A quilt, a novel, a reindeer songbook and two 'safelight' candles. What do these four items have in common I ask you? Well, here in beautiful Adelaide we have a 65 year old tradition called 'Carols By Candlelight'; held on the banks of the River Torrens, in the shadow of our Festival Theatre, in the heart of the city.
Many years ago there was a permanent 'Sound Shell' on the site and every year the local choirs would mass together to perform parts of Handel's Messiah as well as beautiful renditions of traditional carols. My own mother was part of the Philharmonic Choir which performed annually for several years when I was a pre-schooler. I remember carefully holding the thick white candle inside its wax paper cup as the crowd sang along to 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem' on the hot December nights.
I haven't been to a Carols evening for many, many years; early 1980s I'd guess! The tradition decrees you get there early and park your blanket to reserve a spot on the riverbank, in view of the stage. Although the show starts at 8pm, we got there at 4.30pm. This is why.You can just see the stage there in the upper right hand corner.
This one is taken looking to my right.
And this is the reason I was there at all.
Yes, I was once more chaperoning the teenagers! This was one of the first outings to a public gathering that the gang had undertaken and two of the other mothers were very glad I was going to sit on my own blanket a metre away from the kids and be thoroughly ignored by them :-) As for the lad's parents....who knows. There seem to be different rules for boys.
The sun was blazing down when we arrived and apart from insisting on (and facilitating in) the wearing of sunscreen by all parties, I had 3 hours to kill virtually on my own. What to do for entertainment?
Don't worry mum, I had a MUCH bigger hat on but the Baby Angel decided I needed a festive hat for the photos.
Gradually the sun sank.
The safeflame candles were lit.
The concert commenced.
And a good time was had by all.