Feb 172014


Today is the birthday (1864) of Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson OBE, an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson’s more notable poems include “Waltzing Matilda”, “The Man from Snowy River” and “Clancy of the Overflow.”

And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The man from Snowy River is a household word today,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.

I grew up on this stuff.  It’s all rather romanticized. Paterson was a city lawyer.  But bushmen were made of stern materials. I hope they still are.

Slim Dusty is a legend.


I’m rather running out of ideas for Australian recipes.  You could try Vegemite on toast.  Rule 1 – spread it thinly, otherwise you are in for a surprise.  For those not in the know Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives, developed by Cyril P. Callister in Melbourne in 1922. Not dissimilar to Marmite for my U.K. readers.