Australia · Christmas · clouds · family · Mount Warning · pets · summer · sunset · Tweed Valley

What day is it?

It’s that time of year again, when one day blurs into the next and I forget what day of the week it is. Thank goodness for calendars!

So having discovered it is Saturday – not Silent Sunday – I can say a few words. πŸ˜‰

Today I spent the day relaxing. Christmas is over, everyone enjoyed the food and gifts that were handed out, the kitchen looks liveable again, the fridge is stashed full of left-overs (so I don’t need to cook for a while) and the torn wrapping paper and curling ribbons are ready and waiting in the garbage for next week’s bin collection. With a contented sigh, after another Christmas well celebrated, life moves on.

This morning we had a sweet little visitor who arrived with her mummy and daddy.Β  After a swim in the pool, she enjoyed a gingerbread ice cream sandwich.

After they left, I spent over two hours on the phone to my sister, who lives about a six-hour drive away. After catching up on how each of us spent Christmas Day, my next visitors arrived.

This is the newest addition to the family – my fur-grand-baby, Summer.

Summer’s owner, my eldest son, stayed for dinner and helped us eat some Christmas left-overs while his wife was at work.

We have had some beautiful weather the past couple of days, with temperatures around the mid-twenties, and very little humidity. Perfect Boxing Day summer weather, accompanied by another beautiful sunset sky. πŸ™‚

Australia · blessings · challenges · Christmas · daughter · family · grandchildren · Mount Warning · Tweed Valley

Christmas Eve

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

When all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring …

Well, maybe one creature was stirring. Bowie is wondering what all the fuss is about, I’m sure.

And he’s heard that a big jolly guy in a red suit might come down the chimney at any moment, so he’s keeping watch.

After days of preparation, I think we are finally prepared for Christmas Day. This year, Emma had some helpers when she made the gingerbread house.

And baby Eli looks pretty impressed by how talented his mummy is!

After a year that has thrown many challenges our way, as you prepare to celebrate Christmas, I wish you …

… and …

… and everything wonderful you could wish for. ❀

 

Australia · Christmas · clouds · family · Mount Warning · summer · sunset · Tweed Valley

A Bit More Mood at Sunset

If you close one eye and squint, you might just see the outline of Mount Warning. Well, almost. For just a few hours yesterday the mountain was visible. I must be careful not to claim the mountain is back, because clearly it didn’t go anywhere. It just hasn’t been visible much lately, due to the clouds, mist, or heat-haze we have had hovering across the valley. Today, it was hidden again.

Just as the mountain teased us all with a hint of normality, so too did Covid-19. Australia had no new community transmitted cases for a short while, until late last week. Somehow, it has leeched into Sydney, sending the country into a panicked frenzy of border closures again. The Queensland border, which is just up the road from us, had reopened. The community rejoiced. The locals were free to cross between states without being scrutinized as if they were lepers. Families planned on travelling far and wide across Australia to be together again for the first time in months, to celebrate Christmas.

It seems like it was all a cruel joke. In many ways, people are suffering more from the promise of seeing their loved ones only to have that promise ripped away, than they were when they thought they couldn’t be together at all. Tonight on the news, we saw scenes at airports, of people disembarking from ‘planes only to be told they couldn’t stay. Border closures were announced mid-flight. The government would pay for their return flight, or they could go into two weeks quarantine. Theose were the choices – four days before Christmas.

I am one of the lucky people. My children and grandchildren all live nearby, in the same state. We can spend Christmas together. Our friends from Sydney, who were going to join us, have to stay home. Their visit will have to wait. My heart bleeds for those people who are not fortunate in having their family close by, as I do.

Did I just note that it’s just four days to Christmas? I have so much to do in so little time!

In other news, tonight at 9:02pm – just over two hours ago – our summer solstice occurred here on the eastern coast of Australia.

Australia · Christmas · clouds · daughter · family · floods · granddaughter · grandson · Mount Warning · subtropical weather · summer · Tweed Valley

Preparing for Christmas

I must have glanced out the window a thousand times today, and still there is no sign of Mount Warning. Our Sleeping Giant appears to be lost amid a steamy haze of mist and glare, now the water in the valley has finally started to evaporate. Consequently, we’ve had humid weather today.

Yesterday, however, the rain didn’t stop all day. Only a very small amount of rain was predicted, so the deluge took everyone by surprise, including my eldest daughter. She was working, so I had a cooking day planned with my granddaughter and my younger daughter Emma visited as well, with her baby. We had a wonderful time baking biscotti, rum and raisin shortbread, the pieces for a gingerbread house which Emma will decorate next week, and some gingerbread men, in preparation for Christmas Day.

By 2pm, when the rain hadn’t eased, I messaged my daughter to see how she was going. I was getting a tad concerned that she wouldn’t be able to get back home, as the road to her place is prone to flooding. She replied, saying she was finishing work early and heading back to my place. As it turned out, she couldn’t get home, so she and Aurora spent the night with me. Her husband, who had also gone to work in the morning, drove along the road to their home as far as he could, abandoned the car about five kilometres from home, then waded through waist-deep flood water to a point where someone could give him a ride home. They have a fifteen-year-old dog who had been left outside for the day, who he couldn’t bear to leave alone overnight!

Sitting up last night until 11pm, and drinking tea while chatting with my daughter was a treat that I haven’t had in many years. And waking this morning to a little girl’s voice saying “Nana” is a moment I will always treasure.

I can’t quite get my head around the fact that it’s just one week today to Christmas. This week, with the flooding, family visits, and trying to prepare ahead for Christmas Day, it has been quite overwhelming. I’m getting dreadfully behind with so many things, including reading blog posts, so hopefully this weekend I will have an opportunity to catch up a bit.

I have been wondering, has everyone made plans for Christmas? Or is 2020 the Christmas which will be remembered as the year when few people celebrated?