January 27, 2006
Belated Birthday Bashes
Being an Australian is something, in my opinion, of which one should be proud.
Lots of people, including many of your close relatives, punkin, have CHOSEN to live in Australia, and indeed to become Australians. You have that honour purely by virtue of being born in Carlton (which is also why you have the other honour of barracking for the Blues, but more on that later).
Tis a fabulous and amazing country, with lovely weather (when it's not being stupidly swelteringly hot and horrible) and a fantastic diversity of cultures that ensures a wonderous availability of all manner of foodstuffs.
It's often been said (and more than once by me after a few brown lemonades) that Australia has without question the finest food and wine available anywhere on the planet. Of course, it's not strictly true, but the variety of high quality nosh is unparalleled, chiefly, punkin, chiefly by virtue of the people who decided they wanted to come and live here.
So you see, when certain people (and I've tried to keep this blog fairly apolitical for a while, but this just got my goat), when certain people start making noises about how we should spend more time celebrating the "values" and contributions of our more... angloriffic ancestors, and by extension less time on the contributions and values of the other people from other places that make up this great land of ours, and indeed the people who were already here when we arrived (and had been for, by various guesstimates between 60 and 100,000 years), well, I get a tad grumpy.
That said, I am able to turn my mind to history of a more recent nature.
It was tomorrow minus 32 years, punkling, when your grandmama and grandpapa had the inestimable joy of welcoming me into the world. Although they didn't know it was me to begin with.
You see, for the first (I'm sure your grammy's going to correct me here) days of my life, I was called Richard Thomas. This is, of course, not such a bad name in itself, indeed there have been several famous (and not so famous) people who seem to have got on well enough with it, but I'm much happier with the one I ended up with (thanks in no small part to Nana Ruth, who I am incredibly sad to say that you will never meet).
So tomorrow it's my birthday. I will turn 32, and for me at least, a new year will begin. The last year, with the notable and noteworthy exception of your birth, was one of the more trying and difficult I've so far had to face. This year is beginning to feel like it's going to be one that's more about stability, about building on solid foundations.
This year, punkin, thanks in no small part to you, and to the joyful responsibility that you represent, I'm beginning at last to feel like I might be almost half grown up.
I'll keep you posted on the other half.