I decided that there was nothing better on such an evening than a hearty meal to warm us up!
Unfortunately, with the weather only seeming to be getting worse, after filling our bellies we had to leave the comfort of the couch to head down to the shops in search of a pair of gumboots!
Kmart was the only shop still open, and after calling around none of the stores seemed to stock ladies wellies. The only option was to trek out to a Kmart which confirmed that they stocked men's gumboots. When we got there however, they didn't have any of those either! Everyone else must have had the same idea. Lucky for me, my feet are just small enough to fit into kid's shoes. I am now the proud owner of a child's pair of wellingtons!
The need for this wet weather gear was the Dawn Service early the next morning. We had hoped the weather would improve for the occasion, but decided to be prepared just in case. Unfortunately, the weather did not get any better.
Ponchos, raincoats and umbrellas were also required!
Despite the miserable weather however, there was still a decent turn out for the service. I was so proud of the amount of people who still turned up to show their respect, to remember our fallen heroes lost and to honour the brave souls who have fought for our country.
It was amazing that, despite the large crowd, how sombre the atmosphere was and the appropriate silence. As dawn broke, there was an eerie silence with only the rustle of a plastic poncho or a muffled cough to interrupt the reading.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning -
We will remember them.
As always, the Eternal Flame burned on...
After the service, the crowds gathered around the flame. It also had the added advantage of being the warmest place to be, in the cold dreary weather!
After the service, we had some time to kill before meeting friends so we decided to take a wander around the city. As we wandered down Swanston Street, there were obviously other ANZAC Day proceedings going on, as we saw all these army vehicles parked on the road.
We wandered a little further along, and came across this cute little old-school news stand :
Only this one was not selling newspapers! We were intrigued, and although we initially walked straight past it, curiousity got the better of us and we did a double-take and wandered back up to the stall.
A little French creperie!
It was fantastic! Inside the stand they had set up a mini kitchen with two large crepe hotplates. To the left of the stand, you can see a wooden hinged door with the quaint menu painted on it listing all your options. And yes, the young lady taking your order and the crepe chef really are French!
We chose a Nutella & almond crepe first up, and upon eating it decided that what we really needed was a salted caramel crepe to accompany it! And boy, am I glad we made that decision.
The Nutella crepe was wonderful - filled with gooey chocolatey-hazelnut goodness with a crunch of almonds encased by a slightly crisp outer layer. The salted caramel on the other hand, was just as delicious, but completely different! This crepe had not been cooked as long, which resulted in pillowy mouthful of chewy crepe goodness which just melted in your mouth.
YUM. Cannot recommend this little creperie enough! They've only been open for two weeks, but I'd hurry along if I were you! It won't be long until the masses find out about this little gem and you'll be battling your way for delicious crepey goodness!
You'd think that would be enough pancakes for one day, right? Apparently not.
Lured in by a spruiker and a two-for-one offer, Liam decided that he needed short stacks to fill his belly! I, on the other hand, can never go to a Pancake Parlour without ordering a savoury cheese & potato pancake. Although it is delicious, crisp fluffy pancake chunks smothered in a rich mushroom sauce and spread with a little sour cream, I always struggle with the whole plate. With my belly already half-full, I conceded defeat and left half the pancake on the plate. Oh, the shame...
I tried to avert my attention from the burning shame and the still full plate in front of me, and instead focused on touching up my nails which were all dolled up for the big ANZAC Day match. While I did this, I handed Liam a bottle of (cherry-scented!) red nail polish which I had just picked up, and instructed him to suitably jazz up my plain black gumboots.
Ta-da!! I think he did a fairly decent job given the limited resources! And yes, those are Essendon footy socks you can see tucked under my boots :)
You might be wondering about the odd lights under my feet in the above picture. After stuffing ourselves full of pancakes, we met up with friends and headed to Galactic Circus!
We each bought an hourly play card, which I wasted most of playing Guitar Hero! I'm not sure I never play it at home, but felt compelled to in an arcade surrounded by plenty of other good games!
Before long, it was time to head to the MCG for a thrilling game of football! As you can see from above, my nails and shoes were decked out in suitable attire, and you can bet that the rest of me was too! I wore my Essendon hoodie, which was covered by my guernsey all wrapped up with my member's scarf! If anything can be said for me, when it comes to the football I certainly do not do things by halves!
We had fantastic seats, although the continuing rain meant we did get a little wet! Again, I was stunned by how silent close to 87,000 people can be! During the moment of silence, there was not a peep throughout the entire stadium. It was so quite that you could hear the rope on the flag pole knocking it in the breeze! Amazing.
What an exciting game, but ultimately for a mad Bombers supporter such as myself, what a disappointment. The Essendon boys fought their way back towards the end of the match, and for a brief moment there I thought we had won the match! But especially where an ANZAC Day clash is concerned, you can never be too sure! With just over a minute to go, Collingwood kicked that heart-breaking goal to win by 1 point. Although it was a crushing moment of defeat when the siren sounded, I was so proud! I'm looking forward to seeing where we can take it this season.
So, there you have it! My ANZAC Day was spent filled with a good mixture of things which I feel reflect the essence of the day for many people. Most importantly, the day is about remembering and honouring those who have lost so much in the name of our country. It's a chance to thank them and remember them, for the opportunity they have given us to enjoy days such as this. But as a Melbourne girl, no ANZAC Day would be complete without the hype and the buzz surrounding this big match of AFL.
What did you get up to, and what does ANZAC Day mean to you?