Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day

We are just coming to the end of Australia Day, the Australian national celebration of being Australian! Although the date of the holiday, January 26th commemorates the day in 1788 that the First Fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour, like the US Labour Day weekend it also signals the end of holiday and start of school, as a result I feel as if I am having a delayed New Year event. Having had a fairly glorious summer holiday, including a trip back to the UK to wallow in the bosom of our respective families and snow, before scampering back to Sydney and the sunshine, I now feel real life starts again tomorrow thus giving me complete liberty to eat and drink anything I can find tonight on the grounds healthy living begins 27th Jan in this household. Husband having initially mocked idea that scales were reading wrong with a variety of unkind remarks, was shocked and horrified by the result when he stood on them and rushed out to buy a high tech number – first set of scales I have ever stood on where assuming a dying swan ballet pose on one leg fails to make the needle sink.

We spent Australia Day out on Sydney Harbour pottering round in small boat, anchoring off a stretch of national park coastline that looks much as it must have done when the British arrived. It was a beautiful day and the harbour buzzed with boats of every size from mega motorboats complete with staff handing round nibbles, to small tinnies and dinghies. The water in the bay where we had lunch was so clear and sandy that we saw fairy penguins flitting round the rocks and weed – seems bizarre I know to have penguins in the sunshine but then Australia does specialize in bizarre animals – goodness knows what average British convict thought when he first saw a kangaroo.

Australia Day fell on a Tuesday this year, both husband and I worked Monday which made us a bit of a rarity, as according to Sydney radio at least 500.000 Australians were expected to ‘throw a sickie’ on Monday, making it a four day weekend. Actually the ‘sickie’ is much less of a tradition than it used to be – when I first started working in Sydney in 1991 when you used to ask people how much holiday they had left for the year, they used to reply “Oh 4 days, and 10 days sick leave”

We had a wonderful week down the coast last week – I am sure some of misery of going back to work on Monday was due to the fact that when I opened up my phone to put it onto mute to save me from the excruciating embarrassment of it ringing in middle of headmaster’s speech a pile of sand fell out and I was immediately transported back to Jervis Bay and white sandy beaches and bays, sparsely populated by humans but with dolphins, kangaroos and echidnas, (Australian version of a hedgehog). I should point out the omens for our week away with the in laws didn’t look good – as we arrived at holiday destination we discovered house we thought we had rented was in a completely different street – ho hum slightly embarrassing as we had brought in laws down with much trumpeting of fabulous house that great friends of ours stayed in only to discover that fuelled by late night alcoholic search of internet we had actually booked a completely different house and even more embarrassingly completely failed to realize error until sitting outside the friends’ ex rental looking dolefully both at the street map and at the family that was clearly in possession of desirable beach house we had thought ours. Fortunately the house we had actually rented was fine – thank God I had actually written down the address for my in laws, otherwise we might have been touring the area for some time.

Returned home – minus in laws who opted to stay on in search of south coast sun and sea, which is probably just as well each of the Drama Queens had a dramatic moment of emergency with insect life on our return – one with a cockroach, one with large cricket and one involving nit comb – dealt with them all but did crawl into bed on Sunday night feeling life didn’t hold much more excitement.

Happy Australia Day!

1 comment:

  1. You have an interesting blog. I have a blog where I feature photos of Sydney every day.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs