Guest Page No. 9

Christmas Around The World 2010

The idea for this page stemmed from an email I received in January 2010 from Jim Garner, a Canadian friend who suggested that "we ex-pats could maybe contribute an 'Ilkeston Christmas around the world' photo feature". So while offering my thanks to Jim for the idea, I'd also like to thank all the people who have contributed images for inclusion here.

Jack Wescott was quick off the mark by sending me this image from his home in Western Australia of these Norfolk Island Pines which are grown in the lower half of Australia. Jack says that they are used in their juvenile form as indoor Christmas trees and can also be planted in the garden as long as you have a suitably large garden.

This image has already been half way around the world before reaching me being sent by Janet Sundquist from her Canadian home. It was taken by her daughter Christine who lives only a few miles away from Ilkeston in Derby on a visit to York one day in late November 2010. Although it's a recent photo I feel it has a Dickensian quality to it and could easily be a scene from his "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge or Tiny Tim about to appear any minute. An image that wouldn't look amiss on a Christmas card.
Janet left the East Midlands some to ago to live in Canada and Stephen Millership is another Ilkestonian who has put down roots elsewhere. Stephen has lived in Stockport for the last 28 years but admits to regularly checking into Ilkeston Cam to keep in touch with the rapidly changing face of the town he grew up in. His image that would also grace a Christmas card was captured in January 2010 and shows a place called Lyme Park near Stockport, Cheshire. Adding a little detail to the picture Stephen says that there is a frozen reservoir behind the trees and the structure on the hill is known as "the cage" from which there is a panoramic view of Cheshire, Wales, Lancashire and the Peak District. Lyme Cage was built in 1737 as a hunting lodge and later used as a lockup for poachers. After years of disuse it has been recently restored. Stephen likes the light from the sun as it sets over the hill adding even more magic to the snow.

Ronald Booth Pickett sent me another snowy picture taken from the balcony of his son's home after a Christmas snowstorm in Evergreen Colorado adding that his grandparents moved to America from Ilkeston early in the last century and that he now lives in California. It's probably much warmer in California than either Ilkeston or Colorado at Christmas!

Shirley Hall in Indiana is another American resident whose ancestors lived in Ilkeston and although she didn't send a picture of her own, she did send this link to a Flickr image showing the lighted Santa that was part of her childhood. Each year meant a trip to Wolf & Dessauer's department store in Fort Wayne to see Santa on the side of the building. Shirley's brother Gene Cramer however, did send me some images of which this is one showing these orchids on the side of one of the Palm Trees in the front yard. They had just started to bloom in mid December and opened up nicely just in time for Christmas. Gene says the picture was taken in bright and sunny Ave Maria, Southwest Florida.

On the same continent as Gene and Shirley but north of the 49th parallel another ex-Ilkestonian, Margaret Smith sent me four images from Vankleek Hill, Canada showing the Celebration of Lights Parade. The one above with the three burners is the Candle of Flight float on which highly trained hot air balloon pilots flare up the burners shooting huge fireballs into the sky whilst keeping a close eye on the overhead wires and trees.

All four photos of the various float were taken with Margaret's Kodak Z1485 IS camera and show a tractor, a helicopter and the Vankleek Hill firefighters, all highly trained paramedics, with their tiny fire engine.

A tractor also features in this photo together with a small Santa figure in the drivers's seat on the lawn of Ann Waterman's neighbour in Connecticut, USA. Deer feature in the lawn display and Ann says that by Christmas the whole of the house is decorated with a lighted manger, Santa on the chimney, larger than life wise men nearby and lights in the driveway that form a tunnel. Ann also sent some pictures of her Christmas tree and the nativity scene (left) that stands at the foot of it sums up the reason for our festivities at this joyous time of year.

The next four photos all came from ex-pat Joanne Apergi and show the National Gardens in the centre of Athens, Greece. Like's Ann's photo, Joanne included one of a nativity display (centre above) together with the entrance to the National Gardens on the left and the Christmas tree inside the gardens on the right.

The Zappeio Hall which is an exhibition hall in the National Gardens is flanked during the Christmas period by more Christmas trees.

But north, south east or west, whether here in the UK or on the American continent, in Australia, Greece or anywhere else in the world for that matter, the final picture on this page is from the man who instigated it , Jim Garner. Jim's contribution came with the following message: "I intended to take some pictures of Ottawa but bad weather and a bad back kept me indoors at the critical time. So I borrowed this picture from official sources. It's in the public domain for copyright and shows the Parliament buildings here. There is an imitation of Big Ben in the background, over the actual legislative chambers. The smaller tower, forward and to the left, is the office of the Prime Minister, who formally presses a button to illuminate the lights each year. You can see the floodlit national war memorial by Vernon Ward, an English sculptor, and the trees around it are all lit up for Christmas. The bridge on the right is over a canal that was originally built to provide shipping access from the ocean to Lake Ontario without going through US-controlled waters."

There is little I can add to that except to thank everyone again for their contributions, hope Jim's back problem improves soon and echo his final greeting in the email he sent to me -
"Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Late addition:

Shortly after completing and uploading this page I received another image for inclusion from the webmaster of Rome Cam, Paolo Borgognone. Paolo wrote that the picture was taken in the Piazza Venezia, in front of the monument to King Vittorio Emanuele I with the tall Christmas tree placed there by the Municipality.