ANZAC Day is a day when we remember the thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who were sent to Gallipoli Cove in their thousands to be slaughtered by the Turkish army. It was a terrible time in military history and we take a day out every year to remember the bravery of those who perished.
Apparently the Turks remember this day as well and keep Gallipoli Cove in good condition, welcoming visitors in a kind and sombre manner.
They shall not grow 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.
— From the Anzac Day Service
No, I’m not singing to you, it just seems like it.
It’s one of those weeks where I’ve been struggling to find something coherent to talk about, I’ve managed to scribble a few words up till now but I write this on Wednesday night knowing I won’t have time on Thursday morning to rustle up a few words due to having been given another day’s work. If you’re in the vicinity of Blackburn North between 10am and 2pm drop into Maxi’s and I promise to give you a taste of Ginger Ale, I also promise to say hello.
I do have some topics brewing in my head but I haven’t found the coherentness in my brain to put them down on screen. One of them is on death and that just doesn’t seem quite right at present, seems more than a little callous after the tragedies in Boston and Afghanistan so I might hold onto it for a bit and continue considering it.
So, on that note (doh) I bid you farewell for this day and I trust I’ll be back to bug you with more words in the near future.
It’s another one of those days. I have no inspiration to write anything useful and no time. I could write about a couple of books on my desk but I don’t like scribbling too many book reviews, I could find an author or three to write about but I have no time for the research as I’m off shortly to an appointment. I was going to mention I’m coming up to my fourth blogging anniversary in April and am celebrating with a very special Mondayitis the following day but I shouldn’t mention that until I receive the answers. Instead of all that you get a fairly empty article.
Instead, here’s a kookaburra.
I’m going to rush through this at the speed of light today, I have nothing really to say except Back Up Your Computer! I’m not saying I’ve lost anything but it’s on the cards that I have. My computer doesn’t like our hot weather and it seems to shut itself down with no warning when the fan overheats. I do try to remember to turn it off when not using it but this morning I was still using it, contemplating what I’d write for today, and had been for less than an hour when it shut down. I waited for it to cool down enough but I’ll be turning it off again as soon as I’ve scribbled a few more words.
I do have a backup from a few weeks ago that we’ve taken offsite but I believe it’s past time for another one. I have noticed many emails are corrupted so I’ve taken the opportunity to delete them.
So the lesson for today is to back up your computer, take the back up offsite and make sure you do it on a regular basis.
I think it’s Tuesday, I could be wrong as I admit to being rather confused at present. I managed to send the book to the wrong person yesterday and I’m in the middle of trying to sort it out and hoping the incorrect recipient will be nice enough to send the book back to me. I suspect I’ll be refunding one buyer whether I manage to get their book to them or not.
The reason I stuffed up is I’m really tired, it’s that time of year when we wish everyone a Shana Tova, or a Good Year for the New Year that’s just started and I think all the preparations combined with all the too many other things I’m doing have finally taken their toll so when I got the book ready for sending last night I didn’t read the invoice properly and sent it to the wrong person. All my own fault and I’ll be making restitution as best I can. Thank goodness most people in this world are really nice and understanding.
In the spirit of this time I’d like to offer everyone some apple and honey and wish you all a good and sweet year whether you’re Jewish or not.
Squid comment: These were the sweetest cats I have ever met! And they fly so beautifully… It was so sad to leave them, but I have other books to explore.
(I read this when I was young, and enjoyed it thoroughly!)
There’s a lot of religious celebrations around at the moment. Easter and Passover happened to have coincided exactly this year and it’s been an interesting challenge. Nothing for the Hindus this weekend, I asked. I haven’t had much time for reading this past week and people keep wondering why I’m so busy with Passover preparation so I’m going to give you a brief rundown of the preparation and what we do for the first and sometimes second evening.
The whole episode starts a couple of months before when we look at the dates and start inviting relatives and friends, if everyone had come I would have had 23 people which would have been challenging to fit, thank goodness we only ended up with 16 so we had a couple of spare places to make it feel a little less cramped. I had almost enough food for 23 as I tend to overcater these large events.
It’s also time to start cleaning out the cupboards and throwing stuff out. Think of a spring clean when you clean the windows and the curtains, when you pull out boxes looking to see what is really needed and decide to get rid of the dust bunnies accumulating in the bottom of the wardrobe. I pulled stuff out of my cupboards thinking I’d need to find some other way of storing things, as they were so hard to get to, only to find plenty of room when everything went back, there was no room in the box for the op shop though.
In the last week I finally heard back from most of my invitees and knew I’d have between 16 and 18 people, this meant I could start figuring out what food I needed and how much I had to buy. We did the bulk of the shopping the previous Sunday but Mum insists on buying the meat so we went shopping together last Tuesday and I bought too much. I then got really serious about the cleaning. In the past week I’ve cleaned my oven, my stove, my rangehood, my fridge and freezer, the top of my fridge, the microwave and I’ve washed countless dishes.
Why the fuss?
The fuss is due to Passover and our need to serve far too much food for the first (and possibly second) night and to read through the book (Haggadah) with our family and friends asking questions and explaining yet again why we do this. The story in the book is the Exodus from Egypt with Moses leading, we talk about being slaves, we talk about Pharoah not wanting us to go but being persuaded by signs and wonders (there’s ten plagues we have to talk about), preparing our houses, taking our things and finally being allowed to leave but being caught up at the Red Sea where the final miracle happens. In this one the sea parts and there is enough dry land down the middle of the sea where people can walk, the Jews walk through and just as the Egyptian army get into the dry sea the water rushes back in and the army is killed. The story we read in my house is a rather cut down version to the one we read as children and is a lot more sensitive to the needs of children today, it has a lot less gore and fewer details about the slavery.
During the reading there are some religious things we must do which include picking up the matzah, hiding a piece for the children to search for later, picking up the shank bone and drinking four glasses of wine. Before we can get to the first night and do all of these things we have to clean the house and get rid of all of our old food ensuring there are no crumbs in the house. We have to buy new food which is kosher for Passover i.e. prepared under much more strict conditions than normal kosher food. On the day of Passover we have to clean all our regular dishes, give the kitchen a thorough once over and put them away elsewhere then pull out all our Passover dishes/pots/pans/cutlery/etc and wash these before putting them away in our regular cupboards. Then we get to start cooking.
The cooking includes ritual foods such as boiled eggs and boiled potatoes (don’t know where the potatoes come into the story, we discussed this last night and came to no conclusion), Charoset, which is a mixture looking like mortar my recipe is grated apple, cinnamon, ground almonds and grape juice (or wine if you only have adults), a roasted shank bone, some grated horseradish, a boiled and then roasted egg and salt water. Then you add Chopped Liver (Mum makes this, thank heavens), Chicken Soup, Roast Chicken, Roast Lamb, Roast Potatoes and Roast Pumpkin, green vegies, two salads, and finally dessert. I did two jellies, a fruit platter (provided by my sister) and some macaroons (again thanks to Mum).
I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this. Yes, I had help, being Good Friday everyone was at home this year so I wasn’t working by myself but it also meant I had to be on my toes and as I would not be able to do any last minute shopping. I didn’t have to dry any dishes as everyone was much faster than previous years and managed to keep up with me.
The joys of having intolerances. Last night I was writing a few words on Outland for another publication and the words weren’t flowing too well, I eventually sent it off with some very unhappy feelings flowing after it but by that time it was way too late to write anything here and I thought I’d have plenty of time this morning before my imposed deadline of 10:15am.
Wrong! Wrong! and again, Wrong! I must have eaten the wrong thing over the weekend and I’ve spent more time on the toilet than off it. I suspect I’m finished as I’ve now spent half an hour in front of the computer, but I must move onto other tasks and leave writing for another day.
My apologies if you’ve been waiting for some words of wisdom, but they’re not coming today. I do suggest you tune in tomorrow for the next edition of Mondayitis.
There are a few days when I don’t have anything to say and this is one of them. I’m currently studying for my Certificate III in Business and I spent last night completing a module before today’s deadline. Today I have a meeting for the op shop and I’m being dragged off to foreign parts of Melbourne so finding time to write something is going to be rather unlikely.
I was thinking of highlighting some of the books I’ve been listing as they’re rather interesting but I only have time for a few words while I drink my coffee.
I’ll see you all on the other side of my meeting.
The boy looked familiar, I couldn’t quite place him, we see so many people in the store some of the faces blur. I do my best but if they only come in once it’s hard to remember them. He was at the table checking tickets and I had plenty of time to look at him, when we enchanged glances there was no recognition in his eyes.
I moved in and found my boys. It was the Scout Banquet, we’d been looking forward to this for some time, they were so excited. They were in the Order of the Arrow and quite proud of the fact. They are good boys, very well behaved and rarely in trouble, I trusted them to get themselves to the hall on time. I smiled at their enthusiasm. They were meeting friends they only saw on camps and jamboree, there was much running round greeting people, they took me with them and introduced me carefully each time. I suddenly thought about that boy in the store less than a half hour ago.
He was just wandering back and forth in front of the store, looking so normal I may not have remembered him if it hadn’t been for the horn-rimmed glasses he was wearing. They look uncomfortable on him as if he wasn’t really used to wearing them. There was nothing to make him really stand out, no taller than me and reminding me very much of my two boys.
I watched him as he came through the door and picked up a few things in the store, not much, just the Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest and a few things for an older person; aftershave, fingernail clippers and a package of pipe tobacco. I did wonder what his game was, had he been dared to steal a few things?
As he approached the cash register I acted normal, I smiled and asked how he was today. “Grand” he said. After I added up the bill I asked him if there was anything else. “I believe that will do the trick.” Polite, he was, it impressed me and made me think well of his mother.
He didn’t have any money, checked his pockets thoroughly and apologised for leaving his wallet at home. I liked him for offering to put everything back on the shelf but declined, I do like doing it myself to stop them taking it out the door. But he turned back to offer me a check and that’s when I realised what the game was. Play along, I thought, just for a while, then give Albert the signal to dial 911.
The check was loose, one of those convenience checks you pick up at the bank nearby. Didn’t make it out for the total but for $50. Oh, he did ask if it was ok but didn’t really expect an answer. I don’t think he heard the hesitation in my voice when I agreed.
Hard to continue acting as normal, my voice wavered when I asked for identification. No, no identifcation, claimed it was in his wallet, he did find a library card…eventually. Just the right amount of pocket checking, I wondered how often he’s done this. Checked this carefully hoping to find some sign of him being real. Even asked his address, couldn’t get that right, though, had to take the card back and read it.
I knew I had no choice, he was obviously not Thomas Findon as it said on the card.
Albert came when I called and I handed the card and check to him. Used all our signals so he could take them out the back and dial 911. The police are real fast in this area, I wouldn’t have to keep him long. Couldn’t though.
Passing time by putting his purchases in a bag, I made some small talk. Realised I should explain we didn’t keep that much cash on hand but that didn’t work. When he saw me almost in tears he understood and promised to come back later. We both knew he wouldn’t.
I came out from behind the counter when he started out the door and followed, calling his name, “Thomas”, then louder, “Thomas”. I knew he heard me as he didn’t run too hard, just enough to keep ahead. He seemed so much like my boys so I didn’t call “Stop thief”, didn’t even want to.
“Ma’am” a little louder.
I looked up. “Sorry officer, where were we?”
“Finish your coffee, ma’am. We’ll type this up for your signature.”
“That’s very good of you, Sergeant.”
The sergeant put some paper into his typewriter and started typing. The sound was mesmerising and I just sat and listened to it for a while. Suddenly it came to me…
“Sergeant! That boy at the ticket desk was the boy in the store. He was from out of town. He looked so different without his glasses.”
The sergeant noted it down and finished typing. I read it through carefully, signed it before standing up.
“If we have any more questions we’ll be certain to come by the store.”
“Yes, yes of course. Thank you for being so prompt.”
“All part of the service. You take care now.”