The Aussies Are Coming! Best-selling “Poms Down Under” Author heralds The 2015 Ashes
The sledging season is almost here.
The Ashes, one of sport’s most fiercely contested battles is set to rage once again - both on and off the pitch. But what are the true origins of the historic rivalry between Britain and Australia?
This excerpt from Poms Down Under by J D Waterhouse offers an intriguing explanation:
“Out here it pays to acquire the accent and blend in, especially if you are in business. There is nothing an Aussie enjoys more than putting one over on a Pom. Most of the time there’s no malice in it – it’s a bit of a game we tend to play. It probably stems right back to the early days of transportation, with the convicts striving to keep their spirits up by scoring points off their guards.”
So, is this the rub?
Can this be what it’s all about, then? Could the fierce competitive rivalry that exists between Britain and Australia stem from this simple game of point scoring, played out between prisoners and guards aboard transportation ships, some 200 years ago? And could this historic rivalry also be at the heart of all the competitive needle that has spiced up so many epic battles for the ashes, both cricket and rugby, over the years? And be why those tiny urns carry with them such enormous bragging rights that are so coveted by both nations?
Poms Down Under highlights several of the contentious issues that are always guaranteed to spark a spirited debate whenever and wherever British and Australians meet.
The story is set in the picturesque city of Perth in Western Australia, and follows the experiences of a group of British migrants in their quest to build new lives for themselves and their families in Australia. It explores how different people respond and adapt – or fail to adapt, as the case may be – to the challenges of their new country, what they think about Australia - and what the Australians think about the Poms.
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Like the characters in his book, JD Waterhouse emigrated to Australia in the early 1960s seeking adventure and fortune, exploring the Australian outback and becoming embroiled in its famous gold prospecting and mining industry. (Fans of Discovery Channel’s GOLD RUSH will sympathise with JD’s characters and their relentless quest to strike it rich.) Joining JD and his fictional characters were almost 1.5 million settlers, over 650 thousand of whom were also from the Great British Isles. One in three modern British citizens who immigrated to Australia did so during this period. JD Waterhouse is now firmly back in the UK. Poms Down Under and Dream Hunters are his novels detailing life in Australia during the heady 1960’s.