Each year one of the families in the valley hosts our little community’s Christmas party.
This year it was our turn.
It’s a very informal affair with BYO food and grog and a plate to share.
Seven of the eight families turned up with the valley matriarch, Norma, unfortunately still in hospital. She assured us in a phone call during the evening she would be there next year.
With the weather forecast to be iffy, we set up in the car port, aka ‘the winery’, with the BBQ’s nearby.
We needn’t have worried as the rain stayed away but being protected from the unseasonably cool wind was a bonus.
The mutually owned Christmas lights were strung up and we minimally decorated with some bits and pieces that had been stored away, forgotten, for many years in the shed.
The unofficial mayor, neighbour Bob, attempted as usual to get some community projects discussed eg. cattle grid maintenance at the entry to our road plus a few other things.
It’s been the same agenda for as long as I can remember and discussions always get diverted and Bob in the end gives up and postpones them until next year.
I decided to have a bit of a retro starters menu. So out came the party pies, sausage rolls and cheerios (no, not the cereal, but cocktail sausages), all party food of my childhood. All were scoffed down.
I had also ducked into the German supermarket chain Aldi in town to see what seasonal German delights I could find as a reminder of spending two Christmases in that country.
I picked up some Pfeffernuesse and Lebkuchen as well as some marshmallow snowmen. They had all sorts of familiar goodies there but we didn’t want to go overboard! These were pretty popular too.
So with the odd Christmas song amongst the 60s and 70s music on the play list and lots of good food, the evening flew by.
There were lots of different salads and hot dishes to go with BBQ meat and a variety of desserts.
Norma had delegated the co driver to make sure that her pavlovas were on hand as usual. So under the watchful eye of neighbour Jude, the co driver, who had never made this traditional Australian (New Zealand?) dessert before, put together two beauties.
Both were quickly devoured.
So that was it for 2011.
We are lucky to be living along side such a great group of people.