A 72 hour crescendo to Christmas 2018. Until this point, there was no lights on the tree, no presents, and no conceivable path to redeeming the Christmas I had envisaged. I waited another 24 hours to do anything physical about this.
Last year, Santa brought the kids four presents each; something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. Less rubbish, more meaning, presence, etc….
Yet. Christmas morning arrived along with two bulging sacks from Santa. “I know, maybe these are all the presents that the naughty kids didn’t get,” said Matisse. “Mayybbbeee,” I said slowly, sipping my tea. Or perhaps Santa went out on Saturday night, walked into a door and rearranged his face. Then took on K-Mart the following morning, dosed to the hilt on painkillers, with a self diagnosed concussion, a cumulative total of 2.5 hours sleep under his belt, and…. potentially a hangover. Maybe also, heavy with guilt for neglecting Christmas until that point. Just a thought. Either way, he arrived home with a boot of loot. Hypocrisy is alive and well on the streets of Karama.
Taking on the peak Christmas rush in Casuarina with two black eyes and a crushed nose was “Karama level 23” as a friend put it. People looked away uncomfortably, and the 500 people with whom I exchanged the simultaneous “hey, how’s it going, good” lines in passing, ignored the obvious. I’m devastated not to have received at least one courtesy visit from the cops.
The pharmacists in Darwin definitely did not believe that I walked into a door; which is 300% truth. Ironically, at the time I did it, I was actually going inside to get a hard earned glass of water. It was late, the lighting was dim, the mesh is designed to bring the outdoors in, and other excuses including the fact I had been drinking. I was roaring with laughter trying to tell the pharmacist, which diminished my story further, was potentially a testament to the fact I didn’t need more painkillers, and if anything, convinced him I was probably quite drunk the night before, maybe still drunk. Who knows. It’s humid AF. People are going crazy.
In other news, if anyone is looking to get security screens installed, I can recommend CrimSafe for ‘invisible’ screens that can also fuck up the baddies. That shit is brutal.
PS. For the photography aficionados; all of these quality self portraits were taken on my iPhone.
Life kept handing me aces. I picked up these mini gingerbread houses in glass jars from a friend, who told me to put them safely on the floor of the car. I did. And then I braked at the next T intersection and put them through a catastrophic snow storm. The girls got a bonus Christmas activity - find the house in the blizzard. And a discussion on climate change for the thrill of it.
This is my second and final year attempting to make a gingerbread house in Darwin. There is no royal icing adequately coded for this humidity. After it kept falling down, I compensated the kids for their heartache by letting them lick the icing off the edges, and then decorating the flat pack.
The girls put pen to paper to tell Santa what they wanted. Matisse so kindly asked for “some roses, but if you can’t find any, I’ll just have Elspeth, because her middle name is rose.” She makes taking possession of a human being sound so sweet and acquiescent. Note the handwriting of Matisse, one of my favourite things in the whole world.
Karl was out the back trying to get heatstroke, digging concrete footings to install the monkey bars at midnight, telling the kids he had a sudden urge to plant trees. On the last hole he busted - not one - but 7 water pipes. I was devastated not to be able to assist with this mess, I was “way too busy in the kitchen.”
As Christmas Eve progressed, so did the swelling, bruising and weeping from my face. I began texting my nurse friend updates to seek advice on whether I should go to the hospital. My vision was slightly impaired, presumably from the swelling and not an infection in my eye duct. I ventured with trepidation “should I lay off the alcohol tonight?” Her response, “alcohol is fine. Just stay away from Crim Safe.” What a boss.
I swung past the house of a Larrakia elder I know to pick up some deadly spears that I was gifting to Karl. Whittled from mangrove and crafted to snap after penetration; these weapons kill on impact, and the mangrove wood will poison you for good measure. What a gift. They were wayyyy toooo long to fit in my car, but I didn’t have time to get a ute so….…. Child in the back. Bitch with a bashed in face in the front. Spears protruding out the passenger window and wind blowing in our hair as we cruised down McMillans drive and into the heart of Karama. Cops were even looking the other way with fear of getting implicated in this mess.
Some of our favourite people arrived for a Christmas Eve feast, and I put them to work wrapping presents and doing all the things I should have done 30 days ago. I even got them to bring food. My generosity knows no bounds. I compensate quite fairly with gin cocktails and pork belly.
The kids went to bed in a sugar coma. First, we made some reindeer food. Thankfully our dog disposed of it before I had to, which was GREAT, because I’m not a fan of dried oats and things from the cupboard doused in green food dye. And I could not have created such convincing animal lick marks up the sides of the bowl. Probably. Can’t say for sure.
One thing I could do, was REALLY convincing Santa footprints. I was actually discussing this concept with a guy in the bar the other night and he pointed out how far fetched this is, “so…. the premise is that Santa still has snow on his boots when he gets off the sleigh?! And he drops this all over the house.” Yes. And it stays white and powdery and doesn’t melt into water and evaporate like ice would. Correct. Magic.
Here are a tonne of photos - 99% with the Leica M10 + 35mm lux /Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 combo.
Indulge me with gear and photography questions; it’s a fave topic.