Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sheree's Top 5 Australian Summer Memories

Well, it's official, it's day three of my vacation and I have nothing planned so far.  Since it's the midway point of my vacation, I'm hoping I'll take it easy, but I get bored really easily.  I will probably end up going to the flea market at some point in time.  I don't know if many of you know this but the Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the highest ranked zoos in the United States and attracts around half a million visitors each year.  It's been a few years since I've been there, it's only about 10 minutes from my house, so I'm thinking it may be on my list of things to do today.  I'm sure that no matter what I'm doing, I'll enjoy myself.

I'm sure that as soon as you saw the title of this post, you knew who the wonderful guest blogger was.  For most of you, Sheree of The Eclectic Reader needs no introduction.  Sheree is one of the reasons I'm so grateful for what the book blogging community has done to enrich my life.  In what other forum would a guy from Wichita, KS, dead center of the United States be able to connect with such a passionate mother and reader in Brisbane, Australia?  This community has allowed some wonderful relationships develop between people who never would have otherwise never met.  I know I don't need to say this but I think Sheree is one of the kindest bloggers who always has a nice thing to say and can put a new blogger at ease.  I think she is amazing and I would hope that you guys, if you don't already know how great her and her blog are, to go on over and say hi.

I was delighted when Ryan asked me to guest post on Wordsmithonia while he’s enjoying a much needed summer holiday. Woohoo, permission granted to wreak havoc and swing from the chandelier do a civilised post on his blog and here I am Pina Colada in hand. 

 Being winter in Australia (the season I loathe) I’m in serious need of a dose of sunshine and warmth and as my fairy godmother is neither fairy-like nor godmotherly (I think she took her mean pills) and refused my Tahiti vacation request the next best thing is My Top 5 Australian Summer memories

1.      BBQ’s
Summer is BBQ season and despite all the international throw-another-shrimp-on-the-barbie advertising, in Australia it’s just not a barbeque without snags (sausages). A sausage in bread with or without onion and tomato sauce is standard fare at any Aussie BBQ. And it’s just not summer or a BBQ without flies. I honestly don’t know why it is we insist on having BBQ’s at the height of summer … are US flies particularly sticky or is that a talent reserved only for Australian flies? Flies that stick in your eyes (and in little kids snot) or flies on steroids and if you’ve ever had one of those fly up your nose (in search of god knows what) you’ll know exactly what I mean. They say you aren’t a true blue Aussie until you’ve swallowed a fly … I am, I have and I can tell you I fervently wished as I gagged (you never know where their feet have been *see Open Air Cinema section below*) coughed and raged indignantly that I was anything but.

Back to the BBQ … does anyone feel like eating now?

2.     Coconut Reef Oil

This is one of my favourite summer smells, I immediately think of white beaches, swaying palm trees and the new Old Spice man glistening in coconut oil

 … oh where was I
Coconut oil replaced good old cooking oil or baby oil as a means of turning glow-in-the-dark white skin to beef jerky. As a teen it was the ‘done’ thing to baste oneself in cooking oil and lay in the sun rotating, front, back, side, side … repeat, baking complete when you’re the consistency of crispy bacon . With increased skin cancer awareness, the Oompa-Loompa look surged in popularity, glow-in-the-dark white became the new tan and SPF was added to coconut oil. I wonder if they make scratch and sniff thingies to feed my coconut smell addiction? J

3.     Beaches
We really do have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world in Australia and for many Australians beach culture is very much a part of our lives. Our lifeguards and volunteer surf life savers do a fantastic job keeping Aussies & visitors safe on our beaches. What more could you ask for – sun, sand, surf, and for the most part the scenery isn’t bad.

4.     Water Fun
Set up the sprinkler in the back yard, add a giant length of plastic and a bottle of dishwashing liquid and you’ve got a  home-made water slide and hours of fun for kids and the young at heart. Or my favourite, the sprinkler going full pelt under the hills hoist clothes line, hang on tight swinging round and round in the water spray. And when you get your bottom smacked for making the clothes line sag and squashing the family dog as you land (not that I’m speaking from experience) you decide the stinging bum is worth one more go.

 With drought and water restrictions now very much a part of everyday life in many parts of Australia, home-made water fun is a thing of the past. We now have water theme parks; double the fun, safer for pooch and the sting is one to your wallet.

5.     Open Air Cinema

Only open during summer. Pull up a bean bag, deck chair, a patch of grass, picnic rug. BYO picnic, bring your favourite take-away or grab a typical movie treat on-site. Furry friends can see a movie too however disruptive canine guests will be asked to leave and unwelcome ‘deposits’ are frowned upon. In the case of untended deposits the offending pooch and owner will be evicted from the cinema without a refund (ok I made that last bit up but it sounds like it should be a rule and I mean … think of the flies!! *refer to BBQ section above*)

Ryan I hope your holiday is full-on R&R and you return refreshed and ready for anything.

So who’s got a favourite summer memory to share?

Teddyree aka Sheree


bermudaonion said...

Oh my, I'm ready to pack my bags to spend next winter in Australia.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Sheree you rock! I laughed all the way through your post... I believe now my guest post was way too serious... next year Ryan, let me have a do-over :)

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who lived in Australia for two years. She missed the beaches more than anything when she returned to the states. I would love to visit.
I love the open air theater. How great is that?

Teddyree said...

Aww Ryan you are just the sweetest and I agree how lucky are we to have this wonderful blogging community that fosters friendships between people across the world. Old friends without even meeting :)

Whatever you decide to do Ryan (and nothing is also good lol) have fun. I like the sound of the zoo and I can never pass up a good flea market, you just never know what book is waiting for you!

Teddyree said...

I'd love to meet some of my bloggy friends in person ... and you too could experience my summer faves!

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Wonderful post, Sheree! I would love to visit Australia. Yes, I think the flies are just as bad here. I loathe flies!

Nice bum on that lifeguard!

Yvette said...

Sheree: Enjoyed your summer-time post even if you're writing it in the middle of winter. :)

Everything on your list is familiar to me here in New Jersey, USA except that barbecue for us usually means hot dogs, hamburgers and occasionally chicken. Wait, 'hot dogs' are a kind of sausage, so we're not that far off. :)

We rarely have flies during lunch or dinner, but late in the day we get mosquitos showing up for their share of the feast. :)

Ryan said...

At first I was just going to stare at the Old Spic Guy all day, but then realzied I should read the entire post.

Sheree, you are amazing and thank you so much for doing this!