Friday, January 25, 2008

Australia Day

January 26th is Australia Day which is becoming much more of a celebration of who we are now than it ever was when I was a kid. It is a day when thousands become citizens of this country, when friends get together for barbecues and simple celebrations of what makes us what we are. And if you were to ask me to define what is Australian I couldn't really tell you. We are cynics, irreverant and brash, self-deprecating, bold sometimes when we need to be and with a confidence that belies our age as a nation.

For those who don't know Australia Day marks the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788. A fleet of 11 ships containing some 780 convicts and 200 soldiers and sailors. Amongst them was a lady called Elizabeth Cole from whom my children are descended through their mother. Elizabeth had a child to a marine on the First Fleet by the name of William Ellis, but later on married James Tucker who had arrived on the second fleet and to whom she had several more children. In the early years, with the colony near starving, Elizabeth and James were sent with others to Norfolk Island. Whilst there James was caught breaking into other settlers huts and was offered a choice - he could become the hangman on the island or be hung himself.

Elizabeth then took up with another Second Fleeter by the name of Richard Burroughs and it is through that union that my children are descended.

On my side there are also four Irish convicts, all of whom were transported during the years of the Potatoe Famine in Ireland. If I were to claim any specific ethnicity it would be Irish being descended from people on both sides of the orange and the green. The rest of me is a mixture of Scot, Pom and Aboriginal.

So my children do have a proud heritage. On my side they have ancestors who have been here since the dreamtime and on their mothers side it reaches back to the very beginning of European settlement in this country.

We have never been great ones to stand up and sing our national anthem although the practice is beginning to catch on. I think however that Advance Australia Fair is a particularly hard song to sing well and in my opinion the following song from the Seekers captures the essence of Australia in a far more meaningful way.

So because it's Australia Day allow me to indulge myself with some linklove for some of my fellow Aussie Bloggers. Please drop in and visit them on our special day.

Snoskred - Life in the Country
Blogging Sueblimely
On Blogging Australia
Linda and Her Surroundings
Lady Penelope's Thoughts
Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe
Aussie Bloggers
Just A Matter of Perspective
Secluded Habitat
My Big World of Crap
My Little Drummer Boys
Road Less Travelled Blog
Dancing with Frogs
Listening to Frogs
Scarlet Words
The Cerebral Mum
Joh Blogs Because I can
Magneto Bold Too
Miscellaneous Adventures of an Aussie Mum
Imagine if Child Protection Became Serious Bsiness
Semantically Driven
Red Sultana
Discovering Australia

Most of the above have been around for a while now, so I thought I'd also link to some of the Aussie bloggers I am less familiar with who have introduced themselves on the Aussie Bloggers Forum.

Stuff with thing
Even in a Little Thing
Jack of All Trades
Dave Willison
Stories from a Girl Geek
2 Blog or not 2 Blog
Scraps of Mind
LizWis - Lady of Leisure
Peter Black's Freedom to Differ
Scott Yang's Playground
Everybody Knows
Boneblowers Word
Much Ado about sumthin
Urban Monk
Pure Caffeine
A Roaming Aussie Mum
Beyond 30
Jeanie in Paradise
Bridget's Flame
High Riser
Dances to the Beet of her own Drum
Feed the Girl
No Regrets but Plenty of Memories
My Journey to Eliminate Debt
Polka Dot Bride
Not a Ballerina
Karen Cheng's Snippets of Life
Welcome to the Enny-Pen
My Digital Life

If there are any other Aussie Bloggers who happen to check this post and want to be linked just comment, let me know your URL and I'll update the list here.


Finn said...

Happy Australia Day!

So glad you all are getting back in touch with a sense of country and heritage. It's so important.

Gypsy said...

What a wonderful family history you have Loz. I have always had an endless fascination with our history, it is one of my favourite subjects.

Great song but I think that would be too many lyrics for most Aussies to

I had no idea there were so many Aussie blogs and thanks for making me first. Happy Australia Day to you and your family. Have a wonderful day off.

sfgirl said...

Happy Australia Day, Loz! Oh, I have a present for you here:

Albert | UrbanMonk.Net said...

Happy Australia day, and thank you kindly for the link.

Loz said...

Hi Finn and thanks - Oddly enough even though today is Australia Day the public holiday is on Monday so I've just been out and done some shopping for my Thailand trip next week. It was amazing how many young people were walking around draped in our flag or in our national colours of green and gold. It never happened when I was growing up so there has been a real change in attitude over recent years.

By the way, I've never understood why our flag is red white and blue but our national colours are green and gold. There's something about that which appeals to my sense of humour though.

Loz said...

Hi Gypsy - you were the first fellow Aussie blogger I came across so of course you would be first on the list.

I agree about the length of the song but it's the same now isn't it. Hardly anyone knows the second verse of Advance Australia Fair.

Loz said...

Dear Nina thanks for the wishes. Now what am I to think about being tagged for the "7 Weird things about me meme"?

Loz said...

Thank you Albert and you're welcome :)

Kim said...

Great Post Laurie
I was listening to that song today (at the cricket on the TV)....certainly one that gives you goosebumps :)
have a great Australia Day evening :)

Ian said...

Loz - thanks for the link. I like that song much more than Advance Australia Fair. Your family goes back just a little further in Australia than mine, we're 2nd fleet on my mum's side and not much after that on my dad's.

Andrew said...

Oh dear, how did I come across your blog. Seekers, you must be really really old. No matter, I like the way you write. I am a bit dangerous, so don't add me and I am not asking. Happy Australia Day.

Colin Campbell said...

Can't say that I was completely familiar with this story but thanks for filling in this transitional Aussie. Yesterday I bought a lawnmower and assembled the barbie and cooked on it, watched the cricket and drank beer. Will that pass muster for Australia Day? Hope you had a good one.

Colin Campbell said...

And that Aussie National Anthem, I still can't get all the worlds despite attending numerous school assemblies with my kids.

Christine said...

A belated Happy Australia Day !
Are you on Facebook because I have a Mmm-menopauz group there, and we could use some yang energy.

Loz said...

Hi Ian - funny how convict ancestors are now a badge of honour isn't it.

Loz said...

Andrew - funny I don't feel that old but you're right, I must be. And I've added you to the list anyway.

Loz said...

Kim - I reckon that is the one song that sums up everything about us

Loz said...

Colin - I reckon you've done very well. Not sure about using a lawn mower as a BBQ though/

Loz said...

Christine I am on Facebook but I've just done a search for that group and can't find it. Can you let me know exactly where to look?

Pen and the Sword said...

Just goes to show who really owns the blogging circuit ;o) You guys rock! Viva Australia!

I so want to go to Australia some day... always have since I was a kid. Australians are just fun people, IMO :o)

Loz said...

Hi Pen - we only think we do ;)

And you should know that if ever you do get to Melbourne that you will have a place to stay :)

Shinade said...

Happy Australia Day!!!

Oh I do so wish I had known earlier and I would have done a post.

Also Loz I keep fueling you at FuelMyBlog....but, your numbers aren't moving.

I don't even know if you care...but, wanted to let you know that they are not working.

I hope you have a great week:):)

Loz said...

Hi Jackie - thanks for that I'll head over and have a look