Thanks to all those who entered my first give away. I’ll get to the winners in a moment but first I thought I’d share entrants’ answers to the question that had nothing to do with the outcome of the competition. I asked people to tell me the first word or phrase that came into their minds when they thought of Australia. The common themes from those outside the country are certainly exotic animals (a.k.a pests if you’re an Aussie farmer) and the outback (which very few of us live in but most of us have driven through)(in my case these are mostly known as road trips from hell).
The list in its entirety (with my thoughts in red)…
- Outback x 2
- The Ashes (one the world’s greatest sporting events for the uninitiated amongst you)
- Fosters (sorry Mack but I don’t know any true blue Aussie who drinks it, you should look for Coopers Pale Ale which is from my home state and is available in the US) (well in Trader Joe’s in California anyway)
- G’day Mate
- Oy (only we’d spell it Oi and sing it as part of a chant that goes Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi)
- very far away
- Koala (you people know they only sleep, eat and pee right?, they might be cute but they’re dull)
- down under (or on top if you use this map)
- Cape Tribulation
- “the shits” (can mean many things depending on your inflection or state of inebriation)
- Kangaroo x 2
- Duck-billed platypus
- Home x 3 (2 residents and an ex-pat)
- Shrimp on the barbie (clearly a better tourism slogan than the more recent one which was “Where the bloody hell are you” – I think it lost something in the translation)
- rugged, individual or rugged individual (we certainly like to see ourselves and our country this way)
Thanks for playing along everyone.
For the record the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of Australia is “The Lucky Country”. It’s the title of a 1964 book by Donald Horne in which he argued that Australia was kind of lazy and lacking in motivation. He said that other countries were inventing things and innovating and all that neat stuff while Australia just took advantage of timing. But I say ‘nuts’ to Horne. We’ve invented things, we’ve had social innovations (my home state was the first in the world to grant women universal suffrage concurrently with the right to stand for election in 1894) (New Zealand only did the first half of that one year earlier). And if we haven’t been quite so motivated as some countries perhaps that’s what has spared us all out war on home soil. I’ve visited a good many parts of the world and loved every minute of it but I feel pretty lucky to be an Aussie and always enjoy coming home.
But enough of all that. What you really what to know is who the spinning wheel of death selected to win the books. So, the winners are:
- BJ (who won Garry Disher’s The Dragon Man)
- Dorte of D J’s Krimiblog (who won Clare Langley-Hawthorne’s The Consequences of Sin) and
- Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise (who also won Clare Langley-Hawthorne’s The Consequences of Sin)
There’s an extra copy of The Consequences of Sin thanks to the delightful Clare Langley-Hawthorne who signed and sent it to me before heading to the wilds of Oregon for a camping trip.
All of the winners have been notified by email and as soon as they send me their postal address I’ll put the books on a boat (or not, in the case of Kerrie who lives right here).
Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all the rest of you and there’ll be more great Aussie books to give away on 1 October so do come back then.