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momentous events

On this day…

The time on my computer reads 1.00am. It is Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012. On this day, back in 1915, the ANZAC legend was created.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N87UwyRI1tk&w=480&h=360]
The clip above was from the Peter Weir movie, Gallipoli. (Unfortunately it was a bit buggy to embed properly, so I apologise if it doesn’t play for you. The link is at the bottom.) Below is a written account.

The original plan / what was MEANT to happen:

The ANZAC landing area was a broad, six kilometre stretch of beach from about a mile north of Gaba Tepe to a point near Fisherman’s Hut, north of Anzac Cove. It was officially designated “Z Beach”. (The five landing beaches at Helles were designated “S”, “V”, “W”, “X” and “Y Beach”). To attain surprise the landing would commence following moonset, about one hour before dawn.

The landing would begin with the arrival of a “covering” force to swiftly capture the area surrounding the landing zone and make it secure for the main force. The Australian 3rd Brigade was selected as the covering force. Three battalions were to seize the third ridge line as well as Gaba Tepe while the fourth battalion remained in reserve. Following the covering force, the Australian 2nd Brigade would land and move to the north, climbing to the summit of the main range at Hill 971 and protecting the left flank of the landing. The original plan called for the capture of Mal Tepe, halfway across the peninsula, on the first day but only if the landing was successful would this objective be pursued by the main force; the Australian 1st Brigade and the two brigades of the New Zealand and Australian Division.

The first wave of the covering force would come ashore from the cutters of three battleships which were to approach within five kilometres of the shore. The remaining waves of the covering force would be landed from seven destroyers which were to approach close in to the beach. The main force would land from transports.

What actually happened:

As the armada of Allied ships draw nearer, by 2.00 am it was spotted by various Ottoman observers who passed the information on to Maidos HQ. The 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment was ordered to be on the alert prepare for action to repel any troops landing on the shores.

The first troops to land were two companies of each of the 9th, 10th and 11th Battalions of the Australian 3rd Brigade. The companies embarked from three battleships. Each battleship dispatched four steamboats towing three row boats (launches and pinnaces)—a total of 48 boats.

The moon set at 3am and the battleships released the tows at 3.30am. Given the night was pitch dark, the tows headed due east and so relied on the battleships having been in the correct position when they were released. The journey of the tows became a shambles and numerous theories have been proposed to explain what went amiss. The southern-most tow kept a good course and was aimed correctly just north of Gaba Tepe but its commander found the neighbouring tows were heading northwards, leaving him isolated. He altered course to bring his tow closer and this may have caused a ripple effect as the other tows responded with a similar correction. As the shore was sighted, the headland of Ari Burnu became visible and some tows mistook this for Gaba Tepe and hence veered even further north.

For whatever reason, these first boats which were meant to land on a six kilometre front between Hell Spit and Gaba Tepe ended up concentrated about Ari Burnu, almost two and a half kilometres north of their intended landing area—in fact, in the landing area of the 2nd Brigade which was to follow. The area about Ari Burnu was defended by a single company of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, Ottoman 9th Division. The Australians began to come ashore at 4.30am. The first man to land was Cpl. Joseph Stratford #1179. 9th Btn. According to eyewitness reports, when he was waist deep in water, he disposed of most of his heavy equipment and charged towards the enemy, which cut him down in a hail of bullets.

The first troops to land were met by sporadic rifle and machine gun fire but casualties were relatively light. The 11th Battalion, which had landed just north of Ari Burnu, suffered the worst. The main enemy was confusion. The erratic course of the tows meant that the units had become intermingled. Officers were unsure where their units were or indeed where they themselves were; some thought that they had landed at Gaba Tepe. The geography was utterly unfamiliar and no objective could be identified.

Most of the troops of the 9th and 10th Battalions began to climb the first hill that confronted them, which unfortunately turned out to be the dead-end Plugge’s Plateau.

The time on my computer now reads 1.30am. It is Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012. On this day, back in 1915, the ANZAC legend was created. At this time on that fateful day, the men would have been looking out at the shoreline, using the last of the moonlight to memorise the distant shoreline. Fearing the moon setting, and impatient as well, so that the landing could be over. How many of them knew the circumstances that were turning against them? How many had any idea of just how bad it would be?

I am a proud Australian. Today is a very special day for me. I shall be posting this at 4.30am, the time that Corporal Joseph Stratford, the first Australian to land, was cut down while still waist deep in water, having not even made it to the sand. The first to die of 4,931 Australian casualties. It is my hope today that you, dear readers, may pause with me, and remember those who gave their lives for the liberties we enjoy today.

Lest We Forget.

Video courtesy Peter Weir’s 1991 film “Gallipoli”, uploaded to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N87UwyRI1tk by fronteitaliana

‘Written account’ abbreviated from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_at_Anzac_Cove

CC Image courtesy louisemakesstuff at http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisemakesstuff/1185971424/

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family anecdotes Life More about me Random thoughts

Early mornings…

I’ve always been an early riser. In my pre-kid days, I was up and about at 6am. Since kids, it’s been an assortment of waking-or-being-woken, and at almost every variation of hour and minute possible. Now that Mr 2’s almost Mr 3 however, my night-time patterns are slowly returning to some semblance of pre-kid existence, in that the hours in between 10pm and 5am are generally kid-free. And I’m okay with that. Really. Those night-time feeds were a killer – but nothing compared to the 3am vomit cleanups. (Sorry if you’re reading this while eating or with a queasy stomach!)

But my kids are getting older – it was inevitable – and that’s good. It’s also sad. No longer does Miss 7 want to come and see me as soon as she wakes up – she hasn’t done this for years now. Miss 4 also seems to prefer talking to her sister, and playing in their room. Now it’s just Mr 2 who comes to visit Hubby and me upon waking. It’s probably the only thing that he does voluntarily to show love / affection / a desire to be close to me. So I’ll be sad to see him grow out of that.

But this morning was precious. Mr 2 didn’t just visit, he climbed into our bad at 5.32am, and then Miss 4 also decided to join us at 5.45. Miss 7 even paid us a brief visit, to ask if she could now go on the playstation, seeing as she was completely dressed in her correct school uniform (part of a deal we’d made last night) so Mr 2 accompanied her to the lounge room, and Miss 4 snuggled, giggled, and played with her Daddy and Mummy until we all got up at 6.

Precious. Oh so precious.

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family anecdotes momentous events More about me Random thoughts

*My* chair

A couple of years ago, I was having trouble coping. It felt as though my life was one big pile of pressure, and there was no relief in sight. I felt that there wasn’t even any place in my own house that I could escape from the demands of others, or of my own (sometimes unreasonable) expectations of myself as a new mother, happy wife, and indifferent yet not-TOO-slack housekeeper.
So I snapped, and demanded Hubby buy me a chair. One of my own choosing, for my personal use ONLY.
(Plus, baby number three was unexpectedly on his way, and we’d given away my feeding chair with all the other baby stuff, after our second daughter had arrived.)
So I threw a right royal tantrum, and got *my* chair. Rule number one: it’s Mummy’s chair. No-one puts toys or books on it, and no one sits on it without asking first. Grown-ups included. Rule number two: never forget Rule number one.
I love my chair. I use it, and no one else does. It is wholly and solely, irrevocably, MINE and everyone knows it.
And I love it! My ‘special place’. Just for me.
My chair.

Categories
family anecdotes Random thoughts

Children, animals, and the joys (?!) of combining the two

Children love animals, I’ve noticed. Well, mine do, at any rate. I probably shouldn’t speak for others’! But my three kids ADORE animals, and would make each one that they encounter, a ‘pet’, if they could. But they can’t. Because of me.
You see, I’m a middle child. Of three. Who had always promised herself that she would never have an odd number of children. (Whoops! That one didn’t work out too well, did it?!!) and something else I had decided in my pre-kid days, was that I would try my utmost to keep things fair in my parenting. To keep it consistent.
To that end, when I was pregnant with Miss 7 all those years ago, I sat down and wrote out a list. The ‘ages and stages’ at which things would happen. How much pocket money, how often, at what age, and for what types of chores. When they would be allowed to get their ears pierced. When they would be allowed to go out with their friends, with no adult supervision. When they would start cooking a weekly meal for the family. That sort of list. And also on the list was ‘when they could get their first pet’.
As they have grown, we have often spoken about the list, and they enjoy adding to it when they want something but know that they’re still too young. Thus ‘going in the chicken pen by myself’ (a desperate ‘need’ when she was just 4) Miss 7 gave an ‘age 6’ and ‘driving a tractor’ (again – Wha? Huh?!) got 18, and so on. And because these new additions to ‘the list’ are negotiated prior to being written down, everyone’s happy, knowing that the same rule applies to everyone.
It’s the rules that I made up, so many years ago now, that appear to be a sticking point. Rules like: ‘first (individual) pet when you turn 13’. Because, as I’ve blogged before, my children all receive pocket money (well, from the age of 3, so Mr 2 won’t start getting any for a couple of months yet) and it’s really quite difficult to say ‘no’ to a pet when they can save up and buy one themselves, if they’re disciplined enough. And Miss 7 is.
When she was 5, the nagging started. “Please, Mummy, can I buy a pet? Please?! I really want a pet!” ad nauseum, with all the promises of ‘taking care of it’ thrown in. She wasn’t satisfied with the ‘we have family pets’ argument, and – let’s face it – she was determined enough to save up sufficient pocket money. So I caved, and at the grand age of five-and-a-half, she became the proud owner of ‘Snappy’, a Venus Fly Trap. Apparently Snappy was a girl, although I’m still unsure to this day whether carnivorous plants are gender-specific. She lasted a week. She drowned, literally, in too much love.
Devastated, Miss 5 wanted something hardier, so she begged until I submitted and allowed her a fish. So she started saving, and paid for tank, filter, pebbles, food, and fish out of her own pocket. Really, with such diligence, how could I not reward her!? And several months ago, she became a pet owner once again.
Whitey, the goldfish, is now a prized possession. And the lessons on responsible pet ownership were learned quickly and with good grace, on the most part. But try as I might, I couldn’t convince her that she was feeding Whitey too much.

“Why does my fish tank need cleaning more than yours does?” “Because you feed your fish too much” was met with disbelief. Perhaps too much reading of “A fish out of water” by Helen Palmer – a favourite story, with illustration at the top of this post – had convinced her that she could feed Whitey lots, and he wouldn’t grow like the fictional Otto had. Nevertheless, Miss 6 continued to feed him a large pinch of fish food, twice daily, and by the time we were decorating the house for Christmas, Whitey had grown fat and difficult to see in his often dirty tank.

Two days ago, Miss 6 turned into Miss 7 and, as Whitey’s tank needed cleaning, I asked her if she would like me to do it. (It’s normally a job we do together.) Of course, she said yes, so I cleaned the tank, remarking on Whitey’s weight, and comparing him to Max, our very old and sadly, very fat Labrador who we buried just three weeks ago. I reiterated her need to feed him less.
Yesterday, Miss 7 was looking at Whitey’s tank, when she called me into her room.”Mummy, I can see what you mean now! Whitey’s fat, isn’t he? I think I need to feed him less. Will he ever lose weight?” An answer in the affirmative had her smiling. Then she added, “And he keeps on decorating his tank with lots of poo. Look at it all!”

I had to laugh. Lesson learned, maybe?

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#blog5daysAustenese random scribblings

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Two

Having the unusual distinction of three family birthdays fall within a seven-day, I have then leisure to consider the import of ‘countdowns’. Counting the days that must be lived, prior to a forthcoming event, can be abundantly effectual. Not only have they the ability to elevate eagerness and enthusiasm prior to the big occasion, they also provide innumerable opportunities for the teaching of mathematical concepts to young receptive minds.

Saturday last witnessed the birth-day celebrations of my husband. Entering his 40th year was marked with his favourite diversions; fishing, napping, and dining with close friends. The following day, our middle child, often referred to as ‘Miss 3’, became ‘Miss 4’ and spent the day smiling profusely and announcing her successful acquisition of another year. And finally, our “Miss 6” will become our “Miss 7” this forthcoming Friday. Each of these days has been studiously counted-down-to by infant fingers excitedly marking off the days in our family almanac.

Twelve months ago, this blog witnessed my scribblings on this topic although it does not appear to me as though a year has passed. Reflecting on this perception, I see that it is entirely possible that the exercise of ‘counting down’ may be its intimate connection. By continuously focusing on future events, enjoying the moment may be superceded by the prospect of future happiness, thus rendering the present of lesser importance, possibly to such a degree that fewer memories are retained, thus rendering the passage of time to feel faster than in actuality.

My summation is that, should we seek to be wise, we should treat in an even-handed manner the conflicting desires of valuing and cherishing the moment and viewing the future with an excess of sensibility. Would you agree, gentle readers?

CC Image courtesy 4rank at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fcharlton/1799065990/lightbox/

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#blog12daysxmas momentous events

A sad day…

Max has been a faithful companion for 12 years. A black labrador, he was best friends with Hubby’s German Shepherd “Storm” until her sudden death on Good Friday, 2009. He since played father to “Aksel”, Storm’s replacement; a very exhausting German Shepherd pup.

Max with Storm, late 2009.

We buried Max today, in a grave next to Storm. She would have liked that. He had broken his foot, and was in incredible pain. It was good to give him release from that pain. It was also good to see how much support I felt from others through how hard today was. Hubby – a tower of strength; my children, all trying to make me smile; friends on facebook with their condolences and messages of support.

But what surprised me the most were the instantaneous tweets from people I’ve never met IRL. People who I “follow”, and with whom I have communicated via twitter, sending me messages with (hugs), <<hugs>>, *hugs*, many *hugs*, big hugs, and hugs and tissues for me and my whole family. Absolutely incredible. I feel SOOOOOOOOOOO blessed. Thank you, my friends! I am so honoured to *know* you all!

One of my resolutions this year was to intentionally be more positive. So today’s photo of Max is accompanied by other memories of today that make me smile: Miss 3 building a tower out of Garlic bread crusts, and Miss 6’s eggs that she scrambled herself, while saying “These look like vomit, Mummy. Lucky they taste nice…” Just wanted to share these lovely memories with you, too.

Thanks, dear readers.

 

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#blog12daysxmas momentous events

Day 7 and the year is ending…

Today started with a song. I sincerely hope that means that it won’t end, in a few short hours, in tears! But in the style of @fionawb, I’m going to quote some lyrics here. They were the first thought past my brain this morning…

“The morning sunlight moves gently ‘cross our bed / the sound of distant traffic floats into my head”

and it had me thinking about how wonderful it is to have a large sliding door on the wall at the foot of our bed, with a gorgeously landscaped fishpond almost immediately in front. (We have a HUGE amount of privacy – I wouldn’t recommend this to just anyone!) But with the curtains open, the sunlight on water reflects onto the ceiling of our bedroom. It’s so incredibly peaceful, just watching the reflection move slowly. And listening to the distant traffic on the Bruce Highway, warring with (but thankfully mostly drowned out by) birdcalls is pretty magical.

Today I got busy. Cleaned out the house (even managed to push the vacuum around a bit!) and tackled Miss 6’s bed, as it’s been bugging me for ages. Silly me, when Miss 3 was big enough to move up out of her cot, chose expedience and bought two single doona covers. Was proud of myself, as I had managed to score prints that the kids would like (Miss 6 was into dinosaurs, and the other -for Mr 2- was blue and soccer-themed) but this quickly changed when I got them home and out of their packets. The extremely thin material (can’t remember the name of it now) was also absolutely PATHETIC at assisting the doona to hold its shape, so every morning Miss 6 wrestled with a very twisted doona, inside its thin, slippery cover. A difficult situation, when you’re trying to make your bed up on a top bunk anyway! (Mr 2’s wasn’t as bad, as not only does he not writhe around so much at night, but being on a normal single bed, there isn’t the height problem to deal with.)

So I finally talked myself into making another one. The first I had made (Nemo on one side, and Pooh Bear and friends on the other) had been Miss 6’s, but Miss 3 inherited it when Miss 6 got the dinosaurs. I’m not the best seamstress in the world (I just tried typing ‘sew-er’, but without the hyphen it looks COMPLETELY different!!!) so this was  a rather unusual occurence for me. But I got it done – and a pillowcase to match. Pretty pleased with myself.

Yes, it’s plain. Red. No, not her favourite colour, but just some material I had to hand. Still, it’s SOOOOOO much better than the twisted dinosaur one! Oh – and in case you’re wondering… here in our part of the world, we’re close enough to the water to get cool breezes pretty much year-round. So while the rest of the Sunshine Coast is in summer pj’s, we’re still under doonas! LOL!

That, and relaxing with hubby this afternoon while the kids enjoyed Madagascar on the PS2 (Christmas present) was my day. A very enjoyable one. Lots of reflection (not just the water! But thoughtful reflection on the year that’s passed) and sone tentative musings on possible New Year resolutions. And a conversation with Miss 6 about the *possibility* of waking her up to see the fireworks at midnight. And that was it.

All in all, it’s been a wonderful year. NEVER would have thought, twelve months ago, that today I would be a self-employed marketer. NEVER could have dreamed that I would be THIS happy. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with so darn much! And help me to appreciate it far more than I do.

So I’m looking forward to 2012 with excitement… some apprehension (that’s the control-freak part of me talking)… and a sense that everything – at this moment in time – is ‘right with the world’. Maybe sometime in the next few hours I’ll muse those resolutions into a more solidified form. Maybe not. Either way, it’ll be great to see what happens!

Happy New Year, all! May you all have wonderful – and safe! – celebrations tonight, and may your 2012’s contain everything you wish for them, and more.

Til next year!

(oh, and the song was ‘Hold me in your arms” by the Southern Sons)

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momentous events Random thoughts

Once an addict, always an addict…

Hello. My name is Ceridwyn and I am an addict. I’m addicted to gambling. Especially BlackJack.

Last night I went to Brisbane. Attended my first ‘live’ Uni class in over 15 years. Thanks, btw, Katherine – it was a great one! But being in Brisbane – and alone, with no distractions of husband, kids, etc – presented an opportunity that was sorely tempting. You see, I absolutely LOOOOOOOVE the Brisbane casino. (And when I say ‘love’, I mean overpowering desire. Which I guess is probably more of a ‘lust’ thing. But anyway…)

I was in Brisbane, alone, the class had finished early so I had an hour before anyone suspected I was somewhere other than where I said I would be, and the Casino was right there. And so I was tempted. Very tempted. Just one thought was all it took, and suddenly every fibre of my being wanted to go those extra few blocks, walk through that grand entrance and up to a table, place my hand on that soft felt and place my first bet.

It would have been my first bet in years. Count them – seventeen of them. Yes, I’m an addict, but I haven’t stepped inside a casino since I was 20. And yes, that desire is still so powerful. Maybe it will never leave.

I resisted. And this morning, I’m glad. For the past fortnight, ever since I realised I was headed to Brisbane, I haven’t stopped thinking about the feel of the chips in my hand, the sight of the cards being flipped over, the rush of winning. Nor have I stopped remembering the times – ever so long ago now, but it’s amazing how strong some memories can be – when I would enter that Casino on a very regular basis, and come out half an hour later with $100 after entering with $50. Sure, that’s not a huge amount. Maybe that’s what got me addicted in the first place. Double your money as much as twice a week, and it’s pretty incredible what you mind can tell you you can do. So I had kept an open mind regarding what I would do. And when it got to crunch time, I took myself in hand and walked straight to my car. Yay me! I’m still swamped with the thoughts, the memories, the ‘what ifs’, but perhaps they’ll recede again…

So thanks for the memories, Brisbane – and here’s hoping that memories is what they will remain.

Categories
momentous events Random thoughts Technology

Pride to the winds…

Today is going to be HUGE. Really, really, really HUGE! You know, one of those days that you’ve already invested so much of your time and effort in, even though it hasn’t yet arrived, kind of huge.

Today is photo day.

My new(ish?! Started Feb 14 this year) job is marketing St Paul’s Lutheran Primary School, Caboolture. And I ABSOLUTELY love it – it’s the best job in the world! And today is photo day. Today’s the day we get a Library of shots done by the best photographer I know. So I’ve been planning this thing for what feels like non-stop, for what feels like ages. (But is actually instead more like for several hours per day for the last three weeks.)

So we have a cast of close to 60, from 4 year olds to those well into their 50’s (actually, more like 60’s but I’m not entirely sure). We have close to 20 locations. We have props. We have costume changes (which in reality will look more like uniform changes, but that image doesn’t fit with my metaphor here, okay?!). And of course we have cameras and all their associated paraphenalia. And we have a LOT of work to do in a very constrained time period. So…

It’s Monday, 28th of March, and I’m off and running on what is quite likely going to be a strong contender for the prize of ‘Busiest Day of My Year’. Running as fast as I can with no thought to my technique or my looks – running with my pride to the winds.

Wish me luck – it’s a distinct possibility that I’m going to be needing it!

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momentous events Random thoughts Uncategorized

Feeling like I’ve finally ‘caught up’ with the world…

It’s a bit of an embarrassing confession, but I’m not, and have never been, a part of the i-Revolution. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that, as my Dad had proudly brought home a Commodore 64 sometime in the 80’s, my older brother’s condescending attitude towards Apple MacIntoshes rubbed off. I remained a happy Microsoft – Windows – PC user, partially aware but mostly oblivious to what was happening in the world of Apple.

Suffice it to say, I never got an iPod. Or any other personal music listening device, actually! Several years ago now, I joined in the laughter at those brave fellow teachers who started swapped across to the Mac, and decided that because I was not into photo manipulation, or the creation and publication of music or film, that I was better off not converting. Even iPhones became a status symbol that I preferred not to have, given that I quickly became marginalised with my LG Xenon non-smartphone (it’s a slider, and I love the keyboard for texting with).

But lately, I’m starting to become envious of those who are part of the iWorld. Seeing as I can’t read QR Codes (I’ve made a couple – as evidenced by the bottom of this blog – but have to use others’ phones to read them!) and seeing as an iPad can apparently do brilliant things like this, I’m starting to thaw. Rapidly!

At a meeting yesterday with a brilliant photographer, I actually saw an iPad for the very first time. Touched it. Held it. Saw a promo on it for the next generation of iPads – magnetic screen cover, or something?!! Was impressed by the fact that his iPad was easily the most used computer in his home. And the price, just $449, surprised me. Then my husband came home last night with a new phone. A MOTOBLUR. And I realised that I had it bad. I have the distinct impression that I’m a convert. I want an iPhone. I want an iPad. I want an iPhone. Heck – I’ll even give an iPod a whirl!

Hmmm… does that mean that I’m a dinosaur yet?! LOL