Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Want To Know

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you’ll risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon, I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with the wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another, to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul, if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even if it is not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “yes”!

It doesn’t interest me where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Scorpio Woman in love

 
Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer men, as the other Water signs, have an unspoken, emotional connection with Scorpio and are Scorpio's most compatible signs.

Scorpio and Scorpio
A Scorpio woman is alluring, mysterious and magnetically beautiful. A subtle stare, fascinating smile or gesture tells a lot about her mystery. Her seduction precedes her and surfaces if one knows what to look for. She is proud and stands tall in what she believes in. Scorpio woman does not show an abundance of emotions, especially in public. What she portrays herself to be does not always hold true to what she actually feels deep down. Scorpio female allows dominance in her lover at least in the beginning of the relationship and knows how to manipulate things to go her way.
The association of Scorpio man and woman is one of the most sensational and intense relationship with all the emotions at their highest. They know what they want and do not veer off the path they have started down. They are creatures of permanence and stand solid in what they believe in. Once in a great while they may change something in their lives but it rarely happens. Once both the Scorpios are sure to be in a relationship and step into each other’s world, they find immense similarity in their approach and dreams giving them an easy time with each other. Trust is a huge asset to this couple along with complete honesty. Neither has to worry about infidelity as they both have loyalty as their finest virtue. Their loyalty and devotion is unprecedented and their protection is something both of them count on.
Both the Scorpios have a desire to love and to be loved passionately and this comes equally true once the Scorpio man and woman are together because no other zodiac sign can love with more sensuality and purity with which they love. They both have some true feelings shoved deep under the surface to never be shown to each other again, or so they say as they argue, and even worse case scenarios if one or the other does not learn to compromise and give way to brighter skies. Their sense of false pride and refusal to admit defeat is their worst enemies in this type of relationship. Since both like to believe keeping their true feelings a secret is key to winning, they have to learn that communication is the actual key to a loving and lasting relationship in this case.
The hours they spend together, look like a sort of perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. The Scorpio man and woman alone make each other feel alive with the intense passion and devotion they have for each other. The love between them is synonym to softness in the sky, moon shining bright, angels singing beautifully and breeze moving pleasantly. It is one of the best experience, they both can even have in life. They not only complete each other but also take good care of each one’s need and make their partner feel fulfilled in their presence. They both feel loved, cared and admired in each other’s arms with such eternal promises that are to be loved above all the worldly things. They worship one another and hold the promise to be there till eternity with all of their life, with all of their heart and all of their soul.

Pisces and Scorpio
This may be a love at first sight combination. There is a strong mutual attraction between them. Pisces are ready to rely on Scorpio to compensate their indecision, and will agree with the Scorpio's aspiration to dominate. Scorpio's jealousy and possessiveness won't bother Pisces-in fact, it makes Pisces feel loved. Pisces's dependency is just what Scorpio is looking for. These two share a special communion, much of it on a sensual, unspoken level. Both have intense feelings, are loyal, intuitive, interested in the mystical and the unusual. Their sexual life should be delightful. The Pisces are inventive. The Scorpio is persevering. Both - affair and marriage are successful.
Scorpio's strength is a perfect compliment for Pisces's indecisiveness. In turn, Pisces's imagination sparks Scorpio's creativity. Pisces is able to give Scorpio the devotion and admiration it craves, and their mutual fascination with lovemaking provides a fine romantic aura. Pisces's flair for the bizarre adds spice to Scorpio's desires and the intense emotional needs of both signs neatly complement each other. Pisces's intuitive awareness and Scorpio's depth of feeling unite in a special closeness. This kind of mating lasts.
There will be a natural as well as a mutual attraction between a Pisces man and a Scorpio woman. They will fullfil each other emotionally and complement each other perfectly. Both of them have deep feelings towards each other and will find their love fully reciprocated. She will help him realize his dreams and he will provide her with security, without even being asked to. His wistful and dreamy nature will allure her and he will yearn for her true love and passionate ways. Both of them will find the perfect match in one another.
Cancer and Scorpio

When Cancer and Scorpio make a love match, the resulting relationship draws together the energies of two emotionally intense signs. Signs such as these often combine well, each partner's strengths balancing the other's weaknesses. These signs feel a strong sexual attraction, and when they are together the temperature in the room tends to rise! Cancer and Scorpio have a great deal in common, and much potential to keep their relationship passionate and going strong.
Cancer and Scorpio enjoy buying things together and creating a comfortable living space: Cancer craves security and Scorpio strives for power. Both occupy their minds with thoughts of domestic goods and resources, including stocks, bonds and inheritances. Since they are both concerned with the home and have fierce loyalties to the family group, Cancer and Scorpio complement each other well. They both see life as a passionate and deeply emotionally exercise of human connection.
Cancer and Scorpio are both Water Signs. Both are very deep Signs and, like the ocean, you can never really see to the bottom of these two. Scorpio and Cancer may draw further and further into themselves, then suddenly roar back with intimidating force. Loyalty is strong with this love match, thanks to their mutual desire for emotional security. But while Cancer fixes their emotional energy on the family and home, Scorpio focuses more on life's nuances and undertones, the secrets behind other's intentions, the power they can wield over other's emotions. Scorpio can take Cancer on a journey beyond the literal surface of things, and Cancer's expansive heart can open Scorpio up to their own emotions, teaching their Scorpio mate that feeling is nothing to fear. They will both bring out the beauty of the other and there is a tendency to look physically more attractive together than when apart. Scorpio will make Cancer feel loved like never before and Cancer will give Scorpio all that attention that they need. Strong sexual compatibility and loyalty will survive any stormy moments.
Additionally, Scorpio appreciates their Cancer mate's practicality, and Cancer really enjoys Scorpio's jealousy -- it proves that Scorpio really loves and cherishes them!

The Outsider - What I have learnt about myself, my character/personality

Looking back now I realise that I had very authoritarian parents.  Obviously my Dad more so than my mother.  As I mentioned very early on in Part 3, he ruled with his iron fist!  There were a lot of rules.  My upbringing obviously shaped the person I was to become and am today.  There are traits and characteristics that I have, and I have had the opportunity to change the parts of my personality that I was not happy with. 

Due to the way I was raised, as an adult I flaunt my independence in the face of almost any authority.  I used to be extremely compliant, quiet and co-operative.  I often got into fights and this I have toned down tremendously.  I had high expectations of myself and others – I still have high expectations of myself and criticise myself mercilessly for the smallest mistakes, however I have certainly learnt not to be too critical of others.  I hate surprises as I never want to be caught off guard or ill-prepared, this I am still working on.  I draw great satisfaction from accomplishing something, am competitive and I used to have a problem with my temper.  My Dad had the most terrible temper!! I still draw great satisfaction from accomplishing something – this is not such a bad thing surely as I take pride in what I have achieved!  I also used to have low self-esteem and based my self-worth solely on my performances.  I had to learn to remind myself that I am not important only for what I do, I matter for who I am.  I had to change my internal dialogue by avoiding self-defeating talk.  My memories dredged up feelings of resentment.  Here I had to make a bad memory good.  I will remember them but I use them as motivation.  I had to find out what is the positive side of each hurtful memory.  As the last born and to avoid feeling so “alone” I am certainly more social and outgoing due to me seeking out friends when I was a child to escape the home.  As a result of that I would say I am uncomplicated, spontaneous and humorous.  The end result being that I have strong people skills.  So in hindsight – perhaps I am a better person today due to the way I was raised….Most importantly what I have to do is forgive my father for the emotional and verbal abuse.  Bitterness, prolonged anger and resentment are emotional toxins. 

The day’s of feeling like an Outsider are finally gone!!!!  My new year’s motto for 2011:  Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and ... never regret anything that made you smile.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Outsider - Part 19 - Final

I loved my father.  He did not love me. I would not ever have been able to win his heart.  He is gone now.  My life has to carry on.  I cannot dwell on the past.  I will also never know the answer to my question anyway.  I have my own life.  I have loving sister’s and in this last year have grown even closer to them.  I have an adult son that I raised on my own.  On my 21st birthday he was already 6 months old and today he is a 22year old!  I am proud of the young man that he has become.  I have nephews, and two cute great nephews and I have wonderful friends.

Since leaving home I have been happy.  I have had my fair share of ups and downs but I have always come out on top smiling and definitely a lot stronger than before!  I have also had a few relationships, I however just never found that special man just for me.  I know somewhere out there, there is a special man who will come into my life, with whom I will be very happy with.  My soulmate!  Whether we marry or whether we just live together is not an issue to me.  I just want to find that someone special with whom I can share my life with.  Well, I sincerely hope I will find a man who will put up with me as I am quite a nutter! J

Every day I experience new things.  I enjoy life and I love to laugh.  I now have a new adventure waiting for me which I am looking forward to – I would like to relocate to Spain…. Yes, I will be leaving my son, and my family and friends behind … perhaps taking a huge risk on my part … but it is something I am excited about and I feel I am young enough to start a new life in a new country.  My son, family and friends can always come visit and with today’s technology I will certainly not be out of touch with them at all! 

 

The Outsider - Part 18

It has now been two Christmases without the old man.  The sister’s often speaking about the guilt they feel about how they had treated the old man and how impatient they had been with him, but then consoling each other by saying that had he not been such a hard man, had he treated them better then his life would have been so different and they would have gladly visited him more often.  He had driven the wedge between them.  Each has different emotions to deal with.  Most have guilt only … she however has to deal with guilt and anger and hurt, towards him …The question always remaining … Why had he hated her so much?????  Just now the other day she was visiting the second eldest sister and the second eldest was telling her how different her holiday had been now visiting the third eldest sister … how this time she just had to think about herself and do things she enjoyed without having to worry about the old man.  The times he went with on holiday … how he was left at the house in his chair while they went to the beach … but again it was his choice … he did not like the heat … he could hardly walk as he had also suffered a stroke while their mother was still alive … so many guilty feelings … that they were not the best of daughter’s … She then told her sister that her feelings were so different … they were not so much guilt … that they were more along the lines of feeling tremendous hurt and anger at how he had treated her.  The second eldest then said that she recalled how he had lain in his hospital bed and just glared at her … So … the glare from those ice blue eyes directed at her did not go unnoticed …..

The Outsider - Part 17

The sister’s were all together after the funeral.  They would speak about their father and each would tell of their experiences that they had encountered … there were many a time one of the sister’s would remark that they had not even known about one or other incident.  They then had the task of packing up the house where he had lived and finally also had the opportunity of packing up their mother’s belongings.  They could not do that while he still lived in the house after she had passed.  It was a double blow for them – packing up mother’s and father’s belongings … So many things of their mother were found that brought memories of her flooding back.  Eventually a house that had been occupied for over 50 years was packed up in one weekend!  The third eldest sister returned to her home.  The house was then rented out…

The Outsider - Part 16 - The Funeral

The funeral – Tears were shed but no one was prepared to stand up and speak about their father or grandfather … The Priest did the sermon in totality … a handful of people in the Church.  Did she cry?  Ofcourse she cried … he was her father afterall … she did love him … the love was just not returned from him … She also felt relief in a sense … the lonely old man was finally at peace ….

The Outsider - Part 15 - April 2009

April 2009.  The “old man” became very ill.  The sister’s were between hospital and his home.  One week he was in hospital, then he would be discharged, then back to hospital.  Numerous tests were done … gall bladder, liver, pancreas … what it actually was, was never conclusive … the sister’s were just told to make him as comfortable as possible and let him live his life as he wished … if he wanted a big meal … give it to him … if he wanted a beer … give it to him.  He was discharged again and at home … he was at home for a week but everyday became worse … The third eldest sister was eventually called to come home as the father was going down hill.  Finally all four sister’s together.  United.  Going to the hospital every day, taking turns to visit the old man and sometimes going together.  Then there came the day they were all together around the “old man’s” bed.  The “new” woman was there with her daughter.  Her daughter standing at the foot of the bed so he could look at her directly.  All his daughter’s on each side of the bed.  And then he spoke … looked directly at the “new” woman’s daughter (still referred to the “new” woman even though she had by then been a part of his life for about 8 or 9 years) his word’s were directly at her …mentioning her name and then saying “You know how much I love you” … she replied that she did … everyone else waiting for him to say more … he did not say anything further … Again, there she stood in utter disbelief … all his daughter’s were there around his bed but he did not tell them that he loved them … never had in all his life …The older daughter’s were all acknowledged during his time in the hospital … he would greet them and ask how they were … all she got was a curt “hello” and nothing more but ice cold stares … and yet she still came to visit him … They finally got the call to come … he was on his way out … they were there from 06:00 in the morning … all day around his bed …in the late afternoon the eldest grandson came to pay his respects and then left again… they stayed into the evening … by 20:00 they were exhausted and told the Nurse they were going home and would return in the morning.  At 21:30 that same evening on 1 May 2009, the Nurse called to say he had taken his final breath….

The Outsider - Part 14 - Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008 – The eldest sister and second eldest sister had gone to visit the third eldest for Christmas.  She (the youngest daughter), together with her son was to spend Christmas Eve with her Father and the “new” family.  She arrived with her son and set to getting to work in cooking the Gammon.  Then while waiting for the gammon to cook she had to sit outside with her father.  Her son too, but he mostly swam in the pool.  She had to endure listening to his life’s stories – which he told over and over again to anyone who would listen.  Then he would go on to how he did not like his eldest Grandson (Sadly he was another who was not favoured by her father … no true reason given either … the eldest grandson an adult with his own business and two son’s of his own), how he felt his eldest grandson was a Mommy’s boy, which ofcourse was totally untrue … how he used to see his grandson on his motorbike chatting to school girls at the school after he in fact had already left school and was working.  And that was exactly it .. whoever it was he saw on a motorbike at the school certainly was not his grandson as his grandson was at work.  There was no possible way he could be riding around on his motorbike visiting girls at the school.  But even so, if it was him visiting the school girls … so what?   If he had just matriculated what was wrong with him visiting girls that were at school with him?????  So in that sense she was not alone in that department – there was another family member who could not understand why he was disliked.  The grandson however refused to visit his Grandfather.  He knew his Grandfather did not like him and felt it unnecessary to visit a man who did not like him.  There she was … listening … and that is another thing with all the daughter’s – they just did not have the nerve to give this man a piece of their minds – except for the time when she told him what she thought of him when her mother had passed away.  They just sat and listened.  Perhaps it was still purely out of fear or perhaps respect for the “elder” … or not wanting to upset him … who knows … they just did not speak their minds…. Eventually after listening to everything and after having eaten she announced that she was leaving to go to her eldest nephew (the grandson he could not tolerate).  His remark remains ingrained in her memory … “For what?  He’s got his own family!”  She then finally said “Well I am going because he is also my family” …. What did she get in return … the stare from those ice blue eyes …

The Outsider - Part 13

After the death of her Mother the older sister's became much closer to her.  The eldest sister even more so.  They speak on the phone on a daily basis.  The eldest sister has been a wonderful pillar of support, offering guidance and advice.  The time came where the “old man’s” health took a turn for the worse.  The first time was somewhere around August 2008.  The sister’s were all there except the third eldest, who unfortunately lived too far away.  Once again a day that she will not forget.  She was standing at the foot of his bed and the eldest sister was sitting on the side where her mother used to sleep.  There he was … lying in the bed and telling the eldest sister what a wonderful daughter she is and how pretty and he carried on and on … not once saying anything along the same lines to her.  She stood there listening to all this and it felt like a hot dagger had been stabbed into her heart… the pain she felt and the sadness totally overwhelming her …

The Outsider - Part 12

During the beginning of his “new chapter in life with his new family”, the sister who did not want anything to do with him when their Mother passed away suddenly became quite close to him.  Jumping at his every beck and call .... she became his “right hand man” as he so put it... Well all good and well .... at least she was grateful that her sister was there together with the “new” woman and the young daughter, who he at one point wanted to adopt.  During the times that she went to visit her Father she still did not get the warmest of welcomes .... they were very half hearted .... the times when she phoned to see how he was doing he very quickly had some or other excuse to end the call .... clearly the animosity was there for the rest of her lifetime and nothing could or would ever change that ....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Outsider - Part 11

1996 was her most difficult year. The last half of 1996 she lost her Mother to cancer. A time where the balloon burst with her Father. She blamed him for her Mother's disease because of the way he had mistreated her, how he had denied her certain things in her lifetime. Even in her last struggle denying her to join a cancer support group. She verbally threw all of this at her Father.... Her world was turned upside down ... the person she spoke to on a daily basis on the phone .... the person who she saw every weekend .... the person who fetched her son from Nursery school and aftercare almost everyday .... was no longer there.... What kept her in her hometown now? She had to move to get away from her Father .... all of a sudden he was leaning on her much too heavily .... always waiting for her on her doorstep when she came home from work expecting her to sit and listen to him talking about how great his life was with her Mother .... how they had shared everything .... how happy they were ..... This man clearly was delusional .... her Mother's life with him was a far cry from happy ... She knew she was chosen only because the eldest sister lived too far away ... the middle sister made it clear she wanted nothing to do with him at that time and the other sister lived even further away .... He was not there for her when she was growing up .... why should she now be there for him? The friends he had eventually over the years all stayed away .... He really had no one now .... Was she being selfish? Was she being dis-respectful toward her Father? Was she being .... cruel? She could not answer those questions ... So she moved ..... Not too far away ... probably about 40 minutes drive only but it was what she needed .... She would however together with her eldest sister still come through every second weekend to clean his house and do his washing for him .... This the two sister's did for two years until he found a care-giver .... Then they only saw him once a month and eventually only for special occasions. He had found someone, someone very young who also had a young daughter. His “new” family .....

The Outsider - Part 10

She lived her life. There were still the odd clashes with her Father but she could walk away from those now. She had her own home and her own life. As a single Mother she had happy times and difficult times and times where she had her heart broken. She had a couple of relationships with men but in the end she was always betrayed by them. She allowed her ex-husband to see his son even though he never paid maintenance. She did not want her son to one day turn around and say that she had denied him his father. She also knew though that her son would one day find out exactly what his father was about.

Love??...??

What we call love is really a whole spectrum of relating, reaching from the earth to the sky. At the most earthy level, love is sexual attraction.  Many of us remain stuck there, because our conditioning has burdened our sexuality with all kinds of expectations and repressions.  Actually the biggest "problem" with sexual love is that it never lasts.  Only if we accept this fact can we then really celebrate it for what it is - welcome its happening, and say goodbye with gratitude when it's not.  Very few people know what love is.  Ninety-nine percent of people, unfortunately, think sexuality is love - it is not.  Sexuality is very animal, it certainly has the potential of growing into love, but it is not actual love, only a potential ...  Three things are to be taken note of:  the lowest love is sex - it is physical - and the highest refinement of love is compassion.  Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle.  

Then, as we mature, we begin to experience the love that exists beyond sexuality and honors the unique individuality of the other.  We begin to understand that our partner often functions as a mirror, reflecting unseen aspects of our deeper self and supporting us to become whole.  
When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready only to give - to give for the sheer joy of giving -  This love is based in freedom, not in expectation or need.  It's wings take us higher and higher towards the universal love that experiences all as one.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Outsider - Part 9

A new chapter of her life. She lived in a bachelor flat for one year after the divorce with her son whereafter she moved back to her home town to be closer to her Mother. They had formed a much stronger bond between one another after the birth of her son. While she was still married, her Father surprised her when he asked her to hold her six week old son. Strangely enough a bond was formed between Grandfather and grandson from that moment which lasted until the old man's passing. There were already two other grandson's in the family from one of the older sister's, but he had never asked to hold one of them when they were born....Eventually the sister who lived miles and miles away also had two sons .... how ironic .... Three of his daughter's had produced son's ......

The Outsider - Part 8

She dated her boyfriend during college, after college moved in with him, found work and lived her daily life. By 1988 she was married and had a son....And there it started... her life of “happy ever after” changed ... in fact it actually already changed when she went into labour with her son .... her then husband barely made it in time for the birth and the next day there she was..... A new mother waiting for her husband to come visit and see his son. Morning went by.... lunchtime came and went.... tea time came and went and finally after supper time – there he was. Where was he? Oh, he had been out partying....That was the beginning of the end .... He started drinking, gambling and the arguments eventually were a part of daily life ....there were times he did not come home after an evening out .... she was always left alone with the baby .....eventually she had enough ....by February 1990 she was divorced, 23 years old with a son of 18months old.....
For four years after the divorce she tried to claim maintenance for her son .... the endless hassle with attorneys and sitting in court rooms waiting for her ex-husband to show up .... she eventually gave up the fight .... she accepted she would have to raise her son on her own....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Outsider - Part 7

Her sister's say she had it easy. Yes, perhaps she possibly did. Perhaps it was because she just stayed out of his way. At least she did not get beaten black and blue. Her Dad had this sjambok/whip which thankfully he never used on her but had used it on her sister's. So here perhaps came the jealousy or whatever from the older sister's. The sister's say she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Yeah right! Just because she did not get beaten did not mean that she too was not abused. It all came down to emotional and verbal abuse.
At 18 she left home! During her college year she met her now ex-husband and father of her son. It was after college that she left home and moved in with him. She ofcourse at that time when she left home thought that “this is it” – finally she was free .....

The Outsider - Part 6

Time passed. As time went by that little girl so desperately wanted to feel the love of her father. So desperately wanted his approval. So she became a Tom Boy. She hated dresses! The only dress she wore was her school dress. Other than that it was jeans or shorts. The only time she could win her father's favour was when they went on holiday. She would help him with the caravan. She would help clean it up. She would then help him to hook it onto the car. Then she would help him to make sure all the indicators and lights worked. Then she wanted a fishing rod so that she could go fishing with her Dad. Oh, that was so great when he taught her how to put bait on the hook and then how to cast the line and then wait with her finger on the line for a bite. She cherished that time. She would get smiles of encouragement from her Dad. Then there were times where she would go to where he ran his transport business from and sometimes he would ask her to pass him screw drivers or spanners when he was working on an engine. And so slowly he would have time for her. But, that time was always somehow about how she had to prove herself. Almost like a competition between them. And only if she measured up did she get that winning smile. If she did not measure up – well the wrath that came with that is unexplainable..... Time passed ... the girl went to High School ... the boyish clothes became more feminine .... The iron fist still ruled. She was not allowed out to disco's. She could go to movies with her friends but had to be back home by 22:00. She had her episodes with her Dad concerning “boyfriends” that never really lasted as she had to see them behind her father's back but, he inevitably found out about them and all hell would break loose. Those “episodes” resulted in times where he never spoke to her for what felt like a life time! Or alternatively she would be glared at with those ice blue eyes of his..... if looks could kill ....?

The Outsider - Part 5 - Christmas

A recollection which was the most remembered ... Christmas. That was her late Father's “favourite” (sarcastic) time of year. He made sure he spoiled Christmas for everyone. Every year! He would cause an argument with her late Mother over the smallest thing. Sometimes he just disappeared and only came back a few days later. There were times that he got violent with her Mother. Her Mother however still made Christmas special for the girls even though their Father had ruined it. Oh how she loved Christmas time even though most memories of Christmas are'nt so great. Her Mother would start baking biscuits towards the end of November. She was so good at baking. The little girl used to sit and wait for her Mother to finish with the dough mixture and would get to lick out the bowl! The aroma of fresh baked biscuits permeated the air. A very vivid memory she has was of a time when her Mother took her outside in the late afternoon as the sun was setting. The sky was a blazing red/orange colour like an inferno and her Mother said to her that it was Father Christmas' oven. He and his helpers were baking Christmas cookies. She will never forget that!! They always celebrated on Christmas Eve. The Christmas tree would be decorated. Then they would have a special meal – either roast lamb, or Turkey or Gammon – all depending, with roast potatoes and vegetables and ofcourse desert. After dinner the children would suddenly have to run some or other errand and then when they returned their Mother would say that they had just missed Father Christmas. He had come to put the presents under the Christmas tree. Then they would run into the lounge to discover the presents under the Christmas tree. So time went by..... Christmas changed after her Mother passed away ....... By then the girl was a grown woman. She took over the baking of the biscuits for Christmas. The presents under the tree were no more..... the present became an envelope with money .... as appreciated as the money was .... it just killed the excitement of Christmas...... After her Father passed away she approached the sister's and suggested that the envelope be scrapped. The excitement was in opening a present and not knowing what was under the wrapping paper.... any gift would do ... it did not have to be extravagant .... it was more about finding a present under the Christmas tree and ripping the gift wrap off and then finding something that was chosen by the person who gave you the gift!! That was what was special!! These last two Christmas' were wonderful .... there were presents under the Christmas tree .... oh what happiness ... and the memories more special ....