So, the end of the year is very near!
Today is Friday, 28th December 2012. This afternoon I’m going to play Rummy Cub as well as Scrabble with Irene and Erika at Erika’s place. Marion, who usually plays with us, is still up north in Ballina. I remember Ballina. It’s a beautiful little town not far from the Queensland border. That reminds me, Baby Lucas is at present up north too. Peter just noticed a picture of him on his Mum’s arms in front of the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour! His Dad and Uncle are with him too. It’s his first holiday away from home!
Tomorrow Peter and I are going to Wollongong. We’re invited for coffee and cake to our friends’ place in Wollongong. They are very longtime friends. We first met them in Balgownie Hostel in 1959! They had come from Germany to Australia on the CASTEL FELICE half a year before we arrived in Australia. They had a 20 months old daughter, so had we. This daughter, who is 55 now, came to see us in Berlin and she said her parents live in Wollongong now. Well, surprise, surprise, this is only a few minutes away from where we live! So Sylvia, the daughter, arranged for us to meet her and her parents in Wollongong tomorrow. We are very much looking forward to this!
Sylvia is also corresponding with our daughter Monika, who is one year younger than Sylvia. She remembers also our son Martin and our daughter Gaby – - – - who would be 55 now, but sadly is no longer with us.
On Sunday I might get a chance again to go to Mass. Last time I went was on Christmas Day, Tuesday, the 25th, early in the morning at 7,30. It had been a beautiful Mass. Instead of a choir we had four young people playing their instruments. On Christmas Eve it had cooled down already quite a bit after a heat wave of around 33 Degrees Celsius. The celebrations on Christmas Eve went very well at our place. Ebony and Ryan did bring Baby Lucas along. All in all there were 14 people at our place. Daughters Monika and Caroline with some help of Matthew saw to all the catering. Peter read out a story he had written about our life in December of 1957. Everyone was very interested to hear a bit more about what we had been up too. On previous Christmas Eves Peter had been telling about earlier Christmases from his childhood. They always want to hear more stories about these early years.
This year we had told everyone to bring only one Christmas gift. Monika and one of her daughters had randomly chosen the names and worked out who was going to buy a gift for whom. We suggested everyone should spend only ten Dollars on their present. I think on the whole people stuck to this. Maybe a few people spent a little bit more. Baby Lucas, this Christmas being his very first Christmas, did get a few extra gifts. Nobody actually was to know who their present was from. On the labels was written the receiver’s name plus: ‘From secret Santa’ or ‘From Santa with Love’. Peter was chosen to hand out the gifts in the name of Santa. While the gifts were being handed out quite a few jokes were made. Everyone was having fun!
So now New Year’s Eve is near. The last day of the year is to be next Monday. Peter and I have planned to travel by train to Sydney on that day and spend the day in Sydney but be back home in the evening. Of course there are going to be big fireworks again at Sydney Harbour. People are reserving themselves spots near the harbour already the previous night! We prefer to spend New Year’s Eve at home and watch some of the going ons on television. By the way Christmas Day and Boxing Day we were home all day. It had cooled down very much and was raining a lot. We played games with Caroline and Matthew, listened to music, watched a few DVDs, talked and relaxed. For food we had a lot of left overs! Plus Caroline made us yummy scrambled eggs. On Boxing Day we had soft boiled eggs for breakfast and Caroline provided a very well cooked meal for lunch with roasted duck, (falafel for me). kale, baked sweet potatoes and baked potatoes. I made some red cabbage, which everyone loved also. We also had mangoes, nectarines, bananas, lots of sweets and German ‘Lebkuchen’ and ‘Stollen’ as well as beer and wine, cups of tea and espresso. It was a very relaxing joyful Christmas.
And now, wishing everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!