Skinflint Sunday: Getting ready for Christmas.

I’m hosting Christmas again this year, mainly because I like to do it but also because, all things going well, I’ll probably be in Antarctica next Christmas. My sister will host Christmas then, but for this year – I’m onto it.

I like having the family over. I like everyone sitting in that big outdoor space I designed, which is getting prettier every year as the garden grows. I also like not having to travel, with the fun of racing around making sure that everything is perfect, then as soon as the first person comes through the door, drinking a daiquiri that Ryan26 makes and relaxing into the day.

It’s also good that it makes me have a definite time to get the cleaning done. Of all the things in the world that I could be doing at any given moment, cleaning is not one I’m magnetically drawn to. Don’t get me wrong… we don’t live knee-deep in filth or anything, but every now and then it’s good to have a reason to dust the skirting boards, wash the windows and wipe the light switches.

I’ve decided that with only 4 weeks to go, I’ll do a task every day to prepare, which will make it far easier than the ‘ARGH!!!!’ that used to happen every year as soon as term 4 finished and there were only a few days to prepare.

So far most of my efforts have been in the gardens. I want the front garden to look as beautiful as it can be as guests enter, and of course the backyard needs to be pretty so the guests can eat, digest and not feel ill. That means that the veggie garden has flowers planted, there are flowers in the lower deck around the table and every weed and ugly plant is banished. Or they will be.

I bought these on my last Little Adventure when I went and saw the Archibald Prize winners. I’m hoping they’ll spread and fill in that bare patch near the gate opener. (For any new readers; my Little Adventures are day trips. Once a month I take the freedom I have now that I’ve retired and I explore a place close to home. A place I’ve wanted to see but never really had the time for when I was working.)

I planted 5 strawberry and 5 ‘sex without strings’ bean plants here, then popped in a couple of marigolds. Since then, more self-seeded plants from last year’s crops have surfaced. It’s a riot of colour.

As part of the beautification process, I spent an afternoon chopping up silverbeet and lettuces that were going to seed. I just ‘chop and drop’ – it takes more time but I believe it does wonders for the soil over time.

David28 bought me this half wine barrel for my birthday. Someone here commented that her parents bought one and it fell apart very quickly. Not on MY watch!

Forewarned is forearmed. I painted the inside of the barrel with leftover paint from the fences in the front yard and I stained the outside with stain also leftover from that job.

At first I wasn’t a huge fan of the orange. But then, as I was moving it around the verandah to get a feel as to where it should live, I moved it here, near the terracotta pots. All of a sudden it made sense. I’m going to buy another one to place on the other side of the steps, to frame that area. Now all I have to work out is what to plant in them…

I’m hurriedly typing this because I’m about to set off on another Little Adventure. I’m seeing a play about gambling, subsidised by my local council. Tim Costello is hosting a Q and A at the end of it. When I saw that the price of the tickets was excellent (ie; free) and that it was only a couple of suburbs away, I was IN.

Hope it’s entertaining and not just wholesome and preachy!

Dad joke of the day:

I told my doctor, “Yoga is the best antidepressant available”.

“Sounds like a bit of a stretch,” he replied.

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