Southern Cross upon the telegraph poles of Erskineville
Jetlag morphs into house moving lethargy and then into a chain of holiday feasts, linked by soaring temperatures. Through it all, the great book unpacking exercise has continued.
On Xmas day I joined Vance and Meme for lunch with their family, future in-laws and assorted friends. The absolutely smashing centre piece for the meal was two barbecued snappers. Vance's son John was with his Romanian fiancée Marcia and her family, all of whom were fascinating to talk to as our hosts kept rotating the seating positions. Vance's sister Beverley was producer for the original TV programs The Inventors and Mr Squiggle, each an iconic program from my early years. I told Bev that my first two Tablet PCs were named Blackboard and MrSquiggle after that show.
I hold my spoons aloft while Maestra Heidi Gledhill leads an impromptu Wolloomooloo Orchestra
After lunch, there was a general call for party pieces, Vance graciously performing the most outrageous piece in front of strangers and family alike to ensure that no one else felt they would be more embarrassed by their performance. John and Marcia offered a vocal/guitar performance of a song from the recent Irish film Once, Meme performed A New Fangled Tango a capella, while I hastily improvised a recitation of the Kavafy poem Ithaka (downloaded onto my phone moments before).
Lena Horne's New Fangled Tango
A long uproarious evening at Phil's place as various orphans wandered in and out, and finally sat around the dining table for The Game, an increasingly challenging guessing game based on names written on slivers of paper.
On Boxing Day, it was my first chance to see some of my family and the growing clutch of young ones. My cousin Grant said that I was officially part of the family when I finally partook of the ritual slack-jawed nap on the sofa that we had always admired so much in our fathers' generation.
Final party of the season was at an opulent consular residence in Sydney's leafy harbourside Eastern Suburbs. It was to be a pool party, but no one ventured into the water, even though I did pack my budgie smugglers for the event. I did take advantage of the lovely grand piano in the conservatory and picked out some Bach and Chopin from the frayed selection of sheet music in the piano bench.