Friday, November 30, 2012


The Tomtes' Christmas Porridge
Written yesterday...sent today...(clearly!). And I am still without a camera so, no photos! (I've taken many but on D's iphone and am yet to download them).

It's true, the days have been lovely and today was lovely and HOT! I believe the thermostat hit 39 degrees around here and, wow, we felt it. Thankfully, the house was cool but there were necessary outings to check on baby chicks, big chicks and much adored and fussed over vegetable patches. But we made it through and Elsa and Rafael happily went to bed and sleep despite their parents being convinced they'd be up long past bed time - even with fans and A/C, it's sometimes difficult so sleep on a hot day, isn't it? As a kid in Sydney living without air conditioning (really, it wasn't as common back then), my siblings and I spent many a hot night lying in bed with cool, wet face-cloths on our foreheads and glasses of icy cold water by our beds. At times, Mum and Dad would buckle and let us hop in the pool for a quick swim, which I imagine was often not such a quick swim at all - imagine trying to get all those kids out of the pool on a hot night (there were/are ten of us!).

Wow, two and a bit months since my last post. So much has being happening here against a wonderful back-drop, or rhythm, of calm (well, mostly) but I feel the energy a-changing as the Christmas and holiday (and summer!) season nears and the list grows. I feel driven to reflect, to look back on the past few months but, where to start? There was a 40th birthday, a 3rd birthday (Raf is THREE!), a good number of visitors from Sydney including Mum/Nana and some siblings, a beach holiday, so much gardening, six one-day old baby chickens that needed so much attention (and still do, though less), school fair crafting (so much!), a school fair, some knitting, some sewing, some baking, some...well, living! And, I do plan to post some pictures of it all but, for now it's all about Christmas in our home.

The first batch of gingerbread has been baked, though it's also mostly been eaten so I'll need to make more (!), the fruit sourced for the jam, the Christmas pudding boiled, we've made some gift tags and plenty of cards, the international gifts were recently posted (reasonably early so as to in utilize the more affordable 'surface-mail' option - this is the first year I've actually got it together in time!), the shortbread has been rolled and popped in the freezer, the Christmas tree is ready.and well, things are rolling towards Christmas in a bit-by-bit, fun, relaxed fashion. Despite all this activity,  the 'to do' lists keep growing and I say 'lists' because it would be far too straight-forward to have just the one, wouldn't it?! :). As much as I sometimes whine about some aspects of the 'silly season', it's clear that I mostly enjoy it and even clearer that the kids enjoy it all!

While as a family we generally start preparing for Christmas from the start of Advent, things have started rolling a little earlier this year, just a little. I blame the arrival of new Christmas picture books and my delay at placing them out of view and reach. Around here, once little eyes spot new picture books there's no denying them the pleasure! The most popular have been The Tomtes Christmas Porridge, Marys Little Donkey and the Flight to Egypt and Christmas in Noisy Village.