2017 Christmas Extravaganza featuring Darry Fraser
This time of year always seemed to be such a long time coming. There was hype and excitement from the moment school finished for the year, waiting for Father Christmas and the chance to catch up with cousins and other family we hadn’t seen for ages.
There, under The Tree, would be a million presents all with your name on them (or that’s what my five-year-old brother thought one year and helped himself to everyone’s gifts). Oh, it was going to be so wonderful. It was so-o exciting. Maybe I’d get those glass slippers this year like everyone got last year. Ooh, the delicious anticipation.
And all that marvellous food – you know: those funny looking prawn cocktail thingies where the prawns hung over the side of the glass dish. There’d be roast chickens and spuds, and some kind of huge leg of a thing with wood chips stuck in it (I think they called them cloves and I was reminded of the dentist’s), all the salads full of lettuce leaves and tomatoes – which we generally left for the adults – jelly and ice-cream and hot-hot-hot plum pudding with sixpences in it somewhere, (Aunty Dodgy found one as it slid down her throat and we had to get her to hospital really quickly) and hot-hot-hot custard and lollies until we burst or went crazy with the sugar overload. Not that we knew what it was then.
Oh, and the temperatures. So-o hot on Christmas Day. And the kitchen – a steaming, bursting, bustling hive of industry where it was certainly cooler outside in 42C than it was in the kitchen. And tempers grew hot, too as the champers was popped, and the beers were downed and the creaming soda was sunk by the barrelful.
Lunch was outside under the trees on long tables. But cousin Paul didn’t want to sit next to his cousin Janette. And I didn’t care too much for cousin Johnny across from me. Oh dear, and then the yelling would begin.
And then it was time for the presents. Wacko! Books!! Alas, no glass slippers.
Those Christmases were all a while back now. A different anticipation is in place, that the gifts will be of health and happiness and the lovely feeling within that comes from that. I love it now that we have our Australian Christmas fare, that Aunty Dodgy survived to have a few more plum puds, that the cousins are flung far and wide, and that a pair of tinkly glass slippers now hangs on my Tree.
Secrets of Berry’s Vineyard
A gentle story of two Christmas grinches who find one another and do a good deed on Christmas Day. It’s not without a backlash, and a mystery that remains unsolved, but the magic of Christmas is all around on an outback, Australis Island vineyard.
Clancy was to start her dream job as chef at Mac Thomas’s restaurant on Australis Island. Except there is no restaurant – just a rundown, disused and dirty old shearing shed.
When she meets Berry at the local hotel, the attraction is instant. But things go badly wrong for her with the Thomases. It goes downhill from there. She calls Berry for help but with lies and accusations undermining Clancy’s new found confidence, she is thrown in the deep end at Berry’s property.
It’s a good thing she can cook.
Another of the single title novels with a family connection to beautiful Australis Island.
Download your FREE copy of Darry’s novel, Secrets of Berry’s Vineyard, as well as other novels from Darry’s back catalogue being offered free at her website.