Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A day of Remembrance

As mentioned earlier, today we travelled to Canberra's War Memorial to witness our country's tribute to fallen soldiers from World War 1 on this Remembrance Day 2015.
The morning was cold and a little threatening with grey clouds above but regardless, a group of 10 of us walked into the centre of the city to catch a bus to The Memorial in time to obtain a good posse for the ceremony.
We arrived in plenty of time for the service but alas it started to drizzle just after we got there, and, as we were not ticket holders, had to stand just outside the barriers as we had no allocated seating.
Approximately 5 minutes before the start, the barriers were opened and we could grab a seat if we wanted but Murray and I decided to stay where we were as we had an excellent view of where the dignitaries were to be seated from where we were standing.
We watched as 'important' people were ushered in... The Prime Minister, his wife, the leader of the opposition, Sir Peter Cosgrove, Govenor General and his wife, Tony Abbott and then in a sleek black car arrived HRH Prince Charles and his beloved wife HRH Camilla. 

By then the skies had well and truly opened and umbrellas were the order of the day so, as we stood and watched whilst slowly getting wetter and wetter, the service began.
1100 hrs. brought the obligatory minutes silence. Funny how the discussion of war, the musical notes of 'The Last Post' and the uttering of 'The Ode' always bring me to tears as I think of my father and his father, my uncles who also fought and those innocents who died not knowing why they were in a war far from home as it turned out.
Such an emotional remembrance, despite the lousy weather had people stand in silence for that minute with no distractions to bother us apart from a plane that flew overhead.

All too soon, the service was completed and we dispersed in the rain, pondering how to return to the familiar streets of the university.
We trudged in rain soaked streets away from the War Memorial until we found a bus that would take us back to the heart of the city.
From there it was lunch at the Pancake Parlour which was surprisingly tasty and comforting for our cold bodies.
We stepped out of our lunch eating house to the bus stop and within minutes our number 7 bus was waiting to return us to our temporary home back at the university.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Story of Four Little Hens

Once upon a time there were four little brown hens.
They all had names and these were Charles, Camilla, Audrey and Cluck.
One thing about these four was that three of them were impossible to tell apart as they all looked very much the same. Cluck was the only one that looked different because of her tail feather which stuck out like that of an Apache Squaw.
Cluck's tail feather was not like that at birth nor for the first few weeks of her life but became so because the dog-next-door decided one day he might like to have a home chicken dinner compliments of Cluck and her family, both hens and humans.
Fortunately for Cluck, the dog-next-door was thwarted in his plans by the human male who fed her, when he heard her cries of distress as the dog was making off with her to his home.
When the human male who fed her heard her desperate cries plus those of her sisters, he threw rocks and sticks at the dog-next-door until the dog got the message that this chicken dinner might not be such a good idea after all, and so, he released his very mouthy strangle hold around her neck and made his way back through a hole in the fence to safety, pretending all the while that he was a good dog, despite being adorned with Cluck's feathers.
The two dogs that lived at the same address as Cluck watched all these happenings without much enthusiasm and the human was most disappointed that they did not attempt to save their family member from the dog-next-door but such is life, and goodness prevailed in the end with Cluck saved (this life... and this misadventure) from the jaws of a dogs life.

So, time went on and the chooks loved to roam around the paddocks that were the home to the humans who fed them lived there.
The two dogs who also resided at the same address did not concern themselves with the chooks as they were far too busy chasing rabbits (not that they caught any, mind) but they would follow behind, munching on the leftovers the chooks forgot from time to time.
The male owner was most taken by the way the four chooks scratched to find insects and bits to eat whereas the woman owner was quite taken with how these four ran when called, cocking (no pun) their heads to one side and chattering as they ran to the human voices from time to time as well.
The four hens lived a full and productive life each laying an egg per day and occasionally one of these eggs was a trophy egg, being large and a double-yoker.
The female human would sometimes wonder how it much feel to lay an egg and wondered if there was any pain involved.........
On one occasion one egg had a very soft and spongey shell and was consequently deemed not good and was given to the two dogs who resided on the land. They were not fussy dogs and were very happy to receive a tasty morsel outside of their normal food time. 
On the whole though each of the chooks continued to produce one egg per day and these eggs were usually birthed in straw which protected them from the hard earth of the ground until the humans collected them after 10 am. each day, regular as clockwork.
Needless to say, all four hens, Charles, Camilla, Audrey and Cluck continued to live a most productive life, enjoying their morning scrounge outside once they were freed from their home each day, whilst the male human stayed within close distance as there were wee red foxes about.
The foxes were to be seen occasionally hovering in the distance and human neighbours who lived not far from this home would tell tales about the pillaging if one was not careful.
Consequently, these hens were allowed freedom when the humans were about, but for their own safety were put back inside when the humans were not around.
This is the end of Part One of the story..... The Story of Four Little Hens.