Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia Day Blog

Happy Australia Day!

... and to get you into the mood here's the classic GANGgajang tune "This is Australia" ...



AS I sit here contemplating the coming and going of another Australia Day - this time with a foot in plaster - thoughts of friends and family in far-flung places come to mind. Whether you be in Calgary, Canmore or Comox, Vancouver or Toulouse, Mazomanie or Mexico, Avignon or the United Arab Emirates it would sure be nice to see you here Under Downunder and show you what we're about in our remote outpost in the Land of the Kangaroo.

Six weeks is how long it's been since I ruptured my Achilles tendon. Time passes slowly when you're laid up in the middle of the summer with a cast on and you're under strict instructions not to put any weight on that foot, but I can see the light at the end of the window now. The operation to fix the Achilles didn't happen until nine days after the rupture, so the cast didn't go on until then and it's meant to be on for six weeks. Still, when tomorrow comes around the number of days until the cast comes off will  be in single figures. What a ripper!

To alleviate the boredom of having to have my foot elevated for a good deal of the day, Di indulged my desire for a new flat screen smart TV to replace the old monolithic unit that took up a large amount of our living room. Here's a photo our new source of indoor entertainment, with my foot in the foreground ...

Watching the Australian Open

Yes, that's tennis on the TV. Luckily the Australian Open is on at the moment (we're into the second week) and although I'm not a big tennis fan, watching athletes performing at the top level in just about any sport does tend to suck me in. 

There has also been some entertaining cricket on, but the most entertainment has been provided by cyclists hurtling around the roads around Adelaide and the surrounding hills in the (Santos) Tour Downunder. Unsurprisingly there was no fairytale ending for Cadel Evans. (For non-cycling fans, Evans is the first and, to date, only Aussie to win both - or either - the Tour De France and the World Championships.) However, a young Australian by the name of Rohan Dennis won the race overall thanks to a brilliant attack at the end of stage 3 ...






My favourite for the race was a Tasmanian rider (of course) named Richie Porte, who will lead Team Sky at the Giro d'Italia in May if he maintains form and fitness. The race wasn't quite long enough for him but he almost managed to wrest the top place from Dennis on the hill-top finish of stage 5 with a withering attack. He burned everyone off in his wake but failed to take the overall lead by just two seconds ...




It was the second year in a row that Porte won the Queen stage of the number one race in Australia and he showed clearly that he was once again the best climber.

Today after our friends Kevin and Louise departed Dianne and I entertained ourselves by going to see  Mr Turner ...




... at the State Cinema. Beautiful cinematography and wonderful acting - especially by Timothy Spall in the lead - made for a very enjoyable viewing experience. Di thought it was worth four ½ stars, I'd probably give it four. 

Politics has been exercising me the past couple of days. Heralding Australia Day, as reported here, Bill Shorten made an excellent speech calling on a re-examination of the republican issue in this country. This morning our pathetic Prime Minister Tony Abbott tugged his forelock to our lords and masters in England and named the royal consort Prince Phillip a Knight of Australia. Here's a photo of the worthy gentleman sitting alongside his wife ...

Liz and hubby Sir Prince Phillip

Last year, to great unrest amongst his parliamentary party members specifically and sniggering across the nation generally, our imbecilic Prime Minister unilaterally reintroduced provision for the titles of Knights and Dames. Now this. Where to next? Well, of course Abbott's silliness has also reignited the debate over whether Australia, along with most other former colonies, should finally ditch the Union Jack from our flag. Apparently, our current flag was designed by a fourteen year-old for a competition run by a cigarette company.

Thankfully, random visits from friends have helped alleviate the ennui created by laying about like a sloth so much of the time. Next week I'll get my boot and will be able to hobble about sans crutches. Yippee!


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