Australia Diary 25 April 2002

It's Anzac day today in Australia. It's a very important day here when war heroes past and present are remembered. In Sydney there was a parade through the centre of town of veterans and their families. It's also a very important day because it's a day off, and an excuse (as if the Australian's need an excuse) to hit the pubs, parks, beach or whatever else takes their particular fancy. The third reason that the day is special is that it is the only day where it is leagal to play 'two up' in the pubs of the country.

What is two up, I hear myself (and some other foreigners) ask? Well, to be honest, at the moment I don't know. What I do know about the game is that it's some sort of gambling, and hence the reason that it's not allowed for the rest of the year. Why is it allowed on Anzac day? Well, as far as I understand, it was one way that the servicemen used to spend their idle time and it has become so much of a tradition for them that a special allowance has been made. As to what the game actually is and how it works, I'm not entirely sure. I will get my Google hat on and go and have a look for you (or I may just ask Emma!). Take a look at this website if you'd like to know a bit more about the game.

As I think I may have mentioned already at some stage, possibly, Em's parents are currently in the UK on holiday. This leaves a house and a menagerie of animals to be looked after. Jen, Jamie, Em and myself took one of the trouble-makers, Toby (a King Charles Spaniel) out to Centennial Park for a really long walk yesterday. Well, we went for a picnic, but took the dog with us. Now, Toby's not a big dog, but he can really run when he wants to - only he's not too bright. The combination makes for a really easy way to give him some exercise without too much exersion on our part. The four of us formed a square and simply took it in turns to call him. He never seemed to get tired of running from one to another (he did get rather puffed out after a while though)!

In the same way that I've been a bit homesick recently, I think he's got the reverse. He misses his mum terribly. He's fine when his mind's occupied, it's just when he hasn't that there's a problem. He'll be flopped out, almost asleep with his ears spread out from the side of his head. He'll suddenly sit up, look about and whine, "Where's she gone?", he seems to be asking, "I want my mum". It's all very sweet, if a little "sooky". That is what it means, "sook", a useful Aussie slang for a "lumux", "mother's boy" or "wuss".

To tomorrow

Created by Dan Leigh 26/04/02