This time of the year is hard for me. We don't have Thanksgiving in Australia, the convicts hauled from England to colonise our country didn't have much to be thankful for. We have summer and school holidays and the run up to Christmas all lumped in together and life gets very busy. Add unseasonable heat and drought and bushfires causing smokey air all over the coast and all the external circumstances and it gets pretty tiring. So sometimes I want it to just be over. December is party season and with my present mindset I am not really a party girl.
I have just come back from Broken Hill on a pre-Christmas visit to Trevor and Alice. I always enjoy my trips out there. Of course flying over empty land is sad, no water means no stock and so the vision is of a land usually green with horses and livestock but instead brown and bone dry. Once in town it is sad to see shops are closed or trading for reduced hours. I always try to spend money at Broken Hill but it was hard this time as it is obvious shopkeepers are letting stocks run down. But we did eat out and have coffees out too so local shopkeepers did benefit from my tourist dollars. Trev will bring my extra purchases here when he and Alice come in January as I am limited to 15 kgs of luggage.
Trev was able to spend a lot of time with me and we had Alice five out of seven days. She has grown lately and the clothes I took her will fit this summer only. It is great to have the interaction with her and since she was here in October she seems to have matured somewhat. Seven is a lovely age, Alice is still able to play, laugh, use her imagination, learn new things and in addition seems to look outside herself more now at the world around her. I had a lot of conversations with her which was an insight into the way she thinks. I do so wish she lived closer and I could see her more regularly.
Unfortunately while I was way I found the very high temperatures a problem, I had prickly heat and problems with the humidity, because of the body stocking from my waist down only half my body can cool down. The humidity came with a mist that should have been rain but just resulted in high humidity for a couple of days, unusual weather for our semi-desert country. We didn't get out into the back country as we usually do, so not as interesting as usual. But when I go next year it may be completely different. Australia is a land of contrasts and it is a great place to explore and hopefully I will do able to continue to do that.
Home again to the full calendar of events and luckily clear this weekend so I can do some Spring cleaning and assess the things that need to be done as I am hosting Christmas this year. Shirley and family will be packing to move early in January so wanted Christmas lunch to be here this year and so Pam and her three will come here too. I need to buy new tablecloths, place mats etc as my old ones are pretty scruffy. I have been letting things go again, easy to do when you are alone the majority of the time. I am assessing some of the aspects of my life that seem to be holding me back. It is a change of seasons thing I think, I have always had a habit of analysing life, sometimes unecessarily.
And so the holiday season is a problem to me. I keep looking at other people, couples particularly, and those with their families living close by. As a migrant child I had no aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents I could visit, my extended family were in England and Canada. I have friends of course but when it comes to the Christmas season they have their own family. This has been my problem since the age of seven when I would be envious of my friends who would show me their many Christmas presents from their aunts, cousins, grandparents etc and I had one present marked "Love from Mum and Dad".
I am grateful the family will be here for Christmas Day with the exception of Trevor and Alice who will be here in January. I hope it is a day when we get together and enjoy each others company. I need that to rebuild my peace. I seem to have lost that at the moment.