A balmy lamb, prawn and snag scented afternoon breeze overlaid with Frangipani, coconut oil and happy raucous voices warbling all the wrong words to an Australian Crawl classic…‘she’s been hanging with the nockiset people…hammer in my head’…Ah! My fellow Aussies, fueled with chilled Pino Grigio and boutique beer and armed with BBQ tongs in full swing, their off key rendition punctuated by orders barked at zinc striped kids splashing in a pool edged with Havianas, beach towels and fluorescent noodles ‘Oi! Git orf ‘er! Stop bombin’ ‘ya sister!’.

At the far side sits a small group sporting Caftans, large sunglasses and floppy hats, their men in collar raised polo shirts, tidy board shorts and deck shoes. They’re sipping Champagne from plastic flutes and nibbling mature cheeses, fresh figs and prosciutto with bemused expressions…‘Rearrlly darling, whose guests arrrre they do you think?’ Soon after, factor 50 slathered, sandals and beach balls added to the cluster of poolside detritus, they too enter the fray.

Someone starts singing ‘It’s a long way…to the shop if you want a sausage roll’…my mates join in with a giggle and collectively we all succeed in trashing a perfectly good AC/DC song while gradually slipping into the cool blue waters between our fellow countrymen.

Feels like Australia Day? A pool. A BBQ. An Esky. In some back yards, a cricket bat too. Sharing balmy summer days under impossibly blue skies with family and friends, neighbors and blow-ins is what summer’s all about; and we don’t need an official ‘day’ to celebrate our fine country ‘Gert by Sea’ and all who populate her regardless of nationality or country of origin now do we?

Except to celebrate Australia’s best with the Aussie Day awards, Sam Kirkovich’s raspy ‘Eat Lamb!’ ads, Story Bridge Pub Cockroach racing championships, meat pies, yellow and green and all things vaguely iconic that is.

As our fellow humans shiver, shovel or sand bag for their lives in northern parts, I’m making the the most of the last of our sunny days while I can. Are you? Whether basking by pools, catching river breezes, picnicking in the mountains or pitching a ball across a dry dusty lawn, I don’t plan on taking summer for granted anymore. And you know what? By the next one I may even remember the right words to Australian Crawl…‘She’s been hangin’ with the nicest people…’ummm…


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