Day 287 - Box Hill North
Grant was off to work at half six this morning but we just about managed to nod back off to sleep after his car left the street!! When we did drag ourselves out of bed the girls were already up and about in the family room with a new game to keep them occupied, make Daisy jump over Charlotte! It kept them out of trouble for quite a while and then we got a call from Grant to say that if we wanted to go and see him at work we could. That sounded like fun so we got dressed and headed out to the police station.
Since he was a kid I remember Grant wanting to be a policeman so it comes as no surprise that he loves his job as Acting Sergeant and has returned to home ground in Box Hill after a recent secondment to the Nunawading district.
The Box Hill station is temporarily housed on an industrial estate until their new building which is currently under construction, is finished in April. Grant was busy on the front desk when we arrived so a colleague showed us into his
It’s been a long time since I worked for the police, I was on a YTS with two different forces in the UK when I first left school and found the work really interesting as one post was with press office and the other with the stolen vehicle squad. A significant difference over here in Australia is that these cops carry guns but that’s a bit hardcore for us to have a look at today, handcuffs however are fair game! I’ve never been in cuffs before (might come as a surprise to some of you!) but Grant is more than happy to help me out. If I had to share a preference then I’d say being cuffed with arms to the front of me is far more comfortable, hopefully not something I’ll have to worry about in the future!
By this stage Charlotte and Amy are thoroughly bored with the life of a policeman but sit contented in the office playing their DS’s!
The station’s cleaner got our attention next, she looks like something out of the film ‘Ghostbusters’ with her vacuum cleaner strapped to her back! We’ve never seen anything like it and she looks
a bit bemused at our excitement but is happy for us to take a snap to share with the blog! What a great invention! What do you reckon Mum?!
Our last stop (that we can talk about!) is down in the interview rooms where Darryl, Amy and Charlotte check out the inside while I look at them through the spy hole! We thought it best to leave before we persuaded Grant to fingerprint us! Thanks for the tour, we loved it.
Back at home we did manage to twist Anna’s arm into making more Gumnut Babies! It’s not her favourite activity in the world but she’s very good at drawing the cute little faces. By the end of the day we were delighted to have about eight to take back to the UK with us - those of you that have asked for Gumnut Babies will not be disappointed!
We even found time for a bit of detective and investigating work ourselves during the day, all in the name of love. A colleague of Grant's, Keith, is looking for a lovely lady and collectively we think we know just the one! We check out his Facebook page
and find the funniest photos on there but also find out he's a very talented artist. We're going to leave Grant and Anna with the task of playing 'cupid' but hopefully we'll be able to tell you who the lady in question is and how things go in the not too distant future!
Darryl was on caravan preparation and shopping duties. Probably the funniest point of the afternoon was when he returned from the Safeway store with the package of ham that Anna had asked him to get. He’d thought that the lady serving behind the deli counter had given him a funny look when he asked for “40 grams of ham” and that the price only came to $1.03! Anna had actually asked him to get 400 grams, he’d just misheard and we suspect there’s just one single or maybe only half a slice in the package!!! Bless.
Grant cooked up a terrific Webbered Chicken and roasted lamb for dinner, what a chef he is! Leaving him and Darryl in the manhole, myself and Anna went to the New Hope church. It was another very interesting sermon; the music was great and the general atmosphere very uplifting.
I feel very at home and comfortable going there, especially with Anna. Today is the first anniversary of the Black Saturday bush fires which swept through parts of Victoria. Prayers are offered tonight for the people who suffered during that time and for those that are still suffering and coming to terms with the trauma. It was the most terrifying day that this generation has ever seen in Australia.
Back at home, after dinner and once the girls have gone to bed we flick through the channels and find a programme which is systematically walking through the events of Black Saturday. It contains footage from the day and interviews with those directly involved in the fires. It’s uncomfortable viewing at times and for Grant it’s doubly tough. Myself and Darryl were still at home in the UK on Black Saturday and although we could see the fires weren’t too close to Box Hill we still got in touch to make sure everyone was alright. I remember Grant telling us that he’d been sent to one of the police stations closer to where the fires had gone through. I know now that the police station he was sent to was
in Kinglake, one of the areas worst hit by the fires and a town where pretty much only the local café and police station were left standing. The sights he must have seen up there don’t bear thinking about. We joked around a lot when we were with him at work today but we’re very proud of the job he does, good on you Grant. You’re a top bloke.
It’s incredible that these ferocious fires were tackled by thousands of volunteer fire fighters, normal men and woman that risk their lives in times of bush fires. One of the most famous photographs from Black Saturday was that of a CFA volunteer giving some much needed water to ‘Sam’ the koala. It was an amazing shot that was beamed around the world.
One year on the families who escaped the fires are trying to rebuild their lives. Some have left the area to start again elsewhere, some have returned to rebuild their homes but for 173 people who lost their lives there is no going back and our thoughts and prayers are with their family tonight.
Sleep tight, god bless
Dar and Sar
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