Summer in Melbourne

Our first full day on holiday and Melbourne recorded it’s coldest minimum between Christmas and New Year since 1968. It got down to 9 degrees. It was snowing in Alpine Victoria! We had the wood heater going over night.
Tuesday wasn’t quite as cold but it certainly wasn’t anywhere near warm enough to even think about going to the beach.
Wednesday started off fairly cool with a fresh southerly coming right off the ocean. But then mid afternoon the wind dropped to nothing and the sky cleared. Suddenly it was summer and everyone headed for the beach

What do you do on holidays

Well. If you’re reading this, you, like me, got past Christmas.
For me this year it was a really wonderful family time. A really good Christmas. Sad, but good. Christmas has always been an important time in my family. First as a child and then starting our own family we have continued the tradition. I’ll be posting a short clip of our Christmas in the next couple of days.

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Christmas without Mum

Today I celebrated my 52nd Christmas. It was the first Christmas I have celebrated without either of my parents. So it’s now up to Mum and Dad’s three surviving children to keep up the tradition by ourselves.
It’s happy sad. On the one hand it is really sad that our parents aren’t there for the annual event they enjoyed more than any other. It’s sad that we can’t ask them questions about Christmases past. It’s sad we can’t squeeze their hand and give them a kiss and say “Merry Christmas” any more. It’s sad we can’t see their smiling faces as they give out presents. These last three years Mum has been less and less able to participate. But she knew she was there and she knew that she had provided something towards a gift for each of us. We could still say “Thanks Mum” and know that it warmed her heart. Giving to her children and grandchildren was more important to her than anything else she did.
In a way though it is also happy. It’s nice to know that we are still here to carry on the tradition and it is now our responsibility alone. It is like we are now being trusted to fly solo with Mum and Dad watching from somewhere else in the Universe. It’s like being a child growing up again – doing something for the first time. Being trusted to do something new. It’s a long time since I felt that feeling.
In that way, it’s nice to be a child again at Christmas – a grown up child.

Christmas Eve

After a hot Christmas Eve eve in Melbourne, it’s been a relatively cool day today. I can’t believe it. I have time to reflect. All of a sudden, time to reflect seems like a very precious commodity.

Marjorie Veronica Curnow

Just before 3pm on Wednesday 15th December, on a beautiful sunny afternoon opposite the Fitzroy Gardens just to the east of Melbourne’s CBD, Marjorie Veronica (Billie) Curnow’s spirit left her stroke ridden body behind, flew out the window and entered the next life.
Born, in Ultima in North Western Victoria on the 28th March 1916, the youngest of seven children, she was the child of an Irish community. She remained proud of her Irish heritage throughout her life. Although she loved her father, his English/Scottish lineage didn’t seem to enter the equation. His death when she was only seven, must have been a major part in the formation of her self image. Regardless, being ‘Irish’ was always figured strongly in our upbringing.
In true Irish tradition, Mum knew both great happiness and great sadness during her life. The great tragedies of her life were the death of her father, her handsome young husband returning disfigured from the war, a series of miscarriages and the death of our brother, Roger, from a long illness in 1975.

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