After a hurly-burly afternoon back home in Levin making a multitude of telephone calls to get the funeral arrangements started, we travelled back to Foxton Beach School to where our caravan was parked up at the Drop-In Rally. And wouldn’t you know it, Santa came calling in the early evening. The sirens were wailing, the lights were flashing and in rolled a fire engine with Santa riding shot-gun. “Merry Christmas” he called out as he threw lollies out the windows to all of us oldies.
We wanted to spend Christmas Day quietly in camp, as the oncoming days will be full of a plethora of arrangements and decisions with other family members. There were a few presents waiting to be opened in the morning, a long awaited book for him, a few wanted quilty items for her, chocolates galore - of course we will eat them, but why do the family think we need them? Then there was a gift box of tasty snacks, and what’s this? A pair of socks each – and not just any old socks. No, these were bed socks for the caravan, the tag said. And they certainly look cosy and warm, just the thing for when we are camping off power in the middle of winter with no electric blanket to keep us warm .
Our traditional Christmas breakfast is croissants filled with ham off the bone and a slice of tasty cheese and heated till the cheese melts. We sat outside under the awning eating our croissants, washed down with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee – a great way to start the day.
Then Robin had to get on with the job of podding the peas – he is very partial indeed to nice fresh peas. This is a job he remembers doing quite often as a youngster, podding the peas for a family meal. Robin then watched over the chicken roll-ups cooking slowly on the barbecue, while I was took care of the rest of the meal, cooking Jersey Benne potatoes (another family tradition) fresh peas and asparagus.
We joined the other caravanners in the hall and ate our lunch together. And what a festive table it was, nicely decorated too. We toasted each other, and ate our respective tasty meals, while we discussed all sorts of topics, putting the world to rights, as people do.
We shared our desserts, and what a lovely selection there was - pavlova, trifle and fruit kebabs. With a few Aussies in the group, there just had to be a discussion on that long running question of what country invented the pavlova first, New Zealand or Australia? We decided it just had to be New Zealand, no argument about it.
Tomorrow is Boxing Day, and the numbers are expected to swell with more caravans and motor-homes arriving at the Drop-In Rally. Meanwhile, we are enjoying the sunshine and the lovely peaceful surroundings.
Merry Christmas to our followers and readers, hope you all had a lovely day with family, friends, and those you love. May you all have safe travels in the New Year.
And many thanks for your kind words of condolence at this sad time, they are most appreciated.