December 24, 2009

The Christmas Card Situation

Hello and season’s greetings to all,

Several years ago, I was travelling along the Portuguese coast and was woken in the middle of the night by the BurberKing yelling from the annex of our VW camper “we’ve got a major f***ing situation here!” The phrase has stuck in my mind ever since. The situation itself was high comedy, but you can ask me about when you next see me, as there is some nuance in the retelling.

So, we’ve got a major Christmas card situation here. In mid November I went into the City with the express purpose of buying Christmas cards. I travelled the full 12ks from the Crawley campus. There is no real need to ever leave UWA, so it was an effort. Truly. Not for me were the standard cards bought at the newsagent or bookshop.

I went into the Combined Charities Card Shop on the corner of William and Hay Street. Tucked away in the foyer of the Bank of Queensland and operated by lovely volunteers that remind you of your grandmother’s friends. I picked out my cards from the selection pinned to the display boards, and marked my choices on the order forms provided. It took some time, as not only was the design of the card important to me, but so too was the charity itself. Jamie’s family has some links to Save the Children, so I picked up some of them. As our parents are getting older, I thought Alzheimer’s’ Australia deserved some sales as well. And I picked out some cards from the Leprosy Mission to send to our friend, Shane, as he is fond of telling us about exotic diseases.

These are only a few examples, but they give you a flavour of the thought and feeling that went into the Christmas cards that I bought and which none of you will receive. I have lost them. The cards, and the stamps that I bought and have slipped into the King’s Vortex of Shame (the “Vortex”). This whirling and turbulent flow is frightening at times, and it took all of your Christmas cards.

There is a mystery attached. At the point of sale at the Combined Charities Card Shop, I purchased some gift tags. Two sheets of them (about 20 tags for the 4 presents I have managed to buy). These gift tags avoided the Vortex. They are currently sitting on our kitchen bench, resting against the knife block. I see them every day and they serve only to heighten my anguish over the cards (and stamps) that the Vortex has so cruelly taken from each of you at what should be a peaceful time of year, full of giving and getting and love and joy and fine wine.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

February 10, 2009


8 February 2009
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