Saturday, 25 January 2014

2014 Australia Day preparations

Our flag tells a bit of history and a bit about life.
I am planning something for our little family for tomorrow, 26 January, Australia Day.
I expect that we will participate in the Australia Day Walk in my city, eat lamingtons for morning tea, enjoy a relaxing afternoon of watching Wolf Creek on DVD, and finish with a really nice dinner of roast lamb. What could be more Aussie than that??? Unless I was playing cricket against Britain and beating them of course.

Australia Day commemorates the arrival in Botany Bay of the First Fleet, containing the first permanent white settlers. There had been contact with travellers from other countries prior to this, but no permanent settlement. It has become a day to celebrate what we love about the nation we have become.

As in all countries we are a mixture - good, bad, foolish, educated, talented, rich, poor, old, and young. Some work to protect our natural heritage, others to provide a just political system. Some work for themselves; some work for others; some don't work. There are those who want to live on welfare and handouts and call Poor Bugger Me. There are other Aussies who work hard to create a future for themselves and others that will be better than what exists now.

Li Cunxin
Australia Day brings with it recognition of people who make an outstanding contribution to the community. Each state and territory has Australians of the Year and there is a national award as well. My favourite for this year is Li Cunxin the famous ballet dancer who now is an Australian citizen. If you have read his book, Mao's Last Dancer, or seen him interviewed you will know he is a remarkable person. He now lives in Brisbane where he is artistic director of the Queensland ballet.

If you like the slightly quirky, this is one local event being held at the Humpty Doo Hotel, just a little way out of town. Would you like to place a bet? No, I won't either, but after a few cool drinks at the bar enough people will. Best of all the show continues even in the rain.

It has not rained at all today - so far. I can see lots of blue sky. A cruise liner, the Seadream II, is in port. Not far from my window the Chung Wah Society are rehearsing for Chinese New Year. Workers in hi-vis clothing are trying to get as much work done as possible on the tall buildings while the rain holds off. Life is looking pretty good right now. I should make a batch of jam drops.

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