Immigration officers in Nelson have prohibited seasonal scheme horticultural workers from Vanuatu from busking in the weekend market. Busking violates their employment contract. Singing can also bring joy to people which must be controlled at all costs. It may become contagious and spread to the local population similar to a tropical disease. Immigration officials take a very dim view of this and are taking precautions before rampant happiness goes viral. A public burning of confiscated musical instruments will take place at the next weekend market as a official warning to recalcitrant migrant workers.
Walking over to the kitchen table Hilda sat down with a full pot of tea. She looked sharply across at Des.
“Don’t give me that look as if I’m the devil in disguise woman. Spit it out. What’s gnawing at you now?”
Hilda bit back, “You know all too well. It’s that day again. Every year is the same old fiasco.”
“For Christ sake, one blimmin’ day in the year with me old buddies won’t kill you. I’m damned if I spent four years away in them bloody wog places to come back here to be nagged at for having a few beers and remembering our old mates left behind.”
“You know I don’t begrudge you a day out with your mates. It’s the Carson’s I don’t like dealing with every bloody Anzac Day.”
“Listen love, you know it’s the only thing I ask you to do today. I didn’t spend five months banged up in that military prison out in the wop desert for that little turd to come back here to live a life of landed gentry.”
Hilda gave a sigh as she looked across at Des dunking his wine biscuit into his brew.
“Can’t you just let bygones be bygones. It doesn’t change a thing.”
Des slammed his mug down, spilling half his tea.
“Of course it doesn’t change things but it gives me a bit of satisfaction and I owe it to those poor blighters that didn’t make it back. For god sake, he was our commanding officer but where was the sniveling rat when we were going forward under a full barrage. I found the bugger tucked up like a teddy bear in a shell hole. My blimmin’ gun barrel helped him find his legs though. Of course the top brass believed his cock and bull story when the dust settled. I spent five months getting the shit kicked out of me by red caps for that bastard and I’ll let him forget when he’s six foot under.”
“OK Des, I know what this means to you so don’t get worked up. I’ve done it every year so this year won’t change.”
Des lifted himself slowly from his chair, wincing from the old shrapnel wound which gave him constant aggravation on cold days. He limped around the table and planted a gentle kiss on Hilda’s forehead.
“You’re a princess. God knows what sort of mess I’d be now if you hadn’t come my way.”
“Get off you silly goat. Go smarten yourself up before you meet all your old cronies and make fools of yourselves. ”
Hilda walked down the hall, picked up the phone and dialed.
“Good morning Mrs Carson. Sorry for such an early call. It’s Hilda Beamish. Des was about to head off to the Anzac parade and was just wondering if your husband would care for a lift and join him for a drink afterwards.”
Abruptly the line went dead. Hilda chuckled to herself and returned to finish her tea.
In response to my eighty seven year old Mother’s problem of not being able to go for a stroll on windy days due to her eyes watering I have developed the all new Wind-Walker. Designed for total protection against the wind and elements the elderly can now walk or jog to the shops or visit friends in full comfort. The Wind-Walker has a payload of a full weeks shopping as well. Now the elderly will never again be confined to the house because of the weather conditions. An investment in a Wind-Walker changes an elderly life forever.