m i a o w


Tag: christmas (Page 1 of 3)

M. The saboteur.

What a week. M’s eldest sister arrived from Hervey Bay on Tuesday, after we had a weekend full of people staying over and then the 2nd birthday of Small E on an action packed Puffing Billy ride. It was great to see M’s sister, who came primarily to make an acquaintance with Small Z – her niece.

We had not all seen each other since 2006. I was in awe of her escaping her committments to her grandchildren and the restaurant and aquarium to spend five days in the arse end of nowhere. It was lovely. Small Z got lots of presents, which helped the bonding process no end! On Friday night M and Jan stole across the road and quickly and painlessly removed a small pine branch, and brought it home to stand in the hall. Small Z’s first Christmas Tree!!

Old school Christmas tree

It was odd how quickly she took to it. She cantered around it making us sing Jingle Bells while Jan decked it out in her streamers made from Christmas paper. We hung the two glass angels that she had given Small Z and I, and added in some old fake pearls of my grandma’s and a ‘silver’ fairy wand of Small Z’s for the top. She thought it was heaven.

Saturday we drove to the city via Hampton, where M picked up a slide he had bought on eBay. As Jan had to leave early Sunday morning (7.30am) we had booked a cheap hotel room for Saturday night to avoid driving into the city, back out, and then back in to the airport…and home again. What we booked were two queen beds. We assumed they were in separate rooms. We assumed wrong.

After a day schlepping around. Lots of time in the car. Some time on a tram. We met up with M’s other sister, who happened to be in Melbourne (she lives in Sydney). Small Z got more presents! We hit a cafe and then spent an hour or so in the garden near the fountain near Parliament House on Spring Street. It seems that not only do a lot of people get married on Saturday – they also appear to be obsessed by having their photographs taken right near where we were sitting…

We walked back toward Flinders Street Station via Fed Square and the book market. We stopped for more refreshments and were happy to see the Box Hill Community Arts Centre Choir performing! Small Z was particularly happy with this. (I love the bit at the very last frame where she throws her hands into the air…)

M, Small Z, Jan and I said goodbye to M and Jan’s other sister, Yvonne and her partner and then got a tram back to our hotel. The one with two queen beds. In the Same. Room. Small Z was exhausted from the day and conked almost straightaway. M had brought in some beer and wine, so Jan and I sipped some white as we watched (some very relaxing) trashy television. Small Z slumbered throughout.

However. The night was fraught after we all got into bed. M later reported that he thought Jan snored all night ‘like a banshee’, and this kept waking Small Z up. I didn’t hear any of that, but I was woken by Small Z about a million times, and by 4am we all gave up any pretense of sleeping. M was bitten by a grumpy, sleep deprived bug and said something to Jan like;

“How about I drive you to the airport now?”

“But it’s FOUR in the MORNING? My flight isn’t until seven thirty?!”

“Well, there’s an ISSUE with SNORING and it keeps waking Z up…”

I dived under the doona and pretended nothing was happening. M took himself off to stand under the shower. Jan got up and began getting her stuff together. They left at about 5am. I couldn’t help feeling that after a lovely week together, M had sabotaged the lot with a badly calculated swipe. She ended up at the airport at FIVE THIRTY in the morning TWO HOURS before her flight. Oh, the shame.

M returned bearing fruit salad containing grapes, moments after Small Z (who had deigned to slumber between 5.30am and 6.30am) had squawked, “We go HOME now? We go home? Take Zoe-zie HOME to eat some GRAPES?”

We all ate fruit salad in bed for a while, M and I discussing the extent of his faux pas…

“We didn’t talk much on the way to the airport,” he said, musing over a strawberry.

“What about when you go there and stuff?” I asked. “Did you go for a coffee?”

“Um.” said M, spearing another grape, “Noooo. She told me not to bother parking and I just left her out the front.”

I felt the fingers of creeping doom, and cringed back into the pillow. Evil M. I let Evil M have a hour of sleep by taking Small Z into the bathroom and playing in the bath. Later that day he rang Jan and apologised for being an insensitive sod. Thank god. I was afraid that Small Z would not see her aunty again until she was about seventeen.

The no-cash-bonus

There is something so decadent about managing to get Small Z to sleep before 7pm and having the house to myself. Yesterday I felt shattered. Today, I woke up at 6am, got into work by 7.30am, delivered my files, cooed over my boss’s new iPhone and Mercedes E Class coupe, and was back on the road by 8am. Did the grocery shopping and was home by 10am.

As I was leaving work in my now seemingly incredibly dated Mercedes 300D, my boss tapped on the window. He had raced down with two wrapped up bottles of wine and a little bag of chocolates! I was thrilled, and thanked him. As he disappeared back toward the office I pawed pathetically through the gift bag for an envelope…but no dice. The first year I haven’t got a bonus. Goddammnit. (Yes, I am aware I appear to be an ungrateful swine, but….waaaaaaaah!)

Have I mentioned before the strange powers that getting up early brings me? Astonishing. I did, of course, need to nanna-nap with Small Z at 11am, but that was fine. After a horror day yesterday with Small Z, she seems to have recovered from being dragged all around town and made to sleep in a weird hotel room. Today was far easier. I think another reason for my early-evening smugness is the sunlit stillness of the late afternoon, and the fact that I just successfully cooked a quiche. A QUICHE?! Do you hear me?

I have only attempted such a thing once before, and the person for whom I cooked it was kind enough to say it was lovely – but I knew they were lying. This time, I made one that I bought the ingredients for weeks ago – and today realised that the cottage cheese was about to hit its use-by date. Thus, I composed a Salmon Quiche, with the help of some Thomas the Tank Engine audiobooks I had nefariously downloaded. It went down very well with a glass of my non-cash-bonus Marlborough white.

And now I will away, to ponder the ongoing conundrum of whether to live in a house that our real estate agent is happy for us to lease in Tooradin proper, or endeavour to move a little further afield to Hastings. The former is closer to the boat, but has very little else to recommend it. The house is a long rectangle, scarily trailer-ish, with three small bedrooms, a big garden and a big shed. I will still have to drive everywhere in order to do the weekly shopping and take Small Z to playgroup and pool. Hasting, however, is replete with excellent library, shops, pool…but no accommodating real estate agents. Gah. Any suggestions gratefully received…

(Oddly – I just entered the location of the boat into Google Maps and Hastings, and it tells me that it’s a 39 minute drive. We must have managed it in 15 minutes the other day by some kind of magical transportation spell….)

Christmas 2009

Have eaten my bodyweight in mussels, and added in a glass of white and six oysters. It’s all good here. Low key and lovely. I found this track while cleaning out the shed the other day – Bidston Moss doing Six White Boomers, a Rolf Harris classic.
Merry Christmas!!

Christmas is coming…

Christmas in my family was always a pretty big deal. We have Christmas decorations dating back about fifty years, and Small Brother, She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged and I all had our favourite ones that we liked to put on the tree ourselves.

Each Christmas we would help mum make and decorate Christmas cookies. She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Blogged took over making the Christmas cake. Small Brother began cranking out excellent Christmas puddings. I have been less Christmassy in the past years, but I think that will change through the combined efforts of my mother and Small Z.

My mother had Small Z around helping decorate the tree and make beautiful biscuits. I was quite inspired, and Small Z and I made some biscuits at home and also put up a little tree… We even got out my advent calendar, given to me in 1978.

My 1978 advent calendar
Christmas Cookies
Decorating the tree at Nana's house
Making Christmas biscuits

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