We’re about to greet the new year and I want to shout out a G’day from stinking hot Adelaide.
Don’t be fooled by the home-made version of our tree for this year… we’re not in gay Calamiac, we’re down here in Oz. And on the eve of Christmas, our family’s old tree, after 40 years, decided to hang up its boots – so Lilas and I put together a ‘Xmas Tour’! It’s a wonder what you can find in a shed full of old boxes…
And I must say it’s thanks to you, Mum, that we have a ‘tree’ this year. Much to my objections, you put up this tower, festooned with ribbons as part of the decorations for our post-elopement-wedding party. Did I squirm! – wondering what the Frenchies would think… But it was a hit, and thanks to you, it’s come out in full glory again.
One minute you’re here, in a flash you’re there and suddenly and wonderfully, it feels like you’ve never left. The brown grass is the same, the clean grid of houses is the same, Mum and Dad are at the airport to pick us up and cruise us home, their dog is at the door, all the smells are the same, the beautiful trees are the same, the coffee is a lot better than you know where… A lot of things have never changed and I love it.
But there is a weird part to coming back and this part is where you fit in with people. Being away for most of the year means you have to step back and accept the distance from these loved people on an everyday level. Sure, I make calls home and speak to my parents often, but it isn’t the same and I’ve had to sort of ‘train’ myself to endure the distance by allowing myself to let go. It’s too hard for me to keep it up 100% in two places at once. My heart is in both, but I take a step back and act less wherever I am not. Then suddenly, I come back and have to get a handle on my excitement – near-hysteria – over seeing all these adored people in person again. This can be really strange. I act either overwhelmed and vague or like a babbling idiot, wanting to toast every moment with everyone with gallons of bubbles. Not good for the head.
Look, sorry for the blah it’s hard to explain. I’ll try and explain it better later.
For now I want to celebrate having new eyes on home. Images and places I always took for granted seem to be so exotic now! Australia can be so tres chic – and oh so wonderfully tres kitsch. I always knew this I guess about home, but now I love it even more.
A big Hip hip to this New Year, 2013! May it be a good one for all and a happy and healthy one.
Just thought I’d say I haven’t forgotten about the blog, just busy cruising the streets in S.A. (South Australia) and lapping up as much quality time as possible, before the annually dreaded departure. Gotta make the most of it!
But somehow there’s those petite ‘mon Dieu’ surprises that always bring France back to mind…
Mmmn, nothing like the flavour of the first fruits hand-picked from your own tree.
Lilas was thrilled to get out there and collect these three apricots herself (note boots for the summer heat) and they were delicious.
Since renting a house in Adelaide many years ago that had a huge apricot tree in the middle of the backyard, I’ve always dreamt of planting our own ‘abricotier’ (apricot tree). We’d go down the back to feed the chooks and guinea fowl and pick a few ripe, sweet apricots on the way through. What luxury.
Even though our tree is still small, the concentration of flavour was incredible. And the ‘abricots’ went down very well with a chilled glass of Minervois muscat.