Friday, November 11, 2016

Opportunity Knocking

Did that last essay sound like a prayer for opportunity?

Oops, yes it did.  And I got the phone call at 6:00 pm.

Looky there Sherie - and all the other people who have been telling me to WRITE IT DOWN - someone is listening.  Or at least taking time from His busy schedule to read my blogs!

So yeah, I was pretty impressed with myself after writing that last entry.  Aren't I wise?  Aren't I witty?  Aren't my words going to inspire and unite and change the world?

Note to self: you said no one person would do that, but the collective power of each and every person.

And then Amitee called.  Had the twins told me what had happened in the classroom today?  Her son, Adam, was extremely upset and worried that he was going to get a detention on Monday.  The deputy principal was coming to talk to the entire class on Monday and Adam had been told that the teachers did not want a panicked email from his mother over the weekend; that it was no big deal and they were handling it.

Later, I asked the twins more about it and started texting Amitee some pertinent details Adam had been scared to tell her.  That was when the twins panicked - thinking I was texting their teacher - and said that they had been told not bother their mother with it either.

Which explains why they hadn't told me anything until I questioned them following Amitee's phone call.  Tell THEIR mother not to write or get involved?!  Hah.  Might as well tell her not to breathe!

Jump back almost five years to when I was told by the twins' previous school that I had no right to post negative things about them on facebook.  Huh?  Say WHAT?  They hadn't minded when I raved about the school on facebook and anyway, it's a free country, right?

I remember looking it up.  Yes, Australia IS a free county.  No, it does not have anything in it's constitution about free speech, but it is implied.

In the interest of Adam, and because I DO believe the school has a handle on it and will deal with it properly, I will not send an email.

But I do want to apologise to Mike and to Diana and to Sarah and Ronald and to all those whose plight I trivialised in that last post.  They haven't complained - they are mobilising and hoping for the best - but I feel the shame of a little white girl sitting in Australia telling millions of minorities - racial, religious, sex and otherwise - that it is going to be okay.

I know you will forgive a kind, but still naive, heart.

Adam is being bullied in school.  I don't know if it is precisely because he is black; his parents are immigrants from France, mum white, dad of Moroccan descent.  I like to think that it isn't because of his colour that Adam is the brunt of so much aggression - the twins say it is because he is better at soccer than the bullies and so they say anything to hurt him.

But the twins are also better at soccer and no one is calling THEM  "nigger."

That was a text I did not want to send: telling a mother that little boys are calling HER little boy "nigger."  How does that make a mother feel?

She texted back that yes, Adam confirmed that the boys were calling him that, but he hadn't bothered to tell her because he didn't know what it meant and therefore wasn't offended!

How great is that?!

I felt like I had told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus.

And that, even if there was, he wouldn't be visiting Adam's house, because his father is Muslim.

The problems in the class - and I have noticed increased aggression and inappropriate language and machismo in both twins this year  - goes beyond Adam.  The deputy principal is not coming in because Adam - or one of my twins according to eye-witnesses - called the class bully and his mother 'retarded.'  Or because the bully - who has been calling Adam 'nigger' all year - was so upset by these unkind remarks that he went to the teacher crying.

He is coming in because another boy took a boy's drink bottle, placed it in the toilet and defecated on it.

Boy is the school not going to like me posting that!

At our previous school, the little boy who was smearing his feces on the bathroom walls was - and probably still is since social workers see fit to keep him with his mother and step-father - being abused at home.

I'm not saying, but just saying.

This is in one of the best primary schools in Queensland and a school I admire and respect.

But it shows that there is anger and there is fear and there are little children growing up with both even in our naive little Brisbane area.

Argh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

("Where Is The Love?"  Black -Eyed Peas.  Maybe I should be playing it on a loop.)

This morning I read a letter written by a little Muslim girl in Melbourne.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/33180162/bad-donald-trump-nine-year-old-muslim-girls-heartbreaking-essay/#page1

While one family is teaching their child the word 'nigger,' (and it is not a word the average elementary school kid would know around here at least) another family is teaching their child she has to be afraid of being Muslim.

Argh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

Sorry,  I had to play that again.

I don't know what to say.






The first time we went to visit Adam, we brought French bread.  Amitee laughed and pulled out some cheap -store bought white sliced bread that Adam had insisted she buy for our sake.

Adam - and his gorgeous older sister - come from the most amazing family,  Their dad coaches Adam's soccer team and Amitee drives her daughter one hour each way for dance classes.  They both act.  They are bilingual.  And they are beautiful inside and out.

Beautiful inside and out.

And, let's face it, any kid who is learning that kind of language at home, is jealous - whether he knows it or not - of how much Adam has that he doesn't.

I am sad that Adam and his sister have to grow up facing bigotry and ignorance.

I am angry that the bully has to grow up living it.

I am proud that my children see their friend as their friend, not as someone black or as someone with a Muslim father.

When they stand up for Adam, they don't think about a stand against racism or against religious persecution.  (They - I am proud to say - didn't know the word 'nigger' either and - I am less proud to say - keep confusing Morocco with Malaysia - only knowing that it is a different culture and therefore really really cool and interesting.  And it's okay - their five year old brother knows the difference between Morocco and Malaysia!)

They stand up for their friend.

I don't teach my kids that it is okay to be black, that it is okay to be Muslim or that it is okay to be gay.  I teach them that some people are black and that some people are Muslim and that some people are gay.

I ask them if they would like a girl or a boy partner when we play "Life", but I don't ask about their partner's race or religious beliefs.

I just considered using yellow pegs so that I wouldn't have to ask sexual preference either.

But then I remember Morgan Freeman (as the wise Azeem in Robin Hood) answering a little girl's question on if God had painted him and, when he answered yes, on WHY God had painted him:

"Because Allah loves wondrous varieties, " Azeem told the little girl.

I know this has been said before but it can't be said enough: children are not born hating.

So, yeah, I guess the profound message from the little white girl today is this:

One can't use a word one doesn't know, a word one hasn't been taught.

Don't teach you children about black or white, about Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew.

Teach them to love.

Because, unfortunately, others are still teaching theirs to hate.

http://genius.com/Black-eyed-peas-wheresthelove-lyrics

(The lyrics this time, because I honestly don't know what else to say.)





Opportunity Knocking

Did that last essay sound like a prayer for opportunity?

Oops, yes it did.  And I got the phone call at 6:00 pm.

Looky there Sherie - and all the other people who have been telling me to WRITE IT DOWN - someone is listening.  Or at least taking time from His busy schedule to read my blogs!

So yeah, I was pretty impressed with myself after writing that last entry.  Aren't I wise?  Aren't I witty?  Aren't my words going to inspire and unite and change the world?

Note to self: you said no one person would do that, but the collective power of each and every person.

And then Amitee called.  Had the twins told me what had happened in the classroom today?  Her son, Adam, was extremely upset and worried that he was going to get a detention on Monday.  The deputy principal was coming to talk to the entire class on Monday and Adam had been told that the teachers did not want a panicked email from his mother over the weekend; that it was no big deal and they were handling it.

Later, I asked the twins more about it and started texting Amitee some pertinent details Adam had been scared to tell her.  That was when the twins panicked - thinking I was texting their teacher - and said that they had been told not bother their mother with it either.

Which explains why they hadn't told me anything until I questioned them following Amitee's phone call.  Tell THEIR mother not to write or get involved?!  Hah.  Might as well tell her not to breathe!

Jump back almost five years to when I was told by the twins' previous school that I had no right to post negative things about them on facebook.  Huh?  Say WHAT?  They hadn't minded when I raved about the school on facebook and anyway, it's a free country, right?

I remember looking it up.  Yes, Australia IS a free county.  No, it does not have anything in it's constitution about free speech, but it is implied.

In the interest of Adam, and because I DO believe the school has a handle on it and will deal with it properly, I will not send an email.

But I do want to apologise to Mike and to Diana and to Sarah and Ronald and to all those whose plight I trivialised in that last post.  They haven't complained - they are mobilising and hoping for the best - but I feel the shame of a little white girl sitting in Australia telling millions of minorities - racial, religious, sex and otherwise - that it is going to be okay.

I know you will forgive a kind, but still naive, heart.

Adam is being bullied in school.  I don't know if it is precisely because he is black; his parents are immigrants from Europe, mum white, dad of Moroccan descent.  I like to think that it isn't because of his colour that Adam is the brunt of so much aggression - the twins say it is because he is better at soccer than the bullies and so they say anything to hurt him.

But the twins are also better at soccer and no one is calling THEM  "nigger."

That was a text I did not want to send: telling a mother that little boys are calling HER little boy "nigger."  How does that make a mother feel?

She texted back that yes, Adam confirmed that the boys were calling him that, but he hadn't bothered to tell her because he didn't know what it meant and therefore wasn't offended!

How great is that?!

I felt like I had told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus.

And that, even if there was, he wouldn't be visiting Adam's house, because his father is Muslim.

The problems in the class - and I have noticed increased aggression and inappropriate language and machismo in both twins this year  - goes beyond Aaron.  The deputy principal is not coming in because Aaron - or one of my twins according to eye-witnesses - called the class bully and his mother 'retarded.'  Or because the bully - who has been calling Aaron 'nigger' all year - was so upset by these unkind remarks that he went to the teacher crying.

He is coming in because another boy took a boy's drink bottle, placed it in the toilet and defecated on it.

Boy is the school not going to like me posting that!

At our previous school, the little boy who was smearing his feces on the bathroom walls was - and probably still is since social workers see fit to keep him with his mother and step-father - being abused at home.

I'm not saying, but just saying.

This is in one of the best primary schools in Queensland and I school I admire and respect.

But it shows that there is anger and there is fear and there are little children growing up with both even in our naive little Brisbane area.

Argh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

("Where Is The Love?"  Black -Eyed Peas.  Maybe I should be playing it on a loop.)

This morning I read a letter written by a little Muslim girl in Melbourne.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/33180162/bad-donald-trump-nine-year-old-muslim-girls-heartbreaking-essay/#page1

While one family is teaching their child the word 'nigger,' (and it is not a word the average elementary school kid would know around here at least) another family is teaching their child she has to be afraid of being Muslim.

Argh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

Sorry,  I had to play that again.






Thursday, November 10, 2016

"It's The End of the World As We Know It."

              


           The world has a sound loop running through its collective consciousness and it’s stuck on R.E.M. 

           Were they prophesying the Trump Apocalypse or the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use when they penned the lyrics stuck in our minds throughout this past week?

“It’s the end of the world as we know it.  It’s the end of the world as we know it.”  La la la la.  Blah blah blah blah.  Does anyone know the rest of the words?

Looking back, some do seem eerily prophetic. 
                
           The song was put on a 2001 list of what not to play on the radio following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  In addition to the End of the World refrain – which were actually quite appropriate to 9/11 and the events since – there are such beauties as:

                “Six o’clock, TV hours, don’t get caught in foreign tower
                Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn.”

And:     
                “Look at that low plane, fine, then
                Uh-oh.”

          And if anyone is wondering why I am blathering on about REM lyrics when what I really want to do is talk about Trump, well this last time I felt this way was when I watched those planes crash into the towers.  I just knew my children – I was newly pregnant with the second – would grow up in a world vastly different from the one I had grown up in.

(It’s okay Jim – I know the entire beginning would be edited out– but I am good with that.  It is why I blog!)
And look here – I edited out the Obama blip myself!

Back to R.E.M and their Trump prophesy:

“Team by team, reporters baffled, trumped
Tethered, cropped”

          Yes, they actually used his name.

          And when I start to get even more off track and read into the lyrics like a literature student I see references to Hillary Clinton – they used the word “she” and “Furies breathing down your neck.”  I begin to realise I could start a cult based on REM prophesies.

          Which isn’t what I set out to do when I got up this morning to write this.

          But listen up America:

                “World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed.”
                “Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline.”

          Yes, young people, this is a life-changing, earth-shattering event.  It is the “End of the World As Know It.”  It is the Apocalypse.

          And you know what?

          It is also just life continuing as it always has.

          To quote another great line – From Kay in Men in Black:

                “There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT.”

This is just another blip on the heart beat of humankind.

Aidan as God.

Leo Tolstoy – the R.E.M of his time – wrote a little book called “War and Peace” about Trump.  (And now Jim, we can actually start the article!) You guys would have liked him; he was a man writing to discover the truth about what made humankind do the things it does.  And how one person – like Trump  - can ride on a wave of populist sentiment.  And you know what?  Leo decided that one person CANNOT and does not change the world.  But that each one person can and does, collectively, according to the general will.

First, Leo determined that there is a divine plan. If this doesn’t appeal to you, stick with the Men in Black quote.

Second, he decided that certain individuals – like Napoleon and like Trump, like Obama for that matter – come along at the right time as consequences of mass sentiment.

And yes, national sentiment, global sentiment, made a path for a Trump presidency.

Is it good?  Is it bad?  Hey, at least the heart beat of humankind is beating.

It is now up to every individual in America – and every one in the world  - to make sure that the president they have collectively voted into office, serves the need of the people he represents.

Oh wait a second?  You mean Trump – or Obama or Washington – doesn’t RULE the USA?  You mean the USA was founded as a democracy based on the will of the people?  You mean George Washington – who refused not only a third term but an offer of royal rule – set all these pesky checks and balances in place to prevent one person from ruling the country alone?  You mean the Founding Fathers of America knew what they were doing when they created The Senate and The House of Representatives?

You mean these people are here to carry out our will?

Oh.

It is still your country, America.  Your president serves you.  It is up to each and every one of you to make sure that your will is carried out.  And if that means tolerance and compassion then make sure you show tolerance and compassion.  Make sure you show it to your neighbours and to strangers on the street.  Make sure your congressman and representatives in parliament know what you want.  Trump cannot set up a registry for Muslims if you do not allow it.  It goes against the very fabric of a country founded on religious freedom.  Trump cannot build a wall if you refuse to pick up the stones.  (I borrowed that from Tolstoy who said no war would ever be fought – no matter what the ruling authorities said – if every individual refused to pick up a gun.)

And maybe most importantly, get to understand the people who voted for Trump and why.  Maybe try to see how those of us from the coasts and cities have separated ourselves from the heartland.  How we’ve become a split nation not able to understand one another’s needs.

If the will of the world is starting to become self-serving and isolationist – and you don’t like that – then it is up to each and every one of us worldwide to do something about it.  Our individual wills and actions make up the collective consciousness that brings people to power.

Trump is our president. 

“And I feel fine.”




Saturday, May 7, 2016

On Baptism and Mothers' Day 2016

So, I took the plunge last Sunday.  Literally.  No little plastic blow-up pool for me.  I was baptised in a swimming pool in Dayboro, with about 100 friends looking on from the balcony.  The most intimidating part - having come to grips with the fact that it was okay for me to get baptised even though I am not a perfect Christian, or a worthy person - was having to wear a bathing suit and shorts in front of so many people I know.

Seth went first.  His testimony: I am ready.  Age 12.  How do you follow that?!

With humility and a sense of humour.  And knowing that every one of those 100 people- who did not HAVE to drive over after church but WANTED to! - was there for us, not to judge us.

I said that I was coming to accept that it wasn't about being worthy or being good enough, but about WANTING to follow Jesus.

And since then - not only have my sinuses cleared up (the Holy Spirit has always worked through my nose!  When it runs and I cry, it is a clear sign that the Spirit has descended!  God Bless the person who handed me a tissue last time - like a gift from the heavens!)...but I am feeling worthier by the minute!

Or maybe just happier.

I'll take either one.

Geoff said he should have done this ages ago.  (Sorry, Geoff, I only pushed you out of the way because I assumed you HAD done it ages ago!)  and Kelly said she hungered for more.

Me - I'm Charlie in the Chocolate factory compared to these spiritual giants.  Just happy to be here.

The first service at Dayboro Church that we attended - and everyone is going to  be so sick of hearing this but I will repeat it anyway over and over and over! - Gary talked about opening our spiritual gifts.

Me?  I hadn't even been open to RECEIVING them yet!  But I am receiving them now.  It is incredible to be in an environment where I am encouraged and supported like a child.  Not told that my ideas are flighty or do-gooder or too hippy or that I am not exhibiting appropriate adult-like gravity.  An environment where people see my intelligence and ability in spite of my child - like enthusiasm and vivacity.  Where people not only accept but seem to like who I am.  Who I ACTUALLY AM.  Not who I have been told I should be by the rest of society.

(Look, I still have issues with its stance on gay/lesbian.  As I write the above paragraph, I cringe because I know that a gay person should feel that exact same unconditional love.  My church would love you as a person but, yeah, it is still a conservative church in spite of the speaking-in-tongues and laying on of hands.  Yoga is also out.  So, yeah.  I have chosen to be baptised in spite of these misgivings - or maybe because of them - because I see a good people genuinely doing the best they can.  We can only bring about better things through love.)

Okay - THAT didn't belong there!

Maybe I have to stop feeling guilty for being Christian!

Mothers' Day 2016.  I watched the young mother in front of me pick up the biscuits her one year old was rolling all over the floor.  I separated my 10 year old twin boys by standing between them - with one hand firmly on each arm.  I sweated through worship dancing with my 41/2 year old in my arms - while keeping the twins away from each other.

I went into the mens' room after them after they had been in there more than the allotted time.  (Do you have any idea what damage three boys can do with a sink and some water?!)

As we listened to a beautiful song about Mary, the mother of Jesus - did she know that the child she delivered would deliver the world and give sight to the blind, that sort of thing - I made sure that MY four 1/2 year old son wasn't pulling his penis out of his pants.

Which led to thoughts on what inappropriate things Jesus was doing as a four year old boy and how exasperated and embarrassed Mary would have been.

Oh Lord!  The thoughts I am having in church.

Too late! No backsies - I've been dunked.

And I'm part of a family who loves me no matter what.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Who Me, Christian?


Okay, here's the weird thing: I had no problems talking about God or discussing (beating to death - you choose the verb!) religious ideals when I was still hopelessly lost and searching for Him/them.

December 26, 2105 - A walk through down town Dayboro

And now that I've joined a church - which by the way is part of the Australian Christian Churches (Assemblies of God) not the Church of Christ like I said earlier which, although they exist, is just something I made up quickly to get on with writing - well, maybe you can tell by my obfuscation in this sentence, but I am a little embarrassed.

I mean, reading the Tao, the Bhagavat Gita, the Torah, the Koran, Tarot cards (all of which I have either done or at least attempted to do!): eccentric.  Studying the Bible (which I am doing now): lame. Middle eastern and Romani gypsy dancing?  Crunchy.  Singing and dancing in church?  Weird.
Turning to incense and oils and natural medicine and yoga and meditation (which I still do): kooky. Speaking in tongues (which I have attempted, more on that later!):  REALLY out there!

What? This old thing?!

I had no trouble hanging Ganesha on my wall and calling Shiva our household god or putting up a wall hanging about the meaning of the Hindu word 'Namaste', but hanging up a picture of Jesus or keeping the Bible out when company was coming over took a little longer.

Jesus, by the way, hangs out between two sayings by the Dalai Lama:

 "Love and kindness are always appropriate" and

 "In the history of the world, it has already been proven that the human will is more powerful than the gun."

Jesus and the Dalai Lama get along really well up there on my wall.

Ian, Andrew, Matthew 29/12/15 pre Star Wars

And I hope I haven't just put that last part in so that secular people will still think I'm cool.

The fact is this church kinda snuck up on us.  When we attended the outdoor children's nativity service last December 14, 2014, we THOUGHT we were attending a combined Dayboro churches event and that it would be fairly safe.  Then Pastor Gary didn't yell at us and call us sinners (like the Hip Hop Christmas at Potters House 2011), or talk about US involvement in Israel (like the Uniting Church in Kallangur 2013 which also had Jesus dying on the cross and made Ian cry so much I had to take him outside), or have a barefoot pastor and people running around with a Jesus flag (Vineyard 2012 which was actually quite nice but a bit out there for us, especially Damon!), or simply bore us to death (sorry Catholics Petrie, 2010 but we just didn't feel the enthusiasm).

Star Wars rocked (and put Ian to sleep!)  Happy B'day Dad.

Gary just spoke really positively and then invited everyone to go out for coffee.

Every week after was like a positive affirmation in personal growth.

By the time we noticed that Gary was mumbling things in a funny language, well, it just didn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

Weird lights on Mount Pleasant, December 31, 2015

And three months ago (right after my parents were here), when a visiting preacher asked who would like to accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour, I thought, well that sounds great and raised my hand.  I mean, who wouldn't want a personal saviour, right?!

What I didn't fully understand until later, is that this might actually make me a born- again Christian. Although I haven't jumped into the plastic blow up pool out on the front lawn of the school hall yet.

And later that night - yes, I actually went to church TWICE IN ONE DAY because I wanted to!  (Did I mention my parents had just been here visiting?!)  Oh, later that night the preacher called on the Holy Spirit (who I always wondered about as a kid, who was that and why wasn't he mentioned more often?) to help us speak in tongues.

Hold on to your hats.

I fell silent.

December 26, 2015

Yup.  Me.  With everyone babbling and singing around me and a whole load of laying on of hands and praying, all I really wanted to do was stand still and listen.  (That and I kept coming up with words I had learned when I went to all those bas mitzvahs in middle school: I don't know that Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam counts as speaking in tongues, more like speaking Hebrew!)

But that's okay.  There are lots of other gifts of the Holy Spirit (which the Catholics apparently also believe in; why leave out like the coolest part?!): knowledge and wisdom and teaching and missions and service.  Although I can't claim to have any of those either.

I'm just happier now.  And more hopeful.

Reality versus 'Romani fiction!'

A few weeks ago Damon asked if I had been having bad dreams.  And I said, yeah, I had been driving demons out of people, but I hadn't really been scared because I knew I could do it.  Why, had I finally been speaking in tongues in my sleep?

Uh no.  But I had been reciting the Our Father and the Hail Mary at rapid- fire pace.  (Which, by the way, also works to ward off vampires, zombies, werewolves, ghosts and most anything monster-like in any of my dreams.)

Honestly, I haven't really changed all that much.

I've just finally met a group of people who are encouraging me to be who I always was on the
inside.




Friday, December 25, 2015

An Australian Christmas: Part Two

Christmas Tree 2015

Happy faces at Christmas


Engine's getting hot,
We dodge the kangaroos,
(No, there aren't kangaroos ALL over the place in the Australian suburbs.  And no, we aren't all that good at dodging them sometimes either.)

Ian gets some present- unwrapping support from Ryan.
Ryan's gift and Daddy's hat!


The swaggie climbs aboard -
He is welcome too.
A swaggie is an itinerant ranch hand with a bedroll or swag.  Don't have many of those in the Brissy suburbs either.  But there are some rather ratty looking young guys with long hair that I mentally apologise to as I pass by them with my kids in the car.  Maybe they aren't on drugs and maybe they aren't dangerous but I have promised my husband I will not take that risk ever since I stopped and got out of the car on Route 1 in Connecticut to help a man who had fallen out of his wheelchair and everyone else was just passing by.

Looks like I won't be the only one snapping pictures soon! (Although I can't be the only one who thinks that face belongs IN FRONT of the camera!0
Have we told you about the rocks?!
Look Meka - Air Hogs!


All the family's there, 
Sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way, 
By the barbeque.


Ian  lost amongst his pressies.
Hey!  Everyone else is getting toys and I am trying to look happy about this!
No words.

And that, mates, is how it's done!

Ian engineered the cars to jump OVER the ring of fire.  (Note the green truck UNDER the ramp to give it more height.)
And Dad gets to fix everyone else's toys.


As I post these photos, I think back about what we are worshipping at Christmas.  And it isn't the toys.  It is the joy and the magic.  And I think Jesus would have been okay with that!




Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Australian Christmas: Part One

Time to translate an Australian Christmas classic into English

Santa in shorts!
Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden ute.
Kicking up the dust,
Esky in the boot.

Who needs a sleigh?!

Kelpie by my side,
Singing Christmas songs.
It's summertime and I am
In my singlet, shorts and thongs.


Santa arrives in a firetruck.


Dashing through the bush
Running out to Westfield Shopping Centre at the last minute.

In a rusty Holden ute.
Holden is to Australia what Ford is to the USA and a ute is a pickup truck.
(Note: this does not translate into anything comparable anywhere in Europe!)

Aidan, Matthew and Liam at Little Athletics Christmas party.  Who needs snow?!


Kicking up the dust,
What dust?  It's usually raining at Christmas-time!

Esky in the boot.
An esky is an igloo in the USA or a cooler anywhere else. 
(Note: these are usually not needed in Europe in December.  Just put your beer out on the balcony!)
(Note to Americans;  a boot is the trunk if a car.)

Christmas carols in Dayboro.


Kelpie by my side.
A kelpie is an Australian cattle dog.  But it's probably a pit bull.

Singing Christmas songs.
Or AC/DC and Olivia Newton John.

Matthew plays Jingle Bells at Swaggie's Christmas in Dayboro


It's summertime and I am 
In my singlet, shorts and thongs.
A singlet is a called a wife-beater in the USA.  (Watch COPS and you'll figure out why.)  For Europeans, it is the undershirt you wear under your suit and tie.  You wouldn't answer the door in it, but the rest of the world isn't so kind.

Really.  Don't miss the snow at all!


OH! JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY!
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA ON A SCORCHING SUMMER'S DAY, HEY!
JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS, CHRISTMAS TIME IS BEAUT!
(Because Australians see no need to finish the really long words.)
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE IN A RUSTY HOLDEN UTE.