Monday, December 19, 2011

'Tis some funny things

She must have been seventy years old at least. She put her Myki card in the resting place on the machine, inserted twenty dollars into a slot, pressed a few things on a screen and collected a receipt and her now credit topped up public transport Myki card. She boarded a tram and was off. At 77 Mother says she can't use public transport.

I learn so much about the world by listening to the BBC world service, Deutsche Wella and Radio Netherlands. I was surprised to hear about the local Victorian town Strathewen which was nearly burnt to the ground in the 2009 bushfires and its resurgence on Radio Netherland's Earth Beat.

Sister has taught Little Jo about Jesus and nativity scenes. I think they even made a nativity scene together. There are now two things that Sister does not answer back to me about. One long ongoing one is about public funding of private schools and now, the newest, when I asked why isn't Little Jo leaning about a more entertaining fairy tale than the one about Jesus being born. At least Little Jo is officially a heathen and hasn't been baptised. Much to Sister's chagrin, her three brothers were baptised and she wasn't.

The christmas socialisation has well and truly started. I've had enough already. We've done three, must catch up before christmas, dinners. I am rather pleased to be working on christmas day. We will spend christmas eve with the immediate family on the Bellarine, christmas evening with friends in Caulfield and Boxing night with friends in Box Hill. I know it is wrong of me, because so many don't have anything happening for christmas, but for me, what a luxury it would be to be alone on christmas day and not having to bother about the lead up, the day, and the following.

In the past I have tried to help, to assist, but really it is better to leave R to himself to the cards, the decorations, the tree, the gifts. Christmas for me is a cultural thing, not a religious thing. I do stamps, printing, envelopes, labels.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    Although we view Christmas and its meaning from, we suspect, two rather different perspectives, we do share with you the occasional wish to celebrate, or indeed let it pass, alone without all of the frenzy, mostly of a commercial nature, with which it is now associated.

    However, we do hope that you and R will have some time over the holiday period to enjoy a few quiet moments together.

  2. Thank you JayLa. We always manage to find some quiet time together.

  3. you are so right about the luxury of a solitary Christmas.
    the pressure from people is unbearable, despite their 'meaning well'. Only practising Christians should get the holiday off work.

    Agree with Sis though, that Lil Jo has to know The Story, just in order to keep up with general culture.
    as much as we need to know about Buddha, Mohammed, Hinduism, etc.

    Tell R from me that his tree is a masterwork of taste and style X X

  4. Em Stacks, soap and water. I want my religious holidays. I like having a go at high achieving Sister at times. You can't learn history without knowing about religion. We nearly didn't have a tree this year, which would be a first. Not sure about the silver tree though.

  5. I can take or leave Christmas, its to commerical these days for my liking. Public funding of private schools is a disgrace. Funding should cease and the extra funds poured back into Public Schools that have been neglected for many years :-).

  6. Your tree looks great Andrew.
    It's so funny, living away from everyone and rather isolated here in the sticks, I feel absolutely no pressure around this holiday. If I want I can go to the community dinner or I can stay home. I'll see when it's time.
    The thing is it seems every other blogger is saying the same thing about the commercialism of Christmas as they go right along with the status quo. I'm not criticizing; just saying it is very interesting watching through the window so to speak.
    Next year I'm sure I will be doing the same (when I move to the city).

  7. This will be our first solitary Christmas and boy, am I looking forward to it. Skiing in Wengen with all meals covered - woo hoo! No preparation, no cooking, no dishes, no hostessing.... ;)

  8. I like your silver tree! Although for me, trees will always be green. A friend of mine at work told me today her Christmas tree is black and decorated all in gold. I didn't know that black trees existed!
    Re your first paragraph; age is a funny thing, I'm happy using electronic things such as mobile phone, assorted i-pods, dvd player and my laptop, while another friend at work has a mum much younger than me, who doesn't try or even want to use the dvd player in case she breaks it.
    I've seen advertising on buses over here about a new ticketing system coming next year. Probably the Myki?

  9. Agree about schools Windsmoke. Just one more reason why I like you.

    Rubye, I hope you go to the dinner. Forcing oneself to be social can be difficult, but really not a bad thing. I am not saying anything about the commercialisation of christmas. It always has been in my memory. But it a time for families to gather, which is nice. Pleased to hear you will still be around this time next year.

    Kath, no doubt the Swiss do christmas quite differently too. Sounds like you will have a great time. Do you ski?

    River, I think a black tree could be good if well decorated. Why older people will not embrace technology is an interesting subject. Some are fearful of it, and I understand that. I get annoyed with those who say, 'I've lived seventy years and never needed it before'. Need, and what tech can do for you are quite different. No doubt their parents never needed a telephone. I am selective about what tech stuff I take up. It has to be interesting to me. I will have a look about your new tickets system. All capital cities here have them now, with the exception of Sydney I think.

  10. Perhaps even the Grinch would approve of a black tree with red tinsel and little sherrin-shaped baubles.

  11. They would be footy team colours FruitCake. I dunno which though.

  12. Thanks Andrew for pointing out that I mentioned next year. You know, I didn't even think about it. I probably will be though. Interesting how our minds work.

    Merry Christmas Andrew and R!

  13. ooh don't get me started on the schools thing :|

    Your tree is very stylish, I like the colour scheme.

  14. Fen, I have to take a photo to illustrate, but Wesley is now on a huge building program. You may have seen it from Punt Road.

  15. Andrew darling, IF Wesley,Merton Hall, Christ Church Grammar and MCEGS shut down tomorrow and all their students had to be CRAMMED into their local area government schools ... so the govt bribes them to stay there by giving them a grand p.a. for each student and it's CHEAP at the price.

    and, all those parents have a huge great whack of money added to each term fees account, for 'The Building Fund', plus their Parent Committee slaves it's guts out raising money all year, AND when I moved my child to Summer Heights High School in leafy Brighton and enquired about joining the parent committee, the head said to me 'We don't raise money.'
    I asked how on earth did they get, say, computers for every child in grade 2, and he replied "The Government gives us all the money we need." all true. don't get me started either.
    X X X

  16. Em Stacks, there are now so many going to pvt schools, it is almost impossible to cut funds.

  17. Not 'elite' anymore, private schools packed with the Underbelly children, rioting at Xavier, and this one of course -
    Carl Williams Killed By Exercise Bike Stem
    20 Apr 2010 – ... whether the killing was linked to a report in the Herald Sun yesterday saying Victoria Police had paid Dhakota Williams' private school fees. ..

  18. That's what I mean Em Stacks. Labor voter's children are going to pvt schools. Government schools, with a few exceptions, will end up with only poor and stupid kids. No votes in supporting those schools at all.