My first Australia Day away from home was spent at Nelson Bay with my Daughter’s family. Within walking distance of our holiday house is Fly Point and it was here that Australia Day celebrations were held for the Nelson Bay area.
We set off around 10am on the 15 minute walk with the two kids in tow. I was rather looking forward to attending an organised event as I usually stay home and enjoy the time off work. Fly Point has a wonderful outlook over Nelson Bay and the entire Port Stephens water way.
As we approached the venue we passed what appeared to be marching band members making their way back to their buses to put their various instruments away. I confirmed with the venue timetable that said a procession was on at 9am. I was glad we missed it as I loathe processions where all the local so-called talent hurts our ears with their horrible sounding instruments or maybe it’s their playing that’s horrible.
Please, leave the marching band format to the Americans, they love that sort of crap.
We veered off into the main park area where all the action seemed to be happening and the first thing I noticed were a bunch of old biddies dressed in blue jeans, chequered shirts and cow-girl hats and the load speaker confirmed my fear – 10 minutes before the boot scooting dancers start their routine.
What the f*k has boot scooting got to do with Australia yet alone Australia Day? Oh my goodness, give me strength!
At Fly Point there is a large covered platform, an excellent venue for musical groups to perform under cover and it was equipped with all the gear for such an event. I could see the band was just making their way to their musical instrument or microphone, depending on their role within the band. They looked rather country so I was looking forward to some Aussie music even though I’m really not a fan of country music but the likes of Slim Dusty does give me a spine tingle when I hear his classics especially on Australia Day.
However, when the music started it seemed to me that the songs were very much American country songs of which I’m not a fan. What the f*k has American country music got to do with Australia especially when we have our very own unique style country music. If Sweet Home Alabama came on, I would have blown my top!
Around the corner from the music stand was a long line of market tents selling all sorts of shit no one wants and no one uses. Of course there were numerous clothes stands selling all sorts of Aussie flag clad gear. I consider myself a very proud Aussie but do I really need to clad myself in cheap overseas made T-shirts, shorts, wraps, hats, tongs and scarfs to prove it? No fucking way, not this little Aussie wombat. I certainly didn’t feel very patriotic when I saw an obese bloke squeezed into a pair of Aussie flag clad board shorts.
I calmed down when a great modern version of Waltzing Matilda came on while the kids were having fun jumping on the castle, and after we helped ourselves to a snag sandwich. We’d had enough so decided to walk down to Little Beach, which is next to Fly Point Park to have a swim.
The narrow beach was full of shades, sun chairs and many people bathing in the only sun we saw all week. We found a spot and the kids were exited to go for a swim. I for once sat on the beach in observation mode.
As I looked from one party to the next and I noticed, along with every type of Aussie flag print clothing, most of the blokes and women were supporting multiple tattoos and not very good ones I might add, most smoking and all drinking excessive amounts of beer – I even spotted a cask of wine. Most had no consideration for the people nearby with their swearing and flicking their butts anywhere but the bins.
We were surrounded by Bogans. All I needed to hear now was the bogan chant – Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Oi Oi Oi.
Can this be? Are there really this many Bogans in Australia? But here they are alive and well and out on Australia Day? And on our favourite Little Beach usually visited by young families.
I’m confused, is this Australia Day, America Day or Bogan Day?
To make matters worse we’ve come home to the news that our Prime Minister has tripped over while being carried away from an angry mob. Love her or hate her, she is Australia’s Prime Minister, she runs the best country in the world and we should respect the position she holds whether we agree with her policies or not.
On Australia Day we should celebrate what’s made this country great and it wasn’t boot-scooting, American marching bands or country music, or overseas made clothing and certainly not Bogans. It was hard working convicts and our forebears who suffered great hardships trying to tame a harsh land and climate to build this country. And today we live in a wonderful country and let no man or women who come here take that away.
So how about next Australia Day we take ourselves to the nearest beach or bush, have a BBQ or picnic, listen to Austarlian music if you so desire, have a couple of drinks without disturbing those around you. Don’t tarnish it with junk selling markets or cheap overseas clothing with the Aussie flag patterned all over them. Think about the freedoms you have today, the five day working week most of us enjoy, the secular societly we live in (on the most part) and the wonderful country you’ve either been born in or have moved here by choice.
Reflect on other countries where women are second class or no class at all, where religion determines if you live or die and governments use their army against it’s citizens, where hunger is a daily feeling and clean water is a luxury, where the survival age is middle age for an average Aussie and where life is just one miserable day after another.
Never forget that this is a great country and there is no better country to live than Australia.