Australia Day


Soon we will have another day off. Just when I was rejoicing things were getting back to normal. I so wish we could just celebrate things without special days. Can’t all days be a bit special and normal? There seems to be an obligation about ‘special days’, and when many don’t feel any different there is the danger of feeling rejected and then dejection might easily follow. I mean, are we going to wake up different, jump out of bed next Monday and feel elated because it is Australia day? Will I not make the first coffee of the day, overlook the previous night’s dishes and the red stained wine glasses all left in the sink filled with cold greasy water with on top floating a halo of onion infused film of grease?

I noticed at the local supermarkets there was an atmosphere again of rejuvenation and optimism with a kind lady smiling at me in the butter section. Why is it that the dairy divisions of supermarkets seem to attract friendly customers? Perhaps it is the nature of those basic ingredients; butter, cheese, milk and yogurt that brings out our inherent friendliness.

The Christmas did take a lot out of people. With the public holiday next Monday, this feeling of a growing sense of normalcy returning while still so fragile, could well unravel easily. Routine gets disturbed.

I always felt that when overseas, especially in warm tropical countries, ever day often seemed a celebration and one lost the idea of it being a Sunday or even a lousy Wednesday. Is it a peculiar western thing to have days off to celebrate something?

Anyway, even Eurocentric Aldi is now selling those collapsible blue canvassed chairs with a kind of Southern Star Australian emblem screen printed on the seating. I suppose it is meant to be sat upon while watching the fireworks next Monday, Australia Day. I haven’t looked closely to see if it has one of those fish netted pouches to put a drink in. In advertising those chairs I noticed that Harvey Norman mentions those chairs as including having a…..’ drink station.’

At no stage have people on the streets ever been as thirsty as now. I can’t remember, (I could be wrong) but in my youth we never crossed streets while sipping some liquid from a bottle. It was never such a harrowing experience crossing a street in fear of dehydration before having reached the other side. Yet, today almost all have a bottle clutched in the hand and a mobile phone in the other. I suppose to call triple zero in case the other side hasn’t been reached.

Whatever, it must be such a boon for those drinks manufacturers. Can you imagine paying $ 3.20 for a bottle of water? As a young boy I used to lay awake in glorious anticipation of getting a drink of orange cordial next morning at my birthday. They were prepared by my mother the day before. Whole rows of them all filled to the same level and covered by a tea towel.  The drinks would be shared by my brothers and sister and invited friends.

Now, young people buy a fizzy drink, take a sip, and chuck the still almost full full bottle in the local park in contemptible defiance. I have often been tempted to pick up one of those almost full bottles and take a sip, perhaps as a way of atonement or making amends for those days of frugal pasts. I doubt however if the taste of those abandoned cola or other fizzy drinks could ever reach the delicious heights of those post war cordials waiting under mum’s tea towel in anticipation of next morn’s birthday…

How the sun keeps rising for the lucky young able to cross streets, take sips and then chuck away the almost full bottles?

We never took that kind of liberty for granted.

As for Australia Day. It should celebrate something, some event or happening. Is there an Argentine day, an Italy day or even a Finland day? I find it difficult to celebrate  being a larrikin or fond of sport and drinking. Perhaps it ought to be a celebration of something else, a kind of celebration of our artistic achievements, what with Australian aboriginal rock and cave art and present aboriginal art being unique and very Australian. Then we have Patrick White and Sydney Nolan as well…together, very Australian.

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8 Responses to “Australia Day”

  1. Lottie Nevin Says:

    ‘A drink station’….whatever next?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Those chairs might well come with full throw away bottles next. 🙂


  3. auntyuta Says:

    Ah, lamingtons! We bought some today for Australia Day. I love to eat them. And makes me feel I am an Aussie.
    The soft drinks are loaded with sugar. People who drink a full bottle each day get far too much sugar into their system, so I believe. But I also think that bottles, whether empty or half full, should be disposed of in a responsible way.
    We had some pure orange juice with our lunch and of course some water too. In the evening news I saw how Australia Day was celebrated in different parts of Australia. Some events on the water looked liked fun and a joy to watch. And what about the Australians who were honoured for their achievements? Was it 500 of them?
    Every country has a certain amount of Public Holidays. If the Public Holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday we get an extra holiday on Monday. I can’t see anything wrong with this. Most working Australians work pretty hard. I think they deserve to get their holidays in full. For us as pensioners it may not be so important. For us every day can be a holiday, right?


  4. auntyuta Says:

    P.S. I love Aboriginal rock art and painting!


  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, I agree that public holidays are important and that Australia day is ‘special’. Glad you enjoy and appreciate the rock art. I am also happy to hear Dr/ Professor Brian Schmidt, our own Nobel price winning space scientist, rejoicing in his award speech, saying Australia is badly lagging in educational standards and if we don’t fix this now it might well be too late.
    There are whole generations of young people having lost the skill in understanding and using ‘words’. Literacy levels have fallen so badly that many can only express themselves through texting and saying ‘stuff like that’ and ‘you know?’
    “No, we don’t know if you can’t express yourself clearly.”


  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    How are you enjoying Berlin Uta? Your apartment looks nice and your pictures lovely. We finally had some good soaking rain.


  7. Dejan Says:

    Hi Gerard. Yes, we’re thirsty (and we’re hungry) and there’s no stopping that. I suppose habits are forming over decades and one cannot simply wish them away. And for all I know there might be addictive substances in those fizzy drinks. I certainly couldn’t get enough of Coca Cola when I was little, luckily I grew out of it.


  8. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hello Dejan,
    Coca Cola was introduced in all schools in Holland during the early fifties. Every child was given a free coke. I suppose it was part of the US Marshall plan to help Europe back on its feet. Already then, America used some questionable tactics in establishing rampant capitalism by using children as front-line troops.


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