Australia Day

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

We had an incredibly diverse and interesting “Australia Day”.

The day started off with a visit to the recently-opened “National Portrait Gallery”. I think I agree with my friend Kate who thought it was maybe a little over-crowded. Still, they’ve got lots of room to expand, which can only be a good thing.

Particular favourites in the exhibition included the portrait of Deborah Mailman on the wool-bail which is just stunning because of its honesty and earthiness, and the multi-coloured Nick Cave. And on a more traditional level, it was great to see the painting by John Bracks of my friend Kate’s mother, Joan.

After lunch, we headed out for a bit of a swim and bush-walk at the Kambah Pool, about twenty-minutes or so from the heart of Canberra. What could be more “Australian” on “Australia Day” than to spend some time in the bush, enjoying the bright blue skies, the gums, and the flow of an inland river.

There was a piece on the radio this morning about how some people love the coast and some people love the inland. Well, I honestly love both.

Having grown up on the coast, I love nothing more than sitting on the headland watching the waves. And I love being in the surf, though my fair complexion often prevents me from doing as much as I’d like.

That said, my all-time favourite water experience is going back and forward between the surf at Lennox Head and the nearby Lake Ainsworth which is infused with ti-tree oil.

But then when I moved inland, I also came to realise how the wonderful experience can be of sitting or swimming in an inland river with the clay-soil squidging (?) between your toes.

The only unfortunate part about the Kambah Pool is the algae that ends up on your board-shorts. And yes, I kept my boardies on, even those there’s a nudie area not too far away, just in case you’re wondering.

Lake Burley-Griffin, Canberra on Australia Day.

Lake Burley-Griffin, Canberra on Australia Day.

Later in the afternoon, we picked up a mate of Patrick’s from the airport, had a few beers, ate dinner at the Dickson Noodle House (or Nickson Doodle House, as was described in a somewhat Freudian manner), and then headed off to watch the fireworks.

After the fireworks, we came home and chatted for a while, including catching up with Nigel who I last saw in Stockholm at the end of July. He loved his time in Norway, and says he would love to return there.

And did I mention I spent most of the day wearing my “Sverige” t-shirt?

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