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Posts Tagged ‘northern hemisphere’

In the mirror of your eyes…….

My rugged African pot stood sheepishly at the foot of my driveway all decked out with its hessian bow. It had to endure the humiliation along with the many other corners of my house. There is much to celebrate….the Winter Solstice heralds the fact that our days will slowly become longer and our nights shorter. Then we have my favourite time of the year. Need I say, it is Christmas.  The wonder and joy of the season here in the northern hemisphere is magical.

A delicate twist to my African roots!

I can see it all so clearly…..

The steep pathway down to the house is lit up with fairy lights. They have a double function; both to illuminate the slippery staircase and to add a flickering twinkle to the arduous task of getting up and down to the house. Although when your arms are piled high with copious bags of groceries and replenishment stocks to the bar fridge, the lights are the last thing on your mind. But it is so worth the effort!

Like an image passing by……

The twins made a quick pre-Christmas visit to drop Leo off for a few weeks while their parents had a well-deserved family holiday. Leo is the much loved golden retriever. While the dogs got reacquainted, the twins helped decorate the Christmas tree.  There is much to be said for having your family traditions and I sat back and lapped up the scene. Deliberation reigned as the two placed the carefully chosen ornaments on the branches. There was much teetering on the chairs and discussion. Both of them are fiercely independent and I had to restrain myself from intervening in their creative activity. I watched and listened as the two repeated history.

Katy added her magical touch…

Christmas finally arrived and we all gathered together to celebrate. Stuffed turkey, glazed ham and red cabbage cooked in apple juice and topped with cranberries was on the menu. Dessert was a homemade salted caramel ice cream topped with meringues. These were made from scratch too. Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year!

Christmas traditions with Jack …..tartan and pajamas.

Like reflections of your mind……

Besides all the preparation that goes along with Christmas, it is a time of remembrance and soul searching for me. I was continually reminded how my mom managed a house full at Christmas with such grace. There was always delicious food and all were welcome at our table. I missed them both and found myself reflecting back now that I am ‘the nanny’ and all the kids descend on our house at Christmas. There is much music, laughter and plenty of food.

So now we will go our separate ways…..

So another New Year is about to begin. We all need to go out and carry on with our lives. I will bathe in the love that I feel. This was brought home to me when my granddaughter said goodbye at the car. I was securing her seat belt and she tilted her little head forward and said: “Nanny I will dream about you.”

Best wishes for 2019 go to all of you and may you always have something to look forward to.

Christmas Cousins

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(This young singer from Montreal has such talent!)

The grey clouds rolled in from the sea and the gulls whooped overhead. The harbour was abuzz with activity as the city of Vancouver woke to another day. There was the deep throated hoot from a sleek cruise ship. It was dropping off its load of passengers who had made the trip up to Alaska. Then the distinctive clatter of a seaplane propeller added to the orchestra of ‘sea sounds.’ The first load of island hopping tourists was heading out to sea. For a moment I was lost in thought, as I imagined the panoramic view that would be theirs from the air. 

 

 

Seaplanes, boats and mountains....

Seaplanes, boats and mountains….

  A shout went out…..”Hey, get out of my way!” The little man hung out of his truck window. He was perched in the driver’s seat with his cap pulled right over his cheeky eyes. He skillfully maneuvered his freight down the alley to the well frequented restaurant. They were obviously replenishing stocks as the warmer weather had brought in more customers. I dashed over the street as I could see that this driver meant business!
The fine drizzle continued and I slipped into a corner coffee shop and ordered my usual….a latte. I blended in with the locals now. They were all on their way to work supporting their cup of morning sustenance in their hand……the Canadian salute!
I stopped to find an ATM and noticed that there was one inside a shopping centre. The entrance was round the side of the building. The centre was quiet as the shoppers had not ventured out yet. It was easy to admire the well laid out shop frontages with all the bright spring colours. It was time to press on and I used a different exit to get out on the street again. The bustle greeted me as I looked around. I was disorientated.

Where was the sea? I find this ‘direction finding’ in the northern hemisphere so confusing, as I never know where the sun is supposed to be! I had to admit that I was lost! I contemplated my map in my pocket but decided otherwise. I did not want to stick out ‘like a tourist!’ After all I was working hard at blending in.

Where was the sea?

Where was the sea?

This resulted in ‘the blonde’ in me turning the wrong way. I had planned a tentative route before I left the hotel that morning. The ‘wrong way’ brought me to a very different part of downtown. Gone were the sleek ships and the debonair men in grey business suits. These men stood in queues and waited. They waited to receive help…… some for basic needs, others for shelter and many needed assistance with addictions. Those who did not form part of the line stood in doorways or sat in wheelchairs. Their faces weathered with deep lines that showed the hard road that they had walked. Sad eyes greeted me as I walked past them. I hesitated as I took in this sad scene.
What were their stories?

As with any city there are the softer moments too...the Chinese Garden.

As with any city there are the softer moments too…the Chinese Garden.

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