So I went home for Christmas for the first time in a quarter of a century. I loved it. Every minute of it.
I grew up in a little country town in Western Australia called York. It’s about 100kms this side of Perth. It’s a farming town. My Mother and Father ran a supermarket in the main street for my entire childhood and beyond. They’re retired now. They’re both in their 70’s.
My Mum and Dad are gentle country folk. They’ve lived in York since the mid 1960’s. I left York to seek my fortune in 1983 moving first to Perth and then to Victoria and beyond. In the time between then and now, my parents moved out of the house that I grew up in on Elizabeth Street and moved to a house up on ‘snob hill’ on Ford Street. I can remember the immense pain that the move caused me because I felt it was cutting off the connection that I had to the house that I spent my childhood in.
It was selfish pain, because these two parents of mine have been able to set up a wonderful home on Ford Street. The garden is divine. They’ve set up this little house perfectly for them and it probably sounds a little silly, but I’m really proud of how they’ve done it. They’re little house up on the hill makes them happy…and that makes me happy.
My mother walks about 5km around town each morning just after sunrise. It was a great privilege for me to walk with her. We watched the birds, talked about the good old days and held hands. It was one of many Christmas gifts.
My parents buy things to last and as a consequence they don’t turnover much stuff. We ate with the same cutlery that I used as a boy. I drank from the same glasses. I can remember sampling champagne for the first time from those hollow stemmed glasses. I can remember cutting cheese with that bone handled knife. And those plates ? I remember having Christmas lunches in the 70’s and 80’s on those plates.
Christmas was simple, but perfect. I had a vision of making Christmas lunch myself this year, but my Mum, bless her heart, is a bit of a control freak in her kitchen. Suits me. We had a roast chicken with cauliflower cheese and vegies. Sensational.
Thanks Mum and Dad. Thanks for Christmas 2014…and thank you for everything.