Now, where to start? Firstly, I got my 2016 teddy bear and he now sits with us in the living room and later he will join the other teddy bears on top of our 3 bookcases. Phil has been buying them each year for a while now and with others teddies I already had I have a collection of about a dozen or more. The family will have to decide what to do with them when I am gone; maybe to a children's hospital or similar,
Next......Christmas Day which was really wonderful this year. There were/was 11 of us altogether and of course the two little girls were the centre of attention as children usually are and we all enjoyed the excitement as they opened their gifts. Far too many really and my daughter made the comment that she felt she had perhaps bought to many this year for the two littlies. I agreed that she had but then when I was working and could afford it often bought too many gifts for my 6 grandies. Here two little girls are enjoying their many gifts watched by their mother and grandmother (my photos didn't come out very well perhaps caused by the fact I was facing a large window through which the sun shone).
Not long after we reached our granddaughter's home (that airconditioning was working well so very pleased I had my nephew repair it in time for Christmas) they managed to reach our #3 granddaughter in New Jersey. At first they couldn't manage it on K's laptop nor her iPad but then C got through on her iPhone. With them nearing bedtime in NJ, B and her partner were able to watch people opening their presents here in Perth, including those sent by them from the US. I sometimes fall out with modern technology but when it brings a family together like this at special times then it can only be good.
We had a delicious cold lunch and then a rest to watch more present opening and then a chocolate 'trifle' made by #2 granddaughter. Not sure why it was called a trifle as no jelly or custard but it's always good to try something new and it was very nice. A said she made it to a recipe but had left the Baileys out as, of course, the little girls would be enjoying it as well as the adults. Even though I enjoyed it I found it a little too rich and being old fashioned, still prefer the traditional trifle.
As we were leaving C came out with 3 containers of left over food which were gratefully accepted. We were too tired and full up to eat much on Christmas night but it was very much appreciated last night with some home made salad. We slept very late yesterday and rested most of the day. Seems we are getting a little old for all this excitement but wouldn't miss it for the world.
While skyping yesterday B surprised all of us when she told the family that she and her partner had just make the booking and would be flying to Perth in late June to stay for a couple of weeks. You can imagine how excited everyone was to hear this. K is going to take some time off work although the end of June is a very busy time for her. I think the two girls (or should I say young women as they are both well and truly in their 30s) are as excited as we in Perth all area. C suggested we have Christmas in July party while they are here which I thought an excellent idea. Many restaurants and hotels hold that celebration in July to make up for our Christmases being so very hot. Phil and I are really looking forward to meeting Kam and she seems a truly delightful person.
I had another surprise that came with the Christmas card my daughter-in-law sent us. She added a little sticky note to say their daughter is expecting a baby in just a few days. Of course I am delighted with the news but it is news I have always dreaded in a way. With my son having written us off as far as he and his family are concerned it means, while I am delighted for all of them, I am saddened that I will not be able to take part in the celebrations when the baby is born. It is awful to have such mixed emotions but I certainly hope that all goes well and that Jess has a healthy baby. Wouldn't it be ironic if that baby arrived on 2nd January....my birthday. I know Di will let me know if it is a boy or girl and also send pictures but it's not quite the same as being part of it all.
I do hope everyone had a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas as we did. All drivers seemed to be obeying the road rules which was good to see and I am sure double demerit points during the holiday season does slow them down a little. Pity they can't drive like that all year round as W.A.s road toll i dreadful this year and with still so many days of holidays left one can only hope there will be no more between now and new year.
P.S. and of course I decorated our Norfolk Island pine (the one that resides on our front verandah) again this year. This was the photo I took last year and the tree was of manageable size for me to reach the top. The photo I took this year wasn't good as the decorations were blowing wildly in the breeze so too much movement which made it look out of focus. Our house just isn't suitable to have a large tree indoors and I can see this one so well at night with the verandah light on and it looks so lovely when the breeze sets all the decorations moving and glittering. The poor tree is now about 10' tall ( about 3 yards) and is going through the top of the pergola. How long we will be able to keep it there I am not sure as I am sure it has already outgrown its pot and would be one huge job to pot on.....maybe it will have to go in the garden but I have no idea if the tree roots could be a nuisance to anyone
and one more thing, the first flower has made its appearance on my traditional white frangipani; the only flower out so far. Everyone is complaining how late they are this year owing to Perth's very mild spring. I have lots of buds on mine but they are certainly taking their time in blooming.