Wow, what a day! Following on from my post last night, Mary and I and our Australian family friend Christine have had just an awesome Christmas Day spent together with family and friends.
Not the 6:00am early start we had envisioned last night, no rather make that 5:15am! Mary woke me up with "Time to get up, time to cook", and my reply "Mmmpphh zzzz s.l.e.e.p.", then her again, "C'mon, we've got a lot to do", she says firmly.
Staggering out of bed, I stumble with her to the kitchen. Turning on the lights, I put the kettle on. Coffee, must have coffee! The kitchen is also our dining room, lounge, and guest room combined into one.
Poor Christine, just had four hours kip and we woke her up. Thanfully, she rolls over and falls back to sleep. Not too many people I know are used to the Cook Islands lifestyle of hard yakka with little sleep.
Our breakfast guest - a family of four being mum, dad, and their two children - are due to arrive about 9:00am. Mary and I hurry to our tasks. We both have a passion for cooking, so we work well together most times. Still tired, we're a tad cranky towards each other so take that out on the food prep.
At 9:00am, we're still going for it, finishing off another dish and finally onto the last one. Christine is up and having her shower as Mary and I take another coffe for me, and a tea for her. All done and off to the shower I go; changed, and now Mary's turn.
Table is set and I wander up to our guest's unit. They'll be over in five minutes, comes the shout out of their window. Choice, I wander back and have time to pop our Christmas cards into the complex's letterboxes at front.
And here they come, now just past 10:00am. Oh well, 'tis Christmas after all, and our focus today is on the children. Presents swapped and off to eat. Food, must have food!
Repleted and quenched, and hour or so later we say our farewells. The children had a ball, and that's exactly what Mary and I had intended. We both know how to entertain youth, from years of similar activities.
Right, time to clean up and head off at 1:15pm to the next feed with another lot of food we've cooked. This time, our Cook Islands Christian Church, Wellington Congregation. We hold services at the Anglican Church in Miramar. Even though being a Presbyterian Church, the Anglican Church lets us use their church for our services. Nice, Christian brotherly and sisterly love across faiths.
A visiting pastor, the Reverend William Williams, gave the lesson. He's just arrived from Auckland to be the church minister for one of the Porirua congregations, so we're delighted to have him and his family with us today. Another communal feed afterwards then back home, arriving just after 3pm.
A phone call as we enter from the family we had breakfast with. They're waiting for us for the Christmas dinner. We hurriedly prepare the final cook and meet up with them at their unit just after 5:00pm.
Yep, just as well we were hungry today! One feed after another, with family and friends. Reminded me of life back at Mary's home on the island of Rarotonga, the capital island of the Cook Islands, a self-governing territory of New Zealand.
All I want for Christmas is food.
Wellington, New Zealand
December 25, 2019.
Playlist, a parody of a Mariah Carey song: