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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Anne Barwell

To a lot of people Christmas brings visions of the colder temperatures of winter, with its snow and ice, and cuddling up in front of a warm fire. Here in New Zealand it is summer, or supposed to be. Once Guy Fawkes is over on the 5th November, the advertisers earmark Christmas as the next big event. According to the calendar September was the beginning of spring, but each year we wonder if the powers that be in charge of the seasons actually got that memo as the country is still swinging between hints of it and, as the song goes, 'four seasons in one day'.

The Pohutukawa trees are beginning to bloom, with their striking red tufts of blossom in amongst the green. They're known here as the New Zealand Christmas trees and are a sure sign that the festive season is growing closer. Christmas Day is often spent on the beach with family and friends and is an excuse to fire up the barbeque. And of course one can't forget that famous Kiwi dessert, the pavlova, although there is still the traditional fare of a roast meal, Christmas cake, pudding, and the pulling of crackers.

There is no snow or winter wonderland in sight to the extent that when we had snow here a while back – the first such fall since the 1930s – my daughter, who had never seen it up close before, kept saying that it was just like the pictures on the Christmas cards.

To celebrate the upcoming holidays and to say a big thanks for the opportunity to share my blog on the subject, I'm offering an ebook copy of my novel Cat's Quill to one reader who comments on this post.

Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand, sharing her home with her twin daughters, at least during the holidays, when one of them isn't away at university. Her son has left home and started his own family, although she claims she is too young to be a grandmother already. Her three cats are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching and has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and a librarian. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction club and plays piano for her local church and violin for a local orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.


Jean P said...

Thank you for a glimpse into your Christmas. I can't imagine barbequing on Christmas, but this year in NE Ohio, the weather has been whacky enough that could do that this December. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Debby said...

I feel like I am visiting. I would love do that one day.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Bookwyrm369 said...

We almost never get snow where I live in New Mexico either but it definitely gets cold enough to feel like winter! Merry Christmas :-)

smaccall AT

desitheblonde said...

we are getting rain and then
who now may be some snow soon
desi the

shadow_kohler said...

i live im michigan and we really havent had snow. its so weird. were usually buried in it. lol thanks for sharing! happy holidays!

Chrissy Munder said...

I had to look up the Pohutukawa trees to get the image - lovely!

VampedChik said...

I live in Chicago and usually were buried in snow, but it hasn't hit yet! (knocks on wood) Thanks so much for sharing! happy holidays!

GladysMP said...

The Pohutukawa trees sound Christmas like. We have no snow here either, but I agree that it looks baautiful in pictures and on Christmas cards.

flchen1 said...

How lovely, Anne! We never get snow where we are--the last time I remember any was more than 30 years ago ;) Hope your celebrating was merry and memorable in any event!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

The Long and the Short of It Reviews said...

Posting for Anne, who is having issues with blogger:

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts on Christmas in New Zealand with you. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

The winner of the ebook copy of Cat's Quill is shadow-kohler. I'll be contacting you via email about getting your prize.

Congratulations :)