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The Top Ten Cool Kitsch and Collected Things that Make Me think of Australia!

Celebrating Australia Day January 26 2011

Australia is my birthplace and I was raised in Sydney and as we turn the corner on what is a hot and humid day here in Sydney I think of many fond memories. Of days on the beach, summer afternoon rainstorms and rainbows, icecream, spending my time with my sisters on holidays running around the park I lived opposite trying to catch them and sometimes them always winning!…

Below are the top 10 memorabilia items that makes me think so fondly of an incredible country, so vast, so incredible, so sunny and so far away:
Twisties – a traditional Australian snack that somehow seems to have withstood the corporate tidal wave of kid snacks. Although available in two varieties I would always choose the cheese. The most interesting thing about this snack was the advertising jingle, “Henry eating all the Twisties. Henry loves them so.” and boy did the kids give me a big serve at school about it.

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Cheese Twisties

2. The Sydney Opera House – When I was a kid my father drove to one of the highest points in the Eastern Suburbs and pointed across the Harbour to the Opera House under construction. The architect Jorn Utzon was a mirage of fantasy as he came from Sweden and bought with him the fantasy that is one of the world’s most renowned buildings. There were Opera House lottery tickets available which my parents bought which went to help fund the building.

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Sydney Opera House Under Construction

3. Bondi Beach – How can something so incredible, so clean, so sunny be so close to downtown Sydney. The most magical part of Bondi Beach is the ocean walk from Bondi to Bronte and back. It is like you are walking on water.

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Bondi Beach on a Summer’s day.

4. The Royal Easter Show is an established yearly event which brings the country to the city and puts on display all the farm animals and the fruit and vegetables in an exceptional way but the truth of the matter is I was keen for the show bags and all the chocolate I could eat in one day… I’m sure that this has not changed at all for kids today.

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Cows ready for judging at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

5. Banana Paddle Pops – This blog entry is starting to have me concerned about my food fixation however a pure banana Paddle Pop is heaven on a stick.

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Delicious banana paddle pop

6. The Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters – We have photographs that go back to when I was 4 or 5 years old when my parents would take us on day trips 60 miles away. We would picnic in the fresh air and savour the delights of the blue green air, the mountains, the kangaroos, the koalas that apparently (according to my parents) lived in the bush and just how much open space was available to us as children.

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7. Valiant Cars – As a kid my parents were avid fans of the then Valiant brand which was part of Chrysler corporation. Apparently it was super groovy to be seen in a Valiant car. I made sure I tucked myself in the back of the window where there was a tiny ledge and watched the trees go by. It makes me remember the blue sky, the gum leaves and the aeroplanes above going to faraway destinations.

8. Canberra – It’s interesting that many Australians are not that inspired by our nation’s capital city. But Canberra’s super clean, super manicured and super modern architecture was always an inspiration when we visited. Here was the capital city carved out in the middle of the Australian bush.

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9. Ansett Airlines – I still shed a tear every time I think one of the best airlines in the world did not make it through the tumultuous period in Australian aviation. I particularly loved the ladies uniform featuring burnt orange caps and scarves. Every time I visit a domestic or international airport I wish that someone would reinvigorate best Australian brand ever.

10. Hotpants – For some reason hotpants where a huge fad in the 70s in Australia and it seemed like every other person was wearing them. My parents diverted into making vinyl hotpants in leopard print, tiger print and leopard print. I packed thousands of them to go out to stores all around Australia. If only my parents could have saved some samples!

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