It's not only the first day of Australian spring but it's beginning to be a week of 'Claytons' celebrations! I watched the news tonight and our politicians are doing what politicians do, arguing over inflation and interest rates but all were adorned with a little sprig of wattle on their lapels. Apparently, the first day of Spring is "National Wattle Day". For those of you with allergies, that's something to dread, the little yellow acacia flower is notorious for causing hay fever, allergic reactions and turning you into a red eyed snot box. I was not aware of "Wattle Day" and I've only lived here for ooh . . . 40 years! My bad!
National Wattle Day is celebrated throughout Australia on the 1st September each year (by politicians apparently). The day was originally conceived as a day to demonstrate patriotism for the new nation of Australia by wearing a sprig of wattle. The day now has wider significance as a day to celebrate our natural environment, our flora, our rainforests and bushland, our coastal heathlands and desert dunes. The sprig of wattle should encourage us to preserve our fragile environment, so that future generations will experience the joy of seeing our bushland light up each spring with golden bloom.National Wattle Day gives us a chance to demonstrate our collective pride in all things Australian. For many years now our athletes have worn green and gold, our national colours inspired by the Wattle. OK noble sentiments but . . .Wattle?
Allow me to wax lyrical " Just as Wattles rise from the ash of bushfires, Australians have always shown a determination to succeed and rise above any disasters, showing the spirit that has made us a great nation." O pelease talk about a try hard attempt at unification when nobody knows the bloody day exists!
Maria Hitchcock, known as The Wattle Lady, is responsible for gazettal of Acacia pycnantha as Australia's National Floral Emblem and gazettal of National Wattle Day on 1st September each year. She is the author of 'Wattle' (AGPS, 1991) and a Life Member of the Australian Plants Society. Poor Maria . . .she really needs to get a life! Imagine lobbying for a national 'flower' day. Don't get me wrong, I lovz me treez and me plantz but . . .wattle . . .
It's smelly, claustrophobically so . . .anyone who walks past a wattle in bloom is overcome by the 'honeyish' asphyxiating pong and that's if the bees humming around the blooms don't get pissed off and chase you down the road. And you know how it goes with bees . . run and be damned . . and if you have curly hair, bees are to be feared my friends, they become entangled in your luscious locks and sting your scull before spilling their guts and going to honey heaven.
Apparently thanks to the asphyxiating wattle, we have become the land of gold and green, that awful combination of colours that marks our sportsmen and women, encourages the weird to weild green kangaroos on yellow backgrounded flags and determine that we should actually look like the Brasilian beach basketball team in yellow and gold. It's NOT gold it's that horrible acid yellow colour . .that bilious, "I have nothing left to spew" colour.
I'm all for national pride and celebrating the advent of spring but "National Wattle Day"?
Some quotes from the 'wattleists'
The idea of embodying Australian National sentiment in a native flower, and setting apart one day in the year for its celebration, has met with the greatest success in Sydney (no it hasn't nobody gives a rats posterior, we're all too busy strategically placing gollies in our hankies)On a more serious note and a quick postscript to Ces, Wordnerd and anyone else down on the gulf . . we're hoping it's not as bad as the media is portraying - they love a disaster and pics of Katrina's aftermath have been replayed, and replayed, and replayed . . .and it's proving positive for the pollies as well. Hunker down and batten the hatches or get the fuck outta there. Thoughts are with you girls as Gustav wends his woeful way.
To the native-born Australian the Wattle stands for home, country, kindred, sunshine, and love (no it doesn't, it stands for asphyxiating nausea, red eyes and a runny nose and mangrove worms don't live in wattle bushes)
Let us rouse our young peoples sense of chivalry, and make the Wattle synonymous with Australia’s honour. (Let us break out the Kleenex and antihisthemines and prey for the onset of bushfires to burn the bejeesus out of this annoying shrub while our younglings celebrate the joys of the amber fluid)
Seriously, I had to research this because I had no idea it was real . . Strangely, I feel like I actually have a life . . .Now if it was National Mango day . .I might feel a little more enthused! Mmmmm . . . .mango!
Totally gratuitous sneeze and absolutely unAustralian: