Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Boxing Day

Wake up to discover that my cold is gone! Could be because I spent most of Christmas Day sleeping; or maybe it was a psychosomatic, first-Christmas-as-minister, cold. Either way, I’m very happy. Less happy to be woken up by mother calling my mobile. Figure 9 am is not too late to be sleeping in on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day is family day. Head down to aunt’s house in Dingley Village for family lunch. Drive carefully at or a little under the speed limit, causing great annoyance to other cars. Wonder whether going at the speed limit is actually safer, or whether I should go at the same speed as the rest of the traffic. Recent speeding fine still hurts, so decide to stick to speed limit.

Drive from Romsey to the city easy; drive through the city easy; drive down Nepean Highway, past JB HiFi; The Good Guys; Retrovision; Southland absolutely hellish. Curse Boxing Day sales.

Arrive at aunt’s house to find aunt, man-to-whom-aunt-is-married (only three years older than me, so I only call him uncle to tease him); four-year-old cousin; mother; grandmother. Brother and brother’s girlfriend arrive; followed by sister, nephew and niece. Brother-in-law absent – fishing.

Play on swing set with cousin, nephew and niece. Return to deck to find family discussing my lack of maturity. Turn to the experts, ask the children whether I am a grown-up or a kid. Children agree unanimously that I am a grown-up. Ask them why. Niece says, in a voice implying that she cannot believe the stupidity of her family, that Auntie Avril is a grown-up because Auntie Avril goes to church. Auntie Avril raises her arms above her head and does a victory lap of the decking. Niece knows that children also go to church, but Auntie Avril is in charge of her church and thus must be a grown-up. Auntie Avril agrees with all that reasoning except the idea that she is in charge of anything.

Children want to swim in the pool. Borrow bathers from aunt to take them. Brother borrows bathers from man-married-to-aunt. Mother borrows bathers from aunt. Aunt also gets in; lucky the woman has so many pairs of bathers in so many different sizes. Children decide they don’t actually want to swim; they want to throw things in the pool for grown-ups to fetch. Adults oblige, possibly because we are stupid.

Exchange presents. None for grown-ups, just children this year. (I gave donations on behalf of family in lieu of presents.) Except from aunt, for whom we are all still children. Get a “Make a Wish” t-shirt from Myer; ten dollars from purchase to be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation. Good idea; excellent shirt, black with stars. Only one problem – t-shirt also has a silhouette of Tinkerbell on it. Children think Auntie Avril will look lovely in a Tinkerbell t-shirt. Thank aunt.

Slight family argument over holiday plans. Will take two weeks off after Easter. Expect congratulations over ability to recognise that church will not collapse without me. Get criticised over plans to spend two weeks alone in a motel by the beach with a pile of books. Explain that I am the world’s greatest introvert in a job that demands that I be a people person. The idea of two weeks alone in heavenly. Family thinks I’m weird.

Eventually, very, very full, drive home. Arrive home safely. Watch more Quantum Leap. Am now nearing the end of Season Four. Feel quite content. Christmas survived!


December 27, 2007 - Posted by | Life, etc.


  1. Hey Avril,
    just would like to leave you a comment. Thank you so much for your lovely postcard. I was so glad to read from you. So thanks a lot. I miss u a lot.. you know its now nearly one year ago that we met.. time is running. may the year 2008 be a blessed one for you and for all your family. take care and talk to you soon.
    your Blue Angel 🙂

    Comment by Consi | December 28, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thanks Avril, for the running commentary, and insights… Follow your holiday plans!

    Re being ‘in charge’: I took a funeral last week for a truly wonderful woman; she had planned it with her family, and we had an inspiring 2 hour service in which all the children and grandchildren took part. At one point before the service, someone said I was in control, to which I replied, “This must be a new use of the word ‘control’ that I haven’t heard of before!” It’s great to be in control in that kind of way!

    Comment by Paul Walton | December 31, 2007 | Reply

  3. Ahhhh yes christmas DVDs. I am now proud owner of Heroes season one and complete Blade Runner set.
    Need to work on my ability to read and watch said DVDs at same time.

    Comment by Pete | January 7, 2008 | Reply

  4. As a fellow introvert (although probably not the world’s greatest) I think your holiday plans sound lovely. I’m about to start a new job requiring me to be a people person and I know that it’s going to be exhausting for this reason (among others). Two weeks alone with books sounds bliss (and maybe also a sewing machine and a stash of quilting fabrics)

    Comment by Libby | January 19, 2008 | Reply

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