Saturday, July 16, 2011

Xmas in July

I've been asked to offer a small entertainment for a Xmas in July function next week. I thought I'd tell this true story.


Cast your mind back over the years
To when this festival appears.
In the nineteen-eighties, it seems to me,
We created this jollity.
Till then, July would pass un-sung,
All the other months among.
Since the month is rather chilly,
Celebrating July seemed rather silly.
July was as far as it could be
From Xmas Time. You must agree.
Although we sweltered on Xmas Day,
Things would always stay that way.
We'd down the turkey and plum pud
Convincing ourselves that it was good
To eat while temperatures would climb.
After, all, it was Xmas Time.
As a Pom, I found it strange,
But I was quite prepared to change.
Immigrants have to change their ways
And I'm the type that always obeys.
So several Christmases went by,
With the temperature very high
And me reduced to a small grease-spot.
After all, that was my lot.
Picture me, the submissive cook,
Knowing I couldn't get off the hook.
Now Malcolm and I had elderly mothers,
And we had no sisters, had no brothers,
So we were carers for many years.
(Does this tale reduce you to tears?)
Now on this certain December date
Both mothers were with us. Such is fate.
The weather forecast predicted heat,
And I, the cook, began to bleat...
'Surely you don't expect a hot meal!
Turkey? Plum pudding? How unreal!'
But the Mothers looked at me aghast,
Each aware of her English past.
'Goodness, Brenda! What a suggestion!
A cold meal? We'd have indigestion
If we didn't have the traditional fare!
It's something neither of us could bear!
Think of the meals we've cooked for you
Over the years! Now we are due
A right royal feast on Xmas Day!
You can't wriggle out of things that way!'
So I was trapped; I had no choice!
Ethel and Win spoke with one voice!
Xmas Day dawned hot, hot, hot.
Over 100 degrees it got!
I was in the kitchen, toiling,
In more than one way my blood was boiling!
I produced a meal that was delicious
Giving-in to the mothers' wishes.
Lunchtime came, the temperature climbed,
Being very badly timed.
The temperature climbed to one hundred and four.
I felt I couldn't take much more!
'Up to the table!' my voice rang out,
In a slightly churlish way, no doubt.
In paper hats we sat at the table;
Me smiling as much as I was able.
I served the food; it looked divine.
We may even have had a glass of wine.
The mothers weighed-in with a will,
But soon they started to look quite ill!
'Whatever's the matter?' I was perplexed.
What was going to happen next?
They picked at their food looking so downcast!
My beautiful food, my great repast!
'I'm sorry, dear' one ventured to say,
'But it's really much too hot today.
I just can't swallow another bite.
Maybe I'll try a little tonight.'
I can't remember what I said
But I do remember that I saw red!
And I do recall that I had my say.
'No more hot food on Xmas Day!
But I promise that, when there's winter weather
We'll enjoy a Xmas feast together.
When the temperature is low, not high,
We'll have our Xmas in July'.
Well, July came and I kept my word,
Though our children said it was absurd.
'Xmas in July!' they hooted,
When my little idea was mooted.
'You can ask some friends' I then suggested,
And that's when my patience was sorely tested!
'We'd be ashamed' they said to each other
'To confess that we had a peculiar mother!
We'll keep it secret. It's too bad
That our mother has gone completely mad!'
But we had our feast, the neighbours came,
They all took part in my silly game;
We had a good time as I recall,
With paper hats, and carols and all.
The children winced (they were in their teens,
And everyone here knows what that means.)
But all agreed it was a great success;
My bit of July silliness.
However, a well-known Terrigal Hotel
Offered Xmas in July as well,
The very next year! How about that!
Part of the year which had been flat
Now became a festival
Enjoyed and marked by one and all!
It's now become almost world-wide
Our own cold-weather Xmastide!
I've no proof it was my invention.
But its certainly my contention
That my domestic situation
Brought forth this yearly celebration!
Nobody here is allowed to deny
That I invented
Xmas in July!

                                 Barrington Tops; July

A song I wrote for my class many winters ago.

Here, in the 'Promised Land', we dont get too much snow,
And none at all, here, by the sea, where the land is low.
But there's a place not far away where snow quite often drops,
And then we shiver and we say 'There's snow on Barrington Tops!'

When it's snowing on Barrington Tops
And the sky is all covered with grey,
Then we feel how the temperature drops
And we're in for a cold winter's day.
With jumper on jumper
We look a bit plumper,
But that doesn't matter at all.
We find life is sweeter
Up close to the heater
When Jack Frost is coming to call.
When it's snowing on Barrington Tops
And the wind is as sharp as a knife,
Then we find that the sunbaking stops
And we look for a cosier life.
With sweater on sweater
We feel a lot better!
They keep all the chillies away.
With wooly on wooly,
We understand, fully,
That padding keeps Jack Frost at bay.
Rosy rosy;
Little red nosy!
Maybe a sniff or a sneeze.
Cosy cosy;
Little warm toesy!
Sharp, stinging raindrops, that fly on the breeze.
Cuddle cuddle;
All of a huddle!
Under the doona we go!
Blowy blowy;
Off to the Snowy;
All of a'glitter and all of a'glow.
When it's snowing on Barrington Tops
And our breath seems to hang on the air,
We'll be found in the well-heated shops,
For we know that there's cosiness there.
With mittens on mittens,
We're warmer than kittens,
And winter is not here to stay.
Spring, you remember,
Arrives in September,
And Jack Frost will vanish away.