I mentioned earlier this year on Australia Day, that my Dad was awarded an OAM, an Order of Australia Medal for his community service in the Rural Fire Service over fifty years.
Today was the day the medal was awarded at Government House, Sydney.
Dad could take three guests and two of his four children were (conveniently) out of the country so there were no fights. And I got to go.
It was all very formal with Ma'ams and Sirs and Her Excellency Governor Marie Bashir. Dad couldn't help making friends and we met some lovely people and saw some pretty amazing awards being awarded. There were some OAMs, some awards for bravery, lots of impressive community service and there was one guy who (among other serious achievements) had been a Santa for his local town for a hundred years. Or something.
It was cool. Dad had a bit of a tear in his eye and I think Mum and my sister Suze and I just about burst with the awesomeness of it.
And after: there were canapes! Really, really good canapes! With champagne and white wine on the colonnade, as you do, and photos and handshakes and smiles all round.
And tonight, after we stopped for a lovely celebratory lunch and dropped Suze home, we got home too late for me to make the celebratory roast beef which was up on the menu board, and instead I improvised and threw together quick plates of nachos. Dad brought out a wine.
I couldn't believe we were going to drink such a red with something as pedestrian as nachos for heavens sake, but actually Dad loves nachos and we'll enjoy a slow cooked roast tomorrow night, and anyway, how many evenings do you celebrate someone in the family receiving such an award?
There were many toasts of wine and kids cups and the kids made Dad wear his medal and the Grange was extraordinary (and quite delicious with nachos, goodness me) and how utterly wonderful.
Most of all I'm just so happy we were here for this.
Cheers to you, Dad. Today was a great day. We're impossibly proud of you.