I’ve signed on to the Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop.
“What is this?” I hear you ask.
A collection of Australian authors and bloggers (50 at last count) will publish a new blog post at midday AEST on 25 January. They will also give away an Australian book, ebook or gift certificate of their choice. ( No guesses what I’ll be giving away :-))
So WOW – 50 books by Australian authors up for grabs and many of these comps open to readers anywhere in the world.
(An FYI for you overseas folk <g> we celebrate the arrival of the First Fleet in Australia on 26 January – Australia Day.)
To be eligible to win, you simply have to leave a comment to my post on my blog: Four lives – the price of my Australian heritage: and you will have till midnight on Tuesday 28 January to do so. No problem if you are away for the long week-end; you will still have time. The winner will be announce at the end of January and chosen at my discretion.
It’s the same routine with the other bloggers – you just have to hop on over to their blogs and comment on their posts. To help you with this, there will be an online directory provided by Book’d Out (This is Shelleyrae’s brainwave and she is hosting). It’s a first for me so I’m trusting the process will all become clear for me and for you.
I’ve been pondering all week what to write about and trying to pinpoint when I first identified as being Australian.
In 1976 I remember being in awe of Nadia Comăneci and her perfect 10s at The Summer Olympics in Montreal. I wanted to be her! Romanian!
Yet, at the same time, I had a bizarre fixation with a maroon sports bag with the word ‘Queensland’ emblazoned across it. You couldn’t buy such an item. Only an elite few carried them casually over their shoulders. For me it was the pinnacle of sporting achievement – the badge of honour you received for making a Queensland sport’s team. At 11 years of age it was all I wanted. For me, making a Queensland sport’s team, would be like making it in New York…I’d make it anywhere.
Funny. Not so. Some days I think I peaked too young!
So when did my patriotic Australian pulse flicker on?
I remember Australia winning the America’s cup. That was great, but being a struggling university student, we didn’t even have a television set to watch the champagne popping celebrations. I remember Australia’s Bicentennary. I went to a rooftop party at a friend’s place in Neutral Bay, Sydney. What a day and night it was. The fireworks were spectacular. It looked like Sydney Harbour Bridge was one giant wax candle, melting in flames. However, if I were honest, I didn’t feel the adrenalin of it in my veins that day either, despite all the magnificent tall ships and they were magnificent – but just imagine a harbour with ONLY tall ships in it – hmm, now that would have been something!
Oddly on that day, there was a little bit of: “Oh so now we celebrate the founding of Australia by convicts, when once we didn’t want to know them.” A touch bittersweet don’t you think? And without an apology in sight I doubt it was a great day for our indigenous Australians either.
Ah…Cathy Freeman winning Gold at Sydney’s Olympic Games. Now you’re talking! In my lounge room – in New Zealand, no less – she brought me to my feet. I imagine she brought every Australian to their feet. A lithe aboriginal woman, a shining Queensland woman with the weight of the entire nation on her shoulders – you go girl. What a night of tears and elation it was!
Maybe that was the moment.
But as my Kiwi neighbour, Bernie, liked to say to me, and often: “What would you know? You’re from awe–strucking–failure.”
And so I have decided to write about my Australian heritage, how this line of Caulfields came to be in Australia, and the price they paid. Given what I now know, it has great meaning to me. In 2005 my father spent a year researching our family history and recording his own. It was a year very well spent. Come join me on the week-end sometime to read a very personal and true story of hope, sacrifice and heartache.