Friday, January 26, 2007

australia day

It's the 26th January and we've all had the day off work... well some of us did anyway.

Why such luxury only a month after Christmas when we enjoyed oodles of public holidays?

Because it's summer and the government decided to give us a chance to get out and enjoy the weather? Because after time off at Christmas, we're all out of condition and need a breather if we're going to make it into February without too many sick days? Because it's good for business - the extra day off makes us more productive on Monday?

Wrong, wrong and wrong!
(Though I would suggest that four day working weeks are good for everyone's productivity!)

No, none of the above - it's Australia Day, when we celebrate the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip on Australian turf in 1788. OK - how many of you thought it was Captain James Cook who stuck the flag in the ground on that fateful day? I admit to thinking hard before remembering James Cook discovered these sunny shores, Arthur Phillip colonised them.

Back to the story... Captain Arthur Phillip landed on Australian turf on this day 119 years ago. Only it wasn't really Australian turf and he stuffed things up for the Aborigines well and good. So we don't really celebrate Captain Arthur Phillip and his merry convicts anymore - we do our very best to forget them. Instead we take time out to participate in all those things that make us Australian.

Like eating Weetbix for breakfast. (I confess I ate porridge). And Vegemite on toast. (Yes, I had some for lunch) And firing up the barbie. (Not burning Barbie... just a barbeque, though maybe one could argue that the Aussie BBQ is just as inhumane) And going to the beach. (Far too blustery and cold for that in Tasmania today!) And waving the flag. (Did enough of that last year when we were in Sydney on Australia Day, for the last day of our honeymoon) All this to celebrate being Australian!

It's the one day of the year we turn patriotic. (Aussies aren't really known for national pride - unless it comes to sport)

When I stop and think about it, it is good to be Australian - we live in a beautiful country; people are friendly and kind; the lifestyle is up there with the best in the world; not too many people live here so there's space (admittedly most of it's in the desert, but never mind); we are safe and free and prosperous. Life is good in this wonderful country.

So thank you to the people who declared the 26th January a public holiday! I appreciate the chance to remember how blessed I am - and I love the extra day off work.

Happy Australia Day!

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At 12:02 am, January 27, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

Happy holiday Cecily and to everyone else that is forunate enough to have the day off work. I don't understand the food you eat though? I'll have to research that.

At 6:17 am, January 27, 2007, Blogger Robyn said...

LOL, I made lamingtons and felt very patiriotic doing it! :)
The public holiday has totally thrown my week out though, it felt like a Saturday so today feels like Sunday - very muddling but oh so nice to have an extra day in the weekend :)

At 1:47 pm, January 27, 2007, Anonymous Paige said...

I love random days off for National Holidays. So sweet of you to talk about your country! You're more patriotic than I.
I'm not sure about Australia though... I've been reading and so far I've heard several incidents of spiders and one where you describe a baby earwig as "darling"! I'm not so sure on the perspective!


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