Three things that are making me a happy Exile at the moment, though they didn’t happen all at once. First, late last week, a return of my interweb connection and hopefully an end to the interweb conniptions thanks to a man who took away some shitty old wiring and some money and left behind some shiny new wiring. Second, and still pending though really it looks like just a matter of time, is Australia heading towards a win in the fourth test against India, which will be a whitewash for the series. And third is Australia Day, a day for wearing Aussie flag themed bikinis, wrestling in Vegemite (optionally whilst wearing Aussie flag themed bikinis) and racing ferries in Sydney harbour – and people wonder why I stopped drinking – oh, and the First Fleet something something something.
But I have to say that I don’t think that’s the norm and that Aussies in general have a better grasp of their identity and history than many Brits, or more specifically many English, do of theirs – all the Vegemite bikini ferry wrestling means is that they’re imaginative about finding ways to celebrate it. Whether making 23rd April a bank holiday would help I don’t know, though I feel it’d need an explanation about what an 1800 year dead Syrian has to do with England in the first place. More problematic is that there isn’t really a single stand out date for England to point at and feel good about itself that means quite the same as January 26th does to Aussies or July 4th does to Americans. Nobody really has any idea when England was first settled and nor is there a particular date that was crucial to its independence as a nation. Maybe that’s a less practical reason for giving the EU the flick – there’d actually be a date where people could wave a few flags and, if timed for the summer month, wear Union flag swimwear and wrestle in Marmite. There could even be bus racing.