Another year, another dove-grey winter’s day where the cold bites on the neck in a vampyric frost. Last night’s snow means you have the pleasure of crunching through the first morning powder like you’re stepping out onto the moon, going timidly where you went only a few days before. I like to pretend I’m Shackleton or Scott, racing to the Poles, watching the dog hurtle ahead over the white fields, hopefully chasing down that swine Amundsen!
In a helter-skelter direct universe to that, my last few Christmases have been spent in Melbourne, Australia. Currently the air-conditioning is blasting and I’m contemplating hitting the swimming pool as the heat finally climbs down from its 33C soap box. Could be worse, last weekend was 40C, culminating in bushfires across the state and half the populace trying to climb inside their own fridge. As I reflect on the sweltering year, I marvel at my stoic Christmas tree. This decoration that has caused considerable bewilderment, each visitor in turn ejaculating “is it that time of year already?!”
It should have been taken down in the first few days of 2015, but things got the better of me, calendars were full and besides, it looked fine adorning the mantelpiece. That excuse lasted not only throughout the entire of January, but extended right through to May. By that time it was almost the middle of the year, and the coldest darkest months for Australia where sometimes it got to single digit temperatures during the day. Over here we have the much celebrated Christmas in July, where we do exactly that. What the hell happened between July and November seems exceptionally blurry, but alas it was then almost real Christmas again and time to get the tree up...which I was, for once, way ahead of myself. It’s all in the preparation.
I have to admit none of the religious trappings of Christmas enter the household other than the tree, so we make the most out of it 365 days a year. Here’s to another lovely loooong Christmas, happy holiday season everyone!