Saturday, 31 December 2016

A time to look forward

Place Général de Gaulle in mid-winter with the pollarded plane trees. Too cold for outdoor tables!
New Year’s Eve and we look forward, not just to some spectacular fireworks over Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, but to a fresh New Year where (we have to believe this!) anything is possible.

'Fireworks' on the donjon.
There is a lot of apprehension around 2017 on the world stage, but if we as individuals can do our part to spread some kindness, compassion and love among the circles around us, then we will hopefully create a ripple effect that will link with others doing the same - and perhaps help to ameliorate this worldwide anxiety.

I look over to our little village, Les Arcs-sur-Argens, in France and see that the Maire des Arcs, Alain Parlanti, will make a speech offering his best wishes for 2017 (and no doubt outline his plans for the year) – at a public presentation on January 3.

Several days later, one of the town's organisations is offering a dinner for the Galette des Rois (or Kings' Cake) celebrated on January 6, where the person receiving the piece of cake containing a fava bean or other small trinket, is crowned King or Queen for the day.

It is also our twelfth day of Christmas, when our trees are taken down and decorations stored for another year. I will miss the scent of the real pine tree through our house.

Then mid-month (back in Les Arcs) there will be a special Concert du Nouvel An (New Year's concert) at the town's main church, Saint Jean-Baptiste, a chorale to be presented by the choir from the neighbouring town of Lorgues.

Quiet, calm, no fuss and traditional.

Australia is traditional in its own way – and because our seasons are reversed, we embrace the outdoors to enjoy activities with friends and family. It generally means the beach or the bush or maybe botanic gardens, outdoor concerts, cricket, tennis and the laid-back holiday relaxation of summer.

And did anyone mention resolutions  . . . ?


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