The last month of the year is upon us once again. The first door of advent calendars are opened, decorations hung up, the countdown to Christmas begins.
Only, the date also signifies the first day of summer here in Australia - and that, to my English mind, is as far from Christmassy as it gets.
I love summer, but I can't help but think Christmas should look like this:
Crisp sparkling snow covering the ground - not that that happened very often at all in England but the hope it would be snowy rather then wet was always there - the cool outside temperatures sending people hustling inside, pinked cheeked and watery eyed. Scarves and gloves and thick winter boots. Bikinis and flip flops - or, if your local, thongs, and cooling off by the sea is, well...strange.
Instead of cuddling up under a blanket, or sitting by an open fire, the aim is not to curl up and keep cool:
Longer dark evenings, the brightness broken by the sparkling lights adorning building facades, shop windows, and Christmas trees.
For the past couple of years, our decorations have been hung up on the 1st December, much to the amusement of a certain four month old Albie in this old photograph...
...however I feel no inclination to start this year. (Added to which our small living Christmas tree we bought last year in the hope it would see us through a couple of Christmases died a few weeks ago - we think it was killed by an animal weeing on it. And Ralph still loves a good chew on wires - so Christmas fairy lights may not last too long.)
But before I get too scrooge on you...whatever the temperature, whatever the season, there is always time for chocolate...!