BUNYIPS from all over are converging on the Billabong today -- except for Young Master Bunyip, who arrived last night and poured rather too much enthusiasm into celebrating the miracle that is fermentation. The scamp remains prone, more out of his bed than in it, moaning softly and evincing no interest whatsoever in a loving father's offer to whip up a large serve of bacon, eggs and fried bread. Indeed, the mere mention of food just inspired a series of bizarre noises which a medical man might identify as being very close to retching.
Let him steep in the toxic legacy of his solitary revels. It is Christmas, goodwill prevails and it will be much easier to prepare the evening's Christmas feast if he remains out of the way for the next few hours. Precious little sentimentality yet clings to the Professor's jaded heart, but Christmas fans what is left into a bonfire. Is there a better day than this? Not at the Billabong, where three generations will stuff themselves rotten. The nieces will be explaining Angry Birds to Grandpater Bunyip, who will want to know why they are so upset. Grandma Bunyip will be protesting the vast quantities of food and keeping a keen eye for too much garlic going into the spinach pie. And tonight, atop the pleasure of family, numerous old friends will arrive to help empty the cellar.
From the other side of the fence comes a dreadful, inept racket. The neighbour's kid, a bright and polite lad of 12, has evidently found an electric guitar in his stocking and is now playing Sweet Child Of Mine, which is winning. Further off, you can hear delight in smaller voices and the odd adult shout of caution. New Bicycles? Whatever the amusement, the laughter is contagious. Sitting on the porch, coffee steaming, the ground drying after a dawn shower and with a wattle bird shrieking that the cat is on the prowl, it's a perfect moment.
Enough! There is work to be done. Tasty animals, lamb and turkey, need to be prepared, and the vegetarians -- every family has them -- must have their hunza pies and eggplant parmas knocked into shape. So it's back to the kitchen and the steaming pots.
But before hauling bird from brine, a word of thanks to all this little blog's readers and commenters. May your Christmas serve as a reminder that, annoying as they might be and often are, it is family and those who love us who matter most of all.
Merry Christmas to all. God bless us every one!