Sunday, 16 November 2008

Sunday wandering around Melbourne

Have uploaded a lot of photos to the Facebook page - and if you havent signed up for Facebook yet then it really is about time!

Not sure if that link works if you're not signed up, but hopefully it will!

The Botanical Gardens were a magical place, full of families with children and dogs running around, but still with more than enough space to be alone, to follow little paths between trees and stumble across glorious bursts of colour and light. Probably smelt great too if you have a sense of smell...

The Shrine was a different kind of magic. One of the most serene and beautiful buildings i have seen in. Built in the 20s to honour Victoria's men and women who served overseas, it is a huge imposing structure, yet somehow intimate and fitting. The concrete steps and marble pillars speak in soft yet mighty tones to the unimaginable sacrifices these people made. It wasnt even their war, yet over 100,000 volunteered, in an era when Europe was a month away at least. Nearly 20,000 didnt return, and those who did must have been scarred and scared until the day they died. Every hour they shine the light over the capstone reading "no greater love hath man" - just as the sun naturally falls on November 11th at 11am - and play the last post. How anyone who knows it can listen to the words that follow and not shed a silent tear... Lest we forget indeed. And talking to one of the guides, a Scottish veteran of serious years, it appears that the sensitive Ozzies have recently reduced the silence from 2 minutes to 1. Because it falls on a work day and 2 minutes is too long to lose. So the veterans here have taken to hiring buglers at 10.59 to walk into the middle of busy intersections and stop the traffic, and force the world to stop for the full 2 minutes. Good luck to them, and let us pray to whatever God or monkey we believe in, that one day these stupid, stupid sacrifices will come to an end.

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