Tag Archives: Turkey

Thanksgiving from afar

I don’t normally take much notice of Thanksgiving celebrations in New Zealand because I know so few of the Americans who reside here.  However, yesterday, I happened to be having one of my rare TV watching moments and I saw an item on a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Downtown Community Ministry in Wellington.  The Dinner was sponsored by the US Embassy to New Zealand and 300 meals were served, with the help of Embassy staff and their families. The diners, most of them New Zealanders, seemed to be thoroughly enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner…..and who wouldn’t enjoy turkey and cranberry sauce and pecan pie and all the trimmings?   I have very happy and delicious memories of Thanksgiving Dinners in New York and also with  American friends in Cairo and Zambia…. but back to the US Embassy to New Zealand, or more precisely the US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa,  David Huebner. I was charmed by his Thanksgiving spirit and his modern approach to the age-old craft of diplomacy. ( He even has a  blog!  )

In fact, I was not only charmed but  I felt inspired to rearrange a ‘grumpy’ post that had been stewing  in my ‘brain pot’ for a few days. So here it is, transformed in to my Thankful List.

I am thankful  that the days are warm and I have a lovely garden to view whilst I wait for my broken  curtain rail to be fixed.

Room with views

Room with views

I am thankful my home is, once again,  unflooded and keeping us warm and dry , even if the repairs are not yet finished and

there remains a hole in our bedroom ceiling.

There's a hole in the Ceiling, dear G, dear G

There’s a hole in the Ceiling, dear G, dear G

I am thankful that we have a wonderful library system that tells me about excellent magazines, one of which is   Frankie ; which I like so much I have to buy a copy.   And to my  delight contains a pullout poster,  by the ever so  talented  Becca Stadtlander , which just happens to be the right size to cover the vexatious hole in the ceiling; and provides a  new interpretation of vision board.

Not that I want a desk/home office on my ceiling, but I do want my home to be orderly again, one day, with everything in its place and a place for everything 🙂

Like my rugs, which have been lying, unrolled, on my  living room floor waiting …waiting….for so long….that I don’t really remember  what we are waiting for….

Why are we waiting?

Why are we waiting?

I am grateful that the path outside my house is being cut and drawn, yet again, so that soon our neighbourhood will have access to ultra fast broadband that very few of us can afford 😦

But such major upgrades of our infrastructure  are enabling many workers to enjoy employment, none more so than the temporary workers from the Philippines, some of whom will be concerned about the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in their own country, as they toil to  rebuild our broken city. I am grateful for their willingness to be so far from their homes and  their families.

And, lastly, I am ever so grateful that my home no longer looks like this,

for there are many in this city  who still live in damaged, unrepaired homes.

Now, if someone would deliver a turkey dinner and some pumpkin pie, I would be very thankful for that too 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

© silkannthreades

Poppy Day

Yesterday, 19th April, was Poppy Day in New Zealand. The Red Poppy is ‘an international symbol for remembrance for all those who have fought and died in war’*.  We celebrate Poppy Day on the Friday before Anzac Day ( 25th April).Recipes to Remember

When I was at our local Mall yesterday afternoon,  I noticed that many people were wearing red Poppies.  The sight of the Poppies reminded me that I had yet to buy my Poppy, but I couldn’t find anyone in the area who was supplying them. I expect it was a bit late in the day for the volunteers to still be at their posts,  with their boxes of artificial poppies , patiently waiting for people to offer a donation in exchange for the honour of wearing a Poppy. The money raised is for the use and work of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association which was founded in 1916.

Although I didn’t find a Poppy, I did find a wonderful new book called Anzac Day, The New Zealand Story by Philippa Werry. ( http://www.newhollandpublishers.co.nz/display.php?id=1709)  It is written for young readers but it is a book that can be enjoyed by all age groups. Here is a quote from the book about the origins of Poppy Day in New Zealand.

” While the Anzacs were fighting at Gallipoli, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, was caring for the wounded at Ypres (modern-day Ieper) in Belgium. One of his friends was killed in battle, and afterwards he scribbled down a poem on a bit of paper. Another officer found it and sent it to a magazine in England. The poem,‘ In Flanders Fields’ was published on 8 December 1915. It described how the red poppies quickly grew back between the rows of crosses marking the graves of dead soldiers.

John McCrae died of pneumonia in January 1918…….his poem lived on and was translated into many different languages. Today the red poppy is an international symbol of remembrance for all those who have fought and died in war*.”

Philippa Werry goes on to explain that the New Zealand RSA  placed an order  in 1921 for thousands of hand-made silk poppies from France to be sold on Armistice Day ( 11th November). The shipment arrived too late for Armistice Day so the Poppy Appeal Day was postponed until 24 April 1922, the day before Anzac Day. Since that time Poppy Day in New Zealand has always coincided with Anzac Day.

On Poppy Day, I happened to make Skype contact with my brother and sister-in-law at Heathrow Airport. They were waiting to board their flight to Istanbul. They are on their way to attend the Dawn Service at Gallipoli on Anzac Day. It is one of the most remarkable gatherings in modern history. Thousands of Australian and New Zealanders make the pilgrimage to the service each year.  Along with those who attend memorial services at home, they honour those who went to war and they dwell a while in the sadness and futility of war. In military terms, the Gallipoli campaign was a resounding defeat for the Allied Forces, yet, today, that defeat unites us in bonds stronger than anyone could possibly have imagined on the terrible day of the Gallipoli landings, on 25 April 1915.

ANZAC is an acronym introduced during the First World War. It stands for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.  My grandfather and several of my great uncles were Anzacs. Two of my great uncles lost their lives at Gallipoli.

Here are some statistics:  2721 New Zealanders died during the Gallipoli campaign. 1669 have no known grave and 252 were buried at sea. One of those 252 was my great-uncle.   Australian deaths were 8587 and Turkey suffered 86,000 deaths.  French and British casualties were also in their thousands.

Fellow blogger, Rebecca, has some lovely blogs on the Red Poppy and its significance in Canada. (http://ladybudd.com/2012/11/06/the-remembrance-poppy/#comments)   If other bloggers would like to  comment on my blog  with Poppy photos/links I would be very grateful.

© silkannthreades