England versus Australia: A Look at the Sky

With Great Britain Week well and truly behind us, it’s time to get on with the business of life in Australia again.

So, I was thinking, how best do we slip straight back into the world of Australia after having spent a week in the UK? One of the things that struck me like a punch in the face when putting up the images for Friday’s post Pictures of England: ‘Britain Week’ Concluded was just how grey a lot of it was.

It is, of course, how I remember it in the UK.


Australia, on the other hand, is more often than not the complete opposite.


So what better way to get back into the swing of Australia than to post some typically blue Australian photos, all of these are from our first year in Oz. And I can’t even begin to tell you how different it is to live in a “blue” world rather than a “grey” one. I will say this though, it’s a lot more difficult to be depressed when you are living in hot, sunny and clear blue skies.

Feel your mood lift as you glance over these…

Bribie Island

Bribie Island

Cleveland Point

Cleveland Point

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise



Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo



Fun in the pool

Fun in the pool

Alexander Headlands

Alexander Headlands

This is interesting, this picture of a younger Elizabeth playing on the beach in Scarborough; the sky appears to be grey…

Grey in Scarborough

Grey in Scarborough?

Must’ve been something to do with the camera angle or the lighting, because this picture was also taken at Scarborough on the very same day…



Sky looks quite blue, doesn’t it?

The sky isn’t always blue in Australia though, we do get rain, no doubt about that. But blue days are much more common than rainy days, that’s for sure. And of course we don’t get blue skies when it starts to get dark…



There! I feel happier already.

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Glenn December 30, 2014, 8:57 pm |

    Must say I like looking at your articles, we are looking at moving out to Perth in about 6months time, still plenty to make happen first, and after reading your blog you come from the same neck of the woods as us, (sarfend in Essex)

    I must say I will not miss the grey skies here, the winter
    Weather when it’s sunny it’s freezing, only warms up in December if its cloudy and dull.
    And most certainly will not miss having to wait 5 or 6 weeks sometimes longer in the summer for a nice sunny Saturday or Sunday then only to be told that’s probably it for the summer now and on many years it was.

    And I certainly won’t miss one the one summers day in weeks or months
    The queues of traffic on the A127 all heading for that tiny little
    Beach at the 3 shells, it feels more like a mass evacuation than a
    Pleasant day out.

    There will be lots of things I will miss about southend but
    Those above won’t be any of them..

  • ritesh August 20, 2014, 9:24 am |

    What would say about decreasing level of ozone layer over Australia. I heard it is the main reason for increasing number of skin cancer in Australia. I just read it somewhere. Is it really so or there is nothing to worry about. I would particularly like to know about Melbourne. Thanks

    • BobinOz August 20, 2014, 9:56 pm |

      I haven’t given it a moment’s thought since living here, that’s how much of a worry it is to me. Of course, it’s sensible to where a hat, sunglasses and some say sunscreen, although you won’t find me putting that muck on my skin.

      I prefer just a hat and sunnies to walk in the shade rather than the sunshine as often as possible. Yes, we may be more exposed here, but nobody is running around panicking about it. You just need to be sensible in the sun. Nobody needs a suntan, that’s just vanity.

      That’s my view anyway.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Brett Courtenay January 19, 2015, 3:49 pm |

        Hi Bob, I was checking round the Blog for any references to Skin Cancer and came across the above but just wanted to make mention to you how dangerous and insidious Skin cancer melanoma’s are to the most recent Australians (That’s us…the Anglo Saxon Johnny come Lately’s!)

        4 words: Worst in the World and its getting WORSE

        *From 1982 to 2010 melanoma diagnoses increased by around 60%.

        Some facts:

        Every year, in Australia:

        *skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
        *between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
        *GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
        *The incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.

        Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, though the risk increases as you get older.

        The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight.


        Sunburn causes 95% of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
        In Australia, almost 14% of adults, 24% of teenagers and 8% of children are sunburnt on an average summer weekend.

        *Many people get sunburnt when they are taking part in water sports and activities at the beach or a pool, as well gardening or having a barbeque.

        PLEASE NOTE!!! This next one gets so many people…be aware… .

        *Sunburn is also common on cooler or overcast days as many people mistakenly believe UV radiation is not as strong. This is untrue – you can still be sunburnt when the temperature is cool

        PLEASE NOTE!!!This one gets so many .

        *Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning can still cause damage to skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Evidence suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation year after year can also lead to skin cancer.


        I was a latecomer to surfing at the age of 16 but can tell you out of “our crew” of about 35 hard core Surfies that lived the beach/surf culture and DIDN’T sun-bake…(and we are talking the late 60’s and 70’s when the sun did not Burn as badly as it does today due to ozone depletion and other causes) 30% died from skin melanoma’s and all but 3 before the age of 50.

        FACT: 70% of EVERY Australian will have Skin cancer/s by aged 70

        So when I hear you say ” I haven’t given it a moment’s thought since living here, that’s how much of a worry it is to me” I must say something to you, because it really is something you MUST take seriously.

        What’s really bad is that it is quite easy to get a dose of Sunburn (as mentioned above) and whilst you would be very very unlucky people have died.

        And if you live on the coast near the beach…its not if you get sun burnt, its how many times , and how badly.

        Have you ever seen a Full Blood First Australian? Australia has one of the highest UV radiation rates on the planet and thus the Blackest People (people with the highest melenin

        “Dark-skinned populations inhabiting South Asia, Africa, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia all live in some of the areas with the highest UV radiation in the world, and have evolved very dark skin pigmentations as protection from the harmful sun rays.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_skin

        Apart from an Irish Red Head..a Whitey from Blighty is the worst , most ill equipped Human that should NOT be on the Australian Continent and that’s why our skin cancer death rates are among the highest in the World.

        Bob.I note your kids are all wearing sun suits, but please slip slop and slap them ( i.e put sun-burn creme on their exposed skin) so it becomes second nature to them by the time they are older.

        And as so many Brits come to your excellent site in regards to coming to live hear and the fact that our sunny days and beaches are one of the biggest draw cards to do so…PLEASE give them warning of this danger…if you have lived in England all your life, it would not even be a thought or consideration…it is not an issue on the most sunniest day possible …versus one sunny day here…I can’t tell you how many “Poms” were crisped to 3rd degree sunburn on their 1st few days in Australia when we were growing up surfing in Sydney, and we just laughed…not realizing the real damage/danger.

        Sorry…I have no intention of scaring you silly, but it is something you MUST give a moments thought to, and felt I had to say this to you….

        Best Regards,

        Brett Courtenay

        • Hilary January 19, 2015, 9:29 pm |

          Hi Brett
          Definitely agree with you on this one. When I think of all the sunbathing we did years ago when the dangers of the sun were unknown… we used to put oil and vinegar on our skin in a feeble attempt to get the ‘new’ Mediterranean tanned look. Oh boy, that sunburn damn well hurt!

          Nowadays we are meant to be wiser, have protective creams and lots more info about the dangers, we don’t have to walk around smelling like a bag of chips! Being a jolly sort of person I never missed an opportunity to remind long-suffering workmates that the sun is a nuclear explosion, which it is, and anyone with sunburn actually had radiation burns (and this was in the UK). Went down like a lead balloon of course but it does make people think.

          • BobinOz January 21, 2015, 6:51 pm |

            Hi Brett and Hilary, yes, you are both right to be warning of the dangers of skin cancer here in Australia and Brett, those are some fascinating facts and figures you’ve posted here for my readers. Looking back on the answer I gave earlier, it is a little misleading.

            It is true to say that I don’t worry about it in terms of myself, but there are reasons for that. I was nearly 50 when I moved here, so already the majority of my life has been spent under the mild UK sun, I think I would probably have to go some to create problems for myself here now. Especially as I do always wear T-shirts that cover my shoulders, often a hat and sunnies and I do also walk in the shade is much as possible.

            I am also not much of a beach person, in fact nothing bores me more than sitting in the sun on a sandy beach. That said, my daughter loves the beach and we do take her there on occasions and the timing of your comments is good because we’ve just had three days on the beach and yes, I did get slightly burnt, but not much. I have never, for example, burnt to the extent where my skin would peel. So I think I’ve kept myself pretty safe.

            As I said earlier, I personally do not wear sun screen, but we are fanatical about it with our daughter who, as you can probably see, is blonde. She has zinc on the face, regular sun screen and she also, much to her disgust, has to wear a rashie whenever she goes swimming. My wife will make her top up the sun screen every few hours as well.

            I remember when we first got here that my wife was quite keen to buy a convertible car, “you must be kidding” I said. I would have thought this is the silliest country in the world in which to drive around in a convertible. I sort of maintain that I don’t worry about it, but I am aware and I take your point, I should make other people aware as well.

            I’m going to make a note, I’ll do some research and I will put up a full post about skin cancer in Australia presenting the kind of facts you’ve given me here just to make sure that people do know that it is wise to cover up, not to sunbake, and be aware of the dangers of the sun here in Australia.

            I’m sure you both agree that this isn’t a problem providing people take the right steps to safeguard against getting sunburnt and therefore increasing the risk of developing a skin cancer.

            Thanks for reminding me of the importance of this issue.

            Cheers, Bob

  • ahmad December 27, 2013, 11:49 pm |

    hi bob my name is ahmad i’m living in belgium since12year ago and i hat it since the first day here right now ..bad weather bad work i’m really hop to move to australy but i dont know wich city is more nice and modern and more work and cheaper than the other brisban or sidney can tell me about them thak you bob

    • BobinOz December 29, 2013, 3:55 pm |

      Brisbane is cheaper but Sydney has more work, so not straight forward I’m afraid.

  • Chris Hall December 18, 2013, 10:39 am |

    Dear Bob,
    Wishing you a very happy Christmas, and thanks for all the wonderful posts in your infomrative and amusing blog. I have been following BobinOz for a few months now since I found your site when researching the differential costs of beer. We moved to Melbourne from the NW of England in 2006 and many of the things you write about I can empathise with. We might not have the same climate, spiders, and snakes down here as you do in Brissy but it’s similarly different from Manchester.

    Given the nova that we can see this week close to the Southern Cross in the night sky. I wonderered if you had written a piece about the difference in the stars compared to those back in Blighty. I couldn’t find any mention with a quick search. Looking upwards at night at first I found it really odd not to be able to see Cassiopea and to see Orion upside down. The view of the Milky Way away from the city sky glow, is spectacular though.I’m getting used to it now and am continuing to explore lots of the cosmos you can’t see from the northern hemisphere. Another good excuse to think about emigration perhaps 🙂

    • BobinOz December 19, 2013, 12:52 am |

      Hi Chris

      Funny you should say that, but yes, I have considered writing about the gazing down here, it is infinitely better down here due to their being less light pollution around. When I was on my Australian road trip, we drove through Parkes which I believe is regarded as one of the stargazing capitals of the world.

      You’ve only got to look at the sky at night to understand why that is, it’s glorious.

      The only reason I haven’t written anything about it is because a) I know nothing about the stars and b) you just can’t capture the beauty of the stars with a camera, well, at least not my camera.

      If I can overcome those two hurdles, I’ll definitely write something about stargazing in Australia for sure.

      Shame about the cost of beer though, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Joyce Stephenson July 18, 2013, 12:15 pm |

    Hi Bob well my husband and I have are now in Auss we got our retirement visa and arrived here in march we are in Adelaide.We love it here,but the problem is settling down and feeling that this is home,we would love to meet people our age which is 60 + but don’t now how,I was wondering if any of your followers could help,thank you. Joyce xxx

    • BobinOz July 18, 2013, 4:50 pm |

      Hi Joyce

      Congratulations on your move, I’m sure you will settle down soon.

      I think it might be an idea to ask this question on my page about Adelaide, somebody from over that way may be able to suggest things you can do to meet people. Making friends, as you probably realise, is really important to make you feel at home and settled, so it’s important to try make these connections.

      He is a link to the page about Adelaide.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Juliette November 3, 2012, 9:58 am |

    The last picture is taken from Sylvan Beach Fish Cafe! Can’t count how many times I sat in there eating a fisherman’s basket!

    • BobinOz November 5, 2012, 1:26 pm |

      Well spotted Juliette, you are correct. It’s the cafe on Bribie Island and it was a fantastic way to end our day, not surprised you go there regularly.

  • Geraldine October 31, 2012, 8:26 am |

    Ha Bob as I looked at the pics of the UK I too thought doesn’t it look grey . Although there are some gorgeous colours on the autum leaves it was flippin freezing today and as for standing in Goodison on Sunday for the Derby well I couldn’t get any more layers of clothes on and we are not even in the depths of Winter yet. We can’t wait to watch the footie in a t-shirt for the novelty of it ha ha.

    • BobinOz November 1, 2012, 5:24 pm |

      Ha ha! Jumpers and coats, I remember those 🙂

  • Joyce October 30, 2012, 9:01 pm |

    Hi, i also made the wonderful move to Australia roughly 2 years ago. I went from cold, rainy, also grey sky looking Holland to sunny, warm and friendly Australia. I don’t think i’ve ever made a better decision in my life so far ! (never mind the fact i got married here) but i’ll have to add that yes, the sky is always more blue here than i can remember anywhere else it also features Red! haha. the hotter it gets land inwards the redder the ground gets. that’s still such a change for me, the ground isn’t black or brown, it’s red or orange!
    Regards, Joyce.

    • BobinOz November 1, 2012, 5:03 pm |

      Well yes, I agree with you on that. We went to the centre of Australia and if you check out my post about it here, you’ll see some photos of the sky towards the end, certainly has hints of red.

      Can’t beat it, can you?

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