|Martin brought through our advent wreath for the occasion|
After lunch, Martin and I went for a walk around the flat part of our street. A Samoan chap we didn't know waved to us, then beckoned us in when we called out 'Happy Christmas!'. We chatted for a bit and I spotted and admired his amazing taro patch. He asked if we would like some leaves. I was slightly hesitant, but figured the internet would tell us what to do with them, so accepted. Instead of the raw leaves that I was expecting, he came back with enough palusami (steamed stuffed taro leaves), taro, fried chicken and lamb flaps to feed four of us for dinner!
We returned his plate the next day (with cookies) and in the process met more neighbours we hadn't previously met - this time an elderly Chinese couple with no English who were very keen to show us their astonishingly productive vegie garden :-) It was really lovely to meet them.
I think it was Boxing Day when we actually got around to lighting the Christmas tree. It's the tree my family have had since I was about 8 - I acquired it when my parents moved house a year ago - and the candle holders are probably older than me and came from my great aunt Ruth in Germany.
It's been a busy few days and, between that and the fact that we're spending less time in our bedroom in the evenings (I'm usually eating at the dining table now), we still haven't got around to lighting the Jesus candle of our Advent wreath! Hopefully tonight.
Speaking of busy, Martin and Dad have been energetically working at finally installing the water tank we acquired from my parents a year ago. We're hoping to set it up to collect rainwater which we can use to better water our fruit trees, but figuring out the plumbing has proven more complicated than expected. At least it's got a nice flat base to stand on now!
Yesterday I finally got to see the Oakley Creek waterfall! We went with our neighbours Jan and Matylda and their 5-month-old baby Camellia, and walked all the way from our place (although I didn't walk all the way back - Martin raced back and collected me in the car not far from the waterfall itself). It's by far my longest walk so far! I've been averaging around 2000 steps per day but yesterday did more than 4500, most of them on that walk.
And today we went for a swim at Pt. Chev. beach. We took my floatation device (although not the beach wheelchair) but I didn't even need that. I found I could fairly easily control myself in the water and even managed two forward rolls/flips :-) I needed a fair bit of help walking out of the water and struggled with walking up the incredibly steep slope to the car even after a substantial rest, but on the whole did pretty well. Yay for new possibilities! And I must say entering the water feet first is vastly more pleasant than entering bottom first, as one does with the beach wheelchair ;-)