The Alphabet Club Post: "D" is for .....

....."Downunder".... I am not sure how many of you know this but Australia is often called the land Downunder because when you look at a globe of the world, where are we?  A big island sitting by its ownsome in the middle of the ocean!


Now, why is this?  Because, of course, the first mapmakers came from the northern hemisphere and they put North at the top.

Well, you know, this doesn't have to be so.  If you have ever been to the Map room at the Vatican Museum, you may have seen the maps which place Rome as the centre of the map and everything else is seen in relation to Rome.  In 2006, we brought this map of Sicily home for my DFIL from the Vatican map room and if you know Sicily, you will see that it is "upside" down.  That is because it is the view from Rome, which is North of Sicily.

But why should Australia be Downunder?  Why can't we be on top?  No reason at all, really!

I used to go to university with a guy who didn't believe that Australia was Downunder, so much so that he created this map and self-published it in 1979 - it is still being sold today.

See, Australia is in its rightful place!

This is the spiel about it on the website:

 Unique downunder viewpoint with cheeky Aussie humor. This map was created by Stuart McArthur of Melbourne, Australia. He drew his first South-Up map when he was 12 years old (1970). His geography teacher told him to re-do his assignment with the "correct" way up if he wanted to pass. Three years later he was an exchange student in Japan. He was taunted by his exchange student-friends from the USA for coming from "the bottom of the world." It was then, at age 15, he resolved to one day publish a map with Australia at the top. Six years later, while at Melbourne University, he produced the world's first "modern" south up map and launched it on Australia day in 1979. It has sold over 350,000 copies to date.

... and just to finish off, you may have heard of this famous Australian song by the iconic Australian band, Men at Work.

Here are the lyrics:

"Down Under"

Travelling in a fried-out Kombi
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said:

"Do you come from a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscle
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
And he said:

"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover."

Lying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, "Are you trying to tempt me?
Because I come from the land of plenty."
And he said:

"Oh! Do you come from a land down under (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover."

So, hopefully I have now educated you about the meaning of the word Downunder!

Just to finish with some stitching, here is the very sweet "D is for Darning" stitched for me by my dear friend, Kim.  Pretty, isn't she?

P.S. Sorry that this post is late but I have been so sick for nearly a week now - tonsilitis and the flu - double whammy!  So, no blogging, very little stitching, just a lot of sleeping, reading cosy crime on my kindle and watching bad TV!

Take care of yourselves,

hugs, Kaye xoxox

P.S. If you would like to join in the fun of "The Alphabet Club", pop over to Chiara's blog (The Grey Tail) to see what all the fun is about and link up your post for the Letter "D".


Linda said…
I hope you get to feeling better real soon Kaye. I have been sick too but am much better now.

Heather said…
Get better soon. I love that song :)
Penny said…
I'm so sorry you have been sick ~ hope you are feeling better soon! I remember that song and now it keeps going through my head. :)
Aubs Ogrady said…
In the modified map, New Zealand is in its rightful place as well <3 Above Australia :P
Brigitte said…
Poor you, being sick with tonsilitis isn't what you want to be. The time until the antibiotics kick in is just bad. And in combination with the flu it's even worse. Good to read that you are already feeling better. And I hope that you are soon back to your energetic self.

Great D post, Kaye. I had known the notion of Downunder for Australia and it's all so interesting what you write about this European perspective of the world. The map seen from the other side of the world looks really strange to me but logical from the Australian point of view, lol.
Carm said…
Sorry to hear you've been sick. I was wondering why there were no new post from. Feel better soon!
Vickie said…
I am sorry you have been ill my friend.
I had seen that map once. It is really, really hard for me to wrap my head around. And now you know what song is going through my mind today!
Bea said…
Deadly combination of illnesses - hope you coming back to health again. Love the south-up map.
I had already fear that you stop blogging!
I wish you a speedy recovery!
butterfly said…
Get better soon.
Very interesting post hugs.
Sheryl S. said…
Hope you feel better soon. Enjoyed your map information.
Great post. We've just finished reading The Lost Continent by Terry Pratchett which is set in the country of Four Ecks. It really is very similar to Down Under!
I do like unusual maps, they give a different perspective to the world.
Hope you manage to throw off the flu and be yourself again soon.
That is so cool - I love that upside-down map! Beautiful stitching, too. I hope you're feeling better! :D
Margaret said…
Hope you are feeling better now! Oh yeah, I knew about the land down under. Love the map of Australia with it in its rightful place. Gives a whole new perspective! Beautiful Darning piece too!
Stitching Noni said…
Oh Kaye, I am so sorry hear that you have been sick.... not good!! Hope you are on the mend now!
I love your post.... that last map should be the official one - we should most definitely be on top of the world!!
Love the song! Many years ago when I went to the UK we were sitting in a pub (as you do!) and the owners realised we were from Oz and the next thing we knew they had put the song on the juke box just for us!! :o)
Get well soon, hugs xx
fantaghiro said…
Hi there,

Hope that you get well soon. Please visit my new cat blog [Click here].
Crazee4books said…
I love reading each bloggers version of the Alphabet Club and the fascinating facts and stories they include. I've always liked the Men at Work song but as with any song seeing the actual lyrics reveals that what you might think you heard isn't necessarily what was written/sung. The perspective on how we view the world is also a fun thing. But being "down under" is a part of what makes Australia unique and wondrous to me.

Hope you're on the road to a full recovery Kaye. Being sick is not fun and the double whammy you were hit with must have been particularly nasty. Were the cats kind and attentive nurses during your time of need?

Your "D" stitch is sweet.

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