Christmas, Happy Holidays...and a time for reflection after tragedy...

The floral memorial in Martin Place, Sydney (photo

This time last week most Australians were riveted to the live streaming of the hostage situation in the Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Martin Place;  tragically the outcome was the deaths of two of the hostages.
The situation was made particularly poignant for me because my daughter  knew the husband of one of the hostages and had spoken to him as he raced to the cafe where he knew his wife regularly enjoyed her morning coffee with colleagues after hearing of the hostage situation. 

Australia has reacted to this crisis in a spirit of "mateship" and mutual support.  As the floral memorial has continued to grow at the scene politicians, local Sydneysiders, visitors from other States and from other countries, children and the elderly have made a pilgrimage into the centre of the city which, despite the tragedy, is filled with preparations for Christmas and the other religious occasions which occur at this time of year.  Only yesterday a muslim bride laid her floral bouquet among the tens of thousands of other tributes.

Manal Kassem caught the attention of the Twittersphere after laying her wedding flowers at Martin Place. Picture: @MariamVeiszadeh 

In my family we are preparing for my grandson's first Christmas...while my daughter and her family will be on the other side of Australia on Christmas Day we will be sharing our love and delight at such a wonderful time via FaceTime and/or Skype.

He might not be here on Christmas Day but he enjoyed my tree a few weeks ago!

Perhaps it is the reflection which we undertake following tragedy which enables us to reaffirm how fortunate we are to have happy, healthy and safe families living in such a lucky country...and to take the time to give thanks.

Beach time in other home

My year has been focussed on my growing family...this first foray into the special club of grandmothers has encouraged me to reassess my life, my thoughts and my aspirations.  I have spent many hours on planes traversing my continent to see this lovely little child emerge from the stages of newborn to inquisitive baby.

The flight is between 4 and 5 hours between Perth and Sydney...depending on the winds

I enjoy travel in most of its guises and my time in the air never feels like a waste of time, but rather an opportunity to catch up on movies, reading...and observation of my fellow travellers.  I am still amazed each time I fly by the number of people showing lack of respect for the cabin staff who assist us...good manners, including dining manners,  often appear to me to be left on terra firma.

And so, with only a few days to Christmas, its celebrations and then the New Year, I am looking forward with excitement to the future.  My life has not only changed with the arrival of my grandson, but also with the companionship of my new partner.  It is a pleasure to be sharing plans together.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and yours the Compliments of the Season.  See you in 2015!


  1. Louise, Season's Greetings to you and your family from a wintery and windy Belgium. I'm so happy for you and your new-found happiness. Your grandson is a real cutie and your new partner and you look so good together. All the best for 2015 to all of you! Hug. Martine

  2. Martine, how lovely to hear from you! Thank you for your kind comments...and for you I wish a year ahead filled with happiness and laughter. Bises, Louise


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