Friday, January 27, 2006

Australia Day 2006

First, a couple of pics of the sunset on the day before Australia Day. 'Coz I'm too lazy to do a separate post.

Now onto the day celebrating when white man landed in The Great Southern Land to set up prison facilities, all 218 years ago. Never mind that the Aboriginals have been here for 40-50000 years. It is another day that can be used as an excuse for downing lots of beer.

I invited my Mauritian friends, Ben, Anne, Sophie and Jessie, for a BBQ lunch starting at 10:30. I felt that the early start was necessary because all Australians have a BBQ on Australia Day and the number of barbies in the park nearby was limited to four hotplates. Every man for himself. They arrived about 11:30 having slept in because Anne was so tired from working last night. I had reservations about the hour or two we would have to wait for the barbie. It just didn't make a lot of sense using my own barbie for the job.

The park is only a two minute drive away, which was lucky as we had to go home for some mozzie coils and knives, and surprisingly wasn't too crowded. Miky set up the travel rug under a tree and we could have cooked immediately on a BBQ at the other end of the park but we decided to use the one nearest the playground and carpark. Unfortunately one of the hotplates didn't work, how un-Australian, but the people using the other one informed us of the fact prior to us starting the cooking. The obligatory, "Thanks mate" was thrown in their direction.

Had to amuse ourselves for 15-20 minutes until they were finished cooking otherwise we would have needed to carry everything to the other end of the park. That didn't make a lot of sense so I preferred to wait. Sophie had brought her bike so I brought Yu-Jin's bike as well. Good for the kids to ride around freely and enjoy themselves.

Finally we, the men, got down to our Australia Day duty - the cooking on the BBQ. I'd purchased some lamb chops especially the night before. Miky, like many Asians, can't stand even the smell of lamb so it is something that doesn't appear on our menu often. I can remember when lamb chops were $2.99/kg (even $1.99/kg on special) and these set me back about $15.99/kg. But they were worth it. Miky wanted some sausages so I bought those very Australian style chevupchichi - skinless sausages. Add some sweet potato and onions and Anne's lovely chicken.

Bloody nice way to celebrate Australia Day. Little washing up to worry about and it was nice and cool, not like the normal 40-odd degrees that we have at this time of year. Quite relaxing. I guess that is my cooking duties completed for the year.

Following lunch there was a bit of skywriting on show. Lotto sponsors the fireworks that take place on the city foreshore every year. I heard on the news that a few people were arrested and there were a couple of stabbings. Even so, the police reported quite a subdued Australia Day celebration.

Went back to our place to play games, watch cartoons and muck around on the computer. It was all too much for Ben. Must be something to do with his Government job. For tea I stuck with the theme of Australian and had Vegemite on toast. Can't be more Aussie than that.

I watched the tennis last night - Nalbandian vs Baghdatis. My support was behind Baghdatis. Nalbandian is a bit bland and Baghdatis is quite flashy. And unheralded. What a fabulous match. Coming back from 6-3, 5-1, even though he lost the second set, to level at two sets all it was a long and enthralling match. When he lost his service in the fifth set and was trailing 0-2 I was worried. He broke Nalbandian but then lost his serve again. Broke again and got to a lead of 5-4. Baghdatis was serving for the match and then a downpour hit the stadium. Unbelievable. It was approaching 11:30 and I had to work in the morning so I wasn't sure if I should go to bed or not. I didn't and the players came out to warm up shortly afterwards when the roof was closed. Baghdatis got to 40-30 and hit a winner for the match. There was a slight pause, as it was very close and nobody seemed clear that it was a winner, then the umpire overruled with an "Out" call. Hawkeye showed that the ball was in by 22mm. Oh no! What high drama. What if Baghdatis lost the match from this position of having hit a clear winner and having won the match? What level of litigation could this lead to? No need to worry. He won the next point for advantage and then served an ace for the win. Very climactic. Very entertaining.


Hammysmum said...

Not wishing to be pedantic, Vegemite belongs to America, don't you know, like soooo many of our icons. Lurved your hat! Who took the lovely photo of the four adults?

Hammy said...

Yeah, I know that Kraft own Vegemite. But the Yanks can never lay claim to something like that. Yu-Jin took the photo.

Joe said...

I can't believe that they don't give us a day off for Australia day.

Great pics, Hammy. Looks like y'all had a terrific day.

Hammysmum said...

Did you hear, we have won the right to use the word Ugg Boot, back from the Yanks?

Hammy said...

Joe - sorry about you not getting the day off. I guess our political clout is still sadly lacking in the global arena. One day when Australia leads the world you may have Australia Day off. Or just come and live in Oz.

Ma - I wonder how much we had to pay for the privilege of using the term "Ugg boot". Probably paid through the nose for it.

NewYorkMoments said...

No picture of you in your BBQ apron?

Hammy said...

NYM - My wife thinks that I am sexist but I'm not the type of block to have an apron on, especially with boobies.