Marching towards 2001, a Spam Odessey
Before I start – PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CLICK ON THE LINKS!
Not sure if it’s a milestone to be proud of, but we’ve reached 2001 spam messages. And I have to say, my spam started off exciting with promises of improved girth and performance from herbal whatevers, to promises of free nipples and descended rapidly.
We went through a real car stage where I could have bought a cheap Chevrolet (Thank you, no).
Yah. Now – I get insurance Spam.
That is an incredibly sad comment on the excitement or lack thereof in my life.
Another milestone: we went a whole 5 days without an incident.
I say this.. noting that we had an incident today.
Unfortunately, said incident was bad enough to warrant a trip to TB G’s local hospital. The Good News (ok – 2 pieces of Good news) is that the injury was nothing that two stitches couldn’t overcome and secondly, that Arcadia’s hatchling’s stripghan took a great leap forward and is in the final stages.
Which I’m sure will make Arcadia’s Hatchling very happy.
The Anzac Weekend is now over – Father_Figure and Mother_Figure went to the township of Trundle to be patriotic. For my part I went to three ANZAC Day services, starting at Dawn with the Dawn service at the Yacht Club.
This was my first time( and this was the first of three major thoughts I had) where my crew saw me with hard evidence of my former service. They all know that I was a Navy Officer, but it’s a bit… “Yeah, whatever” and now they actually could see what my background was.
My second event (and thought) was an impromptu drive out to the Aboriginal community to do a bit of sight-seeing and their own service was underway. And this is something more important.
During the Second World War, the Japanese attacked the northern Australian coastline.
Seeing foreign battlefields is one thing. This is Australia.
People forget that the north was bombed.
There was nothing between the enemy and “us” here. Just the local Aboriginals formed into a troop. The fathers and grandfathers of those who still live here.
then I came back for the march here at TB G,
The man next to me here :
thinks it’s ok to push me around as he served with Father_figure before I was born.
The third thought I had about Anzac Day was instrumental in where my position in the squad ended up.
Traditionally, the Royal Australian Navy and former members thereof march at the head of these squads. However this seemed a bit… out of step up here.
Firstly – it is ANZAC Day, and in keeping with the song “year after year, their numbers grow fewer”, there are no ANZACs left on parade.
However, to refute the next line “some day no-one will march there at all”, ANZAC Day is now when ALL veterans march. Here, in TB G, there was no Second World War veterans either, one more link to our past fallen from the top of the tree.
So the next oldest group who were present and there to march, were the Vietnam veterans. And for them, I see it in their eyes, and very much so for some of those here, who live a marginalised life ( as a result?), marching, when they were almost smuggled back ashore when Vietnam became a dirty word, was something they never thought they’d do.
There were two almost stereotypical bewhiskered individuals who mentioned they had only started taking part a few years before and still found it odd that people clapped when they marched past. These were the soldiers who had had red paint thrown over them when they returned home.
For me, and for several others, all of us wearing similar medals for peacekeeping and peacemaking during the last ten years, who have always been welcomed home for doing something important but nowhere near as harrowing as those who experienced “the four week operation, where any step could mean your last one on two legs – it was a war within yourself“, we decided to march at the back and let the Vietnam crew lead the parade.
I found myself standing next to a former Army officer, wearing similar medals and was enjoying the who/what/where chat when I heard my name BELLOWED out.
I was then summoned and as we were in three ranks, I ended up in the centre, between John and a former Leading Seaman Marine Technician.
And we marched to the beat of an inexperienced drummer.
I spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with people and took a snack out to the beach.
Will catch you all tomorrow when I *will* take the felt step!