The week started with a good ol’ Ritz walk, a nice sunny day, Lachlan was lapping it up.
We arrived home but Lachlan was not finished and wanted to head out again.
In the afternoon, Juju’s team popped over in preparation for a big weekend. Eloise and Lachlan were having a great time playing and did not want them to leave.
On Tuesday, “Australians mark 108 years since Gallipoli with Anzac Day dawn services and marches across the country”. At the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux, northern France, the Legacy Centenary Torch was shining strongly.
In fact, it had been quite the journey to get the torch to this stage as explained by Anthony from the wiggles, its journey had just kicked off. Legacy Centenary Torches had been distributed around the globe, the Opening Ceremony had concluded on Monday at The Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la-Boisselle in France, and the torch made its way through France into Belgium. From there it will travel over 50,000km, flying into London, running past Buckingham Palace, before flying down under to Perth, Australia before runners will carry it around most of Australia. With some help from aircraft, tanks, and frigates along the way.
On Tuesday, Super Mum and her fashion adviser paid a visit to the Style Mile in search of a new frock, sadly it was not meant to be, at least Lachlan enjoyed the train outing.
While Eloise was at dance, Lachlan was preparing an enormous stack of books for the week, he was running around the library yelling “dinosauurrrr book, Blueyyyy boooook”.
On Wednesday, Eloise was helping her little bro read all about dinosaurs in his new books for the week.
After lunch, Eloise gave Super Mum a serious lecture about how she doesn’t always need to wear a jacket and that she gets too hot at nursery and she does not like jackets. Once the lecture was complete and Eloise made sure Super Mum understood, “okay Mum? Okay?”, we all made our way to Eloise’s nursery.
In the afternoon, Lachlan could not wait to pick up “Sista” from nursery. He gets so excited he not only walks himself but practically jumps all the way there. Lachlan was eager to show Eloise the toys he had been playing with throughout the day.
Thursday morning, we all walked Dad to the train station, well the majority of the way, the rain was coming down and Lachlan didn’t want to get his new doo wet.
The kids were sad that Dad was leaving but they played well throughout the day to take their minds off of it. When Lachlan gets tired he pretends he is a puppy, he must be missing Delilah. As you will see, Eloise is just cutting paper up, a standard day in the office. In fact, we had just bought her a new block of A4 paper as she had cut her way through the previous one.
It was only a short walk from London Euston to the hotel, the weather was not much better down here.
Even though it was raining I needed to stretch my legs. I made my way down Oxford Street and quickly learned that the city had completely lost its mind.
There were hundreds and hundreds of large union jacks all throughout Covent Garden and Soho, they went on for what seemed like forever.
Liam liked the LEGO King Charles and James Bond DB5 and had to show the kids, however, Eloise yelled at him to move on “Dad nooooo more LEGOOOOOO”.
With no Dad to read the bedtime books, Eloise stepped up to the plate making sure Lachlan got his stories before bed.
After a quick ten kilometer dash about the West End, I returned back to my hotel room to try and make sense of the large framed arty curvy tube map. Meanwhile, the Legacy Centenary Torch had made it to The Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.
In the early hours of this morning Super Mum rolled over and surprise, an Eloise had magically appeared in her bed. After a late night, the kids had slept reasonably well, Eloise had snuck in and taken over Dad’s side.
The day started with an early video call to the family, the kids were in great spirits. Liam was excited for today, the torch had made it to London. In fact, it started the day with King Charles III, which you will hear a lot more about next weekend. The ABC reported, “King Charles III attends London starting line of Australian Legacy Torch Relay”. He seemed to be in great spirits playing air cricket, I will leave the English cricket jokes to June.
After breakfast and a couple of coffees in the hotel, I had the morning to hit up the souvenir scene to find something for Eloise and Lachlan. No shortage of King merch.
At the same time, Lachlan was helping Super Mum sort his room out and Eloise was drawing the weather.
Unbelievably, Emma and Jo kept producing the goods, we are so lucky, thank you again!
It was then a leisurely stroll about exploring the sky flowers and real flowers which brought back nice memories of our family trip to Keukenhof Gardens.
I strolled upon The Household Cavalry Museum and timely caught the changing of the guards. They were preparing for quite the spectacle, perhaps for the King’s Coronation? It looked like some serious prancing was about to kick off, sadly I had to move on though, I had somewhere to be.
At midday, I checked in at the Legacy Torch Relay tent, outside the Ministry of
Magic Defence as I was volunteering to support today’s event. I was not really sure what I had committed to, but it sounded like there were grand plans and it was for a great cause.
I got a cheeky hold of one of the torches, pre-event, as our group was rapidly increasing in size. There was a good Australian presence which was really nice.
Legacy is an Australian non-profit organisation established in 1923 by ex-servicemen. Legacy provides support to the families of Australian Defence Force men and women who have lost their life or health in conflicts such as World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, any death which is deemed service-related may be eligible for assistance by Legacy. Volunteer members are called “Legatees” because they accept the “legacy of care” for their comrades’ families; this title has continued to the present day. 4,000 Legatees assist more than 40,000 widows and 1,800 children (referred to by Legacy as “Junior Legatees”) and disabled dependents across Australia providing assistance, accommodation, medical and social support. Legacy’s assistance depends on the individual situation of the person supported. With the help of Legatees, who stay in touch with all families, Legacy ensures families receive their Legacy entitlements and access to government benefits.
After lunch, during Lachlan’s afternoon nap, Super Mum was working on her next masterpiece while Eloise was going to town with her new glue stick.
This was it, three years of planning across the globe by Legacy had led to this moment. The ribbon was cut and the relay began. Luckily I had the role of following the torchbearers along the entire route, handing out Australian flags with some minor crowd control.
We were off and just like that the weather god had delivered. Along the route, there were approximately twenty torchbearers who passed the flame along. As we all marched it was quite the spectacle and the crowds kept growing.
We had been briefed and had a high-level idea of what was happening, however, this far exceeded any of our expectations. London was stopped in its tracks as we marched through the streets following the police escort under tens of thousands of eyes. It takes a bunch of incredible people to stop the City of London in its tracks and we were feeling extremely honored to be remotely part of it.
Funnily enough, we ended up marching straight back through The Household Cavalry Museum as we started to build up an entourage following us along.
It was an incredible feeling marching down The Mall, London was looking its finest in preparation for next week. Everything about the event had been organised to military precision.
It was lovely to see such a large crowd cheer us past Buckingham Palace, perhaps His Royal Highness was watching on?
Channel 9 were filming live from the finish line at the Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park. The ceremony included the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Hamza Taouzzale, the Governor General of Queensland, lots of men and women from the Australian and United Kingdom armed forces and veterans. I was incredibly privileged to witness such a spectacular event surrounded by incredible people.
The Australian War Memorial in London is a memorial dedicated in 2003 to the 102,000 Australian dead of the First and Second World Wars. It is located on the southernmost corner of Hyde Park Corner, on the traffic island that also houses the Wellington Arch, the New Zealand War Memorial, the Machine Gun Corps Memorial and the Royal Artillery Memorial.
For all our Aussie followers, the Legacy Torch is heading your way, I strongly recommend that you get out and support the extraordinary charity supporting extraordinary people.
After a physical and emotional afternoon, it was to the interesting Grenadier to rest and recover and let our minds catch up with what had just occurred.
There was a bit of tomfoolery back at home before Dad called at dinner.
We then took the mistake of catching the London Underground to Covent Gardens Station, which turns out to be a long way underground. Although, not the deepest underground, “Hampstead on the Northern line, which runs down to 58.5 metres”.
For dinner, meat with a side of meat was on the table. I did actually share this.
In other, marching things through London news “Matildas star Sam Kerr has been announced as Australia’s flag-bearer for the coronation of King Charles III, leading a contingent of Australian representatives as part of the pageantry surrounding next week’s ceremony”.