After all that’s happened this year… and hasn’t happened –thank you Coronavirus pandemic– the new Covid-normal grants us a semblance of reprieve for the festive season. However, it makes little difference to me: our festive season is routinely low-key regardless, moreso this year surrounded as it is by the distractions of medical and life-as-usual busy-ness.
I can barely think about the upcoming festive season until I’ve had my end of November birthday… which often coincides with extremes in weather. This year we planned around the forecast of a record breaking “bloody hot” day and did an early morning beach walk and picnic brunch before returning home to the coolth of our air-conditioning.
Last week the G.O. got the long-awaited good news call giving him a 4 January 2021 date for his knee replacement, its proximity to the end of the festive season meaning his blood-urine-xray-surgery-ecg-anaesthetic-physio pre-op consultations needed to be done and dusted prior to Christmas
, and despite a follow-up call shifting the surgery date to 21 January, still do. [Edit note: subsequent call changing it back to 4 January] Additionally, annoyingly… among other routine medical stuff, audiologist appointments troubleshooting his hearing aids which continue to give him grief.
Longer than the G.O. has been on a waitlist for knee surgery my 87 year-old MiL has been dithering about a hip replacement but this week it’s deteriorated to the no-option-it-should-have-been-done-2-years-ago point and a 18 month waitlist through the public hospital system… so we’re looking for ways and means via public system queue jumping or private system funding.
On a brighter note… festive even… with the lifting of travel restrictions my Melburnian sister is now allowed to travel across the border into my home state of NSW. This is the best news ever, as the weight of being segregated from her was the worst aspect of Covid-19 for me. Followed by the next best news ever that she is coming for a pre-Christmas visit and found dog-friendly Little Monkerai – Cottage – Farm stays for Rent in Main Creek, New South Wales, Australia (airbnb.com.au) for us to share for a couple of nights while we catch up with the rest of the family.
Amid it all, working around the unseasonably hot weather we’ve been having, in the mornings I’ve been doing a winter-spring garden clean up and getting the summer garden settled ‘cos quite soon it’s going to be too hot to do anything much except water it.
And during the too-hot-to-be-outdoors afternoons I’ve enjoyed the luxury of reading for pleasure, a much-loved pastime I shelved while preoccupied reading for study over the past few years. I’ve managed the 18 books below so far for 2020. You can find my book lists and reviews on Goodreads.
Yesterday, though, I cast my book aside in search of a suitable photo to put in a frame I found for my Dad. I prefer random and opportunistic gift giving rather than on-demand occasions. Fortunately, he and most of my family and friends do too… now… the others are slowly coming around. It was there the creative spirit -even more elusive than reading for pleasure or the blog writing muses- found me, providing an entertaining but productive afternoon and a unique, fun gift for my Dad.
Whether you need festive season or other gifts… or simply distraction, I thought I’d share what I discovered, and maybe you’ll have a use for it too… a free Microsoft app called Paint 3D. After selecting a photo you want to edit, open it in the app, and use the app’s editing tools and sticker & image libraries to embellish the photo.
To explain briefly, I superimposed stickers and 3D images onto my selected photo to obscure an inauspicious background. The images below explain it better than I can…
My photo went from this:
Looking at it with the free Microsoft 3D Viewer app:
Finished product with photo printed on my standard 2D home printer:
I love Christmastime… but it doesn’t mean I’m not ambivalent about its accoutrements. One part of me thinks like Nora Roberts… “Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room” and the other is of the David Grayson school-of-thought… “As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.”
Whatever you think of it, as well as some festive spirit I hope the creative spirit finds you also. Do it your way. With joy ♥