Christmas Parties December 13th

Last week I had just come up from a walk on the beach and was sitting in the sun having a breather, when a woman approached me from the car park and asked for “a big favour”.  ‘Santa is changing in the loo, she explained, ‘and his sack is in that car over there.  Would you please mind it for few minutes.’

Presently out came Santa.  A well-built Maori man, he looked stunning in his white santa beard and his red suit and hat. ‘I’m Betty,’ said the woman and ‘I’m ….Santa,’ said Santa with a giggle. I asked them where they were going and it turned out there was a barbecue happening in the park above the beach. ‘Why don’t you come?’ So I hopped in the back with the big red sack and we rode off to the barbie. it was buzzing!    I was introduced as Helen who looked after the car…and given a share of the kai. And later having missed my bus, a ride home with Santa’s daughter Mariana.

The whole thing was organised for the children, (mainly from local kohanga), by a lovely bunch of people from Super Grans and Te Korowai Trust in Nelson.  Thank you for sharing, Betty and Santa. It is an experience I will treasure forever.

Later on in the week I went to the Golden Bay Writers’ Christmas party. I have been a member of this group for around 23 years.   When it first began, we would travel a long way to each others homes bearing a plate for lunch and afternoon tea. After a cuppa we would take the garden tour.  This was always lengthy as we all lived in the country.  Lunch was a prolonged and culinary affair…I can still taste and smell the delicious food.  Tonie’ss carrot quiche was a firm favourite and still is.

In the early days it would be mid afternoon before with much diffidence, writing was mentioned. and reading our pieces was usually a hurried affair. However, with the beginning of the Golden Bay Lit competition and annual workshops from people like Fiona Farrell, Joy Cowley and others, lunches became shorter. We admired the gardens on the way in and most members are now published writers!

But some things never change and a recent flurry of emails describing what dish each member was contributing to the Xmas windup including the promise of homemade apple pie, had me and my taste buds travelling to Takaka, (Golden Bay), post haste. Yum!

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