Happy fifth day of 2018

We had a lovely  Christmas and New Year  blessed with family and friends. One day we hosted a morning tea in the care home for MotherFD to share time with some of her siblings. It is such a joy interacting with my aunts and uncles now that I am mature too. Sadly, Mum is not too conscious of who they are, but they ignore and treat her as they always have. My niece’s little ones were present, and Mum did not take her eyes off them the entire time. She has never seized her love or concern for children. It was lovely to witness the connection.

The Saturday before Christmas, or Christmas Eve Eve, we Flamingo Dancers met to give out presents to our three precious grandchildren, one having his first Christmas. I bundles all sorts of gifts into one large box for each of them and so we had the delight of watching them dip into their box as they wished. Peppercorn (aged 2) insisted on wearing her pink tutu swimsuit the entire weekend, and I must admit that if you can’t wear your tutu swimsuit for Christmas at two, when can you?

Christmas table 2017

Christmas Day was hosted by my niece and her family. She looked to every detail and I half expected to open a cupboard to find Martha Stewart and her clipboard check list inside.  It was incredibly hot weather, which was out of everyone’s control but it was a truly lovely day. It was lovely to see my grandchildren really interact with my sister’s grandchildren for the first time, as mine little ones are now aged 4 and 2 years, and the baby is 5 months  – he is a real heart breaker.

New Year’s Eve was a quite affair for Mr FD and I. We shared a Pimm’s at midnight and watched the Sydney and Brisbane fireworks on television. It was fairly quiet in our Village, but I did hear a few fireworks earlier in the night, which I think may have been illegal.

The end of the school holidays are only a fortnight away, but I am not returning to teaching. Life change, adventures await. We will see, what we will be…

 

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getting my big seasonal jollies

Christmas 2017

Finally got my jolly on. We’ve gone with a real tree this year – can you tell Christmas isn’t at our house this year? Norfolk Pines grow to 15 metres and now I have burdened the children with eternal care of “Grandma’s tree”. A new family tradition! Perhaps they can bury me under it one day.

And as an extra for your viewing bonus, this was the view from my front door today.

front door 1a

 

front door 2

It all comes down to this

FD Christmas 1

The baby is asleep in her crib, her Mama and Papa have gone out to have lunch while they still have baby sitters, Mr FD is napping and I am watching an old version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives as the narrator. Life is pretty good.

My children always called the 23rd of December, Christmas Eve Eve, and I think it was probably the day they enjoyed most – so much preparation and anticipation. On Christmas Eve Eve, they would decorate boxes with Christmas drawings and pictures in which to store their gifts after opening. They would also help with making Christmas treats. The best thing was the marathon of Christmas shows on the television that they would dip in and out of all day. Ethel Merman, Burl Ives, the classics. Good times.

This morning I spoke with Petite Fille. We have made a time to face talk on Christmas morning. This is the first Christmas Petite Fille really “gets” Christmas and so her excitement is such a wonder to share. She will spend it with her cousins, my sister’s grandchildren.  Our Son, home minding Augie Dog, will join them as well.

A new Christmas baby, healthy and happy, and a growing, loving family means we are truly blessed.

We wish you a happy Christmas too – filled with the love, peace, serenity and wonder that you deserve. Take care, dear friends, and  remember to have that second helping of pudding. A third helping if you choose. Just enjoy and be grateful.

 

P.S. My Christmas Fruitcake having survived the interstate plane trip has been voted “the best ever.” Half eaten already!

Sunday entertainment

Sunday Perth 1

Breakfast was served by the new parents; banana and oat pancakes with coconut yoghurt and fruit. If only every morning started so well. All I had to do was cuddle a baby as payment!

Sunday Perth 4

I rolled the rum balls with the help of The Kracken. They have somehow managed to survive hidden in the fridge so far, but not for much longer. They need a day or two to “mature”.

Then we did a tour of Perth bookshops, of which there are many. The independents are hanging on strong in the west, and long may they do so.

perth music

 

The Millpoint Caffe Bookshop was a favourite with its coffee shop and two musicians playing music. They favourited Stephane Grappelli tunes which gave the long, warm Sunday afternoon the feel of a tea dance from the nineteen thirties. I wouldn’t have been surprised to catch a glimpse of Miss Marple taking tea in a corner.

Oh, and we met this couple on the road. We gave them right of way.

Sunday Perth 2

Travelling with a fruitcake

fruit cake MRFD

Monday was flight to Perth day, and despite a major accident on the highway we were early enough to the Brisbane Airport to have the privilege of paying $38AUS for two ham and cheese croissants (barely toasted), two flat white coffees and two bottles of water.

The day before Mr FD and I have a slight tête-à-tête about seating arrangements. Mr FD of recent years has been in more frequent need of the bathroom and was ecstatic to discover two seats right next to the toilet. However, opinion was expressed that someone did not fancy sitting next to the toilet and toilet line for 5 and a half hours, so a discussion ensured.

Mr FD saw the error of his ways and booked seats so far away from the toilet line as to be almost in the next aeroplane. And not without complaint may I add. His complaint.

I got the window seat, as Mr FD garnered the aisle seat for a free loo run. I enjoyed miles of nothing except red dirt and salt pans that is the Nullabor Plains – so very, very dry.

In economy, we stifled a moan when it was announced business class would be receiving their free alcohol. We did however get a mini weis ice-cream bar for dessert which was most enjoyable. If you can ever get your taste buds around a mango and ice cream bar, do, even if it costs top money. (One of my nieces once worked as their food technologist and never gave me one free sample and for that I have never forgiven her.)

I read Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy on the plane over. In one chapter she discusses dermatillomania (scalp picking) which the son of a colleague suffers with. I developed an even greater interest in the subject when Mr FD knocked his cup of hot coffee down his jean leg. Yep, one in every plane.

Not long after, I needed the bathroom myself, and so Mr FD had to display his wet brown leg to the masses as he stood to allow me to exit our seats. The toilet was in fact ahead of us, so maybe a third of the plane were entertained by me scratching to open the loo door until I noticed the “occupied” sign was red.  I explained to the man sitting right next to the toilet that “I am your inflight entertainment, today.” He smiled back as though I was a toilet roll short of a full pack, and I pencilled him onto the stick list for being a witness.

Back in my seat, I found Mr FD playing chess on his seat screen. I have been married to that man for 38 years and I never knew he could play chess. What else is he hiding? A second family?

Not long before arrival I turned to Mr FD and commented, “You know, you haven’t been to the bathroom once this flight?” Naturally, he immediately had to go. My revenge was complete.

Despite two suitcases checked in, we also had a small carry on bag for Mr FD’s electronics and CPAC machine, and a backpack that conveyed the Christmas Fruit cake for Daughter2. As we disembarked, Mr FD carried the backpack – the cake must weigh close to two kilos! It was a heavy backpack.

As we disembarked,  Mr FD who always makes comments with the assumption that everyone knows exactly what he is referring too, muttered all the way up the plane aisle, as those passengers unlucky enough to still be seated, ducked their heads, “It’s a fruitcake.”

Certainly was, Olly.

 

Traditions old and new

Our family has a recent “tradition” of hanging baubles along the bed head of elected beds at Christmas. I used to hang them on our children’s beds in their favourite colours in their adult years at home.

Walking into the guest bedroom in Daughter2’s Perth home, Mr FD and I were greeted by the revenge, surprise on our bed.

Amazing how traditions begin and grow…

Traditions old and new