How are things? It's been an ... interesting day here.
I was awake bright and early this morning. That is, I was awake about 5:30am and by 6:10am had decided I was definitely due for a run.. So, I set out to Flinders and around the golf course and back - according to Google Maps, a total of 9.5km. Felt pretty good, and the sea air was rolling in in an agreeable manner.
Today was the day set for a second Christmas gathering at Second Oldest Sister's place, particularly as our uncle and his wife and their three kids were coming down to Melbourne. I had an oddish feeling about this. On one hand I was looking forward to it. On the other, I wasn't sure how I'd go as the uncle's family includes twins - call them Sunbeam and Fizzy - who are only 5 months younger than Rachel and Grace. You can understand why I had a few qualms about the deal.
I needn't have worried. Mum, Dad and I were the first to arrive and were having a glass of champagne when Uncle's tribe rolled up. I have to say, his kids were the the sweetest little tots you ever saw (except for my girls, of course!) The oldest boy we'll call Ted, who's fully 7 years old and goes to a little school in the bush where he's one of only two kids in his year level! And the twins, who are about two-and-a-half, played nicely and were sweet, gentle kids. Still, I did feel a bit lost and sent Joni a text asking her to give our girls a big kiss and tell them Daddy loves and misses them awfully. She texted back that there was actually a skype window, so there was just enough time to skype. Awesome! I borowed Second Oldest Sister's laptop and fired it up. It was a little hard to hear them - lots of background noise at our end - but they enjoyed it and so did I, and we were even able to introduce the girls to Mrs Uncle and to their little cousins - Grace was cluey enough to call out "Hello Fizzy"! I had an interesting chat with Mrs Uncle after that where she explained how they'd seen mum and dad after the girls went back across the pond. Mum was clearly missing them and doted on Fizzer and Sunbeam even more than usual for that reason. Yeah, I know, I'm a bad and selfish person.
Mrs Uncle and Fizzy
Guilt aside, it was a great lunch. Mum had attended to roasting a couple of chickens. Second Oldest Sister had prepared, among other things, a stunning salad with olives
Second Oldest Sister
Mum, Michael and Ted enjoying lunch
Lunch was followed by presents for the kids, which was an opportunity to get a few holiday snaps of the tribe as well!
Fizzy, Ted and Sunbeam waiting eagerley for presents!
JP keeping a watchful eye on proceedings
Uncle meets chainsaw
The tribe enchanted by Fizzy's present!
Sunbeam discovering that his Uncle Stephen has an eye for cool presents!
Fizzy also discovering that Uncle Stephen has an eye for presents!
The festivities finished up at about 5:30pm with all concerned going their different directions. Mum, Dad and I stopped at the Aldi in Moorabbin on the way back here. This was the Aldi just near where Joni and I lived at Heatherton. I'm sure you can understand why this was a little bit like the universe was whacking me with a Wiffle bat wrapped in sandpaper. Sigh. Still, I did see two things to lighten the mood. One was a cookie jar which aimed to discourage cookie consumption by undermining your self esteem. I have no words -
The other was a car still sporting Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer antlers and nose. I have a little trouble understanding this concept. If you want your car to be reindeer-powered, why aren't you driving a sleigh? And if you think that a car nose and antlers are so hilarious you want to leave them on a minute longer than Christmas, what does that say about you?
Tomorrow Dad and I will head up to Shepparton to collect some steers and bring them back to Mt Martha. Not sure how I feel about this break - I feel a bit lost and don't have any real other plans. And I know there mightn't be many more summers with the old man, so the office has less of a hold on me than usual perhaps.
Well, I guess that's enough for today.
See you tomorrow.