It’s Beginning to be Very, Very Frantic

This was a weekend where I had to double-dose on my multi-vitamins.

One for the family

One for the family

It started abruptly with a 4.45am wake-up call to quickly throw on some clothes, wake the little guy and put him in his scout’s uniform, then head up the road to unload 200 Christmas trees from a truck.  We then had to stack them ready to start selling by 6am.  I also took Rosie and after giving the trees a good sniff she rested on a park bench.

Santa came to visit

Santa came to visit

We did have a visit from Santa and I put Drew in the photo with him because Alfie had disappeared.  A friend of his was busking across the road so he abandoned his post to give him some support.  Never mind about the trees!

And can you believe, the woman I told you about a few posts ago who needed a valium, walked by with her birthday-boy-son.  And that’s quite a coincidence because I don’t live in a one-horse town; it’s actually quite densely populated.

Waiting to be wrapped

Waiting to be wrapped

I said, ‘hello’ and reminded her of where we’d met and asked her how the party went down.  She said, ‘Well black mark against my name for not recognising you; the party went very, very well.’

I asked, ‘Did the children bring presents or were donations made to the orphanage in India?’

She said, ‘Two children brought presents’.

‘Out of a dozen?’

‘Yes.  Try explaining that to a six-year old.  They made their philanthropic donations but next year I’m going to say, ‘Don’t even bother making a donation; I’ve taken care of that for you – I’m donating one of his kidneys or maybe even his colon’.’

Christmas cake delivery service

Christmas cake delivery service

And only two people thanked her for the party.  She’s from Melbourne but has been living overseas for the past 11 years and has only just moved to our suburb.  I think she thinks people with our postcode have parked their manners elsewhere.

Then I saw a woman walking by with the most beautiful gingerbread house.  While she was trying to get it to her car without dropping it, I asked her if she could pause for me to take a photo.  I thought you’d like to see it – just gorgeous.  It will take centre-stage on a round table in her home where it will certainly be noticed.

A very large gingerbread house

A very large gingerbread house

We finished selling the trees at 1pm; tired, sunburnt, thirsty and with arms covered in a rash from the pine needles.

One for the family

One for the family

The little guy went to a friend’s house and I popped out with Arabella for pedicures.  Excellent excuse to sit down and do nothing for half an hour.

Waiting to be wrapped

Waiting to be wrapped

Then we came home and I iced and decorated five Christmas cakes.  You’ve no idea the mess!  The icing sugar was flying everywhere and little Rosie was ‘helping’ by getting under my feet and licking it off the floor.  One cake has been delivered and the others will be moved on early this week (the earlier the better as I’m running out of bench).

Waiting to be delivered

Waiting to be delivered

Tired after our 4.45am start, we opted for an early night because we had another early start for Sunday morning.  The little guy had heard about a biathlon he wanted to compete in.  I said, ‘Alfie, it’s an adult event with no children.’  That didn’t bother him a bit.  So I said,  ‘It’s a 1.7km (1 mile) swim.  You’ve only ever done a 400mtr ocean swim; this is four times that distance’.

Where the swim finished

Where the swim finished

And he looked me straight in the face and said, ‘I can do that.  And the run will be easy’.  The run was 9.5kms (6 miles).  He hadn’t run in a race since June.  And had done no running training.  I wasn’t sure he should do it but I spoke to his swimming coach and he said, ‘Let him do it; the more of these he does the better.  He’ll be fine’.

It's a great feeling when your feet can touch the sand

It’s a great feeling when your feet can touch the sand

So we were up at 5.45am so we could register for the race at 6.15am.  Because the event was for adults, I told Alfie I would do the swim and be beside him all the way.  There were 100 in the race and he was the youngest by a couple of decades.  Most were big blokes with a few keen females thrown in the mix.

Part 1 done

Part 1 done

It was a cold, grey morning with a sprinkle of rain and the race started in the water.  We had to do three laps of the course then come around a yellow buoy and run onto the sand.  We swam side by side for the entire race.  I could see he was finding it a struggle.  While he swims that distance in his squads, swimming in the ocean is very different to swimming up and down a lane.  But he maintained his pace throughout the race and just kept going and going.  Finally we rounded the yellow buoy and it was a sprint to the sand.  He received a huge clap from the competitors who had finished for being the only child in the race.  We came 62nd and 63rd in the swim.

Finished the swim

Finished the swim

Alfie emerged from the water blue with cold (he doesn’t have a thermal fat layer) and saying he was dizzy.  His father said, ‘Well you don’t have to do the run’, and Alfie said, ‘There’s no way I’m not doing the run’.  So after tying up his jogging shoes off he went on a very hilly run.  I didn’t do the run as I’m not jogging-fit and I just can’t keep up with him.

After a shower and putting on some warm clothes I waited for him at the finish line.  Finally we saw him in the distance.  Knowing the end was in sight, he sprinted to the finish line.  I’m not sure where he came or what time he did but he does make running look effortless.  I asked, ‘How was it?’ and he said, ‘Mum, it was really good; these new shoes are fantastic; it was like I was running on air’.

Approaching the finish line

Approaching the finish line

And after re-fueling at the Beach Club for breakfast, it was home for a couple of hours before heading into the city to see Santa.  More on that to follow.

Relaxing after the finish

Relaxing after the finish

And it’s been a very busy week but things will ramp up even more this coming week.  And I’m sure things are no different for you.


  1. That’s quite the coincidence, running into the woman from the supermarket. Not bringing a present to a 6 yr old’s birthday party is shameful. As is not thanking the parent/child for being invited to the party.

    Alfie’s amazing. Sounds like there’s quite a lot of stamina in that young boy. And you’re a wonderful mother for letting him challenge himself to that extent in spite of your caution.

    Lovely cakes as always.

  2. That poor mother, I’d like to know how she explained all of that to her confused son. How sad. Your cakes are beautiful as ever and all I could think of when I saw Santa was, “He must be roasting in that suit!” The gingerbread house was gorgeous! I’ve never even attempted to make one.

    And now, on to the most important part of your post, Alfie! Wow, what a fabulous kid you’ve got. Driven and a great outlook on life. You’re a blessed mom and he’s a blessed kid to have such a wonderful support system. Way to go, Alfie!!

  3. Hi Charlie, yes things have been crazy busy here as well, I think Alfie is amazing and will excel at anything he puts his mind too. Happy Holidays!

  4. Wow your little guy is a star Charlie. i can see he is going to be a famous marathon runner. I cant face getting up early on the weekend after getting up at 5.45 all week so it is luckily I dont have a youngster any more.That gingerbread house is amazing. Who made it Charlie?

  5. Alfie sure does his parents proud with his athletic ability. That gingerbread house is truly wonderful and the cakes are so attractive.

    Now will all three be in the Santa photo this year? I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  6. My goodness – that really is busy. Alfie’s sporting prowess never ceases to amaze me but good on you for doing the swim with him in the midst of so many other commitments!

  7. What a star the little bloke is – so is the mum!
    I must say that Gingerbread House is most impressive – and I love the simplicity of your cakes which look just perfect for Christmas.

  8. Oh that sounds like a crazy weekend – especially the early starts – but a very generous one too. That is amazing that Alfie was so into the biathalon and sad to hear that the lady with the party was disappointed at the manners of the families she invited to the party – kids parties are hard for dealing with adults as well as kids. At least you have been a friendly face for her. And that is not a gingerbread house – that is a gingerbread village – amazing!

  9. Wow that gingerbread house looks incredible. And how pretty are your Christmas cakes – and home delivered too!

  10. Your 1st sentence cracked me up! I know what you mean… What a lovely cake, and look at that gorgeous gingerbread house! Wow 🙂

  11. I thought I was busy, until I read this! Still laughing over your next year’s response about philanthropic donations! Your Christmas cakes are lovely, Charlie, as always. You inspire.

  12. Always busy at this time of the year, especially with a big family… enjoy XXX

  13. It’s definitely getting down to the point end of the season! That poor woman and her party. How strange are some people with their gift giving habits. I must admit that we had some Mosman acquaintances and they were very peculiar with their gift giving habits too!

  14. What a fantastic gingerbread house. That was well worth a photo. I love how small and athletic Alfie is and how effortless it all is for him. If only…

  15. You have to be so proud of Alfie, I love his attitude. Your little Christmas cakes are lovely and I know they will really be enjoyed.

  16. That little guy is quite the going concern! Getting up so early would not sit well with me…I am having such a hard time falling asleep these nights, I finally fell into a slumber around 3am! I have not been able to get into the mood for Christmas baking so I take my hat off to you, with all the other things going on too! You are right, that is an awesome gingerbread house, it must have taken that woman hours and hours (I’m afraid I would have given up for sure!).

  17. You had quite the weekend. Love the gingerbread house and your cakes. And, Alfie, my, what a trooper.

  18. That gingerbread house is so intricate, I love it! But your minimal design on the white cake is stunning as well. The frantic-ness is all part of the tradition! Happy holidays and congratulations to Alfie!

  19. Your cakes are gorgeous! I’ve yet to start my cookie baking. And that gingerbread house? Wow! And WTG Alfie—love his confidence 🙂

  20. I can’t believe they didn’t bring presents or thank the host! That’s just bad manners!!
    Your cakes are gorgeous xx
    Thanks so much for sharing,
    Kind Regards
    Gourmet Getaways

  21. Gosh, your cakes look bloody marvellous – what a lovely gift to give.
    And that gingerbread construction is amazing!

  22. The cakes look perfect – the icing is so smooth it’s hard to believe they are real 🙂

  23. Alfie is just amazing. I love his enthusiasm and he isn’t at all deterred by the odds! Good for him. I really feel like he has a bright future because he has such a wonderful disposition. And i’m just stunned to think that the mother of the birthday boy reported only three gifts? What is wrong with people? I can’t think how another parent could think this was a good decision. Very strange. I feel like I’d like to send the little guy a gift. I hope Santa is good to him. 🙂

  24. What a busy week end you’ve had!! This gingerbread house is AMAZING , I’d love to get one of those. Your cakes are amazing too look so perfect. Loved Alfie’s determination.. doesn’t he amaze you everyday?!! He’ll grow up to be such a fine young man.

  25. Go Alfie! He’s amazing — the swim alone would have killed me. But the run after? No way! Those cakes are lovely. I’m sure you couldn’t have made them without Rosie’s help. 🙂

  26. Oh Wow Charlie – what a busy few days y’all had! That Gingerbread house is indeed gorgeous – and so are your Christmas cakes! Simply fabulous! As for Alfie – he reminds me of the Energizer bunny – he just keeps going and going! Good for him for not giving up on the run part! Here’s hoping things slow down for y’all!

  27. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Wow, and I thought I was busy! Congrats to Alfie for finishing the biathlon. The gingerbread house really is amazing, but I think your cakes are just as nice.

  28. I take back everything I said about being tired and run off my feet – you win! What an epic weekend! That lady’s gingerbread house – wowzers. Your cakes are stunning, I wouldn’t have a clue how to decorate a cake like that. Fabulous.

  29. You are so inspiring, Charlie. 🙂 I love how involved you are with your children’s activities. That gingerbread house is the most stunning I’ve ever seen. 🙂

  30. What a super star your Alfie is! Kudos to you for doing the swim with him – doubt I would have been as brave.
    I absolutely love your Christmas Cakes – I haven’t made anything this year! My mom always seems to bake for the entire neighbourhood so use that as my excuse. 😀
    Have a beautiful weekend Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  31. I swear, we’re going to be reading that little boy of yours’ name on the front page of the papers in days to come. He has the most amazing stamina of anyone I’ve ever known! LOVED the gingerbread house. And your cakes look magnificent as always. Need more cakeboards yet? 😀 Merry Christmas lovely! xxx

  32. You guys never stop do you? WOW!
    Small world with that woman showing up in your neighborhood. Did you determine if she lived around there? That poor son of hers – only 2 presents. 🙁
    As I’ve said before, your cake decorating skills are amazing!!!!

  33. Can’t believe you ran into that woman from the supermarket again and what a sad thing for her son. People really are becoming more rude. Your cakes are so professional and I don’t know how you do all that you do!

  34. Wow what an amazing child you have there, well they are all amazing and all so talented one way or another. Slowly getting through the blogs 🙂

  35. Genevieve Lovell says:

    the cake was delicious Charlie … you are a wonderful house guest and a great cook – welcome anytime at SP!


  1. […] despite my best efforts, the Santa photo didn’t take place.  That is because Alfie competed in a biatholon that morning and by the time it was over and we were ready to leave for the city, Santa had no more […]

Speak Your Mind