Not being biased at all, but I think I live in the best country in the world. It's beautiful, we are free to live as we want, we live in a land of plenty, and who really can complain that Melbourne or Tassie are too cold? After all, it barely snows in this country.
After being stuck at home for, like forever, I said to hubby we should do something to celebrate Australia Day. Even if it was for just an hour. So, we made our way out to our nearest celebrating Lake Park to feel part of the day: flagless, green and goldless, red/white/blueless, hatless and tattooless (australian flags, of course).
We watched as the band tinkered on the stage, and as the scouts sizzled their sausages. The face painting tent was full as was the playground and jumping castle.
As lunchtime neared, our 4 year old decided we had to have sausage sandwiches. But looking at the line of people holding slices of bread in hope was a little discouraging. The line went on forever, and it seemed nobody else was doing a sausage sizzle (perhaps except Bunnings down the road). And there was nothing else on offer except for coffee and soft drinks.
It was a struggle, but we had him convinced that chips and a chicken burger would be better. At... Nando's. Yes, we're very Australian. And Nando's was just across the road. But it seemed Nando's just would not do. So we did Hungry Jack's. A bit further away, but yes, much more patriotic.
As we headed back to our car we bumped into some of our neighbours. They had their wine, their chicken and coleslaw sandwiches and their deck chairs out. Their daughters had socks around their ankles handwritten in green and gold "Australia" and they had their Akubras on.
My neighbour pointed out some of the sights - a first generation Asian family flying Australian flags, a middle eastern couple (complete with burka) enjoying the festivities, a group of handicapped elderlies sitting in front of us, and the band on the main stage yodelling (badly) for all they were worth, and playing their piano accordians.
She said, "It's so beautiful. I love it."
And I couldn't have said it any better.
Because it's the differences and contrasts in this country that make it beautiful to me.
Happy Australia Day everyone.
How did you celebrate Australia Day? What is it to be Australian to you?