Dawn Webster, at 85, is an elder writer and graduate of Deborah’s Life Writing classes. She is mother of Dianne, David, Allan, Anne, Rob and of Andrew in memory, and also a grandmother of nine and great grandmother of three. She trained as a teacher and school librarian and is now a genealogist, knitter of Miffy the rabbit toys, an artist, a gardener and a traveller who lived part of each year in England, for twenty years. This reflection on the festive season was written in a four-minute rapid write at the conclusion of the December meeting of the writing group that formed following a Best of Life Writing class at Auckland University in 2012.
In four days time my brother and his partner will come to stay for the festive season. Today I must begin the last of my preparations. There’s baking to be done, washing, making up beds and cleaning windows. It should all be finished by the time my guests arrive. The gardens need attention and the lawns. Perhaps if the grass edges are done the garden will look tidy.
My brother would like a traditional English meal on Christmas Eve. So we will have lamb and mint sauce, new potatoes and plum pudding on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day a barbecue with salads out at Sandspit. I hope my broad beans will be ready in time. A few things have been done already. I’ve made my Christmas cakes for the men and the muesli for breakfast and one batch of mince pies. I couldn’t find Shreddo at the supermarket so I used butter instead. The mincemeat was dry so I made a hole in the top of the pastry and poured a half a teaspoon of whisky into each pie. I’ll have to make more and shortbread too in case there are callers before Christmas. I can’t help thinking how quickly everything will be eaten by Christmas day.
Still there are cards to be written and calendars to be sent overseas. Oh but when my brother arrives we will not stop talking, over a cup of tea and a plain biscuit first thing in the morning.
On Boxing Day the visitors depart. Then there will be no more cooking, just peace and quiet and time to rest up with a new book and happy memories.
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