Sunday, 12 December 2010

6th December 2010

Mixed memories ......

When we sit and think about Christmas memories, sometimes a few dark ones creep into our thoughts as well as the happy ones. Thankfully my fun memories outnumber the bad, and then there are just many Christmases where I dont remember them at all!

Today I am to tell a couple of contrasting memories, so lets get on with the lesser one first - it was 1978 and we had just moved down to the south east of England and were living in a grotty flat roofed place in Vange, Basildon. I had left friends and a boyfriend behind in Scotland. Mum and dad had wanted to move south to be nearer their fathers who were ill and Essex had some kind of exchange program and with dad being an Essex boy it was a fairly quick process to get a place. Anyway, for me it was a miserable day with just the four of us. Although I hadnt believed in Father Christmas for many years, Christmas had always held a kind of magic anyway. But this time, there was no magic, just a day of pretending to be festive. I rarely think about this Christmas as it makes me sad that I couldnt find anything to enjoy about that day.
Skip back a couple years and it was all so different! Mum and dad had saved hard and had arranged for us to spend Christmas and New Year in America. What a fabulous memory that is! We stayed with friends in Springville for Christmas and had New Year in Salt Lake City. There was no snow when we first got to SLC, but when we were asked what we'd most love to see, we all agreed snow! The following day, it was thick on the ground and you cant get much more magical than that! America was where we first encountered the decorating of the whole house (both inside and out) and we were agog at the lights in the gardens and on roofs. Truly an amazing and magical Christmas. Sadly non of my photos from then have survived as I would love to share them here, but the images will remain in my memories forever.

A good photo opportunity happened today. Leanne had come to visit and brought Phoebe, so while we watched her tear round the garden with her ball, I started looking at the frosty branches on the tree and holly bush. I soon had camera in hand and after taking a few shots came up with my favourite. It sums up how cold it was and also fits perfectly into the Christmas theme. After all, at Christmastime, snow and holly are the perfect partners :o)

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