In this week before Christmas, we are busy finishing our shopping, planning Christmas menus and looking forward to having our family with us for the festive season.
A week or so ago, Jill and Audrey set up, and decorated, our Christmas tree on the coffee table (with little Violet’s help). Our tradition has been to put all the presents underneath it and have the children / grandchildren distribute them on Christmas Day . Jill has also set up our ‘International Christmas Tree’ which has a memento of nearly all the places that we have been to around the world hanging on its branches. We might need to fertilise it (actually, find a larger one) for next year as it is becoming quite overloaded.
On Christmas Eve, we are looking forward to having Cathy, Chris, Audrey (5) and Violet (2) join us for dinner in the evening.They will be going to Chris’ family for lunch on Christmas Day and having dinner with them on Christmas Eve makes sure that we get to see each other. We plan a seafood dinner that will probably be accompanied in the background with the traditional Carols By Candlelight Service on TV. I need to get to the shops early in the morning to pick up the crayfish, prawns, scallops and oysters that I ordered last week. Not many people know that Carols By Candlelight is a tradition that was actually founded here in Melbourne in the 1930’s. If you wish to read about its history, you can download the booklet that I have written about Christmas in Australia here.
Cathy is still working part time as a doctor at Royal Melbourne Hospital and is looking forward to finishing her specialty training in Gerontology in 18 months or so. Her training has been slowed a little through having children and her not working full time. Chris seems to be barrelling ahead as a partner in his law firm. They moved into a magnificent new house recently and it creates a fantastic living environment for them all. We lived there for a few days just after they moved in to mind the girls when Cathy and Chris had a break in Singapore. We think we did really well, although it did take a couple of frantic text messages to find the location of things such as the cat’s food. I had forgotten how hard it was on the knees to bathe a two year old who invariably threw a tantrum and decided not to cooperate. Audrey starts school next year and isn’t quite sure just what she needs to learn other than the fact that she recognises that she can’t yet read.
David and Yuki have now relocated to Perth and in fact left Melbourne on the same afternoon as we flew to London a few weeks ago David has taken a transfer with his firm. Their Perth office is quite vibrant with all the mining activity happening in Western Australia and Yuki thinks that it might be easier to find the right job for her as there are many more Japanese companies servicing the mining and energy sectors in Perth than in Melbourne. They have rented their house in Clifton Hill and have now settled into a town house in Subiaco. They will arrive back with us on Christmas Eve and we plan a more traditional meal with them on Christmas Day. The forecast is for warm humid weather with some storms, so we will see how much we are able to BBQ a turkey outdoors. We may need to retreat to our new oven in the kitchen. David and Yuki will stay here for almost a week and then drive across to Perth in their car which that have left here with us.
On Boxing Day, we will be gathering for the ‘Wilson Family Get Together’ when my brother, Colin, and sister, Rhonda and their families, and us all get together for Christmas. This year, we will have a BBQ lunch at Colin & Sue’s house at Springhill. If it is warm, we will spend some time in their pool and we will most likely have another golf driving competition in their back paddock to see who can hit the ball closest to their big gum tree.
We hope that all our friends have the same wonderful Christmas as we expect to have. We value your friendships and look forward to keeping in touch over the coming year.