Monday 20th April
The excitement this little black duck is undergoing is umm err, well if not overwhelming at least it is not underwhelming. It could be my excitement is what wakes me during the night and does not allow me to get back to sleep until I acknowledge I am excited. I am really. I just do not show it.
I am excited that in a couple of days I take delivery of our new car and after a couple of days of driving it will be stored in the garage for a couple of months. It took a couple of minutes to work out how to get a few couples into that sentence. Then, only another minute to get a pair of couples into a sentence and no time at all really to get one couple into a sentence.
I must admit I am also excited that by 7am on Sunday morning I will leave home to begin an adventure several weeks in the planning and two months of execution.
Tuesday 21st April
Another day closer!
Wednesday 22nd April
In the afternoon I took possession of our new Brilliant Red Hyundai i30 SE Trophy Hatchback.
The excitement of a new car was overshadowed by nowhere to go! After dinner I drove to Coolangatta on the NSW border. The Laser Lighthouse is lit at night and I can stand one foot in each state.
From Point Danger I saw a large Quarter Moon setting in the west.
By coincidence another neighbour here in the village also took possession of a red i30 an hour before me. Our number plates have consecutive numbers.
Thursday 23rd April
Once more, to celebrate our new car, I took it for a spin to Sanctuary Cove Marina and Hope island Marina. This was my first visit to these locations and I was staggered by the incredible wealth tied up in the houses in the area but more so by the fabulous boats.
Friday 24th April
Brother in Law Ken C arrived to stay a couple (there’s that word again!) of nights and to join our village in ANZAC Day commemorations tomorrow. I had to show off the new car by taking Ken for a drive around some of the Gold Coast he has not seen before.
Saturday 25th April
About 130 residents and guests and visitors from the caravan park next door attended our dawn service. It was a moving ceremony and one which has taken months of planning by Rob C a resident here at the village.
Australia & New Zealand must be unique in the world in that we commemorate losses of our worst military disaster rather than celebrating strategic victories. I am speaking of course of Gallipoli on this day in 1915 where we fought the Turks and losses were huge…on both sides. Out of that conflict came a national spirit and an enduring friendship with a previous foe.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed the 10,500 invited Aussie’s and Kiwi’s crowd at Anzac Cove in Turkey as follows;
“Beginning here, on this spot and at this hour, 100 years ago, they fought and all-too-often they died: for their mates, for our country, for their King and — ultimately — for the ideal that people and nations should be free,” he told the crowd. “Because they rose to their challenges, we believe that it’s a little easier for us to rise to ours.
“Their example, we believe, helps us to be better than we would otherwise be. That’s why we’re here: to acknowledge what they have done for us — and what they still do for us.
“So much has changed in 100 years, but not the things that really matter: Duty, selflessness, moral courage. Always these remain the mark of a decent human being. “They did their duty; now, let us do ours. They gave us an example; now, let us be worthy of it. They were as good as they could be in their time; now, let us be as good as we can be in ours.
“Like every generation since, we are here on Gallipoli because we believe the Anzacs represented Australians at their best.
“Because they rose to their challenges, we believe it is a little easier for us to rise to ours. Their example helps us to be better than we would otherwise be.”
Our beautiful dawn service, via radio broadcast from the War Memorial in Canberra was played via loudspeakers in our private park and memorial. The service brought tears to all present. Later in the morning we had an 11am service at the same location only this was in blazing sunlight and temperatures nearing 30°. It is a good thing we set up shade pergolas yesterday and put out 150 chairs. A Wreath laying ceremony was conducted and yours truly had the job of official photographer and “sound technician” for all the music and speeches. This was another moving ceremony but there was still more to come.
We had a roast meal for lunch for 98 invited guests. At the conclusion of lunch an ANZAC painting by Anne T, a resident was auctioned. The successful bid was made by the brother of one of the residents. Once he won the auction he then donated the painting back to the village. Anne was reduced to tears of emotion for the auction of her work and subsequent return of the painting to our clubhouse. The successful bidder was swamped with thank you’s from the crowd.
Wow! What a day!
But it was not over yet. We went to dinner with Ken’s sister Kirsty and their uncle Ian and a wonderful Thai restaurant in the Southport gastronomic precinct.
Sunday 26th April
Another morning up early for the trip to Coolangatta Airport (thanks to neighbours Keith and Mary for driving me) Ken left for his return home on the Sunshine Coast. I left Coolangatta on a Virgin Airlines flight to Sydney. I left in brilliant sunshine and 26° temperature and arrived in Sydney to rain and chill. The temp was around 16°.
The first leg of my trip to Canada and Alaska has begun.