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MEETING AN OLDIE IS NOT SO PAINFUL. LINGER AND GIVE IT A GO
I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.
I remember the feeling in my tummy when I was a kid when our family sang 'Jingle Bells' just before we went to bed on Christmas Eve. It was like having a ball of excitement there just underneath my rib cage.
We didn't have the gadgets the children have today but I do recall one particularly exciting year that seemed to soar above all others as The Best Christmas for gifts. We were bundled off to bed very early after stories of Santa Claus and his reindeers.
My sister and I must have fallen deeply asleep, for we heard nothing of the extensive preparations Father Christmas made in our bedroom that night.
I remember now, 60 and more years later, that I woke at dawn to see in the gloom what seemed to be a perpendicular sheet in the middle of the room, between my sister's bed and mine.
I lay still a minute or two and, as the light strengthened, crept out of bed to investigate.
The sheet turned out to be a small cowboy tent pitched there in the centre of the room, guyropes tied to the bed posts. My sister was awake by then of course, and we tiptoed around in wonder.
There were two guardians at the door of the tent - hand made stuffed Dutch dolls dressed and stitched beautifully by a special aunt. They had yellow woollen hair in plaits and starched dresses and aprons.
And inside the tent? A kid size table and two chairs built by my Dad, and laden with bundles of lollies tied together with bright ribbons.
Australian Christmas is a hot time of the year - so different to many nations on our planet. Here, it's a time for picnics and swimming, but we mostly still have Christmas pudding and turkey and ham. They are often served cold and more and more seafood is being served instead. Barbecues are also popular.
And follow Santa on his very different journey in the Great South Land. It's well worth the tiny wait while the card downloads.
I came across this e-card with Australian singer Colin Buchanan's version of Jingle Bells set to backgrounds of Ken Buchanan's great photographs. I'm putting this great little video on 70 Plus a little early - to wish my bloggy mates a happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and productive 2009. I dare you to keep still while this jumpy little tune plays! Listen often and smile ...
Love and hugs to you all fromJune in Oz
This is an Australian Christmas bell that brings a very special feeling to heaths and swamps in bushland around the Sydney area. It's a truly delightful plant, flowering at Christmas with red yellow tipped tubes clustered at the top of a 60cm brittle stem.
I like the linocut (above) inspired by this lovely plant. Sadly, I don't know the name of the artist although the style reminds of me of the wonderful Australian artist Margaret Preston.
Do you think you'd enjoy an Australian Christmas? Compare customs here and the ones where you live and tell me your thoughts in a comment ...
By the way - I have just posted episode 10 of my mystery novel 'Paternity' on Journeys in Creative Writing. Pip is involved in a budding romance - will it go anywhere?
Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
I'm past my 70th birthday and undaunted.
So far I can look back on probably a dozen different phases in my life, all producing deeply felt experience:
- A barefoot carefree childhood in an Australian seaside town
- Work as a young journalist in the days of hot metal and male chauvinism
- Dipping my toe into real life in Sydney the big city
- Marriage and precious motherhood
- A second career in corporate public relations management
- Another marriage and disillusion
- Battles for financial justice in the law courts
- Re-jigging a career
- At 60 my first university degree (Creative Writing and Australian History majors)
- Fighting sometimes lost causes
- Sneaky aches and pains of the approach of age
- Living on a pension.
All fodder for writing and a valuable background for the development of what could become one day an incisive point of view.
My blogs may become a way of answering the question: 'What's next?'