. . .Chamber, Gallery volunteers, Stanthorpe writers, Social dog break-up. . . time to reflect on the year, work achieved, and just be and enjoy friends. Presents were already chosen for the little people and posted to faraway places. Time to enjoy creating miniatures for some special people. . .hunting for ‘just right’ frames . . .making cards (though I am always too late for my husband’s list. . .why does he need to post the first December and disappoint friends expecting the artistic?). . .the pre-Christmas visit to Brisbane family with pressies and home baked goodies and this year, locally made lip balm for staff at Mum’s Nursing Home. Hmm, even with other purchases, I still didn’t make the Chamber Shop Local spend. . .I should have bought that scarf for my sister’s January Birthday! We were both in Brisbane 19 December to treat our 97 year old Dad to lunch at the Botanical Gardens Restaurant. But did he really need to order fish and chips?
Christmas Day. . .Neville and I and spotty dog, Jake. . .a pre-prepared cold lunch. . .bubbles. . .view over a full pond, Monet bridge. . .and Facetime. . .the joy of seeing Tom ripping layers of paper unaware of the care taken to wrap, then the excited yell, ‘Just what I wanted!’ made a wonderful start to the day. He didn’t need to know we bought the lego in Hong Kong. . .what Mummy said he wanted. Even Jake, now on view in Hong Kong, got a wave. Oscar in Brisbane was so overwhelmed with presents, he didn’t even ask, ‘Have you got a present for me, Grandma?’. . .and he still hadn’t opened his Super Hero craft pack. Further excitement later that night in London, when Isobel still in pyjamas and dressing gown, took us on a tour of all her presents. . .and the odd prompt from Da. ‘Don’t forget the jewellery. . .and the chess set. She’s learning you know’. I spot her new laptop! Hmm. . .maybe I won’t need to take mine next time. Calls continued to Boxing Day London time. . .with many photos received in between. Did Santa and the reindeers really leave that mess on the high rise balcony? Only an empty beer can at the foot of Isobel’s tree. . .and no evidence of carrots. Just how many beers did Santa consume Christmas Eve?
A New Year dawns. . .life changes as if a chiaroscuro painting. A call to say Mum was unconscious. A further call before I had a chance to leave that she had been revived. I left anyway. . .thoughts of what might be over the three hour drive. But there she was propped up in bed being fed a little soup by my sister. All the family had visited. I think Mum wondered what was going on. . .usually at this time she would be in the lounge watching tv. Maybe it was her strong will or just good nursing, but over the next couple days she slowly improved. Her eyes were bright by the time I left.
Another sliver of light. . .our Hong Kong family back in Brisbane to celebrate the Festival of the 40s with a rooftop party at the Airport Novotel (though real Birthdays celebrated long and hard in December). It was an excuse for me to look after Tom and in a luxury room for the night.
Back to the shade. Dad was having falls overnight. How quickly his physical condition had deteriorated. A brother living at home unable to lift him. . .and needing the help of another brother nearby at all hours of the night. We realise his doctor didn’t know he was often alone. . .while there was some home support it has become obvious he needed twenty four hour care. We have just heard his assessment for eligibility into a home is Monday. A place will have to be found. . .hopefully with Mum. We are still in the shade.