're looking forward to. Aside from the major things like reuniting with friends and family (and allowing our 3 year old to spend alot more time with his grandparents (at least as much as they can handle..) small things I'm looking forward to:

    Services - Having relatively functioning services. eg popping into a bank branch here to withdraw/deposit or do something basic (as the ATM is regularly borked) can easily take half an hour and it's rare you meet anything resembling customer service - I won't miss that!

    Trips out - Local trips to National trust sites, easy long weekends away to Cumbria or the West coast of Scotland / Highlands. Going to restaurants and generally being served food at the same time as your guests.. little things!

    Shopping - I hate to say this, but I'm even excited to go back to our bog standard supermarkets and especially to good butchers. It's only after all this time away that I realise I took for granted all the choice we have back at home. Even my wifes excited at this return and she's French.


    I have thought about what I'll miss but truthfully, the list is relatively short. We've met alot of great people, seen some great sights and my god the weather is better. It's been a great experience to be away, but we can't wait to be back.


    Oh, and golf. Although i seem to be much more excited about this than wifey.

  44. #44
    Grand Master
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    If you can handle this you'll be fine:

    Fallout from Brexit - No Deal

    Tory Government

    Horrendous weather

    Most powerful person in the UK is Dominic Cummings

    Different rules and allowances for the upper class

    COVID management is a shambles

    Roads and infrastructure are a total mess

    Horrendous weather

    High house prices

    Tuition fees

    Totally underfunded NHS

    Totally underfunded Ambulance Service

    Totally underfunded Police Service leading to

    Huge crime rates

    Knife crime epidemic

    Institutionally racist country

    And did I mention horrendous weather?

    Welcome home.

  45. #45
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qatar-wol View Post
    I like the last 6-7 posts here, thank you - that pub looks good, magirus, and the kind of think i"ve missed by being here! There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to about the UK - a lot of things that I'm proud of. Let's see how we get on!

    There'll likely be somewhere just like it where you are going, enjoy!

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    If you can handle this you'll be fine:

    Fallout from Brexit - No Deal

    Tory Government

    Horrendous weather

    Most powerful person in the UK is Dominic Cummings

    Different rules and allowances for the upper class

    COVID management is a shambles

    Roads and infrastructure are a total mess

    Horrendous weather

    High house prices

    Tuition fees

    Totally underfunded NHS

    Totally underfunded Ambulance Service

    Totally underfunded Police Service leading to

    Huge crime rates

    Knife crime epidemic

    Institutionally racist country

    And did I mention horrendous weather?

    Welcome home.
    On the plus side, Gregg's sausage rolls are delicious and cheap, they were about £7 each at in Dubai last year, so cheer up.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  47. #47
    Grand Master
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    Wow, £7! Worth it though ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by farquare View Post
    On the plus side, Gregg's sausage rolls are delicious and cheap, they were about £7 each at in Dubai last year, so cheer up.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  48. #48
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farquare View Post
    On the plus side, Gregg's sausage rolls are delicious and cheap, they were about £7 each at in Dubai last year, so cheer up.
    And the £9.50 pint of beer.........
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  49. #49
    Thank your lucky stars you don't live in a dry country. £9.50 is a small price to pay

    ......

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  50. #50
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    I'm sure that rather than permanently whingeing, wallowing in negativity and feeling sorry for himself Walter will crack on and enjoy himself here. ;-)

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