“The changes from season to season,
The dawning that brings the new day.
These wonders mist all have a reason,
It was intended that way…..”
It’s Saturday evening here in New Zealand and I know that for many of you it is still Friday or perhaps even Saturday morning. We are lucky in that New Zealand’s East Coast sees the sunrise before any other place in the world.
Of course, as we are on the other side of the world, we have the seasons the wrong way up – that is if you are a Londoner as am I.
I remember when we first arrived – June 11 1967. I had two small children and June in Scotland where we had been living, is summer time and time for going to the beach or pool. Not in Auckland New Zealand. That first winter it rained almost every day and the children were at a loose end. We were in a hotel and of course, at that time, hotels didn’t really cater for children. So each day I took them out to amuse them.
Things improved when my daughter went to school – well at least for her – my son still had all the hours to fill in without his playmate.
I clearly remember that first Christmas. Can you imagine the scene – Auckland, hot and humid and a Christmas tree was delivered. As was our tradition, the children ‘helped’ me decorate the tree. Outside the temperature soared and the pool looked very inviting.
As I don’t have a photo of the pool at that house I have used this one.
Then my daughter asked in her little piping Scottish voice “But Mummy, when will it snow?” Up till then she had seen snow each Christmas.
Even after all these years, Christmas in the heat seems wrong. When I had Christmas at my house I did all the traditional things, roast turkey and the trimmings, roast vegetables, plum pudding and sauce. My children who now take it in turns to do Christmas dinner don’t do this. Instead they acknowledge the heat and usually have a barbecue outside. It is always a festive occasion but where is my tradition. They are of course, making their own traditions as they should.
So a couple of years ago, some (Northern hemisphere) friends and I got together to have a winter Christmas in July. We are talking about doing it again this year. We will have to wait and see whether or not we follow through on this discussion.
“One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”
Laurie Colwin ‘Home Cooking’