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/
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!
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.
Yesterday, we had our daughter’s annual dance concert, the Scout Christmas camp and family visiting from Brisbane as they head to Melbourne.
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.
Love & best wishes,
Rowena and family.