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In the subtropics, around the middle of summer things start to die in the heat so Christmas is a strange presence in the season, although I guess not unlike Christmas being situated in the dead of winter in the northern hemisphere. Because the season of summer is not associated with new life here, but rather with the onset of destructive storms, bush fires, drought, and burning sun. Kitchen gardens are largely left to rest. The weeds grow furiously but otherwise everything feels very slow in the humidity.

Storms signal Christmas is coming and the garden succumbs to the mix of overgrown and death.

For me, the foods of summer are all Mediterranean, Mexican and Asian and seem to come in the colours of Christmas. And we eat out in the garden unless the mosquitoes are terrible.

My favourite part of Christmas is all the spontaneous socialising. Friends who message you to tell you they have two Cabernets and are waiting out the rain in a quiet corner, so hurry up and join them in the bar… and other friends who invite you and your kids to swim in their pool and share pot luck dinners together, and friends who beg you to be invited over because their kid is going spare and they want to talk and laugh with you, and all the playfulness and, the exposed skin and lying under a fan even, the goddamn craft (which now includes sewing by my kids).

And this year it included for me a writing deadline for (hopefully) another book anthology next year.

Previous views of December here:

2015

Interestingly, I didn’t post photos in 2014.

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

I love to see what December looks like in your part of the world, so if you care to, leave a link to your own December photos in the comment section.

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A year ago tonight my boyfriend moved in with us. It felt like such a big step back then. But in the end, we just laughed together a lot more.

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Them: How’s the smokiness?
Me: This whiskey tastes almost.. fishy.
(The men reel back in horror, then quickly lean back in towards my glass, concerned).
Me: It may have been a while since I tasted fishy.. as a vegetarian of 20 years.
(The men relax and go on drinking carefully aged whiskey).

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Seth and I get a little bit competitive about our carvings… bearing in mind we don’t have scalpels this year. I am the artist behind the raven/crow.

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Graveyard dip. Takes a bow.

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(Detail from one of boyfriend’s sketches of me. Never be too idle near him or you get sketched). 

Celebrating this week when a doctor thought she found a lump in my breast and I spent four days thinking I had breast cancer before the tests revealed it was not cancer, not even a lump.

I hope this anecdote brings you some relief if you should ever be going through your own cancer scare. False positives.

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The other day a reader/blogger who also follows me on Instagram noted that my photo feed has the intimacy of domestic life that used to be on my blog. It’s true. My Instagram account is locked and having that little bit more control over the audience has allowed me to feel more myself over there in recent times. If you’re a reader here and I sorta know you then you are welcome to follow me on Instagram.

 

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