Thursday, 8 February 2007
Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Saturday, 27 January 2007
As you no doubt realise, on 15 January [Matt's birthday] in 1832, Lord Ablemerle, travelling from Nepal, released a pair of Nepalese tigers (pictured on the front of this card) in Victoria for the anticipated sport of hunting them. The tigers, however, did not thrive in the Victorian
climate and migrated instead to Queensland [Matt is a Queenslander], where they multiplied until a remarkable thing happened. On Australia Day 1850, a mild-mannered Queenslander returned from the bog to find a Nepalese tiger drinking his beer. The man was natually outraged, and the story of the tiger spread quickly throughout Queensland, until hunting parties were organised and the Nepalese tiger was completely eradicated from that part of the world.
In consequence of these two dates, it struck me that no card or day could be more appropriate than this card and today to wish you a happy birthday and a happy Australia Day.
Many happy returns
Now, in the course of yesterday, I attempted to learn, by asking Australians, what Australia Day commemorates. I had initially mistaken Australia Day for Federation Day, when Queen Victoria (pictured left) in 1901 ratified an Act of the UK Parliament which granted Australia the right to federate (the act has not yet been repealed). Clearly, Australia Day does not celebrate the more recent Australia Act 1986, the British Act which finally gave Australia judicial independence from the Privy Council in Westminster. And as the Queen is still the head of state in Australia, there is no question of Australia Day celebrating the birth of a republic.
One Australian suggested that Australia Day was the day in 1770 when Captain Cook (pictured right) sailed into Botany Bay. As it happens, and as I'm sure you knew already, Australia Day was the day in 1788 when the First Fleet (pictured below) sailed into Sydney Cove to settle New South Wales (today known as New South Wales).
Sadly, our Australia Day celebrations were marred by Matt being required to work late and by the rest of us being unable to get into any of London's many heaving Australian bars, and so the evening's festivities were spent in English pubs, and a bar called Jack's in Southwark. And although the evening was eventful, I will stop here and simply say 'The end'.
Friday, 26 January 2007
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
Monday, 15 January 2007
I was out for a friend's birthday party on Saturday night, and after the party broke up, sometime after midnight, I meandered down Oxford Street to Bond Street Tube station (pictured above) with friends who were in search of a kebab (http://www.naks.org.uk/about_detail.htm).