On The Seventh Day of Christmas, Santa Gave To Me…..

I have long since given up my reign upon the kitchen table and thus holding it hostage with various glasses of water, hot chocolate and that much required snack of peppermint candy floating around the top.  With that I have set up residence in my bedroom, where another form of action is occurring and not I am not talking about that kind of action.  Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter because this is a G rated one today…well so far it is and unless I am going to talk about sex, then I will tell you beforehand.

The action that I am speaking of is the welcoming sound of wind howling through the trees outside my window and the sound of my screen rattling to get loose from its holding.  The sound of glorious wet stuff spraying down upon our roofs.  Not to mention the exciting sound of thunder cracking in the distance before seeing a shard of lightening streak through the sky, as if trying to out race the lingering drum rolls tolling on from the thunder have just gone.  This is before the sound of the rain dulls to a sound that can only be described as a something belonging in a stream.  A stream that is picture perfect for when you pose beside it.  A stream that contains river rocks, delicate clear fish darting here and there all day and the ever childish lingering thought of, ‘is there a mermaid playing hide and seek?’.

However in my case, I often think about how exciting it would be to ‘accidentally’ fall into the stream and than claim to my now frustrated Mother, Lois, that I fell in as I was pushed.  Or I often claim after having been told ten times, ‘don’t get wet!’ because I have a shitty record of tripping over air, I tripped.  Secretly it is because my inner wet baby was calling out to play with the water and who cares if I am currently in the middle of having a photo shoot, the water was calling out to me!

When I think about it now, this weather neither can be described as muggy or crisp with rain in sight.  And if that is the case, I shall take my incredibly large and unruly hair down to the kitchen to make myself a mug of hot chocolate before placing a swizzle stick made from a candy cane in it.  Best go do that now before the power decides to play misery bastards with us and switch off while I am hitting my milk up.  That is the one thing I miss about having gas for cooking because while the other unlucky people out there were eating chips and shit, I was cooking a roast chicken with vegetables and eating it as a candle lit dinner.  Now since having moved into my house where everything but the shower is run on electricity, I miss the good ol’ days of trying to burn my eyebrows off.

Pure Fatty Goodness….

If the power does go off between finishing this sentence and when I am about to upload after editing, I am writing this at seven past six in the evening and therefore, I consider that as technically counting as posting on the day it was meant to be.  Not to mention having written, edited but due to technical difficulties, I’ve managed to fulfil my writing obligations that I had set from myself when setting this challenge.  

Right now, I’m off to make the chocolate because I am suddenly craving hot chocolate.  Also if you are looking for a really nice hot chocolate to have in the colder months, Avalanche’s chocolate and marshmallow melt is simply one of the best one I’ve tried so far.  However, milo doesn’t beat it but they are nearly on par with one another.  The one thing that I like about it is that I don’t need to add sugar to sweeten it as it is already sweet enough and that it tastes like I have a mass amount of marshmallows.  Without actually having to fight the plastic bag holding the mallows hostage from my chocolate.

Just note that if you do plan on buying it, two teaspoons worth is more than enough to float your boat.  Any more and you will feel incredibly ill for the rest of the morning/night and silently cursing yourself for having added that extra teaspoon because at first, it didn’t taste like there was enough.  Trust me, I would know because as I curled up in a foetal position under my covers with a pillow clutched to my stomach and my lower back screaming out in pain for being an awkward position, I was cursing myself.  Nothing like sucking on some ice cubes for a few hours, vowing that you will stick to two teaspoons and agreeing that there should be no more dairy after 6pm.  Once again, should have remembered that vow I made myself the other day when I had dairy at midday and then walked outside into the incredible heat of Australia.  I was soon to discover that even with diary in my stomach, the outside heat would literally ruin my drink.  Thus resulting in dairy and I no longer being friends.  

So what do you do when you experience that moment of ‘should I be sick?’ or ‘shall I soldier on like nothing is wrong?’… I chose the first option.

I regret dairy and living in a hot country..

Note to self for future reference: do not drink, eat, inhale or consume anything that contains or even remotely looks like it contains dairy.  You will regret it.  Your stomach will regret it and hate you.  You will regret it even more as you cry profusely while being sick and at the same time, mentally cursing yourself for being an idiot living in a country that has more mood swings for weather than what you normally do as a human.  In simple terms Scarlett, do NOT eat dairy.

Be lactose intolerant.  Stick to cool milk that tastes like it has 500g of sugar in a small cup size and get rid of your cheese.  Hello feta cheese as it doesn’t upset your stomach and other formats of keeping your calcium levels up.  Let the experimenting begin, Frankenstein!

With that, I welcome you to another blog post and what Santa has thoughtfully delivered for me on a golden platter.  Now this platter isn’t any old platter which your grandmother only takes out for that special occasion; but rather this platter is decked with gum leaves.  Not to mention the drop bear sightings within the distract, brightly coloured green notes with a 100 printed on the top right corner of the plastic material and a hat with corks.  Peering under the hat that is funny looking because it has corks tied around in leather string and strung through the hat which helps to keep the flies away; is the present.  Santa had to deliver it in his old beaten ute since the sleigh is being upgraded for Christmas and the reindeers’ are being pampered before their long evening come next week.

And that present is……..  

On The Seventh Day of Christmas, Santa Gave To Me the joys of being an Australian.  
And with being an Australian comes the journey of living amongst the cane fields, playing cane toad cricket with my family and news that can bring a family together in times of need.  It also brings to light, the fact I hate singing ‘I am Australian’ after spending something like four years of continuously singing this song for every occasion while being in the school choir.  Along with me screaming at the television when fellow Australian’s pronounce Australia in their inner bogan tendencies, “Au-stray-a”.  

Wrong, just fucking wrong! It’s Aus-tra-LIA!  Fucking bogans!

Having realised that I previously stated this was going to be a G rated blog, I welcome you to the R rated version that we knew was going to grace our presence.

As described by the Australian Government website, Australia can be listed as a country that has a cultural diversity amongst its its people and the extent of which they are united by overriding and unifying as a community.  This was shown earlier this week when a gunman walked into a cafe located within the busy centre of Sydney and proceeded to hold thirty people hostage for a large number of hours.  With this breaking news, the community of Australia sat in their lounge rooms, office desks and on public transport in horror and concern, as we watched a story unfold about a masked man who held these people hostages.  

With people flocking to the area to watch and in some cases, take selfies of the scene behind them while smiling broadly, the media showed the scene to the rest of Australia.  Australia watched as cameras panned in on the cafe, located within the busy centre of Sydney’s busiest district.  The images that soon greeted us as we felt our mouths open in horror and as our hands reached for our phones, dialling to make sure our family was safe, were distressed and frightened people standing against the glass window of the cafe.  What they were seen holding was a black flag containing Islamic writing as one hostage’s face clearly showed her distress and cry of help from underneath the flag.

We waited with baited breath all day to see if anything had happened as we broke out into joyous cheer at the images of people having escaped and running into the arms of the AFP.  Knowing in that one moment of that man/woman wrapping their arms around them before dragging them to safety and they were now safe.  For those who chose to remain awake all night waiting for more information and for those like myself who could no longer keep awake, we woke to the news next morning that the siege had ceased.  Fifteen plus hours later, people were freed from the cafe after the gunman turned on himself in a sense of what is being labelled as a ‘terrorist’ act by those in the media or a ‘political’ piece.   

As we sat down to eat our breakfast in front of the television to hear of how everything had happened during the night as we slept, we learnt of the sad passing of two hostages.  These two people, who I do not feel comfortable naming as it is not my place to do so, risked their lives in a variety of different circumstances however the ultimate goal was to protect someone else.  Having done this incredible and unselfish act, we watched as the presenter for the day on 7’s ‘Sunrise’, Natalie Barr, broke down on live national news when having been told who one of the victims were.  

I saw from comments having been made both in person and on social media, instead of rallying together on the idea of supporting Natalie during this time of distress as she knew one of the victims personally, she was ridiculed for showing ’emotion’.  And for having ‘openly’ shown emotional on national television rather than keeping ‘it together’, people were suggesting that she should be taken off from her duties and be replaced within someone who was capable of remaining cold and distance and not be seen as weak.  Along with Natalie being shredded, her co-host Kochi (David Koch), was also ridiculed for not having visibly supported Natalie while she showed her grieving on air and was listed as ‘appearing cold, distant and very male like’.

Is that even a phrase?  Very male like?  

The tweets that started the motion…

Soon after hearing the news of the armed siege within Sydney, the hashtag #Illridewithyou was soon trending through various forms of social media in Australia and even worldwide at a later date.  For those who reside outside of Australia and happen to have a twitter account, you would have seen it splashed across the ‘what’s trending now’ box.  For those who reside out of Australia, have never heard of Twitter and thus resulting in you not owning an account, it was dedicated to non-racist Australians, who were standing up for those minorities such as Muslims.

Who in this case because the gunman was of Middle Eastern decent, would have been targeted by racist Australians as they would have seen other Muslims having agreed with what the man had been doing.  Which is not always the case as it was shown that many other Muslims do not always agree with what some gunman or extremist is saying.  Having done this, the move united Australians far and wide under one hashtag banner while pledging their solidarity with those who feared of being racially discriminated by bigots upon public transport.  

The hashtag which people started proudly displaying via tweets thus causing comments on Facebook to be made and in some cases, sticking a temporary sign on one’s school was done.  All because it had been originally started when Rachael Jacobs’ posted a few tweets on twitter.  The tweets were on how she told a Muslim lady who was quietly taking off her head wear while sitting on a public transport, ‘to keep it on as I will ride with you’.  Later on, a man named Michael James soon posted a comment to the tweet stating, ‘This, this what good people do’.  

And this is what fellow Australians do, we unite together.  

Because as stated in the framework of Australia’s laws, all Australians have the right to express their cultural and beliefs while participating freely within the national life of Australia.  At the same time as doing this, everyone is expected to uphold the principles of shared values which support Australia’s way of life.  These principles of shared values for Australia’s way of life include the following:

1.  The respect for equal worth, dignity and freedom of any individual.
2.  Freedom of religion and a secular government.
3.  Supporting parliamentary democracy and rule of law.
4.  Equality under the law:
       4a.  Equality for both men and women.
       4b.  Equality of opportunity
5.  Peacefulness
6.  A spirit of egalitarianism embracing tolerance, mutual respect and a compassion for those in need. 

Australia also hold firmly to the belief that no one should be disadvantaged upon the basis of their country of origin i.e. birth, cultural heritage, languages spoken, gender and religious belief.  Now having just stated that previous sentence, I realise they have forgotten ONE major important thing.  And that one major important thing is recognising the homosexual community because I hate to tell you, not everyone is straight.  So with that, here is an updated version.

Australia has the firm belief that no Australian should be disadvantaged upon the basis of their country of origin for instance birth, their cultural heritage, languages that are spoken, gender and religious beliefs.  Australia also believes that none who identifies themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender should be held accounted for their personal beliefs as to, they should and would be allowed to fall in love with.  In fact, Australians shall support a out-coming individual and those already out by accepting the concept of gay marriage and the right for any gay couple or Trangender couple should be allowed to adopt.  Because, we as a community believe that everyone needs someone else to love.  And children equally need someone to love them whether you are straight, gay or polka dotted.  We accept you for who you are and not what you are.

Another thing that I classify as being unique when calling myself an Australian, is not the fact that I used to have kangaroos in my backyard nor having to deal with gum boots in summer because of the risk of standing on a snake, sun baking.  The unique thing that classifies us as Australians is the fact we all stood in silence for those who lost their lives in the hostage siege.  Those Australians who supported Natalie against those who tore her to pieces and demanded that she be sent else where within the Seven network.  For those who stood up for Kochi and stating that ‘he was clearly shocked over the news of the person mutually known between them, having died.  If he had touched Natalie on the hand or wrapped an arm around her, she would have crumbled and thus been unable to retain her composure to finish her sentences.  It was difficult enough to watch her as she openly shed tears from here so I don’t know what it would have been like for Kochi or the camera crew.  What I think Kochi did was brave and not ‘cold or distant’.  And it certainly was not because he was a male’.

To the fellow Aussie reporter at the scene who told the camera crew to put the cameras onto him now so he could start talking, giving time for Natalie to shed those tears she had been holding back while reporting.  For the #Illridewithyou having been created and circling various media sites telling those who aren’t of European looking decent, that no matter what, some of us will stand beside them.  And with that, will fight beside them against those who make racist remarks upon their religious attire, how they are all extremists/terrorists and how they should go back to their own country.  

For the two people who sacrificed their lives amongst many others who aren’t named in the media, fighting to protect those who are over come with fear.  Also for the people of Sydney who came to the site near the cafe and laid flowers down in memory for those incredibly brave people.  While understanding that we will always be Australians and therefore, we unite as a community.  As a state.  And also as a country.  In any given situation such as a family’s house burning down to three states having to contend with out of control fires and firefighters from around the nation and even overseas, coming to the rescue.

The flowers laid for the victims of the siege.

And for those reason right there in this moment of time, is the reason why I am proud to label myself as an Australian.

As a ‘skippy’ and also as someone who is proud to admit that she more than willing to stand there and demand the right of people who are less equal (no matter what the government states that is supposedly doesn’t happen in Australia) that they be noticed.  Given the same rights as anyone else including those of the wealthy and powerful.  I am also someone who will continue to fight until my last breath is taken for gay equality in Australia.  And will sign petition after petition stating that I agree and support the idea of gay marriage, gay adoption and anything that would make the gay community be accepted into the government’s bill of equality.

Because essentially that is who is letting them/us down.  In case you didn’t know, Tony Abbott has a sister who came out of the closet.  Bob Katter, an Australian MP, has a gay brother, who has also spoken out about being openly gay.  To which, you never now hear from them as if they have almost been silenced by their family members.  

And for now, I shall leave it there for this evening.  I am off to edit this while listening to a variety of great Australian bands such as Cold Chisel, Jimmy Barns, Icehouse and Men At Work to name bar a few.  Hell, I even played ‘working class man’ because that song has become a favourite for us hard workers and is essentially a pub anthem that must be played at every pub.  Not forgetting Khe Sanh and the drunken warble of ‘You’re The Voice’ by our good ol’ buddy, Johnny; all the while slinging back a coldie in our thongs and tee-shirts.

With that, enjoy a coldie, the singlet and thongs combo I’m sporting and let’s throw a prawn on the barbie…mate.

Until next time,

Cheers xo.

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