On Sunday it was the birthday of one of Australia’s best known poets, Banjo Paterson.
Andrew Barton Paterson was born on 17th February, 1864, near Orange in NSW. He was not only a poet, among other things he was also a journalist, a war correspondent and a WWI soldier.
Banjo Paterson wrote many poems about the harsh life in the Australian bush, although this one published in The Queenslander in 1901 called A Mountain Station is more amusing than anything else. 🙂
He also wrote some of Australia’s favourite poems, The Man from Snowy River, Clancy of the Overflow and, one I’m sure you have all heard, Waltzing Matilda.
The Man from Snowy River was even made into a film in the early 80’s, and Banjo Paterson is also on our ten-dollar note, along with an illustration of The Man from Snowy River.
I was looking for a Banjo Paterson clip to add and found this one, accompanied by great images, old and new illustrating the tale of Clancy of the Overflow (with the strains of Waltzing Matilda playing in the background).
Sickie. n [ˈsɪkɪ]
(‘To chuck a sickie’) To take a day off work even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Often used when there is a public holiday in the same week. Also appropriate when hungover, tired, a major sporting event is on TV, or you just don’t feel like going to work.
Today is Australia Day, the day where people show their love for our wonderful country in many and varied ways.
Many people have done that Aussiest of things, making plans for celebrating Australia Day knowing full well they will be in no position to go to work on Friday (ie; they will be chucking a sickie).
The roads are busy with people heading to the beach and cars loaded with camping gear heading up the bush. Those so inclined proudly sport their Southern Cross tattoos and drape themselves in the Australian flag.
Barbeques across the country are being fired up, the smell of snags and chops drifts through the neighbourhood. Eskies are being loaded with ice and beer sales have gone through the roof. Khe Sanh is legally required to be played loudly at every large gathering at least once today. Ok, I might have made that last bit up.
No Australia Day post is complete without the most repeated and well known part of my favourite poem. My Country, by Dorothea Mackellar.
I love a sunburnt country……
Go and read the whole thing, it is wonderful.
In 1907, just as today, we are all complaining about the same thing after Christmas. We saved up all year and now it is all gone. We just have to start again!