Sunday – apart from church – is family day and in the evening the family all come over to our house and share dinner together. Last night, however, was special for me. Although my birthday is not until April, the family – Annabell, John, Andrew, Patrica and the Girls – decided on an early Birthday Gift. In February my boys are taking me to Melbourne to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. A reconstruction of the front facade of the Castle is being built in Ethiad Stadium in Melbourne and the permanent staff from Scotland will be coming over. I am so looking forward to this – the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards. They (the family) all know that I have a great fear of flying so we are driving there and the boys want to go via the Great Ocean Road, which means I will get back to the Memorial Arch but this time I have will my photograph taken with each of the boys. This is the area where there was a deadly fire a few months ago but it has now been cleared for travel. We should also make time to stop at Bell’s Beach. Isn’t it interesting that I am already creating photographs in my head and what I want to do.It would be really neat to make a detour to Drysdale and see what’s happened to my Sister’s property, but I don’t think we will
have the time for that. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is just magic and I will have to contain myself until the week after I come back from Presbytery, which, fortunately, is in Adelaide this time.
Apart from the Tattoo, this will be the first time in years that the boys and I have been away someplace together – so I am quite looking forward to that. Of course it’s four days that I will miss Benji and I will miss our splashing around at the beach. He will miss his hotdog reward, but I’ll make it up to him. It wont take us long to get back on track. However, it is going to be an interesting start to the month – Adelaide this coming weekend – Adelaide the weekend after – Melbourne the week after that. Yes, Benji will think I’ve abandoned him.
Benji and I tried out a new walking route this morning. Interesting but turns out to be over 1000 steps shorter than our current route. Since today is a public holiday ( Australia Day) I might drive round the route and see where I could make a detour to make up the additional steps. If you’re interested it is calculated to be 1320 steps per kilometer and Benji and I cover about 12500 steps per day which is about 5.7 miles or 9.5 kilometres and we do this every day. I realise this to professional walkers, this is probably just a warm up, but it’s a lot for the dog and me – 50+ klms per week.
At this point I wrote some thoughts on Australia Day and deleted them. Better to let the so called elites of society have their say because at midnight I think they turn back into pumpkins. I just have to say though, I love the way some Australians get elected as “Australian of the Year”and use the opportunity not to celebrate their achievements but to tell the rest of us what a racist, guilty of religious discrimination lot we are. For me – well I often think of Sir Walter Scott “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”
O Caledonia! stern and, wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e’er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left;
And thus I love them better still
Even in extremity of ill.
By Yarrow’s streams still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way.,
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my wither’d cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot Stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.