Weekend Coffee Share: Christmas Edition

If we were having coffee today, we’d be wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wv-JIpAjks

In case you’re wondering what a fire engine has to do with Christmas, I should remind you that we live in Greater Sydney and Summer is bush fire season around here. In our local area, Santa often appears at local carols etc on a fire engine and my favourite was the old vintage Ettalong fire Engine which has since left the area.

This week, I contributed a guest post over at Solveig Werner’s December Advent Calendar, writing about some aspects of an Australian Christmas: http://solveigwerner.com/2015/12/17/advent-calendar-day-17-a-stinking-hot-australian-christmas-by-rowena-newton/

Jonathon Santa Baby

Mister as a Santa Baby back in 2004.

To be perfectly honest, I wish I could pause time for a week so I might just be ready in time for Christmas. Our fresh Christmas tree has spent the last 3 days in the laundry sink in a bucket while the decorations are still in storage, currently roasting in the attic and we’ve been caught up in end of year school farewells, medical appointments, our daughter’s annual dance concert and melting in the Summer heat as bush fire smoke fills the air outside. In the midst of all this rush and bustle, I escaped into the city and caught a ferry out to Watson’s Bay. After all, even a mature adult has to run away from home some times!


The Kids’ Last Day at Their Primary School.

Wednesday was our last day at the children’s primary school. Next year, our son will be going to High School locally while our daughter has been accepted into a selective class a considerable distance from home, which pretty much means a fresh start. It’s also a fresh start for me as I’ve been doing the publicity for the school and know a lot of people up there and I’ll be starting over as well. I have no idea where I’m heading but could it be that I finally get on with the Book Project without it being cursed? If I could be so lucky!

Last week, I had check-ups with both my rheumatologist and lung specialist. Why I arranged these for the week before Christmas I’ll never know. Absolute madness. Both are very pleased with my progress and I’m dropping back to six monthly appointments. That is as long as the reductions in prednisone don’t cause a flare. So far, so good. Hard to believe that I’ve managed to see my son finish Primary School and also that I’ve ever been that crook.

After seeing the Lung Specialist, I caught the train into the city and wandered up to Martin Place, going inside the Lindt Cafe for the first time.12 months ago, this was the site of the horrific Sydney Terrorist Siege, which saw the heart of Sydney closed down and evacuated and three people dead, including the gunman. However, rather than finding horror in Martin Place, I found the annual Christmas Tree, the cenotaph, classical guitar music filtered through the air and although seeing those Lindt Cafe aprons brought back terrible flashbacks to the siege, all I could smell was Lindt chocolate. You can read abut it here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/sydneys-lindt-cafe-12-months-on/

I walked down to Circular Quay via Macquarie Place, which houses the actual anchor and canon from The Sirius, a ship from the First Fleet, which brought the first white settlers to New South Wales. Then, I went back to the French Cafe I visited last week before catching a ferry out to Watson’s Bay in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. The trip was incredible stopping off at Garden Island, Double Bay, Rose Bay and onto Watson’s Bay. I loved looking back at the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and watching them slowly fade from view and disappear behind a collage of lavish houses and eucalyptus foliage.

By the time we reached Watson’s Bay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was reduced to being a caterpillar of metal arching over the gum trees.


Miss suffering having her photo taken yet again. I can see her starting a support group for kids with papparazzi mums.

Yesterday, we had our daughter’s annual dance concert, the Scout Christmas camp and family visiting from Brisbane as they head to Melbourne.


Mister Sea Scout.

As always, our daughter’s annual dance concert was incredible. Not just because she was dancing but I also love watching all the dancers and then experiencing the climax when the Principals (a husband and wife) dance together and the entire room is spellbound. Then, there’s the grand finale, which exudes such unrestrained joie de vivre. You can read more about the concert here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/our-enchanting-little-dancer/

Needless to say, today we’ve flopped on the couch like inverted starfish. Sunburned, Mister is looking rather ragged. I’m still trying to find the energy to make the Christmas Cake. We can’t have Christmas without out it but somehow Christmas has become very over-cluttered and who feels like cooking anything in such heat and humidity?

We were supposed to be part of the Church nativity play on Friday night but I fell asleep and the kids showed no enthusiasm until it was all too late. Next year…


So, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This is our traditional Australian blessing, which might not encompass all religious perspectives but it certainly isn’t just a Christian thing. More something associated with the old man in the big red suit.

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Part Time Monster and please check us out at the linky http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=592197

Love & best wishes,

Rowena and family.

Jonathon & Mummy Santa2008

Mister & I with Santa at the Pearl Beach Playgroup 2008.


22 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Christmas Edition

  1. Norah

    Christmas wishes to you and yours, Rowena. It was lovely to read your version of an Australian Christmas on Solveig Werner’s blog. Sadly those bushfires are fact and there’s a bad one blazing near Ballarat as I write.
    It’s lovely to see the photos of your gorgeous children. I hope you stay well over Christmas and into the new year.
    Best wishes for joy and happy times with your family.

  2. roweeee Post author

    Hi Kat,
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours too, Kat.
    I can assure you that after spending the day with Mister, being sunburned at any time is awful. His face is burned and his arms. I always kept him out of the sun when he was smaller but being in sea scouts, he’s right in it. He was covered in aloe vera today and had some panadol. Luckily, he slept for awhile too. I once got badly sunburned behind my knees and had a day off work. The pain! We’ll be indoors again tomorrow.
    Take care xx Rowena

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Norah. That’s been my first guest post. I am fully intending to read all her advent posts but it might be February before I get there.
    My kids finished up at our local primary school this week. Mister is off to High School and they had their Year 6 farewell and on Friday they still went ahead with the tunnel despite the rain. The rest of the school kids form a tunnel and the year sixes walk through, which get a bit interesting with the kindergarten kids where they had to crawl. My daughter has made it into the Opportunity Class next year and she’s now wanting to get into Gosford selective high school. This takes us towards the world of tutoring and also towards hothousing where the tutoring does seem to go crazy. I don’t think I’ll push this more extreme tutoring because she’s only 10 years old and she deserves a childhood. You don’t want them to burn out before they’ve even hit high school, do you? Have you written anything about this at all? She still wants to do her dancing and sea scouts etc so we’ll at least be looking at establishing good time management!!
    How is the heat up your way? I am melting here.
    Anyway, thanks so much for the Christmas wishes. We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well! xx Rowena

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much for those beautiful words of encouragement, Cindy. Much appreciated!
    I would also like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New year xx Rowena

  5. vanbytheriver

    Thanks Rowena. And I love the name Kat, but can’t claim it as my own. Appreciate your thoughtful posts,comments and responses. So, please keep them coming. Love, Van ❤️

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Merril. It’s good to just have a few quiet days at home now. Mind you, there’s a fair bit of sorting to be done. Managed to squeeze the Christmas tree in the rubble and with a bit of artful cropping, managed to get the clutter out of the photos. The poor house has been dump and run for awhile with the occasional clean up.
    I wish you and your family best wishes for Hannukah. Love & best wishes, Ro

  7. New Journey

    Ahhhh Coffee with my friend Rowena…first we must put some Christmas cheer in our coffees, regardless of the warm weather….so I am adding a little shot of brandy…..your hot and melting and I am cold, wet and freezing…wish we could meet in the middle….enjoy these years with your children….trust me, from experience the time will be over and you will be sitting your rocker, looking at your little Christmas tree, perhaps a tear running down your cheek as you remember how it was back then, now the kids are grown, have there own lives, spouses and friends they want to spend the holidays with, oh yes the carve out some time to see you, but there will me no cookies to cook, cinnamon rolls to roll out, even decorating the tree is done by yourself and only your memories to count on as you touch each ornament and hang it gently on the tree….oh yes I will have more coffee, and don’t forget the cheer…..so my friend cherish every tired aching moment…..I don’t mean to sound like a Christmas downer, just a realist and we chatting over coffee, and its full of cheer….don’t get me wrong…I couldn’t me a more happier mum, my kids are enjoying the holidays and making memories for themselves……May your family have the best Christmas ever, and may a cool breeze blow off the ocean on your home for the holiday……XXXXXXkat

  8. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Kat. A shot of brandy is just what the patient ordered. I do know what you’re saying. With my son starting high school next year, I can already sense him moving out of the nest. He is an affectionate young man but most of my friends’ kids his age are too grown up for public displays of affection with Mum or Dad. With my health being so bad, I haven’t really expected to see my kids grow up but that’s looking much more likely so I could well be facing the silence you discuss. Will you be spending Christmas Day with any of your kids? It is good for kids to grow up and be independent but also to come home for those special days. xx Rowena

  9. Norah

    Thanks Rowena. Sounds like you’ve got plenty of changes and challenges coming your way. Hopefully they’ll all have positive outcomes. I haven’t written anything about hothousing. I’ll be interested to see how things go with your little one.
    Best wishes to you and yours. Will catch up again soon.

  10. New Journey

    Last year, Thanksgiving I declared this Christmas year was mine…so yes I am making a German Christmas meal, roulade, spaetzel, rotkole, carrots, mashed potatoes all the yummies that go with it….and it will only be my kids, and my cousin who is renting our house….she’s making the strudel….and for New Years it will be Star Wars….then I head to Yuma to get the house floor put in so we can bring some furniture down…funny…when I called the kids in November to tell them we bought a 2nd home, first thing out of both their mouths was, Christmas better not be canceled…LOL so I am in the festive mood and making grocery list and getting it all put together….looking forward to our intimate family dinner and gifts…..xxkat

  11. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Wonderful to share your busy lives. Perhaps you’ll have some time for relaxation between Christmas and New Year. Glad to hear the dance concert was fantastic (although I was not surprised.) It sounds like the teacher couple are mesmerising to watch and I’d love to see them. Perhaps a video next year? I can understand your daughter’s frustration with her photographer Mum. I get the same from my husband although usually I am not taking photos of him. Glad to hear you are sufficiently improved to allow for a reduction in prednisone. Hope you don’t get a flare up.
    Rowena, I hope that you and your family all have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Cheers!

  12. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Irene. Unfortunately, we can’t photograph or video the show but will be getting a DVD in the new year.
    I used to drive my husband mad wanting car stops all the tie when we were travelling but we mostly go back to the same places now so he’s had some relief.
    Speaking of relief, we’ve had a cool change and rain here and we’ve slowed down considerably. Finally managed to post my Christmas cards today, cake made yesterday and even some shortbread. Next stop…wrapping presents. How are your preparations going?
    I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    xx Rowena

  13. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    That is understandable if they have commissioned someone to video the event. Glad to hear the weather has cooled. We badly need rain but I fear if I wish for it we might get horrendous weather. Apart from a lack of moisture the weather here has been perfect. We’ve missed the heat wave and the cold change. Good on you getting everything done. I’ve done as much as I am doing but I have to admit it isn’t much.
    Thanks for the wishes. I hope you and your family also have a fabulous happy Christmas and a joy filled New Year (and that both of your children enjoy their new schools.)

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