The apricot throwing street urchins at Beatbox
First a little debrief, then on to the things that make me happy! In case you haven't noticed, Christmas is rapidly approaching. A time of year that I may have mentioned I find quite tricky. It has been made trickier by a post someone put on my facebook page, basically saying the celebration of Christmas is part of the great Australian tradition and people who don't like it should leave and the person doing the post offered to help them pack. So, the conundrum for me is that I do like celebrating parts of Christmas - giving and receiving presents, catching up with friends and family and, of course, eating and drinking. However I don't like the commercialism, I don't like the tinned Christmas carols played relentlessly in shopping centres and I particularly don't like suggesting that people who don't celebrate Christmas (or other 'Australian' traditions like football, or swimming or whatever) don't belong in Australia and should put up or shut up. The impact of the post has made me not want to celebrate Christmas, to not want to join in the sometimes forced merriment or wish people a merry christmas.
Ok the debrief is over, thank you for your tolerance. Now to the things that made me happy. First Melbourne's weather is it's usual changeable self, something I quite love, heaters and snow in the mountains one day then a beautiful balmy evening like tonight and last Saturday the next. I got to swim in the bay on Saturday, came back to look after the kids while Bec helped out in Beatbox, so took the kids to the park for a Beatbox burger - yummo..... washed down with a beer courtesy of Ed. The highlight was watching the kids who were there amusing themselves for hours by picking up apricots that had fallen from a tree, throwing them on to the road then watching to see if the passing cars would squash them. There was something about the simplicity of it all and the confusion and interest of the car occupants who weren't sure why the kids were waving at them excitedly which was quite wonderful to watch.
We had an end of year get together for the team at work and instead of going out for lunch they had decided to use hall in a community centre, have the makings of sandwiches and have a musical lunch. So, we had guitar, ukelele, drums and good and not so good voices. We had words to songs we had enthusiasm, we had the crazy Kris Kringle that we have every year which demonstrates what causes people to become possessive or passionate about objects. And, it was fun, it was a way of celebrating the end of the year and the Christmas season which was about connecting with each other rather than just eating and drinking (not that I am against that of course!).
I went with Bec to a session of Women of Letters, in the very gracious old Thornbury Theater, where a panel of women were invited to write a letter about their best present ever. Megan Washington wrote about what a gift coming to Melbourne from Brisbane as a 20 year old was, Jane Clifton wrote about being given a 1995 Nissan Pintara and being weaned from Volvo driving, Jo from Frankie wrote about the gift of 'Fagnetism' the wonderful Julie Zamiro wrote about the gift of being able to spend Christmas time alone and curled up with a book (and showed off her beautiful French) and Romi did a wonderful performance about love and life. And for me, the afternoon was a gift because it was shared with Bec and she had thought I might enjoy it.
Then last night the boys came to stay. The doona stealing weasel and head chef in our house cooked the most delicious roast lamb (the weather was cold). It was so tender and moist and the boys loved it. I had a new Pinot Noir which had arrived a few days ago which seemed appropriate yo have with it. My brother turned up with some mugs which we have been wanting to get for some time but they are made by a local potter in a small town near Wagga in the back of beyond so we had not been able to. He had gone through and the shop was open and he knew we wanted them so now we have replacements and a bit more for the ones we have broken.
For some reason the people in our street have started lighting up their houses at Christmas, so while I bemoan the waste of energy and am concerned about the impact on the environment I actually enjoy them immensely (like fireworks). They enchant and delight me. However, in this hemisphere they don't make a lot of sense as it gets dark so late and light so early at the moment. I had promised the boys we would go for a walk to look at the lights, so they had to stay up until 9.30 then T insisted on riding his bike. But it was worth it. They loved the lights, we even found one at the end of the street that had lights, nativity scene, christmas tree and even music playing. We went along the street A in his pusher, T on his bike and T sang the Star Wars version of Jingle Bells, A sang the 'straight' version but then started making up his own and it was bloody wonderful. There was general agreement that the music one was the best, though T thought the one with the Green lights in the shape of a 3 dimensional Christmas tree almost beat that. A declared all of them 'wonderful'.
The downside this week has been that there is a bit of craziness again between the 2 Koreas which is introducing a bit of a sour note. So good vibes are constantly being sent to keep the family over there safe and we hope for commonsense to win and peace to prevail. Peace and goodwill to all.......