By Karrie Gillett
IT MAY be their national holiday on the other side of the world but freezing Scottish temperatures did not deter some Aussies from celebrating on the beach.
A group of Australians gathered at a frosty Portobello beach for a traditional dip in the water and a barbeque by the sea to mark Australia Day.
While their friends and families basked in 30-degree sunshine back home, these Aussies braved temperatures just above zero to take part in a 1.5 km run on the Edinburgh beach.
The celebrations also featured a Kylie and Jason lookalike contest, an INXS tribute band and lots of inflatable kangaroos.
The event was organised by expat Amanda Caygill, 32, who owns the Espy bar overlooking Portobello beach.
Amanda, originally from Melbourne, said: “I wanted to have a big party on Australia Day just like we do at home – but obviously without the sunshine.
“We’re here today to celebrate like we always do – by having a good laugh and taking the mickey just a little bit too.
“There’s a barbeque outside and we’re showing some Aussie films in the bar tonight so it’s all good fun.”
Friends Andy Howard and Lloyd Valentine, from Newcastle near Sydney, plunged into the icy waters waving their country’s flag.
Lloyd, 25, said: “It’s absolutely freezing; I can’t feel my feet at all.
“We’d be celebrating in a similar way back home by doing stupid things but it wouldn’t be as silly as getting this cold.
“We’d probably be playing cricket on the beach and then cooling down in the sea which would be about 23 degrees but we’re talking about three degrees in there today.”
Pal Andy, 26, agreed: “It’s very different, at home I would be surfing and sunbathing today not running along with frost on the sand.
“But it means a lot to be able to celebrate Australia Day when you are away from home.”