England test team dress up and play jokes on the Aussie press

Successful Christmas Day lunch and present opening staying warm with balcony lights on and fire lit but, sadly, without my parents as Mum was not fit to travel. The Queen and Pope’s messages for Peace within and without the family contrasted starkly with the fatal hijacking and crash of an airliner, the fate of the Icelandic trawler foundering in the North Sea and two marital killings in Britain but the England test team dress up and play jokes on the Aussie press. 


Awoke and a morning tea at 7.15am. Di had held back the children from their presents until then and I soon finished my drink of revival and made my way down to watch them open their presents. For once this year I did not make a video film of the occasion and, although Di intended to take some still photographs, it was altogether too hectic. So many presents to open that we only allowed each child  a few before breakfast. A cooked meal, as we treated today as a Sunday, and then back to the presents, trying to keep the kids in order and the floor clear by removing the wrappings that had been discarded. A pattern that was to continue all day. I laid the table for Di to produce a superb turkey traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and then Daniel and I did the washing up afterwards. A sad call from my Dad this morning confirmed the fears we had and they felt that they were not well enough to join us today. They were very cut up about it and I hoped that they would be well enough for us to go over next Sunday.

Films and tidbits for the rest of the day. Felt quite full and tired by the evening, but at least our log fire kept the house warm and festive on a damp and dark day. I had left the balcony lights on for the day and they showed up quite well. As I drew the curtains this morning I heard church bells, which was a grand sound on a Christmas morning, but I could not trace which church it was. The Queen’s Christmas message today was set against a children’s party in the Palace Mews and was calling for peace within and without the family. The Pope’s message was also for peace in the world, but not much notice taken in the Middle East today. A jet was hijacked on its journey from Baghdad to Jordon and crashed whilst attempting an emergency landing on a desert air strip, killing 62 of the 107 people on board. There was evidently a battle on board and one of the hijackers had thrown a grenade into the cockpit. It was storms that caused an Icelandic trawler to founder in the North Sea, killing more than half of its 11 crewmen. 5 were miraculously rescued after spending hours in a liferaft in appalling conditions. France has ordered out a number of Syrian and Jordanian terrorist suspects, after they found an arms cache in Paris. More murders elsewhere in Britain – a husband is hunted after a double stabbing and, in a separate incident, a woman’s body is found in a ditch. Not much good will around, but in Australia the England test team play jokes on the sports press and dress up for a crazy party on the eve of the fourth test and are in confident and good spirits.