I wasn't as active in this year's ANZAC Day commemorations as I normally like to be. Even if I'm not at any of the programmed services or marches on the day, I'm usually able to be part of the dawn service via the radio or television but it wasn't to be this year. I had a moment to reflect and give thanks in prayer at dawn thanks to a pre dawn courtesy / wake up call from work (they're good like that) before getting dressed and organised for the day ahead. But it wasn't quite the same without the sombre dignity of the long bugler playing the Last Post.
Then I got to work and had another moment to pause up on the ninth floor as I looked out at this view over the rooftops of university colleges old and new. In decades past, there were men who lived at these colleges. Men whose lives and destinies were changed by the world wars. I don't think there's a corner of Australia where its possible to forget the selfless sacrifices made so that we may lead our lives in a nation of peace, freedom and unity. I will never forget and I will forever be grateful.
I attended one of the final ANZAC Day parades whose route took in George Street way back in 2014.
This is what George Street looks like on ANZAC Day 2016. The parade has been redirected around the light rail construction that has turned George Street into some kind of surreal corridor of carless silence. On weekends and public holidays like today, it's like there's an air pocket that insulates the street from the bustle and activity of the rest of the CBD.
To make up for my working much of this long weekend, Preschooler SSG and I went on a little adventure when I clocked off this afternoon. Public transport featured prominently on our schedule and he was beside himself at being able to ride such steep escalators, to be able to sit on the second level of seats on the train and then being able to say 'goodbye train' twenty times at the end of each journey because the trains were so long it took that many goodbyes for them to finally disappear from sight.
We caught fleeting moments of the ANZAC spirit as we made our way through the city. Even though we missed all the formalities I wanted Preschooler SSG to be there amongst the veterans and relatives of veterans all proudly wearing breast pockets decorated with medals with a quiet dignity. For him to see currently serving men and women in their uniforms. For him to have an inkling of how it all fits into the incredibly luck life he is so privileged to have here in Australia. A special surprise was to have the doors of our train open onto an impromptu performance by a uniformed military band on the train station platform.
Of course it wouldn't be a trip into the city without my subtly diverting our path through the stores of Japanese mega retailers who now call Sydney home. First stop, Muji.
Where there were endless glass and wood cabinets stocked with perfectly placed bottles, boxes, packages, soft furnishings and even beanbag-ish sofas.
|Only in Muji-land is it plausible to call a beanbag a sofa.|
We then went to Daiso where Preschooler SSG found his form in the chasey slash hide and seek stakes so I was thus unable to obtain any field trip photos for the blog.
Here's what I bought. Photographed out of context and in respectively.
18cm (as opposed to 16.5cm) plastic chopsticks with cases for my lunches at work and beyond. Much more environmentally responsible than those snap apart wooden chopsticks I've been using.
And some spendy Japanese made rice vinegar and pure sesame oil. The Regent Place Daiso features a small Asian grocery corner which is where I found these items. I haven't seen the concept in the suburban Daisos over at Chatswood or at the Macquarie Centre. Both places I feel I need to visit again soon. To reconnect and relive some lovely memories of both areas.
|You can't go wrong with a slab of top shelf banana bread after an afternoon exploring the city,|
Then we stopped off for afternoon tea before the train and bus rides home.
Dinner was another round of Plate Got Ate's sausage rolls.
Live in the moment and make sure you serve yours with ketchup that's been cut with a hefty squeeze or two of Sriracha.
And don't forget to correctly hashtag your freezer bag for any leftovers you may find yourself with.
How was your ANZAC Day?