Monday, January 25, 2010
What I'm grateful for January 26:
1. LIFE SAVERS: Although I’ve never had to be rescued by a life saver, I’m grateful they are around for those who need them. They are the unsung, unpaid heroes of the Australian summer along our coastlines. And, as a bonus they are generally very, very good looking with great bodies to perve on! I am grateful for that also. I was very proud this morning to witness my baby brother Mark receive a Community Service Award for his efforts as a life saver at Maroubra Beach for what I believe is over a decade. See pic above of Mark with the Mayor of Randwick John Procopiadis.
2. YABUN: I am grateful to all those artists, entertainers, political voices, stall-holders, volunteers, organisers and media who pull together and cover this wonderful event in Victoria Park each year. Many Australians – black and white- do not ‘celebrate’ January 26 as a mark or respect for Aboriginal Australia and an understanding of the true history of Australia. The day in fact is a reminder of the harsh realities of invasion and the ongoing attempted cultural genocide and struggle for survival since January 26, 1788. As Aboriginal people we celebrate our survival and our thriving cultures. And today at Yabun, I spent time at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence stall alongside the staff and role models from the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy. I had the fire in my belly re-ignited by speakers talking about the NT Intervention, Black Deaths in Custody and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I listened to Indigenous writers – Lorraine McGee-Sippell and Elizabeth Wymarra – talk about the literary journeys. And I saw families enjoying all that Indigenous society has to offer today... arts, crafts, music, dance, ideas and visions. Congratulations to Gadigal Information Services for another deadly event! Pics above of the NASCA staff at Yabun!
3. TRAVEL WRITING: I like travel writing because I like to travel and I like to write. Seriously, since I started doing travel articles last August I’ve noticed how much more ‘observant’ I’ve become when visiting new cities, and even cities I’ve once lived in. And that’s saying something for someone who makes their living based on ‘observations’! My latest travel article appeared in papers nationally on the weekend and it was on Canberra. I’d lived in our nation’s capital 20 years ago and have visited there three or four times a year since. And yet, even after doing research for my new book Manhattan Dreaming I still found new things to get excited about when I was researching this story. If you missed it in the paper, then you can click on here: The only thing they edited for space was a line about a moment I had at Kingston Bus Depot Markets. And so, I want to include those words here... ‘I sit and chat to a local artist, Margaret, and we both devour croquet monsieur ($4.50) from the French Crepes stall, vowing never to eat homemade cheese on toast again!’ The next you’ll read is on Palma, Mallorca – now that was a fun trip!
4. KOORI TIME: Why is it that when a blackfella is late it’s called ‘Koori Time’ but when a whitefella is late their ‘Fashionably late’? I’m grateful for my own realisation that in fact, Koori’s must’ve invented the concept of ‘fashionably late’!
5. WILLPOWER: I’m grateful for my willpower. I’m on day 22 of no alcoholic beverages and day 2 of no chocolate. And I’m also grateful for the strawberry ice-cream filling the voids!