Willow’s Christmas Message 2021

Yesterday was Christmas Eve. After a busy morning working at the cat shelter the staff had a little bbq to celebrate the end of the year. Willow was in the van so I brought her in to meet a few faces she hadn’t met yet, and she got lots of pats.

With the van fully packed for the weekend ahead and Willow ready for an adventure, I said goodbye to everyone at work and started driving up the coast.

But, there was someone missing.

With Steph visiting her family in the UK it will be just Willow and I in the van as we stay with my family in the coastal village of Orford.

It has been a nightmare for Steph rearranging flights back to Australia as the situation and rules changed. It meant hours and hours on the phone to airlines and checking the inbound quarantine regulations which seemed to change daily. Anyhow, we have her scheduled to fly out on boxing day.

Steph will be flying into Sydney where she will need to provide a negative PCR test before she is allowed to board a flight to Hobart. Then she will be required to quarantine and hopefully be allowed to do so at our cottage.

As the Australian government has now deemed the UK an extreme risk area, Steph will have to quarantine alone. Luckily, Willow and I have alternative accomodation in our camper van.

For people around the world the end of year is a time of celebration but sometimes it is hard to feel that festivity when your loved ones are so far away.

We arrived up the coast and I parked the van on the nature strip outside my parents house. My brother’s family had arrived a few days earlier, and my nephews came out to say hi to Willow.

Dad got a whole heap of scallops which mum cooked on the bbq as we had a drink, and again, we accidentally poured Steph a glass of champaign even though she’s so far away.

When it was time for dinner I brought Willow inside the house, but there is someone she just won’t get along with. This is my brother’s dog, Aspen. Aspen wants to be Willow’s friend. Willow does not accept.

Aspen gets a bit overexcited when she sees Willow and is confused as to why the little cat doesn’t want to play with her.

Oh Willow, I know she is a smelly dog but please just open your heart, I tell her.

Though, it seems Willow is content on her small circle of human companions and that Aspen’s advances will be forever rejected.

I put Willow on the backrest of the couch where she feels safe from Aspen. Willow is unsure if she wants to play or eat her, though Willow is content to sit and watch what’s going on. We have our Christmas dinner with cold meats and salads and Steph’s glass of champaign sits next to mine. When no one was looking, I sneaked a piece of ham and gave it to Willow. She eats it up as we finish our meals.

But it’s all a bit too noisy for Willow who jumps down from the couch when Aspen wasn’t looking and finds a spot under the Christmas tree. Amongst my nephews presents she rests, the greatest gift under the tree if you ask me!

It’s hard to think of something poignant to say after another year like this. Maybe there is nothing to say.

Last year the three of us spent Christmas on a blueberry farm, and next year, who knows where we will be. But that doesn’t matter, the three of us will be together.

As uncertain as the world is right now, one thing I can assure you is that I will continue to share these moments with you. It means a lot to me that you read our stories and it gives me great purpose.

So as we enter another year, I hope we can continue to be a part of your lives, and that you’ll be a part of Willow’s and all the joy she brings us.

So from Steph, Willow, and I, we hope you enjoy your end of year celebrations wherever in the world you are, and whoever you are with.

Please give your cats/loved ones a cuddle from us and Willow.

* * *

Again, thank you for being a part of our story this year and know that there will be many more to come this coming year. There’s still a lot of Tasmania we haven’t shown you yet so stay tuned for many van adventures to come.

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