Yesterday I posted a snap of my seven year old self. It reminded me of a whole host of other stuff that happened when I was that age.
We were a family of seven, all living in a very small, very creaky holiday shack in the middle of winter. It was a beach house right on the coast, in a tiny seaside village in West Sussex, in England. In the middle of winter. So all glorious family beach recollections can easily be replaced with much frostier memories. No sandcastles and swimmers. More like scarves and swift sea breezes against flint grey skies. But they were happy times.
The house was a rental. (From memory we were living there because we were 'between houses' - property settlement timings were evidently a horror then as they are now!) There were three small bedrooms for seven of us. I truly cannot remember where my older siblings slept. But my younger brother and I shared a room together. We were accustomed to this. Giggling and bickering at bedtime was the norm.
The carpeted hall outside our bedroom was long and reached the back door, which in turn stretched to the beach. When the winds were strong and winter coastal gales were headed in our direction, the high tide waves would edge closer and closer to the back door, seeping in. Carpet soaked. I recall many winter nights, snuggling, falling asleep, listening to the salt water creep and lap across along the hall carpet.
The crust of salt would be felt underfoot, with the damp, the next morning, along with the hiss of the gas fire, to try and dry out the carpet and keep us toasty.
Christmas time was spent in that house. Christmas Eve came, and my younger brother and I were hysterical in our excitement and anticipation - with me at age seven, my younger brother just five. I was at 'that age' of uncertainty as to whether Santa truly existed. Hopeful, but realistic.
I tried to keep myself awake that Christmas Eve, to try and figure out the whole Santa down the chimney, crinkling stockings on the end of the bed, presents under the tree mystery. Torn between my imagination and pragmatism.
I heard the creeping up the hall carpet. Sea water or Santa? A shadowy figure at the end of the bed who, I realised, smelled sweetly of Diorissimo. My Mummy. Gently laying rustling stockings stuffed with little pressies.
I scrunched my eyes tight shut, all of a sudden wishing I was asleep and hadn't spied her. I listened again as she crept back out of our room. I pulled the quilt up around my neck, and listened again.
I heard the creeping up the hall carpet. Sea water or Santa?
When and how did you find out that Santa had an apprentice?
I have ten family movie passes to give away, to see the new Christmas Movie, Santa's Apprentice. Just make sure you are following my blog, and leave me a comment below?
In time for Christmas, the heart-warming festive themed animation, SANTA'S APPRENTICE dashes into cinemas everywhere from November 10!
With an all-star voice cast including Shane Jacobson, Magda Szubanski, Delta Goodrem and Hugh Sheridan, Santa’s Apprentice follows the story of young Nicolas (voice of Jack Versace), a 7 year old Australian boy on his adventure as he struggles with the ups and downs of being the next Santa Claus. It's a big responsibility that would scare even the bravest boy – but Nicolas wants to be the best Santa ever. So he will have to learn a few lessons along the way. Christmas has a way of making even the biggest mishaps alright and thanks to his loving mentors, Santa (Shane Jacobsen) and Waldorf (Hugh Sheridan), Nicolas learns, as we all do, the true meaning of Christmas!
SANTA'S APPRENTICE takes you to a place where wishes really do come true and proves that sometimes, happy endings are only the beginning!
Distributed by Becker Film Group, SANTA'S APPRENTICE is an Australian-French Coproduction by Gaumont-Alphanim and Avrill Stark Entertainment Pty Ltd with the participation of Flying Bark Productions Pty Ltd, Gaumont, Cartoon Saloon and ORANGE CINÉMA SÉRIES. Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée, Bord Scannán na hÉireann / Irish Film Board.
Dashing into cinemas everywhere November 10 http://www.santasapprentice.com.au/
Open to Australian readers only. Winners drawn at random. Closes Weds 2nd November.
Winners all informed via email.