Every Monday morning I spend an hour with the Grade 1 class at my son’s primary school listening to the kids read one on one. While I was there this morning the teacher was instructing the rest of the grade on how to write a poem. The example provided was about the colour green. The kids then had to pick another colour as a class and they brainstormed that colour. They chose red. They had to think of all the things that look, feel, taste and smell red. Afterwards, they were each sent off to spend some time compiling their poems.

Although I passed grade 1 a long time ago, I liked this idea and decided I want to write a “red” poem too. So here goes…

Red is the colour of passion.

Red is the feeling of heat prickling my skin.

Red is the smell of blood.

Red is the colour of the sun.

Red is a kiss.

Red is cheeks blushing with embarrassment.

Red is the smell of roses on Valentine’s day.

Red is strawberries floating in champagne.

Red sky

Red sky (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Red is a wound, fresh and oozing.

Red is fireworks, exploding across the sky.

Red is the colour of love.


Christmas is Coming: Ready or Not!

I was rudely pulled from my sleep this morning by my 2-year-old. He jumped on my bed wearing a flashing Rudolph nose and bright red antlers. His brother was not far behind, donning a Santa hat.

They are bursting with Christmas cheer. I’m not sure that they will be able to wait a whole month until the big day. They have been jabbering on about what Santa will bring for weeks.

I, however, am not feeling the festive cheer.  I have always loved Christmas and eagerly decorated and ready for the day. I have always chastised my partner for being a Scrooge, but this year; Bah Humbug! It’s not even December yet!

Is it just me, or does Christmas seem to start earlier every year? I swear the decorations and carols at my local shopping centre were up far earlier than last year. Soon, they will start in August. The minute my kids see the Christmas decorations, a switch is flicked on in their brains. Suddenly they are catapulted into Christmas mode and can focus on nothing else.

I must admit, they are not only concerned with presents that they might receive (although it is of high importance), they also want to know what food we will have, when we can put up the Christmas tree, when they can start using their advent calendars, what presents we will buy for everyone else and what dress-ups they can wear. It is exhausting.

I usually delight in their joy, but this year there is just so much to do. The work is piling up. In Australia, Christmas is the start of the summer holiday period. Offices close for 2 or 3 weeks and schools are closed for the summer. For me, this means plenty of work but no invoices so I need to get as much paperwork in earlier as possible.

Then there is Christmas shopping to do. Most of my kids’ presents go on lay by during the June toy sales but I never know what to get adults or even which ones I have to buy for. As much as I try to avoid shopping in the weeks leading up to Christmas, inevitably I end up caught in the waves of people, scrounging for last-minute gifts. It is a battle to just find a car park, let alone find stock on the shelves or actually get through a check out.

This year we have the added problem of changing when and where the family gets together. In earlier years, my family has always done our main celebration on Christmas eve. We started this when we were young women and started to have boyfriends. This meant that we could all spend Christmas day with our partners families and still have our own celebration. We would watch the carols on TV and drink champagne, usually resulting in some loud and terrible singing. This year we had to change our plans. With my stepfather being ill, he can’t do night celebrations as he gets too tired. Instead, we are going to do a traditional Christmas lunch. It sounds nice but it has upset my apple cart. What will I do Christmas eve?

At least we haven’t had too many arguments about where to spend Christmas this year. My step-father took priority as it is likely to be his last Christmas. Usually, we end up arguing and fighting about where and when we will celebrate Christmas. It is hard to find times that suit everyone. There are always tears.

I am sure I will find my Christmas spirit soon; at least I hope so. The boys are chomping at the bit and I am just hoping it all goes away. Maybe I will start to get more excited as it gets closer.

These are a few of my favourite things…

I was recently watching a commercial for The Sound of Music. immediately, the song My Favourite Things got stuck in my head and I have been singing it for sometime since.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favourite things.

Singing away this morning, washing the dishes from the night before, I started to think about my favourite things. The song made me think how it really is the little pleasures in life that make you happy. So these are a few of my favourite things.

Jumping in puddles after a sun shower. I love the sound of the splash and the squelch of my feet in the puddles. When the sun is out and the rain a distant memory, puddles are so alluring.

Watching my children play together. I love it when they laugh together. They are angelic when they are giggling and squealing at the simple pleasure of each other. They chase each other round the trampoline. They play Row Your Boat, in my washing baskets. Some days, they are smiling simply from rolling around on the floor together.

Autumn leaves. The colours are spectacular. I love the richness and beauty they bring to the garden. I love how the colours spill onto the ground and my paths become golden and red. I love the crunching sound they make when you walk through them. I have so much fun walking through piles of leaves and kicking them into the air to watch the colours float around me.

Relaxing in the bath with a good book and a glass of wine. In absolute peace and quiet. I love sitting in the warm water, bubbles tickling my nose and the sweet smell of oils or bath salts filling the room. All the while indulging in a nice red and getting lost in a great book. Of course, these days I don’t get to enjoy this as often. I tend to find I have company pretty quickly as two little boys jump in the bath with me. It makes it even more special when I do get a chance to relax on my own.

Dancing when no one is watching. I love the feeling of turning the music up loud and letting loose. When no one is watching you feel so free. Like it is only you and the song in the world.

Colourful flowers. In any shape or size. Even weeds. I just love the colours and the delicate shapes. The beauty of a little flower alone among a sea of green grass or leaves brightens your day.

Raindrops sparkling on spider webs. Or morning dew. The moisture makes the webs shimmer in silvery patterns.

Bright coloured paints, pencils and paper. Sometimes I just love to open my scrapbook tubs and stare at all the beautiful colours. They are so vibrant and always bring a smile to my face.

The smell of fresh coffee in the morning. The powerful aroma that awakens the senses. It is one of my favourite smells in the world.

Christmas lights. I love the way Christmas lights sparkle. I even love them blinking at me from my Christmas tree. There is something so magical about Christmas and the glittering lights seem to encapsulate it. My mother tells me that when I was a baby I used to play “peek a boo” with the lights ont he Christmas tree.

I am sure there are probably more things I love. I really belive that it is some of these little things that make life so special.