25 APRIL 2020
Anzac Day is a very significant day for Harefield and feels very personal for us as we live next door to one of the few Anzac war graveyards in the country. Anzac service men who were sick or injured were brought home to Australia and New Zealand via a special hospital created in a manor house in Harefield. The few soldiers and one nurse who died in the hospital are buried in this beautiful cemetery which is part of St Mary’s graveyard which is adjacent to our front drive. Every year for more than 100 years the local school children have laid flowers on the graves and a major service is held in the church.
We are always heavily involved with this service, the choir that I direct perform in the service and often Diane plays The Last Post. This year for the first time in living memory everything is cancelled. Our lovely vicar is putting a pre-recorded service online, for which we provide some music and Meave films Diane playing The Last Post, which she plays on one of her collection of antique bugles (quite an achievement considering she is actually French horn player!). I could hear her from the garden and it felt curiously fitting to hear The Last Post being played in the present circumstances.
Aideen has a holiday from practising today, and decides to finish applying the mosaic tiles to the benches on the mount with James. This is a tricky job as Patrick has already discovered, the benches are made of block work making the sides uneven, the tiny mosaic tiles are attached to a mesh making it very hard to fix them smoothly. I think a certain amount of leeway will have to be allowed with levels. James started setting up lights for the mount. The tiles look fantastic and catch the lights looking sparkling or iridescent depending on the angle of the sun. At night when the lights come on the effect is magical. I do not achieve a great deal today, I carefully split up some seedlings in the propagator and I weed some areas in the onion/bean quarter of the vegetable garden for the remaining onion sets. It is incredible how dry the soil is already, the two areas I am preparing are not usually cultivated for vegetables and they are rock hard and to the soil around the garlic, onions and shallots already planted is cracking. In the evening I give the onion beds a good soaking.