Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day

Anzac Day fell on a Sunday this year. I didn't get to the dawn service so I was very keen to get to the parade in town. We had a bit of resistance from the kids. "This is the worst day of my life!" - Michael. When its a public holiday you can use the "this is why we have the day off" argument, but it doesn't quite fly on a Sunday. So we fell back on the "do what we say and there will be treats" gambit.

We arrived downtown too early so we got the treats out of the way first. On our way to a good vantage point we came across the Light Horse enthusiasts, assembled on their steeds in the bus mall. We had a chat to one of them who was patiently answering questions from the unmounted public. Some of the leather gear they were wearing was 100 years old. Nothing kinky though. Marcus had never seen a horse up so close and couldn't get over the size of the hooves.

We got in position opposite the GPO and whiled away the time waiting for the kickoff. The boys were actually very good. Despite themselves they are quite interested in the military history, the flags and banners, the strange old military vehicles and so on. In that category, there was a DUKW amphibious vehicle, a boat with wheels. Printed  clearly on the side was ALWAYS INSERT PLUGS IN HULL BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO LAUNCH VEHICLE - from the same school of American military copywriting as POINT THIS SIDE TOWARDS ENEMY which I saw on Claymore mines when I was in the Army Reserve.

The most amazing vehicle was a Ford Thunderbird or something like it - a real Batmobile with fins, wings, chrome everywhere and about thirty feet long. I know it was a Ford because the next vehicle was also a vintage Ford, and the next, and the next. Dozens. A few of them had veterans in them, but most of them carried just a grinning Ford enthusiast, and possibly his kids. Why were they there? Don't know.

During a lull, I was telling Elf about a conversation between Marcus and Lana yesterday about who was going to play school basketball. They agreed Evie certainly would. "She's in everything. She's in soccer, netball, used to be in chess, she's in the choir and the choral group, she did the recital thing at the eisteddfod, scottish country dancing...." As I was relating this to Elf, Marcus interrupted - "there she is!" Briefly released from her other duties, there was she was, marching with the Scouts.

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