Tomorrow is Australia Day, a time to get together with friends and family to celebrate everything Aussie. Australia Day is celebrated in many different ways, but it usually involves a barbie (that’s food cooked on the BBQ), maybe at the beach, or in a park, or just in the backyard. Lots of lamb, prawns (shrimp), kebabs, sausages, salads, lamingtons and pavlova will be consumed, washed down with whatever takes your fancy from the esky. We’ll be dressed in shorts, singlets and thongs (that’s flip flops, of course!), with hats, sunnies and plenty of zinc cream for sun protection (and probably some Aerogard to keep away the mozzies). There’ll be games of backyard cricket, possibly a swim, and fireworks in the evening.
Those of you in North America have probably already figured out that we’re a little bit different, here Down Under. Aussies are in general a bit more laid back than Americans. We’re not too impressed with politicians, bigwigs, or authorities in general and tend to take them down a peg or two at any opportunity (look up Tall Poppy Syndrome if you don’t know what I mean). We tend towards a fairly dry sense of humour, and enjoy “taking the mickey” out of people, and not taking ourselves too seriously. We are a constitutional monarchy, in the Westminster tradition, much like Canada. Again like our Canadian friends, we use the metric system, but unlike them we drive on the left.
Our climate is mild compared to N America’s. We really only have two seasons – summer and not summer. Winter days here in Sydney are frequently comparable to English summers. In the north, they have the tropical “wet” season and “dry” season. We only get a little snow, mostly in the higher mountain areas and in Tasmania (where the weather is so completely crazy that they had snow this past December, in the middle of summer!), and we don’t have a true spring. We do, however, get searing summer heat, droughts and bushfires. Our wildlife is unique. We have no large native mammals apart from marsupials (kangaroos, koalas, possums, wombats etc…) and just one native canine (the dingo), but plenty of incredible birds, reptiles, fish, insects and plants.
Although we all speak English, it was pretty clear when the p2P team were all together for Forever LIVE last year that we really do speak different languages! Aussies (and that’s pronounced Ozzies) like to shorten words and names – so in the morning we eat breakie, drive to work in a ute, our morning break is a smoko where we talk about the pollies, in the arvo we’ll fill up at the servo (with petrol, not gasoline), stop at Macca’s for a burger or pick up some shopping at Woolies. (I’m sure I’ve bamboozled at least half of my readers by now!) And we have words that foreigners think they know, which mean something entirely different here – like boot, bonnet and mudguard – which are all found on cars.
For all our differences, though, there’s something that we all have in common. We all take photos, and we all need a way to collect, curate and celebrate those photos, and the memories attached to them, for the future. That’s why this Australia Day, I’m excited about the opportunities to grow Forever in Australia. In Forever permanent storage, in the Forever Guarantee, in the ability to gather together our photos, record our stories, and make beautiful and meaningful books and gifts with them, we have something unique and important to offer Australians. I know Australian Ambassadors are working hard at spreading the word about what Forever has to offer, and have already seen amazing results, and they deserve a big pat on the back! But there are many more Aussies who are taking photos right now as they celebrate with their families but have no plan to keep those photos safe and preserve those memories. Forever can help, and that’s something to celebrate! Happy Australia Day!
Here’s a page about how our family celebrated Australia Day last year. (Click the image to open a larger view.)