December 25th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Haruru Falls again – desperation stakes here

Which brings us, of course, to the day itself.  What it’s all about, highlight of the year, etc, etc.  Are there any days like that any more?  I don’t think so.  After the rigours of yesterday (see above) plus the fact that we’ve been working our socks off, plus the fact that Val had been up till 4 am on the 23rd, knitting, we were bushed.  However, I managed to rouse Val with a cup of tea, in tent, in bag.  Breakfast next, of bacon + eggs, followed by, I’m rather ashamed to admit, a spot of washing.  There was an absence of Christmas cheer about the place, that was certain – very few smiles even.  Perhaps I’m prejudiced, but the holiday just doesn’t seem to be as big here, + isn’t as friendly.  I think Christmas should be cosy + warm.  Here they’re just interludes, just shoved in the middle of summer holidays.  Anyway.

We hitched into town, as Ivor + Wanda had invited us to go in for a drink.  It was a pleasant morning, barely anyone there, not especially exciting, just a few rums + a chat.  After which we hitched back.  I was able to show off my jumper – Val had given it to me after breakfast – with which everyone was suitably impressed.

As we were working in the evening, + had hopes of a dinner there, we settled simply for a cold lunch – cheese, salad, 3 types of meat, pickled onions – most excellent.  After lunch, a swim in the pool, more for the idea of being able to tell people back home that we’d swum on Christmas Day than to satisfy any real desire.  We lazed around the pool for a while, + then all of a sudden it was 4 o’clock, + time to get ready for work.  We left early, + took some beer + cake with us.  (“Dost think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes + ale?”) in the hope of meeting someone at Twin Pines {+ being able to share a bit of festive spirit with them.  However, the place was virtually deserted when we walked thro’, tho’ as we were too early to start work, we sat down outside Val + Sally’s tent, drank beer + contemplated life.  We were joined by Tony, one of the barmen who’s been drafted in + is living on site.  I don’t like him all that much, but it was good to have someone to talk to.  Val + I don’t talk to each other all that much, + it worries me sometimes, since I know when I see couples in pubs + restaurants, + they’re just sitting there, dumb, I think they must be remarkably bored with life.

And so to work.  The evening went off reasonably, tho’ I must say that I wouldn’t have wanted to spend Christmas there.  Just about the only table enjoying themselves were Marion + her guests, Sue + Wayne, + Ivor + Wanda.  Mike the chef had a fight with Sandra, his wife, so she dumped their kid on him, + Sheryl, Todd’s girlfriend, got roped in as babysitter.  What with that, + the kids being a real pain in the neck, keeping on getting up + walking round, it was all very ragged, + by no means the smooth yet jolly affair it should have been.  And with Mike being in a bad mood, he wasn’t working at his fastest.   Mike’s a good chef, I think, but slow at the best of times.  Also, he didn’t provide us with a proper meal – all we could do was grab a couple of bits of turkey + some pud.  Definitely several degrees up on last Christmas, but I’ve had better.

So, as Christmases go, so it went. Can’t really say I know what I am talking about with the first couple of sentences – just gloom, really. The whole day did go to prove that Christmas is just as much a winter festival, as a Christian one – perhaps even more so, so when released from its northern hemisphere wintriness, all becomes just a little bit pointless. And in the case of New Zealand and Australia, hanging onto traditins of the old country.

Still, we got to swim, to laze around, and still to earn some money, so it served its purpose.

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