Burns Night and Australia Day


Right nows it’s Burns Night, the de facto Scottish national day (night). No one seems to celebrate St Andrew’s Day as much as they do Burns Night…I could be wrong of course.

Kate and I celebrated with a wee dram of the fine Speyside, single malt, Dalwhinnie. The past couple of Burns Nights we have celebrated by having a gathering where, veg. haggis, neeps and tatties have been consumed…along with several varieties of whisky. Last year, we combined the celebration of the life of Scotland’s favourite poet, Robbie Burns with a celebration of life and times of infamous Scottish “poet and tragedian”, William Topaz McGonagall.

Being Australian, I also marked Australia Day, which is 26 January. Even as I type, it’s officially Australia’s national day. 26 January, 1788 was the day that the first British colonists arrived in Botany Bay. Hence, some people have taken to calling it “invasion day”. Some may accuse this nomenclature as being (overly) politically correct…however I think that there is definitely a logic in thinking about it like this.

Anyway, I think it’s good that Scotland’s unofficial national day celebrates the life of one of their greatest literary figures and not some battle/massacre/victory etc.

So, to the image that adorns the start of this post. TNT Magazine is a publication that has a large focus on the backpacker/working holiday/overseas experience markets in the UK. They cover some latest news from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa…mainly of the “what’s happening on the OZ/Kiwi/Saffa version of Big Brother” variety. Other than that, the rest of the magazine seems to be advertisements for companies that will ship your accumulated crap back to the Southern Hemisphere. They also have Australian and New Zealand editions of the magazine which I imagine work in reverse…target market, Brits on tour in the Antipodes.

Having once been the target market of TNT Magazine UK, I do admit to having read the odd edition picked up for free from stands in London or from Bar Oz when there used to be one in Oxford. So a couple of weeks back on a trip to London, I flicked through a copy of TNT in a café in Southwark.

While I was in Canada, the ski resorts were full of Australians working their way around the world and I met a ton of nice compatriots. For some reason however, I could never see the need to hang out with other Australians in London just because they were Australians…particularly Aussies on tour in London. However, when I saw the ad for the Mr and Miss Australia ’07 competition, I briefly had a flicker of interest but then decided that, I might be a bit too much of a yobbo and too ocker to get through to the final…NOT. Actually, I couldn’t think of anything worse…apart from attending the now defunct Aussie themed “Sunday session” at The Church

Don’t get me wrong, plenty of ex-patriate Australians have class but I fear they might be outnumbered at the The Sports Café tomorrow night.

Anyhow, this weekend I’m going to be at former housemate Jane’s (and Mike’s) wedding in Lanark in Scotland instead. Good luck guys.

Happy Australia Day.

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