Here is my second entry into the Memories on Mondays prompt site, run by JTS 's blog, she is on my sidebar. Go have a look or join in the prompt if you wish. It is fun. And.... it does not have to be Monday to play.
Today is Wednesday and it is Australia Day. Pete and I went into the city to have a look at the festivities which run all day in all the towns around Australia. Ah........ I am proud to be an Aussie.
We partook of the freebie BBQ breakfast and had a barbecued sausage in bread and a cup of tea and bit of fruit. A nice nectarine, wonderful stuff we have acess to in an Aussie summer.
Today dawned hot with expectation of temperatures in the mid to high 30's. Summer as it should be. I am not complaining as we have so far this summer, had quite mild weather compared to the temperatures we put up with most years. There have been just a small handful of days with temperatures above the 30 mark this year.
Anyway. This post includes my memories of very very recent events, in fact they are just a few short hours old right now.
The park in the centre of Canberra is called Commonwealth park and it surrounds Lake Burley Griffin. Walter Burley Griffin is the bloke who planned and designed Canberra . He and his wife entered and won the competition to do so almost a hundred years ago. Our centenary is 2013. So, Canberra is a new city and is our countries capital.
We ate our breakfast and watched and listened to a brass band with a pretty good singer heading it. Swing and Jazz style music. There were lots of little kids running around together and playing with their parents. One small group was playing right in front of us with an elastic stretched between their legs, the little girls doing their version of jumping in and out of the elastic in the same game I played as a child. Their little brother, not quite big and coordinated enough to join in, was helped by Dad who lifted him over with huge smiles on his face. Another two little boys were playing and running with their Dad using long blown up balloons as swords. So cute, kids are wonderful. Other Dads played with blow up beach balls. One little bloke about 3 years old was sure to have a sportsman's future. Very good he was. It was a lovely place to people watch. It is also nice to see Fathers of today spend valuable time with their children on a special day set out for the purpose. Years ago the Dads drank beer while the Mums did the child raring, mostly alone. I am proud to say that the multicultural society we have today has been a positive improvement. Men from the Asian and European countries seem to be much more hands on with their offspring than the ones from the the U.K. countries.
While sitting under the trees this morning I was watching the colony of fruit bats that live there. They were disturbed by the crowd and the event activities. They are strange critters. They are quite large, and have taken up residence in a dozen or so large trees beside the sound stage. They spend their time there awaiting dusk each day, to fly out over the city and raid gardens for their food. Today they were screeching and squawking and fluttering their wings to cool themselves in the heat. Often taking off in flight when disturbed to resettle again in the trees. They are normally nocturnal but can obviously, by their antics, fly and move about easily in the full light of the day.
The bats were very upset by a flyover of three very noisy f111 jets and took a long time to settle afterward. I guess seeing and hearing those giant birdies flying past was a big threat to the bats who are the top of their own food chain. It really topped off the 21 gun salute in the flag raising ceremony for them. Hahahaha
We watched the flag raising ceremony and the citizenship ceremony. The flag didn't have enough breeze to open it out to its full glory and fly in the wind.They were both overseen by our Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She is our first female in that job. The style people have certainly been coaching her, her hair was beautiful and her dress, a white suit was immaculate. I want hair that color, hahaha. There were 50 new Australians naturalized in Canberra today at the ceremony. It was a happy thing to watch and I was pleasantly surprised to see our new prime minister's warmth in handling the people presented to her as she presented their citizenship certificates to them. There was an assortment of names coming from many countries. One of the awardees was a girl of probably eight or nine years old, while another woman was probably in her 70's. They both got a hug and a kiss off Julia, as did some of the others. Nice.
The part of the ceremony for Australia day that we watched is only a small part of the Australia day festivities. Which also include picnics, concerts and fireworks tonight as well as other assorted events around town. There was a concert on the lawns of Parliament house last night, just down the road from here, which was televised, including the Australia day awards. Citizen of the year etc. Don't ask me who was awarded, I don't remember names.
I have had 51 Australia Days in my life. Some lovely memories. Such as when we went with our cousins to the Hume weir near Albury from Wagga and spent the day picnicking, swimming and canoeing. I still love canoes, and to own one again is on my "To Do" list. Hmm, maybe after my little car is registered early next month, it will be allowed to move higher up that list.
Or, the days spent at the botanic gardens in Wagga when my children were little, eating ice blocks, fairy floss and BBQ sausages and playing on the water fountains and slides which are set out on the lawns for the day, and, handling the resultant sunburns that are endemic to the 26th of January in Australia.
Australia Day, yeah I know...( I should have put this explanation at the start of the post), is the day Captain James Cook first set foot on Australian soil and claimed it for England. So here we are, two hundred and twenty three years later.
Progress, good for some, bad for others eh?