Muse du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. I also satisfy my creative muse with sewing, cooking, writing and reading. These are my thoughts and adventures with whichever muse drives me each day. You can find more of my art at

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Location: New England, United States

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lighting the Way Home...

The higher temperatures and the warm rain in the night washed away the majority of the snow and ice from the storm from last weekend. And today the trees raised their spindly dark fingers to a soft blue sky. Things sparkled in the glorious sun, and it could have been a breath of forthcoming spring. We basked in the sunlight as we ate our Christmas day roast and talked and laughed, and thought of friends and family spun away across the globe. Afterwards, we opened presents by the open fire. The rest of the afternoon was spent with cups of tea and dessert and vintage James Bond films on the tv. All of the stresses of previous days fell away and everything rose to mellow well being, as it should be.

One of the best Christmases we've had in recent years.

The universe has been good to us recently, so we made a conscious decision to share it this year. Bob and I happily shopped big for the community Food Bank and gave two sizeable baggies of toys and kiddies books to the Toys for Tots collection last week, and can hope we made a small difference to some families this holiday season. Odd dollars and change went to the various bell ringers and charities who asked as we passed them on the street.

Meanwhile, the lighted house pictured above has been a constant in our lives for many years. Its concentric three-tiered design makes it look like a beautiful birthday cake, and that's how we affectionately refer to it every December. The times we've had to fly somewhere in December, we usually fly home at night. Being near the airport, and under a flight path, we always look for our house as we come in low. As it is dark, we can't see it, but we always see 'the birthday cake'. And for many Decembers it has lit our way home... Just across the street and down a bit, it's the first thing we see... So I thought I'd share it with you all.

"To absent friends"

And to Uncle Keith, wherever you may be: Fair winds and following seas, Swabbie.

Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Blessed Be, Happy Solstice, a Cheery Kwanzaa, or whatever it is you choose to celebrate or cherish at this time of year. You are all in my thoughts.

Warmest wishes,


Anonymous Annie said...

My most beautiful cousin,

I wish you and Bob all the best things in the cosmos this coming year. May 2009 be filled with love, art, love again and more art!!!

I really do miss you so much.

Please come and visit Australia soon...

Typepad is having some serious problems, so I haven't been able to reply to your posts. As soon as I learn how to migrate all my archives, I'm moving it to Wordpress!!

Bob's post on his blog showing all the Star Trek memorabilia made me very teary with longing for the old days of looking through old fanzines and soaking up the (mostly) really trashy fan fic from America, on hot summer days in the Hunter Valley. I also used to look forward to the next instalments of your wonderful fiction writing. You had a rare gift. YA STILL DO!!!!!! 8-)

Helping Gracie tidy up her Barbies also brought back a very happy memory of playing at Nanna and Grandads house in June St, with OUR Barbies. One year we both got the 'walking' ones, do you remember? There was a sort of device on wheels that you had to stick them in, and then push and their legs moved and made their arms and head move. It was quite freaky actually. I'm glad that they never really made a comeback (as far as I'm aware). Mind you, I am very easily freaked out by animatronic type thingies.

I was the one that had trop be dragged kicking and screaming to see the window display at The Store in Hunter Street. Do you remember that? I was so glad when that became the Pink Elephant market. No more freakish little bloody elves and overly jolly slightly sinister Santas. Cheeze, I can remember trying to push my own pram back away from the window...

The Pink Elly. Now that's also going back. How bizarre. How in the name of Sam Hill did they come up with THAT one!?!?!!

Back to the Barbies. We then set up a whole cyclone/natural disaster scenario underneath the three nesting tables. I think at one stage we also utilised the ubiquitous statue of the coloured boy holding a platter of very plastic fruit. You know, the one that was below the jolly picture of Jesus of the Sacred Heart (which always gave me the beeeg time creeps)?

But as usual we got chased away from that by Nanna, who seemed sure we'd break it. (*Snorts* like that would have been a great loss).


Good memories. (Well, except for Hunter St at Christmas from 1965-1971)....

Love you very much.

I also raise a glass to Uncle Keith's memory.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Hey Sweet Annie! So wonderful to hear from you. Hope you and your gorgeous little family had a lovely holiday and are seeing in a bright New Year. Super zen hugs.

I miss you too. We've been talking about going home soon, as well as for worldcon in Melbourne in 2010.

God, I remember Star Trek in the Hunter Valley, and hunting out as many of the old books as I could. It was such a desert for them back then. I still read and watch some and get taken back to my fledgling drawing and writing ideas... If I ever get something of substance published, I'll be thanking Star Trek, ABBA, and Norah, Jim and Wally in the acknowledgements - they made my teens less lonely.

Ah, our Barbies: only, I think my brunette was a Steffie. She was super pretty, but remember wishing she was the blonde barbie once or twice. I've been searching the net for things from my childhood now and then. One of them has been a doll... The Sunday market at Carlingford in Sydney used to have the most amazing stuff - one could watch one's childhood parade past over time. I made a few finds there. :-D

Ah, the Pink Elly. Trash and treasure used to be referred to as 'white elephants' from an old, old term. Not quite sure why ours was called 'pink', though. Hunter Street looks like a third world zone now. In the eighties, before the earthquake, it used to shine, gleam, even. I can look back on those days with fondness now, but the area has changed so much, I'm now a stranger. :-D

Ah, Nana's perfect house in June Street. I used to use the old antique card table - stable as granite - as a hideout sometimes. I remember that old plaster 'boy' which is soooo un-PC now. And the plastic fruit. Do you remember the Christmas meals, where all of the kids presents were put into the huge old shipping basket and opened, I think, after dinner. Your memory is more complete than mine in a lot of respects: I just get flashes and bits. I tend to wonder if it's because I spent a lot of time with my head in the clouds or something more prosaic, like my marginal dyslexia. God I can see her loungeroom right now, in great detail. Blue and white... and the smell of starch and ironing while I sat on the carpet and she watched Days of Our Lives in black and white in the afternoons.

Did your dad tell you that Great Auntie Esme finally passed away? My mum has great stories about that side of the family...

Gotta go,
Much, much love and hugs to you, soul sister.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Hey Annie,

Do you remember sleeping in the back porch bedroom in June Street, and because of the height of it, seeing the burn off flames from the BHP in the middle of the night? I used to watch that flame a lot. Takes me back to a very different time. :-D


3:13 PM  

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