Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I really like Anzac Day. Every little town in Australia has a dawn service: the last post, the minute's silence, the rowdy pub breakfast, the march of veterans, local bands, serving soldiers, and school children winding through the streets to the War Memorial, the laying of wreaths and home to dunk an Anzac biscuit in a cup of tea. I love that it is always a crisp autumn morning, that between the marching bands the parade is so quiet that you can hear the clinking of the medals on the veterans' suits as they march, that all the shops are shut and that almost everyone in town is lining the streets, just standing quietly, pausing, reflecting.
This was the first year that the small girls marched with their school. Posy managed to walk the whole way, clinging to Rosy, without once falling over, crashing into anything or requiring a bandaid on any part of her anatomy, which has to be a first for a half hour walk. Lots of children were wearing the medals belonging to their great grandparents from the second world war. I don't know if my grandpas still have theirs, or ever had them, or where they would be, but we remembered them both, so young, so far away from home, doing what they had to do. They never talked much about the war, never made it sound glorious, or a good thing, but they went because they believed it was the right thing to do, and thankfully, they came home again. My great grandfather was in France in the first war, a stretcher bearer. I can't even imagine the conditions he lived in or the sights he saw. He was gassed and invalided home, started a family and twenty years later watched his son march off to another war. And so the children march and remember.
And then go home to bake Anzac biscuits. Except they decided that they didn't really feel like biscuits with oats in, so Rosy made Anzac brownies instead. That's keeping the tradition alive! And while she had the oven on I made two dozen cheese scones with some of the whey left over from cheesemaking. And those scones were light and fluffy and everything a scone should be, but there are still about two litres of whey left. There must be something else I can do with it. And I was quite proud of having two separate items in the oven, but really, I could have done better. We could have had another pan of brownies in there, or maybe some Anzac biscuits...