As anticipated, we had a pretty low key Australia Day. We were very pleased when we stepped outdoors and immediately noticed the drastically reduced temperature. It is now humid but much more manageable. We were also greeted by the warm, sweet fragrance of the trees and plants that had been released by the rain - much like the fragrance of the woodier sort of aromatherapy oils. We took a drive out into the country (same route as earlier in the weekend) to see what impact, if any, the 30ml plus of rain had had on the area. We were pleased to see puddles, large and small, all over the bush. There had not been enough rain to get those dry riverbeds flowing.
The day ended on a bit of a down note. Some drunken hooligans had seen fit to cause a commotion on the street outside. Someone called the police and an arrest was made. A young man as drunk as a skunk appeared on our step to apologise for the incident. He told us his mate had been fired from his job at a nearby hotel, was very upset and had gone on a bit of a binge and rampage throwing beer bottles in the street. This was a bit unsettling as the activities on the street still persisted by the time we went to bed. Unfortunately, no society is perfect. Unpleasant incidents happen everywhere. Things were placed back firmly in perspective when I read the following tragic, chilling South African story online this morning: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2459369,00.html. We are so lucky to be out of there.
It doesn't look like much is happening over here to celebrate Australia Day. I meant to ask someone at the shops yesterday but it slipped my mind. The local newspaper still has not emerged from its holiday shutdown and I haven't seen any posters about. The only sign of Australia Day that I have seen is Australia shaped burger patties at Woolworths! The temperature has been predicted to drop a bit (38 today and 36 tomorrow) so perhaps we'll be more inclined to go and see if anything is happening out there.
The shops are all closed until Tuesday. Imagine ... literally no shops open for two days! You can't drive to another suburb or find a 24/7 supermarket because there aren't any. There's another mining settlement over 100km away and then there are some towns in various directions over 400km away. We stocked up for the weekend but I woke up this morning thinking, 'I need x,y and z!) I've become so used to 7 days a week shopping. I've been feeling like icecream for a couple of days now but have put off buying some as I don't have a cooler bag yet to get it home in tact. Maybe one of the hotels will be open and they'll be serving milkshakes or something? I think living out here might help cure me of my compulsive consumerism!
Happy Australia Day everyone! Can't believe we are really here and celebrating our first one.