It was the evening of the 26th of January, 1788. All of the First Fleet of settlers had anchored in or around Sydney Cove. The British Flag was raised, a volley probably fired and plenty of Rum drunk. There you have it, the birth of a Nation.
They quickly went about shooting the Aboriginals, burning the land, chopping down trees, slaughtering the wildlife. When they got sick of that they imported animals from England to hunt. Foxes, Rabbits, Hares, Trout etc.
For the last two hundred years we have been trying to exterminate the rubbish they released into this country that has decimated the landscape.
Our Government "apologised" to the Aboriginals last year. It made them very happy to hear the word sorry. There were no claims for money or land, no riots, no protests, just tears of joy and forgiveness.
So here I sit, in this big dry brown land as happy as larry. I am the Great, great, great, great Grandson of a Convict who was a drunkard and a womaniser and a streaker. All this just on the boat over, so god only knows what else he did.
Its now a status symbol to have a Convict in your family tree, I looked for years, almost gave up, but last year I found a ships log and it all fell into place.
I feel very proud to have come from the early settlers. I think now I know, in part at least, why I love this joint so much and why I bleed for the land and the environment when I see it being destroyed by idiots, or worse, rich idiots.
Greed, you see it everywhere now in Australia. Build a house on the beach, make it as high as you can so no one else can see ohhh see that park, lets make it a housing estate!
Charge as much as you can when you can, throw the oldies in the nursing home and sell the house, go on a cruise. Life is now judged on the size of your Plasma screen and where your holiday house is.
Life is what you choose to make of it, sure some of us are blessed from birth it seems, whilst others seem cursed.
It could be worse.
We dont have borders to share with anyone. Its relatively pollution free and certainly not crowded. We have clean water, gas, electricity, roads, trains boats and planes. Hospitals and Hostels and plenty of milk and meat. You can speak your mind. You can stand on the steps of, in fact you can actually enter our Parliament house and protest your arse off. Ok you will get kicked out, but its no big deal. No ones going to tap your phone, no visits from the secret police.
Somethings dont change. It still gets too hot in summer. It never rains enough, we get taxed too much and our politicians are money hungry selfish bastards who think more of their superannuation than their Country. At least we can vote them out and theres no hanky panky with ballot boxes.
On Monday because it is a holiday, we will sleep in, we love a holiday, have one for anything from the Queens Birthday in winter (coz we need a rest, not for her birthday, thats in March), to The Melbourne Cup, a day off for a horse race. Then its fire up the BBQ, crack a beer, sing the National Anthem, raise the flag, walk the dogs, go to the beach, go to the tennis or cricket. Play in the park, kick the footy, go to the olds place or the movies. Go to a parade, a procession or a party.
We might even think of those who came before us and those who will follow.
We will collectively kick back and thank our lucky stars that we are fortunate enough to live in Australia, the best country on earth!
Its all about Mateship in one form or another.
We will also think of our Diggers away fighting on this day. We will have many beers for you, its only fair.