Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Carols By Candlelight or Babysitting 4 Teenagers

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.


HipMomma said...

I think it's so interesting that December goes with hot nights there. Although in Texas we do get a few hot nights, it happens to be really freezing right now. That sounds like a fun afternoon.

susiej said...

These pictures are fascinating for me to look at! I'm sharing with my family -- I can't imagine feeling so "comfortable" on Christmas. You really have it made there-- it is bitter cold, and no fun to be outside (we don't have snow yet.) And dreary looking outside.

chaoticfamily said...

Looks like fun... We could not stand outside all day/night lol - it's ummm a nice -5 here. Glad you had a great day.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I have so missed reading blogs during tree season...now have a few down days to catch up. Stop by and see me...actually have a little give away that I will get Parker to draw for tomorrow night...

A Free Man said...

What I find disturbing is your choice of reading material. What, are you a 15 year old girl?

A Free Man said...

I kind of wanted to go to the carols, but couldn't be arsed to drag two kids under two to town to sit around for four hours. Will wait for several years for that.

Mid Sis said...

Hang on "A Free Man" - I got something by the same writer for Christmas and couldn't put the blooming thing down (2.30am I was still engrossed!) Could this be a mid-life forty something crisis of reading material methinks......

Arizaphale said...

Yea AFM! We are simply trying to vicariously relive our romantic youth! It's kind of addictive. As for small children and Carols...definitely wait a few years and then get someone like me to save a spot for you and just come in closer to sun down. The sun was vicious!

Andi said...

Can not get over the shorts and sunglasses and Santa hats! It is stange to me to consider the heat that we have in our summer for your Christmas. The daughter was wondering do you call your cold time summer or are the names for the seasons different too?
Here for Christmas, we have had to wear shorts once or twice in my life, but usually it's chilly.
I completly love the idea of mass caroling! How fun...especially with teens- what good, healthy, safe fun!
Do not let AFM tease you; though I have not read the series myself, I know there are MANY moms (like mine!) who have. (My mother is 71!)Hahaha
Well, so glad you're enjoying yourself on holiday! Happy New Year to you all!

Arizaphale said...

Andi: hahahaha! Summer is summer and winter is winter! This reminds me of some people in Canada in 1972 who asked me where I learned to speak ENGLISH!!! hahahahaha. Australia is very similar to the US, just 6 months out of sync :-D
As for AFM.....as if he could tease ME ;-D!!!!
Happy New Year to you my friend as you embark upon the next stage in your incredible life journey!!!

Kevin C Jones said...

Happy New Year, everybody, and to all you Mayans out there - not too late to update that Calendar !!!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

WOW! That looks like great fun. So crowded though! Looks like they had a good time!

Funny, I hadn't even noticed the book until I saw AFM's comment. I guess that's one of those vampire ones?

Little sis said...

Looks fab.can't believi you are still Reading new moon! Read all four in a week and a half! Fabbo!