This weekend we celebrated Australia Day. My morning started off very patriotically, with a cup of lipton tea and a piece of vegemite toast (not that Dick Smith would agree).
Then, I set off for a morning run (okay jog… okay it was a walk…) around Albert Park Lake in an attempt to help offset the eating fest that was to ensue later in the day. I heard faint music travelling across the lake but it wasn’t until I drew closer that I realised what it was. A bagpiper. In a kilt. On Australia Day. How very odd! As I continued with my lap I ran into a group of people dressed up as Australian Surf Lifesavers (complete with thick white zinc) waving flags and shouting ‘Happy Australia Day!’ to everyone who passed.
My culturally confused national day continued as we set off to our Scottish friends’ house for an Australia Day bbq. My French fiancé wore his Australian flag board shorts and Australian havianas. We sipped beer (Mexican), wine (Italian) and vodka (Russian) as we alternately watched the Australian Open women’s tennis final, and hilarious reruns of a British dating show. We finished our meal with some delightful chocolates (German), before rushing outside to catch a glimpse of the fireworks – a very Australian tradition.
It was a fantastic day, and for my money, thoroughly Australian.
Three years ago, I recall being in Paris on Australia Day. Homesick and keen to introduce Max to some of my own culture, I sought out the only Australian (sort of) restaurant in the city, Kiwi Corner* in the 5th arrondissement. The cute restaurant served a mix of New Zealand, Australian and Pacific flavours, with regional wines to match. On a cold January night, miles from home, it was exactly what I needed.
How did you celebrate Australia Day?
*In writing this post I was sad to learn that Kiwi Corner closed its restaurant doors in December 2011.
Australian flag image courtesy of thelightinlife on Flickr.
Bagpiper image courtesy of koalie on Flickr.
Fireworks image courtesy of gundy on Flickr.