After a very eventful year of house renovations in the city and extended overseas travels, it was good to relax into the familiar Christmas routine at Towerwater. There is a sense of calm that the routine and rituals bring to one’s life.
The house smelt of Christmas spices and baked goods. My sister baked us a huge Christmas cake. It was made including my requested glazed ginger, green figs and citrus peel, all in abundance. Carol baked her Christmas mince pies and Christmas pudding to add to the festivities.
Christmas lunch was prepared with a blend of dishes of old favourites and new additions, acknowledging the heat of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Along with the glazed gammon, roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables from the garden, we enjoyed a cold grape gazpacho with homemade bread and buns as starter. For dessert there was the flaming Christmas pudding and a chilled trifle.
Lunch was a special celebration, with the dishes contributed by all the friends around the table. There is no better way to celebrate Christmas than around a big family table. An occasion where food and conversation mingle as a celebration of traditions and long-standing friendships.
|Susan's friendship rolls and Nutcracker bread|
The day started with tea and homemade mince pies and a stroll in the rosarium and garden. The rosarium has put on a display for the festive season unequalled by previous years. It seems that all our improvements to the maintenance of the roses are paying off. A thick mulch that we introduced after we saw the rose beds at Parc de Bagatelle in Paris, is keeping a more consistent moisture level in the beds. That is encouraging promising new growth.
|The rosarium on Christmas day|
In the orchard I discovered a guinea fowl in the pear tree. The source of this surprise visitor was clear when I looked into Keith’s face and saw the pleasure he was getting from surprising me. The twelve days of Christmas song has become a tradition at Towerwater. Keith decided to put a very local spin on it and introduced the guinea fowl to the pear tree instead of a partridge.
|A guinea fowl in a pear tree|
So; ‘On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a guinea fowl in a pear tree’. He did not follow up the next eleven days with surprises. But I am still curious as to how he would have put a very local spin on the gifts for the other days.
“Two Turtle Doves
Three French Hens
Four Calling Birds
Five Golden Rings
Six Geese a Laying
Seven Swans a Swimming
Eight Maids a Milking
Nine Ladies Dancing
Ten Lords a Leaping
Eleven Pipers Piping
12 Drummers Drumming”