Melbourne Bound

| January 3, 2014

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Melbourne Bound

For Tom Armstrong, a moderately successful accountant living comfortably in Oxford, turning thirty sparks a premature mid-life crisis. Something is missing in Tom’s life, but he can’t put his finger on it. A fresh start feels like the best way forward, somewhere new, somewhere different. Not being the overly adventurous type, Melbourne is as good a spot as any for Tom to head for. The locals speak English, of sorts, and amazingly the place is crying out for bean counters.

Disappointed that Australia is overrun by Brits, Tom decides that he should make his Australian experience as authentic as possible. He vows to avoid the ex-pat crowd, and instead strives to be embraced by the locals, particularly the female ones. His quest to find the authentic Australia proves to be harder than it sounds.

Tom’s travels around the country provide insight into the locals and himself. He almost catches frostbite in the middle of an Australian summer, takes a ride with a suspected spy, dribbles alcohol down his shirt before noon, and develops a novel technique to avoid being eaten by sharks.

But he learns the most about what makes Australia tick from the Greek couple living nextdoor and his coffee-obsessed number-crunching colleagues. He discovers a reality that is far removed from the clichéd version of Australia that he’d watched on late afternoon TV as a distraction from school homework.

An Australian version of Tom is emerging. But an unexpected homesickness starts to slow his transition to becoming ‘true blue’. Cravings for cloudy days, proper football and old pals get stronger. Until a new romance casts them all aside. Just as Melbourne begins to feel like home, a spanner is thrown into the works. It’s time for Tom to decide what really matters.

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