I am starting to wonder whether chocolate, cheese and crackers could possibly equal dinner? How about if I throw in a bottle of wine?
Surely, Boxing Day must be a day off cooking for this exhausted kitchen slave?
After all, it’s Boxing Day. A day when traditionally speaking, (i.e before the Boxing Day sales took off), we lock the doors and bar the windows. Dig out that long lost novel or park ourselves in front of the box watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race dispersed with the cricket.
Humph! When it comes to not cooking, it’s not looking good. Although the kids aren’t home, even I’m feeling peckish.As much as I love chocolate, even this chocoholic can’t quite consider it a meal.
However, before I head off scrounge around in the kitchen, let’s get back to the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
The Sydney to Hobart, which started in 1945, is the pinnacle of the Australian sailing calendar and is a notoriously difficult race. While you do hear of yachts dropping out along the Australian East Coast, the real challenge comes when the race crosses Bass Strait, which is located between Tasmania and the Australian mainland.
Bass strait was named after George Bass, after he and Matthew Flinders passed through it while circumnavigating Van Diemen’s Land (now named Tasmania) in the Norfolk in 1798–99. At Flinders’ recommendation, the Governor of New South Wales, named the stretch of water between the mainland and Van Diemen’s Land “Bass’s Straits”…Later Bass Strait.
Personally, I’ve never even dipped my toe in Bass Strait, let alone sailed across those treacherous waters. Indeed, I’ve only ever flown over Bass Strait.
However, my intrepid husband who is something like a 5th generation Tasmanian whose roots date back to the 1830s, has sailed and kayaked in Bass Strait, albeit on the edges: “You don’t play silly games in Bass Strait”. He has even crossed Bass Strait in a storm on board the ferry, The Abel Tasman, the precursor to the Spirit of Tasmania. He told me how the bow of the boat was punching into a wave and the spray was landing on the observation deck eight decks up. The waves were absolutely ginormous! Geoff says: “Bass Strait can be some of the roughest water in the world. I’ve heard it described as being as rough as the North Sea.”It’s apparently twice as wide and twice as strong as the English Channel.
If you’re interested in reading about sailing across Bass Strait:http://www.mysailing.com.au/news/satori-in-the-strait-reflections-on-a-summer-bass-strait-cruise
However, while the Sydney to Hobart provided background entertainment, I’ve actually been working hard today. Instead of doing absolutely nothing, the house started moaning, groaning and complaining about months of accumulated neglect… AKA: “The Dump and Run”.
Just to add to the pressure, as I’ve mentioned before, both our kids are starting at new schools next year. So, we need to get organised. We can’t do our usual trick of arriving back from holidays the night before school goes back and bluffing our way through on auto-pilot. No! I’ll be needing to have my long-suffering brain well and truly switched on and I’m sure some extra caffeine won’t go astray either…artificial intelligence!
So, today I’ve sorted through numerous in-trays and filed and chucked mountains of paperwork. I’ve updated the 2016 diary. This new wave of organisation could inflict severe shock, especially on my daughter’s dance teacher. Let’s just say she’s been very understanding! Well, that was until the end of year concert was rapidly approaching and there were several stern discussions. Thankfully, all went well on the day. While we can’t comment on her technical prowess, Grandma and I both thought Miss looked like English ballerina, Dame Margot Fonteyn, in her snow white tutu. Even if she couldn’t dance a step, she still looks like a ballerina.
Rewinding just a little, how did your Christmas go? I know some of you are probably still enjoying Christmas Day.
We opened presents at home and then drove down to my aunt’s place in Sydney. While nobody includes references to the heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic when they talk about Christmas, that’s as much a part of the celebrations here as the turkey and plum pudding. It wasn’t too hot yesterday and a much more comfortable 26 degrees Celsius. We had the usual hot Christmas turkey and baked ham along with Plum Pudding, which we set alight with brandy and dished up with custard and brandy sauce. Traditionally, I take loads of photos on Christmas Day but I was more focused on people and conversation yesterday and only took one of two possums which had been spotted in my aunt’s garden. I must be seriously ill! My camera never rests.
On a more serious note, in previous posts you’ll see pictures of Santa travelling locally on a fire engine and I’ve mentioned how nasty bush fires have caused devastating damage at this time of year in the past. News has come through that 116 homes have been lost on the Great Ocean Road near Lorne in Victoria. The fire was apparently started by a lightening strike. We’ve had many bush fires around here and a few have been quite serious. Even though those fires weren’t on our doorstep, the place still felt like a blazing inferno and it was terrifying and it was heartbreaking seeing the extensive damage to our local National park.
Well, now that Christmas Day is done and dusted, we’re now heading towards that night of unmentionable mutterings…New Year’s Eve…when even those of us who vow never to make a New Year’s Resolution again, still manage to fall victim!
With all of my New Year’s Resolutions past brutally smashed like a multi-car pile-up, I’m very reluctant to consider any more. And yet…just because a resolution didn’t succeed and reach it’s desired destination, some change or forward movement is better than none at all. Or, horror of horrors, going backwards instead.
So, I have a few more days to reflect on resolutions and goals for the New Year while I still try to plow a pathway through the carnage of the past.
How are things going over at your place? How was Christmas?