We are drawing up to ANZAC Day. The days are cool and the dawn on Friday will be chill but not icy. Trenchcoat weather at that hour. Young soldiers are selling hatpins in the city. The newspapers carry stories on the replacement of the Roma Street memorial. My secretary brings in Anzac biscuits for morning tea. I remember that my great-grandfather disinheriting my father over my mother, then met her and repented because she reminded him of the nurse he had been engaged to when he was at Gallipoli, and who was killed crossing France in a hospital train*. I might have scones and jam, in honour of that great-grandfather’s adventures with a jam tin in the trenches. My big sister’s family’s business is understaffed because an employee has gone to Turkey for the dawn service at Gallipoli. I remember watching my father march on t.v. once, but he won’t march this year. Once my father took my little sister and I to the dawn service and parade and the ‘gunfire breakfast’, but I think we were too young for what, according to him, is an actual gunfire breakfast**. I will probably turn on a country radio station and hear Eric Bogle sing “And the band played”, or “No Man’s Land”, or wish I had, and either that or Ataturk’s words will probably make me cry (I am susceptible). This morning, the trumpet students on our street all practiced “Reveille” and it rang through the bright early sunlight.***
*He put my mother in his will instead of my father.
‘Mama’s little darlin’ loves‘…: A short story from Martin Livings which has changed the way I think about presents (from his series of Tuesday short stories).
And not disturbing at all (in a negative way – in a positive way it has ruffled my equilibrium delightfully) but relevant because the title of this post is from one of his books:
A new Shaun Tan book is coming out! Tales from Outer Suburbia! If the scattered pictures I have seen are from it, it promises to be beautiful in a way only a book in which a waterbuffalo giving directions captures perfectly a certain suburban serenity can be. And I was right – I did see his name in the Horton credits. He was involved “at an early stage” so I won’t hold the movie against him.