Dystopian Show Days

It’s another long weekend here.

They cram them all into the spring /summer months so that you have to suffer through a long dark winter with no holidays to look forward to. Having watched far too many sappy Christmas films, Mr NW and I have decided we are keen to do a Northern Hemisphere Christmas one year. We’d love to go to Germany or the States. Somewhere where it snows. I love having Christmas in summer but eating a full Christmas dinner in 30 degree (sorry, I only know Celsius) heat is a challenge. We can’t even take the kids to see houses decorated with lights because it doesn’t get dark till 9pm, waaay past their bedtime.

Anyway, it’s hot and we are all going a bit stir crazy having spent three days in each other’s company. This long weekend is all in honour of Show Day. A day when you take your prized bull or sheep or cake to the A&P Show (Agricultural & Pastoral) [Wikipedia tells me the US equivalent is a State Fair]. About 100,000 people attend the Canterbury Show so naturally we steered well clear of it. Instead we’ve spent the weekend building cardboard box pirate ships, making tea-stained treasure maps and fashioning cutlasses.

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But it being Show Day, with choppers whirring back and forth all day, did remind me of my favourite novel series as a teenager, Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden. Our Show Day has been rather pleasant by comparison.

This series begins on Show Day in a small town in Australia. Most of the small town is 28117060-C7B9-4A70-B95D-4990151D4131attending the local A&P show. A small group of teenagers decide to head bush and camp out for the weekend. The first night they are woken by the sounds of endless planes flying over head. On their return to town they realise something serious has happened, an army from another country has invaded Australia. The group decides that they will be come guerrilla fighters and attempt to bring down the invading army.

Things I love about this series include that the premise seems particularly far-fetched. Who would really want to invade Australia? And why would they just invade one town? Not even the capital city. Why does it take the Australian Army so long to figure out that the country has been invaded?

John, he’s an Aussie author so I’m sure he won’t mind me using his first name, puts a lot of effort in to keeping the origin of invading force ambiguous, a bit like how the bad guys in books like the Famous Five are always “Foreigners”.

It’s weird though, because at the same time as being completely unlikely, the whole series also seemed really relatable. The teenagers make some silly decisions and get caught out a few times, they all end up bickering with one another, there’s a love triangle going on.

I’ve re-read the series a couple of times now as an adult and I still love it, even though all the teenage angst and lust seems a bit over done. John managed to really drag the series out, with 7 books in total. The first 3 or 4 are definitely the best. They’re silly and over dramatic, there’s homemade explosives, and kids cycling round trying to save the world.

Oh and there’s a terrible movie version and a hopefully better TV series available too.

Edit to add the famous pirate ship:

18 thoughts on “Dystopian Show Days

  1. Just some advice from a German: if you want White Christmas, don’t go to Germany!! 😀 if you want muddy Christmas, then it’s the place to be! If you wanna see snow, go in january/february, that’s when it happens there nowadays. Or pick Scandinavia, just to be sure 🙂

    I remember a couple of white christmas celebrations, but especially nowadays, it’s getting warmer and warmer in december. I haven’t been back in 4 years, but i hear xmas bbqs are becoming quite popular 😀

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    1. Good to know! It feels like the same thing is happening here. I remember when I was a kid it was always hot around Christmas but now summer doesn’t seem to arrive properly until late Jan/early Feb. It was still insanely warm in May this year. Maybe if we wait long enough we’ll get white christmases down here 😂

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      1. if you’re not picky you might have white Easter instead of Christmas, at least in Poland… For the last few years the temperature during Christmas was around 0 degrees Celsius, but we had some really snowy Easters 🙂

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  2. Well, if it is a white Christmas here I’ll take some pix and post them. but as DZ stated, it is getting warmer longer so a snowy Christmas isn’t a given anymore.

    Glad you guys decided to NOT go to the huge, people infested, money suck. Those kinds of events sound like hell to me.

    When you described “Tomorrow, When the War Began” I immediately thought of a movie here in the US, “Red Dawn”. About mexican communists invading the center of the United States and a group of teenagers standing them off as long as they can. That came out in the 80’s though and was remade in 2012. I wonder if Marsden saw the first one somehow? Your comments on it made me chuckle though 🙂

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      1. I forgot to say, yes if it snows at Christmas please post some pics! Your mountain hike looked so beautiful and I saw the lake is starting to freeze over so I’m hopeful 😀

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  3. Hello Mrs NW, I concur with Dragonsandzombies above ^^ You need to travel much further North than the 52 degrees North line of latitude to find Christmas snow!

    Back to the story, there was an episode of The Avengers from the 60’s (starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg) where the UK was invaded. The “Invasion” however started with just one village where all the local inhabitants were replaced by “Foreigners”. The plan was then for the invaders to infiltrate through the rest of the country and assimilate it.
    In a way, it is a sensible tactic I suppose…don’t draw attention to yourself until the time is right.
    Oh, and I’ll try and take some photos if any snow falls here and pass them on, but if not I’ll Photoshop some pics for you!

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  4. Come to Canada. 😀 … if you pick the right place at the right time you’re guaranteed a White Christmas.

    And you wouldn’t have to deal with the nightmare that is US Customs. Most of the time they’re OK-ish, but when their bad they’re unbelievably horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I dunno, 30 degree Celsius is sounding very good to me right about now. Freezing today! Though I have to say there’s definitely something magical about a White Christmas with snow on the ground and everywhere. We haven’t had one in ages, for the last few years it has snowed in early December but by the time Christmas Day rolls around, it’s all melted. The big snows don’t come until January or February.

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