The stars in my galaxy …

thumb_IMG_0808_1024Although we did not eat our Christmas meal at my home this year, I still enjoyed trimming the tree.  Some traditions are worth maintaining I felt because this Christmas was one of surprises.

About a month before Christmas, Daughter introduced me to veganism, not for political reasons, but as a lifestyle choice.  We went to a few vegan restaurants and I found the food really tasty.  I thought I could never give up cheese but surprisingly I’m not missing it that much especially over the holiday period which should have been a challenge.  I’ve adapted to almond milk and don’t drink as much coffee as I usually do.  I’ve had negligible amounts of meat, seafood and cheese without the discomfort of wanting more but I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to sustain it when travelling, as closely as I am, when at home.thumb_IMG_0817_1024
Our Christmas celebrations at Son and DIL’s (daughter in law) home was amazing.  She has been a vegetarian since she was in her early teens.  That truffle mac cheese with herb topping was delicious!  Everything else was plant based.  She was a star this year.
Daughter (aka my wild child) is going through an eco and vegan phase.  (She has also discovered KonMari!  Wonders never cease!).  She wrapped all our presents in remnant cloth pieces.  Another star is born!  DIL will use the material in costumes that she sews during the year.  Daughter also delighted in giving us a ghastly salt and pepper set that she picked up in Mexico, the same for each household, because she said between peals of laughter, “everyone should get at least one crap present at Christmas!”.  thumb_IMG_0826_1024.jpg
Daughter also tells me a Bloody Mary is one of those drinks that one can start the day with, and not be judged!  So I made a jug of this with fresh produce and started my day.

So this Christmas there were no food comas.  Just a feeling of satiation.  Of giving and receiving love and … a jug of Bloody Mary!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Star

The tradition of Christmas …


Christmas will be different in my home this year.  My son and his wife, the newlyweds from earlier this year, are hosting the family Christmas meal.  It is strangely quiet in my home.  Usually I’m in the throes of a three day cooking fest but not this year.  We will have a family meal at my place in the first week of 2020 when my daughter’s partner is home from his FIFO (fly in fly out) offshore work.

Christmas in my home is all about family, about laughter, food and being together.  I usually give one of the young adults a joke or riddle book or a board game and against the background of loud laughter, I put the finishing touches to the meal.  This year I’m relaxing and will be relaxing at the couple’s home tomorrow.  I’m slowly giving up the reins for the young adults to carry on tradition.  There is a special joy in this transition as they emerge and become who they are meant to be.

After all the decades of living in a country where Christmas is celebrated in summer, I still yearn for a cold Christmas.  It is a fond memory from childhood in India.  We would each hold a candle skirted in cardboard paper, while attending Midnight Mass outdoors under freezing clear night skies.  The emphasis on gifts was minimal.  But, there was a huge focus on visiting family and friends between Christmas Eve and the Feast of Epiphany in January and that tradition continues to date in my life here in Australia.

This year the gift giving in my home is remarkable for reasons I’ll share with you.  I  hate shopping centres.  The crowds, the parking woes, the queues.  The trolleys filled with useless gifts generates a sense of despair in me.  I hate it all.  So from a very young age I would encourage my children to give me a list of what they wanted and I would choose something from it.  I would avoid browsing and I liked that.  As they grew older, their taste in gifts changed as one would expect and I had to accommodate their preferences.

My beautiful daughter, who embraces life with unfettered enthusiasm, has always asked for two tickets to the music festival which takes place in January.  This has been the only gift she has requested for about ten years now.  As much as I disliked her attending the festival where recreational drugs are rife, she would assure me she would be there for the music alone.  (Yes, I know!) I would give in, stay awake until she would text me she was home again.  Sigh!  This year she requested pots and pans.  Pots and pans! She and her partner moved into their own home earlier this year and nesting, it would seem.  He would love a voucher for the local hardware shop so he can get on to landscaping the backyard, she tells me.  I’m still reeling from the shock!

My son on the other hand loves video games and I dislike buying those too.  There’s so much more to do in life than a controller in hand, I say to him.  But it is part of their social life where a game night means visiting each other, ordering food in and playing games.  This year he and his wife wanted a dinner set.  He told me they have an assortment of plates and cups. “We would love a dinner set where everything matches, mum!”  This heartfelt request from a gamer!

So I’ve returned from a day’s shopping with pots and pans and a dinner set and a voucher for Bunnings.  It would seem that the young adults have become adults while I was sleeping.

This year has been different on many levels.  I can feel my world changing.  At times listing, at times balanced, at times blurry, but there’s an air of celebration in my world.  An undeniable feeling of anticipation and hope that the birth of the Christ Child symbolizes.

Whatever your belief or faith, may you experience celebration in your world, too.  May your heart and home be filled with the love and laughter of family and friends.  This is my wish for you.

Merry Christmas and peace!

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Tuesday – Candle





It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1732.jpgChristmas Lily, Esperance, Western Australia

Around this time of year, the Christmas lily blooms in the garden of the hotel where I stay in Esperance.  I love the colours and perfection of the flower.  It reminds me to hang in there, the year is coming to an end.

As we prepare for Christmas, Thanksgiving is on the horizon for my family, friends and blogger friends in the Northern Hemisphere.

May you enjoy your celebrations on a day of togetherness and gratitude.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s FOTD Photo Challenge –

All I want for Christmas …

It’s Christmas Eve.  I’ve had a really big day.  I’m now alone in the home and it should be quiet but it’s not.  The neighbours are having a pool party.  I usually enjoy their playlist that drifts over the fence, but not tonight.  They are singing loudly.  Off key.

It’s that time of year when the birth of Christ is celebrated.  The concept of ‘organised religion’ is something I’ve drifted away from but will return to one day.  In the meantime I cannot resist walking into a church where ever I am as a visitor.  One such visit was deliberate and well planned in advance.  On the way to Koojaman (Cape Leveque), some 200 km north of Broome, is the small community of Beagle Bay.  The church is the attraction (some may also say distraction).  The history is troubling.  Built in 1890 the Trappist monks tried to convert the indigenous population in the region to Christianity.  The tragic aftermath of this thinking reverberates to date.DSC_0738The church itself is austere from the outside.  The architecture is Bavarian, stark white in the fierce sun.DSC_0735.jpgInside it is resplendent in mother of pearl that is evident everywhere.

It is impossible to ignore news headlines these days.  The train wreck is visible no matter where one looks.  The reach of chaos is long.  What happens elsewhere in the world, impacts us here as well.  So I pray like a beauty queen.  I pray for world peace.  I’m convinced the commission of change does not lie with politicians, fanatical ideology, TV hosts or social media.  My belief is underscored by what I know professionally.  Like a ripple in a pond that is generated in the centre, change starts from within.  The most important and effective dialogue is the one we have in our head.  If we think differently, we behave differently and it transforms us, and our world.

This past year I have been energized by a fulfilled life of conscious living.  I have experienced joy, as it was intended.  It has been an interesting journey and I thank you for being part of it.

My wish is for you and your loved ones at this time of celebration and new beginnings, is to stay safe, care for each other, and care for the environment.  Above all, may you always be surrounded by the love and laughter of family and friends.

IMG_1972.jpgAs for me, … I’ll be somewhere on a beach, waiting for sunset.

Merry Christmas and may you dream big in the coming year.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird