I am winding up my last week here in Sydney before I head home to San Francisco via Singapore. I have been enjoying the frenzy of activity that usually comes with the wrapping up life in one spot: impromptu coffees, trips to the footy, dinners with old friends.
I am also in the throes of trying to work out the most effective way to get all of the stuff home with me (posting? shipping? excess baggage?) but I won’t know until I actually just pack. You see, the issue of packing is really quite mundane, but I am only concerning myself with this because if I stop to consider how sad I am to leave my loved ones, this whole last week will be miserable. Onwards, Bec, with strength and filing the happy memories away for the future.
Tomorrow is Anzac Day and it’s a big day on the Australian social calendar. It’s the one day of the year we pay tribute to all those who have served Australia and New Zealand in battle. The day starts with the Dawn Service at thousands of venues around the nation, and a few other sites worldwide (such as Gallipoli in Turkey). I love the tradition, the history of this day. I love reciting the ‘Ode of Remembrance’:
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.
There’s something about a crowd of people repeating the last line of the Ode, and the lone bugler playing the Last Post that makes me cry.
Following the Dawn service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, there’s a televised parade featuring the vets and those currently serving, and the families of those who served. Everyone heads to the pub for a beer and a yarn, and then there’s plenty of BBQs, barefoot bowls or footy games to watch. Tomorrow, there’s even AFL being played in New Zealand: the Swans take on St Kilda in Wellington, so I’m looking forward to seeing that. It’s my favourite Aussie holiday, alongside Melbourne Cup day.
I’ll raise a glass of Waterfords Blood Orange to the Anzacs tomorrow, and enjoy the day with family and friends. Lest we forget.