11th November – the day for remembering…
The holiday days are finding their rhythms in terms of the activities of the small ones. The discipline is good and we are gradually accepting it with good grace. However it is not easy when we are so used to living according to our own imperatives.
Roxanne has warmed to us at last and is a lively little crawler motoring at speed from end to end of the living room chuckling to herself and telling tall stories about all sorts of bits and pieces she picks up, most of which are invisible to the rest of us.
Maxine on the other hand is a sprite-like almost 4 year old, agile and conscious. Anxious to please she wants to be described as a ‘good girl’. Easy for Alan in his Australian vernacular but when he tells Faith, the housekeeper/nanny that she is also a ‘good girl’ – that needs explanation of the Aussie vernacular to avoid offence. Not that Faith was about to take offence but it is indicative of the minefields we tread in South Africa when we aim at political correctness above all.
The family is almost complete in this branch. Steve arrives tomorrow and Mary on Monday when Faith will fly back to Johannesburg and her children. Then we all trek further East and further mental meanderings will tell of that. We have not all been together since the holiday in Portugal in 2006 when we gathered to celebrate my 60th birthday and Ruth and Mary’s birthdays. This trip will enable us to celebrate the twins’ 35th birthdays and Roxanne’s first. We can always find a reason for a celebration.
Not that I have felt very festive yet. Still battling the sinus etc discomfort, the very cold winds have not helped as I can’t just stay indoors… we went to the beach and had a bracing walk… reminiscent of the day Alan and I spent in Skegness, famous for its brisk climate!
Funny how this date is hardly considered in this family whereas my dad and I as I remember used to go to the Remembrance Day service at King Edwards School. It was always moving. While not approving of war for any reason, so many young men, as it happens, of all colours, joined up to save the world for democracy that we should remember their innocence and sacrifice while blaming the bad people who cynically sent them to die for reasons less than idealistic.