It’s Australia Day

1valchloesmall Anne here, with an unhappy dog, sitting on my feet as close as she can get. Why? The fireworks have started. She hates fireworks.  And why the fireworks? It's 26th January, Australia Day and a national public holiday.

To be honest, I wish it wasn't on 26th January. It's not the timing — it's summer time here, which is a good time for a celebration. But the 26th January 1788 is the date when the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Cove from Britain, and began the colonization process. It's not a day the indigenous people of this country celebrate; in fact many of them consider it a day of mourning for the inevitable destruction that followed. 

So I'd rather celebrate my country on a day where public opinion is not so divided and where all Australians can participate wholeheartedly, perhaps a date like May 9th, which is when the first Australian Parliament met in 1900.  Yes, we're a young country. Australia is the oldest continent in geographical terms, but as a nation, we're very young indeed.

Prior to 1900, Australia was not one country, but a collection of separate colonies, each with their own government, though all were under British rule. Federation took place officially on January 1st 1900, and the first parliament met on May 9th, so for me, that's the most appropriate day to celebrate the birth of a nation.

So what do we all do on Australia Day? A lot of people will spend the day at the beach. For many it's the end of the summer holidays, so this is the last family time before we all slip back into the regular routine of work, school, etc. 
BeachCricket
Traditionally it's a day for barbecues or picnics and sport — home-made or watching it live or on TV. The Australian Open is playing in Melbourne (my home city) for those who love tennis, and for those who don't, there is a one day cricket match (Australia Vs England played I think, in Adelaide) and if those choices don't please you, there's basketball in Sydney.

But this year a lot of people are dealing with the devastation caused by major flooding in Queensland, New South Wales and parts of Victoria. To give you some idea, the flooded area was about the same size as New South Wales, 312, 500 square miles. (As a comparison, Texas is 268, 500 sq. miles.) And in Victoria, my home state,  my dad's birthplace is flooded and people in the north-west are still filling sandbags and waiting for the floods to peak.
Qldfloods
Much of the affected area is agricultural land, so farmers' crops have been wiped out and the small towns dependent on them will be struggling. The city of Brisbane flooded, its centre drowned. Full recovery will take years.
Swimmingcows
What has been heartwarming, though, is the way so many people have been pitching in to help. Complete strangers descending to help with sandbagging and evacuation, and in already devastated areas, arriving to help with the clean-up, supplying people with whatever they need, and taking in people/families who are homeless, raising money to help the flood victims and doing whatever they can. Supermarkets and chain stores all over the country are centers for the collection of donations.  Local rescue and reconstruction organizations and government bodies are coordinating the huge number of volunteers. It was the same two years ago when we had terrible bushfires in my state.
Hands

(And by the way, Romance Writers of Australia are collecting books to donate to the flood devastated communities, and the Australian Romance Readers Association are having a silent auction to raise money, so if you'd like to help, click on the links above.) 

This is what I celebrate on Australia Day — the way so many of my fellow Aussies, of all walks of life and cultural backgrounds and from all corners of this huge country, pitch in to help. 
FlagInPool
And I'd bet my bottom dollar that on this Australia Day holiday, despite the hardship and misery, a lot of the flood victims will have stopped the clean-up to barbecue a sausage or two and have a drink with friends and neighbors, just to prove they might be down, but they're not out. And then they'll go back to work.

What about you? Suffered from severe weather events lately? Ever been to Australia?  Did you see Oprah in Australia?  What did you think? 
And if you're an Aussie, how did you spend this Australia Day?

105 thoughts on “It’s Australia Day”

  1. Am sitting here watching yet another snowstorm raging outside my window, with a foot or so expected on top of the nearly 3 ft we’ve had this month. I have never seen this much snow here, ever! Sigh. But my life is not threatened and my house is intact, so am not complaining. Having seen what your fellow Aussies endured with the floods, I think we all realized how things can change in a flash. Hearts out to everyone suffering from natural disasters all over the world.
    I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s at the top of my Wish List. Will be watching the great Aussie Open tennis this weekend (and rooting for Federer) and wishing I was there!
    Have fun at your conference and retreat!

    Reply
  2. Am sitting here watching yet another snowstorm raging outside my window, with a foot or so expected on top of the nearly 3 ft we’ve had this month. I have never seen this much snow here, ever! Sigh. But my life is not threatened and my house is intact, so am not complaining. Having seen what your fellow Aussies endured with the floods, I think we all realized how things can change in a flash. Hearts out to everyone suffering from natural disasters all over the world.
    I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s at the top of my Wish List. Will be watching the great Aussie Open tennis this weekend (and rooting for Federer) and wishing I was there!
    Have fun at your conference and retreat!

    Reply
  3. Am sitting here watching yet another snowstorm raging outside my window, with a foot or so expected on top of the nearly 3 ft we’ve had this month. I have never seen this much snow here, ever! Sigh. But my life is not threatened and my house is intact, so am not complaining. Having seen what your fellow Aussies endured with the floods, I think we all realized how things can change in a flash. Hearts out to everyone suffering from natural disasters all over the world.
    I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s at the top of my Wish List. Will be watching the great Aussie Open tennis this weekend (and rooting for Federer) and wishing I was there!
    Have fun at your conference and retreat!

    Reply
  4. Am sitting here watching yet another snowstorm raging outside my window, with a foot or so expected on top of the nearly 3 ft we’ve had this month. I have never seen this much snow here, ever! Sigh. But my life is not threatened and my house is intact, so am not complaining. Having seen what your fellow Aussies endured with the floods, I think we all realized how things can change in a flash. Hearts out to everyone suffering from natural disasters all over the world.
    I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s at the top of my Wish List. Will be watching the great Aussie Open tennis this weekend (and rooting for Federer) and wishing I was there!
    Have fun at your conference and retreat!

    Reply
  5. Am sitting here watching yet another snowstorm raging outside my window, with a foot or so expected on top of the nearly 3 ft we’ve had this month. I have never seen this much snow here, ever! Sigh. But my life is not threatened and my house is intact, so am not complaining. Having seen what your fellow Aussies endured with the floods, I think we all realized how things can change in a flash. Hearts out to everyone suffering from natural disasters all over the world.
    I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s at the top of my Wish List. Will be watching the great Aussie Open tennis this weekend (and rooting for Federer) and wishing I was there!
    Have fun at your conference and retreat!

    Reply
  6. Aloha, Anne! Excellent article, eepecially how “public holidays” are not always politically correct. Hawaii has two state holidays to honor Hawaiians, not Americans – Prince Kuhio Day and King Kamehameha Day.
    Hubby is coming to Australia with his chorus, Sounds of Aloha, for a Pan Pacific Barbershop Convention in Brisbane in September.

    Reply
  7. Aloha, Anne! Excellent article, eepecially how “public holidays” are not always politically correct. Hawaii has two state holidays to honor Hawaiians, not Americans – Prince Kuhio Day and King Kamehameha Day.
    Hubby is coming to Australia with his chorus, Sounds of Aloha, for a Pan Pacific Barbershop Convention in Brisbane in September.

    Reply
  8. Aloha, Anne! Excellent article, eepecially how “public holidays” are not always politically correct. Hawaii has two state holidays to honor Hawaiians, not Americans – Prince Kuhio Day and King Kamehameha Day.
    Hubby is coming to Australia with his chorus, Sounds of Aloha, for a Pan Pacific Barbershop Convention in Brisbane in September.

    Reply
  9. Aloha, Anne! Excellent article, eepecially how “public holidays” are not always politically correct. Hawaii has two state holidays to honor Hawaiians, not Americans – Prince Kuhio Day and King Kamehameha Day.
    Hubby is coming to Australia with his chorus, Sounds of Aloha, for a Pan Pacific Barbershop Convention in Brisbane in September.

    Reply
  10. Aloha, Anne! Excellent article, eepecially how “public holidays” are not always politically correct. Hawaii has two state holidays to honor Hawaiians, not Americans – Prince Kuhio Day and King Kamehameha Day.
    Hubby is coming to Australia with his chorus, Sounds of Aloha, for a Pan Pacific Barbershop Convention in Brisbane in September.

    Reply
  11. My best memory of Australia is being in Sydney for the ANZAC Day parade. It was so very moving and extremely impressive!
    My corner of the world (New England) has received approximately 1 food of snow per week since the start of the month, and no melting. So it’s really piling up. Not life-threatening but rather a challenge. The snow we had in London in Nov/Dec was apparently our precursor for this “real winter,” the likes of which we haven’t seen for several years. But I love having 4 distinct and equally splendid seasons, so I don’t complain about the snow–I merely notice and comment on it!
    The television images from Queensland and now Victoria are so very distressing and our sympathies are with our Aussie friends, known and unknown, as they face these trials.

    Reply
  12. My best memory of Australia is being in Sydney for the ANZAC Day parade. It was so very moving and extremely impressive!
    My corner of the world (New England) has received approximately 1 food of snow per week since the start of the month, and no melting. So it’s really piling up. Not life-threatening but rather a challenge. The snow we had in London in Nov/Dec was apparently our precursor for this “real winter,” the likes of which we haven’t seen for several years. But I love having 4 distinct and equally splendid seasons, so I don’t complain about the snow–I merely notice and comment on it!
    The television images from Queensland and now Victoria are so very distressing and our sympathies are with our Aussie friends, known and unknown, as they face these trials.

    Reply
  13. My best memory of Australia is being in Sydney for the ANZAC Day parade. It was so very moving and extremely impressive!
    My corner of the world (New England) has received approximately 1 food of snow per week since the start of the month, and no melting. So it’s really piling up. Not life-threatening but rather a challenge. The snow we had in London in Nov/Dec was apparently our precursor for this “real winter,” the likes of which we haven’t seen for several years. But I love having 4 distinct and equally splendid seasons, so I don’t complain about the snow–I merely notice and comment on it!
    The television images from Queensland and now Victoria are so very distressing and our sympathies are with our Aussie friends, known and unknown, as they face these trials.

    Reply
  14. My best memory of Australia is being in Sydney for the ANZAC Day parade. It was so very moving and extremely impressive!
    My corner of the world (New England) has received approximately 1 food of snow per week since the start of the month, and no melting. So it’s really piling up. Not life-threatening but rather a challenge. The snow we had in London in Nov/Dec was apparently our precursor for this “real winter,” the likes of which we haven’t seen for several years. But I love having 4 distinct and equally splendid seasons, so I don’t complain about the snow–I merely notice and comment on it!
    The television images from Queensland and now Victoria are so very distressing and our sympathies are with our Aussie friends, known and unknown, as they face these trials.

    Reply
  15. My best memory of Australia is being in Sydney for the ANZAC Day parade. It was so very moving and extremely impressive!
    My corner of the world (New England) has received approximately 1 food of snow per week since the start of the month, and no melting. So it’s really piling up. Not life-threatening but rather a challenge. The snow we had in London in Nov/Dec was apparently our precursor for this “real winter,” the likes of which we haven’t seen for several years. But I love having 4 distinct and equally splendid seasons, so I don’t complain about the snow–I merely notice and comment on it!
    The television images from Queensland and now Victoria are so very distressing and our sympathies are with our Aussie friends, known and unknown, as they face these trials.

    Reply
  16. I’m afraid the weather dictated and curtailed my activities yesterday. It was a scorching 42 degrees (107F), so lots of water and staying inside out of the heat.
    But I did something I love to do – write! 😀
    Happy Australia Day, Anne. I hope your dog has recovered from the trauma of the celebratory fireworks!

    Reply
  17. I’m afraid the weather dictated and curtailed my activities yesterday. It was a scorching 42 degrees (107F), so lots of water and staying inside out of the heat.
    But I did something I love to do – write! 😀
    Happy Australia Day, Anne. I hope your dog has recovered from the trauma of the celebratory fireworks!

    Reply
  18. I’m afraid the weather dictated and curtailed my activities yesterday. It was a scorching 42 degrees (107F), so lots of water and staying inside out of the heat.
    But I did something I love to do – write! 😀
    Happy Australia Day, Anne. I hope your dog has recovered from the trauma of the celebratory fireworks!

    Reply
  19. I’m afraid the weather dictated and curtailed my activities yesterday. It was a scorching 42 degrees (107F), so lots of water and staying inside out of the heat.
    But I did something I love to do – write! 😀
    Happy Australia Day, Anne. I hope your dog has recovered from the trauma of the celebratory fireworks!

    Reply
  20. I’m afraid the weather dictated and curtailed my activities yesterday. It was a scorching 42 degrees (107F), so lots of water and staying inside out of the heat.
    But I did something I love to do – write! 😀
    Happy Australia Day, Anne. I hope your dog has recovered from the trauma of the celebratory fireworks!

    Reply
  21. Happy Australia Day to you Ms. Anne.
    May the flooded areas recover quickly.
    Weather here in Southern California is in low 70s. Cools off at night so that the fireplace gets used in the evenings.
    I’d like to see Australia…especially Ayers Rock. We have a small hill behind us in a Nature Conservacy that reminds me* of Ayers Rock.
    Thanks for writing.

    Reply
  22. Happy Australia Day to you Ms. Anne.
    May the flooded areas recover quickly.
    Weather here in Southern California is in low 70s. Cools off at night so that the fireplace gets used in the evenings.
    I’d like to see Australia…especially Ayers Rock. We have a small hill behind us in a Nature Conservacy that reminds me* of Ayers Rock.
    Thanks for writing.

    Reply
  23. Happy Australia Day to you Ms. Anne.
    May the flooded areas recover quickly.
    Weather here in Southern California is in low 70s. Cools off at night so that the fireplace gets used in the evenings.
    I’d like to see Australia…especially Ayers Rock. We have a small hill behind us in a Nature Conservacy that reminds me* of Ayers Rock.
    Thanks for writing.

    Reply
  24. Happy Australia Day to you Ms. Anne.
    May the flooded areas recover quickly.
    Weather here in Southern California is in low 70s. Cools off at night so that the fireplace gets used in the evenings.
    I’d like to see Australia…especially Ayers Rock. We have a small hill behind us in a Nature Conservacy that reminds me* of Ayers Rock.
    Thanks for writing.

    Reply
  25. Happy Australia Day to you Ms. Anne.
    May the flooded areas recover quickly.
    Weather here in Southern California is in low 70s. Cools off at night so that the fireplace gets used in the evenings.
    I’d like to see Australia…especially Ayers Rock. We have a small hill behind us in a Nature Conservacy that reminds me* of Ayers Rock.
    Thanks for writing.

    Reply
  26. Oh, Cara/Andrea, you must be so fed up with snow, snow and more snow, and I can’t imagine how difficult it makes your life. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, isn’t it? I think we’re all facing these potential weather disasters, and all we can do is try to cope. Which is why its worth celebrating the human spirit and the willingness to help others.
    Stay warm, stay safe.

    Reply
  27. Oh, Cara/Andrea, you must be so fed up with snow, snow and more snow, and I can’t imagine how difficult it makes your life. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, isn’t it? I think we’re all facing these potential weather disasters, and all we can do is try to cope. Which is why its worth celebrating the human spirit and the willingness to help others.
    Stay warm, stay safe.

    Reply
  28. Oh, Cara/Andrea, you must be so fed up with snow, snow and more snow, and I can’t imagine how difficult it makes your life. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, isn’t it? I think we’re all facing these potential weather disasters, and all we can do is try to cope. Which is why its worth celebrating the human spirit and the willingness to help others.
    Stay warm, stay safe.

    Reply
  29. Oh, Cara/Andrea, you must be so fed up with snow, snow and more snow, and I can’t imagine how difficult it makes your life. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, isn’t it? I think we’re all facing these potential weather disasters, and all we can do is try to cope. Which is why its worth celebrating the human spirit and the willingness to help others.
    Stay warm, stay safe.

    Reply
  30. Oh, Cara/Andrea, you must be so fed up with snow, snow and more snow, and I can’t imagine how difficult it makes your life. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, isn’t it? I think we’re all facing these potential weather disasters, and all we can do is try to cope. Which is why its worth celebrating the human spirit and the willingness to help others.
    Stay warm, stay safe.

    Reply
  31. Hi Kim, thanks for dropping by. New Zealand also has a day to celebrate the signing of the treaty between the maoris and the european colonizers. We have no such thing. I wish we did. I want a day we can all celebrate.
    It will be interesting to see how badly Brisbane is still affected by the flood damage when when your husband comes out with his barber shop quartet. I know they’re all working like fury at the moment up there. The whole central city area was flooded, several feet deep, and there was a lot of damage.
    Still, I’m sure your husband will have a great time. Sometimes adversity just makes us appreciate the good times more.

    Reply
  32. Hi Kim, thanks for dropping by. New Zealand also has a day to celebrate the signing of the treaty between the maoris and the european colonizers. We have no such thing. I wish we did. I want a day we can all celebrate.
    It will be interesting to see how badly Brisbane is still affected by the flood damage when when your husband comes out with his barber shop quartet. I know they’re all working like fury at the moment up there. The whole central city area was flooded, several feet deep, and there was a lot of damage.
    Still, I’m sure your husband will have a great time. Sometimes adversity just makes us appreciate the good times more.

    Reply
  33. Hi Kim, thanks for dropping by. New Zealand also has a day to celebrate the signing of the treaty between the maoris and the european colonizers. We have no such thing. I wish we did. I want a day we can all celebrate.
    It will be interesting to see how badly Brisbane is still affected by the flood damage when when your husband comes out with his barber shop quartet. I know they’re all working like fury at the moment up there. The whole central city area was flooded, several feet deep, and there was a lot of damage.
    Still, I’m sure your husband will have a great time. Sometimes adversity just makes us appreciate the good times more.

    Reply
  34. Hi Kim, thanks for dropping by. New Zealand also has a day to celebrate the signing of the treaty between the maoris and the european colonizers. We have no such thing. I wish we did. I want a day we can all celebrate.
    It will be interesting to see how badly Brisbane is still affected by the flood damage when when your husband comes out with his barber shop quartet. I know they’re all working like fury at the moment up there. The whole central city area was flooded, several feet deep, and there was a lot of damage.
    Still, I’m sure your husband will have a great time. Sometimes adversity just makes us appreciate the good times more.

    Reply
  35. Hi Kim, thanks for dropping by. New Zealand also has a day to celebrate the signing of the treaty between the maoris and the european colonizers. We have no such thing. I wish we did. I want a day we can all celebrate.
    It will be interesting to see how badly Brisbane is still affected by the flood damage when when your husband comes out with his barber shop quartet. I know they’re all working like fury at the moment up there. The whole central city area was flooded, several feet deep, and there was a lot of damage.
    Still, I’m sure your husband will have a great time. Sometimes adversity just makes us appreciate the good times more.

    Reply
  36. Kylie, 42 degrees — yuck. And also how wonderful that here we are, a community of readers and writers, experiencing such extreme weather conditions and yet, whether we’re roasting or freezing, able to chat to friends all over the world.
    And the dog is fine, thanks. Once the fireworks stopped she relaxed. She never used to worry about them — it’s only in the last couple of years she’s got so frightened, so now I make sure I’m home on firework nights. In the past I’ve tried to catch dogs who’ve broken out of home in a panic, fleeing blindly from the noise, regardless of traffic or anything, just running to escape the horrible banging, and I’d hate my Chloe to be like that.

    Reply
  37. Kylie, 42 degrees — yuck. And also how wonderful that here we are, a community of readers and writers, experiencing such extreme weather conditions and yet, whether we’re roasting or freezing, able to chat to friends all over the world.
    And the dog is fine, thanks. Once the fireworks stopped she relaxed. She never used to worry about them — it’s only in the last couple of years she’s got so frightened, so now I make sure I’m home on firework nights. In the past I’ve tried to catch dogs who’ve broken out of home in a panic, fleeing blindly from the noise, regardless of traffic or anything, just running to escape the horrible banging, and I’d hate my Chloe to be like that.

    Reply
  38. Kylie, 42 degrees — yuck. And also how wonderful that here we are, a community of readers and writers, experiencing such extreme weather conditions and yet, whether we’re roasting or freezing, able to chat to friends all over the world.
    And the dog is fine, thanks. Once the fireworks stopped she relaxed. She never used to worry about them — it’s only in the last couple of years she’s got so frightened, so now I make sure I’m home on firework nights. In the past I’ve tried to catch dogs who’ve broken out of home in a panic, fleeing blindly from the noise, regardless of traffic or anything, just running to escape the horrible banging, and I’d hate my Chloe to be like that.

    Reply
  39. Kylie, 42 degrees — yuck. And also how wonderful that here we are, a community of readers and writers, experiencing such extreme weather conditions and yet, whether we’re roasting or freezing, able to chat to friends all over the world.
    And the dog is fine, thanks. Once the fireworks stopped she relaxed. She never used to worry about them — it’s only in the last couple of years she’s got so frightened, so now I make sure I’m home on firework nights. In the past I’ve tried to catch dogs who’ve broken out of home in a panic, fleeing blindly from the noise, regardless of traffic or anything, just running to escape the horrible banging, and I’d hate my Chloe to be like that.

    Reply
  40. Kylie, 42 degrees — yuck. And also how wonderful that here we are, a community of readers and writers, experiencing such extreme weather conditions and yet, whether we’re roasting or freezing, able to chat to friends all over the world.
    And the dog is fine, thanks. Once the fireworks stopped she relaxed. She never used to worry about them — it’s only in the last couple of years she’s got so frightened, so now I make sure I’m home on firework nights. In the past I’ve tried to catch dogs who’ve broken out of home in a panic, fleeing blindly from the noise, regardless of traffic or anything, just running to escape the horrible banging, and I’d hate my Chloe to be like that.

    Reply
  41. Thank you, Louis. I’m very glad the weather is mild in Southern California, and that you, your wife and those beautiful horses are all comfortable.
    The weather you describe is what we normally have in autumn here — lovely bright warm days and cool crispy nights. My favorite.
    I hope you do get to visit Australia. I’ve never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the flesh- um, rock either. But I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and a heap of other places in other countries. Funny how you often leave your own country last for sight-seeing.

    Reply
  42. Thank you, Louis. I’m very glad the weather is mild in Southern California, and that you, your wife and those beautiful horses are all comfortable.
    The weather you describe is what we normally have in autumn here — lovely bright warm days and cool crispy nights. My favorite.
    I hope you do get to visit Australia. I’ve never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the flesh- um, rock either. But I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and a heap of other places in other countries. Funny how you often leave your own country last for sight-seeing.

    Reply
  43. Thank you, Louis. I’m very glad the weather is mild in Southern California, and that you, your wife and those beautiful horses are all comfortable.
    The weather you describe is what we normally have in autumn here — lovely bright warm days and cool crispy nights. My favorite.
    I hope you do get to visit Australia. I’ve never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the flesh- um, rock either. But I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and a heap of other places in other countries. Funny how you often leave your own country last for sight-seeing.

    Reply
  44. Thank you, Louis. I’m very glad the weather is mild in Southern California, and that you, your wife and those beautiful horses are all comfortable.
    The weather you describe is what we normally have in autumn here — lovely bright warm days and cool crispy nights. My favorite.
    I hope you do get to visit Australia. I’ve never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the flesh- um, rock either. But I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and a heap of other places in other countries. Funny how you often leave your own country last for sight-seeing.

    Reply
  45. Thank you, Louis. I’m very glad the weather is mild in Southern California, and that you, your wife and those beautiful horses are all comfortable.
    The weather you describe is what we normally have in autumn here — lovely bright warm days and cool crispy nights. My favorite.
    I hope you do get to visit Australia. I’ve never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the flesh- um, rock either. But I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and a heap of other places in other countries. Funny how you often leave your own country last for sight-seeing.

    Reply
  46. Beautiful day here in South Oz, Anne, and I celebrated with the washing machine (just back from hols at the beach, so it was some celebration:-/)
    I do think it important to have a national day and to celebrate our wonderful country and identity, but like you, I think we’ve hit the wrong date with Jan 26. I’d be happy to go Jan 1 and Federation day, if it came to that. We’d really have something to celebrate come new year’s then:)
    Oh, and while we’re about it, a nice new flag that’s unmistakeably Australian would be just the ticket to go with a new holiday. So admire Canada’s lovely maple leaf!

    Reply
  47. Beautiful day here in South Oz, Anne, and I celebrated with the washing machine (just back from hols at the beach, so it was some celebration:-/)
    I do think it important to have a national day and to celebrate our wonderful country and identity, but like you, I think we’ve hit the wrong date with Jan 26. I’d be happy to go Jan 1 and Federation day, if it came to that. We’d really have something to celebrate come new year’s then:)
    Oh, and while we’re about it, a nice new flag that’s unmistakeably Australian would be just the ticket to go with a new holiday. So admire Canada’s lovely maple leaf!

    Reply
  48. Beautiful day here in South Oz, Anne, and I celebrated with the washing machine (just back from hols at the beach, so it was some celebration:-/)
    I do think it important to have a national day and to celebrate our wonderful country and identity, but like you, I think we’ve hit the wrong date with Jan 26. I’d be happy to go Jan 1 and Federation day, if it came to that. We’d really have something to celebrate come new year’s then:)
    Oh, and while we’re about it, a nice new flag that’s unmistakeably Australian would be just the ticket to go with a new holiday. So admire Canada’s lovely maple leaf!

    Reply
  49. Beautiful day here in South Oz, Anne, and I celebrated with the washing machine (just back from hols at the beach, so it was some celebration:-/)
    I do think it important to have a national day and to celebrate our wonderful country and identity, but like you, I think we’ve hit the wrong date with Jan 26. I’d be happy to go Jan 1 and Federation day, if it came to that. We’d really have something to celebrate come new year’s then:)
    Oh, and while we’re about it, a nice new flag that’s unmistakeably Australian would be just the ticket to go with a new holiday. So admire Canada’s lovely maple leaf!

    Reply
  50. Beautiful day here in South Oz, Anne, and I celebrated with the washing machine (just back from hols at the beach, so it was some celebration:-/)
    I do think it important to have a national day and to celebrate our wonderful country and identity, but like you, I think we’ve hit the wrong date with Jan 26. I’d be happy to go Jan 1 and Federation day, if it came to that. We’d really have something to celebrate come new year’s then:)
    Oh, and while we’re about it, a nice new flag that’s unmistakeably Australian would be just the ticket to go with a new holiday. So admire Canada’s lovely maple leaf!

    Reply
  51. Trish, yes, I remember being a backpacker student and meeting Canadians proudly displaying their lovely flag on their packs, while we still had (and have) the flag with the Union Jack in the corner. It’s a bit like renting a house and having the landlord living in the corner bedroom.

    Reply
  52. Trish, yes, I remember being a backpacker student and meeting Canadians proudly displaying their lovely flag on their packs, while we still had (and have) the flag with the Union Jack in the corner. It’s a bit like renting a house and having the landlord living in the corner bedroom.

    Reply
  53. Trish, yes, I remember being a backpacker student and meeting Canadians proudly displaying their lovely flag on their packs, while we still had (and have) the flag with the Union Jack in the corner. It’s a bit like renting a house and having the landlord living in the corner bedroom.

    Reply
  54. Trish, yes, I remember being a backpacker student and meeting Canadians proudly displaying their lovely flag on their packs, while we still had (and have) the flag with the Union Jack in the corner. It’s a bit like renting a house and having the landlord living in the corner bedroom.

    Reply
  55. Trish, yes, I remember being a backpacker student and meeting Canadians proudly displaying their lovely flag on their packs, while we still had (and have) the flag with the Union Jack in the corner. It’s a bit like renting a house and having the landlord living in the corner bedroom.

    Reply
  56. Happy Australia Day, Anne! I understand the not so nice political undertones of a holiday like this one. My ancestors on my Mom’s side were Native Americans. Columbus Day is NOT our favorite holiday.
    It has been cold and rainy here. Highs in the 40’s and lows in the teens! NOT what we expect in Alabama, even in January. The weather people keep threatening us with snow, but it hasn’t happened so far.
    I have a number of friends in Oz and I check on them frequently with all of this flooding going on. I have never been, but I am determined to get there one of these days!

    Reply
  57. Happy Australia Day, Anne! I understand the not so nice political undertones of a holiday like this one. My ancestors on my Mom’s side were Native Americans. Columbus Day is NOT our favorite holiday.
    It has been cold and rainy here. Highs in the 40’s and lows in the teens! NOT what we expect in Alabama, even in January. The weather people keep threatening us with snow, but it hasn’t happened so far.
    I have a number of friends in Oz and I check on them frequently with all of this flooding going on. I have never been, but I am determined to get there one of these days!

    Reply
  58. Happy Australia Day, Anne! I understand the not so nice political undertones of a holiday like this one. My ancestors on my Mom’s side were Native Americans. Columbus Day is NOT our favorite holiday.
    It has been cold and rainy here. Highs in the 40’s and lows in the teens! NOT what we expect in Alabama, even in January. The weather people keep threatening us with snow, but it hasn’t happened so far.
    I have a number of friends in Oz and I check on them frequently with all of this flooding going on. I have never been, but I am determined to get there one of these days!

    Reply
  59. Happy Australia Day, Anne! I understand the not so nice political undertones of a holiday like this one. My ancestors on my Mom’s side were Native Americans. Columbus Day is NOT our favorite holiday.
    It has been cold and rainy here. Highs in the 40’s and lows in the teens! NOT what we expect in Alabama, even in January. The weather people keep threatening us with snow, but it hasn’t happened so far.
    I have a number of friends in Oz and I check on them frequently with all of this flooding going on. I have never been, but I am determined to get there one of these days!

    Reply
  60. Happy Australia Day, Anne! I understand the not so nice political undertones of a holiday like this one. My ancestors on my Mom’s side were Native Americans. Columbus Day is NOT our favorite holiday.
    It has been cold and rainy here. Highs in the 40’s and lows in the teens! NOT what we expect in Alabama, even in January. The weather people keep threatening us with snow, but it hasn’t happened so far.
    I have a number of friends in Oz and I check on them frequently with all of this flooding going on. I have never been, but I am determined to get there one of these days!

    Reply
  61. Happy Australia day, Anne. I have to admit though, I do like May 9th better. That’s my anniversary, though don’t ask my DH when it is. He can’t remember without someone telling him. ;o)
    We haven’t had a lot of snow for Michigan, but at least today it wasn’t -9 out. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. And that was during the day! It was a balmy 19 out today.

    Reply
  62. Happy Australia day, Anne. I have to admit though, I do like May 9th better. That’s my anniversary, though don’t ask my DH when it is. He can’t remember without someone telling him. ;o)
    We haven’t had a lot of snow for Michigan, but at least today it wasn’t -9 out. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. And that was during the day! It was a balmy 19 out today.

    Reply
  63. Happy Australia day, Anne. I have to admit though, I do like May 9th better. That’s my anniversary, though don’t ask my DH when it is. He can’t remember without someone telling him. ;o)
    We haven’t had a lot of snow for Michigan, but at least today it wasn’t -9 out. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. And that was during the day! It was a balmy 19 out today.

    Reply
  64. Happy Australia day, Anne. I have to admit though, I do like May 9th better. That’s my anniversary, though don’t ask my DH when it is. He can’t remember without someone telling him. ;o)
    We haven’t had a lot of snow for Michigan, but at least today it wasn’t -9 out. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. And that was during the day! It was a balmy 19 out today.

    Reply
  65. Happy Australia day, Anne. I have to admit though, I do like May 9th better. That’s my anniversary, though don’t ask my DH when it is. He can’t remember without someone telling him. ;o)
    We haven’t had a lot of snow for Michigan, but at least today it wasn’t -9 out. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. And that was during the day! It was a balmy 19 out today.

    Reply
  66. Thanks, Louisa. Yes Columbus Day would have a similar ambivalence. I can’t believe it’s so cold where you are – not what we expect of the South at all. I also run to a map whenever I hear about extreme weather events in other parts of the world, because these days I know people in so many places.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  67. Thanks, Louisa. Yes Columbus Day would have a similar ambivalence. I can’t believe it’s so cold where you are – not what we expect of the South at all. I also run to a map whenever I hear about extreme weather events in other parts of the world, because these days I know people in so many places.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  68. Thanks, Louisa. Yes Columbus Day would have a similar ambivalence. I can’t believe it’s so cold where you are – not what we expect of the South at all. I also run to a map whenever I hear about extreme weather events in other parts of the world, because these days I know people in so many places.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  69. Thanks, Louisa. Yes Columbus Day would have a similar ambivalence. I can’t believe it’s so cold where you are – not what we expect of the South at all. I also run to a map whenever I hear about extreme weather events in other parts of the world, because these days I know people in so many places.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  70. Thanks, Louisa. Yes Columbus Day would have a similar ambivalence. I can’t believe it’s so cold where you are – not what we expect of the South at all. I also run to a map whenever I hear about extreme weather events in other parts of the world, because these days I know people in so many places.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  71. Well, then Theo, that’s the clincher. We should let the Sydney people have 26th of January for their Foundation Day, and Australia can have a holiday on 9 May and call it… oh, how about Theo Day? LOL. Love it! Thanks for dropping by.

    Reply
  72. Well, then Theo, that’s the clincher. We should let the Sydney people have 26th of January for their Foundation Day, and Australia can have a holiday on 9 May and call it… oh, how about Theo Day? LOL. Love it! Thanks for dropping by.

    Reply
  73. Well, then Theo, that’s the clincher. We should let the Sydney people have 26th of January for their Foundation Day, and Australia can have a holiday on 9 May and call it… oh, how about Theo Day? LOL. Love it! Thanks for dropping by.

    Reply
  74. Well, then Theo, that’s the clincher. We should let the Sydney people have 26th of January for their Foundation Day, and Australia can have a holiday on 9 May and call it… oh, how about Theo Day? LOL. Love it! Thanks for dropping by.

    Reply
  75. Well, then Theo, that’s the clincher. We should let the Sydney people have 26th of January for their Foundation Day, and Australia can have a holiday on 9 May and call it… oh, how about Theo Day? LOL. Love it! Thanks for dropping by.

    Reply
  76. Americans have their Independence Day on July 4th, celebrating separation of the colonies from Britain, but I assume Native Americans have no reason to celebrate our arrival. Not sure what their holiday would be about–the day the killing stopped?
    We’re only half way through winter but we’re already working on the third worse winter in the past decade. Not much to brag about yet. “G”
    As an inhabitant of St Louis, the city between two mighty rivers, I know about flooding. My sincere sympathies to all caught in the disaster.

    Reply
  77. Americans have their Independence Day on July 4th, celebrating separation of the colonies from Britain, but I assume Native Americans have no reason to celebrate our arrival. Not sure what their holiday would be about–the day the killing stopped?
    We’re only half way through winter but we’re already working on the third worse winter in the past decade. Not much to brag about yet. “G”
    As an inhabitant of St Louis, the city between two mighty rivers, I know about flooding. My sincere sympathies to all caught in the disaster.

    Reply
  78. Americans have their Independence Day on July 4th, celebrating separation of the colonies from Britain, but I assume Native Americans have no reason to celebrate our arrival. Not sure what their holiday would be about–the day the killing stopped?
    We’re only half way through winter but we’re already working on the third worse winter in the past decade. Not much to brag about yet. “G”
    As an inhabitant of St Louis, the city between two mighty rivers, I know about flooding. My sincere sympathies to all caught in the disaster.

    Reply
  79. Americans have their Independence Day on July 4th, celebrating separation of the colonies from Britain, but I assume Native Americans have no reason to celebrate our arrival. Not sure what their holiday would be about–the day the killing stopped?
    We’re only half way through winter but we’re already working on the third worse winter in the past decade. Not much to brag about yet. “G”
    As an inhabitant of St Louis, the city between two mighty rivers, I know about flooding. My sincere sympathies to all caught in the disaster.

    Reply
  80. Americans have their Independence Day on July 4th, celebrating separation of the colonies from Britain, but I assume Native Americans have no reason to celebrate our arrival. Not sure what their holiday would be about–the day the killing stopped?
    We’re only half way through winter but we’re already working on the third worse winter in the past decade. Not much to brag about yet. “G”
    As an inhabitant of St Louis, the city between two mighty rivers, I know about flooding. My sincere sympathies to all caught in the disaster.

    Reply
  81. Happy Austrailia Day a few days late! Our hearts and prayers are with all Austrailians with the flooding they are having.
    It makes me glad that all we are facing is a couple feet of snow! Somehow I managed to shovel off my car and drive about 20 miles per hour to get to work 15 minutes early, the boss isn’t planning on coming in until sometime this afternoon and my co-worker showed up an hour and a half late.
    Guess that means the 60+ year old lady has seen more snow storms than anyone else!

    Reply
  82. Happy Austrailia Day a few days late! Our hearts and prayers are with all Austrailians with the flooding they are having.
    It makes me glad that all we are facing is a couple feet of snow! Somehow I managed to shovel off my car and drive about 20 miles per hour to get to work 15 minutes early, the boss isn’t planning on coming in until sometime this afternoon and my co-worker showed up an hour and a half late.
    Guess that means the 60+ year old lady has seen more snow storms than anyone else!

    Reply
  83. Happy Austrailia Day a few days late! Our hearts and prayers are with all Austrailians with the flooding they are having.
    It makes me glad that all we are facing is a couple feet of snow! Somehow I managed to shovel off my car and drive about 20 miles per hour to get to work 15 minutes early, the boss isn’t planning on coming in until sometime this afternoon and my co-worker showed up an hour and a half late.
    Guess that means the 60+ year old lady has seen more snow storms than anyone else!

    Reply
  84. Happy Austrailia Day a few days late! Our hearts and prayers are with all Austrailians with the flooding they are having.
    It makes me glad that all we are facing is a couple feet of snow! Somehow I managed to shovel off my car and drive about 20 miles per hour to get to work 15 minutes early, the boss isn’t planning on coming in until sometime this afternoon and my co-worker showed up an hour and a half late.
    Guess that means the 60+ year old lady has seen more snow storms than anyone else!

    Reply
  85. Happy Austrailia Day a few days late! Our hearts and prayers are with all Austrailians with the flooding they are having.
    It makes me glad that all we are facing is a couple feet of snow! Somehow I managed to shovel off my car and drive about 20 miles per hour to get to work 15 minutes early, the boss isn’t planning on coming in until sometime this afternoon and my co-worker showed up an hour and a half late.
    Guess that means the 60+ year old lady has seen more snow storms than anyone else!

    Reply
  86. I was actually in Melbourne last year on Australia Day! My daughter and I just wandered around that day and happened on a big celebration in a park – lots of old cars and booths for all sorts of organizations. And there was an Indian dance performance, because I guess it’s also a big day for India?
    I had to watch a little of the Australia Open as a reminder of sunny days. Sitting here in Minnesota, where it’s seems warm today (at 25 F), with 2 feet of snow still on my deck from the big December storms.

    Reply
  87. I was actually in Melbourne last year on Australia Day! My daughter and I just wandered around that day and happened on a big celebration in a park – lots of old cars and booths for all sorts of organizations. And there was an Indian dance performance, because I guess it’s also a big day for India?
    I had to watch a little of the Australia Open as a reminder of sunny days. Sitting here in Minnesota, where it’s seems warm today (at 25 F), with 2 feet of snow still on my deck from the big December storms.

    Reply
  88. I was actually in Melbourne last year on Australia Day! My daughter and I just wandered around that day and happened on a big celebration in a park – lots of old cars and booths for all sorts of organizations. And there was an Indian dance performance, because I guess it’s also a big day for India?
    I had to watch a little of the Australia Open as a reminder of sunny days. Sitting here in Minnesota, where it’s seems warm today (at 25 F), with 2 feet of snow still on my deck from the big December storms.

    Reply
  89. I was actually in Melbourne last year on Australia Day! My daughter and I just wandered around that day and happened on a big celebration in a park – lots of old cars and booths for all sorts of organizations. And there was an Indian dance performance, because I guess it’s also a big day for India?
    I had to watch a little of the Australia Open as a reminder of sunny days. Sitting here in Minnesota, where it’s seems warm today (at 25 F), with 2 feet of snow still on my deck from the big December storms.

    Reply
  90. I was actually in Melbourne last year on Australia Day! My daughter and I just wandered around that day and happened on a big celebration in a park – lots of old cars and booths for all sorts of organizations. And there was an Indian dance performance, because I guess it’s also a big day for India?
    I had to watch a little of the Australia Open as a reminder of sunny days. Sitting here in Minnesota, where it’s seems warm today (at 25 F), with 2 feet of snow still on my deck from the big December storms.

    Reply
  91. Hi Anne
    I am late posting on this one because I have been so busy I had to work on Australia Day but considering the heat at least I was in the air con.
    Sydney has been spared the floods even though we have had a lot of rain and my heart goes out to the people of Queensland and Victoria it is going to take a while to get back to normal.
    I thank you all for the donations to the Silent Auction it is sure to raise a lot of money to help people get back on their feet.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  92. Hi Anne
    I am late posting on this one because I have been so busy I had to work on Australia Day but considering the heat at least I was in the air con.
    Sydney has been spared the floods even though we have had a lot of rain and my heart goes out to the people of Queensland and Victoria it is going to take a while to get back to normal.
    I thank you all for the donations to the Silent Auction it is sure to raise a lot of money to help people get back on their feet.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  93. Hi Anne
    I am late posting on this one because I have been so busy I had to work on Australia Day but considering the heat at least I was in the air con.
    Sydney has been spared the floods even though we have had a lot of rain and my heart goes out to the people of Queensland and Victoria it is going to take a while to get back to normal.
    I thank you all for the donations to the Silent Auction it is sure to raise a lot of money to help people get back on their feet.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  94. Hi Anne
    I am late posting on this one because I have been so busy I had to work on Australia Day but considering the heat at least I was in the air con.
    Sydney has been spared the floods even though we have had a lot of rain and my heart goes out to the people of Queensland and Victoria it is going to take a while to get back to normal.
    I thank you all for the donations to the Silent Auction it is sure to raise a lot of money to help people get back on their feet.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  95. Hi Anne
    I am late posting on this one because I have been so busy I had to work on Australia Day but considering the heat at least I was in the air con.
    Sydney has been spared the floods even though we have had a lot of rain and my heart goes out to the people of Queensland and Victoria it is going to take a while to get back to normal.
    I thank you all for the donations to the Silent Auction it is sure to raise a lot of money to help people get back on their feet.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  96. Pat I think there’s a difference celebrating your independence as a nation, and celebrating the arrival of Europeans.
    Pat, Jeanne, and everyone else half buried in snow, it sure sounds like you guys are getting a battering, too. A frozen flood.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  97. Pat I think there’s a difference celebrating your independence as a nation, and celebrating the arrival of Europeans.
    Pat, Jeanne, and everyone else half buried in snow, it sure sounds like you guys are getting a battering, too. A frozen flood.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  98. Pat I think there’s a difference celebrating your independence as a nation, and celebrating the arrival of Europeans.
    Pat, Jeanne, and everyone else half buried in snow, it sure sounds like you guys are getting a battering, too. A frozen flood.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  99. Pat I think there’s a difference celebrating your independence as a nation, and celebrating the arrival of Europeans.
    Pat, Jeanne, and everyone else half buried in snow, it sure sounds like you guys are getting a battering, too. A frozen flood.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
  100. Pat I think there’s a difference celebrating your independence as a nation, and celebrating the arrival of Europeans.
    Pat, Jeanne, and everyone else half buried in snow, it sure sounds like you guys are getting a battering, too. A frozen flood.
    Stay warm and safe.

    Reply

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