12 Days of Christmas, Day 6 – Lucy Christopher

Welcome to the 6th Day of Christmas. For our final creator this year here is the wonderful Lucy Christopher. I met Lucy earlier this year when she was back home in Australia. It was a terrific dinner and you can see that post here.

Lucy is a writer for young people who is half-Welsh and half-Australian. Her first book Stolen was shortlisted earlier this year for the Children’s Book Council Awards and also for the Prime Minister’s Awards and it won the Australian Gold Inky Award. What a year for Lucy – congratulations! Her second book, Flyaway, is currently on the shortlist for the Costa Awards. Do drop in and have a look at her website.

And so for our final creator for 2010 here is Lucy and her reflection of very Australian Traditions.

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I grew up in Melbourne, however my family originally came from the UK. Every year as Christmas got close and the fake snow on the shop front windows thickened and the temperatures would increase, my Mum would get more edgy.

‘Christmas in the heat just isn’t right,’ she’d say. Or, ‘What we need right now is a good snowball fight.’

Sometimes we’d stay in Melbourne, and we’d eat a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in the middle of the day. We would listen to the Queen’s speech and Mum would spend hours on the phone to my nan. I’d go over to my best friend’s house later and her parents would give me Sri Lankan sweets. They were quiet days, but not unhappy ones. They were days of wandering through empty suburban streets, looking for something. There are other days too. Once we had a BBQ on the beach in Mount Eliza, and I swam and got sunburnt and it felt like a holiday. Another time I went to my dad’s house and we ate crayfish from an icy bath-tub.

Sometimes – about every second year I reckon – we’d go back to the cold and the dark evenings and the snowballs of the UK, and on those Christmases my grandparents would smother me with presents and fill me with puddings and chocolates and everything unhealthy. Those Christmases felt like a holiday too, though a holiday of a different sort.

Now, this year, I find myself in the UK again…only my grandparents aren’t here to smother me with presents and puddings, and the snow is falling like a whisper on the skylight above my head. It feels different this year. We’re all snowed in for one thing. And this year it’s my turn to long for somewhere … for the heat of Melbourne, for the cricket games after lunch and the chats with my Sri Lankan friend in the evening. I want to watch Carols by Candelight in the Myer Music Bowl, and I want to eat Darrell Lea Chocolate.

So, if you’re in Oz right now, raise your stubby or your orange juice in my direction. This little Oz-Welsh girl is missing you!

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Do find out more about Lucy at her blog which you can visit from her website or here. And it will be great catching up with Lucy when she drops in again in to OZ again in 2011!

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