Like many other self-professed fashionistas I have, in the past, spent a small fortune and a considerable amount of time sitting under huge hairdryers that blocked out all other sounds and almost completely covered ones whole head, in the pursuit of turning straight locks into curls.
Fast forward a few years where time and money spent are somewhat more disproportionate, but the new space-age, circular and noiseless hairdryer that magically orbits my bleached and plastic wrapped tufts, is far less invasive. The paraphernalia necessary to the pursuit of curls has been replaced by the super attractive silicone cap shaped like a see through 1920’s flapper hat. It’s much more glamourous!
Why am I rabbiting on about hairdryers, perms and streaks when there are so many more important events occurring across the globe and worthy of discussion and comment?
Because there seem to be way too many to a) comprehend or b) choose one over others to single out and whilst some every-day items have become less intrusive, others have swamped us with our thirst for instant news going into overdrive.
Every time I turn on the telly or radio, check print or online news and social media there is another catastrophe, man-made (as with today’s terrible headlines) or natural and the real-time coverage of it; so much so that it is starting to overwhelm my senses.
My thoughts were not as simplistic or shallow as to be focused completely on the improvements to a hairdressers tools of trade but about how, generally, life and all its processes moved at a slower pace in the past, as did the dissemination of news and not hearing or seeing, in detail, every facet of what is unfolding; somehow made it less shocking or consuming.
Trying to detach myself from the barrage of tragedies does not mean I do not care, but a person’s soul can only take so much negativity before it needs to escape to somewhere less demanding or emotionally draining.
Apart from my dalliance under the dryer I managed to escape the instant and modern world for a day of reflecting on and commemorating the spirit that makes us who we are; ironically born from determination, camaraderie and sacrifice during one of our history’s greatest tragedies. Perhaps eventually we will know if anything that might be remotely considered as a positive, arises from any of the current events.
Like many small communities the residents of Rowena held an Anzac Service, unremarkable in itself, except that there had not been a service for many, many years so it was gratifying for the organisers to have over 200 people in attendance. That’s a big crowd for Rowena!!
We lined the street to watch the school children, all 24 of them, either marching with our oldest Returned Serviceman or following on horseback, from the school around to our local Shire Hall.
Following a brief interval for photos whilst horses were unsaddled and re-acquainted with their floats we filed into the hall and took our seats. We found the walls and stage lined with posters and projects, researched and presented by the students that honoured the Anzacs. They also then, very capably, ran the Service.
Everyone had a role whether it was co-hosting from the stage, handing out sprigs of rosemary and pins as we entered, reciting the ode or playing in the band. By giving each child some ownership over the success of the event the organisers have ensured the significance of the day will remain with this generation of participants, for ever.
How do I know this? As we stood and watched the advancing march I listened to Jeff and one of our neighbours, both ex-students of Rowena Public School, recounting their own memories of Anzac Day Services and their participation in marches that followed the same route.
As per other Anzac traditions we adjourned to the pub for lunch followed by ‘poppy-topped’ cupcakes from decorator extraordinaire and publican, Cindy.
Where’s your ‘happy place’?