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Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Holidays, Sweet Dreams and Loose Resolutions

Beautiful Beanie and her one thousand kilowatt smile

Here I sit on borrowed wireless, drinking tea and eating Pfeffernusse like they've gone out of fashion. Which they quite possibly have - many things I like are un-fashionable – nonetheless these are just scrummily Dee-licious!
Strange name though - I always want to say 'bless you' after I say it.

Anyway, I digress before I've even really started. I'm just back from a lovely week-long holiday in Sorrento with the 'AH' Clan and am mid-pack for an overnight in Queenscliff for a wedding tomorrow, swiftly followed by another wedding the day after. We have a lot of friends. Or rather, my husband does. I have few but they art goodly ones.

The holiday was glorious though I did not brave the water with more than my lily white ankles. The whole family were there with us including my sister-in-law's soon to be family, the Lewis's. Anna's many (many) friends (think Jesus) popping in on route back to important jobs in France, Malaysia and the like, there could be up to 15 people in our house on some days. We even had lunch with the ex-Deputy Premier John Thwaites! I know. The lives of the rich and almost famous! It's not me that's connected though - the hubble's sister used to work on water policy under Thwaites (she’s an eco-warrior and one of the really good guys - sharp as a whip too). They keep in touch even though Anna is currently working in the good ole UK wot I used to call 'ome. Anyway, name dropping aside, it was a lovely holiday and very relaxing for me and the man. With so many extended family in one house and one adorably cute little girl to entertain and bewitch, we had many, many willing volunteers to Beanie-sit. We even got to enjoy my (birthday treat) spa visit to the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs (thanks Tan and Kath!). We stayed there for FIVE hours bobbing up and down and meandering in and out of lovely hot, hot water of varying degrees. We even braved the cold plunge pool on a few occasions and it was AWESOME! By the time we got out I was incapable of much more than a happy grin and the occasional 'dunno'. It's the most relaxed I've been in two years and I heartily recommend it.

I got to experience first hand the adage that 'it takes a village to raise a child' because to have so many willing hands and hearts available was truly a wonderful stress-free experience for me. My bean would start the day by rollin' into the communal kitchen with a 'Where is anybody?' and then find her way into her great grandmother's room (Norn - short for Norma)to have a chat about the bees in the lavender. She would then mosey into the kitchen to swipe a VitaBrit or two from the box or steal a digestive biscuit, before running up the hall shouting 'Nanna! Nanna!' until poor Nanna's tousled head appeared to greet her. I could just lie in bed and let it happen knowing that whoever greeted her first would spend time and energy in just loving her. That was an amazing and humbling experience for me. I knew she was loved but I don't think I ever realised quite how much and by quite how many. It was sheer delight to be a part of such a warm family gathering. We cooked and ate together on most nights, we co-ordinated our visits to the beach to take into account the oldies and the youngies and we swam and played and built sandcastles and dug holes and threw shells into the sea with gay abandon.

Nature's bounty

I am refreshed, brown as a nut (well if nuts were pink and freckly anyway) and more chilled than I ever expected to be. Chilled enough to wave hello and shout 'Happy New Year' to the 'hood' up the hill. That's progress, long may it last.
So, after my long sojourn I thought it might well be time for a catch up. I mean, there’s been the Solstice, Christmas and New Year to contend with. Surely that’s worth a few words.

The Solstice was greeted by 3 women, one belly cast and an awful lot of drumming. All drums and beaters made with our own fair hands - skin to skin. The Beanie was gifted with the most glorious solstice dress from DocWitch in lots of lovely greens. Just precious. Can't tell you how much I love her in those dresses - thanks my darling dark broomster.

Christmas was wonderful. We hosted the event this year (despite only being in the house for 2 weeks) and I got to cook my first ever Christmas turkey. This was no mean feat in an oven whose door didn’t shut properly. Apart from the extended cooking times, everything turned out peachy. We had handmade stuffing with walnuts and craisins (dried cranberries), lemon and rosemary potatoes, balsalmic glazed carrots and parsnips and giblet gravy (which is what I call gravy made with the ‘juices’ of the bird – shiver…). I also created a monstrous chocolate and hazelnut Pavlova with a delicious choc mocha cream filling. Hence I am now the size of a small continent. The table looked lovely, everyone devoured the food and complimented the chefs. We even got to play the Rat Pack singing Christmas songs and, of course, the classic South Park Christmas song ‘Just a Jew’ (playing merrily in the background. Ah love that little Kyle.
There was, of course, that slight slow drag of nostalgia that had me longing for the crisp cold whiteness of my childhood Christmases long gone. I never quite get into the full spirit in this country – something about the long hot days and warm nights. Here’s something I found that made it a little easier. It also appeals to my sense of romance. Pause for a sigh.

And so - here I am - relaxed, warmed through by the sun and ready for a new year of who knows what. 2008 was a pretty good year all up. We rode the ups and downs as best we could and we seemed to find more smiles than frowns. That's good enough for me. I don't really have many specific dreams for 2009 but I do know that I want it to contain more. More hours spent laughing with my friends, more time spent soaking in the stillness, more treading lightly on the Earth, more time being open hearted and in the moment and lots more pleasure taken in simple things.

Leaving behind only footprints

Oh, and God if you're listening, could you please start to make my bottom look like this?

My little Nudie Bum

Sweet Dreams and to all a Good Night...


docwitch said...

Ah welcome back darlin' from what sounds like a truly sublime beach family holiday! And a greatly deserved one too. Sun, love and laughter - and willing babysitters! Bliss!

A very Happy New Year to you, and let's catch up very soon. Huggles, xx

Moonroot said...

Glad you had a good one - Happy New Year!

And love the Beanie photos. She is gorgeous.

Suse said...

Call me old fashioned but I love a bare bummed toddler on a beach.

And ... I was in Queenscliff on Thursday and stumbled upon a wedding reception in a cafe. We were queueing for hot chocolates to counteract the freezing winds and driving rain. The wedding car was parked outside - an old holden stationwagon bedecked with flags and flowers. Was that your wedding party? Or am I a day out?

Griffin said...

Suse, you said it! There is something cute and guaranteed to raise a smile about a totally unselfconscious bare-bummed toddler on a beach.

The Bean looks a sweetie.

It is crisp, cold and there was a sprinkling of snow this morning. The wind is bitterly sharp and the pavements/roads icy and slippy. I know what you mean tho'. I remember spending Crimbo in Bangalore one year and it just seemed odd to be in all that sunshine and warmth when it was Crimbo. Still, being with the cousins was good... when they weren't trying to marry me off!!!

Love the picture of you too. What a smile! Glad you had a good holiday and hope the New Year is even better / a whole lot better for you.