Friday, January 27, 2012

What is Australia Day?

I understand the origins of Australia day or should I say invasion day? Is it the date to mark the day Europeans stole aboriginal land, massacred the natives, destroyed the land and was the beginning of racial discrimination? Or is it really just another excuse for skipping work, enforcing double demerit points, and drinking beers during the day with friends? We're just proud of our country and want to celebrate it, nothing wrong with that.

I had a lot of expectations for Australia Day in Perth.  Considering that there were no fireworks on New Years Eve because they had to "save them for Skyworks", I was under the impression that it would be a day of excitement for all.  All of the streets surrounding us were blocked off for the day and only residents could exit and return with proof of address.  No visitors were allowed unless you had applied to the council for special permits months prior. This meant that hubby was on taxi service to retrieve our friends, and the logistics of a gathering was all a bit of a nightmare.

This all seemed a bit extreme to me.  Barricades and wire fencing seemed to appear on every street, across bridges and along the Swan River.  There was so much of it I was highly confused if it was to keep people out or to keep them in.  It felt a bit like CHOGYM but on the wrong side of the river. We had decided to have some company for a BBQ and a quick swim before heading to the foreshore to the 'Celebration Zone' for some free fun for the kids young and old.  Hubby disappeared earlier in the morning to pick up some ice for the drinks.  The service station is at the end of our street.  200 meters away.  He was gone for over an hour.  Needless to say that the road closures had caused some confusion.  He purchased ice from a service station 2 suburbs away, and then panic really set in when he showed security his rental agreement, (as proof of residence) to re-enter our street.  "Sorry mate, you are a renter.  We are only letting property owners return to their properties today!"  He was joking of course but my husbands agitation did not quite comprehend this straight away.  Further jokes were made as they pretended my husband ran over there toes, giggles had by all.  This is 9am.  I wonder if they were still laughing at 2pm when the temperature reached over 40degrees and they had been standing in the sun all day?
With the temperatures so high, we made the most of the pool, and as word spread about our plunge of coolness, our quiet BBQ turned into an Australian day party with over 30 people! We were only briefly hindered by the note "BBQ not in use" hanging in the entertainment area, we decided to wheel down our own from upstairs.  How very Australian.  A BYO BBQ, where you have to BYO your own BBQ!
Australia Day is all about a good Barbie queue, (I mean BBQ)
Temperatures soared around 40 degrees for most of the day so we decided it would be best to stay here rather than suffer the heat of walking to Sir James Mitchell Park for the free rides, concerts and games. We had a great view of the air show that seemed to last for over an hour, and we were safe from the rain the rolled in about 6pm.

The fireworks were amazing, the best I had seen in a long time, the only thing that seemed to be missing was the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  They lasted for a full half hour and were released from jet skis, barges and buildings.  Lightning works were the back drop for the fireworks as a storm threatened to hit leaving quite an amazing sight.

Photo taken by Richard Huynh of the spectacular natural light show that was going on during the Australia Day Perth Skyworks.

View from kitchen window

What is Australia Day? It was an ace arvo where the ankle biter's can chuck on a cozzie for a splash.   Tunes were going off to Triple J's hottest 100 and we all bogged into a beuat Barbie and booze.  You little ripper!  Australia Day is about being able to understand what I just said!!

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