Category Archives: Personal

Last post

The last post here, that is. I set up this blog just before we moved to Australia, in part to record my experiences in a strange land. But we have come home to New Zealand now, so as part of moving from one strange land, I’m moving from this strange land too. My new blog is: A Bee of a Certain Age, and you will find it at http://beefaerie.wordpress.com I hope you will come on over there from time to time.

I’ve copied all of IaSL across to my new blog, and when I am feeling in a pottering sort of mood, I will close down posts here, and leave a link to their new home. It may take a year or two for that to happen, or it may not happen at all. We shall see. Whatever, really. I’ve closed down comments here, but all your comments have been preserved for posterity over at A Bee of a Certain Age.

I will put up a linking post here each time I post at the new place for a month or two, until all those who fancy doing so have a chance to update their feed readers.

Thank you!

Pourerere

This post is now at http://beefaerie.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/pourerere/. Comments are closed here, but you can continue to post them at the new place.

The Little Pond in the Woods

This post is now at http://beefaerie.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-little-pond-in-the-woods/ on A Bee of a Certain Age.

Comments are closed here, but you can continue to post them at A Bee of a Certain Age.

Gone bush

I’ll be away for a few days. We’re heading out to the bush. This bush.

Ka kite ano.

Christmas report

We had a lovely Christmas.

The strangelings are still operating on Adelaide time a little, so I didn’t hear the first stirrings until just after 6am, and even then, I turned over and went back to sleep until 7.30am. The girls danced in and showed me their end-of-bed gifts (a hangover from the days of Santa-belief), and then we made coffee and everyone shifted into my parents’ room to exchange gifts. Mostly books and CDs and DVDs. And chocolate.

Breakfast was warmed croissants filled with peaches and topped with maple syrup, with bubbly wine, follwed by eggs benedict, and more coffee. We had a light lunch, and then, the real celebration began in the evening. My lovely uncle was with us, and my brother and his partner and their children joined us, and so did my brother’s partner’s brother, and his partner, visiting from Melbourne. 15 of us sat down to dinner, all gathered around the long dining table, which had been augmented for the occasion. Mum lit the candelabra, and then lit two more candles, for my absent brothers and their families. The lamb and ham and newly dug potatoes and kumara and salads were delicious, but the real magnificence was the dessert table. This year, Mum had 13 items on offer: chocolate terrine and raspberry semi-freddo and two cheesecakes, and mixed berries, and strawberries, and icecream, and cream, and rhubarb summerfruit pudding, Christmas mince pies and black doris plum spoom and brandied fruit salad and Christmas cake. I had three helpings, and the girls had four helpings each.

What made it all so special was the shining look in the children’s eyes. Mum and Dad, with the assistance of my uncle and I, worked hard to put it all together, but for the children, it was all a magical feast, something to savour and remember. I think that when they are old, they will look back on this Christmas, and say, “When I was a child, my grandparents gathered everyone around the table, and we had a feast, and my grandmother served 13 desserts.”

It was a wonderful occasion.

As for exactly what we gave the strangelings for Christmas – one child got a drum pad and drum sticks (‘though no packet of Jaffas*), another was given a Sylvanian cottage, which she loves, and the third was given a remote controlled toy that she had been coveting for months and months.

This remote controlled toy.

(Description: large, hairy, greebly toy spider, scuttles around the floor, and then comes closer and closer to the camera, until the camerawoman disappears in a scream.)

I spent the day being terrified of that wretched thing. The younger Miss Nine was delighted with it. She tormented us all, but her best ‘gotcha’ was during dinner, when she sat innocently and quietly at one end of the table, and waited for her elder cousin to scream. Which she did, very obligingly, when Miss Nine steered the spider underneath the table and onto her toes. Ms Elder Cousin shrieked, and then laughed, all in very good grace, while Miss Nine laughed and laughed and laughed with glee. What a triumph!

What would you do when your gentle, fine boned, delicate little nine year old asks for a remote controlled Mexican red kneed tarantula for Christmas?

* My brothers and I have long had a ritual threat, to give the other’s child a drum and a packet of Jaffas.