I brought all my summeriest clothes and it is overcast and a bit cool. But we had a memorably splendid Christmas. The girls were up at six and their presents were opened by seven. The clan Fitzhardinge assembled in Pymble for a bang-up lunch of cucumber soup and cold cuts and sweet chili jam and glazed carrots and potato salad and greens. Claire got yet another birthday cake, and then the sun came out and I lay on Aunty Jan’s lawn to absorb its healing rays and listen to the rosellas and the cockatoos.

The childrens’ behaviour has been delightful for days. I cannot imagine what’s gotten into them, but it’s making me beam inside.

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