ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

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Monday, 26 January 2015

Why is the Empire State Building flashing green and gold? It's Australia Day!

Hello all!

I feel sorry for the New Yorkers who might wonder why the Empire State Building is doing strange things. Green and gold? Huh? Well, if you missed it on the news, the city of New York, not for the first time, lights up the Empire State Building in Australia's national colours* as Down Under it is Australia Day.

'King Kong's got nothin' on me! I'm Wolverine!!'

Why wouldn't Julie Bishop be grinning from ear to ear?

There was a small window between tennis matches as the Australian Open is slogging its way across three channels, so I had a peek at the news last night between matches and I saw a very pretty sight as the lever was pulled--the flashing green and gold looked bright and breezy, Julie Bishop, our indefatigable Foreign Minister looked cool as a cucumber in her cream coat, but who could outshine that Aussie hunk Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine, who was indeed a pretty sight...but hey, back to Nadal!!  

As a little aside, Hugh Jackman told the American audience that out of a country of 20,000,000, there are 1,000,000 Aussies who visit New York each year (travelling is an Aussie pastime) and most of them end up on his couch. Always up for a bit of a wisecrack, but that sounded about right when it comes to Aussie hospitality. Who wouldn't mind ending up on Hugh's couch?

So, every country has its special day. What is Australia Day? We are definitely not the world's greatest patriots, but we love our country, fair enuff...Well, we are the country of the LONG WEEKEND, so that's a lot to love, but our special day is more than just an excuse to crack open the barbie and the beer and throw on the prawns and snags (sausages, bangers, whatever...) and dodge the sizzling fat in the sizzling heat. And smirk when you see that Australia still practises segregation--only men allowed at the cooking source!

With a little help from Wikipedia, and to satisfy the insatiable curiosity of Hilary Melton-Butcher, I can tell you that Australia Day is the official national day of Australia celebrated on January 26 to mark the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson (Sydney) in New South Wales. (Australia was then known as New Holland). Of course, not everyone was happy to see white Europeans arrive. Our indigenous people call it 'Invasion Day'. There's a great cartoon depicting Australian Aborigines watching the First Fleet arrive, saying 'I've got a bad feeling about this.'


In modern Australia, the celebrations over the long weekend reflect our diverse society and the landscape of our nation. There is a frenzy of street parties, community events, community awards and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the community. If you saw Hugh Jackman on television as he turned on the lights of the ESB, he said that his wife was up for the highest award Australia gives--the Australian of the Year award, for her charity work.



So you can see what I'll be up to this weekend, this long weekend. No, I won't be croc wrestling. But I did get pink tips in my hair! Not at all patriotic! Aha, but Monday is a public holiday. Then I'm back to work for the year on Tuesday.

BLOGFEED: For those of you who've been complaining about my post feeds not showing up, I think the problem has now been overcome. But you'll have to delete your old feed for Denise Covey and add my new URL: http://dencovey.blogspot.com 
Let me know how it goes. Your country usually adds your country code at the end.
Thanks for your patience. I hope I'm back in business, otherwise I'll give up blogging and that would be a wrench!

* Why green and gold? For Hilary as she convalesces from her hip operation and needs more reading matter:
Long associated with Australian sporting achievements, the national colours have strong environmental connections. Gold conjures images of Australia’s beaches, mineral wealth, grain harvests and the fleece of Australian wool. Green evokes the forests, eucalyptus trees and pastures of the Australian landscape. 

  • How about you? How's your year shaping up?
  • What is your country's national celebration?




39 comments:

  1. Australia Day, heh? Hurray for the Aussies. And, of course, Hugh Jackman or his couch or both together.

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    1. Hahahah...it was a great day. I went and pre-polled as it's a State election this coming Saturday. Got the chore out of the way early. :-)

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  2. Happy Australia Day! And I appreciated the backstory. Hey, maybe you could pick up the baton of Hilary's informative posts while she rests. :) Never knew they lit up the Empire State Building either. I wonder why - did Australians help to build it?

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    1. Not as far as I know, Nick. Someone decided it was a good way to show the friendly relations between our two countries...y'know? All's fair in love and war and all that! Thanks for visiting! :-)

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  3. Lovely to learn of a holiday not American! We either copy or create our own nonsense, but I love the excuse for it! We do need those three day weekends! Hugh, oh yeah, I'd love to see his couch, and I do think you've conquered the problem!

    Happy Australia Day!

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    1. Thank you Yolanda! I take it my feed showed up. Awesome! Three-day weekends are a requirement! That's why I've rostered myself a permanent three-day weekend this year! Hopefully I'll get more writing done...well, that's the plan. Lookout! :-)

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  4. Happy Australia Day! I love the meaning behind the green and gold, and it was nice to know the meaning behind this holiday. You taught me a lot today, Denise. :)

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  5. Just found your new blog address as I had not been reading blogs for a while. Looking at your posts I see you are writing a book set in Paris with love locks? In French they are called “Cadenas d’amour” as you may know. These locks are not liked by Parisians, that’s for sure. They have done a strong campaign to have them removed from the Paris bridges, most of all from the Pont des Arts and finally the administration has agreed, after one piece of the bridge gate collapsed under the weight of the locks as it weighed 700 kg (1543 pounds.) They placed clean panels on parts of the bridge and are removing the locks – work is expected to be finished in 2015. Although some tourists have been painting love graffiti on the panels and the Parisians are quite mad at them.
    There is a blog that gathered signatures against the locks and they got so many! – in case you have not seen it, here it is http://nolovelocks.com/en/ written both in English and French. After seeing the love locks on the bridges of Paris when I went there several times I was going to write a post on it – but I have not yet. I was surprised that it all started with a movie set in Rome in 2008, so it has not been a long fad, and the locks started in Rome. After a century old pillar fell from a bridge in Rome they were outlawed there with fines up to 100 Euros if people were placing a lock. In Venice the mayor had them remove weekly. Parisians hate these locks and feel they are vandalism as it is defacing the beauty of century old bridges, and other monuments (yes last May I saw some love locks on statues in Paris!) The City of Paris has also requested that love locks no longer be sold there, here is the article (in French) http://www.leparisien.fr/espace-premium/paris-75/la-chasse-aux-cadenas-d-amour-est-ouverte-devant-notre-dame-15-11-2014-4292989.php which means “open hunting season on love locks in front of Notre Dame.” So, you may wish to use another title for your book if you are going to have it translated into French! Happy Australia Day!

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    1. Hi Vagabonde! So lovely to get all that research done for me! I knew that French were quite against the idea. I will think about the title, but the locks are more metaphoric, so a play on words. We'll see...:-)

      PS Glad you found my blog. Many haven't!!

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  6. I had no idea about Australia Day! Thanks for this information. And I love the picture of Hugh Jackman "climbing" the Empire State Building. Good old Wolverine :D

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I always appreciate the good words and encouragement! Happy Australia day (belated) and I hope you have a fantastic new year teaching!

    Cheers,
    Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen. I'm sure to enjoy my year! You too! :-)

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  7. I'd sit next to Hugh anywhere! Cool about the Empire Building colors. Sounds like you are having a good day today. Enjoy the celebrations.

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    1. Was a fantastic day. Already over. It's now Tuesday. Yes, good old Hugh.

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  8. Never even knew there was an Australia Day, should have figured though.Cool about the Empire State building. Wondered why you never showed up on blog feed too.

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    1. There's a couple of life's mysteries answered Pat. :-)

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  9. I imagine the Native American Indians felt the same thing about Columbus landing here.
    Hope you enjoyed your long weekend!

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  10. Happy Australia Day. This did show up in my feed.

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    1. Am so glad it showed up. By George I think I've got it.

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  11. I was never aware of that NY tradition. Shows you how many times I've been to the east coast... I've been meaning to visit Australia forever! :)

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  12. Well I would really love to be where you are right now (as it is very cold here) ~
    Enjoy your celebrations ~

    Thanks for the notes and wishing you good week ~

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  13. I had no idea the Empire State Building changed colors for Australia Day. How fun! Sounds like a very festive weekend! I learned a lot about Australia here today. :)
    ~Jess

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  14. Congratulations on Australia Day! :-) Lovely post!
    And YESSS!!! your blog is now updated on my blogroll. :-)

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  15. Alex: yes, those Native Americans who helped their unwelcome visitors soon learned to regret their hospitality! Denise, what a nice thing for New York City to do! Myself, I would really enjoy a welcome from Cate Blanchett! It's a guy thing. :-)

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  16. How exciting! And I love that New York celebrates, too.

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  17. Hi Denise .. Thanks for the well wishes - hip improving pretty well I think.

    I didn't know the Empire State Building was lit up for Australia day ... I was going to an Australia day lunch - but obviously couldn't after hip surgery - hope they do another in a year or two.

    You brought back memories of SA sun and the long summer hols - your idea for the three day weekend ... Sounds like a great idea ... Do you think Hugh would come over here and nurse me back to health??!!

    I'm now watching the tennis women's final - no excuse to do anything else!! Cheers and thanks so much for the honourable mention - Hilary

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    1. And i hope you watched the men's final, too! What a ripper match! Either one was deserving of winning, although Murray isn't as popular a person here. Glad you're on the mend. :-)

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    2. Yes I did ... seems Lendl's influence had left him and he imploded ... but Djokovic definitely deserved to win ... the first two sets were amazing. Yes - on the mend ... thanks so much - H

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  18. Happy belated Australia Day! Lovely that the lights on the Empire State Building change in the day's honor. Honestly, I kind of like the name Invasion Day, it's more descriptive, but I can see why you stick with the other. :)

    In the US we have July 4/Independence Day (hot dogs and beer). But I also celebrate Bastille Day (bubbly and Crêpes). I find the two July holidays balance out each other out quite nicely.

    VR Barkowski

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  19. I like your new digs! Your new address is now in my left sidebar and the old one is removed. I heard about Australia Day, but unfortunately I missed Hugh Jackman. Darn!

    Besides July 4/Independence Day, we have separate Texas days in March, April, and June: Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day, and Emancipation Day.

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    1. Hi Carol. Glad we got the feed sorted. I look forward to getting back to reading more of your news. That's a lot of celebrations! Along with Australia Day, we have Anzac Day to commemorate the diggers in WW1 and we also celebrate Armistice Day (Remembrance Day). And of course the Queen's Birthday as we are still a monarchy although we rarely feel so. :-)

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  20. Invasion Day, indeed - and the indigenous people aren't the only ones who call it that. I have a few white friends who call it so as well, because really, it IS Invasion Day.

    Also, I'm glad that your link is fixed on my blog :) I'm thinking it must have just taken ages to 'filter down' after I replaced your link.

    To be honest I haven't been visiting many blogs, as I've found myself bogged down in this weird rut that it's hard to climb out of. But I do try to visit at least people who have commented on my blog. I've even become crap at that lately though, too. ;) But I am hoping to get my act together! I think it will help when I am actually working on a creative project again. I'll have more to say on my blog, and more motivation to visit other writers' blogs.

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    1. Hi Trish

      Nice to hear from you again. Yep, i totally get how you feel. Hope work is going well for you this year. Your creative spark will ignite again I"m sure.

      :-)

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  21. I loved all the photos Denise, thanks for sharing.

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