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Rituals

War Memorial Forecourt
After the service, Mum and Dad went to the luncheon for ex-servicemen and women held at the CWA rest rooms.  Every year Dad came home saying things like "They should call him Moses, whenever he opens his mouth the bull rushes." it seems the war that some men fought became more glorious with every passing glass.

"It was the beer talking," Mum said.

While Mum and Dad were at the luncheon we children headed for the supper room at the local dance hall where the RSL Women's Auxiliary put on a lunch for the children of returned servicemen. What a feast! The table was groaning with sandwiches and cakes, more than the collective appetite of a vast collection of offspring, who each stuffed themselves -- being careful to give only the mock chicken sandwiches a miss. This was all washed down with bottle after bottle of soft drink.  If we had been ex-servicemen on the grog, we would certainly been hanging onto each other, singing boisterous songs and falling into the gutter on the way home.  We were full.

Instead, we clasped our stretched tummies and walked soberly down the street to home.  The house was unusually quiet with both Mum and Dad not yet back.  Despite our lunchtime revelling, a reverence still clung to our normally high spirits. To us it felt like a Sunday, and it didn't seem right to go to the pool or pull out our sewing, or to busy ourselves with work,

Comments

  1. Just the photograph here makes me feel as though I have come out of chapel into the sunshine!

    I love the 'bull rushes'. How witty it is! What is 'mock chicken'? My mother used to slosh up 'mock fish' which was a poor person's hash-browns. But I do not know MC. Maybe I avoided it also ... I know that, to this day, I am very selective when chosing sandwiches from a spread ...

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  2. Mock Chicken is a mystery to me. The web has the following recipe
    2 tomatoes chopped
    2 onions chopped
    1 egg beaten
    salt and pepper
    1+1/4 cups cheddar cheese grated
    2 teaspoons mixed Herbs

    I certainly remember it was lumpy and reddish which fits. My Mum never made it. But other ladies were keen to be the one who would supply the mock chicken sandwiches - which looked and tasted nothing like chicken.

    Of course, real chicken in those days was something you would not find on sandwiches. It was a special treat reserved for Sunday roasts after one of the family chickens had its head chopped off , plucked etc.

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