Wednesday, April 25, 2007

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old

Today is Anzac Day in Australia, commemorating the ill conceived and ill timed assault on Turkey by Australia, New Zealand, and England on April 25 1915 at Gallipoli.

In Melbourne, we commemorate it with an enormous dawn service at our Shrine of Remembrance, followed by a march of returned service people through the city to the Shrine, and then a traditional (since 1997) football match between Essendon and Collingwood. I've just heard that 30,000 people attended the dawn service, and the football is sold out with over 100,000 people. The dawn service is followed by a gunfire breakfast, and drinking rum and milk seems to be compulsory.

I didn't go to the main dawn service - I've done it a couple of times, and it is just a logistical nightmare. It is more of a challenge than I can deal with at 5.30 in the morning to to find people in dark parkland. As usual, I went to a small suburban service with my siblings. We went to a different place this year. Normally, the service we go to is held on the bowling green out the front of the RSL, and it is eerily quiet, with the people around you just being moving shapes in the fog. They do an amazing job involving all of the attendees, giving us poppies to throw into the memorial bowl in front of the flame. They normally get about 200 people there, and have the local member and at least one local councillor. They weren't having a service this year - it is harder to keep the small branches going as our returned servicemen age. This years service was a multi location effort. The first part was at the WWI memorial on the median strip at the intersection of two major roads, and most of the service was there, before we all moved up the road a bit to the WWII memorial outside the town hall.

The hush and reflection that normally accompanies these services was absent this year for me. I suspect it was hard to have the hush when we were surrounded by traffic lights making their peculiar tappity tappity noises, trucks and cars passing on both sides of the road, flashing lights from police cars to protect us from traffic and close to 1000 people. I found myself people watching - the young family with toddlers and a very small baby, the older men, with their quiet dignity in their suits with their medals, the early to mid teens, some flying solo, some with their parents, the older ladies with their walking frames being escorted by their grandsons. I was also hugely entertained when the national anthem begun, and then continued into the rarely used second verse. There was a lot of la-ing going on. Thank you to my head full of frequently useless information for helping me out there.

I think the number of people surprised everybody there. I know it surprised the organisers who were worried that they would not have enough food, drink, tea and coffee for everyone if they came back to the RSL.

Over coffee afterwards, we were trying to decide whether Anzac Day is becoming more of a national day than Australia Day? I suspect it is, especially amongst those of us who are in our 20's and 30's. We are further removed from the conflict over Vietnam, and the negativity towards members of our armed forces. I suspect that regardless of how we feel about our minimal involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, lots of us recognise that these people are doing, and have done a hard job, away from their family and friends. As I write this, a member of my family is at the Dawn Service in Hyde Park London, and friends are still at Gallipoli for this year's services. It is very Australian though, to have a public holiday to celebrate a loss.

One thing I do know, is that every time I hear this, I still tear up.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Driving to work this morning on the winding road next to the river with not another car in sight. I was surrounded by towering gum trees and the only sound I could hear was bellbirds. The only sign of human life was the 8 hot air balloons making their way through the sky.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I wish I had broken my ankle

No, I haven't gone nuts. I'm just frustrated. I'm so tired of having to rely on other people, and not having hand free to do things with, to carry things. Changing the sheets and remaking the bed are not fun. New 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets however ...

This week, both my GP and my physio have told me that being thankful I hadn't broken my ankle was slightly skewed, as it would take less time to heal. I've stretched the soft tissue on the outside of my foot really badly, and compressed the soft tissue on the inside of my foot really badly. It will be 4 weeks tomorrow since I fell, and I've still got a beautifully swollen and bruised ankle, which is generating enough heat to fry an egg.

I want to wear a pair of shoes. That would be nice. I don't own a shoe big enough to put over my tubigrip, my sock and the medieval torture device that is my brace. Although, if you put wheels, a toe and a stopper on it, it would make a great roller skate. Skateranch, here I come!~

I want to go out for dinner tonight, but it has been raining (bring it on!!) and everything is slippery and I don't feel like sitting through dinner with a wet foot. We are either going to get home delivery, or the boy will go out and get something for us. I don't like my chances of watching the new comedy show on the ABC though - my boy knows a bit too well how much Paul McDermott is on my list and will just offer to leave us alone. Might just record that one.

Friday, April 20, 2007

(Alex the) Seal of Approval

The boy's grandmother offered him $2000 towards an engagement ring. Apparently she is sick of waiting for us to get engaged.

I'll be singing the Go-Go's all day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Perception is a funny thing.

We have someone new at work. She is into her fourth week, and has settled right in.

I wonder what she really thinks about me. I was a little frustrated about something today, and dropped the f bomb more times than Hugh Grant did at the beginning of Four Weddings and a Funeral. She said that she had never heard me swear, and that I don't look like the kind of person who swears, and she didn't think that I ever swore. I was surprised, because there are times that I can turn the air around me blue. I remember experimenting with swearing in (late) primary school. Mainly, I think, to see if I could shock my friends, and to see what sort of reaction I could get. I've just been IMíng with a friend - he says I look too gentle to swear.

Later on, we were talking about music, and she mentioned the song O.P.P by Naughty by Nature and I started singing it. She looked at me in surprise, and then said that I wasn't the sort of person that she would expect to know her music.

I don't know whether to feel insulted, because I'm not "cool" enough to like her music or swear, or to just keep messing with her head by letting her see the real me which is obviously a bit hard to deal with. Right now I just want to go and carry out teenage acts of rebellion.

Of course, why I care about what she thinks of me is a whole different kettle of fish.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reasons I'm glad I don't live alone anymore

After the cricket this morning, my brother decided that the news of the horrific shootings in Virginia made morning radio too depressing. He put on the Robbie Williams Live at Knebworth CD, and decided to dance around the house for 20 minutes. Guess who wasted so much time laughing she was nearly late for work?

I got dressed this morning in an orange top that I bought a couple of years ago, but don't think I've ever worn because I wasn't sure about it. I still wasn't sure, and asked my brother what he thought. His answer "just because I have to wear clothes to work that are sexually attractive to bees, doesn't mean you have to".** I changed.

Coffee made for me every morning. What else needs to be said?

**It isn't a fashion choice for him. He needs to wear bright yellow for safety.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The moon in the sky like a big pizza pie

I've just seen an ad that makes me feel nauseous - a meat pie pizza. Who on earth thought that putting meat offcuts and peas on a pizza was a good idea. Wrongtown.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling dow-own

I'm sick to death of crutches. I'm sick of being sore. I hate that the pain and lack of sleep are making me cranky and snappy. I'm frustrated that when I try to do things, I'm really bad at knowing when to stop so I hurt more and then my physio tells me off because my ankle has swollen back up again to nearly double size. I hate even more that I can't do anything physical, so when I've got the pain under control I'm not tired enough to sleep.

Sick of me yet? I am. I've started about 6 posts in the last week and haven't finished any of them because they all descend into wallowing, ranting, frustration and self pity. Over it. Because I have to stay put, I don't want to read, and I've got the attention span of a gnat when it comes to tv or dvd's.

I'm really bad at asking for help though. Being the control freak from hell, I still keep trying to do things for myself rather than ask someone else to help me. God forbid I should have to rely on someone else to do something for me, and admit that I can't do everything. I hate admitting that I can't do something (bloody minded, me?) and at the same time I feel guilty asking someone else to help because they are busy and have things to do too. It is different when someone notices that I need help - I'm happy to accept it then. I wonder why that is?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


It is a full moon again tonight. After I got home from work I stood in the street at the end of my driveway, balancing my handbag, crutches, the mail and camera, and took this photo of the rising moon.
I am unsettled at the moment. It feels like my world has tilted, and although it keeps spinning I am liable to go flying off it at any moment.
Right now the cat isn't helping. George is prowling around the lounge room, climbing in and out of boxes, crawling around in the shopping bag, sitting on top of the television, curling up next to me on the couch and purring for 2 minutes, getting up and attacking my crutches, and then sitting on the modem because he likes the heat. Now he is poking through the papers ready for recycling. I have no idea what he is looking for, but I wish he would just settle down.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sentences I never want to hear again ...

When I'm watching the swimming:

"He's swimming through the water"
No, really? In a swimming competition! I guess mud would have been too hard.

"He's coming second at the bottom of the pool"
Drowning the competitors - I don't think that is very kind.

"The pole is speeding through the water"
Um, yeah. Try learning the name of the competitor - especially when he wins.

"How does it feel to have won?"
Well, I'm really not happy about it. What do you think you dill?

"He's the 20th man to break 15 minutes here tonight"
Not a bad effort when there are only 8 competitors.