Tag Archives: Australia

My home country.

Two Flags

26th January is Australia Day.

My Husband & our kids are Indigenous Australians but most of MY family immigrated just prior to WWI from Germany, Ireland & Scotland. Yep, I’m white. In high school we were called ‘skips’. In honour of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, I guess.

The 26th of January marks the raising of the Union Jack in Sydney Cove. This is when the British officially declared sovereignty over Australia & took control of the land – by any means necessary.

To me Australia Day has been about celebrating freedom & enjoying family & friends. It has been about looking towards a future where everyone is given equal opportunities. Where feelings about ‘Invasion’ are healed by positive relationships between all Australians. I believe this can be accomplished by raising our kids to be respectful, educated & caring people not hampered by the guilt, hurt & damage of past wrong doings for which they cannot & should not be held accountable.

What happened to the Australian Indigenous population during the 1700’s & onward is a disgrace. Considered inhuman they experienced atrocities that continued for over 200 years. We all, Australians, know this. We learnt about it at school, we were told about it by the community, by our Indigenous friends & by the media. Indigenous Australians are no longer considered inhuman. They have the same rights as anyone else. The government has issued an official & formal apology to the Indigenous Australians of this great land.

The government & it’s citizens have all said ‘Sorry’. Even those of us that weren’t living here. Those of us who joined Australia, after those times, have said (& whole heartedly felt) Sorry. Perhaps the anniversary of that day would be a better choice for Australia Day?

I do not mind what date Australia Day falls on. The date has no meaning to me. The date does not form part of my ethos surrounding the wonder & excitement that is & has always been Australia Day. It has simply meant a day to spend together. Together as a family, as a country; united. But for some it has great meaning. It’s the day their whole future was changed & their worlds turned upside down.

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Under the Morton Bay Figs My son & my Dad ©Violet Ashes 2016

Almost every town in Australia has some sort of Australia Day tradition. Where I grew up you got up at 6am & threw the deck chairs, blanket & Esky in the car & made your way to the park by the river under the Morton Bay Fig Trees (yep, they’re native & they’re beautiful) for a gold-coin-donation breakfast provided by the local Rotary & Apex clubs. There were games like ‘dunny races’ & performances by children’s choirs & Indigenous Australian dancers. They gave out citizen awards & the Mayor talked about the future of the town. We stood up for the National Anthem under two flags: the Australian & the Indigenous Australian. I never could understand why there were two flags instead of one, but I just accepted it.

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Australia Day 2016 – Mayor of Gawler    ©Violet Ashes 2016

Just accepting it as the ‘way it is’ does not work for me anymore. I often state (tongue in cheek) “as the mother of Indigenous children…” However, in this instance I am not joking. I believe it is well overdue time to unite. To let go. Not to forget but to heal the past by moving toward a future united. To teach our children about a world where we can live without the guilt of our ancestors but of the love & compassion they had for this land, all land. For the desire for freedom that we all have. Even those of us who are white love this land & feel a deep connection to it. It’s where I was born, raised & gave birth to my own children. It is home.

So, if you must, change the date. It does not affect the feeling, the ‘vibe’ of the day for me. But it will for some. And if moving the date helps ALL Australians, Indigenous or otherwise, enjoy their day of unity, harmony & freedom then do it, I say. Do it.

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My son, Jack    ©Violet Ashes 2016

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My son & I    ©Violet Ashes 2018

 

 

 

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Glorious Construction

A short evening stroll A short evening stroll tonight led me to a glorious sunset. 🌅❤💜

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Freeling, South Australia. ©Violet Ashes 2016

Mystic Kitten

I spotted this blackboard wisdom at Jeanneret Wines in the Clare Valley today on a tour around the valley with the purpose of restocking our dwindling wine rack. After what feels like an eternal winter the pickings are looking slim & we agreed it was time to go & grab some of our favourites.
 
The cellar door at Jeanneret is probably our favourite of all cellar doors. A few kilometres up from the famous Skillogalee it is a little haven hidden away where the romance fills the glass because they have learned how to bottle beauty. The roads are rough but the view is beautiful & serene. I am in love with this little gem & if fate ever smiles my way with a lotto win this will be my first point of call.
 
Now the guy who runs the cellar door is known to some as Richard, but to those of us repeat offenders we know him as Dickie. He is a splendid fella & chatting to him is just as special as the wines he (liberally) pours for tasting. The feeling here is that you are welcome – take a seat. Sit by the fire & enjoy your tasting – once you get to the Rank & File Shiraz this is exactly what you will want to do & you will want to savour every drop.
 
Another resident of this little establishment is a sly cat who we refer to as ‘Sink Kitty’. He is the second incarnation & is a healthy vintage of 19 years. He lays about in the old sink by the window where he can keep an eye on newcomers & likes a pat & a piece of cheese. His predecessor lived a long 27 years & you would be correct in thinking maybe they have the key to a long life out here. Good wine, good cheese, a small forest of gum trees, glorious vines & an attitude that kicks the ass of any other winery in the region.
 
We bought as much as the plastic would allow – but not so much we won’t have to come back just as soon as the season changes. I am already looking forward to our next adventure at Jeanneret…

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Just 6…

We spent the long weekend for Australia day camping in Victoria. We decided that since we had just had a positive pregnancy test it would be good to get away, just the three of us, & relax. I felt fine. Healthy, full of energy.
 
I am certain I cannot be more than 6 weeks pregnant but the started bleeding started the minute we got home from our weekend away. I am terrified. I have read so many websites & books that all say bleeding may be  normal this early but many that say it is not okay. I have taken another test, it indicates still pregnant. I do not know what to do & I am not sure there is anything I can do. My immediate reaction seems to be sit here & stress. I cannot get  my mind off the possibility that maybe I have done something wrong, that I should not have told Corsmor & I should have just left it alone – waited a little longer. Maybe we should have not gone away? Stayed home? Maybe I pushed myself too hard? Perhaps this is just a warning & tomorrow all will be forgiven.
 
On our trip away ‘Pip’ was been mentioned so many times & become part of our lives. Preparations already being made in our minds.
 
I do not know what to do.
 
I am fearful it is all too late.

Us on holiday – our favourite beach – Bells Beach, Victoria.

Bell's Beach, Australia

Bell’s Beach, Australia