'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menosukhi Moments - Macdom

I spent Christmas in the Hutch. While the Maestro was with us, I made the effort to attend the family gathering at her home. It was always a bit of a personal challenge, having been in OZ and far distant from the event for three decades. Add to that the vegetarianism and that first couple of Christmases back in the Bonny Land tested my mettle somewhat.

Even way back before Mac-diaspora, there tended to be discord as I have always held Christmas in my heart as the sacred holy-day rather than the mid-winter madness it has become since the second world war.

I can recall one where my mother wanted to put the washing machine on. I was twelve and struggling with puberty and highly emotional about such work being done on the one day of the year when she was supposed to be sharing time with us. The disturbance of the peace and sanctity of the day was distressing to me. It is a strong memory and one of those which led to a D&M discussion with mother later in the day, just she and me. That was the one where she told me I was likely to end up an "eccentric hermit spinster".

She had vision, my mother.

When she said it though, it was meant to jar me out of my already socially isolationist ways and conform more with the 'norm' of discos and boys and smoking behind the cycle sheds. She wanted to be able to chide me about those things rather than things she knew rather less about. It worked to a degree. I did just enough to satisfy her that I wasn't in need of psychotherapy (the up and coming thing in the 1960s - and mum read Dr Spock and other such trendy things) but never lost my desire for spiritual succour. I turned out alright if somewhat closing in on the label she provided all those years ago!

Three Christmases have passed without the presence of the Maestro now and all have been spent here at the Hutch. What I do then, is drive over to Edinburgh to spend Hogmanay and 'first week' with the father. On all three occasions so far, it has been only the two of us and BBC Alba's ceilidh. Then he pulls out his harmonicas and we have half an hour of our own musicalism. Bed at 2 a.m.

Normally, the younger Macs, who come up to spend Christmas with him, have left before I get over there. This year, though, they hung on an extra night so that I could hug them in person instead of through the googlevid etherwebs. I suggested I would cook us a special end of year meal on that Sunday night (the 30th) and Mac1 was invited to join us. I made dahl, jeera rice, shakarkhand pooris, coconut sambal and egg curry. There was none left - not a thing. Nothing pleases a cook more than to find the food so eagerly consumed!

What made it all the more special, though, was that all five of us were around the table for this holiday after so long. Father was clearly revelling in having his kids at one moment in time to surround him. He would never say it aloud... but his face speaks volumes. (Image courtesy of Mac2 - queen of the 'ussie'!)


  1. The family photo is lovely - I think you win the prize for the smile that lights up the whole face!
    (Was it wrong for me to laugh at the Christmas Day washing machine story? Oh how grateful I am that adolescence is a long time past!)
    Cheers, Gail.

  2. YaYa what an absolutely blessing it was for your Father to have you all with him and such a lovely photo.
    I agree with Gail you win the prize for lighting up the room and I know your IN PERSON hugs are epic..since I have experienced several.
    Hugs HiC

  3. An epic 'ussie. Your mother turned out a fine room of women and fellow, too. And, here's a glass to Christmas time in the Hutch.

  4. That is a photo to cherish!!! Nice to see the rest of the family.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  5. we love this photo... it is real joy and real joy is the thing what's behind that howlidays ;O)

  6. I agree with all that came before me, excellent photo of your family. your brother looks so much like your dad. so glad you could get together all at the same time. I was raised in a strict, very strict religious family, all forced to do what HE the dad, thought was right. no washing of clothes on Sundays, no cutting grass on sabbath, nothing but church or sitting around talking or reading. no movie theaters on Sunday either. no smoking no drinking no cards no dancing... that is just a few of the rules. when I moved out I promptly did all of them including going to the laundramt on Sunday which was my day off...

  7. I love love love that photo. Such happiness. I am so glad that you were all together :)

  8. Hi Yam - definitely a delightful post ... times can be raw as we age - but here it's wonderful to see you all together - happy and smiling - your father does look so pleased to have you there - and yes your smile lightens the rest of the photo up - but those other smiles take some beating ... the stars are radiating out from you all - Happy New Year and cheers Hilary

  9. This is so lovely and heartwarming!
    It's comforting to read that not all is goodness and light with all families. I fear my family will never be together at one time again.

  10. That wonderful photo made us smile big too
    Hazel & Mabel

  11. I can only imagine how wonderful your meal was. So nice you could all be together.

  12. What a precious post and photo about life and family influences ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. We can sure tell that everyone was having a great time. Our mom wishes she could have you cook a meal for her. Your dinner menu sounds delish!


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