As a New Zealander living in Australia, I am a little overwhelmed by all the Australian fervour on ANZAC Day. I think it is fantastic that the country is so willing to take the time to say thank you and remember those who have fallen, lest we forget.
But I don’t think it is quite so fantastic that one thing that seems to be consistently forgotten is the the big NZ smack bang in the middle of ANZAC. I know it is Australia and the Australian “meeja” are going to report on Australia, but if there is one day to put aside inter country rivalries, it is ANZAC Day. On ANZAC Day, I don’t believe that we are Australian or New Zealanders. I believe we are Antipodeans. From the Antipodes. Down under. Standing together as one. Peace out.
New Zealanders and Australians and Britons stood side by side, many hundreds of thousands dying pointlessly and needlessly and painfully. But they are not forgotten.
My paternal great grandfather was mustard gassed in World War I. He would never talk of it, merely saying that it “was not for women and children and he experienced that so that we didn’t have to”. It must have been horrific. He wasn’t being paternalistic or misogynistic – he was protecting those he loved the best way he knew how.
My maternal grandfather was a conscientous objector in World War II. He would never talk of it either. It was also a horrific experience. I know so little of his story but have read extensively about the history of the conscientious objector movement in New Zealand. Conscientious objectors in New Zealand were treated the most harshly, and many of them were jailed in detention centres, and detained well after 1945.
My day started with a surprise breakfast in bed. Shame I loathe rockmelon! But gods love the Welshman and Boyo.
Next up is a perfect spot in the sunshine, curled up in the back garden. Snags, polenta chips and lamb chops on the barbecue. Prosciutto-wrapped barbecued asparagus spears for an entree. Fabulous.
Of course, as I’m Kimba, there is a What I Wore #OOTD approach to the day. I adapted the Australian directive for Fox in Flats’ #foxinflatsstyledare to suit me and instead wore Antipodean style. My vintage Maori print New Zealand souvenir silk scarf was purchased from a fab vintage shop in Berry, New South Wales. I’m wearing Karen Walker bunny earrings from New Zealand, and Polli Design earrings, designed and made in Australia. Actually, just up the road from my house.
I teamed a New Zealand Maori pounamu carving with an Australian Jarrah timber carving, and wore them with a Canterbury kiwi gold foil print tee. I held up my Kiwi Karen Walker boyfriend jeans with an Australian belt bought in Morpeth, NSW. Morpeth is the home of the original Arnott’s bakery, now reopened and operated by a family member. The belt has a sold brass buckle and is made from Aussie cattle leather.
I’m wearing New Zealand brand Ziera shoes for #shoein. True to Kimba’s ethos, they are thrifted and cute to boot!
My blokefolk got into the spirit too. The Welshman wore a Marmite Union Jack design tee and Boyo rocked it with the original farting dog Mambo tee.
Of course, it is not ANZAC Day without ANZAC Biscuits. I use Glad Shute’s recipe, venerable CWA luminary and judge. Little bit controversial with added lemon zest, but oh so delicious. They have to be rolled by hand. They have to pressed once with a fork so they bake evenly. They have to be browned – simply cannot abide by anaemic ANZAC biscuits. They absolutely must be crunchy on the outside yet deliciously chewy on the inside. 11 minutes at 170 celsius in my fan forced SMEG oven seems to be the magic formula. 10 minutes is too few, and 12 minutes is too many.
A play in the park completed our ANZAC Day. Boyo is the king of all he surveys.
We remember quietly in our own way. We are not attenders of the Dawn Service. We spend the day together as a family. There is barbecuing. Themed clothing. Sunshine hopefully. Definitely ANZAC biscuits and definitely not Anzac cookies.
I hope you had a lovely ANZAC Day with those you love, remembering those lost yet still loved.
Lest we forget.