Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Australia day

Australia day is always a hectic time for me. Anne has her birthday on 23rd. I have the Burns night on 25th and then Australia day on 26th. Anne's birthday is no problem. I just take her to the Hilton Smorgasbord or Siggy's -- both of which are very upmarket places to dine. It was the Hilton this year as Anne is devoted to the excellent oysters that they always have there. But Burns Night is a BIG occasion and at lunch on the very next day I have to be recovered enough to attend the annual reunion of the C** clan -- my relatives on my mother's side. There are heaps of us all over the place but even the Brisbane contingent is substantial and we have been having a BBQ lunch together on Australia day for many years.

This year it was, as usual, at the home of my very pleasant brother Christopher. One could not ask for a nicer brother and he lives a mere 10 minutes drive from me but I still see him only once or twice a year. Such is the way of many Australian families. It is to overcome that tendency to disconnection that we all make a point of getting together on Australia day.

I was this year as always impressed by Peter, my cousin once removed. He is a fellow academic but I am still always impressed by the breadth of his knowledge. There seems to be no topic you can raise on which he does not have a useful contribution. He, Joe and I spent some time discussing battles of WWI and WWII and such things. Peter is married to a Chinese lady and has a most detailed knowledge of Chinese matters. He also has most attractive Eurasian children who were there with us. Joe's girlfriend is also of the Han so the Chinese influence is well into the family. Being Sinophilic myself, I am entirely pleased about that. I see the Han as a civilizing influence.

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