*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 52 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

The Motherland

 

The need to continually justify the colony's early existence in London became part of its character and from 1788 until the early 1970s Australia spent a great deal of time trying to stop mummy forcing her to leave home.  Bob Menzies was still getting his washing done at home until his death as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports; and he 'did but see her passing by' , referring to good Queen Bess II and 'loved her till he died'.  Contrary to popular belief today, when we hear 'we fought under our flag in two world wars', Australia still used the Union Jack as our National flag until 1954, when the current flag became the official one, thanks to the Queen's visit and the need for a gracious act.  This is clearly seen in old newsreels.   My high school was the repository of the Changi Flag framed in the School Hall.  It was made by Australian prisoners of war in Singapore around 1943.  It is a Union Jack.

Australians still carried British Passports until 1949 and the word British was not completely removed from Australian passports until 1967. God Save the Queen  was our National Anthem until 1974.  Even the reformer, Gough Whitlam, never stopped referring to his old school masters in the 'Old Dart'; how should one pronounce kilometre?  We are probably the most reluctant independent Nation in history.  When I was a child our elderly neighbour always spoke of 'home', meaning England, even though she was second or third generation Australian. 

This self imposed sycophancy towards the Mother country, juxtaposed with the egalitarian sentiments of convicts made good, defined the Australian character for much of my childhood.   Intellectuals and artists had to be recognised in London; the 'cultural cringe' became a term of self abuse; we were constantly seeking the approval of the world in general; we wanted to emulate Americans; we built the biggest this and best of that, or so we told ourselves while in our hearts doubting it all the time; we had to excel in every sporting endeavour, culminating in 'the best Olympics ever'.  At the same time we doubted the credentials of our high achievers and were constantly on the lookout for a chink in their reputation.

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Southern France

Touring in the South of France

September 2014

 

Lyon

Off the plane we are welcomed by a warm Autumn day in the south of France.  Fragrant and green.

Lyon is the first step on our short stay in Southern France, touring in leisurely hops by car, down the Rhône valley from Lyon to Avignon and then to Aix and Nice with various stops along the way.

Months earlier I’d booked a car from Lyon Airport to be dropped off at Nice Airport.  I’d tried booking town centre to town centre but there was nothing available.

This meant I got to drive an unfamiliar car, with no gearstick or ignition switch and various other novel idiosyncrasies, ‘straight off the plane’.  But I managed to work it out and we got to see the countryside between the airport and the city and quite a bit of the outer suburbs at our own pace.  Fortunately we had ‘Madam Butterfly’ with us (more of her later) else we could never have reached our hotel through the maze of one way streets.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

The Time Lord

 

 

 

For no apparent reason the silver haired man ran from his companion, shook a tree branch, then ran back to continue their normal conversation. It was as if nothing had happened. 

Bruce had been stopped in peak hour traffic in the leafy suburban street and had noticed the couple walking towards him engaged in good humoured argument or debate.  Unless this was some bizarre fit, as it seemed, the shaken tree branch must be to illustrate some point.  But what could it be?

Just as the couple passed him the lights up ahead changed and the traffic began to move again. 

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

Copyright - Greg Ham

 

 

I've just been reading the news (click here or on the picture below) that Greg Ham of Men at Work has died; possibly by suicide.

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright