A peaceful day

Phillipians 4:4-8

For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light. Psalm 36:9

We're all Australians now.

Posted by Jeanne

I'm a big believer in commemorating Anzac Day and remembering those who fought so we might be free. I'm also a great fan of our National bard, Banjo Paterson, and of the illustrations of Mark Wilson. Put them all together and you're going to have a pretty special book.

We're All Australians Now was published in 2015 but I only discovered it the other day in my local Australia Post store. Have a look and see if yours has a copy too. It was $9.99.

When Australians went to war in 1914, Australia had been a nation for all of 13 minutes. Well years, really, but it's still a really short time to forge a national identity, isn't it? The brave men and women who fought together in WWI as Australians played a great part in defining us as a people, as a country, as Aussies. By 1915, we had already suffered through Gallipoli when Banjo Paterson penned an open letter to Australian troops there at The Dardanelles , a poem entitled We're All Australians Now.

The book is Mark Wilson's beautifully illustrated rendering of that poem.

Here's a copy of the poem if you really can't find the book, but do try. As I say, it's pretty special. It's times like this that I remember that living books really are still being published. And that's a really good thing.

We're All Australians Now'

Australia takes her pen in hand

To write a line to you,

To let you fellows understand

How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,

From Broome to Hobson's Bay,

Each native-born Australian son

Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to "hump his drum",

On far-out Queensland runs

Is fighting side by side with some

Tasmanian farmer's sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar

To grimly stand the test,

Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,

With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore

Are dead as Pharaoh's sow,

We're not State children any more —

We're all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly

Half-shyly to the breeze,

Unknown where older nations ply

Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue

With Vict'ry at the prow;

For that's the flag the Sydney flew,

The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show

Is proved with shot and steel,

And now we know what nations know

And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest

Of Gaba Tepe hill

May hold our bravest and our best,

But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,

Dissensions overthrown,

We have, through what you boys have done,

A history of our own.

Our old world diff'rences are dead,

Like weeds beneath the plough,

For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,

They're all Australians now!

So now we'll toast the Third Brigade

That led Australia's van,

For never shall their glory fade

In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,

Till right and justice reign.

Fight on, fight on, till Victory

Shall send you home again.

And with Australia's flag shall fly

A spray of wattle-bough

To symbolise our unity —

We're all Australians now.

Here's Wallis and Matilda's version set to music. It's pretty special, too.



Things to do...

Posted by Jeanne

...on Boxing Day.

:: Get outside and play games in the fresh air.

:: Drink glögg.

:: Sing a carol.

:: Eat mince pies.

:: Walk along the beach.

:: Discuss life, the universe and everything with your family.

:: Read your Christmas presents.

:: Spend time alone.

:: Watch the candles flicker.

:: Write a letter to a friend.

:: Watch Love Actually with your significant other.

:: Start a jigsaw.

:: Eat cherries.

:: Bake gingerbread men.

:: Snuggle.

:: Phone a friend.

:: Enjoy the simple things.



Daisy chains and simple things

Posted by Jeanne

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do…So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland


She might be almost as tall as me, but I'm so glad that she's not too old for making daisy chains. It's one of those simple, peaceful things, isn't it, and I'm thankful that amongst the busyness of Christmas she had time today to have nothing to do.

Why don't you sit outside today for a bit and make a daisy chain, too?




Christmas greetings, my lovelies

Posted by Jeanne

Hello, my darlings! It's the first of December. I guess you knew I couldn't stay away for the whole of my favourite month, didn't you, and here I am inspired to write to you on the very first day. Wow! So how are you all? Well and happy? We are, and I do hope you are too. It's been so long since I've written that Blogsy didn't recognise me and I had to register all over again. Now I can't find the photos that I've only just taken of our Christmas decorations to show you, so I think I'd best write now and worry about that later in case the inspiration leaves me and the post won't get written at all.

Is your tree up? Ours is, even though it's only the first day of December today. A few years back we decided that putting up the tree on a weeknight was too stressful for words, so now we do it the weekend before. Much better. We trimmed our tree on Sunday night, with much laughter, glögg and shortbread, and The Snowman on the telly. It's gotta be The Snowman while you trim the tree.

Jemimah is at rehearsals for her dance concert at the moment. In December she's almost always at dance, but she loves it, and she has good friends there, so all's good. She's 15 in February - can you believe that? Do you remember how young she was when I first started writing here? Now she's almost as tall as me. I still have a few centimetres on her, but not for very much longer, I fear. She's a lovely young lady, and I enjoy her company very much. AO10 next year. How can that be when she was only in kindergarten last week?

We started our Christmas read alouds today. I posted them on Facebook for you to see. I love doing my picture book advent countdown over there each year. I have some lovely books lined up for this year, and even have a few blog posts planned to tell you about them, so we'll see how that goes. I especially want to share my very favourite super special books, so I'll try to get that post up at the very least. I haven't started my 'book for mum' yet.  I have my book club breakup next Tuesday, and I still need to read that book, so I'm trying to be good and sensible.  What are you reading this December?  Any ideas for me?  I've picked up Jeanette Winterson's new book, Christmas Days, and it looks beautiful, filled with stories and recipes - yes, recipes  - for mince pies and trifle and red cabbage and mulled wine and other perfect Christmas food. Did you know that Jeannette Winterson has a Christmas Eve ritual that includes champagne?  Champagne AND smoked salmon? She even gives her favourite French champagne choices. I just knew we were kindred spirits.  There are twelve stories here, so I was thinking of saving this for the 12 days of Christmas, but I'm not sure I can wait that long.  Besides, I might need to try that trifle.  And some champagne, of course.

We are almost halfway through our long summer holiday this week, and I don't feel organised about AO10 at all.  I need to order the books at least, so that they arrive before the start of term.  I've got lazy over the years.  Long gone are the days when I planned years in advance.  Poor child deserves better from her teacher than this.  It's amazing how it all seems to fit together, though, in the end.  I love the books she'll be reading next year.  I hope she does too.

Okay, I'm going to stop now so I can sort out how to upload these photos and resize them so they fit between the columns.  Hopefully I'll be back in a day or so with some booklists.  If not, feel free to give me a nudge.  It's been so nice chatting to you all.  Let's just imagine for a moment that I'm standing under the mistletoe in our hallway waiting to give you a kiss.

Milles Bisouxxx.



What's a double dissolution?

Posted by Jeanne


Are you teaching your Aussie teens what makes July's election different?

The 2016 federal election will be a relatively rare double dissolution election, meaning that Malcolm Turnbull has been to the Governor General as required by Section 5 of the Australian Constitution who has granted permission to dissolve both the Senate and House of Representatives. Section 12 of the Constitution also requires the state governors to issue the writs for the election of the senators in their own states. This will be the 7th double dissolution election since federation.

In a normal election, we vote for all the members of the House of Representatives but only half of the Senate. Generally, Senators hold their seats for six years, and half of them fall vacant every three years. In a double dissolution election, all the 76 Senate seats fall vacant at the same time. So that's what we're doing this year.

Here are the resources we've been using to make ourselves clever:

Section 57 of the Australian Constitution

Parliament of Australia Info Sheet

Parliamentary Education Office Learning

Printable Fact Sheet

Parliamentary Library Flagpost

Learning about things like this fits into Current Affairs, Politics, Citizenship and more. It is also quite interesting when it is actually happening. Let me know if you've used any other useful resources with your teens!



Hold your breath...

Posted by Jeanne

...cross your fingers...here we go!

Okay, call me a big kid, but I am super excited to see this film. As long as they haven't gobblefunked around with it too much, that is.


Are you a BFG fan, too? What's your favourite quote? This is mine:

“Words', he said, 'is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. So you must simply try to be patient and stop squibbling. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around.”

Hmmm, I wonder whether they'll sell lovely bubbly frobscottle at the cinema.



So who's the lucky duck?

Posted by Jeanne

There was nothing sophisticated about our choosing ceremony this afternoon. It wasn't really random, either, because I had to check that you had liked us on Facebook, and I couldn't do that if I couldn't identify you, so sorry about that. I also took your plans for using Wild Canary into account.

In the end I didn't need to worry much, because the name my Best Beloved chose with his eyes screwed shut was Natalie Wright, and I'm really excited and happy that this beautiful book is going to such a good home.

Thank you all for entering. I have a few more duplicate books - not all Aussie ones - so let's do this again soon, yes?

Natalie, dearest, can you PM me your address on A Peaceful Day's FB Page, and I'll get this in the mail to you just as soon as I can. I do hope you and your kiddiwinks enjoy it.


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Wow! You haven't really read to the bottom of the page, have you? Goodness, thank you!