Menin Gate

After our reawakening and Adam's reports on shrapnel finds around the farm we cleaned up and got ready in time for the Last Post Ceremony at Ypres.

This time we asked the directions from Charlotte and got there more or less spot on to the exact spot where she told us to park up without any cock ups in my navigation.

We were in time to have another quick look at the dodgy fair and wonder arround the town before going over for the 2000hrs 'last post'.

The memorial itself is quite spectacular make Arc d,triumph or Marble Arch look wimpy to my eye and is a superb monument to the fallen of WW1. Pitty it had to be the Belgians that saw the need for it and not us.

I have the greatest respect for the Belgians of Ypres and not just for the fact they took the trouble to build this monument to our dead and then had their buglers trained to play the "Last Post" in the British style but because they completely rebuilt there town brick by brick and house by house to its pre-war plans. No concrete high rise monsters here.

Anyway, they block the streets off, and remember this is one of the main routes through the town, with no messing, at about quarter to eight and already there is a crowd of people of many nationalities gathering in the gates archway and nearby paths.

A microphone is set up and the names of two fallen soldiers that died on that particular day of the year are read out with brief details of their last moments. By now there is silence as the crowd absorbs the tragedy of their deaths and than two smartly dressed buglers march out and play the last post. There is the memorial reading; "...they shall not grow old as we who are left behind grow old...."

What can I add? It has to be seen and should be seen by every snot nosed arsehole kid in the country, then they may not be so bloody quick to take the piss out of their elders and rob old grannies.

We had a quick look at all the other names listed on the archway but it was getting dark and some were so high up in the archway you would have needed binoculars to read them. Still no Orton's to be seen - perhaps I was right when I said to Adam "..we away run too quick to get killed .." was true or maybe we were all up in the roof.

Anyway, we were all hungry again to various degrees so it was back to restaurant Charlotte on the main square so Andrew and Annette could have their free girlie drink again but I went straight for the beer this time. I was quite pleased that Adam had developed his appetite and eating rather well considering it was all Johnny foreigner food.

We were playing rather safe and ordering meals that appeared to have some sort of egg or chicken content; omlettes, curry etc. so we knew what to expect. Not quite so simple as we found out in Nivelles but that's another story.....

So we got back to the farm easy enough and opened up the beers again but I don't think Andrew has quite got the idea of sitting around a fridge full of cheap good quality beer discussing the day, planning for tomorrow and putting the world to rights. He needs some bimbo behind a bar flogging small glasses of poor beer, with a TV showing replays of old footti matches to enjoy himself. Must get the poor chap some more therapy in Berlin next year - I'm convinced we can still save him from the "Dark Side of the Bar". The Thirst is strong within him.

And then off to bed and I managed to jump Annette before her beer wore off BUT thats censored!!!

Stay tunned for the big breakfast and on to Nivelles.......