We have all been a little cautious. So far so good. Guards everywhere through the night and today. Alert but not alarmed, I suppose. We have a big military presence here, including about a thousand US Marines at present.
I was up early to be part of the dawn service at our local cenotaph. This photo was snapped by Fiona just before the choir began singing. The Army band is behind Nora.
There was a huge crowd and many stood under the trees, estimated at 10 000 people. Maybe more.
Afterwards Mary took this photo of the display of handmade poppies that decorated the area. Later this will be part of a War Museum exhibit.
In Melbourne the display of handmade poppies is staggering. It covers Federation Square.
I watched a wonderful parade through the centre of Darwin this morning. So big and impressive. It took 40 minutes for everyone to march past us. That is BIG. A tiger moth flew over, and a harvard. And three fighter jets. Two big Army helicopters patrolled above us throughout the parade. At the conclusion the New Zealand sailors did a fantastic haka right in front of the official dais. I wish I had a photo of that! Awesome.
My friend Mick took the following photos of the parade.
Two of these tiger helicopters flew over.
Now there is a cheerful party at the RSL about 200 metres away. It sounds like a lot of fun.
I tried finding it on the website mentioned, but the blog has changed to a different address. Now it is at http://writerswrite.co.za/ Writers Write is a blog from a writing school and is full of good ideas, if you take writing seriously. I don't. I just write and hope for the best.
Nevertheless and however and more like that ... if you go to this page http://writerswrite.co.za/hilarious-writing-tips you should get a chuckle or two. Bear in mind that one person's idea of hilarious may not be the same as yours. I liked Number 18 in the list and Number 102 is cute. But the list is too long for me to read in detail. Perhaps I am more world-renounced than world-renown as in Number 109.
Next Saturday is Anzac Day and my choir will be busy.
In the morning we will sing at the dawn service in the city. The Army Band will play. Military precision. Old and new diggers. Wreaths. Tears. Begin in the dark and emerge into day.
In the evening we will present a concert. We will perform The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins.
This is a mass for peace and is not all sweetness and light. It presents the horrors of war through song and music. Let's turn from war to peace.
We will have our choir of 50 singers and a small orchestra. The theatre seats one thousand. We have our own slides of family members who have served in wars, and all nationalities not just one-sided. The slides are shown on a screen behind and above the choir as we sing.
The words are not all in English. Some of the pieces are adaptations of ancient works from India and France. The Imam will be presenting his call to prayer as part of the concert. A couple of songs are a capella. Some pieces are in Latin and there is a strong thread of European church music.
So imagine such a performance in a city where workers drive trucks and utes. Many more men than women. High vis clothing prevails. Football and fishing are favourite past-times. Even my local supermarket has a security guard.
Here is a YouTube sample of what we will sing. This clip is not of us. We are filming our concert on Friday night. I hope you enjoy the music and even look on YouTube for other pieces by Jenkins.
Here is one of my favourite poems at http://allpoetry.com/Funeral-Blues
If you know the film Four Weddings and a Funeral you will recognise this. I like the way this poem pulls your heart out and smashes it against a wall. Just try reading it aloud.
At the side of the page there you can find wonderful poems by a selection of well-known people.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.