I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas lunch for 15? not a problem. Or is it?

Every Christmas Eve, Paul's family takes it in turns to go to his brother's place by the beach, his sister's in the country, or our place in the city. This year it was our turn. Photos aren't particularly good; posted here for the benefit of non-Australian readers who wonder what Christmas might look like in summer. Actually it was a bit chilly in the morning, but by afternoon warm enough to sit outside. For the first time since Joel, Angus and Sarah were born in the same year, there were only five grandchildren present: Nick, 18, was visiting his girlfriend's family.

We went all out with the food, since it's the first time for months our dining table didn't have my computer on it, and it was fun to put three tables together, bring in the garden chairs, and scrape the drawers for enough forks and spoons. Also, one child has a severe nut allergy, and another is vegetarian, so we had lots of options in addition to the paella and baked ham you see here. I can't believe I don't have a photo of my pudding, but it was glistening with butter and fruit, and the blue flame of the brandy. Note also the festive lights decorating the fishtank.

What an opulent display, though. At the time it felt like a lovely thing to do, to work and cook and clean for the family, but seeing the food in all its lavishness is a bit ghastly now. This family is very restrained with presents, but even so, I can't help feeling some of the best gifts we were given this year were a chicken for a Philippines family and a vegetable garden in Mozambique. Must make sure I shop at Oxfam next year.

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