Thursday 26 January 2017




Well I was born here, in the Latrobe Valley. I have been to all states except Western Australia. It's a long way away, but I hope to go there too. I don't know when all my ancestors migrated here, but I know one lot of my father's came out to a local port here in the 1840s from Scotland. I know my (first) in laws came out from England in either the first or second fleet, I can't remember which, in the late 1700s. 

I never forget, born here or not, I'm still a "blow in" (newby) , compared to the traditional owners of this land, the indigenous Australian aboriginals. 

When you drive the highways of Australia, you find out how really big it is. Getting away from the cities the sky is huge. 

Australians who grow up here are tough, easy going, laid back (same thing), mostly tolerant, inventive, down to earth, egalitarian, funny, insulting , patient, hospitable, fighters. These qualities are part of our psyche. They are ingested with our Vegemite as weaning babies. If you come here, be prepared to be called terrible names as terms of endearment. Be prepared to work hard or be called a bludger. Be prepared to take hardship without much complaint, to learn to understate bad weather, or disaster. These qualities make our military some of the best fighters in the world. But in my experience, they havnt got much on the working class mothers, their hair in ponytails, that everyone is too scared to cross. The battlers of Australia are its true heroes, including the townsfolk, sailors, farmers, miners, health workers, or Australian indigenous aboriginals. All they ask for is a "fair go", and they will be there for their fellow Australian, or someone across the World. Because "I am, you are, we are Australian", and that means something exceptional. 


"The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze ...

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly. "


Taken tonight:

Copyright Acerules

Copyright Acerules

To my fellow Aussies, a word about language. Let's not go losing our culture through neglect. It's not inevitable, work on keeping our words. It's not a cookie, it's not a drug store, as I saw in the city the other day, orright? Let's keep our language in circulation. We might be multicultural now, but what we have is uniquely ours. Plus, can we please stop selling off our icons? At least Vegemite is coming home to Aussie hands at last. 

A shout out to my international mates. Come to visit our country and don't leave it too long. You will wonder why you put it off. In addition, if a dinky di (real ) Aussie calls you Mate, or Cobber and means it, that is a thing to treasure, because the respect and love of an Aussie is hard won and worth having, and he or she will have your back, whether you are "in a stoush" or "down on your luck. "


Running on empty said...

Welcome to my page , make yourself at home.

Unknown said...

Glad to hear you praise your country and feel proud. Perhaps Australia will be a good home for MANY Americans that are not proud of our country due to the newly elected president. I however, will be happily satisfied to live in America!

I would like a visit to your country one day if it is in the cards!

Running on empty said...

You will be made welcome Margo.

Karen said...

Lol, I was hoping to read some explanation about drop bears, and why the Aussies love to tease the foreigners about it....or perhaps there will be a future blog devoted entirely to drop bears?

Running on empty said...

Sure, I can do that.

Fizzfan said...

My dearest friend emigrated to Sydney years ago and I sadly lost touch (in the days before I had access to a home computer and emails etc) We did however write for quite a long time and she loved it in your part of the world and never wanted to return. I definitely get the impression that Aussies have a cracking sense of humour and don't take themselves too seriously. Also very hardy and honest. It's good to know you're proud of the country you live in. It must be nice.

Kathy said...

Have you seen any Tasmanian devils?

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Cath. I've somehow signed out and have to find my password.

Yes, we saw Tasmanian Devils at Featherdale Wildlife Park we would take the kids to. They were confined in a low enclosure, it was feeding time and they were very vicious to the meat and each other. Lots of sharp teeth, biting and growling attacks. They are endangered because of a horrible cancer.

Fizzfan said...

Oh yes. I saw a documentary on that Cath quite a while ago. I think I'm right in saying they've marooned some on an island to bring the population up or something like that?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Cath here.

Yes, they did. We have many uninhabited small islands around the coast, so they have done that with different species.

Kathy said...

I won't vouch for the validity of this story....I read a woman picked a little pup out of the water that looked to be drowning and took it home and swaddled it in some blankets. When she came back it wouldn't let her in the room....she called a friend and and he told her that was not a pup it was a small Tasmanian

Running on empty said...

Might have been a drop bear orphan. They are deceptively cute until they open their mouths...