(Post contains considerable YouTube linkage. Not that you’d know, to look at it. But it does)
Last night, Caerulia and I took Lucius and his friend Henry to Duntroon for the Beating of the Retreat and the performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The last time I saw this performed was when I was about 14. My father, Decimus, was the artillery captain in Novocastria back then. So for Novocastria’s summer festival, he set up the 105mm howitzers of 113 Field Battery in Kind Edward Park and at the climax of the piece, they were firing off into the ocean. I still have a picture of it.
Last night though, the announcer explained the origins of the piece and tied in the church bells, the Tsarist anthem, the significance of the rising and then fading La Marseillaise. Of course, being 8 years old, Henry & Lucius thought it was fantastic, since artillery has that effect on boys. I get the feeling it may become a regular event for those two.
It was also the first time I’ve spent any time at Duntroon since I worked there ten years ago. The year I spent there was pretty bland, but the circumstances of my departure set me on a path that dominated the next few years. Perhaps, just for the sake of a story, I’ll tell that one tomorrow?