Monday, December 19, 2011

The 'Counting'

Once a year from various points on the compass, members of the clan return to the fold to eat, drink and reunite at what has come to be known as the 'Counting'. At approximately 2pm, the week end before Christmas, they begin to arrive. You know which tune to use! Nine angsty siblings, assorted bewildered spouses, six moochy teens, ten in- betweenies, five tearaway toddlers, one sleeping grandad and a nanna spinning on the kitchen bench!

There is usually a group photo either on stairs, around the table or at the Assembly of the present tree. It becomes logistically less possible each year and one person is always missing from the photos to take it.
By early evening Aunty Annie is withdrawing into the cone of quiet, putting off obligatory SKYPE interaction with those not counted at today's Counting.
Grandad is napping with a fixed smile although he is not sure what was actually said.
The babies are not where they were left. (First the sheep, now this!) Where is Harry?

Somebody's put baby in the corner!

Uncle Peter is dozing serenely on the verandah having sung too much Singstar.
Nanna is dancing on the table in the kitchen between the quinoa salad and the gluten free Christmas cake possibly hallucinating about whales breeching on the cooktop. "Out of my kitchen, now, all of you." And she danced...
We all anticipate it nervously, then thoroughly delight in it, then enjoy some post-Counting analysis. As always a good time was had by all. I do love that gorgeous crazy crew!


  1. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. I just had to say it. I adore your family re-enactments! I call our Counting the C-family Christmas Catastrophe.

  2. Love it.... that's what family is all about!

  3. Deb: I'm sure some families have worse names for their Christmas kafuffles.

    Curlypops: How lovely to have you over! Yup. The more dysfunctional the family, the more normal it is ironically.

  4. "The Counting" has a ring of Alfred Hitchcock or those surrealist films with exorcism when green smoke bursts forth from gnashing lips.
    But, I KNOW yours bears no resemblance to that.
    It seems to me that soon the clan will have to assemble on the steps of the Opera House in Sydney to fit you all in.
    Grandad could sleep at the top like a somnolent Christmas fairy and Nanna jitterbug in the foreground.
    After all , these are the bookends of your expanding, living family tree - the original artists behind the domestica.
    But where does it stop?
    Is there no clamour from the multitudinous in-laws for a guernsey?
    Dance on , dear Nanna, and sleep on, dear Grandad. You both deserve every accolade going.

  5. Sounds like a fun gathering. I bet granddad and grandma love seeing everyone together.

  6. DMC: I think there is an element of Hitchcock in every major family gathering and love the idea of them as book ends. It is their 50th anniversary next month and I may have to use that metaphor!

    MMMC: They always relish it- Dad because he came from a huge family and and Mum, because she didn't!

  7. Glad all went well this year - love the reenactment! Would love to see a family tree of yours one day... hey, there's a project for 2012!!!

  8. Anna: Right back at you- you could make a kit!

  9. Annie, your dear parents would have been through a lot.
    Feel free to use any word from me.
    It's an honour in the circumstances.


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